France-based specialty chemical company Rhodia seems to be now looking to invests in US-based green chemistry/renewable chemicals companies after the blog heard this announcement today of the company acquiring equity stake in a a venture capital company Phoenix Venture Partners based in Silicon Valley, California.
Phoenix Venture Partners specializes in start-up companies focusing primarily on advanced materials but the venture fund group stated that it will now include Rhodia's strategic focus in the area of green chemistry and bioresourced materials when scouting for start-up candidates. The firm mostly focuses on North America and to a lesser extent, in Europe and Asia.
Rhodia also invested in another venture capital group, Aster II, which is based in Europe last February. This fund focuses on energy, advanced materials and in other environmental sectors.
Th French chemical company has been very active in green chemistry R&D the past few years. Last year in August, Rhodia signed a green chemistry scientific collaboration with the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the Ecole Normale Superieure of Lyon (ENSL) and the East China Normal University (ECNU) of Shanghai.
In June, Rhodia partnered with the University of Bordeaux Foundation aiming to expand the role of pine chemicals as raw chemical feedstock, while in February last year, Rhodia also formed a new international research collaboration called COMPASS (Complex Assemblies of of Soft Matter) with the University of Pennsylvania and CNRS, which will explore renewable and sustainable ingredients initially for consumer products in home and personal care markets as well as address critical issues such as water scarcity and novel printable electronic solutions for energy transfer and storage down the road.