A Silicon Valley company has made the move to Pittsburgh, bringing with it a unique type of artificial intelligence.
Citrine Informatics, a chemicals and materials artificial intelligence (AI) platform, recently opened its first office outside of Silicon Valley in Bakery Square.
Citrine combines materials-aware AI with the world’s largest materials database to help companies deliver high-performance products to market faster, a feat Citrine CEO Greg Mulholland says they’re under a lot of pressure to accomplish. He illustrates his point by citing how Boeing strives to become fuel efficient by creating lighter, stronger materials with which to build their jets.
“In hindsight, Pittsburgh was the obvious choice because there is no city on the planet that is both a bulwark of a materials manufacturing economy and is on the cutting edge of AI at the same time,” says Mulholland, adding that the city is home to a lot of “great materials companies” that they either currently work with or plan to work with soon.
The approach is also surprisingly versatile. While Mulholland declined to name specific Citrine clients due to non-disclosure agreements, he says they work with “many different areas of products and materials,” from solar cells and energy-efficient lighting to lightweight, high strength alloys typically related to the automotive and aerospace sectors. They also deal with plastics and coatings similar to those produced by local industry giant PPG.
Their Pittsburgh presence seems appropriate in a city where manufacturing and AI technology have started to intersect. Earlier this year, an independent institute founded by Carnegie Mellon University received more than $250 million from the U.S. Department of Defense to focus on developing robots for the advanced manufacturing sector.
Besides being closer to current and potential clients, Mulholland believes the Pittsburgh expansion gives them greater access to top technical talent, an advantage they lacked in the far more competitive sphere of Silicon Valley. While details are scant, the Bakery Square location could mean more jobs for area professionals.
“It’s an office we plan to aggressively grow,” says Mulholland, adding that they plan to hire customer service and AI technical positions in Pittsburgh.