Startup to build up in borough

NAUGATUCK — A zoning decision Wednesday has paved the way for a renewable chemistry startup to move operations to the Naugatuck Industrial Park.

P2 Science gained approval from the Zoning Commission Wednesday to build a 400-square-foot accessory building next to the 27,000-square-foot former Hospital Marketing Services building at 162 Great Hill Road.

The company, which emerged out of Yale University’s Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering, has developed a new process to convert natural materials into ingredients for flavors and fragrances, according to Operations Manager Ed Ogle.

They need the new building with 40-foot high ceilings to house some special equipment that won’t fit in the existing building.

P2 Science plans to lease the property from O&G Industries, which would purchase the property from its current owner.

Ogle said the chemical processing should produce no emissions, with only a small amount of material in the building at any given time. He said there will also be containment procedures to ensure anything spilled doesn’t get outside the building.

Over the next three years, Ogle said he expects the company to grow from its present staff of eight to 20 to 30 employees.

“It will take us a while to build up the business,” Ogle said.

Chief Science Officer Patrick Foley said the company, which he co-founded with Yale Professor Paul Anastas, started in an incubation space off Yale’s campus in 2011 and opened a lab and offices in Woodbridge in 2015.

Until now, the company has been working on research and product and process development, partnering with an Italian engineering company to perfect and patent the process, according to CEO Neil Burns.

This year, the company secured two new investors, BASF Ventures and Xeraya, who provided close to $9.55 million in capital to get into the manufacturing stage.

The company will eventually sell aroma ingredients to big companies like IFF and Givaudin to be used in shampoos, laundry detergent, soap, perfume, after shave and similar products.

The raw materials come from vegetable oils and terpenes from the forest industry, Burns said.

He said the company hopes to have the lease and purchase wrapped up by December, start getting its equipment in early next year and start production in the fourth quarter next year.

Burns said P2 Science chose the building because it was a good standalone building close to New Haven.

“We’re psyched. It’s a big step for us,” Burns said. “We love the location. We love the town here. We love the building.”