WILMINGTON, Del. – Compact Membrane Systems Inc. (CMS), a 30-year-old Delaware company whose advanced membrane systems address the challenge of decarbonizing heavy industry, has chosen New Castle, Delaware, for a $3.1 million facility and workforce expansion that will help address massive market demand.
CMS formerly operated completely out of a location on Water Street in Newport. The company recently moved much of its operations to a temporary site on Reads Way in New Castle near where construction on its new facility is ongoing. The expansion includes building 10,864 square feet of research and development and manufacturing-focused lab spaces along with more than 4,216 square feet of additional new space. The company also plans to add at least 38 new full-time employees to its current staff of 19 over the next three years.
“We’re grateful that Compact Membrane Systems will build on its 30-year history in our state,” said Governor John Carney. “CMS has an important mission to decarbonize heavy industry. Their decision to grow in Delaware will help make our environment more sustainable and add jobs to our state.”
Founded in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1993 by former DuPont scientist Stuart Nemser and now led by his daughter, CMS delivers technology solutions that capture and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, avert global warming and transform the industry into a long-term sustainable enterprise. With a massive shortage of membrane fiber needed to meet industry demands, CMS is expanding to help fill the growing needs of the carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) market, which has tremendous growth potential in the fight against climate change.
CMS has been shifting from a small, research-based company utilizing federal grants for R&D projects to further its business objectives to a rapidly growing commercial entity with a double bottom line – marrying commercial success with social responsibility – by delivering innovative new products while also capturing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As the company has evolved, including raising $16.5 million in a Series A venture capital round in 2023, CMS has investigated where best to continue its growth.
The company considered moving to locations closer to investors and potential customers, including Houston, Texas, and areas further West. However, CMS’s First State roots, history of hiring local talent and commitment to community involvement and sector leadership here helped drive its decision to continue to expand its engineering, manufacturing and sales footprint in Delaware.
“It’s vitally important we keep legacy companies like CMS in our communities growing and thriving,” said New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer. “We have the talent right here in our state, and this expansion presents opportunities for our workforce to stay right here at home.”
Delaware Prosperity Partnership supported CMS’s request to the Council on Development Finance for a Graduated Lab Space Grant of up to $760,480 and a Jobs Performance Grant of up to $115,000 from the Delaware Strategic Fund. Distribution of these grants is dependent upon the company meeting commitments as outlined to the CDF, which reviewed and approved CMS’s request.
“CMS has grown up as a Delaware company and, through this state support, is excited to cement our future in Delaware,” said Erica Nemser, CMS’s CEO, who also chairs the Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance Board. “We love the resources and opportunity Delaware has to offer, from excellent scientific and technical talent to the commitment to manufacturing advanced technology to address climate emissions.”