W. L. Gore & Associates has begun working with a biotechnology start-up, Checkerspot, to produce environmentally friendly coatings. Headquartered in Berkeley, California, Checkerspot uses microbes to bio-manufacture naturally occurring structural oils for commercial use. Another collaborator here is Beyond Surface Technologies, a Swiss producer of plant-based finishes intended to substitute for perfluorinated compounds (PFC). Linda Elkins, who heads the Gore Innovation Center, suggests that Gore might be seeking other such partnerships in time.