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Graphene Investment By The Back Door.

One way of investing in the potential of graphene that hasn’t yet been explored by this website is the possibility of investing in business development companies. Such businesses help to finance the growth of the smaller private companies that proliferate in the science and technology arena. Finding publicly traded shares in companies invested in graphene research is much more difficult than buying shares in those companies that help to fund such research. Companies that are closed to share dealing still need funds and this is where private equity companies can help.[cleeng_content id=”477532141″ description=”Finding these opportunities can be difficult but at Investingraphene we have done all the research for you…” price=”0.49″ t=”article”]One example of this type of opportunity can be found in IP Group plc (LSE: IPO), the developer of intellectual property based businesses, who recently announced its part in a £1.2m tranched seed financing round into a new spin-out company from Durham University. Durham Graphene Science Ltd (“DGS”), a company founded on research conducted by Dr Karl Coleman, is pursuing research into methods of graphene production by chemical vapour deposition. The company could be at the forefront of making graphene easier to produce, and therefore less costly. With the cost of graphene being one of the biggest obstacles to its use in everyday products the mass production techniques being considered by DGS are of major significance to graphenes adoption by manufacturers. The £1.2 million is being made available from a small pool of investors; IP Group and The North East Technology Fund have each committed £500,000 alongside £200,000 from the Finance for Business North East Proof of Concept Fund, managed by Northstar Ventures. Assuming the second tranche completes, the Group and The North East Technology Fund will each have an undiluted beneficial interest of 22% in DGS. Commenting on the new agreement Alan Aubrey, Chief Executive Officer of IP Group, said

“This is a great example of IP Group leveraging its core model through its managed funds. When we won the mandate to manage The North East Technology Fund in 2010, our vision was that the Group would co-invest alongside the fund in appropriate opportunities. We are delighted that this has led to us making our first investment into a spin-out company from Durham University.”

The chemical vapour deposition system under patent application by DGS creates graphene from the carbon available in food stocks. It is both highly scalable and cost efficient and marks a radical departure from the “top down” methods that produce graphene from large flake graphite.  The investment capital will enable the company to scale up its production equipment and establish joint development agreements with partners to test the handling, dispersion and processing of the material across a wide variety of applications. Dr Karl Coleman, founder of DGS, said:

This is going to be a very competitive industry as interest in graphene has grown so we are working to a very aggressive timescale. The pilot production lines are already yielding some exciting results. From our very first discussion, the team at IP Group plc has been great to work with. Genuinely interested in our work, they have strengthened our knowledge and supported us in the recruitment of a wider team.[/cleeng_content]

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