With the internet rumour mill talking about the possibility of Grafoid being floated on the TSX, it is perhaps time to break my silence by publishing the latest news to come from the Director of Focus Graphite and Grafoid.
The following is the text of a speech delivered to the “New Diamond Nano Carbons” Conference by Grafoid Inc, President and CEO Gary Economo.
- Grafoid unveils investment in bulk production of MesoGraf™ graphene, an economically scalable suite of graphene products that can be tailored to both industrial and commercial applications.
- Focus Graphite, Grafoid, Graphite Zero and National University of Singapore launch global platform.
- Focus Graphite is a source of high-grade, high-purity graphite.
- Graphite Zero manages R&D and MesoGraf™ productions.
- Grafoid is responsible for managing business and IP development, corporate and investor relations and marketing.
- The platform offers the most direct, clearest, fastest, affordable way towards graphene’s commercialisation on a global scale.
- Utilizes a one-step, non-destructive and environmentally sustainable chemical process in the production of MesoGraf™.
My name is Gary Economo and I am President and CEO of Focus Graphite and I hold the same position with Grafoid Inc., our graphene investment and business development company. I am also Chairman of the Board of Graphite Zero Pte. a Singapore-based graphene R&D and production company.
Graphite Zero, I should add, represents a significant milestone for Singapore and in particular, the National University of Singapore as Graphite Zero is the Graphene Research Center’s first commercial graphene spinoff.
It is with great pleasure that I thank our partner in Graphite Zero, Dr. Loh Kian Ping: the Director of Graphene Center – Dr. Antonio Castro Neto and the organizing team for the opportunity to address this gathering today. I am honoured to be here.
I would like also to recognize Dr. Gordon Chiu, who is Chief Scientist at Focus Graphite and a co-founder and Vice President of Grafoid Inc.
The Architect Frank Lloyd Wright said:
The thing always happens that you really believe in: and the belief in the thing makes it happen.
We believe the world is on the brink of a technology revolution as profound as the Industrial Revolution that changed the world in the early 19th Century.
Graphene and graphene industrial and consumer applications are on the cusp of market monetization. The billions of investment dollars being poured into graphene R&D lends credibility to some analysts’ declarations that a geopolitical race to dominate the graphene space is on in earnest.
Grafoid invests – and by invests, we mean the investment of scientific expertise and financial support that led to the co-development of a unique process for transforming graphite to graphene.
That unique process led us to the production of MesoGraf™ – our trademark graphene product and the culmination of Grafoid’s and Graphite Zero’s investment and discovery efforts to succeed in the delivery of a graphene catalyst material for broad, industrial scale applications.
Independent testing revealed MesoGraf’s performance is peerless in terms of its high energy density and unique physical characteristics. And it is a product we believe sets a global standard for reliable, economically scalable and reproducible graphene.
We believe the MesoGraf™ global platform we are announcing here today – of Focus Graphite, Grafoid, Graphite Zero and NUS – is a strategic key that unlocks the door to the next global economic and industrial revolution. Our own participation in a raft of industrial graphene application joint ventures is evidence to me of our game-changing enterprises.
Humanity today requires a catalyst that fosters innovation, creativity and execution to pull the world to its next frontier.
Focus Graphite’s management had reason to believe the company could be more than just a mining developer. And that was the genesis of Grafoid Inc. Barely six months after its incorporation, Grafoid proposed in early 2012 to invest in the adoption of a global standard for economically scalable graphene. A year later, conferences and manufacturing sectors are echoing our position.
We believed that by accomplishing two things – by investing in a process of producing graphene cost effectively and by setting a global standard – the doors to industrial scale adaptation would open to us.
And so they have.
Grafoid focused on the investment of a key upstream element, namely: a reliable scalable graphene process that was affordable on an industrial scale, and; reproducible. Our belief in a top-down graphene exfoliation process has left us well positioned to seize those industrial scale opportunities with a superior, high energy density graphene product.
Sometimes, challenging convention has unexpected results and rewards. So too does our investment in a one-step method of exfoliating graphene directly from graphite ore. Our efforts have opened the door to the graphene development community to consider the source of graphene used for downstream applications.
Our joint venture development partners are achieving performance milestones from MesoGraf™ that bring credibility to our discoveries which have led to the creation of new intellectual properties. Like Focus Graphite, we had reason to believe it could be more than just a producer and seller of pristine few layer graphene.
MesoGraf’s existence provides opportunities to enhance material and structures, improve energy solutions and benefit our lives from a myriad of enhanced, future technologies. Commercialization of downstream applications is just around the corner and mass production processes of high quality high performance materials will make mass production affordable.
Towards Mass Production
When we incorporated Grafoid some 18 months ago, we set a goal of establishing the universal standard for pristine, economically scalable and environmentally sustainable graphene from a novel transformation process. MesoGraf™ confirms we have done so. And so do our partners.
Dr. Chiu and Dr. Loh, the named inventors of this process are to be congratulated for their efforts. They represent the quality and excellence that is leading the graphene revolution. This partnership has resulted in the National University of Singapore’s first Graphene Center spin off: Graphite Zero.
We are very proud and honored to be associated with one of the world’s graphene centers of excellence.
Grafoid and Graphite Zero were successful in transforming Lac Knife’s high quality graphite ore to MesoGraf™ in a one-step, non-destructive and environmentally sustainable chemical process at the NUS Graphene Center. In doing so, they created an economically scalable suite of graphene products that can be tailored to both industrial and commercial applications.
There’s an important element I should mention here about the process. While Lac Knife’s graphite was used by Grafoid and Graphite Zero for testing and evaluation purposes, the transformation process is agnostic – that is, it will work with any concentrated graphite ore with a grade higher than 10%. Supply, therefore, is not an issue.
Our Graphene Supply Chain
Our team has spent the last year developing the global platform for MesoGraf™ that we are rolling out today. Drs. Chiu and Loh, through Graphite Zero and the University proved the science. It’s been tested and independently verified and validated. It works.
I can stand before you today and say: we are mass-producing MesoGraf™ in bulk at a very low cost. Grafoid, meanwhile, has spent the last year testing the global market. We have attracted and secured application development partnerships and we’ve attracted investor interest at both the institutional and retail investor levels. There’s more to be done and we’ll have much more to announce in the coming months.
We believe that 2013 will be a breakout year for graphene application development. We know that the achievements of Grafoid, Graphite Zero and the National University of Singapore in developing MesoGraf™ bridges the gap between the science and industrial commercialization.
Our roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and simple, and flow from our unique mine-to-market graphene business model.
It is structured as follows:
Focus Graphite is the source of high-grade, high-purity graphite. Focus Graphite owns a significant stake in Grafoid and Grafoid holds a majority stake in Graphite Zero. Graphite Zero manages research and development and MesoGraf™ production in conjunction with the world-class, $100m Graphene Center at NUS. Grafoid is responsible for managing MesoGraf’s marketing and business development, and corporate and investor relations.
This platform offers the most direct, clearest, fastest, affordable way towards graphene’s commercialization on a global scale.
Dr. Chiu will provide a more detailed, technical summary of our top-down process and MesoGraf’s properties.
Grafoid currently has some 15 projects under development globally. We’ve exceeded our three-year target for growth already and we’re on track to continue building IP development partnerships.
Last November, we entered into a long-term agreement with Hydro-Quebec’s research institute IREQ to develop and patent a quick-charge, long-life MesoGraf™ lithium iron phosphate battery for the consumer electronics and electric vehicle markets.
Hydro-Quebec is one of the world’s leading authorities and patent holders of renewable energy storage technologies. We anticipate a number of breakthrough announcements jointly with Hydro-Quebec in the next while.
Our partnership with Rutgers University’s advanced polymer institute AMIPP has produced an advanced MesoGraf™-plastic material we’ll be formally announcing in due course.
And our two-year joint venture with the University of Waterloo’s Department of Chemical Engineering is investigating graphene substitutions for graphite in a number of applications as well as functionalization of MesoGraf™.
I would like to reveal all our MesoGraf™-related joint venture activities but for reasons of commercial confidentiality, I’m prevented from disclosing the majority of our ongoing research and development projects.
A Unique Strategy
Our overall strategy is unique in the world and is aimed at fostering collaborations amongst members of the graphene community. Focus is the only junior mining company in the world with a direct ownership in a graphene development and MesoGraf™ production enterprise. Today, China, the United States and Korea have filed some 7,500 graphene-related material and product patents.
With so many graphene related patents secured globally, it leads us to ask the question: In the absence of a universal standard for graphene materials, is the right graphene being used in product application development?
Our potential for new business development is vast. It would not be exaggerated or absurd to propose that MesoGraf™ today might have a hand in controlling some future technologies. For us, it opens a commercial vista to adapt our unique graphene to existing and future industrial applications.
That suits our corporate mission.
MesoGraf’s Vast Potential
The market potential for MesoGraf™ and its derivatives and hybrid materials remains immeasurable.
Conductive inks are becoming the new standard for identification tags and 3D printers, capable of manufacturing high-tech industrial components are under development today.
Conductive, programmable construction wall panels; holographic solar panels that lock on to and follow the sun’s rays; organic electronics and lighting; transparent conductive films – touch screens – are all niche applications attracting the interest of the world’s major producers and distributors.
Within the next six to seven years, it is estimated that some 50 billion portable electronic devices will be in use worldwide – smartphones, tablets, laptops etcetera. All will require next generation, quick charging longer-life batteries or fuel cells.
It is estimated that by 2020, the market for fuel cells alone will be worth some $14 billion annually, up from its current estimated value of $2 billion today. Specialty coatings, flame retardants, thermal management, renewable energy and the infrastructural and heavy construction sectors will be some of the first to adapt and produce revenues from graphene applications.
As MesoGraf’s producer and an application developer, our feet are planted firmly in ALL those sectors.
Permit me to conclude by stating that today, we’re at the vanguard in the development of next generation, MesoGraf™-based applications. The pace of graphene innovation in all industrial sectors has caused a revolution in materials science.
As a business, sustainable, long-term revenue generation is an imperative. Given our existing and future business development prospects, Grafoid is well positioned today to reap the financial rewards that will come from MesoGraf’s market monetization.
Having the ability to provide our JV partners with a benchmark material and the ability to tailor our material to unique applications mitigates risk, reduces developmental costs and adds multiple, long-term, sustainable revenue components from licensing.
It is that ability to adapt our novel material to unique applications – with the help of the science communities – that will give life to the Graphene Age.
Nearly three years to this day, we set out with a vision and a belief we could create a vertically integrated, mine-to-technology strategy then execute that strategy to place both companies on a competitive footing with any graphite or graphene company in the world.
We believe MesoGraf™ has made it so.
Lastly, I cannot end without paying a special tribute to the National University of Singapore. Without it’s world-class facilities that supported Drs. Chiu and Loh’s process, we would not be here today.