Avanzare Innovación Tecnológica is a manufacturer of nanomaterials and advanced materials, as well as the European leader in graphene. Established in 2004 following the initial isolation of graphene, this research and development centre is at a pivotable point in its timeline, as tangible graphene products are fast becoming industrialised and commercialised across Spain.
"The award illustrates the progress in commercialising graphene through our innovation efforts across the Graphene Flagship," said Kari Hjelt, Graphene Flagship Head of Innovation. "Graphene has the unique capability to enhance multiple product attributes concurrently, which is nicely demonstrated in the different products from Avanzare. This award exemplifies the potential of graphene-based technologies to create value and transform businesses."
Domingo Mendi, Institutional Manager at Banco Santander and one of the members of the jury, says that "Avanzare's results were impressive, their sales grew by 33% last year, and their workforce keeps expanding, creating a very positive impact in the region. Moreover, their international expansion is unstoppable: Avanzare now has three foreign offices—in China, India and Malaysia—and exports their products to 39 countries."
The jury also valued Avanzare's strong involvement with European projects such as the Graphene Flagship. "Finding key European partners and research collaborators was certainly key to the success of Avanzare, which has managed to bring innovations in graphene and related materials from the lab to the fab," adds Mendi.
In 2018, Avanzare Innovación Tecnológica generated approximately 4.5 million euros in funding, a feat attributed to its staff located across China, India and Malaysia, most of which are university graduates.
"Avanzare receiving the best SME award recognizes that we are a highly competitive company, capable of competing in international markets and generating profits," explained Julio Gomez Corden, Founder and CEO of Avanzare Innovación Tecnológica.
"In 2008 we received the National Entrepreneur Award, which recognized our potential. Eleven years later, we have received this award as a more mature company able to compete in the real market. This recognition for Avanzare demonstrates that graphene and its nanocomposites have tangible benefits in a lucrative market."
Avanzare Innovación Tecnológica is now eligible to win the National SME of the year award, a title which will be selected from the regional winners in Madrid in 2020.