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Versarien plc US graphene operations update

Posted By Graphene Council, Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Versarien plc is pleased to provide an update on its US graphene operations. The Company continues to make progress with current and potential partners in the US.  As announced on 27 June 2019, the Company appointed Brian Berney as President of North American Operations at Versarien Graphene Inc., reporting to Neill Ricketts, CEO of Versarien.  Since then the Company has continued to enter into confidentiality agreements with potential partners to examine collaborations and develop trials in the region, including in particular, with a global tyre manufacturer.

Versarien has strengthened its US profile by attending two trade missions in Q4 2019, supported by the UK government.  In October 2019, Versarien attended the UK Supplier Showcase in Wichita, in conjunction with Spirit AeroSystems, and in December 2019 the Company was part of Innovate UK's Global Business Innovation Programme to Boston, which focused on graphene applications and technology in the electronics, composites and energy sectors.

Versarien Graphene, Inc. has a serviced office location.  Brian Berney, who is the only full-time employee in the US, is supported by the UK Company team, including from within the Company's laboratory facilities at the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre in the UK. The Company also has access to third party laboratory facilities in Texas, which are utilised on a flexible basis and only as required.  This strategy is in line with the Group's approach to keep cost to a minimum and utilise customer's R&D facilities, where possible, as well as the Company's R&D expertise and available facilities in the UK.

Tags:  Brian Berney  composites  Electronics  Graphene  Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre  Neill Ricketts  Versarien  Versarien Graphene 

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Airbus Graphene Flagship Project

Posted By Graphene Council, Thursday, December 19, 2019
Versarien Plc, the advanced materials engineering group, is pleased to announce that it has been selected to participate in the Graphene Flagship project led by Airbus (the "Project").

Funded by the European Commission, the Graphene Flagship facilitates cooperation between its partners, accelerating the timeline for industry acceptance of graphene technologies. The Project that Versarien will participate in will be led by Airbus and will focus on graphene enhanced thermoelectric ice protection systems.

Ice accumulates on the surfaces of airplanes affecting the pilot's control of the aircraft. Thermoelectric ice protection systems prevent this from happening using an ultra-thin conductive layer to generate heat. The Project, which is categorised by the Graphene Flagship as a "Spearhead", large-scale commercialisation project, aims to develop graphene-based thermoelectric ice protection systems and to advance the technology readiness level of graphene in these systems.

To fund Versarien's participation in the Project it has received approval for a €350,000 grant from the Graphene Flagship.

Elmar Bonaccurso, Senior Scientist and Project Manager for Surface Technology at Airbus, commented: "Airbus has been following the Graphene Flagship from the beginning. Now, after six years of successful research and development, we are at the right point to step in with a larger project. We expect that, by using graphene as a material for ice protection systems, we can reduce the complexity of these systems to create a system that uses less energy, reduces fuel consumption and allows us to become more environmentally friendly in aviation."

Neill Ricketts, CEO of Versarien, commented: "We are very pleased to be working with Airbus on this key Graphene Flagship project and to be receiving funding from the Graphene Flagship to facilitate it. This is another example of Versarien's graphene technology being deployed in the aerospace sector, one where it has the potential to add significant value. We look forward to starting work on this project in the New Year and reporting on its progress and those of our many other commercialisation projects in due course."

Tags:  Airbus  Elmar Bonaccurso  European Commission  Graphene  Graphene Flagship  Neill Ricketts  Versarien 

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Interim Results for the six months ended 30 September 2019

Posted By Graphene Council, Friday, December 13, 2019
Versarien plc (AIM: VRS), the advanced engineering materials group, recently announced its interim results for the six months ended 30 September 2019, a period in which the Company made further progress with its graphene commercialisation strategy.
Financial Highlights

•    Group revenues of £4.38 million (H1 2018: £5.22 million)

•    Adjusted LBITDA* of £0.90 million (H1 2018: £0.36 million)

•    Loss before tax of £2.12 million (H1 2018: £0.79 million)

•    Cash of £2.64 million at 30 September 2019 (30 September 2018: £6.07 million)

•    Net assets of £11.87 million (30 September 2018: £12.32 million)

* Adjusted LBITDA (Loss Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation) excludes exceptional items and share-based payment charges

Operational Highlights

•    First graphene company in the world to complete the US Graphene Council's "Verified Graphene Producer" programme

•    Continued progress in international expansion, including receiving the first graphene orders in the US and Japan

•  Large-scale industrial prototype to improve rail transportation infrastructure, using Versarien's graphene enhanced polymer technology showcased and successfully in test to date.

•    Successfully incorporated wholly foreign owned enterprise in China (Beijing Versarien Technology Company Limited) with a business license granted by the relevant Chinese authorities

•    Receipt of EU REACH approval to manufacture up to ten tonnes of graphene per annum

•    Significant improvement in financial performance compared to H1 2018 for the Group's hard wear and metallic products businesses

Post Period Highlights

•   Commercial partnership agreement signed with the Company's textile sector collaboration partner, MAS Innovation (Private) Limited, the first demonstration of Versarien's graphene commercialisation strategy with a major global partner

•    Further global success with a collaboration agreement signed with Refractory Solutions Insertec S.L.U. a Company headquartered in Spain

•    Non-binding heads of terms signed with Jinan Bo Guan Building Engineering Co., Ltd ("JBG") to form a manufacturing joint venture located in Zhucheng City, Shangdong, providing further opportunities in China in addition to the ongoing discussions and progress with Beijing Institute of Graphene Technology Co. Ltd ("BIGT") and the China International Graphene Industry Union ("CIGIU")

•    Graphene incubation facility being established in Fangshan with CIGIU/BIGT in line with AGM statement and contractual negotiations continuing

Neill Ricketts, CEO of Versarien, commented:

"Over the period under review and subsequently, we have been progressing our business both in the UK and globally. The focus remains on our graphene commercialisation strategy and we are now actively working on 40 mainstream projects with our commercial partners, have a further 24 projects underway and active research ongoing on another 17.  We continue to focus on the projects most likely to produce near-term significant revenue streams.  These include graphene-enhanced transportation arches, 3D printing of concrete, aircraft interior parts, parts for down hole drilling in the oil and gas sector and graphene enhanced textiles.

"The Company has scaled up its manufacturing capacity to be able to produce three tonnes of graphene per annum and with the award of Graphene REACH registration, we are now in a position to be able to supply product as we near commercialisation. The large-scale industrial prototype arch showcased clearly demonstrates the significant benefits graphene technology can bring. We are also looking at opportunities  to secure long term supply agreements with high quality graphite mines.

"Discussions with the Beijing Institute of Graphene Technology Co. Ltd and the China International Graphene Industry Union are still ongoing, aided by having been granted a business license for our Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise ("WFOE") in China. In line with the AGM statement, we have collaborated with CIGIU/BIGT and have registered the WFOE at the recently publicised Beijing Graphene Industry Innovation Centre Seed Incubation Park. We continue to maintain our primary position which is to ensure, so far as reasonably possible, that we protect our IP and therefore continue to assess other opportunities for factory location which are put to us in addition to any that may be proposed under the BIGT/CIGIU process.

"We have also signed a non-binding term sheet with the intention of  setting up manufacturing in Shangdong. under a joint venture between Versarien and Jinan Bo Guan Building Engineering Co., Ltd with  controlling ownership residing with Versarien.  JBG would, together with associates, be responsible for the construction of a graphene valley park over a three-year period and JBG have expressed an interest in taking a strategic investment stake in Versarien as part of any transaction. Legally binding contracts have yet to be signed and updates on progress will be made in due course.

"As well as progressing our technology base it is pleasing to note that our hard wear and metallic products business has shown a significant increase in profitability on stable sales following the efficiency improvements that were implemented in the last financial year.

"We continue to use the cash received from our placing last year to develop application IP through our collaborations, to expand into Europe, the USA, China and South Korea as well as to develop new products such as Biogrene. Together with our accreditation as a verified graphene producer we are confident for the future ahead and look forward to reporting further success over the coming months."

Tags:  Beijing Institute of Graphene Technology  Graphene  Jinan Bo Guan Building Engineering  MAS Innovation  Neill Ricketts  Refractory Solutions Insertec  Versarien 

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World's First Verified Graphene Product™ Announced

Posted By Graphene Council, Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The world's first Verified Graphene Product™ has been approved by The Graphene Council.

MediaDevil’s CB-01 earphones make use of Nanene® graphene from Versarien in the CB-01’s audio diaphragm, enabling simultaneous optimisation of both the high and low-end audio frequencies. 

From FORBES:  "The detail the CB-01 earphones managed to squeeze from the music was captivating. These are remarkable."
 "...The CB-01 earphones from MediaDevil are a revelation. They are the first pair of graphene-coated earphones that made me sit up and take notice." 

Media Devil uses the finest materials and highly-skilled artisans to create premium quality products. These include full-grain European leather, Italian Rosewood, or precision engineered Aramid Fibre. And now Graphene, providing Media Devil customers with a unique experience.


Versarien (the supplier of Nanene™ graphene materials to Media Devil) is the first company in the world to pass the rigorous Verified Graphene Producer™ program administered by The Graphene Council.

This program involves an in-person inspection of graphene production facilities, analysis of random samples of graphene products and independent testing and characterization of the material by internationally recognized and qualified labs, such as the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in the UK. 

Versarien uses proprietary materials technology to create innovative engineering solutions that are capable of having game-changing impact in a broad variety of industry sectors.

The Verified Graphene Producer™ and the Verified Graphene Product™ programs provide the world's most thorough, independent validation service, adding a level of transparency not available anywhere else and is based on the most up-to-date standards and testing protocols. 

This will be increasingly important to end-users and buyers of graphene as they search for reliable sources of supply.

 

Tags:  Graphene  Graphene Council  National Physical Laboratory  Versarien 

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Versarien signs textile commercial partnership agreement with MAS

Posted By Graphene Council, Thursday, November 28, 2019
Versarien Plc, the advanced materials engineering group, has signed a Commercial Partnership Agreement with textile sector collaboration partner, MAS Innovation (Private) Limited.

Twinery – Innovations by MAS is part of MAS Holdings, a holding company for a portfolio of businesses with a combined revenue of c.US$2 billion which are positioned as one of the world’s most recognised design to delivery solution providers in apparel and textile manufacturing.

MAS is also the largest apparel and textile manufacturer in South Asia.  MAS Holdings is headquartered in Sri Lanka and has 53 manufacturing facilities across 16 countries, with design locations placed in key style centres across the globe and over 99,000 people involved in its operations.

Versarien and MAS have been collaborating since signing a collaboration agreement, as announced on 8 January 2018, to develop new garments utilising Versarien’s graphene ink materials, with several prototypes already having been developed, wearer trials conducted and rigorous testing carried out by a leading UK accredited test house.

The Agreement sets out the basis under which the parties will operate with the objective of securing commercial orders or contracts for garments developed using Versarien’s proprietary graphene ink materials.  The Agreement allows both parties to finalise additional contractual terms with third party brands.  Due to the Agreement’s confidentiality terms and commercial sensitivity, further specific product information may not be disclosed until products are launched into the market.

Neill Ricketts, CEO of Versarien, commented:  “We are delighted to have secured a commercial partnership with MAS, a global apparel manufacturer at the forefront of innovative garment manufacture.  The is the first demonstration of our graphene commercialisation strategy with a major global partner moving from the stage of having a collaboration agreement, through signing a letter of intent, to entering into a full commercial partnership agreement.

“We look forward to working with MAS and its customers to bring innovative graphene enhanced garments to the global marketplace.”

Tags:  Graphene  MAS  Neill Ricketts  Versarien 

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The Graphene Flagship Means Business

Posted By Graphene Council, Saturday, October 19, 2019

Leiden University spin-off, Crucell, is a world-famous biotechnology company. Johnson & Johnson acquired the business for close to $2.4 billion back in 2011. This mammoth sum of money highlights the potential of university or corporate spin-offs and their investment attraction.

There is a growing appetite for spin-offs and SMEs that have grown out of research. Here are four SMEs that are setting the pace in graphene and related materials (GRM) commercialisation in the Graphene Flagship.

EMBERION

Emberion develops and produces graphene photonics and electronics that revolutionise infrared photodetectors and thermal sensors. Applications include hyperspectral and thermal imaging, night vision and X-ray detection.

The business was a spin off company from Nokia. Following a long history of graphene research inside Nokia’s research organisation, the team joined the Graphene Flagship to take the work carried out on optoelectronics to the commercial market.

“Emberion was established in quite an early phase of product development,” explained Tapani Ryhänen, CEO of Emberion. “We had promising results and functional prototypes from our research and above all, we were able to get an agreement with venture capital investors.

"Emberion is focusing on various spectrometer and machine vision applications by producing novel image sensors. We provide products with broad wavelength range and low noise. Our image sensors can be used for example in agriculture, food processing and pharma industries."

During the next year, Emberion will start delivering its first imager products. The business will also commence with the Graphene Flagship GBIRCAM spearhead project, together with its partners, to bolster the readiness of graphene-enabled optoelectronics in industry.

GRAPHENEA

World leading graphene producer Graphenea, founded in 2010, was one of the first industrial partners to join the Graphene Flagship program. Graphenea participated in the proposal stages of the Graphene Flagship, collaborating closely since the inception of the EU-funded program.Business is booming for Graphenea. In 2018, the business generated €1.6 million, and is on track to grow by 25% in 2019.

Graphenea’s facilities are located in San Sebastián, Spain and Boston, USA. The 25 employees at Graphenea contribute to the successful development of graphene applications, including supplying CVD Graphene films, Graphene Field-Effect-Transistors chips (GFETs), Graphene Foundry Services (GFAB) and Graphene Oxides. Graphenea’s operation spans across more than 60 countries and a wide range of sectors.

“The collaboration between Graphenea and the Graphene Flagship has evolved over the last six years,” explained Iñigo Charola, business development director at Graphenea. “Our work has become incredibly industry-orientated, with focused spearhead projects to bring applications to market quickly and effectively.”

“Today, we are focusing not only on the production of graphene, but also developing our processing capabilities of the material. Our partnership with the Graphene Flagship provides the support to help reach this goal.” 

BEDIMENSIONAL

BeDimensional produces and develops graphene and 2D crystals for the manufacturing and energy industries. Its main target applications relate to coatings and paints and material production for energy applications.

As a start-up, BeDimensional was created as a spin-off company of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologica (IIT).

The research group started out their research in fundamental studies of electronic properties of two-dimensional semiconductor systems. They were also investigating some possibilities to tune the interaction of hydrogen and carbon by curving a graphene sheet. For this latter study, the team were approached in the initial stages of the Graphene Flagship project to set-up a work package on hydrogen storage.

After a two-year incubation period within the institute itself, BeDimensional moved onto the market after the acquisition of 51% of its shares by the Camponovo. The definitive push towards the path of industrialisation came at the end of 2018, after the €18 million investment from Pellan Group.

So, what’s next for BeDimensional?
After closing this round of investment, BeDimensional is now fully immersed in implementing its industrial and commercial strategies. The first production line of two-dimensional crystals is already operational and the business is in the process of setting up more laboratories for research and development.

“We need to strategically position ourselves at the right level of the industrial value chains linked to each specific application,” explained Vittorio Pellegrini, founder and scientific advisor for BeDimensional. “We believe it is crucial to establish partnerships and joint ventures with appropriate global players. At the same time, we will reinforce our investment in R&D by attracting the best people on board.”

BeDimensional has a clear mission and knows how it’s going to reach its business goals. Watch this space. 

VERSARIEN

Versarien, headquartered in Cheltenham, UK, is an engineering solutions company that delivers novel technologies for industrial applications. Through subsidiary companies, Versarien delivers targeted solutions as well as research and development into new, complementary technologies.

Versarien was founded in 2010 and has been an associate member of the Graphene Flagship since 2018, collaborating closely with researchers in the project.

The company has acquired multiple businesses under the Versarien group, including two spin-offs from high-profile universities carrying out graphene research.

In 2014, 2-DTech joined the group. 2-DTech was originally formed by the University of Manchester to manufacture and supply high quality graphene for research and development. It has now grown into a commercial operation not only supplying high grade graphene and other 2-D materials, but also working on the application of graphene in product development projects.

In 2017, Versarien acquired Cambridge Graphene Ltd. from the University of Cambridge. Cambridge Graphene develops inks, composites and supercapacitors based on graphene and related materials, using processes developed at the Cambridge Graphene Centre.

The Cambridge Graphene Centre’s mission is to investigate the science and technology of graphene and other carbon allotropes, layered crystals and hybrid nanomaterials. The spin-out company has commercialised graphene inks for novel technology applications.

These two Graphene Flagship spin-offs join the numerous other companies in the Versarien group, creating a real force to be reckoned with for graphene commercialisation and business growth.

Tags:  BeDimensional  Cambridge Graphene Centre  CVD  Emberion  Graphene  Graphene Flagship  graphene oxide  Graphenea  Iñigo Charola  Leiden University  Tapani Ryhänen  Versarien  Vittorio Pellegrini 

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NovoCarbon Enters Collaboration Agreement with Versarien Graphene

Posted By Graphene Council, Monday, May 13, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Great Lakes Graphite Inc., doing business as NovoCarbon Corporation, announced that the Company and Versarien Graphene have executed a collaboration agreement.

Highlights

  • Versarien will qualify NovoCarbon as a supply chain partner.
  • The Companies will develop a robust graphene supply chain with processing in the USA.
  • The Companies will work to enable a number of applications for a variety of industries.
  • The collaboration between Companies will afford opportunities to create a strong market presence and an improved ability to target significant technology opportunities.


Neill Ricketts, CEO of Versarien plc said, “We are very pleased to have our dedicated facility in Houston up and running. This has enabled us to more efficiently progress a number of new and existing relationships and accelerate our traction in the US. We now have relationships with over 25 companies in North America, encompassing sectors as diverse as automotive, aerospace, consumer goods, oil and gas, sports equipment and specialty plastics."

“We continue to receive a high number of enquiries for the supply of our graphene and other 2D materials from leading US companies and others globally. Versarien is now truly operating on a global basis and I look forward to providing further updates on our activities with our multiple collaboration partners in due course.”


NovoCarbon CEO Paul Ferguson said, “NovoCarbon’s mission is to enhance the ability of companies such as Versarien to serve their customers and markets with consistent, high quality materials.  We are excited to be working with Versarien and their highly capable team.”

Tags:  2D materials  Great Lakes Graphite  Neill Ricketts  NovoCarbon  Patrick Abbott  Paul Ferguson  Versarien 

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Versarien achieves "Verified Graphene Producer" status.

Posted By Terrance Barkan, Monday, April 1, 2019
Updated: Sunday, March 31, 2019

The Graphene Council is pleased to announce that Versarien plc is the first graphene company in the world to successfully complete the Verified Graphene Producer program, an independent, third party verification system that involves a physical inspection of the production facilities, a review of the entire production process, a random sample of product material and rigorous characterization and testing by a first class, international materials laboratory. 

The Verified Graphene Producer program is an important step to bring transparency and clarity to a rapidly changing and opaque market for graphene materials, providing graphene customers with a level of confidence that has not existed before. 

“We are pleased to have worked with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in the UK, regarded as one of the absolute top facilities for metrology and graphene characterization in the world.
 
They have provided outstanding analytical expertise for the materials testing portion of the program including Raman Spectroscopy, XPS, AFM and SEM testing services.” stated Terrance Barkan CAE, Executive Director of The Graphene Council.
 
Andrew Pollard, Science Area Leader of the Surface Technology Group, National Physical Laboratory, said: “In order to develop real-world products that can benefit from the ‘wonder material’, graphene, we first need to fully understand its properties, reliably and reproducibly.
 
 “Whilst international measurement standards are currently being developed, it is critical that material characterisation is performed to the highest possible level.
 
As the UK’s National Measurement Institute (NMI) with a focus on developing the metrology of graphene and related 2D materials, we aim to be an independent third party in the testing of graphene material for companies and associations around the world, such as The Graphene Council.” 
 
Neill Ricketts, CEO of Versarien said: “We are delighted that Versarien is the first graphene producer in the world to successfully complete the Graphene Council’s Verified Graphene Producer programme.”
 
“This is a huge validation of our technology and will enable our partners and potential customers to have confidence that the graphene we produce meets globally accepted standards.”

 

“There are many companies that claim to be graphene producers, but to enjoy the benefits that this material can deliver requires high quality, consistent product to be supplied.  The Verified Producer programme is designed to verify that our production facilities, processes and tested material meet the stringent requirements laid down by The Graphene Council.”

 “I am proud that Versarien has been independently acclaimed as a Verified Graphene Producer and look forward to making further progress with our collaboration partners and numerous other parties that we are in discussions with.”

James Baker CEng FIET, the CEO of Graphene@Manchester (which includes coordinating the efforts of the National Graphene Institute and the Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre [GEIC]) stated: “We applaud The Graphene Council for promoting independent third party verification for graphene producers that is supported by world class metrology and characterization services."

"This is an important contribution to the commercialization of graphene as an industrial material and are proud to have The Graphene Council as an Affiliate Member of the Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre (GEIC) here in Manchester ”. 

Successful commercialization of graphene materials requires not only the ability to produce graphene to a declared specification but to be able to do so at a commercial scale.

It is nearly impossible for a graphene customer to verify the type of material they are receiving without going through an expensive and time consuming process of having sample materials fully characterized by a laboratory that has the equipment and expertise to test graphene. 

The Verified Graphene Producer program developed by The Graphene Council provides a level of independent inspection and verification that is not available anywhere else. 

If you would like more information about the Verified Graphene Producer program or about other services and benefits provided by The Graphene Council, please contact;

Terrance Barkan CAE

Executive Director, The Graphene Council 

tbarkan@thegraphenecouncil.org  or directly at  +1 202 294 5563

Tags:  Andrew Pollard  Andy Pollard  Graphene  Graphene Standards  James Baker  Manchester  National Physical Laboratory  Neill Ricketts  NPL  Standards  Terrance Barkan  The Graphene Council  University of Manchester  UoM  Verified Graphene Producer  Versarien 

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Versarien PLC - USA Update

Posted By Graphene Council, Saturday, March 23, 2019
Versarien plc, is pleased to provide an update on the Company's activities in the United States of America. Versarien has recently established a new US corporate entity, Versarien Graphene Inc, to facilitate the Company's graphene and other 2D materials activities in the USA.  The Company is additionally in the process of establishing a new office, laboratory facility and applications centre in Houston, Texas that will act as a hub for the Company's activities in North America.

Patrick Abbott has been appointed as Versarien's Vice President North American Operations to oversee these activities and he will be based at the Company's Houston facility once established.  Patrick is an experienced speciality materials professional with over 20 years' experience in the sector.  

He is a former US Marine Corps Officer who spent over 16 years in a variety of global business development and marketing roles at BASF. In 2015 and 2016, Patrick was part of the team transitioning specific product lines to Huntsman Corporation. Subsequently he established Global Marketing Empire Solutions, a disruptive technology consulting company and joined XG Sciences, a company focussed on graphene nano technology, as their global sales manager.  At XG Sciences he was tasked with assisting the executive team in transitioning the company from an academic company to full commercialisation.

The establishment of this US presence follows on from collaboration with partners in the region.  Further North American potential collaboration partners and customers have been identified, both through inbound enquires and proactive approaches, and it is intended that the Houston facility and additional resource will enable these to be more efficiently progressed.

The Company is pleased to be participating in the UK Government organised "UK Technology and Capability Showcase" being held at Collins Aerospace in Charlotte, North Carolina, on 25 March 2019 where the Company will be presenting its 2D materials technology to Collins Aerospace representatives.

Neill Ricketts, CEO of Versarien, commented: "We are very pleased to be moving to the next stage of our development in the US with the establishment of Versarien Graphene Inc and a dedicated facility in Houston. 

"We are already pursuing a number of substantial opportunities in the US and I expect our level of activity to significantly increase in the coming months, particularly given the high number of enquires we have had for the supply of our graphene and other 2D materials from leading US companies."

"I am also particularly pleased we have secured the services of Patrick Abbott and I would like to formally welcome him to the Versarien team.  His skills and experience will be invaluable as we look to build more relationships and commercialise graphene enhanced products with US companies."

"Coupled with the recent progress we have made in China and elsewhere we remain confident that we can make further rapid progress this year.  I look forward to providing further updates on our US and other activities in due course."

Tags:  2D materials  Graphene  Neill Ricketts  Patrick Abbott  Versarien 

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Versarien PLC - Appointment of BEIS Secondee

Posted By Graphene Council, Thursday, February 28, 2019
Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2019

Versarien plc has announced that Yi Luo is joining Versarien on secondment from the UK Government's Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy as Deputy Head of International Strategy and Government Relations. Yi will replace Peter Jay who is returning to the Department for International Trade to take up a new senior role.

Yi will be focussed on progressing the Company's international expansion, particularly in China, working alongside Matt Walker who has been on secondment to Versarien from the DIT since May 2018.

Yi read Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, majoring in chemistry, and is completing her PhD in organic chemistry at University College London, alongside her work for the UK Government.  Her previous roles in Government have included working with the DIT's London and Devolved Administrations teams, where she provided analytical insights to help achieve foreign direct investment targets. 

Following this, she was a Private Secretary for ex-BEIS Minister Lord Prior, covering technology, rail and materials.  Her most recent role was as a Senior Policy Adviser for the BEIS Future Sectors team, where she led the team's international portfolio, pushing forward the Government's robotics and drones agenda, and was responsible for publishing the artificial intelligence sector deal as part of the Government's industrial strategy to put the UK at the forefront of the AI and data-driven economy.

Neill Ricketts, CEO of Versarien, commented: "I would like to thank Peter for his significant contribution to Versarien over the last six months, particularly in relation to the development of our business in China.  During that period we have made substantial progress in China through entering into partnerships with a number of leading manufacturers across a variety of sectors, together with securing formal relationships with Chinese provincial government bodies.

"I look forward to Versarien benefiting from Yi's skills and experience to help further progress both our existing Chinese relationships and others that we are discussing.  I would again like to thank the BEIS and DIT for their support and I am confident that Versarien's plans in China and globally will contribute to DIT's goal of ensuring there is an economic benefit to the UK from our overseas activities."

Tags:  Graphene  Neill Ricketts  Versarien  Yi Luo 

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