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Israel joins others in graphene tech

Goldman Sachs calls graphene 'The Miracle Metal' that is disrupting innovation in consumer and industrial goods fields; graphene research and development is turning into an exciting new industry with potential for changing the manufacture of products and their sustainability
Illustrative photo of a scientist working with a microscope. (iStock)
Illustrative photo of a scientist working with a microscope. (iStock)

Goldman Sachs calls graphene “The Miracle Metal” that is disrupting innovation in consumer and industrial goods fields. Science and innovation publications call it “the wonder chemical.”

Graphene-Info, based in Israel, claims graphene is “set to revolutionize a lot of industries, including sensors, batteries, conductors, displays, electronics, energy generation, medicine and more.” The Home of Graphene from the University of Manchester has a marvelous video explaining graphene and its endless possible applications.

There are some 100 pure graphene companies (about 15 are public) largely sustained by joint partnerships and investments, i.e., support from legacy corporations, mining companies, government investments, and venture funds. These start-ups are financially risky with sparse sales and no profits. Three years ago, The Graphene Council warned investors, beware of “graphene play” stock investments that may be scam companies. Nevertheless, graphene research and development is turning into an exciting new industry with potential for changing the manufacture of products and their sustainability.

Israeli researchers are also investigating graphene’s value. For example, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and University of Western Australia researchers have developed a new process for use in energy storage and other material applications that is faster, potentially scalable and surmounts some of the current graphene production limitations. Yaniv Katan, a scientist at Technion, worked on an international team of scientists discovering new ways to turn electricity into light using graphene.

Following are some exciting news events stirring the graphene investment pot, but not necessarily safe investments as of yet.

  • SP Nano of Yavne, Israel developed a nano-reinforced protein agent leading to production of lighter, stronger and longer lasting materials for instance in rubber products. Products can coat glass polyester, carbon and aramid fabrics, and yarns with a nanometric dispersion enabling their customers to produce lightweight composite products with superior strength, all at an affordable cost. Together with its US partner, Graphene Technologies they were awarded $850K from the BIRD Foundation two years ago.
  • Imagine Intelligent Materials of Australia develops graphene-based coatings for industrial textiles and fibers. It raised $2m in a private placement.
  • The European Regional Development Fund made a grant of €1m to Directa Plus for graphene-based smart fabric development. Directa Plus of Italy makes graphene-based products for use in consumer and industrial markets. They recently announced that Colmar, the high-end sportswear company, launched a new collection of ski jackets containing the DP’s graphene-based products. At ISPO Munich, the a new ski jacket was selected as a Gold Winner in the ‘Ski’ category at the event. This is the second Colmar collection to contain “Graphene Plus,” and follows the ski-suit of the first capsule collection – which is commercially available online and in selected stores – being worn by the French national ski team for multiple successful tournaments.
  •  A Euro bank and a fund loaned Skeleton Technologies €15m to further develop high energy and power density supercapacitors using graphene.
  •  Haydale (Grey Market: HDGHF) secured a collaboration agreement in 2017 and a strategic investment of €3.26m from Everpower International Holdings, which now owns 9.9% of Haydale. The plan is “to manufacture, supply and market existing Haydale products and develop nanomaterials and new graphene products for the Chinese market.”
  • Elcora Advanced Materials (OTCQB: ECORF) announced a private placement valued at $5.5m that apparently is being used for construction of a graphene production facility, laboratory, and equipment.
  • Graphene 3D Labs (OTCQB: GPHBF) stands-out as a company on the cusp of making a splash in the graphene industry. It is a supermarket of graphene product inventions being sold to reportedly 11,000 consumer, industrial and research facilities including NASA, HP, Ford, GE, Apple, Samsung, Harvard, MIT, Yale and Stamford Universities. New products a two component electrically conductive epoxy for high performance bonding, sealing and coating.
G3D Silver:Graphene Epoxy
Source: Graphene 3D Laboratories home page no picture copyright

Cabot Corporation (NYSE: CBT) is one of the largest American companies with a definitive initiative in graphene research and product development. Cabot Corporation is a 130 years old specialty chemicals and performance materials company. 26 results for graphene pop-up on the CBT web site.

The company is betting on the potential for graphene to enhance breakthrough product offerings. Cabot’s strategy is forward looking to use its expertise in graphene R&D building stronger sales and relationships with existing customers in existing markets for carbon-based additives where CBT already excels.

It’s fun and exciting to be a part of an emerging industry, and to make money with the right stock picks. Five years ago, we witnessed that with the promising marijuana industry and its exploding stock prices. Take a step back for now from the pari passu graphene industry playing it a little safer by investing quality companies like Cabot.

Heed the advice of legendary singer, Janis Joplin, who said, “Life is rigorous, and the invitations to blowing it are numerous and frequent.”

For more information on graphene R&D contact [email protected]

About the Author
Dr. Harold Goldmeier is an award-winning entrepreneur receiving the Governor's Award (Illinois) for family investment programs in the workplace from the Commission on the Status of Women. He was a Research and Teaching Fellow at Harvard, worked for four Governors, and recently sold his business in Chicago. Harold is a Managing Partner of an investment firm, a business management consultant, a public speaker on business, social, and public policy issues, and taught international university students in Tel Aviv.
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