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Swansea University signs agreement to research innovative printing and coating applications

Swansea University has entered into a five year exclusive pipeline agreement with Haydale Graphene Industries plc

Following the conclusion of the highly successful Welsh Government funded InvestorG8 pilot programme, Swansea University has entered into a five year exclusive pipeline agreement with Haydale Graphene Industries plc to carry out a series of research projects to produce prototype applications for use in printing and coating applications.

The projects will conduct research into the use of Haydale Graphene Nano Platelets (GNPs) or other nano materials supplied by Haydale, for the development and manufacture of finished products, ink formulations and other dispersion, as well as the Haydale conductive and insulating inks formulated by its collaboration partner – the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating (WCPC).

The first such product produced under the agreement is an intelligent Piezoresistive Device, more commonly known as a pressure sensor. Using a specially adapted version of the Haydale conductive ink, WCPC staff have developed a novel thin film flexible pressure sensor. The range of applications for this invention are believed to be significant especially as it can be shaped and is thinner than a normal credit card. The novel multiple sensor points can be across a large area thereby adding substantial additional functionality for a diverse range of market opportunities from security flooring, leak detection in industrial gas and water pipes, to assessment of gait in injured sports people.

Ray Gibbs, CEO at Haydale, commented:

“Whilst we have a collaboration agreement with the WCPC and any IP derived from that belongs to Haydale, there are many other opportunities that derive from ideas and experiments by Swansea University staff. These are generally funded internally by Swansea initially and we now have agreement to consider those that arise from use of specific materials. We are extremely pleased to have reached this long term exclusive agreement. Adding this to our existing collaboration with the WCPC ensures that we are at the forefront of research and production of graphene enhanced inks with a multitude of applications for the printing and coating markets. This, coupled with the options for Haydale to acquire all new IP rights places us in a strong position in the marketplace.”

Dr. Gerry Ronan, Head of IP Commercialisation for Swansea University and Managing Director of Swansea Innovations Limited stated:

“We are delighted to enter into this pipeline agreement with Haydale. It is a particularly innovative deal structure where the University and the staff inventors receive both a royalty on sales but also equity in Haydale. This aligns everyone’s interests and ensures a best outcome for all.”

Prof. Tim Claypole, Director of Swansea University spinout the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating said:

“Haydale came to Swansea University as it recognised our position as a world leader in research in printing science. Our ‘challenge led’ approach to world class research delivered this solution and has led to what we all hope to be a long term strategic relationship. It is exciting to see this now being used to drive the Welsh economy and raise our position as a region of excellence for printable electronics and the practical application of graphene in commercial products.”

Haydale, based in South Wales and housed in a purpose-built facility for processing and handling nanomaterials, is facilitating the application of graphenes and other nanomaterials in fields such as inks, sensors, energy storage, photovoltaics, composites, paints and coatings.