A majority stake in Cambridge Graphene Ltd., a spin-out company from the University of Cambridge, has been acquired by Versarien plc.
Cambridge Graphene develops inks based on graphene and related materials using processes developed at the Cambridge Graphene Centre. The spin-out company has commercialised graphene inks for novel technology applications.
Versarien, headquartered in Cheltenham, 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. The acquisition of Cambridge Graphene positions Versarien at the centre of the commercial development of graphene both in the UK and globally.
Cambridge Graphene was founded as a spin-out of the Cambridge Graphene Centre. The mission of the Cambridge Graphene Centre is to investigate the science and technology of graphene and other carbon allotropes, layered crystals and hybrid nanomaterials. This engineering innovation centre allows partners to meet and establish joint industrial-academic activities to promote innovative and adventurous research with an emphasis on applications.
۲-DTech, a spin-out enterprise from the University of Manchester, is an existing subsidiary of Versarien which also focuses on graphene-related technologies. Both the University of Cambridge and the University of Manchester are centres for excellence in graphene technology.
Following the acquisition of Cambridge Graphene, both universities will be ultimate shareholders in Versarien, with the expertise of both universities enhancing the company’s ability to pursue the market opportunities for graphene both in the UK and internationally.
Mark Shepherd, CEO of Cambridge Graphene said: “This is an exciting development for Cambridge Graphene and will bring significant benefit to both companies, enhancing the prospects of technology developed at Cambridge Graphene, and Versarien as a whole. Cambridge Graphene brings novel graphene technology and expertise to Versarien and will benefit from Versarien’s manufacturing capabilities and broader reach”.
Neill Ricketts, CEO of Versarien, said: “We are delighted with the acquisition of Cambridge Graphene and the opportunities it brings us. This addition to our existing graphene operations and in particular, 2-DTech, which we acquired from Manchester University in April 2014, bridges the gap between the two centres of excellence for graphene and between them really puts us at the centre of the graphene universe”.
Prof Andrea Ferrari, Director of the Cambridge Graphene Centre, said: “The ultimate goal of the Cambridge Graphene Centre is to help transition graphene and related materials from the lab to the factory floor. This investment shows that we are on the right path, and we are thrilled to have Versarien join, via Cambridge Graphene Ltd., our growing list of industrial partners”.
Cambridge Enterprise, the commercialisation arm of the University, has supported Cambridge Graphene and their graphene ink technologies since the company’s founding. Dr Margaret Wilkinson, Technology Manager at Cambridge Enterprise, said: “We are pleased to see further commercial activity from the Cambridge Graphene Centre. We look forward to working with Versarien and we hope the acquisition will lead to exciting future developments and commercial opportunities”.
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