Innovate UK support for Versarien leads to South Korean graphene collaboration

Neill Ricketts Versarien

Advanced materials business Versarien has signed a major deal with a South Korean partner after being part of an Innovate UK programme visit to the country.

The Cheltenham-based specialist in two-dimensional materials has entered into a collaboration agreement with AXIA Materials Co.

As part of the work, Versarien’s advanced 2D composite and graphene materials will be used in two projects:

  • to support next-generation sensors and thermal devices for composite building panels and structural composites
  • to improve electric vehicle batteries

Additionally, AXIA believes there will be many more opportunities for Versarien’s materials to bring other game-changing products to market.

The relationship was formed during an Innovate UK global business innovation programme visit to South Korea.

This programme is led on behalf of Innovate UK by the Enterprise Europe Network, working with the UK Science and Innovation Network and Department for International Trade.

It aims to help ambitious technology companies find partners for international collaboration.

Dr Andrew Deakin, Chief Technical Engineer at Versarien, said: “Participating in the global business innovation programme for advanced materials was a fantastic opportunity and enabled us to showcase our 2D material technology to a new international market and meet Korean businesses we would otherwise have struggled to.

“It was clear from the outset that AXIA had many areas where graphene could offer significant benefits and hence discussions progressed quickly to define a collaboration jointly exploiting Versarien’s 2D materials technology.”

Versarien was founded in 2010. Early on, it won an Innovate UK grant to develop its technology for making metallic foams, and has since gone on to work on several other Innovate UK-supported projects.

It has grown from 2 people working out of a garage to a company listed on the London Stock Exchange with 5 subsidiaries and more than 100 employees.

The company specialises in licensing innovative materials technologies from universities and developing commercial applications.

Its products are being tested for multiple applications including aerospace structures, fabrics and sportswear, digital bandages and wound dressings, cycling equipment, audio equipment and supercapacitors.