a leader in nanomaterials and advanced nanoengineered products, continues expansion
of its direct sales efforts to new potential customers in addition to ongoing
work for our valued market partners. "The complementary efforts are designed
to maximize the company's opportunities to develop new solutions for an expanding
customer base and drive additional sales through existing sales and distribution
channels", noted Jess Jankowski, CFO and acting CEO.
"Our new management team is developing and refining Nanophase's strategy
to accelerate marketing and applications development", noted Jankowski.
"We have some of the top scientists and engineers in the nanotechnology
field, capable of developing ready-to-use solutions that provide customers enhanced
performance. We continue to pursue new opportunities in architectural and industrial
coatings, chemical mechanical polishing for semiconductors and other polishing
applications, SPF clothing, and several other new markets. In keeping with our
migration to a direct sales model, we are continuing to reorient our sales and
marketing team to increase the amount of direct customer contact and implementing
a stage-gate process to vet opportunities. We are at a point now where, with
the pending addition of a new member to our sales team, we will need to add
to our applications development team to keep up with the available opportunities.
As we continue down this path, we expect additional customer contact to allow
us to tighten our strategy and to increase our hit rate".
Regarding opportunities within our partner base to grow in existing markets,
Jankowski explained that although the seasons are changing, "Consumers
forget that sun exposure is the same regardless of the weather. People are becoming
more aware of the need for year-round sun protection against longer-wavelength
UVA rays, which are primarily responsible for skin cancer". One of the
company's currently largest-selling products -- zinc oxide for sunscreens that
provides broad spectrum UVA and UVB ray protection, is contained in several
daily wear sunscreens and cosmetic products.
The fact that the United States Food and Drug Administration is currently preparing
rules that would require manufacturers to test and disclose the efficacy of
their sunscreen products against both types of ultraviolet rays may also be
a demand driver. "We believe this increasing awareness of sun protection
could be a very positive long-term trend for Nanophase, as our zinc oxide formulation
is not only effective against both types of ultraviolet rays, but is essentially
transparent, making it superior to traditional white, opaque zinc oxide".
Jankowski noted that Nanophase continues to maintain a solid revenue base,
is operationally lean and has a significant capital reserve with a conservative
cash burn rate.