Namos GmbH, a Dresden-based company which is partly owned by Nanostart AG,
will receive up to one million euros from the ERP Start Fund, a joint program
of the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), the German government-owned
development bank, and the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.
The funds, to be provided in the form of an equity investment, will be disbursed
in several tranches which are contingent on the achievement of specific milestones
in product development.
"This investment by the ERP Start Fund is an indication of its confidence
in the tremendous potential which lies in the technological developments from
this small and still relatively unknown company," said Reinhard Edelmann,
Head of Venture Financing at Nanostart AG, in welcoming the KfW investment.
The new technology developed by Namos should enable the savings of about one
half of all precious metals currently required for the production of automotive
catalytic converters. The proprietary process from Namos is based on a bionanotechnological
coating which is applied to the ceramic substrate used in catalytic converters.
Approx. 230 metric tons of "new," non-recycled precious metals are
currently consumed each year to produce automotive catalytic converters, corresponding
to an annual value of USD 8.3 billion. Roughly half of this amount, more than
USD 4 billion, could be saved through the new technology from Namos.
The process is currently proceeding through a number of testing phases. At
the end of these, the new technology will be fully ready for the commercial
market so that it can be smoothly integrated into the overall production process
for automotive catalytic converters. "We are on a solid path and are highly
confident that we will quickly pass the milestones, thus marking the successful
conclusion of the various testing phases. Our process is unique, and the market
is eagerly anticipating it," added Dr. Jürgen Hofinger, Managing
Director of Namos GmbH.
Following this transaction, Nanostart and the ERP Start Fund will each hold
a share of 15.2 percent in Namos. Once the remaining planned capital transactions
have been executed, the two investors will together hold a 40-percent share