The Hon. Greg Rickford, Minister of Natural Resources and Minister Responsible for Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) announced today the award of $8.1 million to Grafoid Inc. - Canada's leading graphene technologies and applications developer - to automate Grafoid's production of its low-cost, high-purity MesoGraf™ graphene.
"Our government is investing in advanced clean energy technologies that create well-paying jobs and generate economic opportunities. Today's announcement contributes to economic prosperity and a cleaner environment in Ontario and across Canada," said Mr. Rickford, who is also the Minister Responsible for Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario.
The contribution from SDTC is an $8.1 million non-repayable grant to design and test the automation system for the production of constant quality MesoGraf™. Further, the grant enables the testing of pre-commercial products using MesoGraf™ graphene from the automated system.
The minister announced the funding at a news conference in Toronto attended by Grafoid and five other Canadian non graphene-related technology companies.
Ottawa-based Grafoid, the developer of a diverse range of renewable energy, industrial, military and consumer applications from its MesoGraf™ materials is the first Canadian graphene technologies developer to partner with the Canadian Government.
Canada joins the European Union, the United States, China and South Korea in providing funding assistance to privately-held graphene enterprises.
Grafoid Founding Partner and CEO Gary Economo praised Canada's decision to stake its claim in the graphene space as the world races toward the commercialization of a potentially disruptive, pan-industrial nanomaterial.
"This is a great day for the Canadian graphene industry and for Grafoid, in particular, because it leads us out of the laboratory and into the automated manufacturing of the world's new wonder material," he told the news conference.
"Effectively, today's $8.1million Federal government funding grant enables us to take a giant leap towards graphene's broader commercialization," Mr. Economo said. "It will permit us to increase MesoGraf™ production output from kilograms to tonnes within our global technology centre in Kingston, Ontario.
"For this we are truly appreciative of Canada's actions in recognizing our science and commercial objectives. In the past three years Grafoid has travelled the globe staking our unique position in the graphene revolution. Today we are gratified to do this going forward with the Government of Canada," Mr. Economo said.
Grafoid produces MesoGraf™ directly from high-grade graphite ore on a safe, economically scalable, environmentally sustainable basis. Its patent pending one-step process is unique in the industry, producing single layer, bi-layer and tri-layer graphene.
It is then adapted - or functionalized - by Grafoid for use in biomedical, renewable energy storage and production, military, aerospace and automotive, additive materials for 3D printing, water purification, construction, lubricants, solar solutions, coatings, sporting equipment and other sectoral applications.
At one atom thin, graphene is a two-dimensional pure carbon derived from graphite.
It is the strongest material known to science, is barely visible to the naked eye, yet it holds the potential to become a disruptive technology across all industrial sectors and ultimately, for the benefit of humanity.
Grafoid's Game-Changing Process
Grafoid's unique graphite ore-to-graphene process produces a material that eliminates cost barriers to graphene's broad commercialization in a number of industries, some of which include building materials, automotive, aerospace, military, biomedical, renewable energy and sporting equipment.
In order to bring those application developments to market Grafoid's partners require a scaling up of MesoGraf™ production to supply their needs for pre-production development testing and commercial production, and; the expansion of Grafoid's research and development.
The automation of bulk MesoGraf™ graphene production is a global first. Uniformity and consistency are critical to the development of mass produced commercial applications.
One of the company's first-to-market MesoGraf™ developments is in the renewable energy storage and power generation sectors. The market for quick charge long-life batteries is vast, and growing.
Hydro-Quebec - one of the world's premier patent holders and suppliers of renewable energy technologies - is one of Grafoid's first long-term sustainable technology development partners.
Within six months of development, multiple patents were filed and initial tests of the joint venture's MesoGraf™ lithium-iron phosphate materials resulted in extreme gains in power performance over conventional batteries.
Grafoid's corporate goal is not to simply be a graphene supplier but a global partner in commercial application development. With the ability to ramp up graphene output the company's long-term financial prospects are secured from royalties and licensing fees from jointly developed technologies.
Competitive cost advantages built into an automated MesoGraf™ graphene production regime results in anticipated cost advantages to customers and licensees.