The Basque company Graphenea, a start-up created in 2010 by a group of private investors and the CIC nanoGUNE research centre, dedicated to the production of graphene, will create an industrialisation strategy and become positioned in new markets after Repsol and the Centre for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI) have invested a million euros in its capital.
According to its director, Jesús de la Fuente, the funds are to be allocated to accelerating business plan development through increasing the production capacity and the development of graphene materials for specific applications, which in many cases requires new techniques to be developed.
To date, the leading clients of Graphenea are the R&D departments of large companies such as Nokia and Philips. With this new step, however, the company will also develop graphene materials in collaboration with several companies that are working on the development of product prototypes that use grapheme. This means that they will produce graphene for products intended for a much broader market. In the words of its director, “it will enable Graphenea to be well positioned when graphene moves from the laboratory to the market”.
As a prior step to mass marketing, the company is immersed in research into different new product developments, such as lithium-ion batteries, solar cells and advanced composites. The usual steps in development of this type are basic research, experimental research, proof of concept, prototype working in a real environment, homologation and safety certifications. The entry of Repsol helps in the manufacturing phase.