Stirling tech business raises £3.1m to develop 'breakthrough' graphene manufacturing process

A Stirling tech firm is to scale up production of its “breakthrough” 3D graphene foam after sealing a seven-figure investment.

Graphene is said to be 100 times stronger than steel, very light, extremely flexible and a highly efficient conductor of electricity.

Integrated Graphene has secured a £3.1 million round of investment, led by Edinburgh-based business angel syndicate Archangels, with co-investment from Par Equity, Techstart Ventures and ESM Investments.

Graphene is said to be 100 times stronger than steel, very light, extremely flexible and a highly efficient conductor of electricity. It has the potential to improve a wide range of applications, including human diagnostics, power storage, electronics, solar power (photovoltaics) and water filtration.

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From its Stirling base, the firm has developed an innovative manufacturing process that enables it to produce high performing, pure, 3D graphene foam directly onto any surface, at room temperature and in seconds. It believes that this will meet the key requirements of a worldwide graphene market likely to be worth some £4 billion by 2030.

Claus Marquordt, co-founder and chief executive of Integrated Graphene, said: “We are very pleased to have the continued support of our seed investors who have helped us shape and scale this revolutionary business from an idea to commercial launch ready.

“With this latest round of investment, we are scaling up commercialisation and production. We have now successfully launched our first product, Gii-Sens, into our beachhead market of human diagnostic biosensors. Ultimately, this funding round will enable us to capitalise on being first to market world-wide with high performing, cost effective, application-specific 3D graphene foam, enabling better products.”

A number of the firm’s original seed investors also participated in the investment round. The cash will be used by the company to fund equipment to demonstrate product performance at the next scale-up level and to “significantly expand” resource for commercialisation of its foam.

Marco Caffio, co-founder, said: “We invented our process by focusing on answering the question of how to obtain the desired performance of 3DG foam within applications at commercial scale and without cost barriers. By maintaining a design-for-manufacture focus from day one, we have achieved this.

“This round of investment will catapult our manufacturing scale up and commercial reach. I am excited to have launched our first product, Gii-Sens, which along with our development services is helping diagnostic manufacturers translate their tests from the laboratory to the point of need.”

Niki McKenzie, joint managing director at Archangels, said: “The mass production of high-quality graphene at a commercially attractive price has long been seen as the holy grail in this sector and Integrated Graphene has the potential to lead the world in this arena.

“We are confident that, with supportive shareholders, the business can take the next step in its ambition to scale up its manufacture of this invaluable material.”

Steven Morris, founder and chairman of ESM Investments, added: “Graphene was first extracted from graphite in 2004, and has shown great promise but has yet to be successfully commercialised at scale.

“Claus and Marco and the team at IG now have a great opportunity to put this right and show the world how, and at scale, graphene can be used to transform products across a large number of industry sectors.”

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