In this exclusive interview, Applied Graphene Materials (AGM), the LSE-listed specialty producer of graphene materials, speaks with NMN about the approval of its first patent in Japan – as well as its ambitious plans for growth in the Asia and across the world.
Last week New Materials News reported that AGM had been successful in attaining a patent in Japan to cover its process for manufacturing graphene nanoplatelets. The company also confirmed at the time that it had patents pending for the process in five other territories.
In light of the news, NMN spoke to Jon Mabbitt, Chief Executive of AGM, to discuss what the new patent covers and where the company is looking to expand in the medium- and long-term.
NMN: What process has been protected by the patent?
Jon Mabbitt: This is our proprietary synthesis process which takes an alcohol feedstock material and converts it via pyrolysis to graphene nanoplatelets. We believe we are the only company in the world manufacturing graphene in this way, and that our process delivers high-performing materials in a method that can be scaled up to manufacture large volumes, as has already been demonstrated.
NMN: How much business does AGM do in Japan?
Graphene is being evaluated throughout the world by many industries as its potential applicability is enormous. AGM is at the stage of working with our customers to format the material for their specific purposes to deliver maximum benefits in their application. Japan, as a global technology leader, is a key target geographical market for us, as are many world-leading global businesses that are Japan-owned.
NMN: How important is the Asian market for AGM?
Europe, North America and some Asian countries are the most important geographical territories for AGM as these contain world-leading technology companies.
NMN: Does AGM see growth prospects in Japan to be stronger than those in China?
Both are significant to us.
NMN: What other territories are AGM hoping to achieve patents?
Our filing includes North America, Europe, China, Korea and India.
NMN: How long will it take before the patents can be achieved?
We are in the hands of the patent offices of those regions, but are hopeful that the granting in Japan is a good sign!