Gary Economo, President and CEO of Focus Metals Inc.,“Focus Metals” and Grafoid Inc., “Grafoid” announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Grafoid Inc. and Rutgers University AMIPP Advanced Polymer Center to jointly develop graphene technology applications related to both polymer and non-polymer applications.
Focus Metals is the lead partner in Grafoid Inc., a graphene development and patenting joint venture, a private company.
Under the terms of the MOU, Rutgers University, an advanced materials research center that works with industry to commercialize new technologies, commits to providing the research and inter-disciplinary laboratory facilities.
Grafoid Inc. commits to providing human resources, graphene materials from Focus Metals’ Lac Knife graphite resource, and graphene expertise for research and development purposes.
The agreement was signed by Mr. Economo as President of Grafoid Inc., and Professor Thomas Nosker, Principal Investigator for Rutgers University’s Advanced Polymer Materials School of Engineering.
Mr. Economo said the MOU is the first of its kind for Rutgers University and a breakthrough for Focus Metals’ graphene development initiative. The initial investigation of Lac Knife’s graphite property was conducted on grab samples by Grafoid’s Vice President and Chief Scientist Dr. Gordon Chiu.
“The graphene research and development activities undertaken to date by Dr. Chiu are heading towards a new phase, leading ultimately, we believe, to industrial applications for our graphene,” Mr. Economo said.
“In time, and through further development in conjunction with Rutgers University we see Grafoid assuming its place as an industry leader not only in industrial and infrastructural applications, but in graphene applications for military and defense, aviation and marine and in other emerging industries where demand exists,” he added.
On behalf of AMIPP (Advanced Materials via Immiscible Polymer Processing), Professor Nosker said a huge opportunity is waiting to be opened by the cooperative venture.
“I am very pleased that we have an opportunity to spearhead the exploration for the applications from the very high quality graphite received from the Lac Knife project in Canada,” he said.
“This material, formed together in an igneous rock formation millions of years ago, has extreme high electrical conductivity relating to the perfection of the graphite crystals formed there.
“There are many engineering applications for these materials just waiting to be discovered,” Prof. Nosker added.
In his comments, Dr. Chiu said the graphene material, or high-technology two-dimensional graphite in its purest, basic physical form, is now the subject of discovery by most scientific research institutions in the world.
“Rutger’s AMIPP is a nationally recognized center for polymer research and their interest in the Focus Metals resource coincides with my own scientific findings,” Dr. Chiu said.
“The possibility of Lac Knife’s graphite material being used for novel discoveries in future hybrid materials and unique commercial processes is very high,” said Dr. Chiu.
Mr. Economo summarized the MOU describing it as another step towards completing a Focus Metals business vision of creating a mine-to-market-to-technology application enterprise.
“For Focus Metals shareholders, the value-added graphene component could, in time, provide a further source of revenues fed from our Lac Knife graphite project,” Mr. Economo said.
“We are in a unique position. Our ongoing and immediate goals are to establish an enterprise-leading position for both graphite and graphene,” he said. “Our pact with Rutgers University brings us a step closer to attaining one of those goals.”
Graphene, discovered in 2004, is a two-dimensional ultra-thin form of carbon produced from graphite. It is tougher than diamond, is heat-resistant and more, it is electrically conductive.
Graphene has been described as the “new silicon” and has sparked a global interest among scientists by providing an unparalleled opportunity for the investigation of commercial applications by virtually all scientific communities and disciplines.
The first commercial applications from graphene could appear as early as 2012 in touch-screen computing devices, but applications are being investigated now for telecommunications, computing (transistors and super-capacitors) military, aviation and automotive, medical, and renewable energy purposes.
Grafoid, in cooperation with Rutgers AMIPP will focus its investigations initially on infrastructural, aviation, automotive and other applications.
The technical information on the Lac Knife project in this release was reviewed by Tony Brisson, P. Geo., Vice President Exploration of Focus Metals Inc., who acts as Focus’ Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.
About Focus Metals Inc.
Focus Metals Inc. is an emerging mid-tier junior mining company, a technology solutions supplier and a business innovator. It is the owner of the highest-grade (approximately 17%) technology graphite resource in the world. The company’s goal is to assume a dominant industry leadership position by becoming the lowest-cost producer of technology-grade graphite. As a technology-oriented enterprise with a view to building long-term, sustainable shareholder value, Focus Metals is invested in the development of graphene applications and patents through Grafoid Inc.
About Grafoid Inc.
Grafoid Inc. is a Canadian, privately-held joint venture created to research and develop commercial applications and patents from graphene, sourced exclusively from Focus Metals’ Lac Knife, Quebec technology graphite resource. One of its aims is to set a universal standard for the mass production of graphene for industrial applications.
Grafoid’s founders, partners and officers are: Mr. Jeffrey York, Chairman; Mr. Gary Economo, President and CEO, and; Dr. Gordon Chiu, Vice President and Chief Scientist. Ms. Judith Mazvihwa-MacLean is Chief Financial Officer. The company’s ownership structure, as set out in its Articles of Incorporation is as follows: Focus Metals, 40%; Mr. Jeffrey York, 20%; Mr. Gary Economo 20%, and; Dr. Gordon Chiu 20%. This structure enables Focus Metals to further explore and eventually profit from opportunities for creating graphene and graphene applications without compromising its primary corporate objective of developing its Lac Knife property.