Versarien PLC (LON:VRS) Chief Executive Officer Neill Ricketts caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss their recent collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries
Q1: We saw this morning that Versarien announced a collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), can you tell us a bit about the nature of the collaboration?
A1: Yes, sure. So, this came as a result of a Department of International Trade trade mission to Israel about 18 months ago and we’ve been working hard on this. IAI is one of the world leaders in the use of carbon-fibre composites in aircraft and the collaboration is really around using the fantastic properties of graphene actually in applications they have right now.
So, for us, it’s a monumental event, it means that our products are heading towards being used in aircraft and that’s not a small journey or a small achievement by any stretch of the imagination. It’s one of many companies that we’re talking to about using graphene in carbon-fibre composites so it’s really a big milestone for us.
Q2: How is your relationship with Israel Aerospace Industries come about and how is it developing?
A2: So, dealing with any Israeli company is challenging and this is a defence company so there’s a huge amount of confidentiality and even to get a quote is a real achievement. What we have here is the ability to be able to take our materials and work closely with the guys in not only in aircraft but in defence projects and space projects and so on. They’re extremely enthusiastic, they want to get going straight away and for us, as I said before, it’s a real big milestone, these guys are highly enthusiastic and really wanting to see the benefits of using graphene in these products.
Q3: Can you tell us a bit more about the potential benefits and uses of Nanene in the aerospace sector?
A3: Well, I’m sure they’ll be a bit more news on that later on in the week but what we have now is a great database of positive test results in these applications and we have full characterisation data of the material. So, when we’re talking to these companies now, even if they’ve had tried this material or similar materials before, what we can actually do now is to demonstrate to them that our materials are some of the best in the world, even not the best in the world and that we’ve got independent test data that shows how graphene can be used in all these applications.
What we’re starting to see now is companies are becoming highly enthusiastic about using these materials, they’re slightly sceptical about some of the test results they may have had in the past from other vendors’ material but because we have this independent data, it gives us a huge advantage in starting these conversations.
This announcement today is, as I said before, a massive milestone for Versarien PLC, it’s our first aerospace application for graphene and it shows that we’re making significant progress with this business.