NGA Announces Creation of Graphene Venture Fund and American Graphene Institute to Promote Commercialization of “Wonder Material”

NGA Announces Creation of Graphene Venture Fund and American Graphene Institute to Promote Commercialization of “Wonder Material” - Featured General Research Wonders of Graphene


For Immediate Release

Rick Hynum, Communications Director


NGA Announces Creation of Venture Fund and American Graphene Institute to Promote Commercialization of “Wonder Material”

The entities were created after overwhelming success of last month’s Graphene Innovation Summit & Expo; plans underway for global summit next May in Las Vegas


Oxford, Miss.—In the wake of its highly successful Graphene Innovation Summit & Expo held in Nashville last month, the National Graphene Association (NGA) has created a formal non-profit advocacy organization and a venture fund to help advance the commercialization of graphene, the two-dimensional “wonder material” with applications ranging from energy storage and to biomedical sensors, water filters, composites and smart textiles, to name a few possibilities.

Key members of NGA’s advisory board recommended the creation of the two entities during a meeting at the event, which took place October 29-31 at Nashville’s Music City Center. The show’s success was evident from the start, and those in attendance made it clear they envisioned a bright future for graphene, the NGA and the commercialization of the technology in the growing U.S. market.

The moneymaking possibilities of graphene were on full display at the historic summit. Leading graphene researchers, industrialists and entrepreneurs from around the world gathered at the NGA-produced event to discuss the commercialization of graphene.

Developing revolutionary new and technologies—and bringing them to market—was the focus of the summit. The three-day event was a whirlwind of panel discussions, seminars, idea pitches and networking, headlined by industry leaders like Dr. Kari Hjelt, Head of Innovation for the European Commission’s Graphene Flagship, and Dr. Antonio Castro Neto, director of the Center for Advanced 2D Materials in Singapore.

“I don’t think this meeting is just important—I think it’s critical,” said Steven Rodgers, a principal with EmergenTek, LLC, a Salt Lake City company that specializes in the manufacturing and practical applications of graphene. “We have the right here from around the world. In the few months I’ve been involved, this has transformed from a national group to a global one, and that international presence is very encouraging because it’s going to take all of us working together.”

“This has been a very good event for us,” agreed Paolo Bucciol, co-founder of Deewear, an Italian company that incorporates graphene into sportswear. “We’ve made lots of connections, not only in terms of potential partners but also investors, plus other opportunities with companies that provide graphene. Knowing that there are all of these other people who are in this technology will help us because we obviously need to review our road map every three months to keep it updated.”

Dr. Angela Hight Walker, a nanomaterials researcher with NIST and chair of a working group and a joint task group developing standards for nanotechnology research, was one of several leading scientists who spoke about the need to establish standards. “This has been a great conference,” she said. “It’s great to see industry and researchers come together to discuss how to get graphene into important products.”

Everyone in attendance agreed on the vast moneymaking potential of graphene. “With just very small amounts of graphene, what’s impossible can be made possible,” noted Jung-Hoon Lee of Standard Graphene, a South Korean company that mass-produces graphene and graphene oxide for commercial applications.

With that in mind, NGA has established the American Graphene Institute, a nonprofit educational and advocacy organization, as well as the Graphene Venture Fund, organized specifically to create growth opportunities for graphene businesses and new product development.

“The commercialization of graphene offers a ground-floor opportunity unparalleled in recent history,” said Ray Gibbs, CEO of Haydale, Inc., a UK technology company that’s developing and commercializing the next generation of functionalized graphene and other advanced materials. “Graphene has trillions of dollars in potential, but it’s going to be a journey to make it happen.”

The establishment of the institute, venture fund and the first U.S. conference are important steps forward in that journey. The next step will come with the Global Graphene Conference, also produced by the NGA. It’s slated for May 2018 in Las Vegas.

“We all share a vision of a graphene future that will see new products developed—and current products improved—in ways yet to be imagined,” said Dr. Ed Meek, founder of the NGA. “Through this summit, we have begun to build the foundation necessary for the growth, development and commercialization of graphene. Perhaps no discovery in my lifetime holds the promise that may be revealed in graphene.”