We’ve been making steady progress across our water and energy programmes and we have answers to a few questions that we are often asked about our business model and strategy.
On our water treatment program, we are working intensively with our CRC-P partners toward demonstrating a commercial product that can be produced at scale with competitive pricing. That’s not to say we haven’t faced a number of challenges some of which have delayed us, but that’s to be expected in any research and development program, and I’ll explain this further below. The good news is that we continue to gain greater understanding of the advanced graphene materials that we’re working with and how we can best use their unique characteristics to produce commercial products that address the markets we’re targeting.
We’re working rapidly toward the point where we will be ready to establish the business that will take our products to market, and we’re looking forward to positive news on this front in the near future.
On our supercapacitors, we have been working with a number of companies in Australia and overseas to understand the requirements that they have for energy storage devices, the challenges they face in developing products for their markets and figuring out ways that supercapacitors can form part of the solution. We’ve recently achieved some excellent results on small prototype devices of our Origami Capacitor devices and we’re working now to adapt these to meet the precise requirements that we’ve gathered in relation to applications in the Internet of Things market.
On our MICRENs devices, we are continuing work on the miniturisation of the printed electrodes to consistently deliver the extraordinary performance of our patented devices at commercial scales. We are currently engaging with various companies in the medical devices and wearable technology markets to identify a suitable partner to work with us on this project.
Here’s a couple of questions that we get asked regularly and we figure that there’s probably a few others who have the same questions. Our goal is to be as transparent as possible with all our shareholders and stakeholders, so long as we’re not compromising commercially sensitive information. So please, feel free to shoot us questions (just reply to this email) and we’ll always do our best to answer them honestly and thoroughly.
Our value is built around the expertise of our research team in the area of graphene materials. Ionic is a graphene technology platform, not a water or a supercapacitor company. While it is important that we focus on the highest priority and closest to market technology, we also need to consider what will drive value for our shareholders over the medium and long term. To this end, we have several programs of research, but they are not all given the same priority and they are not all at the same stage. We have these programs planned out over phases to achieve the right balance between next-to-market priorities and long term value. The first priority (and majority of our current effort) is our water treatment work, which we aim to deliver commercial products in the short term. Next will be our supercapacitor technologies (Origami Capacitors followed by MICRENs) in the medium-term. In the longer term, we are looking at a number of options that will build on our existing work with graphene oxide and the skill sets in our research team.
When we’re planning research and development there are a lot of uncertainties and there’s always a chance that the target that we’re working towards is completely unachieveable. So the way we plan is to take a best case scenario, which involves all of our experiments giving us the results that we’re hoping for within the time allowed. We then add some contingencies based on our experience of delays on similar projects and we set a date. We often don’t get the results we’re looking for but its impossible to predict when that will happen, so the best we can do is stay flexible and adapt quickly to redesign our experiments… but this takes extra time, hence the delays. So, some delays are all part of the R&D process. The important thing is that with each cycle of experimentation we are learning new things about our technologies and the complex materials that we are working with all of which brings us closer to commercial products.
We hope this brings you a better understanding of Ionic’s business and strategy but as always, if you’ve any other questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’ll also look to answer more questions like this in future updates.
As a final point, we note that many of you have registered options resulting from the Rights Issue conducted last year. We believe Ionic will qualify as an ESIC company for the 2017-18 financial year. In that event,any funds invested to take up options would be subject to the 20% tax reduction and 10 year CGT-free period associated with ESIC investments. However, as always, it is important that you seek your own independent financial advice on how this applies to your specific situation.
All the best,
The Ionic Team