Nanomaterials: Identifying and commercialising products in existing market sectors
Gareth Wakefield, Oxonica
Key to market acceptance is data set development relating to market concerns and pricing of materials. Small companies outsourcing manufacture face interesting problems: convincing materials companies to invest to produce relevant quantities with no firm customers present, and convince customers to consider products with no manufacturing base.
19 March 2007 Research seminars
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About the presentation
The key challenges facing a SME dedicated to commercialising novel nanomaterials technology is to develop the technology and access the market. Novel IP comes from fundamental research, but that is only the beginning of the journey to market. Key to market acceptance is the development of compelling data sets which directly relate to market concerns and the ability to provide material for sale at a price point that does not significantly increase the cost of the raw material to the final user. For further details visit - http://www.wun.ac.uk/nanomanufacturing/lectures/wakefield.html The small company wishing to outsource manufacture thus faces an interesting problem: how to convince materials companies to put in the significant investment required to produce at a relevant quantity and price whilst no firm customers are present, and conversely how to convince customers to consider a product which has no manufacturing base installed. The journey of two products developed by Oxonica, EnviroxTM and OptisolTM, from fundamental research through to market penetration is described in detail, from initial lab datasets, through initial customer testing to production and sale.
About the speaker
Gareth Wakefield BSC PhD CPhys (age 37) is VP Research at Oxonica. After graduating in Physics at the University of Bristol, Gareth began his work on nanomaterials systems during his PhD, also at the University of Bristol, where he studied the structure and degradation of nanocomposite electrodes in research sponsored by ICI Chemicals Ltd. After completing his thesis, Gareth moved to the Department of Materials Science at the University of Oxford to begin work on novel nanomaterial systems such as porous silicon and quantum dot structures. This work led to the development of the intellectual property upon which the original Oxonica business plan was based. Five years research at Oxford led to a diversification of research interests into general nanoparticle synthesis and design, particularly in the sunscreen and display fields. Gareth has headed up the research at Oxonica since co-founding the company. He has contributed to 19 patent applications and 27 scientific publications during his career and is has Chartered Physicist status.
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