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Posted: Feb 28, 2011
Focus Metals Forms Graphene Patents and Technologies Joint Venture
(Nanowerk News) Mr. Gary Economo, President and CEO of Focus Metals Inc. is pleased to announce its intention to form a U.S.-Canada-Asia joint venture to develop, patents and secure global rights for applications of graphene technologies.
The new enterprise, to be based in New York City, will be a joint venture between Focus Metals Inc. and its U.S., Canadian and Asian partners. "Focus is bound by a non-disclosure agreement while it negotiates and settles the terms of the joint venture with its joint venture partners."
Mr. Economo also announced the appointment of Dr. Gordon Chiu who will act as the new venture's Chief Scientist and Managing Director. Dr. Chiu will be responsible for building the new company's portfolio of graphene-based applications, with a particular interest in the development and acquisition of aviation and defence applications.
Dr. Chiu has 15 years combined experience in biomedical, chemical, cosmetic, medical and technology industries. He worked as a research scientist with Pfizer Inc. and Merck & Co., and has a distinguished profile in U.S. markets.
"This is a significant development for Focus Metals Inc.," Mr. Economo said. "Our global joint venture fits squarely and perfectly with our corporate vision to build commercial value from our graphite processing foundation.
"The world of scientific research is currently dominated by the development of graphene applications – from electron-microscopic imaging for medical diagnostics, to stealth military applications to nanotechnology-based supercomputers," Mr. Economo added.
"We see no end to the future of graphene development, and, given our company's source, see a long-term benefit by moving now to capturing ownership of patent values," Mr. Economo said.
Graphene is a carbon allotrope extracted from graphite. Its superconductive electrical features and super strength are expected to spawn a revolution in new technologies based on a panoply of chemically and naturally-induced by-products.
Focus Metals Inc. owns one of the world's highest quality, highest concentrations (17%) natural flake graphite at its Lac Knife, Quebec, property.
Dr. Chiu comments, "Graphene is a form of carbon. As a material it is completely novel – not only is graphene the thinnest material known in science but it is also the strongest. As a conductor of heat, graphene outperforms all currently known materials. It is nearly transparent yet so dense that not even helium, the smallest gas atom, can pass through it. For the layperson, while diamonds are a coveted jewellery allotrope of carbon, graphene is very much the game-changing allotrope of carbon achieving recent accolades such as the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics. As a combination, it is potentially more applicable than copper because when graphene is mixed into plastics, the resultant material turns into a conductor of electricity while being more heat resistant and mechanically robust."
"It is a tremendous opportunity and honour to be establishing strategic domestic and international relationships for a company with such a prized asset. I look forward to working with Focus Metals Inc. and Mr. Economo." states Dr. Chiu.
The European Union considers graphite a critical/strategic mineral. China controls more than 70% of the current global supply of industrial graphite and is a net importer of technology-grade natural flake graphite.
The U.S. commercial technology sector and some government officials are concerned about China's dominance over graphite production. U.S. lawmakers have some concern about graphite's future supply chain, price, and the potential implications for national and industrial security of supply.