The latest news from academia, regulators
research labs and other things of interest
Posted: Sep 06, 2011
Funding Coup for Sunshine Coast Nanotechnology Business
(Nanowerk News) Nano-Nouvelle – a nanotechnology business based on Australia's Sunshine Coast – has secured $1.1M in new investment led by Adelaide-based Terra Rossa Capital to fund the next stage of its cutting edge research focused on improving the performance of sustainable energy technologies.
Nano-Nouvelle is the brainchild of Dr Geoff Edwards, a Sunshine Coast local who has travelled extensively gaining world-class nanotech expertise, and was founded in 2007 at the University of the Sunshine Coast's Innovation Centre.
Nanotechnology is the science and engineering of materials at a minute scale – one ten thousandth of the breadth of a human hair – and enables new functionalities to be obtained and applied to products with the potential to transform many industries, including sustainable energy technologies.
Nano-Nouvelle aims to capture a significant slice of the booming sustainable energy markets using a patented approach and thin film technology to convert various forms of energy into electricity. This latest investment builds upon research supported by a $256,000 grant from AusIndustry's Climate Ready program in 2008.
Nano-Nouvelle's Founder and Chief Scientist Dr. Geoff Edwards commented "The current funding climate is extremely difficult and we have had to work hard to achieve this significant milestone for Nano-Nouvelle. The fact that we have been able to raise the capital is testament to the quality and potential of our technology. We believe our advanced materials have the potential for major step advances in several key areas of sustainable energy. The capital will enable us to further build on our successes to date and to demonstrate prototype devices within the next 18 months."
The investment in Nano-Nouvelle was facilitated by Nigel Hall, the Entrepreneur in Residence at the Innovation Centre and a member of the Investment Committee at Terra Rossa. Nigel Hall now joins Dr Jurgen Michaelis of Terra Rossa to serve on the Nano-Nouvelle board and support its next stages of commercialization.
Commenting on growing interest in nanotechnology, Nigel Hall said "There has been quite a bit of hype around nanotechnology as if it's something new, but it has been around since the sixties with the development of alloys for the aircraft industry. These days, in the US alone, over $2.75bn is being invested annually in nanotech applied to key areas such as electronics and ICT, materials and manufacturing, healthcare and energy. Nano-Nouvelle is focusing on opportunities in sustainable energy and, as investors, we see strong commercial prospects and returns in this growing sector."
Nano-Nouvelle is one of 82 companies that have been supported by the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast to date. Innovation Centre CEO Colin Graham said "We are totally focused on supporting capable innovators and entrepreneurs like Geoff to grow world class businesses from a Sunshine Coast base and we are proud to have played a part in Nano-Nouvelle's development. Nano-Nouvelle is a great example of a leading edge clean technology business punching above its weight and helping to turn the Sunshine Coast into a real innovation hotspot."
Source: Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast (press release)