This past week I had the pleasure of attending the Graphene Canada conference in Montreal where NAATBatt International, in conjunction with NAATBatt member, Grafoid, and Phantoms Foundation of Madrid, Spain, announced the formation of the GO Foundation. The GO Foundation (GO stands for Graphene Organization) is a Canadian not-for-profit association charged with accelerating the commercialization of graphene technology. The GO Foundation will act as a resource for information about graphene and its applications. The GO Foundation will also make investments in emerging companies developing new graphene applications. The Canadian government has already made a grant of about $350,000 to the GO Foundation in order to fund its first investments.
The relevance of the GO Foundation to NAATBatt International and its members is the growing interest of battery and supercapacitor manufacturers in graphene. Graphene is, basically, a single atomic layer of graphite that was first isolated in 2004. This effectively 2D material has a number of theoretical uses, many of which scientists are only beginning to explore. As a number of speakers at the Graphene Canada conference explained, one of the most promising applications of graphene may be in helping increase the energy density of electrochemical energy storage. Particular progress has been made in using graphene to accommodate the volume expansion of silicon anodes in lithium-ion batteries and in increasing the energy density of supercapacitors.
The GO Foundation will act as a source of information and networking opportunities for companies working in graphene-related technology. Its goal is to try to find a way to accelerate the somewhat typical 20-25 year period that it takes to bring a promising new technology coming out of the laboratory into profitable commercial deployment (e.g., lithium-ion batteries and transistors).
The GO Foundation will also invest in companies developing new graphene applications and will take, in most cases, a worldwide license to the applications developed with those investments. That license will be sublicensed to Class B members of the GO Foundation. As one of three founding Class A members of the GO Foundation, NAATBatt International will have the right to sublicense developed graphene applications to up to three members of NAATBatt International. Interested members should contact me for details.
Information about the GO Foundation may be found on its web site at: http://gofoundation.ca/. As graphene becomes an increasingly important material in facilitating low cost, high energy density electrochemical energy storage, NAATBatt International members will have an inside track on following developments in this field.