It’s all about the revenues for Versarien
“…It’s all about creating more graphene demand. It’s all about creating more graphene and it’s all about selling more graphene…”
It’s a pretty obvious statement this from the boss of the advanced materials engineering group Neill Rickets, but he stresses that the quest for commercialisation is a routine almost boring process.
But that’s where the mundane stops. Versarien has recently partnered with hip clothing company Superdry. The aim is to pioneer the production of graphene-enhanced garments, using Versarien’s GRAPHENE-WEARTM technology and ‘import’ graphene’s thermal and moisture management properties into its garments.
It’s the partnerships that lead to commercialisation says Ricketts. “It’s really really important for me as a small company to have these kind of connections because they have all of the supply chain, they have all of the connections, they have all of the contacts, the design capability and so that takes the pressure off Versarien because what we need to do is we need to concentrate on the technology and getting that technology into their product. So it’s a really great relationship because it’s a proper partnership.”
And the Superdry connection goes deeper into Versarien’s DNA with new chair Diane ‘Superdry’ Savory. She knows grassroots and she knows greatness. After joining Cult Clothing, the predecessor of SuperGroup Plc, she progressed through the organisation to become its Chief Operating Officer, transforming the company from a small, local enterprise to the global fashion retailer that is now the fashion giant that combines vintage Americana styling with Japanese inspired graphics.
According to Ricketts she’s made of tough stuff and she’s in it for the long term. She was after all at Superdry for three decades. “Taking a business from a local market to being a global superstar and for me that’s the kind of experience we need on the board.”
The company’s recent results show an increase in revenues and Ricketts says the company is gung-ho in its quest to increase them.
It’s not dependent on the Superdry connection, which isn’t an exclusive collaboration, but one of the many that the graphene business the started in a garage is currently engaged with.
Listen to Neill tell Sarah Lowther why it’s going to be hard graft, and how Versarien has got the right people to guide it through the next phase of its transition.
Watch Neill and the board talk through the corporate strategy.
Learn more about graphene in textiles with Versarien’s CTO Dr Stephen Hodge.
Access #VRS’s corporate presentation here
Follow the company on Twitter – @versarien
The author was remunerated but does not hold shares in the company