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Vol 6 Issue 12



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This month Time Magazine named the graphene kitchen styler as one of the best inventions of 2022. This is the graphene cooker we mentioned back in vol 6 iss 2 p.30. The company behind this invention, Graphene Square, announced another product this month, the graphene virtual fireplace radiator. Both devices use large area chemical vapour deposition (CVD) graphene. The virtual fireplace radiator has already won another innovation award and will make its debut at the consumer electronics show in Los Angeles, USA in January 2023.

The immediate reaction from people working in the graphene and 2D materials community has been to greet these announcements with a wry smile. My first reaction was to dismiss this as gimmickry as well. Then I thought a little more.

You will know, dear reader, that great advances have been made developing manufacturing methods for large area sheet graphene using the CVD technique. Production machines exist in Europe, America, and Asia, some of which can make graphene at speeds of 2m/min and lengths of up to one kilometre (vol 5 iss 8 p.36).

A manufacturing business survives by making things and then selling them at a profit. These companies have solved the science and engineering problems to create impressive production capabilities. This is only half of the survival equation. They must develop equally impressive marketing and sales operations to match.

In this issue we notice that USA based manufacturer General Graphene is still struggling to find the applications that will be the foundation for the marketing and sales operation. Meanwhile Graphene Square, from South Korea is making cookers and toasters. The reason they are launching apparently trivial products is because they need to educate the market by getting the message out to potential customers that CVD graphene is real, it can be manufactured at scale and integrated into everyday products. This message will not be lost on manufactures in the automotive and aerospace sectors as well as consumer electronics. And consider this, Time Magazine has over three million subscribers, and a wider reach online.

Also in this issue, graphene powder manufacturer, Applied Graphene Materials has announced it is in financial trouble. It will run out of cash at the end of January 2023 unless it can find cash from somewhere. The reason for its troubles? A lack of success finding market applications for its graphene that will generate profitable sales.

A reminder to us all that developing sophisticated products is only part of the road to success. Making customers aware of the value of your product is key because if you get this right, they will prize your offering as much as you do, and this will lead to profitable sales and a sustainable business.

Adrian Nixon

1st December 2022