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Gloucestershire Business News

Versarien subsidiary awarded €415,000 grant

A Spanish subsidiary of Forest of Dean engineering company Versarien has been awarded a grant equating to approximately £357,000.

Gnanomat S.L, Versarien's 62% owned subsidiary based in Spain, has been concentrating on applying for a number of European and national grants, as well as development contracts, so it can become self‐sustaining rather than relying on group funding.

Versarien, the advanced materials engineering group, which has been through a turbulent period, has previously announced its turnaround strategy, which seeks to preserve appropriate intellectual property within the group whilst reducing operating costs.

The grant of approximately €415,000 from ICEX Trade and Investment, a Spanish Government entity, is for a project involving the design, optimisation and validation of a new line of eco-friendly conductive inks based on nanomaterials for flexible and printed electronics.

The project is expected to enable Gnanomat to commercialise and launch a new line of conductive inks based on Versarien's nanomaterials, that are complementary to the company's other products, during 2024.

This funding will cover certain operating overheads, which otherwise would have been cut, will expand the group's product offering and is expected to materially reduce Gnanomat's reliance on group funding.

The grant funding is expected to be received in the first half of 2024 following validation of the project costs. The grant will cover 70% of eligible costs, with Gnanomat required to fund the balance, some of which has already been incurred, in order to meet the terms of the grant.

Dr Roberto Clemente, chief executive officer of Gnanomat, said: "This project will extend Versarien's Graphinks™ portfolio by providing novel and complementary products. The new product range will integrate hybrid advanced nanomaterials from Gnanomat for applications such as electromagnetic interference shielding, data coding and security, among others.

"These new formulations are primarily intended for use in the aerospace and defence sectors, where the company has ongoing collaborations and projects."

Dr Stephen Hodge, chief executive officer of Versarien, said: "We are very pleased that Gnanomat has been awarded this grant which will enable it to quickly expand its ink‐based product offerings in the electronics sector, a sector in which it already has a number of potential commercial opportunities.

"Gnanomat will continue to seek funding via grants and development contracts in line with the turnaround strategy and we look forward to providing further updates in due course."

Versarien's founder and former CEO Neill Ricketts resigned in March and in June the company called a general meeting following a "challenging" period which saw revenues fall and losses rise.

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