Partnerships and Innovation

Office of Partnerships and Innovation
Office of Partnerships and Innovation

Kingston company receives $8.1 million grant

Article Date:  February 15, 2015

Ottawa-­based Grafoid Inc., which has a global technology centre in Kingston, has been given $8.1 million by the federal government.

Greg Rickford, natural resources minister and minister responsible for sustainable development technologies Canada, made the announcement Friday in Toronto. The grant is to design and test an automation system that will produce MesoGraf graphene.

"This is a great day for the Canadian graphene industry and for Grafoid, in particular," Gary Economo, Grafoid's founding partner and CEO, said in a news release. "It leads us out of the laboratory and into the automated manufacturing of the world's new wonder material."

Rickford said the funding will open up opportunities for employment at the company.

"Our government is investing in advanced clean energy technologies that create well­paying jobs and generate economic opportunities," Rickford said. "(Friday's) announcement contributes to economic prosperity and a cleaner environment in Ontario and across Canada."

Graphene is an atomic­scale form of pure carbon derived from graphite. The strongest material known to science, graphene, and Grafoid's MesoGraf, have multiple applications in batteries, solar panels and cells, 3­D printing, the automotive and aerospace industries, and more.

Grafoid is the first Canadian graphene developer to partner with the Canadian government. The European Union, United States, China and South Korea have also provided funding to other privately held graphene enterprises.

"Effectively, (Friday's) $8.1 million federal government funding grant enables us to take a giant leap towards graphene's broader commercialization," Economo said. "It will permit us to increase MesoGraf production output from kilograms to tonnes within our global technology centre in Kingston, Ont.

"For this, we are truly appreciative of Canada's actions in recognizing our science and commercial objectives. In the past three years, Grafoid has travelled the globe staking our unique position in the graphene revolution. Today we are gratified to do this going forward with the government of Canada."