Durham University spin-out Applied Graphene Materials plc has recruited two senior staff from a US chemicals firm.
Nigel Blatherwick and Dr Adrian Potts have been appointed to the positions of commercial director and vice president business development for North America respectively.
Both previously worked for New Jersey-based chemicals and materials firm Cytec Industries Inc, and before that Umeco plc, which was acquired by Cytec in July 2012.
Mr Blatherwick was previously strategic marketing and commercial director for Cytec Engineered Materials, previously Umeco Composites, where he had global responsibility for the promotion of high performance materials, leading a team of around 30 direct staff and 15 agents/distributors.
Dr Potts previously worked at Cytec Process Materials in roles such as global business development director, president of Cytec Process Materials, CA Inc. and president of Umeco Structural Materials, Inc. He has lived in the US since 2002.
Applied Graphene Materials boss Jon Mabbitt, who was formerly managing director of Umeco Composite Structural Materials, said: “Having worked closely with both Nigel and Adrian for over 20 years in our time at Cytec and Umeco, I am delighted to welcome them to Applied Graphene Materials.
“Their extensive experience of business development in the specialty materials sector will be invaluable to the Group as we extend our commercial partnerships and capitalise on our international profile.
“Nigel will lead our commercial activities and Adrian will spearhead our growth into the North American markets where we anticipate considerable interest from potential partners in developing graphene applications.”
Applied Graphene Materials floated on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market in November 2013, raising about £11m.
Since the flotation, the Wilton-based firm has trebled its workforce – and new recruits join the firm this month taking headcount to 30.
In November 2014 the firm reported losses of £2.3m but directors reiterated the business’ potential as one of just a few manufacturers of the “wonder material”.
Applied Graphene Materials has developed a bottom-up process for the production of graphene nanoplatelets, which does not require the supply of graphite, unlike other production techniques.
The material holds properties that are said to be useful in a number of industries including aerospace and marine coatings.