Repsol and the Centre for Industrial Technology Development (CDTI), a public business entity dependant on the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, have signed an agreement to invest one million euros in the technology company Graphenea.
Graphenea is a start-up that has developed an innovative technology for producing high-quality graphene, which supplies its products to 40 countries as well as multinationals such as Nokia, Philips and Sigma-Aldrich, among others. This company was set up in 2010 in San Sebastian by a group of private investors working in partnership with the CIC nanoGUNE research centre.
This co-investment, made as part of the INNVIERTE New Energy programme, will boost its technological capacity, support its growth as a business and enable it to maintain its international lead within the emerging graphene production sector. The funds will be used to accelerate the company's business plan towards industrialisation.
Graphene is a new nanomaterial consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms with extraordinary optical, electrical, thermal and mechanical properties. As a result it is widely used in developing new disruptive technologies for storing and generating power. In particular, graphene products are used to produce batteries, super condensers, solar cells and heat management devices. Graphene-based materials are also used as additives in polymers and resins.
Last year, the world’s Graphene market made a 6.6 million euro turnover. Analysts estimate that in 2018 billing will exceed 73 million euros.
Repsol is an integrated oil and gas company with presence in more than thirty countries, employing over 23,000 people. It is involved in the entire value chain, including exploration, production, refining, transport, chemicals, service stations and new energy.
The main aim of the New Energy unit is to identify opportunities, promote projects and carry out business initiatives in spheres such as biofuels, renewable generation and sustainable transport. It also supports the development of high-tech companies through corporate venture capital investments.
The Centre for Industrial Technology Development (CDTI)
The Centre for Industrial Technology Development (CDTI) is a public business entity dependant on the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, whose mission is to bring about the generation of scientific and technical expertise within the Spanish business sector to generate and transform scientific knowledge into sustainable and globally competitive growth.
The CDTI, through the INNVIERTE programme, promotes business innovation, supporting venture capital investments in technologically based or innovative companies. It promotes private capital investments in Spanish technological SMEs in market conditions, aiming at not only supporting their technological activities but also providing them with help with management, internationalisation and market expertise.
With a workforce of 11 people, this small technology company, which is owned by Nanotech, nanoGune and the venture capital fund Seed Gipuzkoa owned by the Basque Government increases its yearly turnover by 50%.
It has a pilot plant at the CIC nanoGune research centre in San Sebastian, where it can produce up to 150,000 cm2 of graphene per year. In recent years, it has generated significant intellectual property because of its numerous works and research on graphene, enabling it to maintain its international leadership position.