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Hi-tech firm's funding looks to organic growth ; Contact Owen Hughes on 01491 574448 or email [Daily Post (Liverpool, England)]
[August 15, 2014]

Hi-tech firm's funding looks to organic growth ; Contact Owen Hughes on 01491 574448 or email [Daily Post (Liverpool, England)]

(Daily Post (Liverpool, England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) A COMPANY that develops high performance organic materials for use in mobile communications and flexible displays has completed a funding round with a syndicate of investors.

SmartKem will use the investment - which comes on top of a Pounds 3m investment from Finance Wales - to further develop its tru-FLEX organic semiconductor material and speed up its progress towards commercialisation.

The multi-million pound funding round in the St Asaph-based company includes investments from BASF Venture Capital, Octopus Investments and Entrepreneurs Fund, plus further investment from Finance Wales, the company's principal shareholder.

The investment will provide SmartKem with the ability to further develop its tru-FLEX semiconductor technology to the point of market- readiness. It will also contribute to the scale-up and support of current and future partner programmes which are key to the technology's commercialisation.

SmartKem's flexible semiconductor technology has been developed to allow electronics manufacturers to obtain industry grade performance with physical flexibility, allowing the manufacture of bendable and foldable mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets as well as wearable display based applications. SmartKem chief executive Steve Kelly said: "With the current traction in the markets for new form factor mobile displays and wearable technology, the timing of the latest round of investment is ideal. We have a number of high value joint development agreements (JDAs) that require support to ensure the commercialisation of our revolutionary semiconductors. "With the (global) market for printed, flexible and organic electronics set to grow to around $77bn by 2023, we are now well positioned to fully commercialise tru-FLEX and to satisfy the growing market demand." Richard Hadden, investment executive in Finance Wales' technology ventures team, said: "Finance Wales has invested in SmartKem since its start up in North Wales in May 2009. With our long-term backing Steve and his team have developed the company's exciting technology which has demonstrated significant market potential.

"Securing this latest investment is a major achievement and we're pleased to join forces with the new syndicate of investors to provide Smartkem with the capital it needs to fully exploit the commercial potential of tru-FLEX." SmartKem's portfolio of high performance materials are designed and synthesised in thin-film transistor form in-house to offer partners ease of processing with a variety of print techniques.

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