By The Nation
The National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) and the Ministry of Science and Technology, through Thailand Science Park and Haydale Graphene Industries, have signed a collaborative agreement to set up Haydale Technologies (Thailand) or HTT, the first graphene research centre in the Asian region.
This shows Haydale’s confidence in the research personnel, equipment and favourable environment for research and development.
Present at yesterday’s signing of a space lease agreement to set up the HTT Research Centre were Janekrishna Kanatharana, director of Thailand Science Park, and Ray Gibbs, CEO of Haydale Graphene Industries Plc.
Gibbs would be joined in a talk on graphene technology and industry transformation by Thaweesak Koanantakool, senior adviser of NSTDA, and Sarun Sumriddetchkajorn, executive director of the National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre (Nectec).
The talk would be moderated by Komkrit Sajjaanantakul, managing director of HTT.
Janekrishna said that having Haydale Graphene Industries, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange, set up a research centre at Thailand Science Park, and its collaboration with the Thailand Organic & Printed Electronics Innovation Centre and NSTDA, with a team of highly qualified researchers and advanced equipment, would be advantageous.
Thai researchers will have a chance to work with world-class foreign researchers, leading to the exchange of knowledge and the transfer of know-how in Thailand.
This will be a first step in promotion and support for more advanced technology in the future. Certainly, this would mark as a vital mechanism for economic growth towards the government’s Thailand 4.0 strategy.
Thaweesak said NSTDA recognised the opportunity and importance of graphene as a “wonder material” since its discovery.
Research and development have been conducted for its industrial applications for over five years.
Some of this technology has been transferred to industry, such as the success of the synthesis of graphene-based conductive ink for ink preparation and inkjet printing, said Adisorn Tuantranont, director of nanoelectronics and the MEMS Laboratory under Nectec.
Besides its good electrical conductivity, a graphene composite is light in weight and high in strength. Its good thermal conductivity improves the efficiency and extends the working life of LED lights.
Being thin and flexible makes the commercial production of OLED curve displays possible.
Other interesting R&D projects worldwide include research for the supercapacitor industry. It promises to reduce the charging time for electric vehicles from hours to just a few seconds.
And the “smart textile” with embedded sensors to detect the health status of the wearer, sending information for automatic diagnosis. The textile is adjustable to body heat.
NSTDA has set up the Thailand Organic & Printed Electronics Innovation Centre in Thailand Science Park to build a working network between public researchers and industries with keen interest in the development and application of graphene for all industries.
Topic is fully equipped with laboratories and advanced equipment as well as a team of highly skilled researchers for applied research in chemistry, electrical and electronics engineering and biology.
Gibbs said Haydale has focused on the specialisation of graphene since its inception and has expanded its work to other nanomaterials with the aim to expand its market to the Asian region to serve graphene technology-related industries.
“Haydale is confident in the capacity of Thailand Science Park, especially its researchers at Nectec under NSTDA, specialising in graphene, as well as the facilities, testing instruments and well-equipped research centre.
“These factors have attracted our attention and played a vital role in the final decision to set up a research and development centre here.
“Moreover, we believe that the economic growth of Thailand and Asia looks positive, taking into account the presence of a great number of related industries such as printing, automotive and composite.”
Initially, researchers from HTT will develop and generate business opportunities for other applied graphene materials such as silicon carbide, with its high temperature corrosion resistance, suitable for the petrochemical industry and oil and natural gas industry.