Australian graphene manufacturer to take part in global accelerator program

Imagine Intelligent Materials (Imagine IM), a pioneering Australian graphene manufacturer and creator of smart materials, has been invited to participate in an incubator project powered by the global innovation platform Plug and Play Tech Centre.

Imagine IM will take part in Startup Autobahn in Stuttgart, Germany, from June 12-14. Startup Autobahn unites global young tech companies with the tech expertise of Silicon Valley and the best of German engineering. This is particularly relevant given Imagine IM’s goal of leading the development of smart surfaces for vehicles, and other industries.

The event puts start-ups into contact with established businesses in their sector, with the aim of developing prototypes and closing strategic investment opportunities with these companies.

Imagine IM was selected from a field of more than 5500 start-ups.

Imagine IM has a smart-sensing geo-fabric product already in the market, produced at its Geelong industrial facility. The technology can be deployed in numerous applications. Initially it is being used to ensure that leaks can be identified and fixed in tailing dams, but the strategic goal is on delivering improved safety. The company has developed a prototype smart road, installed at its Geelong factory, which senses traffic movements and will be able to solve traffic management challenges.

“Our inclusion in this program should be seen as a complete endorsement of Australia’s innovation in the world of graphene,” said Imagine IM CEO Chris Gilbey OAM. “We are in this position because of the brilliant scientific research taking place in Australia and our insights into how to commercialise graphene at scale.”

The company’s aim is to be a part of the supply chains of a number of market verticals including the smart automotive supply chain, creating smart, sensing surfaces for the interior of vehicles. As part of the company’s participation in STARTUP AUTOBAHN it has been given the challenge of developing a new sensing textile prototype for Daimler.

“The long-term competition for Mercedes isn’t General Motors or BMW – it’s Google,” said Gilbey. “That is not just my view, but the view of the senior management of Daimler. The move to driverless cars is causing the pace of new technologies to accelerate, and innovations in textiles in automotive will soon migrate into other areas such as clothing. Imagine IM intends to be at the forefront of smart surface innovation across a number of market verticals.

“Who said the automotive industry was dead in Australia? It’s alive and well — and amazingly, it’s in Geelong.”

Imagine Intelligent Materials was founded in 2014 by a group of engineers, scientists and business people with a vision of using graphene to deliver infinitely scalable sensors that will enable every part of the built environment to communicate. It has developed a vertically integrated business with the hardware that enables the materials to be interrogated and data to be moved into the cloud.