Queensland-based White Graphene Limited has secured $100,000 and a partnership with Boeing to develop boron nitride nanomaterial applications in the space and aerospace industries.
The funding was part of White Graphene winning the highly-competitive Sustainability in Space Pitch Competition, hosted by Boeing’s technology incubator Aerospace Xelerated, in partnership with Advance Queensland and the Queensland Government.
The competition saw six shortlisted companies present a 15-minute pitch to a live panel of judges at The Precinct innovation hub in Brisbane and at the space centre in Houston (USA) on May 4.
White Graphene commercial director Lieuwke de Jong impressed the judges with a pitch about the potential application of boron nitride nanomaterials in interplanetary travel, the protection of space hardware and shielding space travellers from radiation.
As the winner, White Graphene will receive up to $100,000 of funding for a proof of concept project to develop solutions using boron nitride nanomaterials.
If successful, there is an opportunity to become a supplier to Boeing and work with them and their stakeholders to address a range of space sustainability challenges.
Mr de Jong said the Aerospace Xelerated event was an excellent platform for the company to demonstrate the potential of boron nitride nanomaterials to Boeing and the broader space and aerospace industries.
“Being selected as the winning pitch is tremendously important for the team and a great recognition of their work over many years,” he said.
“We have invested significant time and resources to create the manufacturing methodology that allows us to produce the required nanomaterials in various forms for commercial application at an economically viable price point.
“We look forward to seeing where this exciting new partnership with Boeing can take us.”
White Graphene is one of several associated companies controlled by ASX-listed advanced technology incubator and investor PPK Group Limited that are focused on commercialising boron nitride nanomaterials through collaboration with innovative companies.
PPK chairman Robin Levison said collaborating with global organisations like Boeing provided a clear path to product validation and the commercial application of boron nitride nanomaterials.
“We have now secured active, highly-prospective collaborations across multiple industry sectors to support a path to large-scale commercialisation of boron nitride nanomaterials and the extraordinary properties they produce,” he said.
White Graphene’s Aerospace Xelerated win follows an announcement in April that another PPK company, BNNT Technology Pty Ltd had signed its first defence sector collaboration agreement with survivability systems specialist TenCate Advanced Armor.
Queensland Innovation minister Stirling Hinchliffe said this was just one of several Advance Queensland initiatives, which helped shine the spotlight on the world-class capabilities of small to medium size Queensland companies.
“This event provides an opportunity for these businesses to step out and collaborate with companies such as Boeing, bringing science and innovation to the forefront,” Hinchliffe said.
“For Boeing to share their expertise and resources as a partner is terrific and is in keeping with what Queensland is all about – creating jobs, investing in innovation, providing opportunities and inspiring future generations.”