Mike Nemeth, Director of Commercial and Defense Applications at Zyvex Technologies, took a few moments to discuss commercialization with TechConnect.
Q: Why are relationships more important than technology?
A: Partnerships have been critical to our success in building our product portfolio and $40 billion global supply chain over the past 15 years. These partnerships have helped us with investments for R&D and for entering the marketplace. We have also expanded our networks with U.S. and overseas distribution agreements. Because customers ultimately determine the commercial viability of our products, we have to make something that they want, that delivers real benefits, and then service the heck out of them.
Q: How has Zyvex commercialized its technologies? What factors were key?
A: Once the science was tested, recognized and holding more than 20 patents, then partnerships were developed for applications and products. We worked with intermediate manufacturers to begin making products ranging from the low-hanging fruit of sporting goods and boats to the larger scale and more complex automotive and aerospace areas. Now we focus a lot of our time on understanding possible partners and buyers of the technology.
Q: What are you looking for at this point as a company?
A: We truly believe that the use of carbon atoms in the 21st Century will be as significant as the use of silicon in the 20th century. We will continue expanding our supply chain, partners and customers across the world in a broad spectrum of industries. Our carbon nano-enhanced technology is responsible for setting new standards that win competitions and score record-breaking performances. We intend for our materials to continue to end up in winning performances and in innovative applications for aerospace, marine, defense and automotive. We’d like to see CNT applications continuing as paradigm shifts for industry standards by which products are built and manufactured in record time. We also hope to continue making the world’s strongest materials more useful for companies selling a variety of applications that are more technologically advanced, can perform better and can more strongly compete in the marketplace. An agile company that is willing to co-develop a new product with us is always preferred to a larger company’s R&D group that only wants us to give them free samples.
Q: What are you looking for from TechConnect Conference?
A: After being involved with several large shows in 2011 with our technology demonstrators, we are now focusing on applications, not products. The best of nano discussions happen at Nanotech. We’ve learned a lot in 15 years and would like to share our story to get reactions about the journey from chemistry to commercialization. We value the reach of your large community. With the marketplace finally catching up to the technology, we believe that advanced materials, specifically carbon nanotechnology, are more relevant than ever. We are witnessing a new wave of engineers interested in the performance and benefits of CNT. Colleges and universities have engineering programs that teach CNT and we will see more universities becoming known for their programs and that partner with companies to help produce better performing products to increase the competition.
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