BluGlass (ASX:BLG) on commercialising RPCVD, its revolutionary semiconductor technology


by Carolyn Herbert

Transcription of Finance News Network Interview with BluGlass Limited (ASX:BLG) Managing Director and CEO, Giles Bourne

Carolyn Herbert: Hello I’m Carolyn Herbert from the Finance News Network and joining me from semi-conductor technology developer, BluGlass Limited (ASX:BLG) is Managing Director and CEO, Giles Bourne. Giles, welcome to FNN.

Giles Bourne: Thank you Carolyn.

Carolyn Herbert: For investors who aren’t familiar with the company, can you start by giving us an introduction to BluGlass?

Giles Bourne: Our technology is a process and equipment for developing high efficiency optimum electronic devices, such as LEDs, solar cells, power electronics. The technology’s called Remote Plasma Chemical Vapour Deposition, quite a mouthful, also known as RPCVD. It’s a low temperature deposition technology that allows the production of these high efficiency applications.

The technology came out of Macquarie University about a decade ago, it was some really interesting development that was going on there. We saw the opportunity; we bought the technology from the university, who still remain a major shareholder of the company. And from there we listed the company, raised capital and continued the R&D cycle up until this point now, where we’re pushing towards commercialisation.

Carolyn Herbert: You’ve just released your first half results for 2017. What were the highlights?

Giles Bourne: It’s been a very interesting half-year for us, very good. So the highlights really for us is that we’ve talked about scaling to our investors, we scaled up one of our key reactors, which brings uniformity in line with a two-inch equivalent wafer. We also signed a major foundry order as well. We’ve been developing a foundry business and we had our biggest ever order, came in at the backend of last year. Furthermore, we entered into an agreement with a company called IQE (AIM:IQE), a UK based semi-conductor foundry business. It’s been a very good collaboration for the business, because it opens up some new avenues for us.

And then Lumileds, which is one of the leading LED companies, we’ve been working with for a number of years now. We actually achieved the first phase of our collaboration with them and now we’re well and truly on track, in the second phase. And really into the second phase is when we start to talk about commercialisation of the technology with them.

Carolyn Herbert: Now to the adoption of your technology. Can you tell us about the agreement with IQE?

Giles Bourne: IQE is one of the newer agreements we’ve put in place. They’re a leading UK semi-conductor foundry business, very active in RF in satellite, in base station communications and so on and so forth. And they were looking to enhance their product portfolio, by using our low temperature technology called RPCVD. So we’ve been using that with them in collaboration, to really have a performance play on some of their technology applications. And so they’re a growing foundry business with a very wide diverse customer base, in the semi-conductor industry.

Carolyn Herbert: What other collaboration agreements do you have in place?

Giles Bourne: The other ones that I mentioned earlier with Lumileds, who are the leading developers of LED applications. For example, most automotive LEDs they would have a Lumiled product in them, they dominate the lighting market, the flash market. And they’re striving for greater efficiency. So we’ve a collaboration with them, which is a phase collaboration. The first phase we achieved at the end of last year, which is a significant technical hurdle. The second phase we’re well and truly involved in now. And we expect at the end of the second phase, we’ll enter into a commercial agreement with Lumileds.

And then aside from Lumileds, we’re also working with a company called HC SemiTeck Corp and they’re one of the leading Chinese LED manufacturers. And so we have another project, which is again to do with efficiency, improving efficiency of their devices.

Carolyn Herbert: What’s the size of the market for your technology and your patent position?

Giles Bourne: The market, you can break it down to many different applications. The one we’ve predominantly focused on has been LEDs, and that’s said to grow to $216 billion by the year 2024. So it’s a huge market and we see ourselves as able to provide efficiencies to that market, in terms of performance efficiencies. So there we’re entering into a very big market and we’re just on the cusp of that, through these big collaboration agreements.

So aside from LEDs there’re other applications, which we’re not experts on, but some of the people we’re working with are experts on. Things like power electronics, like laser diodes. And so we have customers in that space, through our foundry agreement, which opens up some other very big and exciting markets. But most of our work to date really has been LED based.

And underpinning all of that, we have a bunch of patents. So we bought patents off Macquarie University and then we’ve subsequently filed our own. And we now have 47 granted patents and about 18 applications in play. And we keep building on that portfolio, because that is the core asset of what we have.

Carolyn Herbert: Now to finances. What’s your cash position and are you fully funded?

Giles Bourne: I mentioned earlier that we did two capital raisings last year and during the calendar year. And we also did a share purchase plan and we also received the R&D tax rebate. So all in all, we’ve got enough cash in the business that takes us to a balance of over $10 million, as we start this calendar year. And that at our burn rate, gives us about three years of cash in normal operations. And we feel that’s sufficient cash to get us through our commercialisation phase of the business.

Carolyn Herbert: Finally Giles. What’s your focus for the next 12 months and your long-term ambition for the company?

Giles Bourne: Well it’s a pretty exciting 12 months ahead of us. For us it’s a combination of improving on the technology, and we’ve got a number of technology milestones that we have to get through. But it’s also a year of commercialisation, when we actually see the fruits of this decade of research that we’ve been doing. And we’d like to convert that work we’re doing, into a commercial agreement. And with the likes of Lumileds and some of the other activities that we’re doing, we see that as being our primary focus.

On top of that we have this foundry business, which generates revenue for BluGlass and we will grow on that as well, because that opens up opportunities for the next generation of our technology.

Carolyn Herbert: Giles Bourne, thanks for the introduction to BluGlass.

Giles Bourne: Thank you.