BluGlass Limited (ASX:BLG) Managing Director, Giles Bourne talks about the results of the company's recent Share Purchase Plan (SPP) and the commencement of work to upgrade its Silverwater semi-conductor foundry.
Jessica Amir: Hello I’m Jessica Amir for the Finance News Network with BluGlass Limited (ASX:BLG) Managing Director, Giles Bourne. Hi Giles, welcome back.
Giles Bourne: Hi Jessica.
Jessica Amir: For those who aren’t familiar, you’ve just completed a capital raising, an institutional placement and a share purchase plan, raising over $11 million. But just remind our audience, what was the purpose of the raise?
Giles Bourne: Yes we’ve just completed a capital raise. And the reason why we did it is we’re getting urgent need to expand our facilities, because of existing opportunities that we’re working on. But increasingly, more and more interest in our technology. So the money that we’ve raised now is really largely being dedicated towards expanding our facilities. In addition, we are also going to be scaling up our technology as part of the facilities upgrade.
Jessica Amir: Now to the facility upgrade. When does work kick off and what can we expect?
Giles Bourne: The upgrade of the facility has already commenced. In fact, we started the planning before we did the capital raise, but we couldn’t actually start the actual investment in the facility, until we completed the capital raise. So it’s well and truly underway. And the reason as I say that we’re doing this facilities upgrade, because we’ve got increasing pressure from existing collaboration partners, but increasing interest from new opportunities for our RPCVD.
So we need to expand the facilities to address existing opportunities and look at new ones. And as you’re aware, we’re also working on a foundry business as well, and that’s a growing opportunity for BluGlass. And so we want to deliver extra capacity of the foundry. But increasingly, we need to show the ability of our RPCVD technology to be scaled up into a production platform. And so that also goes hand in glove with the facilities upgrade.
Jessica Amir: Will there be an impact to your existing facility while that upgrade’s occurring, and when can we expect it to be completed?
Giles Bourne: We expect minimal impact on our existing operations. Essentially what we have is a warehouse, an empty warehouse separate to our main facilities where the upgrade’s taking place, or facilities upgrade. And our labs will be essentially uninterrupted. So we’ll continue with all our existing work that we’re doing for our existing collaboration partners, with minimal impact.
We effectively have two streams of activity going. We’ve got the people working on the technology and our existing partners, and then we’ve got a team dedicated to the facilities upgrade. So it’s a really high priority opportunity for us, so we are putting a lot of emphasis to get this up and running as quickly as we can.
Jessica Amir: You mentioned your foundry business your service arm, which is called EpiBlu. How’s that progressing?
Giles Bourne: That’s going really well. I mean, we’ve been doing this foundry work for quite sometime, but we formally put it into a business called EpiBlu, last year. And we hired a VP of business development in the US, Brad Siskavich. In fact, he’s just been with us in Australia for the last week or so, working with our team. We intend to put a lot more emphasis on this business, because it is really strategic for us to give us an opportunity, to demonstrate our RPCVD capability.
And so as a result of that, we’re having a much greater presence at industry conferences. We’ve been at things like Photonics West this year, Compound Semiconductor conferences and many others as well. And we will continue to attend other conferences during the year, with a booth, a presence there to make people entirely aware of the RPCVD technology, and how it can be applied across lots of different applications. So we expect this business to be a growing opportunity for BluGlass.
Jessica Amir: Lastly now, what does the second half of this year hold for you?
Giles Bourne: It’s going to be a lot of activity at BluGlass in the next half. Obviously the facilities upgrade, which is consuming a lot of time and resources to actually make sure we bring our facilities online, as quickly as possible. But equally, we have the existing collaborations that we’ve talked about before. For example there’s Lumileds, who we’ve been working with on standard LED lights and high performance LED lights. We would like to drive that all the way through to commercialisation. So that becomes a high, or still remains a high priority item for our technology team.
Equally we’ve been working very closely with some of our consultants across the globe. There’s one we’ve talked about before called, Mike Krames and he’s from the industry, he’s very well known to the industry. He’s advising the company on these strategic markets and helping guide us through this transition, from R&D into commercialisation. So it’s going to be a very busy year for us, or half year and beyond, but really exciting opportunities.
Jessica Amir: Giles Bourne, thank you so much for the update.
Giles Bourne: Thank you so much Jessica.