Boron Molecular, CSIRO join forces with South Korean manufacturer to develop flexible electronics


Melbourne-based company Boron Molecular has teamed up with Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, and South Korean manufacturer the Kyung-In Synthetic Corporation (KISCO) to develop the next generation of flexible phone screens and other high tech products.

The partnership agreement will see CSIRO and KISCO both take a minority shareholding in Boron Molecular, which will allow the company to grow its manufacturing capacity in Australia and to further commercialise CSIRO’s technology in new global markets via KISCO’s international links and production capacity.

Zoran Manev, Managing Director of Boron Molecular, said Boron Molecular and KISCO will use a suite of CSIRO technologies to enable manufacturing of high purity precision engineered polymers for flexible electronics, and many other applications in health, industry and agriculture.

“We thank CSIRO for their long-term trust in, and support for our company,” Mr Manev added.

“Now with the manufacturing capability, international reach and reputation of KISCO, we can offer CSIRO’s chemical technologies at scale to a global market.”

Dr John Tsanaktsidis, Advanced Fibres and Chemical Industries Research Director at CSIRO, said the agreement will allow CSIRO to continue to use its science to strengthen local businesses and create future industries and jobs.

“The new agreement will bolster Australia’s sovereign manufacturing capability, create local jobs and open the door for Boron Molecular to further commercialise CSIRO’s technology,” Dr Tsanaktsidis said.

“Our partnership with KISCO and Boron Molecular builds on over 40 years of CSIRO’s technological leadership in chemical processing and polymers, which has led to Australia’s plastic banknote technology, extended wear contact lenses, biodegradable plastics for biomedical applications, and many other products.”

KISCO CEO and President Dr Sung Yong Cho said the three parties will initially focus on developing flexible electronics.

“We’re looking forward to making the first products from this new partnership available to Korean electronics companies this year,” Dr Cho said.

“CSIRO is a powerhouse of chemistry and materials research and through our partnership with Boron Molecular we can scale up and deliver this research to new markets.”

KISCO is a South Korean manufacturer of colours and chemical solutions including dyes, inks, fine chemicals and materials for textiles, food, agriculture and electronics. The company has large-scale production facilities in 11 plants across Korea, China and Turkey.

Boron Molecular, which originally spun out of CSIRO 20 years ago, is an Australian company with manufacturing facilities in Melbourne and Raleigh, NC. In 2015 the company signed a master license agreement with CSIRO for the commercial exploitation of a suite of CSIRO polymer and advanced material technologies including RAFT.

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