SmartKem is a leading supplier of high performance organic semiconductor materials for the manufacture of truly flexible displays and electronics across a range of applications such as smartwatches, smartphones and tablets.
The overall market for printed electronics is rapidly expanding and global growth forecasts anticipate that this will be a $45 billion industry by 2018. For SmartKem, the most significant area of opportunity is the manufacture of OTFT backplanes for flexible next generation displays.
Display manufacturers such as Panasonic, LG, Sony and Samsung have stated their intent to move to printed OTFT backplanes and make the transition to lower cost conformal displays. As such, SmartKem has reached an important stage in its development with strong demand building for its technology from blue chip customers in Asia and the US.
Led by CEO, Steve Kelly, the company has an experienced management team with a strong heritage in organic semiconductors and a successful track record in building materials-based technology businesses. In addition to this, SmartKem is supported by high profile investors: BASF Venture Capital, Octopus Investments, Finance Wales and the Entrepreneurs Fund.
With series A funding secured, the business was transitioning from the technology development phase to selling a product, with commercial adoption of its technology anticipated within the next 2-3 years. In preparation, SmartKem had begun building up its business development and customer support capability and were ready to address the product implementation strategy – which would require the transfer of a technology package into electronics manufacturers and the support of this technology as manufacturers move into mass production.
To facilitate this programme, the business needed to appoint an experienced Head of Engineering who would manage all the product transfer activities into their customers. This role would be absolutely vital if SmartKem was to establish itself as a leading provider of organic semiconductor materials.
Having exhausted their network, SmartKem retained Intramezzo to undertake the search for a suitable candidate. We have worked within the investor portfolio before and had a strong point of reference, together with a track record in display technology, having worked for Display Data, Liquivista and Plasticlogic.
“Intramezzo were excellent throughout. Their research was thorough, communications were clear and they had the dexterity to adapt to the changes we requested part way into the project”
Steve Kelly, CEO/Founder SmartKem Ltd