Team

Vítor Abrantes

Founder & CEO

Mechanical & Materials Eng.

Vitor is a self-made entrepreneur with experience in Mechanical Engineering and attended a Materials Engineering Master Course from the University of Aveiro (Portugal). Since 2013, Vitor was driven by curiosity to develop the most sustainable and efficient production method for graphene materials. Receiving the “Business Idea Award 2014” from Dow Chemicals, 2nd on “EDP Innovation Award 2014” and “Henkel start-up award 2018” for his entrepreneurial spirit, technical innovation, and management skills. A motivated and determined person that invested every asset he had to prove successfully that the concept technology and business model are the keys to unlocking graphene potential and its commercialization.

Bruno Figueiredo

Founder & Co-CEO

PhD Chemical Engineer

Bruno has a PhD degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Aveiro (Portugal). He was elected as a member of the 2017 Industry class at Forbes 30 under 30. His main interests are related to known and novel materials and their commercial applications. He has been a graphene evangelist, researching this nanomaterial daily since 2014. He has a strong aptitude to set the direction and focus of his teammates, ensuring that they have the tools and resources to do their jobs. He connects researchers, suppliers, producers, and buyers by implementing market-leading graphene-based technology and business.

Rui Silva

Founder & CTO

MsC Chemical Engineer

Rui is an entrepreneur and researcher with an MSc degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Aveiro (Portugal). His former professional experience as a production manager and product development provides him with the needed skill sets required for an efficient operation of Graphenest’s production facility. Rui’s expertise drives the future development of Graphenest’s technical processing unit, being an important guiding force towards the improvement of Graphenest’s systems, as well as the development of Graphenest’s new solutions/products.

Sara Barros

Technology Liaison

PhD Chemical Engineer

Sara has a PhD degree in Materials Science from Universitat Jaume I (Spain) and more than 6 years of professional experience in R&D as a researcher in cooperation projects with industry partners. Her knowledge in materials synthesis and characterization gives her the ability to match customers’ requirements with new materials development. She is experienced in developing cooperation protocols as well as managing communication with vast heterogeneous groups. Currently, she is the Graphenest’s Technology Liaison framing different technologies with the company’s vision. She enables a close working relationship between organizations establishing cooperation protocols and partnerships.

Richard Akam

International Business Developer

MBA & Applied Chemistry degree

Richard holds an MBA and a Higher National Diploma in Applied Chemistry specializing in Polymers and Plastics (United Kingdom). He is an international business director with 40+ years of experience in large corporations with €2Mn+ MoM monthly sales track record. He was responsible for managed sales in Europe and Asia for Evonik, Degussa, and Sun Chemical within the coatings, adhesives, inks, dispersions, rubber, plastics, and batteries markets. His technical understanding of the applications and raw materials combined with his market knowledge will enable a clear and more successful implementation of Graphenest mission and long-term goals.

João Rodrigues

R&D and Innovation

MsC Micro and Nanotechnology Engineering

João has an MSc degree in Micro and Nanotechnology Engineering from FCT NOVA (Portugal), and acquired extensive knowledge in 2D materials synthesis and characterization. With his hands-on laboratory experience and scientific know-how, he is able to perform several chemical, physical and electrical characterizations of graphene-based materials, inks, and coatings, with a major focus on EMI shielding applications. He is part of Graphenest’s R&D and Innovation team.

Cristina Correia

R&D and Innovation

MsC Chemical Engineer

Cristina has an MSc degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Aveiro (Portugal) and her dissertation was carried out at CICECO – Instituto de Materials de Aveiro entitled “Capturing CO2 with Ionic Liquids”. She started her industrial career in Kemet Electronics as an intern at the Electrolytic Innovation Center where she acquired knowledge in the field of electrolytic capacitors. She is currently part of Graphenest’s R&D and Innovation team developing new products and/or improving existing ones.

Sofia Arede

Executive Assistant

Bachelor of Business Management

Sofia has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of Algarve (Portugal). Her professional experience in several companies of different types of activity (energy, food tech, hospitality, and public services) gave her the tools to better adapt to a multitude of business environments. She has more than 10 years of experience in preparing and monitoring companies for quality standards. Sofia is currently holding the position of Executive Assistant at Graphenest.

Mission

To become fundamental by providing innovative and leading graphene-based shielding technology and IP solutions and by partnering with the industry to co-develop critical next-generation products within the E-mobility market.

Vision

To bring disruptive sustainable graphene-based shielding solutions and technology to our everyday products.

Track Record

Graphenest S.A. was founded in 2015 by three young Portuguese entrepreneurs with a total investment of more than EUR 1.5 M from Portugal Ventures (a Portuguese venture capital company). Graphenest’s initial endeavor was related to the design, development, and optimization of a proprietary state-of-the-art graphene production technology. Graphenest was part of the class of 2017 of the international acceleration program AdMaCom, and later the same year became an Associated Member of Europe’s biggest research initiative: The Graphene Flagship. In 2018, Graphenest was the only foreign company to be invited to participate in Techstars Autonomous Technology Accelerator (Boston, MA) with the United States Air Force, which was focusing on companies developing drone and counter-drone technology. Currently, the team is composed of 8 highly talented people with a vast scientific and industrial background in chemical, mechanical, physics, and electronics engineering, as well as an experienced technical business developer.

Value Proposition

Graphenest aims at the development and implementation of the next generation of Electromagnetic Shielding Graphene-based Solutions for the electric mobility market, helping Suppliers Tiers 1 & 2 manufacturers to:

Comply with industry regulations and standards

Europe imports large amounts of ore, as well as high amounts of refined metals, processed metal compounds, and alloys. However, Europe is flowing towards the implementation of more restricted imports of metals, guiding industry to the commitment of responsible sourcing to reduce mining pollution and enhance sustainability.

Meet OEM requirements

policymakers and regulatory bodies are implementing new goals and laws for the reduction of the industry’s carbon footprint. The European Commission proposes to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, setting Europe on a responsible path to becoming climate neutral by 2050. Simultaneously, the European Union is proposing that all new cars sold from 2035 should have zero emissions putting a lot of pressure on the OEMs.

Decrease the cost and production times

the typically metal-based solutions are produced in energy- and time-intensive processes. For instance – Coaxial cables alternatives can be produced 50x times faster by replacing slower metal braiding processes.

Enhance shielding and weight performance

the EVs are still heavy (+30% more than their combustion counterpart) therefore possess low mileage autonomy due to the usage of heavy metal-based solutions that are transversal to all used components. In this regard, battery life expectancy remains low: the lifespan of EV batteries is of high importance, due to the power source for an electric car being an expensive component to replace. As the industry assembles more vehicles with battery packs, lifetime management of a battery is an important aspect for the OEM. With EV the shielding issues are magnified. The large magnetic field between the battery cables and the engine, as well as the battery and the charger, can negatively affect electronic systems in the vehicle. EMI originated from external sources is also a cause for concern, as it can harm the battery and all of its associated electronic circuits. This topic is of high importance in upcoming EV technologies such as 5G and 6G communications.