Q&A with Landon Mertz, CEO, Cerion Nanomaterials.
Monday, 14 January 2019
1. What do you see as being the most exciting developments taking place in the Nanotechnology sector?
Since the inception of Cerion, I’ve seen the industrial base transition from basic research interest in nanotechnology to fully embracing the technology as a key enabler for enhancing the performance of products or systems. More than ever, we see our industrial customers take nanomaterials we’ve designed for them in the laboratory and transition them to our pilot and industrial scale manufacturing environments. While our industry has significant room for growth, the sheer volume of manufacturing we do for our customers indicates our industry is finally overcoming the nanotechnology hype that was so pervasive over the past few decades.
2. Cerion has worked with some of the world’s largest companies to assist with the incorporation of nanomaterials in their products, where are they seeing the most benefit from nanotechnology at the moment?
The work we do for our customers is nearly always for stealth products not yet introduced to the market. From our vantage point, our customers see the most value from nanotechnology by having access to capabilities for precision control over both size and non-size attributes of the nanomaterial. It is seldom that size alone achieves a customer’s goal. Rather performance is often found by being able to control size along with a wide variety of non-size attributes to achieve breakthroughs for a new product or system (alloys, doping, core/shell, surface functionalization, etc).
Customers utilizing metal or metal oxide nanomaterials are often seeking enhanced properties in the areas of catalysis, optics, electronics, filtration, therapeutics, and coatings, along with many other application areas. For customers utilizing ceramics, they are often seeking enhanced mechanical strength, weight reduction, improved barrier properties, and increased heat, wear, and scratch resistance in their applications.
3. What do you see as the major differences in the advanced materials sector in the U.S compared to Europe?
Advanced material companies in the United States and Europe compete every day at home and abroad for market share with equal tenacity. The biggest point of differentiation is that the regulatory environment in Europe is significantly more challenging to navigate when compared to the United States. For our customers who are commercializing nanomaterials in the EU, this often creates delays to market entry. Conversely, the United States regulatory environment is significantly easier to work within today but not yet well defined and subject to change over the coming decade.
4. What industry (or industries) do you see as being at the forefront of innovation in the advanced materials sector?
Advanced materials are transforming the global manufacturing landscape at a pace not seen previously. For nanomaterials, we see substantial industrial activity in automotive, aerospace, chemicals, electronics and pharma. The persistent theme throughout these industries and others is a need to continually introduce new, disruptive products or substantially improve performance to existing products to capture or retain market share.
In addition, advanced materials have played a very important and significant role in growth of the additive manufacturing market over the past decade. As this technology becomes more pervasive within the industry, we expect to see all types of new material innovations, including ones leveraging nanotechnology.
5. What are you most looking forward to about The Advanced Materials Show 2019?
The Advanced Materials Show is going to be a world-class event that brings together for the first time under one roof innovators from all areas of the advanced materials economy. I am particularly excited to see the most recent material innovations, experience an exchange of ideas, and speak with experts who are addressing key challenges and opportunities in the market today.
Cerion Advanced Materials will be exhibiting at The Advanced Materials Show on stand 1316.
Find out more about our Advisory Panel and see the other experts speakers here: https://advancedmaterialsshow.com/conference/advisory-board/