Category Archives: financial

UK Government CMA should allow Hytera-Sepura deal

The UK government via Greg Clark at BEIS and the Home Office has decided to get its CMA (Competitions and Markets Authority) t0 investigate this irrevocable deal in which the Chinese radio comms company Hytera is to buy Sepura in a cash offer at 20p/share for a relatively small amount of £74 million, which had an expected completion deadline but for such investigations already passed as of mid Q1 2017.

Hytera already supplies the UK government Ministry of Justice (HM Prisons) with its radio sets, so it must be trusted by the UK government.

Hytera is not an SOE (Chinese State Owned Enterprise) and has no Chinese government investment.

Hytera has traded since 1993 in the radio systems segment.

The German authorities also looked at this deal and allowed it to pass in early Q1 2017 (deal too small to be considered and not a security issue).

Its takeover of Sepura plc, a UK radio systems firm, is in no way an issue of UK national security nor does it change market concentration, since Hytera and Sepura products are not currently overlapping (used in the same applications) though they are in the same general communications technology area. Rather it is a sensible strategic move which brings investment to the UK and Cambridge and enables Sepura workers and shareholders to move forward.

The possible UK government intervention threatens all this and if it does unexpectedly block this normal M&A it will have been a betrayal of trust causing untold damage to stakeholders.

Sepura is a UK headquartered business with 5% domestic trade and 95% export trade. This intervention is related only to the 5% of the business.

Sepura’s handsets are used by the UK police forces. These handsets use the TETRA technology. This is being phased out by the end of 2018. Therefore, after this takeover it is a matter of safely decommissioning the products, for which Sepura has extremely tight and regulated vetting. After this short period, the police forces will take on completely new ENS systems (new comms technology), and will have the opportunity safely again to contract these out via the entire market.

The CMA has, in allowing much larger and also security related deals to go ahead, made the parties accept undertakings as part of the deal.

It seems to CIR that the government would do least damage if it allowed Hytera to buy Sepura as per the deal agreed by shareholders and management of both companies in a friendly and co-operative environment.

In doing so, the UK government could put in undertakings for the companies to adhere to between the deal taking place and the end of 2018 when the incumbent Sepura technology is phased out of use.

In doing this, the UK government would have avoided betrayal of trust of all stakeholders in Sepura, its management, staff and shareholders, while acting to cover any (spurious in our view) security issues in the deal. The Sepura company can continue to trade via Hytera’s investments in a similar way and there is less risk to jobs (since Sepura needs the investment and Hytera is a something like a White Knight). Also, shareholders can obtain the cash for the business at the level expected, rather than lose half or all of their investments, which in many retail cases represent savings, pensions, trusts for family and so on. Blocking the deal would be highly disruptive to everyone involved with Sepura. The UK government would be acting in such a way as to negatively impact many of its core support in intervening in this case in this way.

We commend the CMA to move ahead with allowing the deal and making simple undertakings with the highly co-operative Sepura and Hytera businesses in the same way the UK government allowed the nuclear power deal to go through with Chinese involvement.

August News – Cambridge GrapheneTechDays 2015

We welcome you all!

Who Should Attend? 

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Why attend? Pricing

Sponsors & exhibitors marketing | Click for detailed info and pricing

Sponsor Credits: Haydale plc (Lead) FlexEnable (Co-Lead) CGC (Co-Lead) Marks & Clerk LLP (Gold)

The Cambridge Graphene Tech Days 2015 is a leading festival of events over two days for networking and learning more about the latest advances in commercialising Graphene and related materials  in sectors such as electronics, displays, energy storage, composites, packaging, aerospace & defence and automotive.

Airbus & BP will give new presentations on the challenges for Graphene Solutions Providers in their set of industries and will be joined also by other global conglomerates.

The special programme of events will be held mainly in Cambridge’s newly-opening Graphene Building: with an exhibition of technology and tours of new labs as well as a media event, conference and a fine Hall dinner. The expert-led MasterClass covering the value network srtructure and barriers & application prioritisation offer enormous added value to corporate executive leaders.

Introduction from Dr Justin Hayward, CEO of CIR and Co-Director of Cambridge Graphene Days 2015
It is an honour to have the chance to bring together such excellent industrial and entrepreneurial growth companies in the graphene and GRM sector with Cambridge University and its new Graphene Centre Building Hub. Cambridge is perhaps the top global university across all key measures such as teaching and research. It is also home to a burgeoning technology cluster. Great companies have been born & grown to billions in the 25 years that I’ve lived here, but now multinationals also regularly come to have a base in Cambridge to find excellent research, engineering & coding staff, partnerships with top academics and other outsourcing and learning with many other players offering services in the tech cluster. I look forward to an inspiring couple of days of events.

Ray Gibbs, CEO of Haydale commented ”The Cambridge hub is one of the pre-eminent places to go for the highest quality science and application skills. As a leading technological solution provider to this rapidly evolving market sector it made great sense to support this centre of excellence covering graphene and related nano materials, . We believe the conferences and workshops at the Cambridge Graphene Days will showcase the adoption and use of the graphene materials in real products. Haydale’s functionalised graphene technology already is providing ground breaking benefits to organisations involved with composite materials, conductive inks and next generation battery technology”.

Chuck Milligan, CEO, FlexEnable commented ”The relevance of graphene and graphene-like materials to flexible electronics for displays and sensors is clear, and we are proud to be co-sponsors of the Cambridge Graphene Days event – and the opening of the Graphene Building in Cambridge. We believe that our unique manufacturing processes for flexible electronics, together with the exponential growth expected in the flexible display and IoT sensor markets, provide enormous opportunity for this exciting class of materials.”

Professor Andrea Ferrari added “We are very much looking forward to our Cambridge Graphene Technology Day on the 5th of November, when we will showcase industrial applications of graphene and related materials. We are also excited to be hosting high value manufacturing-oriented meetings on the site of the Cambridge Graphene Centre”

To learn more about the Cambridge Graphene Technology Days 2015 please visit http://www.hvm-uk.com/graphene2015

Book now!

Who should attend Cambridge Graphene Days 2015? 5-6 November

Booking online | Info | Why attend? Please call Maya on +44 1223 303500 for help booking and service.

Top 12 Reasons

1 Anyone with an interest in traction of business involving Graphene and GRMs

2 Anyone wishing to understand barriers to adoption and use of Graphene & GRMs

3 Anyone on a science and technology watching brief for Graphene and GRMs

4 Anyone with a startup or entrepreneurial idea for Graphene or GRMs

5 Anyone with business problems to solve that might be influenced or helped by Graphene or GRMs

6 Those wishing to understand the full uptodate and prioritised range of applications and those nearer to and further from market

7 Anyone wanting to get an IPR landscape & investment level update for Graphene and GRMs

8 Anyone wanting to meet new industrial and business entrants into the Graphene and GRM areas

9 People wanting to build quality networks or ecosystems in this set of fields

10 Sector specific players seeking to access solution providers

11 Solutions providers seeking to understand customer pull in a range of sectors

12 Those in related areas of technology such as nanotech, IoT, cleantech who wish to see the potential and synergies with Graphene and GRMs

Booking online | Info | Why attend? Please call Maya on +44 1223 303500 for help booking and service.

FlexEnable named Co-Lead Sponsor of Cambridge Graphene Days 2015

FLEXENABLE Ltd, a leader in development and industrialisation of flexible organic electronics, has announced its decision to co-sponsor the Cambridge Graphene Days 2015 (5-6 November).

The greatest graphene and GRM business event in the world in 2015.

“Perhaps the greatest graphene and GRM business event in the world in 2015.”

The Cambridge Graphene Days 2015 is a prime festival of events over two days for networking and learning more about the latest advances in commercialising Graphene and related materials  in sectors such as electronics, displays, energy storage, composites, packaging, aerospace & defence and automotive. The special set of events includes a program of events to be held mainly in Cambridge’s newly opened Graphene Building, with an exhibition of technology and tours of labs as well as a media event, conference and dinner at King’s College. Uniquely, leaders will discuss in a structured masterclass, the value network for graphene and GRMs and how barriers to adoption and use can be removed with services and networks.

Chuck Milligan, CEO, FlexEnable commented ”The relevance of graphene and graphene-like materials to flexible electronics for displays and sensors is clear, and we are proud to be co-sponsors of the Cambridge Graphene Days event – and the opening of the Graphene Building in Cambridge. We believe that our unique manufacturing processes for flexible electronics, together with the exponential growth expected in the flexible display and IoT sensor markets,  provide enormous opportunity for this exciting class of materials.”

Professor Andrea Ferrari added “We are very much looking forward to our Cambridge Graphene Technology Day on the 5th of November, when we will showcase industrial applications of graphene and related materials. We are also excited to be hosting high value manufacturing-oriented meetings on the site of the Cambridge Graphene Centre”.
For further information on development and industrialisation of flexible organic electronics please visit www.flexenable.com. To learn more about the Cambridge Graphene Days 2015 please visit http://www.hvm-uk.com/graphene2015

With over a decade of experience, IP development and technology awards, FlexEnable works together with customers to drive innovation across flexible sensors, smart systems and video-rate displays. FlexEnable‘s proven technology platform enables new mobile products, wearables, surface displays and imaging systems.

Cambridge Graphene Days event-set, available as a package via CIR here below, include:

a. MASTERCLASS – this includes media event and dinner at King’s College & is CPD Certified (day 1)

b. MEDIA EVENT & TOURS of LABS  – with Cambridge University “CEO” & Vice Chancellor, Professor Leszek Borysiewicz FRS FRCP (day 1)

c. EXHIBITIONS of real graphene and GRM technologies (both days)

d. 3rd CIR GRAPHENE BUSINESS CONFERENCE – (day 2) Chaired by Professor Andrea Ferrari, Head, Cambridge Graphene Centre, Chair, Graphene Flagship – Fantastic Panel & Speaker Lineup.

Haydale plc are confirmed Lead Sponsors of #CGD15. All takes place in the BRAND NEW CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY GRAPHENE BUILDING with lab tours available throughout the two days of events.

Book now!

Haydale Named Lead Sponsor for Cambridge Graphene Days 2015

Haydale Ltd., a leader in the development of enhanced graphene and nanoparticulate materials, has announced its decision to sponsor the Cambridge Graphene Days (5-6 November 2015).

The Cambridge Graphene Days is a prime event for networking and learning more about the latest advances in commercialising Graphene and related materials in sectors such as electronics, displays, energy storage, composite, packaging, aerospace & defence and automotive. The festival of events includes a program of events to be held mainly in Cambridge’s new Graphene Building, with an exhibition of technology and tours of labs as well as a media event, conference and dinner at King’s College.

Ray Gibbs, CEO of Haydale commented ”The Cambridge hub is one of the pre-eminent places to go for the highest quality science and application skills. As a leading technological solution provider to this rapidly evolving market sector it made great sense to support this centre of excellence covering graphene and related nano materials, . We believe the conferences and workshops at the Cambridge Graphene Days will showcase the adoption and use of the graphene materials in real products. Haydale’s functionalised graphene technology already is providing ground breaking benefits to organisations involved with composite materials, conductive inks and next generation battery technology”.

Professor Andrea Ferrari added “We are very much looking forward to our Cambridge Graphene Day on the 5th of November, when we will showcase industrial applications of graphene and related materials. We are also excited to be hosting high value manufacturing-oriented meetings on the site of the Cambridge Graphene Centre”

For further information on leading edge functionalised graphene application solutions please visit www.haydale.com or contact Haydale Ltd. on +44-1269-842946 / info@haydale.com.

To book to join and learn more about participating in the Cambridge Graphene Days #CGD15 please visit http://www.hvm-uk.com/graphene2015

Haydale , based in South Wales, UK and housed in a purpose-built facility for processing and handling nanomaterials, is facilitating the application of graphenes and other nanomaterials in fields such as inks, sensors, energy storage, photovoltaics, composites, paints and coatings. Haydale has developed a patent-pending proprietary scalable plasma process to functionalise graphene and other nanomaterials.

Cambridge Graphene Days #CGD15 please visit http://www.hvm-uk.com/graphene2015

Top 4 Frogs Being Boiled in Gradually-Heated Water

1. Growth of government taxation

You know the old stories. Napoleon levied an income tax to support his wars 200 years ago. This was supposed at the time to be temporary. But it stuck.

When the patriots decided to fight the British, it was over tax on goods at just 2%! 125 years later income tax in the USA was 7% rising to 39% for people earning today’s equivalent of $11 million. That 39% was their “supertax”. It was unthinkable to charge normal people more than 7% tax. Today, that same supertax kicks in in the UK at just £30,000 or so, and millions pay it.

Corporation tax was brought in much later, again during a war, and again, it was meant to be temporary. Message: new interventions are not temporary, and they tend to start on the fringes and by stealth they hit more and more people.

 

2. Growth of government spending

It is clear that government spending is on a very long run upward trend. Let us restrict ourselves to the last 100 years or so to the beginning of the first world war, when spending was less than 15% of GDP. Public pensions were tiny, in their infancy. There was no national health project. People knew their doctors. Doctors were pillars of society who made their wealthier clients pay at the full rate, and helped, sometimes with the assistance of those wealthier clients, the poorer ones. Generally people were concerned with the balance of trade. They believed in cutting the cloth, living within your means and so on.

But more than that: poorer people did not expect to be helped by the richer. There was dignity: they wanted to be self-reliant. They did not feel that they had a claim on the money of the richer people. Many of them would feel uncomfortable in accepting any offered help. Giving was a choice for the richer. And in turn, it was harder to give to people to help them in need. There was dignity among both “categories” wealthy and needy. Perhaps there was less envy. There was certainly less coercion and control from governments, while people and communities supported each other and adapted according to their situations. That is the rose-tinted picture of the UK before the first world war. How untrue is it?

3. Growth of the number of government areas of intervention

We have also invented a maze of other taxes, special reliefs and the effect has been to swell the bureaucracy and support an entire industry of accountants in the public and private sector. This is reflected in many tens and hundreds of thousands of pages of “tax code and law”.

To my mind, if we all had the physicist’s mindset, one of approximation and simplification, we would never have gone in the direction we have. Instead, the bean-counter mindset has prevailed, and complications have mushroomed.

Just as an exercise, I call for a competition to write down, from scratch, a “One Page Tax Code”, let’s call it the One Page Tax Code Project, in which there is a prize for the best and simplest such document, which could plausibly give a greatly simplified alternative to the hopeless and unintuitive spaghetti of taxation that we currently entertain, to our great cost and lack of competitiveness. Ideally, such a one-pager should enable, for example, individuals to calculate their income tax (if any is included) in their heads, and likewise (if any included) corporation tax. The one-pager should indicate what level of funding might be expected or is supposed to be obtained from the new system (and again for some, the exact amount might be tweaked by changing just one, or two, variables in the very simple system).

I believe one could slash the code right down, without upsetting many people. We’d be unimaginably more efficient and effective. We’d be releasing so many bureaucrats to pull with not against us economically. We’d also be making life easier and less tedious for so many people in businesses and jobs around the country.

This is fun! Let’s do it…

4. Growth of government

This follows directly from the above trends. It’s been growing for centuries in the UK. Is this inexorable? When does it become “too much”? Did we reach that many years ago, and should we now push back?

In the 20th century, apart from falls from extremely high levels of GDP spend just after both world wars, only Margaret Thatcher succeeded in reducing government and spending as a fraction of total GDP. She, seemingly very modestly, reduced it by about 5 percentage points from 43.5% to 39% between the 11 years of 1979 and 1990, i.e. an average rate of decrease of less than half a point a year. But within 6 months of her overthrow and other conservatives taking on power, it had all been erased and we back at the highest level again! That modest reduction over such a long period of time caused such ructions (or were those ructions just inherent to that era, that situation?) It is hard to see how any current politicians would be able to achieve such a thing. Most of them don’t want to. Incredibly, they want to continue to intervene more, not less! Extraordinary!

The alternative is further growth over time of government…brings me back to the title of this blog. That is what we face.

—-

Like the frogs, we don’t jump out soon enough. We simply get cooked.

The Value of the Smart Systems Summit 2014 1-2 October London IoD

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This is a special summit culminating 7 years of smart systems conferences within various segments

We form media partnerships with those who can extend our reach further

We are a strategy consultancy rather than an event organiser following instructions

We specialise in market research, using contact referrals and social media to obtain top speakers year after year

The value is in the bringing together of industry leaders beyond your own lists, with government and other academic groups

Our databases are large, from 12 years of conferences with 3,200 delegates

Network with industry innovators to create and develop critical new business collaborations and to exchange knowledge

Minimize risk by keeping up with technology developments – where is the industry going

Bring in cross-over engineering situations that might lend valuable ideas to work already being done

The spice of high level events in the capital, a greater chance of serendipity in networking

We’re bringing together top people from no fewer than 21 conferences in Cambridge and Oxford on these topics – so it’ll be a unique group, not the same people

If communications are important to you, this will be a well-covered conference in social media and in print

It will quickly generate a legacy website and slides for the site Slideshare, which are looked at by delegates and referred to others over time, something which builds over a long period

Gain industry recognition for yourself and your company through speaking, roundtable participation

For buyers – what new systems, products and services are there to buy?

It’s a prestigious venue – one of the best in the UK

It’s in a central location easy to reach from all directions –  In the capital, in exciting West London, near parliament.

Book now via this link

Smart X: Exponential new experiences via the industrial internet

Smart X is taking off in a big way, according to the Chairman of the Smart Homes Conference 2013 which took place in Cambridge Q4.

But there are risks of great inefficiency and impediment to the evolution of the industrial internet because the technology or innovation is often still built within a silo, incompatible from hardware or software or data sharing with other innovations.

This is a potential barrier to maximally speedy development and is likely in part to be due to the use of business models attempting to appropriate value to investors and entrepreneurs having this effect.

ARM, the Lead Sponsor of the 2013 conference, therefore noted that we should be looking for business models and strategies to make money from Smart X such that are open and enable rapid development and crossovers.

Interoperability of devices will be important,  while data needs to kept secure. Innovation needs to be driven by diversity.

Telenor stated that the 10 billion smart home devices currently, would go to 50 billion by 2020. They noted that the value of a network grows rapidly with the number of connected devices, but more also with the effective use of the data shared.

This year Cambridge Investment Research combines its Smart Series conferences under the banner Smart X. We will return to interoperability. We will look careful at monetisation and business models. More to be announced!

We look to X = Grids and Energy 3-4 June in Cambridge. Then we move to other cities. There is also a related industrial conference series called HVM, which this year focused on carbon-based functional materials such as graphene, diamonds, carbon black and nanotubes.

These event series each have great potential and together it is exponential!

We look forward potentially to greeting you in person at one of these sensational events, hopefully starting this summer in Cambridge.

Watch this space!

 

 

 

 

HVM Graphene Conference Cambridge 2013 Programme Lineup!

HVMG13 Information | Bookings

Programme for 5 November 2013 HVMG Conference

 

Opening Session – Introduction & Graphene Basics: Functional Materials
10:00 Mike McCreary, Director, CIR Strategy
- Conference introduction
10:05 Professor Peter Dobson, Oxford University Nanomaterials – Chairman’s Introduction
10:20 Prof Andrea Ferrari, Cambridge University 
& Head, Cambridge Graphene Centre
Overview of the Applications of Graphene
10:35 Dr Patrick Frantz, CEO, Cambridge Graphene Platform
Low Cost Graphene & 2D Layered Material Inks for Printed Electronics
10:50 Dr Steve Thomas, CIT Ltd
Conductive materials – market uses & experiences
11:05 Panel with speakers & moderator & Prof Johnny Coleman Trinity College Dublin
11:30 Coffee break
Session 2 – Additive manufacturing, electronics, photonics
11:50 Dr Mike Banach, VP, Plastic Logic
Shaping the next industrial revolution
12:05 Dr David Brown, CTO, Canatu
Scaling of Carbon NanoBud film production for commercial apps in touch and display devices
12:20 Dr Richard van Rijn, CTO, Applied Nanolayers
High volume quality manufacture of graphene
12:30 Dr Kate Stone, Novalia
Creative printed electronics
12:35 Peter Towler, Director, BritonEMS part of OSI Electronics – What to expect from an EMS Supplier

12:40 Panel with Moderator Professor Ferrari & Dr Rob Harvey, AtomJet

13:05 Lunch and Exhibitions
Session 3 – Commercialisation Cases & other materials & applications
14:05 Dr Krzysztof Koziol, Chief Scientist, Cambridge Nanosystems Ltd
14:15 Professor Jonathan Coleman,
Layered materials: from tiny things to advanced applications
14:30 Professor Richard Palmer, Founder, Nanoscale Labs, Birmingham University
Prospects for massive scale-up from nano research in biochips & catalysis
14:50 Dr Nathan Hill, Strategy Director, National Graphene Institute – Commercialisation strategies

15:10 Panel with Moderator Del Stark CEO, Nanopro

15:30 Tea break
Final Session – Strategy for UK HVM & Graphene
16:00 Dr Jani Kivioja, Head, Nokia Research Center
Graphene – What is the commercial viability of short term applications?
16:30 Nick Coutts MA; Former IBM VP, CIR Strategy
Routes to Value for Graphene
16:40 Dr Martin Kemp, NanoKTN
Graphene commercialisation – Summary of industry consultation workshops
16:55 Professor Sir Michael Gregory CBE, Head, IfM
High Value Manufacturing Roadmaps
17:05 Panel with Professor Sir Mike Gregory CBE; Chairman’s Summary
17:30 Networking & Drinks Reception

Please contact 01223 303500 to speak to the organiser of HVMG13 directly.

 

Smart Homes: a hotbed for IoT?

SHCP13 | Bookings

Theme: Connected intelligence in 4 sizzlng sessions

1. Presence & the connected building; Services to the smart home; The comfortable, convenient home; Smart cities – smart citizens; Entrepreneur programmes; Access to innovation funds for SMEs;

2. Intelligent Water: monitoring, meters; sensors; controls; displays; integration.

3. Intelligent Heat & Energy; Heating smart communities; Storage & controls; Energy efficiency; Automation via devices;

4. IoT entrepreneurship;

Imagine you could be “present” in your home without having to be there, by influencing the many settings, appliances, deliveries, security remotely, and all with a minimum of fuss. It could be a matter of switching heating systems on and off from the airport. It might be changing the setting on a security system. The supply of your favourite food might not need to be updated because you are away for a week.

When you are there, the temperature in rooms will automatically adjust to the circumstances – without your intervention, unless you wish to make a change, for example, for visitors you believe may have different comfort zones. Your smart home automates intelligently for you.

A key aspect of this is service design: if, as the number of connected devices in the home increases, the complexity of managing the home goes up, then it won’t work for the householders. With the technology and automation needs to come simplicity in the service model.

So how can the internet of things be used to get our house to tell us (and our neighbours and the police) when we are being burgled, and switch on alarms and camera recordings that are sent to our smartphones via the web in real time?

How can our home automation systems minimise our bills as energy prices rise? Our energy use? Our footprint?

As regards heat and water technologies – how can new offerings help integrate into the smart home, smart community and smart city? And in the wider context, how can technology enable the “smart citizen” interacting at all the levels there?

And what programmes are out there for entrepreneurs to gain access to government matched funding for research or marketing of products and services in these sectors?

What can be done to reduce the allocation of funds to large utility players to the apparent exclusion of smaller companies who innovate strongly?

The 8th Smart Homes & Cleanpower Conference 2013 Expo (SHCP13 | Bookings) will take place at Buckingham House Conference Centre, Murray Edwards College, Cambridge University CB3 0DF on 5 November 2013, and the forum will discuss the above questions in pleasant and relaxed modern conference surrounds, just half a mile from the beautiful mediaeval centre of the town.

The pricing is very modest at £100 for independent full-time entrepreneurs seeking investment & students; £195 for investors, government and academics (a £130 reduction) & £325 for full- and part-time executives.

Fast-track bookings can be made by calling 01223 303500 or hitting this mailto link and sending an email with name, affiliation, and telephone and the CIR SHCP13 Team will do the rest!