HPQ Silicon partners with the french start-up Novacium

HPQ Silicon Inc., an innovative silicon solutions and technology development company, informs shareholders that it has partnered with three leading French research engineers to create Novacium, a “jeune entreprise innovante (J.E.I)” based in Lyon, France.

Novacium’s three founding research engineers, Jed KRAIEM Ph.D., Oleksiy NICHIPORUK Ph.D., and Julien DEGOULANGE Ph.D. have over 50 years of combined experience in developing innovative processes for renewable energy; this includes hydrogen production via hydrolysis, photovoltaic processes, as well as materials for batteries and energy storage. In addition, the team has world-renowned expertise in producing and purifying Silicon.

Novacium’s Chief Operating Officer (“COO”), Mr. Jed KRAIEM, received his Ph.D. from the National Institute of Applied Sciences in Lyon in 2005; he then worked for the CNRS and FerroPEM (now Ferroglobe) as Valorization engineer in order to develop an innovative process for crystallization and purifying Silicon for Photovoltaics. He was subsequently approached by Apollon Solar SAS, a French start-up, which recruited him to become the Innovation Director and later promoted him to General Manager, a position he held until recently.

Novacium’s Chief Technical Officer (“CTO”), Mr. Oleksiy NICHIPORUK, earned his Ph.D. from the National Institute of Applied Sciences in Lyon in 2005; he then joined PHOTOWATT, the leading French producer of solar cells and panels, as an R&D engineer to work on continuous process improvement. In 2012, he joined the team at Apollon Solar as R&D engineer and was soon promoted to CTO due to his extensive expertise, a position he held until recently.

Novacium’s Chief Innovation Officer (“CIO”), Mr. Julien DEGOULANGE, obtained his Ph.D. from the Polytechnic Institute in Grenoble in 2008 (his thesis was on purifying Si Metallurgy via plasma), he then spent a year working for NNTNU/SINTEF in Norway on Silicon crystallization as a postdoc. He went on to joint Apollon Solar in 2010 as an R&D engineer and was later promoted to Head of the Silicon Business, a position he held until recently.

With offices and a laboratory on the AXEL’ONE site in the Lyon region of France, Novacium is already operational and can immediately begin its collaboration with HPQ, focused on the following three areas:

1) R&D assistance and collaboration on HPQ’s processes (PUREVAP™ QRR and NSiR):
a. Supporting, optimizing and sharing knowledge and know-how, etc.
2) Collaborating on R&D to develop innovative processes that may be complementary to HPQ’s processes in the following niche sectors:
a. Manufacturing silicon or SiOx particles for battery applications.
b. Manufacturing carbon particles for super-capacitor applications
c. Manufacturing silicon-based particles for battery and hydrogen applications, etc.
3) Capitalizing on their own knowledge and know-how, the technical team has several innovative concepts in the hydrogen sector and intend to develop two innovative processes.

Mr. Jed KRAIEM Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer of Novacium said, “This partnership with HPQ is very exciting and very strategic given our positioning. Today, everyone has understood that Silicon is a critical, highly import and extremely strategic material. It is everywhere! Including in semiconductors, photovoltaic panels, lithium batteries, biomedical, etc., all of which are key fields. Moreover, having a partner that is capable of supplying us directly with silicon or exploiting the technologies that we intend to develop guarantees both our security of supply and our success in quickly being able to commercialize them on the market.”

Having first-hand experience of their silicon skills at Apollon Solar, we are extremely pleased to have been able to formalize a partnership with Messrs KRAIEM, NICHIPORUK and DEGOULANGE via Novacium. This partnership comes at a pivotal moment for HPQ. Without a dedicated technical team within HPQ, this could have limited our ability to exploit the opportunities available to us with the imminent start of our GEN3 PUREVAP™ pilot plant,” said Mr. Bernard Tourillon, Chief Executive Officer of HPQ Silicium. “Furthermore, having a research & development center in Lyon, France, opens up new opportunities for cooperation within Europe, a region which, unlike Quebec, Canada and the United States, has formally recognized that silicon is a critical, highly important and extremely strategic material.

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