3DIcon Corporation, a developer of 3D volumetric display technologies that are designed to produce 360-degree volumetric high-resolution images, has announced that it has entered into an agreement to merge with Coretec Industries LLC, a supplier of commercialized technologies, products, and services solutions for energy-related industries such as oil & gas, renewable energy, distributed energy and power generation.
To learn more, we listened into their conference call to explain the merger. 3DIcon CEO Victor Keen started by reviewing the company’s progress to date. He noted that they have spent several years developing their CSpace technology, which features intersecting IR lasers illuminating an “image chamber” to excite the material to emit visible light. A volume image is created by scanning all the points in the 3D image chamber. So far, they have been working on a small 1 cm sized cube.
The key to this technology is the mixture of materials in the image chamber. These must excite red, green and blue light with high efficiency, intensity and spectral purity. Recently, it began working with Scott Glass on new materials that looked promising. In addition, they teamed up to try to get Federal grants to help fund development.
These efforts have not been particularly successful, so the company began to “explore possible acquisitions, partnerships, or other strategic transactions” that it felt would further the development of CSpace and otherwise position the company for future growth.”
As it turned out, 3DIcon’s lead business development consultant, Doug Freitag, was also a consultant to Coretec Industries. Soon, it became clear that the materials Coretec was working on might be ideal for the CSpace technology as well. This led to long discussions that have now resulted in the merger of the two companies.
3DIcon will own 35% of the combined company with the remainder owned by Coretec. Keen said that valuing each company was very difficult, but in the end, but companies agreed that Coretec was worth “about twice as much” as 3DIcon, which is how the company was structured.
Coretec is a significantly different company focused on many different areas of interest. While new efforts will now be devoted to developing materials for the CSpace volumetric display, this is a longer term project. In the short term, most efforts will be focused on new activities that are designed to drive revenue – something both companies desired.
Coretec has licensed a number of patents from North Dakota State University (NDSU) related to polymer silicon technology (CHS / Si6H12), sometimes called liquid silicon. Apparently, this can have electrical properties that are sufficient to allow the creation of amorphous silicon grade circuitry. One of the promising applications they described was the ability to make additives to paint that would allow you to paint your house and have those surfaces now generate electricity. Other applications include energy storage (Lithium-Ion batteries), solid-state lighting (LEDs), solar energy, and printable electronics.
The IP has been in development for over 20 years at NDSU and there are apparently many customers interested in obtaining the material to develop commercial products. Coretec has licensed these patents in order to create the manufacturing capability to supply materials to customers in commercial quantities. A partner has already been lined up with very relevant experience and if all goes as planned, commercial production could begin within 3-4 months. This means a lot of effort will soon shift toward developing the market for these liquid silicon products.
But efforts to get Federal grants will also continue. In fact, Coretec has been quite successful in getting these grants for NDSU (50% of funding comes from grants with the remainder from Coretec) and the combined company should be more attractive for funding organizations, especially for the CSpace materials development effort.
As a result, the efforts with Schott will wind down and move over the Coretec and NDSU. One of the other motivators was the need for lighter weight solution as scaling the image chamber with glass gets very heavy and expensive, which was viewed as market limiting.
Effective following the completion of the merger, Victor Keen and Simon Carlton (of Coretec) will share the role of Chairman of the Board and the new company will appoint Doug Freitag as CEO. The New Company will continue with the OTC Market listing under the symbol “TDCP.” -CC