XTPL has been designed to revolutionize the global industry. We have created a modern organization focused on innovation and continuous development. Our ground-breaking technology is the result of years of research and testing. As a leader in advanced nanoprinting solutions, we want to support manufacturers from many sectors to achieve market advantage by producing advanced, new generation devices using cost-effective and scalable printing methods – with the main component being the unique XTPL technology.
The application area of our technology is expanding rapidly. In 2018, the value of the entire printed electronics market was estimated at more than USD 10 billion. Notably, the value of the market of printed, flexible and organic electronics is to reach USD 74 billion by 2030.
XTPL’s strategic goal is wide commercialization of its platform technology of ultra-precise printing of materials in the area of advanced electronics. The company seeks to adopt its technology for various application fields, and then offer the technological solution to industrial partners through various mechanisms: licensing, strategic partnerships and joint ventures. The overarching objective of XTPL’s operations is to implement nanoprinting solutions adapted to market needs in selected industry sectors.
DEVELOPMENT DIRECTIONS AND FOCUS AREAS
An exceptional feature of the XTPL technology is the possibility of its application in many fields of industry. Presented below are applications in the areas that are currently key for the company:
Displays (at present commercialization is under way in the first sub-sector of this market: open defect repair, with more potentially to follow):
- Open defect repair: micro- and nano-conductive structures are indispensable in the broadly understood printed electronics market (e.g. integrated circuits, LCDs/ OLEDs, PCBs, solar cells and many others). This sector is facing a major problem as these structures are very often damaged at the production stage. Electronic components made on the basis of such structures are extremely expensive, which is why repair of those defects is of key importance. The repair methods currently available in the market are limited, complicated and costly. XTPL offers a new breakthrough solution that allows defects in conductive paths to be repaired at low cost, with unparalleled precision and speed.
Smart glass – the company’s solution is expected to facilitate the change of glass transparency depending on the degree of external illumination. With the technology developed by the company, ultra-thin, invisible structures with excellent conductivity parameters can be precisely printed on glass. The main benefit expected after potential implementation of the XTPL technology in the production process for this sector is faster conversion of glass (from light to dark and vice versa), which will significantly improve the usability of this type of products, and may usher manufacturers from this sector into new, previously not supported market segments.
Semiconductors (the project started in Q1 2020 relates to semiconductor components used in lighting devices) – creating precise conductive connections for semiconductors. A solution with similar technological parameters has been developed to a substantial extent by the company as part of work on the technology dedicated to the market of repairing open defects in displays and to the smart glass market. In this way XTPL can carry out research projects with partners based on prior experience and already developed know-how. A practical feature of natural synergies is that they actually accelerate the commercialization process.
At the current stage of development, the company focuses its activities on effective commercialization of the technology. This means focusing on three main tasks:
- Forging relationships with potential clients and partners for joint technology development in the verified application fields, and conducting advanced proof of concept projects with those entities towards industrial implementation on a global scale;
- Further internal R&D efforts in the identified application areas to prepare the technology for industrial implementation for further partners (work on a printing head and nanoink dedicated to the particular application area);
- Identification of further application areas within printed electronics (in addition to the already verified ones).
The commercialization process in deep-tech companies – such as XTPL – is complex and spread over time. It consists of five main stages, each taking from a few to more than ten months. The lead time largely depends on how fast the company’s partners can act.
Before the company enters the commercialization stage, it develops the base technology, which usually takes several years (XTPL completed this phase in 2 years). In the case of platform technologies, the next step, concurrent with the first commercialization phases, is to begin work to adapt the technology to the requirements of a particular application field. The actual process associated with the implementation of a dedicated solution in a specific market consists of going through consecutive, increasingly advanced stages. Depending on an application field, all or only some of them may apply. Described below is a model process.
The first step is “targeting”, i.e. defining and selecting sales prospects. In the next phase, carried out with selected partners, the company exchanges technical specifications and identifies needs of the potential client – this is the “active prospecting” phase. This phase is followed by the “proof of concept”, which is sometimes divided into several stages. Here, technological information is discovered by clients gradually, as we often talk about revealing the world’s most technologically advanced processes “from inside”. In this phase, during numerous tests, the company confirms the declared parameters of its technology, while validating the capabilities of the solutions offered. The first formal document might appear here – the TEA (Technology Evaluation Agreement), an agreement providing for testing and optimization of the technology in accordance with the partner’s specification. Once all the requirements of such a specification have been fulfilled, the partners decide whether or not to enter the “design-in” phase, which aims to adapt the technology to the specific requirements of the client’s production process. At this stage, the likelihood of contract-based commercialization increases significantly to 60–70%. It is also the time of verification of the company’s IP position and engaging partners in the design process, usually embodied by the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding). The document expresses the parties’ intention to work together to achieve the agreed commercial goal – an effective and scalable implementation of the company’s solution for use in the partner’s devices or on its production line. The MoU is often treated as an invitation to negotiate. At this stage, in case of some partners a decision is made to sign a JDA (Joint Development Agreement). Such a model usually means co-financing the technology development and the first revenues for the company which supplies the technology. Execution of the final contract is often preceded by the “design win” stage, which confirms the choice of the solution and marks the start of negotiations around the main business parameters. Both before and during the commercialization stage, the key IP is secured, which protects the company and its solutions.
When commercializing its solutions, XTPL intends to provide its clients with a comprehensive technological solution as part of a selected model:
- Licensing: XTPL develops a technological solution dedicated to a particular application field, which is licensed to a partner who on its basis builds devices that allow the technology to be used in industry; in this case, the company generates revenue from license fees based on the sale of devices in which the developed technology was implemented;
Strategic partnership: XTPL develops a technological solution dedicated to a particular application field and commercializes it in cooperation with a strategic partner with whom an agreement (for example, a joint venture agreement) is signed; commercialization tasks are divided between the partners in accordance with their competencies and potential; in such a case, the company participates in the profit earned through the joint venture.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AS THE KEY ASSET
XTPL is a company developing deep technology that requires appropriate laboratory infrastructure and involvement of an interdisciplinary team of engineers. For deep-tech companies intellectual property is a product and a competitive advantage, while the size of the patent cloud has a major impact on their value.
Development and protection of the patent family is a priority for XTPL, as it is on secured, unique intellectual property that international technology companies build their value and strong business position in the commercialization process. The potential of intellectual property is primarily determined by the level of revenue estimated on its basis, expected after the company’s solutions are implemented in the market in individual application fields. This value is also influenced by: the size and expected growth of target markets, the number and diversification of application fields as well as the value proposition for each of those markets. Given the platform character of the XTPL technology, which enables its effective implementation in many application fields, the company’s potential is significant.
XTPL is gaining increasing interest in deep-tech industries, where it is often the scope and appropriate protection of intellectual property that determine the firm’s market position. The highest level of intellectual property protection is to guarantee safe commercialization and appropriate negotiating position for the company before commercial contracts are signed with selected partners.