(29 May 2012) - SmartKem Limited, the developer of high performance, printable organic semiconductor materials for flexible electronics, today announced the appointment of Bill Freer as company chairman. Bill holds extensive experience in the global display’s and semiconductor industries, having built up a successful track record in senior management positions for a variety of industry-leading organizations, worldwide. The past 10 years have seen Bill work with a number of venture capital backed start-up companies, utilizing his corporate experience at large multinationals to assist them in developing strategies and strengthen their positions in the market. This experience, coupled with a proven track record of building relationships with electronics manufacturers in Asia, make Bill perfectly suited to guide SmartKem’s expansion into the Asian market.
Bill brings to the role a breadth of experience and knowledge in the displays and semiconductor markets, having worked with leading organisations throughout a career spanning 40 years. During his time in the industry Bill has built up and maintained a variety of companies, including managing the turnaround of an ailing LCD organisation in Hong Kong into a highly profitable business with a 35% market share. His knowledge of growing businesses in Asia, along with the networks he has built up in the region will facilitate SmartKem’s aim of supplying its materials to device manufacturers and OEM’s in the Asian market.
Over the last 10 years, Bill has utilized his widespread experience in technology development, mass manufacturing and commercial exploitation to work in partnership with a number of global start-up enterprises to enhance their business activities. During this time he has consulted and held board positions with enterprises involved in LED, OLED, FED and MEM display technologies in Europe, USA and Japan. This experience, teamed with his strong connections to the venture capital market will prove vital in supporting SmartKem’s mission of becoming the leading provider of low cost, ‘p’ type organic semiconductor materials for ultra-thin and flexible electronics.
Commenting on his appointment Bill stated: “There is a clear need for SmartKem’s state-of-the-art materials in the rapidly changing printed electronics industry. The company has developed its materials to meet market demand for low cost, low energy and lightweight electronics, while also ensuring that they have better levels of mobility than those of its high-profile competitors. SmartKem’s flexible market approach allows it to respond quickly to changing needs of the market, making the company hugely appealing to potential investors.”
“We are very pleased to welcome Bill to the team” says Steve Kelly, CEO at SmartKem. “We made the decision to appoint Bill as his second-to-non industry experience in the international displays market, combined with the networks he has built up over the years in our desired regions mean Bill will bring invaluable knowledge to the company. We are confident that Bill will fit in with SmartKem’s strategy seamlessly and help reinforce our position industry-wide, whilst his strong connections in the venture capital market will provide us with a platform for further growth and investment.”
This appointment is another step in SmartKem’s global strategy and comes following the recent appointments of representatives in Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
SmartKem is a high tech enterprise developing an exciting new technology platform focusing on high performance organic semiconductor materials that can be ‘printed’ onto lightweight low cost polymer films to deliver flexible circuits. SmartKem’s main objective is to respond to the demand for low cost, low energy, lightweight, rugged electronics. The SmartKem team has proven expertise and experience in the fields of organic semiconductors, specialist ink-technology and printable transistors and was a recent winner of the inaugural Oxford Venturefest gold award for ‘British Technology Innovation of the Year’.
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