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Date [ 2013-03-20, 17:50 ]


Innovative technology is this company’s cutting edge advantage

(Singapore=Koreanpress) – By John Kim = Cima NanoTech is an advanced materials company that offers unique patented nanomaterials for the cutting edge electronics market.
 Their patented technology, SANTE™ (Self-Aligning Nano Technology for Electronics) is a winner of the 2008 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer Award and Top 10 Greentech/Cleantech.
 SANTE is primarily used for applications like electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding, touch screens, transparent heating, photovoltaic, OLED lighting, LED lighting and flexible electronics. With its simpler, faster and more cost-effective deposition process, it is poised to be the next-generation coating technology.
 The corporate headquarters is in the United States with business development centers in Israel, Korea, Japan and Taiwan. Singapore has the distinction of being the Asian headquarters and applications development laboratories,
 CEO John Brodd and Dr.Geoff Nicholson, on the Board of Directors recently gave an insight into the company at a press conference.

Dr. Geoff Nicholson and CEO Jon Brodd

 Brodd began by revealing that, “We are all very excited as we have taken all the R & D investments into something managerial and now we have a first-class product that we are driving into a commercial launch, towards applications development. So this is why we are building on Singapore now.
 The company has labs and offices in Korea, Japan, Taiwan and soon in China. An MD has been hired just two weeks ago and set the pace going.
 Dr. Geoff Nicholson  is excited about the great people in the Singapore office. He felt, “One of the things in Singapore is that it’s a great place to do business in.”
 He further asserted that just like many other places, when one is involved with innovation it is a challenge where risks have to be taken. Without doing so, one cannot succeed. He had a definition for it – ‘Research is the transformation of Money into Knowledge.

Innovation is the transformation of Knowledge into Money. He stated that these two things have to be done in Singapore for success. Though there were challenges, the Singapore team was overcoming them.
 He declared they have got people who are not afraid to make mistakes and he wanted to “...stop using the words ‘mistake’ or ‘failure,’ because  it is a learning experience.”  He disclosed, ”I was with them yesterday and they were all excited when they had one of those inter-laboratories discussions and it was so great to hear their enthusiasm . So we’re really making progress.

 For Brodd,”...that’s the approach to innovation in our company. Everybody in the company has to embrace it. So like Dr.Nicholson said, ”Putting the money into knowledge.”  That’s why for the last ten years, we’ve put money, research and energy into this knowledge. It’s a new phase for the company.”
 Dr.Nicholson then divulged about successful innovators, having done a study on them. “It was very interesting when we looked at their characteristics. They do not have an experimental style. They do it first, they explain it later. The theoretician is looking at his or her computer all the time, running the experiment on the computer and never taking it into the lab and trying it. You make discoveries not in front of your computer, you make them by going into the lab. The innovators, they try it first, then they get the theoretical explanation for it, you need to have the explanation but it is a question of time. People in the lab, I want them to get over their desk and trip over their bench. That’s how close I’m to people. That’s one of the rules when I built this lab.”
When asked what actually Dr. Nicholson does to create learning opportunities, he disclosed that, “The first thing is, if you are going to support innovation, you have to provide the resources to do it. So one of the things that have to be done is to build laboratories that have equipment and capabilities. We have to hire people that have this mentality of trying to their fullest and explaining it later. And probably again, this risk of failure, we give as part of the culture we brought from 3M. Every time if a person can take at least 15 percent of their time to do anything they want, without pre-management approval , it gives them the freedom (to explore further) when every new product is killed at least three times by management, which is aware of the 15 percent time, but never mentions it.

 Godd now mentioned that, “We carry the same thing into CIMA and in addition to that we put in a little bit more structure around it, so we also have a process called architecting , where we take all the technology and put it on the table, spend a long day, bringing in our cross functional teams to look at it. Then they bring it back to ask. ‘How can they adapt the technology of  today to meet future needs? And we overlay that until it is all covered. So it takes a very thorough understanding of the 130 patents we have today. It’s a tool that can help the innovative process.
 Dr. Nicholson averred that a single technology or innovation has a slim chance of success. Whereas the chances are better with a number of innovations. “And that’s where the sharing of technology come in, technology belongs to everyone in CIMA,” he concluded.

After the press conference, John Kim, MD of Korean Press has the opportunity for a one-on-one interview with CEO, John Godd. The 51 year old is a father of two boys and two girls and has been in Singapore for five years. But he has been in Asia close to 25 years.

 KoreanPress: Do you have any competitors?

G: Oh sure!  And we are not the same as them for we have 130 patents protecting us. We have just launched our First Generation tools and we’re finishing development of Gen2 in June.

 KoreanPress: Can you tell us more about your CIMA NanoTech company?

G: A lot of us are ex-3M and began operations in 2003.

 KoreanPress: Since then until now, how many products have you produced and which are the major ones?

G:  We have been investing in the past few years into the core technology and developing the coding capabilities, soft assembling manufacturing parts and which are very challenging to bring into commercial production. Now that we have the coding technology established, we are putting all our energy into applications.
So the first company we have commercialised for is EMI Shielding, also for displays and transparent heatings. Now we are ready to develop the touch screen, all the lightings and about ten other product verticals.

 KoreanPress: When did you join the company?

G: About four years ago and for, me Asia is the place to be. So many of our customers and investors are Asians. Legally we’re a US corporation but the headquarters is here in Singapore.

 KoreanPress: What are the countries you have been to in Asia?

G:  I have lived in Taiwan and Japan. Though I have not lived in Korea, I visit it every month. So I love Korean food, everything, especially bibimbap and Korean barbecue. There’s a personal joke, when in Korea, I am asked what kind of food do I want? And my answer always is, ‘No questions.”

 KoreanPress: So how does Korea stand as a business venture?

G: Oh, we have had a lot of opportunities. Should be one of our biggest customers.

 KoreanPress: Which are the companies you are dealing with in Korea?

G: You know who we are, so it is will all the major companies we are working with.

 KoreanPress: Is there any message for the people of Korea?

G: I have a lot of respect for them. The culture, the honesty of the people, the success of Samsung and LG, plus it is a very nice place to be. I  have always loved Korea.


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