Sekhar Research Innovations on track with US$3.15 million funding

June 29, 2012 (PRLEAP.COM) Technology News
Malaysian-based rubber technology research and development company, Sekhar Research Innovations Sdn Bhd ("SRI"), was today offered a US$3.15 million investment led by QMA Capital Sdn Bhd ("QMA"), an outsourced partner of Malaysia Venture Capital Management Berhad ("MAVCAP"), and Agensi Innovasi Malaysia ("AIM"), a statutory body set up by the Government of Malaysia to create and support innovation in the country, to further expand the production capabilities of its new rubber devulcanization technology.

Coming of the back of a commercialization grant by Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd, Gopinath Sekhar, CEO of SRI said that the funding and the public vote of confidence that the AIM initiative represented would propel and accelerate the SRI production capacity efforts in addition to enhancing its ability to seed and develop strategic regional and international customers much earlier. Sekhar was firm in his belief that the devulcanization technology that the company has developed will revolutionize the rubber industry and the way in which End of Life Tires are managed globally.

SRI was one of 3 companies targeted by AIM for funding under the Malaysian Government's agenda to support innovation by bringing together 4 sectors The Government, Industry, Educational Institutions and the Public at large. This was announced at a signing ceremony during AIM'S INNOVATING MALAYSIA TOUR 2012, which was attended by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

These funds would enable SRI to increase its production capabilities and cater to the demanding raw material needs of its customers. While in the longer term establishing global licensee production units to address the eventual requirements of the larger tyre manufacturers poses an exciting challenge their immediate efforts are to address the retread, general rubber goods and automotive component market sectors which are available now.

Focusing on recycling used tyres, SRI's devulcanization technology provides manufacturers substantial savings in their existing raw materials costs. In addition, by making recycled rubber commercially viable, the impact of waste rubber from used tyres on the environment would be effectively reduced.

SRI's technology which combines proprietary mechanical-chemical processes (owned by SRI) to convert rubber powder or waste into a fully devulcanized rubber compound at a high volume is dubbed by many as the first of its kind. "Effectively the SRI Compound is not a filler or cheapening agent, it is actually replacing a proportion of the original material. Production of this vital compound is done with very low energy consumption and without generation of waste or pollution. Sustainability with commercial viability is the powerful and irresistible combination the SRI Technology brings to the table." Sekhar said.

For this next phase of growth, SRI is now actively seeking companies interested in being licensed to produce the SRI Compound. These companies are possibly already major producers of tire powder from scrap tires or are able to acquire capacity with a view to covering specific geographic regions. In a market that is worth more than US$130 billion, the possibilities are limitless. We are now setting our sights on growing internationally." Sekhar added.

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