11 Nov 2009   |   News

Gold Council to invest in new industrial applications of gold

The World Gold Council is to co-invest with venture capital firms to accelerate commercialisation of gold-based innovations.

The World Gold Council is to co-invest with venture capital firms to accelerate commercialisation of gold-based innovations, and has launched a scheme of Innovation Partnerships to support industrial collaborators developing practical applications of gold.

The aim is to develop the long-term industrial markets for gold. Industrial use of gold in the five years to 2008 was 440 tonnes per year, which is around 12 per cent of total demand. Most industrial demand currently comes from the electronics industry, where gold is used in semiconductors.  

However, there are many emerging uses for gold in new fields including pollution control catalysts, fuel cells, functional coatings and nanotechnology, which highlight the potential to expand industrial markets.   

The World Gold Council, a body comprised of the leading gold mining companies, claims it has unrivalled breadth and depth of understanding of the industrial uses of gold, which can be applied to accelerate commercialisation of cost effective, gold-based innovations.

In the Venture Investments initiative, the Council plans to engage with early-stage ventures to support and accelerate the commercialisation of emerging gold-based technologies to market. It is already a key investor in one start-up company developing an innovative use for gold in the automotive industry.

In the Innovation Partnerships the World Gold Council will collaborate with precious metal, chemical, electronics, materials and biomedical companies, ranging from small enterprises through to established international businesses, where there is real potential to exploit gold’s unique technical properties.

Richard Holliday, Industrial Director at the World Gold Council, said the Innovation Partnership programme and engagement with the early-stage venture community will help ensure that gold-research currently emerging from university laboratories has the best possible chance of quickly reaching the market place and being commercialised.  

“Although the gold price is high by historical standards, modern coating techniques and nanotechnology allows engineers and scientists to use the metal in the precise quantity required, without excess or wastage. Gold is still therefore a cost effective material in many applications,” Holliday said.  

Companies interested in collaborating with World Gold Council are invited to contact the World Gold Council, Industrial Sector at industry@gold.org.

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