Tag Archives: Doug Blakeway

Canadian company, Nanotech Security Corp. hopes to purchase Fortress Optical Features

Nanotech Security Corp. started life as a spin-off company from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. A  Jan. 17, 2011 posting and a followup Sept. 29, 2011 posting will probably give you more information about the technology and the company’s beginnings than you every thought you’d want.

For those interested in the company’s current expectations, an Aug. 27, 2014 news item on Nanotechnology Now describes Nanotech Security Corp.’s plan to purchase another business (also Canadian with the parent company [which is not being purchased] headquartered in North Vancouver},

Nanotech Security Corp. (TSXV:NTS) (OTCQX:NTSFF) (“Nanotech” or “the Company”) today announces an agreement with Fortress Global Securities Sarl, a subsidiary of TSX listed Fortress Paper Ltd. (“Fortress Paper”), to purchase 100% of Fortress Optical Features Ltd. (“Fortress Optical Features”), a producer of optical thin film (“OTF”) used as security threads in banknotes in several countries. The definitive share and loan purchase agreement (the “Purchase Agreement”) provides for Nanotech to acquire 100% of the issued and outstanding securities of Fortress Optical Features for consideration of up to $17.5 million, of which 3 million Nanotech shares (up to $4.5 million) is contingent on the future operating performance of Fortress Optical Features. Nanotech has also entered into an agreement with Canaccord Genuity Corp. (“Canaccord Genuity”) to act as sole lead manager and book-runner, and including Craig-Hallum Capital Group, in respect of a private placement of subscription receipts of the Company convertible into Nanotech common shares (“Shares”) and Share purchase warrants (“Warrants”) in a targeted range of $9.0 million to $16.0 million as more fully described below. To date, subscription agreements in excess of $8.0 million have been received which is an amount sufficient to pay the cash portion of the acquisition under the Purchase Agreement. All monetary amounts are in Canadian dollars.

An Aug. 26, 2014 Nanotech Security Corp. news release, which originated the news item, provides additional details,

The acquisition of Fortress Optical Features will serve as a platform to accelerate commercialization of Nanotech’s KolourOptik technology by integrating it into Fortress Optical Features’ product line as an addition of KolourOptik images to the OTF threads.

Nanotech will acquire Fortress Optical Features’ state-of-the-art building and vacuum metal deposition equipment, located near Ottawa.

The transaction combines complementary businesses that can leverage established banknote customer relationships to accelerate market entry and leapfrog competitive technologies. To date, Fortress Optical Features’ technology has been utilized by 11 international currencies.

Fortress Optical Features’ CEO Igi LeRoux, and COO, Ron Ridley, will be integrated into the Company’s senior management.

Fortress has the right to appoint one director to the Nanotech board and Nanotech will appoint a director to a Fortress affiliate concerned with security paper production.
Cash portion of the purchase price to be funded by a subscription receipts offering at $1.50, each convertible into a Share and one-half Warrant as fully described below.
Concurrent financing and acquisition closings are scheduled for September 10, 2014.

“We believe this will be a transformational transaction for Nanotech”, stated Doug Blakeway, President and CEO of Nanotech. “By layering our KolourOptik nanotechnology onto Fortress Optical Features’ security threads which are currently used in numerous currencies, we will create a next-generation product for the banknote industry”.

Mr. Blakeway added, “Additionally, the transaction will expand Nanotech’s current IP portfolio for optical security features to include Fortress Optical Features’ 14 current patent applications which should enhance our ability to compete in other commercial spaces such as passports as well as product branding and authentication”.

Fortress Optical Features’ core business is optical thin film material used in security threads incorporated in banknotes in several countries. Originally developed by the Bank of Canada, and subsequently sold to Fortress Optical Features in 2011, this technology was deployed on Canadian banknotes from 1989 until 2011 as well as ten other international currencies. In the twelve month period ending December 31, 2013 Fortress Optical Features generated approximately $2.3 million in revenue and its existing plant could service production of about eight times the level of production which generated this revenue.

Fortress Optical Features recently invested $4.2 million to renovate its existing production facility and added $1.0 million in new equipment over the past few years. As part of the transaction, Nanotech will acquire Fortress Optical Features’ state-of-the-art production facility and high technology OTF production equipment. Fortress Optical Features is currently pursuing business in some of the world’s largest countries and sees potential new opportunities internationally. According to Secura Monde International, the top five banknote producing economies include China, India, the European Union, the United States and Indonesia.

TRANSACTION DETAILS AND CLOSING CONDITIONS

Under the terms of the Purchase Agreement, Nanotech will pay up to $17.5 million to be satisfied by a combination of $7 million cash, 5 million common shares of Nanotech and a secured vendor take-back note of $3 million with an interest rate of 4% per annum. Of this consideration 2 million shares will have a four month hold period from closing and 3 million shares will be escrowed and shall be released based on certain specific performance milestones based on sales of product to new customers over up to 5 years. Shares may be released early in the event of a sale of the business or change of control of Nanotech. Contingent shares not released after 5 years will be cancelled. Details of the share release formula will be found in the Purchase Agreement to be filed at www.sedar.com.

All Shares have a deemed value of $1.50 and the acquisition and financing transactions do not constitute a change of business nor a change of control for Nanotech but will be treated under TSX Venture Exchange policies as a fundamental acquisition.

Completion of the transaction will be subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of all regulatory approvals of the TSXV as well as the listing of the common shares issuable in connection with the transaction, including those underlying the subscription receipts. If Nanotech elects to terminate the acquisition in reliance on an allowable condition, a $600,000 break fee payable in Shares is due to Fortress Paper. Nanotech and Fortress Optical Features anticipate the transaction and financing will close on or about September 10, 2014.

RELATED AGREEMENT DETAILS

As part of Nanotech’s acquisition of Fortress Optical Features, the parties and/or their affiliates have entered into certain ancillary agreements. These include a supply agreement under which Fortress Optical Features will continue to supply OTF security threads to Fortress Paper’s Swiss-based Landqart specialty paper division. Landqart will enjoy favoured customer status subject to certain minimum purchase obligations. Under a lease and related shared services agreement, a Fortress Paper affiliate will lease approximately 2/3 of the 100,000 sq ft building being acquired as part of Fortress Optical Features assets and the parties will share the costs of steam production, electrical power, security, and administration services. The $3 million note is fully secured against Fortress Optical Features shares and assets.

SUBSCRIPTION RECEIPT OFFERING

Nanotech has entered into an agreement with Canaccord Genuity, acting as sole lead manager and sole bookrunner, and including Craig-Hallum Capital Group, to sell on a best-efforts marketed private placement basis, up to approximately 10,667,000 subscription receipts of the Company (the “Subscription Receipts”) at a price of $1.50 per Subscription Receipt (the “Subscription Price”), for gross proceeds to Nanotech of up to $16.0 million.

The Subscription Receipts will automatically convert, without additional payment, into one common share and one-half of a common share purchase warrant of the Company for each Subscription Receipt upon completion of the transaction. Subject to certain conditions, each whole purchase warrant will entitle the holder to purchase one common share of Nanotech at a price of $1.90 for a period of one year from issuance. The warrants are subject to accelerated expiry in the event that the common shares of Nanotech trade on the TSX Venture Exchange at $2.25 or more for a ten consecutive day period after the four month resale restricted period applicable to the Shares in Canada expires. Completion of the Subscription Receipt offering is subject to certain conditions, including receipt of the approval of the TSXV and all other necessary regulatory approvals.

Net proceeds from the Subscription Receipt offering will be used by the Company to partially fund the purchase price payable for Fortress Optical Features and for general corporate purposes.

The Subscription Price represents a discount of approximately 6% to the closing price of $1.60 per common share of Nanotech on the TSXV on August 25, 2014 and a discount of approximately 7% over the 30-trading day volume-weighted average price of $ 1.61 per common share of Nanotech on the TSXV, up to and including August 25, 2014.

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

####

About Nanotech Security Corp.

Nanotech has been a leading innovator in the design and commercialization of advanced security products using nano-optical devices. Nanotech’s KolourOptik™ and Plasmogram™ optically variable devices (“OVD”s) are nanotechnology based product platforms originally inspired by the unique optical properties of the iridescent wings of the Blue Morpho butterfly. Nanotech OVD images produce intense, high definition images that are ideal for brand authentication and for distinguishing currency, documents, personal identification, consumer electronics, etc. from fakes. Nanotech’s KolourOptik OVD platform creates unique, easy to authenticate images through interaction of light with nano-sized (billionth of a meter) arrays of surface indentation structures imbedded through algorithms and electron beams into various substrates. These nanostructures create vivid colour images, activated by a simple tilt or rotation, and achieve higher resolutions than the best LED-displays currently available, as well as having optical properties not achievable with holograms.

Additional information about Nanotech and its technologies can be found on its website www.nanosecurity.ca or the Canadian disclosure filings website www.sedar.com or the OTCMarkets disclosure filings website www.otcmarkets.com

ABOUT FORTRESS OPTICAL FEATURES

Fortress Optical Features produces optically variable thin film security material for the security threads contained in certain previous Canadian banknotes and various other international currency denominations. The film is a unique combination of layered or ‘stacked’ thin film materials to produce a predictable colour replay. Additional features of the film include differing optical features or colors which appear when the banknote is tilted. The material was developed by the Bank of Canada in coordination with the National Research Council of Canada in the early 1980s and was first used as a patch on Bank of Canada $20, $50, $100 and $1,000 denominations of Birds of Canada series issued from 1988-1993 and also used on all Canadian Journey denominations issued from 2004 –2011. Fortress Optical Features’ high security products are marketed to security paper manufacturers throughout the world.

Additional information about Fortress Optical Features and its technologies can be found on its website www.fortresspaper.com/company/optical-security-features

This News Release contains forward-looking statements about the proposed acquisition by Nanotech of all of the issued and outstanding securities of Fortress Optical Features and the related offering of Subscription Receipts. Forward-looking statements are frequently, but not always, identified by words such as “expects”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “intends”, “estimates”, “predicts”, “potential”, “targeted” “plans”, “possible” and similar expressions, or statements that events, conditions or results “will”, “may”, “could” or “should” occur or be achieved.

These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements about our market opportunities, strategies, competition, and the Company’s views that its nano-optical technology will continue to show promise for mass production and commercial application. The principal risks related to these forward-looking statements are that the Company’s intellectual property claims will not prove sufficiently broad or enforceable to provide the necessary commercial protection and to attract the necessary capital and/or that the Company’s products will not be able to displace entrenched hologram, metalized strip tagging, and other conventional anti-counterfeiting technologies sufficiently to allow for profitability.

There can be no assurance that the transaction will occur or that the anticipated strategic benefits and operational synergies will be realized. The transaction is subject to the successful closing of the Subscription Receipt offering and to various regulatory approvals, including approvals by the TSXV, and the fulfilment of certain conditions, and there can be no assurance that any such approvals will be obtained and/or any such conditions will be met. The transaction and the Subscription Receipt offering could be modified, restructured or terminated.

Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect Nanotech’s expectations only as of the date of this News Release. Nanotech disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

This News Release is not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities in the United States or in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful. The securities described in this News Release have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold within the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of such laws.

This News Release is not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities in the United States or in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful. The securities described in this News Release have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold within the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of such laws.

So there you have it. No one is responsible for anything but they hope for the best.

A patent for Nanotech Security Corp

The Nov. 5, 2012 news item on Nanowerk is a bit confusing (to me, a neophyte) in regard to which enterprise actually holds the patent,

The patent (USA Patent No. 8,253,536B2) names the Company’s Director and Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Bozena Kaminska and its Chief Technology Officer, Clint Landrock as co-inventors. The patent covers a number of core aspects of Nanotech’s technology including claims for the use of optically efficient nano-hole arrays as security features. The patent also claims the use of nano-scale structures that are smaller than a wavelength of light in conjunction with printable electronic components such as electronic displays, batteries and solar cells. Originally filed in early 2009, the patent has been assigned to Simon Fraser University where it is exclusively sub-licensed to Nanotech pending its transfer to a Nanotech affiliate upon completion of its Advance Royalty obligations schedule to complete next year.

If I understand this rightly, Nanotech Security Corporation which is licencing the patent from Simon Fraser University (SFU) will be passing the licence on to a spinoff or affiliate company in 2013 while the parent corporation continues to develop other technologies for commercialization. SFU not Nanotech Security Corporation nor any proposed affiliate holds the patent rights.

In the company’s November 5, 2012  news release (which orignated the news item), they refer to USA Patent No. 8,253,536B2 as a parent-patent and here is what SFU and/or Nanotech Security Corporation claimed in this patent,

The patent encompasses the structure, design and manufacturing process for NTS’s security technology, NOtES®, which deploys a controlled array of extremely tiny holes that can be quickly imprinted in large numbers directly onto virtually any surface, creating a vibrant, crisp, ultra high definition image. This highly sophisticated authentication feature replicates nano-scale (billionth of a meter) light-reflective structures similar to those found in nature, for example on the iridescent wings of certain butterflies.

Mr. Blakeway [Doug Blakeway, CEO and Chairman] added, “This parent patent is at the foundation for not only further uses and new designs in the security and authentication space, but branches out to many other applications involving nano-optics with extremely high optical efficiency – including solar cell technologies. [emphases mine] We believe that nano-optic technology is in its infancy, and has huge potential for growth.”

I wonder what SFU and Nanotech Security Corporation are planning to do with their new patent. I hope it won’t be used in an attempt to kill competition. There’s at least one other Canadian company  (Opalux mentioned in my Jan. 31, 2011 posting) which works with optically efficient nano-hole arrays and at least one team in the UK (mentioned in my May 20, 2011 posting) also working in this area.

As for my concern, it’s widely acknowledged internationally that the patent systems are causing problems as per a sample of my previous postings on patents, copyright, and/or intellectual property,

UN’s International Telecommunications Union holds patent summit in Geneva on Oct. 10, 2012

Billions lost to patent trolls; US White House asks for comments on intellectual property (IP) enforcement; and more on IP

Patents as weapons and obstacles

I’m not arguing against the underlying intent for patents and copyright. The laws were designed to stimulate invention and innovation by insuring that the creators were compensated for their efforts.  Sadly, that intent has been lost and today we have situations where research and creativity are stifled due to ‘copyright and patent thickets’.

NanoTech Security Corp’s new shim and a few oddities about the company

The Sept. 29, 2011 news item on Nanowerk announces,

Nanotech Security Corp. has reached a major milestone in authentication and anti-counterfeiting security technology developed by replicating nano-scale structures similar to those found on the wings of the iridescent Morpho Butterfly.

Nanotech Security Corp. is pleased to announce its team of researchers have successfully created the world’s first master shim http://www.nanosecurity.ca/press_imagesvideos.php [Note: I was not able to access this site when I tried Sept. 29, 2011, 3:14 pm PST.], or master die, that manufacturers can use to reproduce nano-holes in a variety of materials – including banknotes – in large volumes quickly and cost-effectively without changing the manufacturing process.

Nanotech brings the next generation of authentication technology

“Proving that our technology can be re-created successfully with the use of a master shim was a crucial step in making it available for commercial use to our potential partners,” said Doug Blakeway, CEO and chairman of Nanotech Security Corp.

“This milestone makes our technology accessible and affordable to banknote manufacturers, while allowing them to maintain the highest level of security they require.”

I posted about NanoTech Security Corp earlier this year (January 17, 2011) when the research team who are affiliated with Simon Fraser University (SFU) were in the process of publicizing their work. This is exciting news and I hope do they well. At the same time, I am somewhat puzzled as there are a number of inconsistencies starting with the company’s age.

From the Nanotech Security Corp home page,

NANOTECH Security Corp. has a 20 year history
designing and selling security devices. Devices include
security threads for bank notes and high value documents, communication surveillance and intelligence gathering equipment for the International Defense and Law Enforcement markets.

The news item on Nanowerk states this,

With a rich history in law enforcement and security applications, Nanotech Security Corporation has embarked on a new venture bringing world class nanotechnology from Simon Fraser University to the authentication and anti-counterfeiting market.

Founded in 1985, Nanotech Security has evolved substantially, successfully implementing devices and technology in areas of criminal justice, infrared night-viewing, tracking security and forensics.

The company would be 26 years old if it were founded in 1985. The more digging I do the more confusing it gets. According to the information about NanoTech Security (NTS) Corp listed on the Toronto Stock Exhange’s Infoventure page, the company was incorporated in May 1984 (which would make it 27 years old). [ETA Oct. 3, 2011: It's highly unlikely the company was called NanoTech Security Corp in 1984 or 1981. Was it called something else? There is no company history on the website to clarify.] NTS has two other companies as subsidiaries (?), Strategic Technologies (address and phone no. identical to NanoTech Security Corp’s listing on its website) and Tactical Technologies in Pennsylvania. [ETA Oct. 3, 2011: Tactical Technologies was formed in 1994]

The NTS website lists Tactical Technologies in its Products category (another oddity),

Tactical Technologies Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of NanoTech Security Corp.
Tactical is engaged in the design, manufacture and supply of sophisticated communications, surveillance, intelligence gathering and forensic equipment for the Law Enforcement and Defense Industries. Tactical works closely with its customer base and has pioneered many unique products and system solutions which surpass the needs of top security, investigative, enforcement, defense and offender detention professionals. Tactical’s core products consist of covert body worn audio transmitters, repeaters, and intelligence kits which include receivers and recording capabilities.  Recently one these products, the Citation V, was featured last March in an episode of CSI: Miami. Other products include custom built surveillance vehicles, mobile/portable surveillance platforms; Cellular/IP based video surveillance systems, agent alert alarm transmitters, and other video surveillance systems. Tactical’s operations are located in Holmes, Pennsylvania; about five miles west of Philadelphia.

www.tti-narctech.com

There’s actually more information about Tactical Technologies’ products on the NSI website than there is on its own company website,

Under the laws of the United States of America,
the dissemination of product information for goods
manufactured by Tactical Technologies Inc. is restricted.

I did finally find the NTS management team page (which includes the two SFU scientists [Bozena Kaminska and Clint Landrock] whose work provides the platform for this company’s products) on the NTS website  in the Press Room area [Note Oct. 3, 2011: Stylistic and grammatical changes made]. The description for Doug Blakeway, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, provides this information,

Mr. Blakeway is Chairman and CEO of Nanotech Security Corp. (formerly Wireless2 Technologies Inc.), a publicly traded international high level public security corporation which he founded in 1985 and Managing Director for G4S Justice Services (Canada) Inc. [emphases mine] Mr. Blakeway has extensive connections in the security and policing sectors. As an entrepreneur and investor, over the past 40 years, he has founded and operated a number of successful endeavors from service oriented companies to high technology electronic manufacturing. Mr. Blakeway is a proven inventor with a variety of diverse patents for such things as a rotary engine; a portable diamond drill feed, a fluid management system, GPS asset and personnel tracking systems and an infrared night viewing system. As a helicopter pilot, his vision and tenacity resulted in the founding of WM Aviation Inc. – the parent company of Helijet Airways, the first regional helicopter service in B.C. He is presently an entrepreneur in Residence at Simon Fraser University, Venture Connection. He mentors companies and individuals and is a member of the BC Angle Form and an investor in early stage companies. Since 1982, Mr. Blakeway has been a director of a number of public companies on the TSX & Venture Exchange. He is currently a member of the board of directors of Nanotech Security Corp., IDIT Technologies Corp., IDME Development Corp., Legend Power Systems Inc, Tactical Technologies Inc, Wireless Industry Partnership Connector Inc. (WIP), and RFind Systems, Inc. Mr. Blakeway serves on audit, compensation and corporate governance committees and with his knowledge of the policies and procedures for listing Capital Pool Companies (CPC’s) has facilitated the successful qualification of a CPC to a Tier 2 issuer on the TSX Venture Exchange. Mr. Blakeway is a past member of member of British Columbia Securities Policy Advisory Committee (SPAC), and member of Simon Fraser University Surrey – Business Advisory Council, Canadian Listed Company Association, The Digital Media and Wireless Association of BC (DigiBC), Wavefront Wireless Innovation Society of BC and The Executive Committee (TEC), an international organization for CEOs.

The reference to Wireless2 Technologies could explain [Note Oct. 3, 2011: This was originally worded as "certainly explains"] why the company can claim a history of 20 years or more and I expect  they are using the association with Tactical Technologies as reason to claim experience in security, surveillance, etc. I was not able to find much information about Wireless2 Technologies.

As well, I’m not clear as to the relationship that Strategic Technologies has with anything and I can’t find much information about it either. Further, I was not able to find mention of Mr. Blakeway on the G4S (Canada) website. Here’s the company history,

G4S Secure Solutions (Canada) Ltd. was founded in October 1966 by retired members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as Canadian Protection Services (CPS).

A recently expanded service offering, which includes all critical areas of the security industry, our Secure Solutions team has nearly 8,000 employees across the country.  We operate in many different markets from Government to Private Energy & Utilities, Condominiums & Residential to Transport & Logistics, Major Corporations to Financial Institutions, Petrochemical to Natural Resources, and Healthcare to Retail & Loss Prevention.

In early 2000, G4S Cash Solutions (Canada) Ltd. entered the Canadian market as Securicor, with the purchase of a number of cash services providers. Through these acquisitions, G4S Cash Solutions gained over 71 years of experience of the Canadian cash services market.

In 2005, expansion continued with the acquisition of Ontario’s largest regional service provider, a move that further ingrained the business in the nation’s largest market. With over 2,500 employees and 55 branches across the country, G4S Cash Solutions continues to operate the largest, market leading coast-to-coast service network in Canada.

As a result of the 2004 merger between Group 4 Falck A/S and Securicor plc, two Canadian security service divisions were united in Canada under a global brand.

With over 10,000 employees across the nation, G4S brings a wealth of security knowledge and expertise to the Canadian marketplace.

In Canada, our complete focus as security experts is to provide innovative and quality security solutions to businesses across the country.

I cannot find a reference to G4S Justice Services (Canada) other than listings in the Yellow Pages, CanPages, and the like. G4S is an international company which was founded in 1901 in Denmark. Its headquarters are currently located in the UK. The Canadian subsidiary is in fact two entities G4S Secure Solutions (Canada) and G4S Case Solutions (Canada). Mr. Blakeway is not included on the website as a member of either management team. As I noted it’s all rather puzzling but that may be due to my ignorance of business structures.

It’s early days yet for NTS and I imagine this is the ‘growing pains’ part of the process and that these inconsistencies will be rectified and, perhaps, some of the more ‘hyped’ terminology regarding the products and the attempts to fuse the company name with the entire field of nanotechnology will be toned down.

Butterflies inspire anti-counterfeiting measures

The Morpho butterfly is a singularly beautiful blue impossible for artists to reproduce with pigments as the colour is due to nanostructures which cause the wing’s unique optical properties. (Image copied from Wikipedia essay on Morpho butterflies.)

Photograph of a Blue Morpho butterfly (Morpho menelaus) by Gregory Phillips.

The butterfly has excited a lot of interest in the nanotechnology field and this morning (Jan. 17, 2011) research scientists (Clint Landrock and Bozena Kaminska) based at Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, Canada) announced that in an effort to eliminate currency fraud they have found a way to duplicate the butterfly’s optical properties on paper currency. It all starts with holes (from the Jan. 17, 2011 news release),

Imagine a hole so small that air can’t go through it, or a hole so small it can trap a single wavelength of light. Nanotech Security Corp., with the help of Simon Fraser University researchers, is using this type of nano-technology – 1,500 times thinner than a human hair and first of its kind in the world – to create unique anti-counterfeiting security features.

How this works is microscopic gratings composed of nanostructures interact with light to produce the shimmering iridescence seen on the Costa Rican morpho butterfly. The nanostructures act to reflect and refract light waves to produce the morpho’s signature blue wings and absorb other unwanted light.

The highly advanced wing structures are the result of many millennia of evolution, and only recently have Nanotech’s scientists discovered how to reproduce these structures reliably. While others have talked about the possibility of re-creating it, Nanotech has made this a reality.

The U.S. Treasury, which produces up to 11 billion banknotes annually, is a potential customer for Nanotech’s product. The new U.S. $100 bill, designed with state-of-the art security features, was supposed to be introduced in February 2011 but it’s been delayed due to some manufacturing issues.

According to Blakeway [Doug Blakeway, SFU Venture Connection’s entrepreneur in residence and also CEO and chairman of Nanotech Security Corp.], Nanotech’s product – which has attracted the attention of treasuries internationally – is superior to holograms and can’t be duplicated.

“Nobody has ever done this,” he said. “We have succeeded while everybody is still trying to duplicate or imitate a butterfly’s wing because it absorbs light and gives off the color. There’s no color pigment – there’s nothing like a dye or anything else. It’s a hole that traps light and releases color.

“You can’t copy or scan it in, you can’t inkjet it on paper, you can’t do any of these things. It’s extremely sophisticated and expensive to make the shims and dyes to produce, but very inexpensive to produce it at the end. Anywhere you can think of where a hologram is being used today, our technology can replace it. It’s more secure than a hologram. You can’t lift it off – we can put it onto metal, plastic, or paper.”

There is a video clip of a Discovery Planet item about the scientists’ presentation at the recent Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show. (Note: The clip is about 11 minutes long and the ‘Morpho’ money item is partway through.)

I’m a little puzzled about whether or not this is really the first time (as Nanotech Security Corp. claims) someone else has been able to reproduce the butterfly’s optical properties since there is a company in Japan, Teijin, which produces ‘Morphotex’, a textile that has the same properties as the butterfly. This was mentioned in my July 19, 2010 posting which also features an image of Donna Sgro’s dress made from the textile.