Ilika, the developer of specialised small Lithium-ion solid-state batteries and of new materials, continues to live on grants and research funding. In the half-yearly report released on 9 January the company announced success in obtaining a new grant for £365 thousand over 3 years and two notices of intent for grants amounting to £1.4 million over 2 years and one for £1m over 1 year.

Providing all these work out revenue will be significantly increased from the £329k reported for H1 2016 (H1 2015: £254k) and the losses reduced from £1.98m (H1 2015: £1.67m).  The grant for £365k and two of the other grants relate to battery development while the third relates to materials development.

Ilika’s StereaxTM batteries, launched in April 2016 and on which a major proportion of the company’s resources have been spent, are still under evaluation with OEM partners. According to the report  “Feedback on the performance of these cells relative to the specifications required for customer applications has enabled the refinement of Ilika’s StereaxTM roadmap”.

In other words improvements are needed, and in three areas – smaller size, higher energy density and higher operating temperature – which are important for the sort of specialised markets that Ilika are targeting: the internet of things, particularly for medical and automobile.

The roadmap already envisaged improvements in these areas so the evaluations have not been a big surprise. What is not clear is when the batteries will be good enough for an OEM partner to purchase a license.

In the meantime the company raised £5.8m from a share offering in October thereby raising the cash balance at the end of the period to £7.1m (H1 2015: £4.5m). The net cash used for operations was £1.7m (H1 2015: £1.4m) so the company has reasonable liquidity, especially in light of the new grants. In addition Ilika have no debts.

The share price dropped after the share issue and is now around 45p (2016 high: 78.5p, low 42.5p) with a market capitalisation of £35m.