Special Report: Graphene-based technology company Sparc Technologies has today announced the appointment of a new CEO, Mike Bartels, to spearhead the commercialisation of its graphene-based technologies.

Newly listed Sparc Technologies (ASX:SPN) has brought on board sales and marketing specialist Mike Bartels to lead the company as it looks to accelerate the push to market launch.

Bartels has extensive global experience with major multinational coatings companies in Australia and internationally, including Sherwin Williams, a NYSE listed company, and AkzoNobel listed in Amsterdam.

An expert in developing strategies and executing on growth plans, he has successfully held down senior roles as global head of marketing and sales director in the paint, protective coating, and insulation sectors.

As part of the restructuring,  Tom Spurling will stand aside from the CEO role. Spurling will, however, remain on the board as a non-executive director.

The company has been strengthening its senior executive roster, having earlier this month appointed experienced inventor Don Darkin to the role of strategic advisor for new technologies.

Sparc executive chairman, Stephen Hunt, said that Bartels’ expertise and network of relationships will help the company go to market fast.

“We are delighted to welcome someone of Mike’s calibre and industry experience to head the team at Sparc,” he said.

“Mike has the technical background, coatings industry understanding, sales and marketing experience and a network of relationships that will enable Sparc to accelerate the commercialisation of our graphene-based technologies. “

Disrupting the world through graphene technologies

In partnership with the University of Adelaide, Sparc Technologies is currently developing various graphene-based products simultaneously.

Graphene, extracted from graphite, is a 2-dimensional nano-material made of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal pattern, giving it ultra strength performance.

Bartels’ appointment has come at a pivotal time, as the company pushes to pioneer new graphene technologies and disrupt the industry.

The company has an enormous opportunity to reshape multibillion dollar markets, harnessing the intellectually protected graphene technology as a new super material.

Recent laboratory tests for its graphene product showed an adsorption rate of 96.98 per cent, which it said ‘substantially outperforms’ commercially-available adsorbents in treating mining tailings.

The product aims to disrupt the market in retrieving precious metals from tailings at historical mines, a market the company described as being worth US$1 trillion ($1.26 trillion) globally. Most importantly, it has a ready market in Australia’s precious metal miners.

In January, Sparc Technologies announced that testing on its anti-corrosion marine products have shown dramatic 19% in improved adhesive performance, resulting in a 73 per cent reduction in surface corrosion.

Other product testing in the works includes its graphene-based materials which improve the absorption of poly-fluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) contaminants by up to 100 per cent, compared to industry-standard granulated-activated carbon (GAC) products. This is used in products such as fire retardants.

Sparc’s IPO

The company made its IPO debut on 23 November 2020, selling 20 million shares at 20c each. It closed higher by 55 per cent on the day. The shares are trading at 33c today.


This article was developed in collaboration with Spark Technologies, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.