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Ilika plc, the advanced cleantech materials discovery company, has appointed Diverso, a China-based clean technology investment company (“Diverso”), to develop new business opportunities on its behalf in the People’s Republic of China.

Diverso will be the Company’s business development representative in the People’s Republic of China focusing on the energy sector, including batteries, photovoltaics, hydrogen storage materials and fuel cells.

The agreement is in accordance with the outlined terms between the two parties, as summarised in the Company’s admission document, published on 6 May 2010. Diverso’s appointment will initially last for three years and no upfront or retainer fee is payable by the Company to Diverso.

Graeme Purdy, Ilika’s Chief Executive, said: “Diverso’s proven expertise in introducing innovative technology to Chinese manufacturing partners is a great attraction to us. Given its large and growing energy needs, China offers fantastic opportunities for the Company’s energy sector capabilities.”

“We are delighted to have signed this agreement with Diverso which we hope will unlock a major market for us. As an indirect shareholder in Ilika, Diverso’s interests are directly aligned with our own as we seek to develop new opportunities in this important market.”

Diverso’s mandate is to arrange and secure collaborative research projects or licensing agreements between the Company and third party commercialisation partners in the People’s Republic of China. Ilika will reimburse Diverso based on the revenues it receives from such third party commercialisation partners.

Stephen Edkins, Partner at Diverso, said: “We believe Ilika’s ability to rapidly develop novel materials suitable for the cleantech sector is of tremendous value to companies based in China. Ilika’s proprietary R&D technology makes it extremely attractive as a source of expertise to highly efficient, fast-growing Chinese manufacturers. Growth in China’s R&D spending has averaged over 20% annually, and with strong government backing we expect this trend to continue. ”

Through its subsidiary company, Mackin Holdings Inc, Diverso became a substantial shareholder (as defined in the AIM rules) in the Company’s recent successful IPO on AIM.