Intellectual Property Acquisition Opportunity

Cambridge Nanotherm Limited (in Administration)

Colin Hardman and Henry Shinners of Smith & Williamson LLP as the Joint Administrators (the "Joint Administrators") of Cambridge Nanotherm Limited (in Administration) (“Cambridge Nanotherm” or the “Company”) have appointed Hilco Streambank to actively seek interested parties with regard to the sale of the Company’s intellectual property assets (the “Assets”).


Founded in 2010, Cambridge Nanotherm manufactured and commercially exploited high performance electronic grade ceramic substrates. From its site in the Cambridge Technology Cluster, the Company’s operations were primarily based in the UK and throughout Europe. The Company has developed a unique, proven process that is environmentally friendly for converting the surface of certain alloys into a high performance electronic grade ceramic. This Nanoceramic layer is a highly thermally efficient dielectric with enhanced mechanical properties of hardness, wear and corrosion resistance. The conversion process is also 3D, meaning the electrical dielectric can be created on complex shapes such as heatsinks. This results in the best combination of cost and performance in the industry and in the future this will be a vital material for new applications in automotive and other industrial markets.

The application properties of Cambridge Nanothem’s Nanoceramic layer are diverse, with advances being made by the Company to enter the automotive industry. It has gained significant commercial traction in the automotive LED industry where its surface treatment process was used to treat aluminium for use as a thermal management substrate. Nanotherm substrate’s have been designed to be a part of an automotive headlamp programme for a top 3 global LED manufacturer and this provides substantial revenue possibilities from 2020 onwards. The Company had the capacity to address headlamp, rear lighting and interior lighting in the automotive industry which is a market forecast to be worth $35bn+ with LED packages alone estimated to be worth $350m. Future opportunities also lie in next-generation automotive LED use-cases including LiDAR and IR for 3D sensing.

Nanotherm had a significant competitive advantage in this industry due to their specially designed substrates. This patented process is further protected on account of it being impossible to reverse engineer. The Company’s process therefore resulted in the best combination of cost and performance in the industry and is the only material that is suitable for new applications in automotive markets.

Cambridge Nanotherm

The patented processes can also be applied in additional automotive spheres. Power electronics, a market worth $2bn, provides an opportunity for Nanotherm’s low thermal resistance and reduced stack assembly costs to represent significant competitive advantage. The Company had under development a fully inorganic power substrate which would allow for a significant reduction in cost and increased short circuit resilience compared to the current standard power stack. Thermal management systems (TMS) are another secondary market which Cambridge Nanotherm can gain ground in. The Company expects this market to grow by 38% per annum to $4bn in 2026 and the Company had been exploring the possibility of supplying TMSs to the automotive battery market where the TMS is a key driver of battery life.

Other commercial opportunities exist in non-automotive applications. There was the capacity for the Company to address other LED markets including UV LEDS in the water disinfection systems market and specialist professional lighting applications where the thermal management of LED devices is required to maintain colour temperature and lifetime.

Available Assets

Goodwill in the Cambridge Nanotherm Brand

The Cambridge Nanotherm Brand is recognisable amongst key industry players, including the markets where the products are applicable.

Patent Portfolio

The Company’s unique process and key applications are protected by twenty-six granted patents across three patent families protected in the UK, EU, USA, China, Japan and India.

Domain Names

The Company has three registered domain names:;; and

Trade Marks

The Company has three registered trade marks protecting the “Nanotherm” brand in the UK, USA and EU.

Copyright in Website Content

Informational website providing insight into the Company’s services and products hosted at

Organisational Knowledge

Organisational knowledge in relation to machinery design, coating regimes for coating electronic substrates, electrolytes for coating electronic substrates, sealing materials and curing regimes, and materials and procedures for building electronic circuits on nanoceramic surface.

Further information is available on a dedicated electronic data room upon execution of a NDA available on request.

Sale Process

All expressions of interest and offers should be directed to Hilco Streambank in writing. Please contact Hilco Streambank to obtain an NDA and for more information regarding the sale process. A Bid Submission Form for submitting offers is available for download.

Key Terms & Conditions

The bidder acknowledges that Hilco acts as an agent for the client who offers for sale only what right, title and interest the client possesses in the assets. The information provided has not been verified by Hilco and bidders are deemed to have carried out their own due diligence.

VAT at 20% will be added to the price if applicable. Legal completion to occur within 5 business days of bid acceptance. Hilco Streambank's full Terms and Conditions apply. 

Contact Us

For further information about the sales process please contact the following Hilco Streambank representatives:

Interested Parties

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