2018 Winner
Wise 50 Over 50 Award™

John Dicks – Nova Graphene Canada Inc.


John has been an entrepreneur since 1983, when he started his first business: a restaurant in Halifax.He has since been owned & operated a variety of businesses, including construction, international business consultancy, and in Digital Cinema Labs – a company established to make an IMAX documentary on the life of Sir Alexander Graham Bell. Concurrent with his active role as a co-founder of Nova Graphene, John is a Principal with North 45 Orchards: one of the largest haskap berry companies in the world, and is working toward establishing a line of haskap-derived nutraceutical products.

John was 59 when we started Nova Graphene. We were working with a proprietary technology out of the US, and had discovered that a by-product of this process contained a good quantity of graphene: a unique crystalline carbon allotrope that will soon be ubiquitous in everything from coatings, to plastics & polymers, to electronics. Sensing a rare opportunity, we have been pursuing global partnerships with both industry and academia as we validate the myriad uses for graphene in everyday manufacturing.

It is still early days, but we have made progress developing formulations with a number of fantastic organizations, including: BASF, UOIT, Kingspan, Defence Research & Development Canada, University of Tennessee, CRH Concrete, and Trinity College Dublin.

More broadly, John is pleased to have facilitated the hiring of nearly two dozen Syrian refugees, and is happy to play a small part in ensuring Canada remains a player in the rapidly developing graphene world.