Micro-X (ASX: MX1) has entered an alliance with Paris-headquartered global aerospace, defence, transportation and security company Thales Group to sell its mobile backscatter imager and develop a “revolutionary” airport checkpoint security system.
The alliance paves the way for Thales and Micro-X to collaborate on worldwide sales and support of Micro-X’s counter-terrorism mobile backscatter imager for assessment of improvised explosive devices.
Micro-X has developed a range of products based on its carbon nanotube emitter technologies (CNT), which enable the unique miniaturisation of X-ray applications for medical and security sectors.
To-date, Micro-X has received “very positive” feedback from users in the US and Australia regarding the operational concept and imaging performance demonstration that was conducted for the Australian defence force’s counter-improved explosive device taskforce.
Under this collaboration, Thales will sell the mobile backscatter imager worldwide.
Airport checkpoint security system collaboration
Additionally, Thales and Micro-X have signed a heads of agreement to develop a future and “revolutionary” airport checkpoint security system.
Micro-X has already developed and demonstrated the dual backscatter, transmission X-ray imaging technology under a UK Government contract.
The technology will be licenced to Thales and the company will contract Micro-X’s engineering capability to design and develop the core imaging sub-system.
Micro-X’s anticipated revenue from this project will be estimated closer to the product’s launch date.
“Entering this long-term multi-dimensional alliance with Thales marks a key inflection point in Micro-X’s development and changes our growth trajectory considerably,” Micro-X managing director Peter Rowland said.
New X-ray tube products in the pipeline
In addition to mobile backscatter imager and the airport checkpoint security system, Micro-X and Thales will jointly work on design and manufacture of a new range of ultra-miniature X-ray tubes combining Micro-X’s experience in CNT X-ray sources with Thales’ 60 years’ experience in X-ray devices.
Thales will manufacture the tubes in France, which will underpin the duo’s development plans for future X-ray products from medical and security markets.
“The close, long term working relationship and collaboration agreed with Thales on technology, manufacturing, product development and sales activities positions us well to propel Micro-X’s value creation quickly to the point where the company has multiple unique products in production and sales are generating the healthy EBITDA margins which flow from our unique technology advantage,” Mr Rowland noted.
Thales backs Micro-X with $10m bond
Thales will also assist Micro-X with development costs for the next generation of products by subscribing to a six-year $10 million convertible bond.
Once the deal receives regulatory approval, Micro-X will receive $5 million from the issuance of the bond and will draw on the balance as required.
Commenting on the partnership Thales vice president microwave and imaging sub-systems Jean-Jacques Guittard said it was “just the beginning” and that the duo was at the “birth of a new technology evolution”.
“CNT is a game changer in so many fields, but none offer such practical and quantifiable benefits as in the X-ray imaging market.”
“From airport checkpoints to counter terrorism activities to future medical imaging devices, Thales and Micro-X are on the edge of a historically decisive moment.”
By midday shares in Micro-X had rocketed almost 35% to reach $0.36.