As a public company, the support and confidence of our shareholders is very important to us, and our success. We’ve been able to share some great updates over the last month, and are both confident and excited in the direction our company and its technology are headed. From the meetings and conversations we’ve had, it’s evident that the interest and market opportunity for 3D imaging is present throughout multiple verticals – but like all new and disruptive technologies, things can take time to fully develop.
We receive questions daily on the status of certain initiatives, company processes, and the stock itself, and we do our best to release updates when pertinent information is available and within the constraints imposed by our public status. In an effort to keep our shareholders updated, we’d like to answer some of the questions that have been sent through to us over the last couple of weeks.
How much salary does Victor Keen make as CEO? What about other officers and directors?
As clearly disclosed in public documents filed by the company, including 10Q’s, 10K’s and 8K’s, CEO Victor Keen takes no cash salary from the company. He does receive stock options, exercisable only if he remains with the company. It should be noted that Mr. Keen is also the largest shareholder of record in the company and has provided significant funding to the company at various times.
The CFO of the company, Ron Robinson, makes $6,000 per month and the CTO, Dr. Hakki Refai, receives a salary of $12,000 per month, one-half of which is reimbursed by the OCAST grant. The company uses outside consultants to provide many of the other professional and scientific requirements of the company. These consultants are compensated in either stock or cash, or some combination of the two. This arrangement provides the professional and technical services necessary without the fixed commitment of a full time employee.
The company’s board members and advisory board members are compensated in stock options and do not receive any cash compensation.
Are the management group and/or board members selling shares in the market?
No officers of the company or board members have sold any shares of the company’s stock in 2014.
Is the company going to show shareholders the current prototype?
The company has been working on producing a video of the current prototype to show prospective partners, investors, shareholders, and to share on a wider public basis. Some of the prospective grant funders have suggested that a video would be helpful to the process. As stated in previous communications, the prototype image is difficult to appropriately display in photos or videos, however, the company is making an effort to do so. In the event that we are able to secure an appropriate 3D image the company intends to make the video public.
Can you provide an update on the status of federal funding through grants?
As discussed in the latest Management Briefing in June 2014, the company, led by Federal Funding Specialist Doug Freitag, and in conjunction with our Strategic Partners, is actively pursuing federal funding to accelerate our commercialization of the CSpace® technology and more specifically, to complete the image chamber material development. We believe we are making significant progress toward this goal and have been providing regular updates to shareholders through the company blog as meetings occur.
The Management Briefing included the slide shown below, which outlines the company’s identification of various agencies that in the past have expressed interest in new forms of data visualization including, in many cases, 3D. The slide also provided a timeline of when we expected to start discussions with these various agencies to determine that a need for 3D visualization of data still exists, assess interest in 3DIcon’s technology as a potential solution they would consider, identify subject matter experts and end-users for the technology in the respective agencies that we should be talking to, and explore opportunities for funding and timing of the identified funding opportunities.
This process is well underway with initial discussions completed with the Air Force, Army, DARPA, DOD, NIH, DHS, FAA, DOE, and CIA. These discussions have resulted in a better understanding of where 3DIcon’s technology may or may not fit and where sources of funding exist that align with the level of technology maturity that exists today. For example, we found that we were not mature enough for applications of interest to DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, but based on the feedback received, we are preparing for a meeting in November with DARPA’s Defense Science Office to explore funding to mature the image chamber material that has been identified as a key remaining challenge. We recently reported on a very successful meeting with the Air Force Research Lab and will be submitting a concept paper to them by December for consideration. We also reported on a meeting with relevant Army S&T Portfolio managers that resulted in guidance on applications of interest and additional organizations within the Army that we should contact. Additional meetings with the Army are planned before year-end.
A similar outcome occurred with preliminary discussions at the DOE Office of Vehicle Technologies. It was recommended that we speak to the DOE Advanced Manufacturing Office. A meeting is being scheduled for November. Based on feedback from the CIA and AFRL, we are now in a better position to speak with the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity and will be attending their Industry Day later this month. We recently reported on plans to submit at least one proposal to NIH in December. We had hoped to submit this proposal in September but lacked the support that we felt was needed for award selection. We now believe we have adequate support from a nationally recognized healthcare institution and will be submitting as reported. While NSF has yet to be contacted, discussions are anticipated with a proposal submission scheduled for December. We have yet to speak to NASA but see opportunities for everything from monitoring space debris to mission training. NASA will be releasing new funding opportunities in November and we anticipate submitting a response but need to see the scope of their interest when released.
We previously projected that the company would secure funding before the end of the government fiscal year of September 30, 2014. This forecast was based on the perceived need by the Federal Government for advances in data visualization. While we have confirmed this need clearly exists and continues to grow, it has taken longer than anticipated to identify sponsors willing to invest in a multi-year project to develop a display that will meet their specifications. However, Management strongly believes we are making progress and will be successful in meeting our funding goals over the next 12 months.
To support this success, concepts for overcoming remaining challenges associated with the image chamber material are being developed with the support of our strategic partner, SCHOTT Defense. Also, strategic partnerships with end users continue to be formed, methods to better show potential sponsors and end-users the capability of the technology continue to be refined, and the pipeline of opportunities continues to be expanded.
The updated pipeline is provided below. However, we cannot provide any assurances that such funding will be granted and/or that the opportunity pipeline shown will ever result in definitive engagements or funding.
While the company strives for transparency with its shareholder base, we also do not wish to provide a road map for competing technologies to pursue for the same base of grant funding. Consequently, the company will provide more detailed information only following meetings and grant submissions, as we have done in the past.
Similarly, many of the discussions with potential commercial partners take place under the umbrella of a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) that prohibits either party from disclosing that such discussions are taking place. At the time an agreement is concluded, an announcement will be made, if allowed, and within the parameters provided by those agreements.