A listed Durham University spin-out has signed a joint development agreement with a private equity-backed manufacturer.

Applied Graphene Materials (AGM), which trades on AIM, has signed a deal with Oldham-headquartered aerosol and consumer chemicals manufacturer James Briggs, backed by private equity firm Endless.

AGM and James Briggs have already started an accelerated product development programme with a view to early market exploitation of graphene. Under the agreement, James Briggs will incorporate graphene material into its existing paint formulations to deliver higher-performing primers with improved corrosion protection.

The expectation is that a new range of primers will be launched in early 2017. Alongside this, the two businesses will be cooperating on potential applications for lubrication products given the improved friction properties offered by the application of graphene.

Tim Pugh, chief executive of James Briggs, said: "We are keen to become the first specialty chemicals and coatings company to take advantage of this exciting new technology. The detailed understanding that AGM bring of how to get the most out of their material is impressive and we look forward to rapidly incorporating graphene into our own extensive range of everyday products."

AGM announced details of the agreement at the same time as it reported "outstanding" performance results from proof-of-concept studies into the use of its graphene in anti-corrosive coatings. The PRA, an independent testing consultancy, has evaluated the performance following ISO-standard accelerated weathering and anti-corrosion tests.

AGM has developed an improved graphene material that has been demonstrated to deliver a six-fold improvement in barrier and anti-corrosion properties at low loading levels.