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EUís Graphene Flagship Initiative: A Public-Private Partnership of Unprecedented Scale

Written by Jeff Morse, PhD
January 31, 2013

ImageGraphene has been the subject of an explosion of technical research in recent years as a result of its unique combination of superior properties. It has become the starting point for disruptive technologies in a wide range of fields including high performance computing, transparent conductors, printed electronics, displays, solar photovoltaics, and sensors. Pathways to large area, high throughput production of graphene materials have been established, and key cases emerging from research labs around the globe have demonstrated the advantages of graphene for the applications noted above.  The European Commission recently announced graphene as one of the EU’s first 10-year, 1 Billion euro Future & Emerging Technology (FET) flagships. The goal of the Graphene Flagship is to accelerate the path of graphene and related layered materials from academic laboratory research to scaled commercialization. The resulting societal benefit and subsequent revolutionizing of multiple industry sectors should create substantial economic growth and new jobs in the EU. The recent announcement is noteworthy as it is launching a coordinated public-private partnership research initiative of unprecedented scale. The Graphene Flagship assembles an academic-industrial consortium which aims to create an innovation pipeline extending across the value chain, targeting specific technological breakthroughs in order to fuel the innovation cycle. The research effort will cover the entire value chain from materials production to components and system integration, and it targets a number of specific goals that exploit the unique properties of graphene. The NNN applauds this announcement as a timely example of the potential impact of public-private partnerships related to critical, game changing technology developments in with specific relevance to nanomaterials and nanomanufacturing. The recent announcement is included below:

Graphene Appointed an EU Future Emerging Technology Flagship

The European Commission has chosen Graphene as one of Europe’s first 10-year, 1,000 million euro FET flagships. The mission of Graphene is to take graphene and related layered materials from academic laboratories to society, revolutionize multiple industries and create economic growth and new jobs in Europe.

Graphene has been subject to a scientific explosion since the groundbreaking experiments on the novel material less than ten years ago, recognized by the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 to Professor Andre Geim and Professor Kostya Novoselov, at The University of Manchester. Graphene’s unique combination of superior properties makes it a credible starting point for new disruptive technologies in a wide range of fields.

With today’s announcement Europe is launching a new form of joint, coordinated research initiative of unprecedented scale. The Graphene Flagship brings together an academicindustrial consortium aiming at a breakthrough for technological innovation. The research effort will cover the entire value chain from materials production to components and system integration, and targets a number of specific goals that exploit the unique properties of graphene.

Key applications are for instance fast electronic and optical devices, flexible electronics, functional lightweight components and advanced batteries. Examples of new products enabled by graphene technologies include fast, flexible and strong consumer electronics such as electronic paper and bendable personal communication devices, and lighter and more energy efficient airplanes. On the longer term, graphene is expected to give rise to new computational paradigms and revolutionary medical applications such as artificial retinas.

From the start in 2013 the Graphene Flagship will coordinate 126 academic and industrial research groups in 17 European countries with an initial 30-month-budget of 54 million euro. The consortium will be extended with another 20-30 groups through an open call, issued soon after the start of the initiative, which will further strengthen the engineering aspects of the flagship. The flagship will be coordinated by Chalmers University of Technology based in Gothenburg, Sweden. Director is Professor Jari Kinaret who will lead the research activities together with the leaders of the 15 work packages. The management team is supported by a Strategic Advisory Council that includes the European Nobel Laureates Sir Andre Geim (chairman), Albert Fert, Klaus von Klitzing and Sir Kostya Novoselov, industrial representatives from Nokia and Airbus, and two representatives of the global graphene research community.

“Although the flagship is extremely extensive, it cannot cover all areas. For example, we don’t intend to compete with Korea on graphene screens”, says the Professor Jari Kinaret at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, Flagship Director. ”Graphene production, however, is obviously central to our project.”

During the 30 month ramp-up phase, the Graphene Flagship will focus on the area of communications, concentrating on ICT and on the physical transport sector, and supporting applications in the fields of energy technology and sensors. After the ramp-up phase, the flagship will grow to full size and include many new groups and activities. The details of flagship implementation after the ramp-up phase are still open and form a part of the discussions on the Horizon 2020 research program of the European Union.

Source:  Graphene Flagship

 

 

Last updated: January 31, 2013
 

Tags: Graphene Flagship, European Commission, Graphene

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