Graphene, a carbon film just one atom thick, will revolutionise how our material world is constructed. First successfully isolated in a European lab ten years ago, the material is 200 times stronger than steel and 70 times more conductive than silicon, opening up opportunities in range of areas from health care to aerospace. Already, graphene-enhanced foldable touchscreen prototypes for laptops and mobiles are being trialled.
While European researchers have often been at the forefront of identifying possible new applications for graphene – it was University of Manchester researchers that first identified the material – they have not always been able to commercialise their ideas. This is why the EU has launched a ten-year research fund called the Graphene Flagship, which is about creating the right environment for European innovation to flourish.
The EUR 1 billion Flagship, which was launched last year, will help bring ideas to market by coordinating hundreds of research teams and helping them pass their research on to industry. European companies taking part include Nokia, STMicroelectronics, BASF and Airbus. In total, the project includes 142 universities, institutes and companies from 23 European countries. Safety aspects of graphene will also be investigated.
For more information: www.heatexchanging.com