National Graphene Institute

The £61 million NGI is the national centre for graphene research, which will enable academics and industry to work side-by-side on the graphene applications of the future.  More than 35 companies from across the world have already chosen to partner with The University of Manchester working on graphene-related projects.

The Government provided £38 million for the construction of the Institute via the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), with the remaining £23 million provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Graphene, just one atom thick, was isolated at The University of Manchester in 2004 by Sir Andre Geim and Sir Kostya Novoselov, earning them the Nobel prize for Physics in 2010.  The University has more than 200 researchers in the field, and a wide range of graphene and 2D material research projects.  Its potential uses are vast but one of the first areas in which products are likely to be seen is in electronics.  

The 7,825 square metre, five-storey building features cutting-edge facilities and equipment throughout to create a world-class research hub. The NGI’s 1,500 square metres of clean room space is the largest academic space of its kind in the world for dedicated graphene research.

The NGI is a significant first step in the vision to create a Graphene City® in Manchester. Set to open in 2017 the £60 million Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) will complement the NGI and initiate further industry-led development in graphene applications with academic collaboration.

The first commercial application of graphene is a graphene lightbulb, developed by Graphene Lighting plc.  

Professor Colin Bailey, Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, said “This lightbulb shows that graphene products are becoming a reality, just a little more than a decade after it was first isolated – a very short time in scientific terms.”

“This is just the start.  Our partners are looking at a range of exciting applications, all of which started right here in Manchester.  It is very exciting that the NGI has launched its first product despite barely opening its doors yet.”

This month, UMIP (The University of Manchester Intellectual Property) appointed Dr Simon Howell as dedicated IP Development and Partnering Manager for graphene projects.  He will manage and commercialise the growing portfolio of graphene related technologies emanating from the materials research base at the University with a view to either create new spinouts around these new developments, or license them to industry.

Simon joins from Manchester Metropolitan University, where he was Enterprise Manager at the School of Engineering, and was involved in founding, developing and selling a broad range of high tech businesses including leading one of The University of Manchester’s earliest spin-outs, Intelligent Solutions Partnerships..

Posted on Wednesday, 06 May 2015 under University news

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