Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 82

It is therefore anticipated that some of the
world’s leading companies will participate in the
work of the NGI. According to the university,
they will be offered the chance to partake in
cutting-edge projects across various sectors,
working alongside Nobel laureates and other
leading members of the graphene team.
“World leading”
Also commenting on the opening of the NGI
was Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, president
and vice-chancellor of the University of
Manchester. The high level university academic
described the NGI as a key asset to both the
university and the country, bringing multiple
benefits to research. Rothwell said: “The NGI
will be the world’s leading centre of graphene
research and commercialisation. It will be the
home of graphene scientists and engineers
from across the University of Manchester.”
She continued: “This state-of-the-art institute
is an incredible asset, not only to this university
and to Manchester but also to the UK.”
The institute will also bring economic benefits
to the city, initially creating around 100 jobs. It
is expected that thousands more jobs will be
T
he University of Manchester in the United Kingdom is leading
the way in graphene research through multiple breakthroughs
and financial investments, keenly supported by both the public
and private sector, locally, nationally and internationally. The university is
home to the £61m (~€83.8m) National Graphene Institute (NGI),
established as the UK’s home of research into the world’s thinnest,
strongest and most conductive material.
The NGI, which opened in March 2015, provides the opportunity for
researchers and industry to collaborate on a huge variety of potential
applications. The 7,600m
2
building houses state-of-the-art facilities,
including two ‘cleanrooms’ where scientists can carry out experiments
and research without contamination.
The NGI also features a 1,500m
2
research lab for graphene scientists at
the university to collaborate with their colleagues from industry and other
UK universities that are undertaking graphene research in a ‘hub and
spoke’ model. Also housed in the NGI are specialised laboratories centred
on laser, optical, metrology and chemical research, supported by
specialised equipment.
Grand opening
At the unveiling of the NGI Finance Minister George Osborne described
the institute as a major part of the UK government’s policy initiative to
revitalise the economy of the north of England. “Backing science and
innovation is a key part of building a ‘Northern powerhouse’. The new
NGI at the University of Manchester will bring together leading
academics, scientists and business leaders to help develop the
applications of tomorrow, putting the UK in pole position to lead the
world in graphene technology.”
The NGI received funding from both the UK Government and the EU.
Through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the
government in London provided £38m to the construction of the NGI;
the funding is part of a £50m package allocated to graphene research.
In addition to the government’s contribution, the European Regional
Development Fund provided £23m to the project.
The University of Manchester is already home to more than 200 scientists
studying and investigating graphene as well as other 2D materials
research. Working across different sectors, there is an interdisciplinary
research environment and it is expected that the NGI will encourage
further co-operation within the research community.
I S S U E S I X
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
82
G R A P H E N E R E S E A R C H
Graphene City
The UK city of Manchester, the home of graphene, is benefitting from multiple
million-pound investments to ensure it remains the leading research centre for
this pioneering nanomaterial
The UK Finance
Minister, George
Osborne, opened the
NGI in March
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