Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 83

of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, now deputy
president and deputy vice-chancellor, Professor Colin Bailey, commented:
“Research and development in graphene and 2D material applications
will transform the world. The world leading knowledge base is here in
Manchester, and to harvest this knowledge for the benefit of the economy
and society more widely, urgent infrastructure facilities are required.
“The GEIC, supported by part funding from the UKRPIF, TSB and Masdar,
is essential to maintain the UK’s international leadership position in this
area and ensure effective commercialisation of a UK discovery.”
Leading partnerships
A total of £30m is being provided by Masdar, a firm focusing on
advancing the development, commercialisation and deployment of clean
technologies and solutions based in Abu Dhabi and owned by Mubadala.
The UKRPIF is also providing £15m of funding to the project, in addition
to £5m from Innovate UK, alongside financing from other research funds
and institutions.
Speaking about the investment made by Masdar, chief executive officer
Dr Ahmad Belhoul said: “Developing and implementing new sustainable
technologies is at the heart of Masdar’s mission. Our existing research
partnerships have a history of producing innovative solutions across a
range of sectors.
“Masdar is pleased to be partnering with the University of Manchester,
which has world leading academic and research credentials. With potential
applications for graphene across major industries, we are confident that
together we can pioneer the use of this groundbreaking material.”
In addition to collaborating in the GEIC, the University of Manchester and
Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, a research-intensive
university in Masdar City in Abu Dhabi and part of the wider government
Masdar initiative that began in 2006, have commenced joint graphene
application research and fellowship programmes. The schemes focus on
industrial applications of the nanomaterial across different sectors. The
Masdar Institute was created by the Government of Abu Dhabi as a not-
created in the northwest region, and the UK as
a whole, in the long term as a result of the NGI.
Prior to the opening of the institute, when the
first designs of the NGI were released in 2013,
one of the founders of graphene, Professor Dr
Sir Kostya Novoselov, drew attention to the
importance of the NGI. Novoselov, along with
fellow Manchester researcher Professor Andre
Geim, isolated graphene for the first time at the
University of Manchester in 2004. He said: “The
NGI is fundamentally important to continuing
the world class graphene research started in
Manchester. Our researchers and scientists will
be able to collaborate with colleagues from
other universities and from some of the world’s
leading companies, which can only serve to
enhance scientific research. We are delighted
that the government has chosen to invest in
graphene, which has the potential to change
technology in so many ways.” (Indeed, it is
anticipated that graphene will revolutionise a
huge number of diverse products and services,
including smartphones, computer chips,
ultrafast broadband and drug delivery.)
Commercialisation centre
In September 2014, it was announced that the
University of Manchester would also be home
to a further research and innovation centre on
graphene. The university is receiving £60m of
funding from the Higher Education Funding
Council for England’s UK Research Partnership
Investment Fund (UKRPIF), the Technology
Strategy Board (TSB, now Innovate UK), and
Masdar, a clean technology and renewable
energy company based in the United Arab
Emirates, amongst others, to establish the
Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC).
The facility will be vital in the development of
commercial applications and will help the UK
maintain a world leading position in graphene
and related 2D materials.
According to the University of Manchester, the
GEIC will fill a critical gap in the ecosystem for
graphene and 2D material research,
development and application in the UK. It will
offer a unique opportunity to establish a leading
role in a disruptive technology that spans a
number of industrial sectors.
Speaking about the GEIC and welcoming the
news, the University of Manchester’s then dean
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
I S S U E S I X
83
G R A P H E N E R E S E A R C H
Quantum hydrogen on
graphene: the
nanomaterial is
expected to transform
a range of products
across the world
© UCL Mathematical and Physical Sciences
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