Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 84

“It’s something for which we have long
campaigned. The potential for the applications
of such materials is vast, and they will play a
major part in realising the economic potential
of Manchester, Greater Manchester and the
North as a whole.”
Graphene City
The opening of the research institutes will
reinforce Manchester’s position as a globally
leading knowledge base in graphene research
and commercialisation. The developments are
major steps in creating the ‘Graphene City’ in
Manchester, and both centres are expected to
encourage industry-led development in
graphene applications between the academic
and industrial sectors through collaboration.
The multiple investments into Manchester
would also provide benefits to the UK, as Bailey
highlighted at the opening ceremony of the NGI.
He said that such developments would help the
country stay at the forefront of graphene
research and innovation: “The opening of the
NGI … complemented by the GEIC opening in
2017 and the future Sir Henry Royce Institute
for Advanced Materials, will provide the UK with
the facilities required to accelerate new
materials to market.
for-profit, private graduate university to develop indigenous research and
development capacity in the emirate, addressing key issues of the region.
Innovate UK is supported by the Department for Business, Innovation and
Skills in the UK Government and aims to increase economic growth by
encouraging and supporting business-led innovation. It also focuses on
tackling major societal challenges and helping accelerate the creation
of new products and services. The body brings together business,
researchers and the public sector to achieve these goals.
The GEIC is set to open in 2017, and it is envisaged that the institute will
enable the acceleration of applied research and development in
partnership with other research organisations and industry. Linking into
existing national expertise, the centre will also focus on pilot production
and characterisation, together with application development in
composites, energy, solution formulations and coatings, electronics and
membranes. The GEIC is also expected to stimulate the commercial
redevelopment of the university’s North Campus, creating a cornerstone
for ‘Graphene City’ and a wider advanced materials environment.
Advanced materials
In addition to the development of the GEIC and the NGI, further funding is
being poured into Manchester in the area of advanced materials. In
December 2014, Osborne announced the creation of the £235m Sir Henry
Royce Institute for Materials Research and Innovation at the University of
Manchester, along with satellite centres at universities in Sheffield, Leeds,
Liverpool, Cambridge, Oxford, and Imperial College London.
It is anticipated that the new centre will allow the country to grow its
world leading research base in advanced materials science, seen as
fundamental to all industrial sectors and the national economy. Key aims
of the institute include increasing safety and confidence in the use of
advanced materials in UK industry; helping to reduce the time of crossing
the ‘valley of death’ for new materials; providing key skills and training;
encouraging industry and academia to collaborate; and assisting in the
translation of ideas across sectors.
The investment from the UK Government is also the “largest single
funding agreement” in the history of the University of Manchester,
according to vice-chancellor Rothwell, who also described the financing
as a “testament to the outstanding research in advanced materials
carried out in Manchester”.
Adding his thoughts, Bailey described the move as “providing the
opportunity for the UK to stay ahead in this vital area of research and
innovation to ensure growth in the national economy, as well as
addressing the many global challenges facing society”.
The leader of Manchester City Council, Sir Richard Leese, has also very
much welcomed the investment, saying it brings benefits to both the city
and region: “This is a momentous announcement for Manchester and
the UK which underlines the University of Manchester’s world class
credentials and adds significant momentum to the city’s major role at
the leading edge of global advanced material research.
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
Bendable smart
window: a new
innovation centre
focusing on the
commercialisation of
graphene will also be
based at the University
of Manchester
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