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industry solutions for sustainable development.

Other industry leaders which are seizing this

opportunity to produce graphene in Canada

include Carbon Canada and Northern Graphite.

If successful, the low cost manufacturing of

high-quality graphene at large scale will make

Canada a graphene powerhouse.

International collaboration

One aspect missing from this picture has been

the lack of fruitful industry-academia

collaboration on graphene-related technologies.

Since Canadian industry is a late entrant to the

race for graphene technologies, such

partnerships will take some time to evolve and

become visible. The inaugural edition of the

‘Graphene & 2D Materials International

Conference and Exhibition’, to be held in

Montréal in October 2015, will certainly enhance

Canada’s visibility on graphene research.

The three-day conference is expected to

include nearly 30 keynote speakers, including

representatives from major universities and

businesses in both North America and Europe;

Professor Andrea Ferrari of the University of

Cambridge, UK, is also expected to attend.

Grafoid has been confirmed as the

conference’s main sponsor and the event is

poised to attract global players on graphene-

related technologies, and provide a unique

platform for information exchange for

graphene research.

Momentum is now building in Canada for

graphene research and different pieces are

falling into place. Time is ripe for building a

unified network of government, academia and

industrial partners engaged in graphene-related

technologies like the Graphene Flagship

consortium initiated by the EU. Furthermore,

given the EU’s leadership in this area, Canada

needs to develop new multilateral co-operations

with the Union’s member states, providing

international collaborative opportunities to

Canadian researchers.

I S S U E S E V E N

H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L

www.horizon2020projects.com

Professor ChandraVeer Singh

UniversityofToronto

B R OW S E

www.utoronto.ca www.sdtc.ca

H O R I Z O N

2 0 2 0

36

S P E C I A L F E AT U R E : M AT E R I A L S

personnel in Canada compared to similar positions in the United States

and elsewhere.

The financial support for operating grants is severely limited for such

fundamental research and cash-strapped governments have no patience

with research that is not almost immediately commercial. The

Government of Canada provides excellent opportunities to partner with

industries; however, private companies are currently cash-strapped too

and hence are not looking at the long term technologies. The funding

support for graphene-related research can be best described as ‘difficult’

in Canada.

Centre development

The second challenge facing graphene research in Canada is that it lacks

large scale collaboration, which is required to bring the exciting

opportunities provided by graphene and other 2D materials to fruition in

the form of commercial technologies. The research accomplishments

made by graphene scientists in Canada have so far been mostly from

individual research groups.

Other nations are dedicating resources in the form of new graphene and

2D materials centres; for instance, the UK has led by developing the

National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester and the

Cambridge Graphene Centre at the University of Cambridge, and

Singapore has developed its own Graphene Research Centre at the

National University of Singapore. However, no such centre exists in

Canada that can bring together an array of excellent researchers with

multitudes of skillsets to tackle challenging issues in the development

of graphene-related technologies.

Industry participation

Canada’s large graphite deposits provide a unique opportunity for

industry traditionally involved in graphite mining. Seizing this opportunity,

multiple companies have started focusing on graphene. Lomiko Metals,

which owns graphite deposits in northern Québec, partnered with

Graphene Laboratories of New York and was able to manufacture

graphene from Canadian graphite for the first time.

In order to overcome scalability and cost issues in graphene

manufacturing, Grafoid Inc, incorporated in 2011 in Ottawa, Ontario,

has developed MesoGraf™ technology that claims to manufacture low

cost, environmentally sustainable, high-quality graphene with a minimal

environmental footprint. In this regard, they have just been awarded an

8.1 million Canadian dollar (~€5.8m) grant by Sustainable Development

Technology Canada, a programme focusing on funding innovative

Montréal will host

the country’s first

major conference

on graphene later

this year