Graphene was made and tested in Europe, leading to the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov from the University of Manchester.
The hope is that this €1bn programme will place European companies “in the driving seat for the global race to develop graphene technologies”.
“This adds strength to our unprecedented effort to take graphene and related materials from the lab to the factory floor, so that the world-leading position of Europe in graphene science can be translated into technology, creating a new graphene-based industry,” said Prof. Andrea Ferrari, director of the Cambridge Graphene Centre and Chair of the Executive Board of the Graphene Flagship.
Sixty-six new partners are being invited to join the consortium following a €9m competitive call.
With universities, research institutes and companies as part of the project, which is Europe’s largest research programme, the partnership now includes more than 140 organisations from 23 countries.
Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission believes Europe is leading the world in graphene research.
“This ‘wonder material’ has the potential dramatically to improve our lives: it stimulates new medical technologies, such as artificial retinas, and more sustainable transport with light and ultra-efficient batteries,” said Kroes.
The 66 new partners come from 19 countries, six of which are new to the consortium: Belarus, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary and Israel.
With its 16 new partners, Italy now has the highest number of partners in the Graphene Flagship alongside Germany (with 23 each), followed by Spain (18), UK (17) and France (13).
Prof. Jari Kinaret, Professor of Physics at the Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and Director of the Graphene Flagship, said: “The response was overwhelming, which is an indicator of the recognition for and trust in the flagship effort throughout Europe.”
The Graphene Flagship represents a European investment of €1 billion over the next 10 years.
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