The European Commission has chosen Graphene as one of Europe’s first 10-year, €1 billion (US$1.34 billion) Future Emerging Technology (FET) flagships. The mission of Graphene is to take graphene and related layered materials from academic laboratories to society, revolutionize multiple industries and create economic growth and new jobs in Europe.
Graphene has been subject to a scientific explosion since the groundbreaking experiments on the novel material less than ten years ago, recognized by the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 to Professor Andre Geim and Professor Kostya Novoselov, at The University of Manchester. Graphene’s unique combination of superior properties makes it a credible starting point for new disruptive technologies in a wide range of fields.
With the announcement, Europe is launching a new form of joint, coordinated research initiative of unprecedented scale. The Graphene Flagship brings together an academic-industrial consortium aiming at a breakthrough for technological innovation. The research effort will cover the entire value chain from materials production to components and system integration, and targets a number of specific goals that exploit the unique properties of graphene.
Key applications are fast electronic and optical devices, flexible electronics, functional lightweight components and advanced batteries. Examples of new products enabled by graphene technologies include fast, flexible and strong consumer electronics such as electronic paper and bendable personal communication devices, and lighter and more energy efficient airplanes. On the longer term, graphene is expected to give rise to new computational paradigms and revolutionary medical applications such as artificial retinas.
From the start in 2013 the Graphene Flagship will coordinate 126 academic and industrial research groups in 17 European countries with an initial 30-month-budget of €54 million. The consortium will be extended with another 20-30 groups through an open call, issued soon after the start of the initiative, which will further strengthen the engineering aspects of the flagship.