IOP hosts debate on graphene commercialisation

20 November 2013

Business leaders, academics and graphene researchers gathered at the IOP’s London centre on 18 November to discuss the challenges surrounding graphene commercialisation in the UK.

The briefing was organised by the Institute in partnership with the National Physical Laboratory.

Nathan Hill, business development and strategy director for the National Graphene Institute (NGI), said graphene needed to move from being a wonder material to become an engineering material. The NGI in Manchester can help to facilitate this as it is establishing collaborative links across the supply chain, he said.

Mike Worboys (pictured), acting director of the BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre, discussed the issues that must be addressed if graphene is to be widely adopted by industry. He stressed the importance of considering the cost/benefit trade off and recommended that a road-map for graphene should be developed to help move it from the laboratory to large-scale industry. Partnerships would be key in driving this forward, he said.

Both spoke as members of a panel chaired by the IOP’s vice-president (business and innovation), Prof Alison McMillan.

In a question and answer session, speakers and delegates discussed how to improve the links along the supply chain and how to navigate the so-called valley of death associated with the development of technologies. This “valley” is the gap between ideas for innovative applications and translating these into full-scale commercialised products and services.

The UK is committed to a £60 m cash injection into graphene research, including funding for the NGI, which is due to open in spring 2015.

  • A lecture on “Graphene: materials in the flatland” will be given by Nobel Prize winner Prof. Sir Konstantin Novoselov on 28 November. The talk at the IOP’s London centre is free, but registration is required at http://publiclectures2013.iop.org.


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