The UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has announced the formation of £50 M Global Research and Technology Hub that will connect UK researchers and businesses working to commercialise the Nobel Prize winning super strong material graphene.
The UK's Universities and Science Minister, David Willetts said, "One year ago, scientists working in Manchester won the Nobel Prize for their discovery of graphene – the Global Hub will ensure we win the race to develop commercial uses for it as well. The Hub will keep world-beating research into graphene in this country. It brings researchers and the companies seeking to exploit its incredible commercial potential together. This is an excellent example of leading-edge British science being harnessed to drive economic growth and the creation of high tech jobs."
Graphene, discovered by Manchester University scientists Professor Andre Geim and Dr. Konstantin Novoselov, is an exceptionally good conductor and the strongest and thinnest material ever measured. The UK government, through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), supported the early research that led to the discovery of graphene.
The UK has particular strength in graphene research with centres of excellence at leading universities. There are graphene centres of research excellence at Manchester, Cambridge, Lancaster, Exeter, Bath, Oxford and Durham universities and Imperial College London. UK researchers are in a worldwide race to develop commercial uses for graphene. The Hub will ensure leading researchers stay in Britain, leverage private-sector investment and help develop a home-grown, high tech industry.