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European Commission approves EUR 30 million of EU Regional Funds for a cutting edge research hub in North West England

(11 March 2013)

European Commission approves EUR 30 million of EU Regional Funds for a cutting edge research hub in North West England

The European Commission has approved an investment of €30 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to establish what should become Europe’s leading research and commercialisation centre for graphene in Manchester.    

The project will allow the building of the National Graphene Institute as a national and European research hub to develop cutting edge work into graphene. Graphene is the world’s thinnest, strongest and most conductive material. It offers huge potential for researchers and industry alike in fields from computing to smart phones.

The institute will work with other research centres and companies in applied research which helps take graphene from the laboratory to the market place, strengthening Europe’s competitiveness in the growing global market for graphene applications.

Commenting on the decision, Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn said "I am very pleased that European investments will enable the establishment of the National Graphene Institute.  As a former Science Minister I am well aware of the importance of supporting cutting edge research and providing the means for that to be commercialized. This is good news for the North West in terms of jobs but it also will ensure that Europe as a whole remains at the forefront of research into graphene: giving EU businesses a valuable opportunity to use the vast potential of this material.  Supporting these kinds of initiatives is just what our modern Regional Policy should and will be doing more of in the future."

The investment will have a positive impact on the overall economy of the region and increase Europe’s competitiveness. It is hoped the centre will initially create around 100 jobs, with the long-term expectation of many thousands more in the North West and more widely in the UK.

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