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National Graphene Institute: EU's strategic investment pays off

(28-02-2014)

National Graphene Institute: EU's strategic investment pays off

Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn has been in Manchester on 27 February to visit together with Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, the site of the future National Graphene Institute. He was also accompanied by Baroness Stowell, UK Under Secretary of State for communities and local government.

This Institute which has benefited from an EU contribution of EUR 29.5 million from the ERDF has also been awarded the Graphene Flagship by the European Commission which is one of the first ten year Future and Emerging Technology flagships that will benefit from EUR 1 billion in the framework of Horizon 2020. The Institute co-operates with other universities, research centres and companies in applied research which helps take graphene from the laboratory to the market place.

Commissioner Hahn was given a presentation about graphene and its many extraordinary applications by Nobel winning Professor Sir "Kostya" Novoselov who isolated graphene in 2004 at Manchester University. After visiting the site of the Institute, to be completed in 2015, Commissioner Hahn stated: “The Graphene Institute is a blueprint for the rest of Europe and an example of what good use can be made of EU investments. It shows how Manchester, and Britain as a whole can benefit from the EU's Regional Policy. In March I approved the EU Regional Funds investment of 29.5m euro and now the Graphene Institute is taking shape as Europe’s leading research and commercialization centre for graphene, creating hundreds of jobs".

The Commissioner added: "Taking ideas to the marketplace is the key – fostering links with university and region's businesses. Research and innovation is a key priority for new Regional Policy since each pound of EU research and innovation funding generates around ten times as much in industrial added value. I see great potential in the future for the Institute and for the City of Manchester with graphene at the heart of it."

The Commissioner also underlined the good progress of the regional policy programme in North West England and its achievements: "EU Regional policy is working in the North West and Manchester. So far for the 2007-2013 period, investments with the European Regional Funds have helped create 19,000 jobs and 6,600 businesses in the region".

Website of the National Graphene Institute with video