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UK scientists secure GBP 46 million for graphene research
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UK scientists have secured up to GBP 46 million (Euro 54 million) of EU funding for research of graphene – a new material deemed to become the wonder material of the 21st century that could replace silicon. The funding was decided in a multi-billion competition with which the European Commission commits to support major scientific initiatives over a period of 10 years. During that time the funding - under the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Flagship Projects - could generate up to one billion euros.

    UK scientists secure GBP 46 million for graphene research

    Researchers from Manchester University were central in making the use of graphene possible. They will now be able to build on their achievements in an international consortium that involves 100 research groups under the leadership of Prof. Jari Kinaret, from Sweden's Chalmers University.

    European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes said: "Europe's position as a knowledge superpower depends on thinking the unthinkable and exploiting the best ideas. This multi-billion competition rewards home-grown scientific breakthroughs and shows that when we are ambitious we can develop the best research in Europe. To keep Europe competitive, to keep Europe as the home of scientific excellence, EU governments must agree an ambitious budget for the Horizon 2020 programme in the coming weeks."

    Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts said:

    “Having such cutting edge projects supported by the European Commission is a ringing endorsement of the UK’s world-class research base and its potential for long-term growth. These excellent collaborations will bring together leading scientists and industry partners. They will build on Government investment in graphene and high-performance computing, both areas where the UK can gain a competitive advantage.”

    The second winning initiative is the Human Brain Project. It will create the world's largest experimental facility for developing the most detailed model of the brain, for studying how the human brain works and ultimately to develop personalised treatment of neurological and related diseases. Led by Prof. Henry Markram of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, The Human Brain Project involves researchers from 87 institutions, including from King's College London, UCL, the Universities of Edinburgh and Manchester and De Monfort University.

    About graphene

    Graphene has an extraordinary combination of physical and chemical properties: it is the thinnest material, it conducts electricity much better than copper, it is 100-300 times stronger than steel and it has unique optical properties. Graphene and related materials have the potential to make a profound impact in ICT in the short and long term: integrating graphene components with silicon-based electronics, and gradually replacing silicon or enabling completely new applications. Beyond ICT, graphene research will significantly impact energy and transport, and also health. 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. In the longer term, graphene is expected to give rise to new computational paradigms and revolutionary medical applications, such as artificial retinas.


    For more information, please contact the London press office on 020 7973 1971.
    Please note: all amounts expressed in sterling are for information purposes only.

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    Last update: 28/01/2013  |Top