The Graphene Flagship, a Future and Emerging Technology Flagship of the European Commission, exhibited cutting-edge prototypes and demonstrators at Mobile World Congress, the world's largest gathering for the mobile industry.

This is a guest blog post written by Jari Kinaret, Director of the Graphene Flagship

Following last year’s success, we were thrilled to take part again in the  Mobile World Congress (MWC) which is a crucial event for discovering innovative mobile technologies, ranging from mobile phones, apps and data infrastructure to connected cars and virtual reality.

The Graphene Experience Zone, organised by the Graphene Flagship and curated by ICFO, with support from the European Commission and the GSMA, displayed an impressive amount of demonstrations and prototypes from 26 industrial and academic partner organisations. The strong potential of graphene and related materials for the mobile ecosystem was demonstrated in five application areas: Composites and Production, Datacom, Energy, IoT and Sensors, and Wearables and Health.

For instance, the graphene supercar from BAC and Haydale captured the interest of visitors, in particular how graphene can be used to improve car performance.  If you are curious about this new technology, check the new cartoon film on graphene in automotive applications made by the SimpleShow Foundation. Other cartoons on biomedical technologies and the Internet of Things were premiered at the Graphene Experience Zone, bringing the prototypes to life.

Andrus Ansip European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, visited our stand to discover the potential of graphene for communications and digital technologies. As expressed in his blog post of 16 February 2017,  he also was keen to learn more about graphene and some of its specific applications.

Alongside the Graphene Experience Zone, we held a Graphene Connect workshop presenting industry-focused research on data communication, flexible electronics, and high-performance sensing technologies directly to the mobile community. Promising discussions with venture capital companies and private investors illustrated the clear interest in emerging graphene-related innovations for mobile technologies. We hope that this meeting will lead to new partnerships and collaborations.

The Graphene Flagship also participated in the inaugural Youth Mobile (YoMo) Festival Barcelona. Flagship partners ICFO, IIT, Novalia and the University of Cambridge presented Graphopolis – an interactive exhibition for 10-16-year-old children. Using graphene-based touch panels, children imagined how graphene could be used in connected cities of the future, collectively drawing a sound map of future Barcelona. This effort to engage the public with graphene continues in the classroom with the graphene educational kit developed for teachers.

What makes the MWC special for us is its complexity, the high level of participants and the media exposure. This allows us to meet new stakeholders that would not attend an event dedicated to graphene alone. We are confident that, as these new contacts develop, they will result in new uses for graphene and related materials, and help further increase the industrial footprint and societal impact of the flagship.

We hope that our many visitors were inspired by the brilliant prototypes on display. The success of the Graphene Experience Zone was the product of a great deal of hard work from everyone involved: sponsors, supporters, exhibitors and organisers. We are grateful for their involvement and for the support we got from the European Commission and the GSMA. This reiterates that technologies based on graphene and related materials have a significant part to play in the mobile ecosystem and our connected future.