I had the pleasure this Monday to attend the "Graphene Week 2017" in Athens and to meet once again the Graphene community. The event was the perfect moment to take stock of ongoing progress made by Graphene Flagship and look forward.
The Graphene Flagship was set up as a truly European partnership in 23 countries, bringing together many excellent academic and industrial partners from all over the Europe, aiming to work together to turn graphene and related materials from 'lab to fab'.
Many lessons have been learned on the challenge of moving from scientific discoveries to technology applications.
Firstly, it takes time to do research and generate good results. Usually up to 20 years is needed for a new material to find its way to market. Thanks to its long lasting collaboration between academia and industry, Graphene Flagship proves that this process can be substantially accelerated, contributing to shortening drastically the cycle from research to innovation. The results start showing that this is a valuable research and innovation model.
Secondly, thanks to its results so far, the Flagship has started gaining high visibility and importance at national and European level and is attracting more and more industry players, which see the potential and business opportunities of this innovative material, generated by the Flagship.
Thirdly, Graphene Flagship became an anchor point for the international collaboration, successfully reflected in several workshops organised with the US, China, Korea and Japan, placing Europe in a leading position in the international research landscape.
Graphene's exceptional achievements are set out in an expert review report assessing the annual progress of the Flagship towards its roadmap. The experts acknowledge the excellent progress achieved and the success of making graphene and its applications more known to companies and citizens.
In closing, I would like to congratulate the management and all the participants of the Flagship for all what they have achieved so far. They have managed to put graphene and other 2D materials on the map in a way that was unimaginable a few years ago.
Looking forward, the Flagship needs to continue supporting efforts on scientific discoveries that will shed a new light on physical properties of graphene and related materials. They also need to accelerate translating the results into innovative products and develop new applications of graphene, strengthening the collaboration with the industry. The best achievements are yet to come!