A total of £19m is to be handed out to UK research groups to help find commercial uses for graphene, as outlined in the budget on Wednesday.
Graphene is incredibly strong and is a good thermal and electric conductor that could be used to develop semiconductor circuits and electric components, for example.
As such chancellor George Osborne said finding uses for graphene could prove a huge boost to the economy and ensure the UK remains a world leader in science and technology.
“If Britain isn’t leading the world in science and technology and engineering, then we are condemning our country to fall behind,” he said.
“So we will establish new centres for doctoral training, for cell therapy and for graphene – a great British discovery that we should break the habit of a lifetime with and commercially develop in Britain.”
Following up on this announcement the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) will be given £14m for a new Graphene Applications Innovation Centre that will research how the material could be used.
The CPI said everything from high-capacity batteries to ultra-fast transistors, super-bright lasers, and materials for sports equipment and aircraft wings could potentially benefit from graphene.
CEO of the CPI Nigel Perry said the funding was vital for this work. “Graphene is a very interesting material with great promise. The UK has a strong position in the fundamental science of graphene and the new centre will increase the focus on exploring potential applications via the scale up of manufacturing processes for both material and products," he said.
“If the UK is to create economic benefit from graphene it will require a concerted effort to become closer to market by proving that processes work at an industrial scale.”
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) also confirmed to V3 that another £5m would go to the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre in Manchester, where two professors with Nobel Prizes in Physics for their work on graphene are based.
@MadBennett Hi Madeline, £5 million is going towards the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre in Manchester.— Dept for Business (@bisgovuk) March 20, 2014
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