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First look at the new £60m Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre

The GEIC will be crucial in taking graphene to the market and addressing issues such as scale-up and infrastructure

1 Sep 2015 | Editor

The University of Manchester has published the first look at the new £60m Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC), which aims to set the standard for world class graphene and 2-D materials application development.

The GEIC aims to accelerate taking graphene products to the marketplace, as well as be a state of the art research and technology development facility. It will also have pilot production facilities and characterisation for the industrial scale-up of graphene, as well as develop graphene and 2D materials applications. It is set to be completed in 2017.

Whereas the NGI features academic-led research in partnership with industry, the GEIC will be industry-led and will focus on innovation and applications.

Along with the £61m National Graphene Institute (NGI), which opened in 2015, and the £235m Sir Henry Royce Institute for Materials Research and Innovation, the GEIC will be crucial in maintaining the UK’s world leading position in graphene and other 2-D materials research.

The GEIC will be partially funded by £15m from the Higher Education Funding Council England’s UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF), £5m from Innovate UK and £30m from Masdar; the Abu Dhabi based renewable energy company owned by Mubadala. The remaining £10m will be provided by other research funds and institutions.

GEIC - An artist's impression of the GEIC building<

Figure: GEIC - An artist's impression of the GEIC building

Situated on the North Campus of The University of Manchester, the building, which has been designed by world-renowned architect Rafael Viñoly, is around 8,400 square metres. It will initially focus on a number of the University’s world-class graphene application areas: energy, composites, formulations and coatings, electronics and membranes.

The £235m Sir Henry Royce Institute for Materials Research and Innovation, will be based at The University of Manchester with facilities at the founding partners, comprising the universities of Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool, Cambridge, Oxford and Imperial College London. The institute will focus on developing 14 key areas of materials research, of which graphene will be one, grouped into four themes: Energy, Engineering, Functional and Soft Materials .

The University has more than 230 researchers working on graphene research across a wide breadth of disciplines and subjects. The NGI, GEIC and Sir Henry Royce Institute will be positioned in the heart of the city, cementing Manchester as the home of graphene with unrivalled expertise.

Manchester has been awarded the prestigious designation of European City of Science, a first for the UK and recognition of the contribution that the city has made to scientific discovery and innovation in industry over the last 250 years.

Professor Colin Bailey, Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, said, "The University of Manchester leads the world in graphene research and is one of the most significant centres of commercialisation of the material. The GEIC will be crucial to take graphene to the market and address issues such as scale-up and infrastructure." Colin added, "Alongside the University’s existing world-class facilities in graphene and Advanced Materials, the GEIC is essential to maintain the UK’s international leadership position in this area and ensure effective commercialisation of a UK discovery."
James Baker, Graphene Business Director, said, "This facility will be essential in continuing the world-class research and commercialisation that will start in the National Graphene Institute and mature into the GEIC." James added, Researchers and industry will work together to address the challenges faced in graphene and other 2-D materials research, development and application in the UK."

www.manchester.ac.uk    www.graphene.manchester.ac.uk   

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