The University of Manchester has launched a new company to develop and commercialise products based on its Graphene technology. Graphene Enabled Systems Limited, headquartered in the University's Innovation Centre (UMIC) on Grafton Street in Manchester, is wholly owned by the University and is led by its newly appointed CEO, Andrew Wilkinson.
The company's mission is to create a number of highly profitable spin-out businesses based on the University's Graphene patent portfolio. It is expected that many of these future spin-out businesses will be based in and around Manchester, creating new jobs in the region and benefiting the local economy.
Using the University's patents and working closely with its Graphene research scientists, Graphene Enabled is seeking new markets for graphene-based products. Once these markets have been identified, Graphene Enabled will create high-quality product prototypes which will showcase the technology to potential industrial partners and customers.
Initially, the main areas of activity will be focused on applications that would benefit from:
- Graphene’s ability to enhance the mechanical performance of composites
- The application of graphene and other 2 dimensional materials on to components using inkjet printing systems
- Production of membranes from graphene or other 2D materials which allow the selective filtration of ions and molecules
- Using graphene's ability to carry and store electrical charge
- Development of corrosion protection systems
The Graphene Enabled business model is to invest its resources in developing product demonstrators and ‘spin-outs’ where there is a well-defined market need from a commercial partner.
Graphene Enabled will deliver the first product demonstrators within twelve months of the company’s formation. As an important part of the University’s Graphene strategy, Graphene Enabled is working in close collaboration with the University’s research teams, innovation and IP groups (UMI3 and UMIP), the National Graphene Institute (NGI) and, in 2017 and beyond, the new Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) and the Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials.
Andrew Wilkinson, CEO Graphene Enabled, said, "The University of Manchester has been at the forefront of this scientific breakthrough and, based on this, we are now in a unique position to harness the full potential of Graphene and other 2D materials. At Graphene Enabled, we plan to create a huge range of exciting new products such as stronger, lighter composite materials; new flexible conductive inks; super-tough abrasion resistant coatings; special filters designed only to let selected materials pass through them and a huge array of new high-performance electronic components and energy strorage devices such as batteries and capacitors. All of these potential new products are made possible by the work that is being carried out at the University and our job, at Graphene Enabled is to work with industrial partners, investors and entrepreneurs to turn this innovative science into real products."