The University of Manchester is to build a £60m Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) it has been announced today.
The facility will be critical in the development of commercial applications and in maintaining the UK’s world-leading position in graphene and related 2-D materials.
The GEIC will be partially funded by £15m from the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF), £5m from the Technology Strategy Board and by £30m from Masdar, the Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company owned by Mubadala which focuses on advancing the development, commercialisation and deployment of clean technologies and solutions.
Additional funding for the Centre and its programmes will be provided by other research funds and institutions. The Centre will allow for the acceleration of applied research and development in partnership with other research organisations and industry.
In addition, The University of Manchester and Masdar Institute, the research-intensive university that is a key pillar of the Masdar Initiative, have commenced identifying joint graphene application research and fellowship programmes, which will focus on industrial applications for graphene across a range of sectors.
The GEIC will complement Manchester’s existing National Graphene Institute (NGI), where over 200 scientists and engineers are dedicated to graphene and 2-D materials research. Together, the two facilities will reinforce Manchester’s position as a globally leading knowledge base in graphene research and commercialisation.
Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Professor Colin Bailey, said: “Research and development in graphene and 2-D material applications will transform the world. The world-leading knowledge base is here in Manchester and to harvest this knowledge, for the benefit of the economy and society more widely, urgent infrastructure facilities are required. The GEIC, supported by part funding from the UKRPIF, TSB and Masdar, is essential to maintain the UK’s international leadership position in this area and ensure effective commercialisation of a UK discovery.
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The announcement of the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre in Manchester, to complement the existing National Graphene Centre, is a highly significant one.
“Not only does it underline the University of Manchester’s world-class credentials, it also reinforces the city’s place at the leading edge of advanced material research.
“It is another compelling illustration of Manchester’s ability to attract foreign investment in a competitive global market.This announcement is another manifestation of Abu Dhabi’s commitment to working with Manchester and the network of constructive relationships which have been built up over the last five years.
“Manchester is where graphene was first discovered and it’s genuinely exciting that the city will be in the forefront of work into its commercial applications.”