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Graphene – looking to the future

The Graphene Flagship’s Professor Andrea Ferrari spoke to SciTech Europa Quarterly about some of the new and exciting developments taking place with regard to 2D materials.

The EU’s Graphene Flagship project is one of Europe’s biggest research initiatives. Over the course of its 10 year lifetime it will receive €1bn in funding to bring together academic and industrial researchers to take graphene and related materials from the laboratory to the marketplace. As it does so, it will help create new jobs and opportunities.

SciTech Europa Quarterly spoke to theFlagship’s Science and Technology Officer, Professor Andrea Ferrari, about not only the progress that the Graphene Flagship is making, but also the potential of layered materials other than graphene, and both the challenges and opportunities for research into these new materials (and their commercial applications) at the global level.

Perhaps you could begin by briefly outlining the stage the Flagship has now reached?

We are not yet at the halfway point of the Flagship. We started in October 2013 and we have six more years to go until the end of the project. We will complete the Core 1 stage in March 2018. In April 2018 Core 2 will start, and we are now working to prepare Core 3.

We continue to progress steadily and we are moving in the right direction: towards taking graphene and related materials from the laboratory to the factory floor.

We are where we hoped to be when planning the Flagship in the Pilot phase.

We are already showcasing new technologies and devices in a variety of trade conferences, including the Mobile World Congress, and several patents and companies have originated from the Flagship Project.

How would you characterise international research on graphene and related materials more generally?

In Asia, for example in Korea, Singapore and China, there is a very large level of funding available. China, in particular, is targeting mass production and supporting the creation of new companies.

The European R&D landscape is more balanced between fundamental and applied research, while in USA emphasis is more on fundamental research.

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Disclaimer: Statements in this article should not be considered investment advice, which is best sought directly from a qualified professional.