This week, I visited The University of Manchester’s multi-million-pound engineering facility which provides industry-led development in graphene applications.

The Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) helps companies progress and launch new technologies, products and processes that exploit the pioneering properties of graphene and other 2D materials.

I was given a tour by Professor James Baker, CEO of Graphene@Manchester, and met with application managers and technical specialists engaged in the use of tangible samples and cutting-edge equipment that bring products and applications to life. I also held informal discussions with Professor John Holden, the University’s Associate Vice President for Special Projects, and Professor Richard Curry, the Vice Dean of Research and Innovation.

To date, the GEIC has delivered more than 350 successful projects for over 200 companies and supported more than 50 spin outs.

Professor James Baker, CEO of Graphene@Manchester, told me: “The University of Manchester is proud to be known as the home of graphene.  It is where it was first isolated by our researchers in 2004 and is the world’s first breakthrough 2D material.

“Through GEIC, we offer a dedicated translation centre that helps SMEs bridge the gap from lab to market – something that is not replicated anywhere else in UK academia.

“Our two-tier membership model also allows us to work on short feasibility projects, through to a long-term strategic partnership with multiple projects in different application areas.

The GEIC has a remarkable success rate in delivering new projects. It is a truly world class facility supported by experienced and knowledgeable applications engineers and internationally renowned academics, working across a broad range of novel technologies and applications.

Everyone involved in establishing the centre’s enviable reputation deserves immense credit for what they have achieved.

I am grateful to the University’s policy engagement unit, Policy@Manchester, for arranging an especially informative visit and look forward to returning soon.”


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