George Osborne has announced plans to build a second graphene research centre at the University of Manchester.
UK Chancellor George Osborne today confirmed plans that the University of Manchester is to build a £60 million Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) to sit alongside the UK National Graphene Institute (NGI) which is also located at the university.
The GEIC project will be joing funded by the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (15m), Innovate UK (£5m), the Abu Dhabi-based clean technology and renewable energy company Masdar (£30m), with the remainder being sourced by the University through a variety of funding schemes.
Graphene is dubbed the ’wonder material’ that comprises a one atom thick carbon material that has a range of applications from food packaging that could tell you when your food goes off to drugs that can be delivered to specific cells to bendable mobile phones with enormous battery life.
“Graphene is potentially a game-changer
George Osborne MP
“This is another big step in delivering our plan for the ’Northern Powerhouse’. Science is at the heart of the economic prospects for the north of England,” said Osborne, who was commenting on ’ambitious’ plans for a potential major new National Institute for Materials Research and Innovation in the north of England.
The GEIC will provide facilities so that graphene based products can be fast-tracked from the drawing board to the market.
“Scientific innovation is at the heart of our long term economic plan and this investment shows we are delivering,” Osborne said.
“Graphene is potentially a game-changer - its properties make it one of the most important commercial scientific breakthroughs in recent memory.”
Nobel prize winner, and one of the scientists to first isolate graphene, Kostya Novoselov said: “The Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre is the critical step in ensuring that innovative ideas developed in the UK could contribute to economic growth here and worldwide. It will serve as one of the keystones in supporting science, technology and innovation in the UK.”
The GEIC will operate alongside its sister centre, the UK NGI, which received £40 million funding through the 2012 Budget and is currently nearing completion.