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Graphene-based disruptive technologies

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - GrapheneCore1 (Graphene-based disruptive technologies)

Período documentado: 2016-04-01 hasta 2018-03-31

1.1 Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The Graphene Core 1 project formed the second phase of the Graphene Flagship, a ten-year research endeavour to bring together academic and industrial researchers and take graphene and related materials from the realm of academic laboratories into European society, generating economic growth, jobs and opportunities. This phase covered the two-year period between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2018. During this time, the Graphene Flagship consortium included over 150 academic and industrial partners in 23 countries who shared 89 million euros of European Commission funding. This EC funded core project interacted closely with a large number of partnering projects and associated members, who work towards the goals of the Graphene Flagship but are funded by other European, national, regional or private sources.

Graphene and related materials are at the centre of an ever-increasing number of initiatives worldwide. With thousands of materials available that can be combined amongst themselves, there is an almost endless set of possibilities available for future investigation. The Graphene Flagship continues to study the properties and uses of these new materials and materials combinations, leading to the development of both new science and new applications.
The output of the Graphene Flagship project is quite formidable. From the start of the flagship, we have published nearly 2,200 scientific papers (of these, almost 1000 during Core 1) which have been cited more than 42,000 times. In addition, consortium members have applied or been granted numerous patents related to the Graphene Flagship and launched five new companies. Of the 30 graphene-related products that we have introduced to the market, most are different types of graphene materials or formulations. Lately, we see that the technology is maturing and higher value products such as products utilizing graphene composites and graphene-based photodetectors are being launched.

The specific results of the 15 scientific and technological work packages of Graphene Core 1 are too numerous to list in this summary but can be found in our annual reports available through graphene-flagship.eu. Three notable examples of current graphene applications are work towards a high-speed photonic switch for 5G communication technologies, the leading edge of the horizontal rear stabilizer of an Airbus 350 and artificial retina implants to allow blind patients to recover some degree of vision.

Given the Graphene Flagship’s quest to develop graphene’s commercial applications, innovation has become a key focus of the consortium. The focus is in combining technology push and market pull by working with industry stakeholders to increase technology readiness levels. Two recent product successes stand out.

Composites applications are among the most mature markets for graphene, with several commercial products already available from Graphene Flagship partners. More recently, products are being launched in other areas as well. For example, based on research conducted within the Graphene Flagship framework, Emberion launched a fully packaged photodetector module that can detect light in the visible to short-wave infrared ranges. Aimed at industrial applications including spectrometry, gas detection and power measurements, the low-noise, high-sensitivity detectors are now available for Emberion’s customer base. This product is the Flagship’s first commercial launch exploiting graphene’s unique electro-optical properties.

The Graphene Flagship has also worked to increase awareness of graphene among academic communities, industries and the general public through its dissemination efforts. Flagship organized events help bring consortium member’s work to light and help educate the next generation of researchers and entrepreneurs. Graphene Week, the project’s annual meeting, provides a venue for researchers to present their findings and industry representatives to exhibit their work in the field of graphene and related two dimensional materials. The event, now in its 12th year, attracts 600 participants from 30 countries worldwide and features 150 expert presentations. Each edition of Graphene Study, the Graphene Flagship’s school for early career researchers, focuses on a specific graphene research area and aims to bring together students working on related areas of research with experienced scientists from academia and industry.
As demonstrated by our publication output and patent portfolio, the Graphene Flagship is defining the international forefront in its field. Our output includes, for instance, new ways to produce two-dimensional materials and their heterostructures, record-breaking photodetectors, novel sensors, next generation energy storage solutions, and advanced composites for uses in aerospace applications. Further details can be found in our annual reports available at www.graphene-flagship.eu.

The Graphene Flagship is actively exploring ways to better assess its impact in many different areas. Our largest immediate concrete impact is related to our engagement in education of future experts in graphene and related technologies. To this extent, we have hired over 300 graduate students that are trained in the flagship and will take, after graduation, their expertise to European industries, further strengthening the knowledge transfer between academia and industry. The technological impacts that can be directly traced to flagship output take longer time to mature, but we already see effects in the form of new products and new companies in areas with fast development cycles. In other areas, e.g. medical technologies, the lead time from research to product can be 15 years, and a reliable assessment of technological impacts will have to wait. The flagship has already had a tangible policy impact both on the national level, with many national programs launched on fields related to the Graphene Flagship, and the European level, where the ninth framework program on research (Horizon Europe) will have a substantial focus on flagship-like missions.

In order to encourage new innovation projects between academia and industry, the Graphene Flagship organized six Graphene Connect workshops in Core 1 to bridge the gap and foster communication between researchers and industry leaders with the goal of realising collaborative innovation projects. Most of the Graphene Connect workshops were held during industry events with discussions revolving around specific graphene application areas including composites, electronics and biotech. Furthermore, in May 2017, Airbus partnered with the Graphene Flagship to hold a Graphene Marketplace symposium where flagship partner companies showcased demonstrators and prototypes for aeronautic applications.

The Graphene Flagship enjoyed a great deal of media attention throughout Core 1, being mentioned in 3,927 articles with an overall reach of 2737.75 million readers over the two-year period. This shows a great impact extending far beyond the traditional audiences. Targeted media campaigns around the Graphene Flagship’s presence at Mobile World Congress and the Zero Gravity Graphene research initiative conducted in collaboration with the European Space Agency generated a large proportion of the media activity surrounding the Graphene Flagship in this phase of the project.
Graphene Flagship at Mobile World Conference 2018
Graphene Flagship logo RGB blue