Published on June 30th, 2014 | by James Ayre0
Graphene Flagship Project Doubles In Size
June 30th, 2014 by James Ayre
The Graphene Flagship initiative — already one of the biggest-ever European research initiatives — recently doubled in size, taking on 66 new partners from a variety of different organizations and universities spread out across the EU.
The recent announcement — 66 new partners joining the consortium following a €9 million competitive call — was made to coincide with Graphene Week 2014, which ran from June 23-27 in Gothenburg, Sweden. The initiative’s aim is to find innovative new ways to utilize the “wonder material” and related materials in the development of new technologies.
Interestingly, while the majority of the new partners are universities and research institutes, there are a number of companies as well — representing a growing share within the consortium. Makes it pretty clear that more and more within the industry are seeing graphene as a potential cash-cow.
The consortium now includes more than 140 organizations, spread across 23 countries. This includes partners from six countries that were previously not represented in the group — Israel, Belarus, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, and Hungary. The main players in the group, though, remain the same countries as before — Germany, the UK, Spain, Italy, and France.
Speaking on the growth, the Vice President of the European Commission stated: “Europe is leading the graphene revolution. This ‘wonder material’ has the potential dramatically to improve our lives: it stimulates new medical technologies, such as artificial retinas, and more sustainable transport with light and ultra-efficient batteries. The more we can unlock the potential of graphene, the better!”
Jari Kinaret, Professor of Physics at the Chalmers University of Technology, and Director of the Graphene Flagship, commented: “The response was overwhelming, which is an indicator of the recognition for and trust in the flagship effort throughout Europe. Competition has been extremely tough. I am grateful for the engagement by the applicants and our nearly 60 independent expert reviewers who helped us through this process. I am impressed by the high quality of the proposals we received and looking forward to working with all the new partners to realise the goals of the Graphene Flagship.”
In related news, new research has raised some questions about the potential toxicity and/or associated environmental problems of/with graphene. We previously covered the potential toxicity angle when we covered Brown University’s findings that the sharp edges of graphene sheets easily pierce cell membranes. Once inside, the graphene then disrupts normal cellular function.
Now, new research from UC Riverside is showing that there are potentially even greater potential environmental issues with graphene’s use — finding that graphene oxide nanoparticles are very mobile in lakes and streams, and very likely to cause negative environmental impacts if released.
Hmm. Something to keep in mind.
Front Page Image Credit: nobeatsofierce/Shutterstock.
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