As part of its mission to strengthen Europe’s graphene research and development community, the Graphene Flagship welcomes its first four associated members: Netzsch (Germany), NetComposites (UK), ABB and Imerys (Switzerland).
Bringing together scientists, engineers and commercial companies looking to turn graphene and related materials from academic research into real-world products is the core mission of the Graphene Flagship. To that end the flagship has built a pan-European structure based on partner organisations, and the original 76 partners in 17 countries have grown to 142 in 23 countries.
This radical increase in the number of partners effectively doubles the size of the Graphene Flagship, but it is not stopping there. The concept of ‘associated member’ has been introduced. Its purpose? Facilitating alignment and information flow between the flagship and related national and international activities.
Speaking of this latest development, Graphene Flagship director Professor Jari Kinaret says, “We are very happy to welcome our first four associated members. The flagship is much more than just the EU-financed part, and we are keen to form partnerships with groups that help the flagship reach its overriding goal, taking graphene and related materials from academic laboratories into society.”
Associate membership of the Graphene Flagship will help it achieve its science and technology targets by creating a greater synergy with other graphene-related organisations: bodies funded by member states and various EU projects, organisations part of the FLAG-ERA network, coordinating regional and national funding agencies within Europe, etc.
Speaking for the European Commission, Thierry Van der Pyl, director of ‘Excellence Science’ within the Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, says, “We are very pleased to see the Graphene Flagship consortium associating with leading European industry, paving the way of graphene from lab to market. This is a must for moving basic research advances into concrete innovation opportunities.”
The first four associated members of the Graphene Flagship are:
• ABB – a global leader in power and automation technologies
• NetComposites – a global research, consultancy and online media company focusing on the composite materials industry
• Imerys Graphite & Carbon – previously TimCal, one of the world’s leading suppliers of graphite for energy storage, engineering materials and conductive polymers
• Netzsch– an industrial tool supplier specialising in mechanical grinding, milling, dispersion and de-aeration.
“We are thrilled at this appointment of the first four associated members,” says Andrea Ferrari, chairman of the Executive Board of the Graphene Flagship. “Even more so because they are leading European industries targeting the implementation of graphene and related materials in commercial products. This is a testimony to the effectiveness of the Graphene Flagship program in catalysing a transition of graphene technology from laboratory to factory floor. It is a first step in creating a new graphene-based economy, spearheaded by EU industries.”
Important to note is that the Graphene Flagship is partnering with the European Union-funded PolyGraph project, which oversees the development of graphene production processes within thermosetting polymer resins. Three affiliates of PolyGraph are among the first associated members of the Graphene Flagship. ABB is not involved with PolyGraph.
The four associated members of the Graphene Flagship listed here are the first of many envisaged. New associates are expected to join every few months, and similar announcements will be made.