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19 May, 2017 - 13:11 By Kate Sweeney

Global giants join Cambridge showcase of graphene technology

Cambridge Graphene Centre

Local pioneers rub shoulders with international players at a special showcase of graphene technology in Cambridge on May 25.

The Cambridge Graphene Centre’s (CGC) industrial partners gather in the city for a focused day of networking, exhibitions and panel discussions. Building on the successful event of 2015, the technology day will parade exciting products and prototypes of graphene technologies across the exciting formative industry in the UK.

A range of international and UK-based companies, including Haydale, Nokia, Versarien and Talga, will demonstrate their products, prototypes and techniques for graphene-based technologies in the carefully curated exhibition. 

The exceptionally strong Cambridge community of graphene-based Research & Development players will also be represented, with exhibitors from the local area including FlexEnable, Novalia, Emberion and Aixtron.

FlexEnable is a flexible electronics gamechanger. Novalia’s technology adds touch, connectivity and data to surfaces around us. Emberion Oy is a Finnish business with a Cambridge team of ex-Nokia people who are revolutionising X-ray, infrared and thermal imaging markets. Aixtron is now German owned and specialises in manufacturing metalorganic chemical vapour deposition equipment for clients in the semiconductor industry.

The CGC maintains strong partnerships with various companies, developing its research programmes to align with industry needs. These partnerships promote rapid technology development and provide excellent opportunities for students at the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Graphene Technology to work directly with industrial researchers.

Student engagement is a key focus of the day. As well as selected presentations from students working with industry partners on collaborative research, there are also excellent networking opportunities. 

A speed-networking session will allow students to meet directly with company representatives to identify key issues for industry and speed up technology transfer from research to commercialisation. Representatives from the EPSRC will also be present at the technology day, in preparation for a meeting of the CDT Industrial Advisory board the next day.

In-depth panel discussions will focus on key questions in graphene technologies, with panels of industry experts working directly in these sectors. 

pressure sensor shoe
3D-printed pressure sensor shoe

The topics – Production and Composites, Electronics, Flexible Electronics – reflect major areas of opportunity and challenge for graphene research and development. The industry perspectives on these challenges and potential solutions gives crucial insight to drive research and technology transfer.

Understanding the landscape of graphene research and markets is essential to developing commercial graphene technologies. Terrance Barkan of the Graphene Council will present the results of an extensive global survey of the graphene industry. The Graphene Council’s is a global community of academic and industry researchers, companies, investors and regulatory agencies working with graphene.

The CGC technology day will be an excellent opportunity to strengthen the relationship with the centre’s industrial partners, promoting effect technology transfer from academic research to commercial products and processes.

The power of the Cambridge graphene proposition was demonstrated in January when a majority stake in Cambridge University spin-out Cambridge Graphene Ltd was acquired by AIM-quoted UK business Versarien plc for £170k – £25k in cash and the rest in shares.

And in March it was announced that University of Cambridge scientists, in conjunction with tech industry experts, had developed a novel graphene-based infrared (IR) detector with record high sensitivity for thermal detection. The technology paves the way for high-performance IR imaging and spectroscopy.

The work was undertaken as part of a collaboration within the Graphene Flagship – the European research consortium aiming to bring graphene technologies to commercial markets within 10 years.

Collaborators included the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona and the University of Ioannina in Greece, as well as Nokia UK and Emberion, who are local industrial partners of the CGC.

• Pictures courtesy: Cambridge Graphene Centre, University of Cambridge

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