The University of Manchester is to house the Graphene Global Research and Technology Hub after Chancellor of the Exchequer George Obsorne announced a £50m investment to keep research into the revolutionary material in the UK.
The funding – part of a £200m investment into science – will develop the Hub to capitalise on the UK’s international leadership in the field of graphene, and act as a catalyst to spawn new businesses, attract global companies and translate the value of scientific discovery into wealth and jobs for the UK.
“Tomorrow’s world is being shaped here in Manchester,” said Osborne. “Manchester, the first City of the Industrial Revolution. The city where the first computer was built. Where Rutherford split the atom.”
“The inventors could have gone anywhere in the world to do their research,” said Osborne. “But they chose The University of Manchester. We will fund a national research programme that will take this Nobel-prize winning discovery from the British laboratory to the British factory floor…We’re going to get Britain making things again.”
The centre will help commercialise the technology to allow manufacture on a large scale, opening up promising commercial opportunities. It will also include a large doctoral training centre and advanced research equipment.
“The University of Manchester has been at the forefront of graphene research since 2004 and we plan to be there for a long time to come,” said Professor Andre Geim, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics last year, with his colleague Professor Kostya Novoselov.
“The Research Hub will certainly allow us to explore deeper into the vast applied potential of graphene, but also lead to many exciting results, continuing the scientific excellence in the UK,” said Novoselov.