Today, the consortium is doubling in size, inviting 66 new partners to join the research following the results of a €9 million competitive call.
While most partners are universities and research institutes, the share of companies, mainly SMEs, involved is increasing. The partnership now includes more than 140 organisations from 23 countries. It is fully set to take 'wonder material’ graphene and related layered materials from academic laboratories to everyday use.
The 66 new partners come from 19 countries, six of which are new to the consortium: Belarus, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary and Israel. With its 16 new partners, Italy now has the highest number of partners in the Graphene Flagship alongside Germany (with 23 each), followed by Spain (18), UK (17) and France (13).
The incoming 66 partners will add new capabilities to the scientific and technological scope of the flagship. Over one third of new partners are companies, mainly SMEs, showing the growing interest of economic actors in graphene. In the initial consortium this ratio was 20%.
The €9 million competitive call of the €54 million ramp-up phase (2014-2015) attracted a total of 218 proposals, representing 738 organisations from 37 countries. The proposals received were evaluated on the basis of their scientific and technological expertise, implementation and impact and ranked by an international panel of leading experts, mostly eminent professors from all over the world. 21 proposals were selected for funding.
Graphene was made and tested in Europe, leading to the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov from the University of Manchester. With the €1 billion Graphene Flagship, Europe will be able to turn cutting-edge scientific research into marketable products. This major initiative places Europe in the driving seat for the global race to develop graphene technologies.
The Graphene Flagship is part of the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Flagships announced by the European Commission in January 2013 to encourage visionary