Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Centre Will Help Region Lead Way with Graphene; MANUFACTURING

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Centre Will Help Region Lead Way with Graphene; MANUFACTURING

Article excerpt

Byline: ROBERT GIBSON robert.gibson@ncjmedia.co.uk

APS14M centre designed to help companies work with products based on the so-called 'wonder material' graphene is to be established in County Durham.

In his recent budget announcement, the chancellor George Osborne said The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) - which is headquartered in Redcar and also has facilities in Sedgefield and elsewhere - would be the home for a proposed Graphene Applications Innovation Centre.

The new centre, which will be supported through funds from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), is set to open later this year and will provide both the resources and expertise to help firms to develop, prove, prototype and scale-up graphene-based products and processes.

In his speech, the chancellor said it was an important part of plans to kick-start the technology and manufacturing sectors in the UK.

"If Britain isn't leading the world in science and technology and engineering, then we are condemning our country to fall behind," he told Parliament.

Graphene, he added, was a "great British discovery that we should break the habit of a lifetime with and commercially develop in Britain".

Originating from graphite, graphene is composed of carbon atoms arranged in tightly bound hexagons just one atom thick; three million sheets of the substance placed on top on each other would only be 1mm deep.

First isolated at the University of Manchester in 2004, it is tipped to transform many products.

Its electrical and thermal conductivity, optical purity and mechanical strength, for example, mean it could be used in high-capacity batteries, flexible screens, ultra-fast transistors and other electronic components, lasers and materials from sports equipment to aircraft wings.

CPI manages the national development centres for industrial biotechnology, printable electronics and biologics. …

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