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European Union selects the Graphene project for research funding, opening prospects in aviation and other industries

A research initiative of unprecedented scale – which has the support of Airbus – will investigate the industrial applications of Graphene following this revolutionary material's official selection today as a European Union Future Emerging Technology flagship, with a planned 10-year budget of 100 million euros.

The research activity will advance in a multinational consortium called the Graphene Flagship, made up of 74 organisations from 17 European countries – including Airbus, which has been in support of Graphene research from the start. Throughout the ten-year project, Airbus will act as an advisor for potential industrial applications.

Consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms, Graphene is one of the world's most versatile substances. It is stronger than a diamond, yet lightweight and flexible, and can serve as a transparent conductor – combining electrical and optical functionalities in an exceptional way.

The material's key applications span a broad range of industrial sectors, and include aerostructures, fast electronic and optical devices, flexible electronics, functional lightweight components and advanced batteries. Early breakthroughs of Graphene could take the form of flexible touch screens, rollable e-paper, light and strong composite materials or other technologies; while new computational paradigms and medical breakthroughs such as artificial retinas are envisioned in the longer term.

Coordinated by the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, the Graphene Flagship will operate with an initial 30-month budget of 54 million euros, and is to be extended with another 20-30 groups through an open call. Its research work is divided into 11 scientific and technological work packages, and supported by activities related to innovation, dissemination, management and administration – with industrial and academic researchers collaborating side-by-side in these packages.

This research effort comprises the entire value chain, from materials production to components and systems integration, and targets a number of specific goals to exploit Graphene's unique properties.

Press release issued by Airbus S.A.S. on January 30, 2013


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