At the House of Lords last evening, the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) launched a new special interest group focusing on commercial opportunities for the UK in Graphene and other 2D Materials.
At an event hosted by Lord Haskel and attended by leading researchers and industry representatives, Robert Quarshie, Head of Materials at KTN, said: “The UK has been a global leader in research on graphene since it was isolated at the University of Manchester in 2004, and we are well positioned to take a significant share of the current $300m global market for the production and supply of graphene materials. This is forecast to grow beyond £1bn in the next few years as more devices and products are made using 2D materials.
“The isolation of graphene has led to the discovery of a whole family of 2D materials, including hexagonal boron nitride and molybdenum disulphide; which can be combined with graphene to create exciting new devices and products. The investment in 2D materials manufacturing capacity needs to be rapidly accompanied by increased application developments in diverse industrial sectors. There could be no better time than now to do this work.”
Lord Haskel – who himself worked in the materials industry as Director of textile firm The Perrotts Group – said: “This is a really exciting time for graphene and 2D products. The work of this special interest group is to try and encourage UK companies to use graphene and other 2D materials to try to improve the look, feel, and performance of their products.”
A new report from KTN, “Creating Value From Non-carbon 2D Materials – Beyond Graphene” suggests that the existing graphene infrastructure puts the UK in a position to maximise opportunity in applications as diverse as wearable technology, energy storage, and medical devices. The special interest group will work with stakeholders to help identify the most viable opportunities, but also to address key challenges, including supply; financing, and a clear route to mass production and application.