Manchester Invites The World To Celebrate Graphene Week

Manchester is hosting the 9th international conference on the fundamental science of graphene this summer (22-26 June), and the city is ensuring that everybody can use the opportunity to celebrate the revolutionary material at the home of graphene.

Otherwise known as ‘Graphene Week’, this high-profile event will centre upon an academic conference which brings together scientific experts to discuss the progress that is being made with the new material that was first isolated at The University of Manchester in 2004.     

Up until now, Graphene Week has been staged in various locations across Europe and the US, bringing global recognition to the properties and potential of the world’s thinnest, strongest and most conductive material.

Graphene Week 2015 comes soon after the official opening of the £61m National Graphene Institute (NGI) at The University of Manchester and takes place over five days from Monday 22 June. It is organised by The Graphene Flagship and hosted by The University of Manchester.

In addition, Business Growth Hub is organising Graphene Industry Workshops at the National Graphene Institute – a series of opportunities for leading business figures and manufacturers to explore the commercial potential for graphene. Click here for details.

In parallel to Graphene Week, there will be a range of other graphene events.

  • A BBC World Service Forum – taking place on Wednesday 24 June at the National Graphene Institute.
  • A graphene musical composition – with creative organisation Brighter Sounds producing a piece of music inspired by graphene that promotes both women in science and women in musical composition. The 40-minute piece will be premiered at The University of Manchester on Thursday 25June, with additional performances to audiences at Old Trafford and the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI).  
  • A four-day events programme, the Experimental Weekender, featuring graphene at MSI from Thursday 25- Sunday 28June. On the Thursday and Friday, these events will cater for school children from across Greater Manchester, with Friday night and Saturday and Sunday daytimes offering a chance for the public to find out more about the city’s leading role in graphene research.
  • A temporary display at University Place of two graphene-related books from the John Rylands library collection: the first known reference to a pencil, dating from the 16th Century, and one of the first references to Borrowdale graphite.  

These events have backing from Business Growth Hub, Innovate UK, the Knowledge Transfer Network, Business Growth Service incorporating Manufacturing Advisory Service, Manchester City Council, Marketing Manchester, MSI, MIDAS, and UKTI.      

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Graphene is the latest chapter in Manchester's long history of being in the forefront of industrial, scientific and technological innovation.

“Hosting Graphene Week, during our tenure as European City of Science, presents a unique opportunity not only to stimulate academic debate but also to encourage businesses and entrepreneurs to put their creative skills to the test and explore the potential for developing new graphene-based applications.

“The recent opening of the NGI, which will be followed by the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre and the Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials can only reinforce Manchester’s position in the vanguard of leading international research and development.  These new resources will provide the UK with the facilities required to accelerate new materials to market, resulting in significant inward investment and long-term job creation.”

National Graphene Institute Business Director James Baker said: "The Graphene Workshops are a chance for a range of companies to find out more about graphene, and to discover the benefits of collaborating with our world-class scientists.

“With more than 200 researchers working on graphene across a wide range of disciplines, the National Graphene Institute is the ideal place to make graphene applications a reality."

Charlie Rea, innovation expert at the Business Growth Service, added: “Small to Medium sized manufacturers are often at the forefront of new innovations and one of our roles is to support firms to commercialise new technology,”            

“These workshops – organized as part of national Graphene Week – provide a perfect opportunity for SMEs to gain a greater understanding of this fantastic 2D material that has the potential to transform the way we make many everyday items.”

“I will be giving an insight into how manufactures can access specialist support and funding from the Business Growth Service to help with introducing new innovations and completing R&D activities.”

“Graphene has the potential to drive the next industrial revolution and we’re delighted to be playing our role in partnership with the University of Manchester, UKTI and the Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub.”

A video highlighting the properties and potential of graphene can be seen here: www.homeofgraphene.com