Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre 'topping out' ceremony. © The University of Manchester
The Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) will see industry-led development of graphene and 2D materials applications in collaboration with world-leading academics at the University.
The new flagship facility has been funded by Masdar in Abu Dhabi, HEFCE, the European Regional Development Fund, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Innovate UK. The GEIC will focus on pilot production and characterisation, together with application development in composites, energy, solution formulations and coatings, electronics, and membranes.
The GEIC will complement the existing National Graphene Institute (NGI) to create a critical mass of graphene expertise made up of scientists, engineers, innovators and industrialists. The GEIC will also stimulate the commercial development of the University’s North Campus, creating a cornerstone for Graphene City.
Professor Luke Georghiou, Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of The University, also speaking at the event, described the GEIC project as a significant step for the area: “We see the GEIC as a first step to realising a transformation of our wider surroundings.
“Manchester was known around the globe as Cottonopolis at the height of the Industrial Revolution, in this century our aim is to be Graphene City – a district where 2-dimensional materials and complementary technologies drive jobs and growth.”
Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, Deputy Director General of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy and Director of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, revealed during the ceremony that the building which houses the GEIC will be named The Masdar Building and said: “Masdar and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates are proud to be closely involved in the journey of scientific discovery that began with the isolation of graphene more than a decade ago.”
The GEIC building, designed by world-renowned architect Rafael Vinoly, is 8,400sqm and located on The University of Manchester’s North Campus. It will house pilot production facilities and conduct research into other advanced materials.
Sir Richard Leese, Greater Manchester’s Deputy Mayor and lead for business and economy commented on the GEIC: “This centre will accelerate graphene’s transition from the laboratory to factories and business parks, creating jobs and driving economic growth. Manchester has an incredible record of innovation and is a leading centre for the development of advanced materials – graphene fits right in and is a key part of the next evolutionary phase in our history.”
Simon Edmonds, Director of Manufacturing and Materials at Innovate UK, said: “Graphene development and its applications presents significant opportunities for UK companies and the new Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre will further establish the UK as a world-leader by fostering strong industry-academic collaborations.”
Diana Hampson, Director of Estates and Facilities at The University of Manchester, added: “The Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre is a key component of the Campus Masterplan. We are creating a world-class campus for a world-class University, making The University of Manchester the partner of choice for industry.”
Simona Peet, Ramboll project lead said: “Ramboll is proud to be working with The University of Manchester to engineer the world-class GEIC research facilities and to play a part in helping to realise the facility for this cutting edge material.”
Ramboll is providing civil & structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, contaminated land, vibration, acoustics, fire engineering and ecology services. Our continuing work on GEIC follows our involvement in the engineering of The University of Manchester’s award winning National Graphene Institute. We are also appointed as part of the team for the Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials.