Graphene Commercialization: Pushing Too Hard

A few comments from me are reported in an IEEE Spectrum article looking at the effectiveness of the billion euro Graphene Flagship program. I’m not sure that I’m a critic of the program per se because spending money on basic research is the wellspring of later innovation. Where I do have doubts is in graphene commercialization when academics are trying to …

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2019 The Year of Sensors, Analogue AI,and Gene Hacking?

I’ve spent most of 2018 in China (or it feels that way) involved in water treatment, intelligent sensing and advanced composite materials. It’s been useful to get a perspective on the words second largest economy, but also working with Chinese colleagues and getting to know their sometimes different expectations and priorities. At the same time I’ve continued to voraciously devour …

Bot Cyber Attacks and Smart Sensors – Tech Predictions for 2019

Business Cloud asked a variety of tech leaders and futurists for their predictions for 2019.  The answers almost all involve AI, communications and sensors.  This represents a quite remarkable shift away from the app driven idea of innovation that has held sway for the past decade to a more balanced view of both the hardware and the software making use …

Why Does Discussing Graphene Often Lead to Punch Ups?

There’s nothing like a fight to enliven the afternoon session of a conference, and over the years graphene has delivered this in spades. It arouses passions stronger than its fabled strength, especially when academics and companies inhabit the same space. But why can’t academics and companies just get along? I’ve witnessed other almost violent outbursts over production methods, the ability …

Why Successful Nanomaterials Companies Are Always Outliers

I’m speaking at a conference later this week Photonex,  where I’ll be repeating my mantra about never investing in materials companies. I’ve been banging on about this since the early days of nanotechnology, when buckyballs and nanotubes were the hot materials. The fashionable materials business model is tried (and for reasons that escape me) trusted and goes like this: Identify …

The Dawn of Graphene City?

We’ve been waiting for years for Manchester to create some graphene related businesses despite being the global hub for graphene research. One has finally popped up, Graphine Ltdwhich claims that “Graphene can further enhance the already excellent properties of rubber and elastomers by improving their strength, elasticity, flexibility, thermal stability, resistance to chemicals and durability. With the support of Grafine …

A Northern Powerhouse Built On Concrete And Steel? – Get Real

Brexit changed a lot of things in Britain, including the government which led to the loss of any champion in Westminster for the Northern Powerhouse. But while the Northern economy is less visible politically there is still plenty happening, as revealed by this month Bessemer Society confab in Sheffield. In a way the collapse of the government sponsored Northern Powerhouse …