UK Graphene Policy: More Fawlty Towers Than Fraunhofer Institutes?

The Sunday Times follows up its recent articles with a piece headlined “Academics accused of failing to protect wonder material” based on evidence submitted to the parliamentary inquiry. It’s hard to second guess what went on at Manchester, and the reasons for not protecting graphene may have ranged from not wanting to block its applications to the low likelihood of getting …

UK Parliamentary Graphene Inquiry Calls A Wide Range of Witnesses

Witnesses for the UK parliament graphene inquiry have been revealed. I suspect we’ll see a range of views ranging from rose tinted optimism through to anger and frustration and hopefully resulting in a rational way for the UK to make better use of its world class science base. Tim Harper, Tim Harper Graphene Investment and Consulting Dr Erik Cox, Director, Inclusive …

Did Manchester Miss Out By Not Patenting Graphene?

There has been a lot of debate about whether Manchester should have patented graphene  in some form, and most of it with the 2020 clarity only available in hindsight. So before a lynch mob arrives and drags people from the National Graphene Institute to Strangeways it is probably worth taking  closer look. Clive Rowland of UMI3 the commercialisation arm of the University, was asked why …

When Will Carbyne Change The World?

Anyone irritated by the hype about graphene may become somewhat apoplectic as a result of recent reports about carbyne. Carbyne is yet another allotrope of carbon like buckyballs, nanotubes and graphene, but is predicted to be “stronger than both graphene and diamond, and around twice as stiff as the stiffest known materials.” However in common with graphene, buckyballs and nanotubes it …

Stop Being Irritated And Start Innovating

“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.” Chinese Proverb A report in Chemical and Engineering News, Graphene’s global race to market, highlights the difficulty of commercialising anything from UK universities. While the article reports numerous commercial opportunities being exploited around the world, British academics seem still rooted in their ivory towers. It’s bad enough that …

Graphene and Nanotubes – Deja Vu?

I wrote a piece about the rather low graphene market sizes on AZoNano last year since when Applied Graphene Materials have raised a further £8.5 million and Haydale a further £6m. Now Michigan based XG Sciences have announced their intent to raise £16.8 million ( $24 million) via an IPO. Add that to the operating losses so far of £30 million ($43 million) …

Watch Out Graphene, Here Comes Boron Nitride

Finally some good news about 2D Materials (although perhaps not necessarily for graphene) as the number of commercially available materials just doubled. Thomas Swan and Co, who are probably the only company in the history of nanomaterials to manage to exploit 2D materials without over promising and then bankrupting themselves trying to live up to overinflated expectations, have just launched their …

Graphene & Composites – A Very Risky Business

One of the questions that the UK Parliament graphene enquiry should perhaps consider is “Why are the applications of graphene so unimaginative?” Quite aside from the infamous but hardly revolutionary graphene lightbulb invented by, well, someone somewhere around Manchester, the only other application seems to be composite materials. Reading the interim results this week from AIM listed graphene companies Haydale …

UK Parliament Science and Technology Committee to launch an inquiry on Graphene

The terms of reference of the UK Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology  graphene enquiry have just been announced and written evidence can be submitted online here.  I’m particularly pleased to see that it focusses more on learning how to reap the economic benefits of emerging technologies rather than simply apportioning blame. The inquiry will explore the lessons from Graphene for research and innovation …

Welcome to the National Graphene Institute – Now Go Home!

As a result of the recent press articles about the National Graphene Institute a variety of correspondents have been letting me have their opinion on the commercialisation of graphene. The general tenor of views has ranged from “Britain is useless at commercialising innovation so why bother spending any more money on trying?” to “What’s the point of putting bloody academics in charge of …