Accelerating Graphene Innovation in Madrid

I’ve always had a soft spot for the Fundación Ramón Areces in Madrid who are a great supporter of Spanish science. In 1997 they invited me to give a talk about micro- and nanotechnology which was one of my earliest public speaking engagements. It was also memorable for the sweeping gesture I gave to illustrate a point which also scattered my …

Wearables, Textiles and 2D Materials, a $70 Billion Opportunity

There has been a lot of talk about wearable technologies over the past couple of years, with much of the initial enthusiasm around the Apple Watch and Fitbit’s $4.1 billion IPO  fizzling out as the industry struggles to move beyond fitness trackers and so called smart watches which, despite the hype are still essentially a cut down version of a …

The Nanotechnology Opportunity Report (and Millipedes)

IBM Millipede nanotechnology

The seminal work on nanotechnology, the Nanotechnology Opportunity report is finally available for free. While it was credited with launching the nanotechnology industry and a thousand start ups it used to cost a lot of money, but now it doesn’t and you can download it here. One feature which stands out from 2003 is the futility of trying to calculate …

Are UK SME’s Priced Out Of Exploiting Graphene?

Harvard Business Review published an article last week on How Innovative Companies Get Their Best Ideas from Academic Research, something that was tacked by the UK Parliament’s Science & Technology Committee on Tuesday. As the HBR article points out but “the most important thing driving America’s success has been its unparalleled scientific leadership.” While the Committee was very interested in the relationship between …

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) …