Graphene & China In the Northern Powerhouse

Ultimately It Is Commercial Applications That Will Justify The Huge Investment in Graphene

I was invited to discuss graphene, China and Manchester on Radio 5 this morning, but we unfortunately got bumped by more important stuff. But the point I wanted to make is that the investment in graphene will ultimately be justified by the commercial applications.

I’m not too concerned about the number of patents issued outside the UK as most of them are purely speculative. It is a land grab that is little different from registering any domain name involving graphene and hoping that it will have value to someone.

Ultimately it is commercial applications that count and that’s what justifies the investment. Amazingly, given its track record, the UK is in a very strong position.

Finally on the collaboration between the National Graphene Institute and China, it is important to realise that China is an academic as well as an economic powerhouse. The investment in graphene at Manchester isn’t just about exporting British know how to China, but is allowing the creation of a global hub for graphene collaboration.

But the real winner in all of this will be the North West of England. Between the companies I’m involved in and a couple more I advise, we are planning to create hundreds of new jobs and generate tens of millions of revenues in the coming eighteen months. That’s the real Northern Powerhouse and like the Industrial revolution, mostly based on a discovery in Manchester.

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