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Council Boss: 'Graphene Is The New Cotton'

Council's director of strategic development, Eddie Smith, talks wonder materials and Abu Dhabi

Published on November 26th 2014.


Council Boss: 'Graphene Is The New Cotton'
 

"GRAPHENE is the new cotton," according to Eddie Smith, Head of Strategic Development at Manchester City Council and the man behind the regeneration of East Manchester.

“An announcement before Christmas will be testament to Abu Dhabi's belief in Manchester.”

Talking at a business breakfast event in Castlefield - organised by law firm Slater Heelis - Smith discussed how the potential of the world's new wonder material (first isolated at Manchester University) 'could not be exaggerated' and could lead to a 'technical revolution'.

Eddie SmithEddie Smith“Its impact will be huge and the challenge now is to capitalise on that discovery and exploit the potential," said Smith. "It is a challenge not just for Manchester but for the UK, and the Government has recognised this.”

The first Graphene Institute is set to open at Manchester University next spring followed by the recently announced Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC), and he hinted that a new National Institute for Materials Research could be confirmed by the Government in the autumn statement next week.

Smith went on to stress the importance of the University’s role in the city’s future and its ambition to become one of the top 25 universities in the world. 

He said: “Being in the top 25 is really important, because when you are in that sphere you attract a certain type of investor who wants to be associated with the very best.”

Graphene InstituteGraphene Institute

It is hoped that the GEIC facility will stimulate commercial redevelopment of the University's North Campus, which is three times the size of Manchester's Spinningfields district and inextricably linked to HS2 developments. Smith said the campus could become “a truly globally recognised science-led business park that could capitalise on the spin off investment from the University being in that elite band.”

During the business breakfast, Smith also went on to discuss the impact of Abu Dhabi's acquisition of Manchester City FC and the knock-on effects for East Manchester.

Smith said it was 'a pivotal moment' in the history of Manchester.

"We have found an owner who is totally committed to the regeneration of East Manchester," said Smith. “They have got a value base that is so in sync with the city council, they are committed to the community and ensuring they are a fantastic neighbour and they recognise that challenges are still there in respect of education, health and employment and things that they have a responsibility to help change. 

“They bought the club in September 2008 and we made an approach to them in the October to build their training centre in East Manchester and they went with it. The relationship has gone from strength to strength and it has led them to investing £1bn to transform the residential market in that area of the city.

“An announcement before Christmas will be testament to Abu Dhabi's belief in Manchester.”

The full conversation with Eddie Smith can be viewed at www.slaterheelis.co.uk along with details of the next  'In Conversation...' with Sir Howard Bernstein in February.

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9 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousNovember 26th 2014.

"They have got a value base that is so in sync with the city counci". Sounds dodgy!

1 Response: Reply To This...
crisbyNovember 28th 2014.

Adultery and fornication are punishable by flogging. For a muslim woman to marry a non-muslim man counts as fornication. Stoning to death is a lawful judicial punishment and homosexuality is punishable by death. Democracy - forget it. Any chance of an interview with Eddie Smith to talk about the City Council's value base, eds?

Poster BoyNovember 26th 2014.

Loose talk.

SteveNovember 26th 2014.

Change the title of this piece. Eddie Smith is not the Chief Exec of the Council. Unless Sir Howard has been booted out recently

1 Response: Reply To This...
EditorialNovember 26th 2014.

Good spot Steve. He's a Council Director. Changed.

Burt CodeineNovember 26th 2014.

Collar site/Leisure development finally announced per chance?

AnonymousNovember 28th 2014.

The people who own Manchester City are decent people and they are investing heavily in their adopted city. I do not know them but from what I see they have morals and a sense of community. As for Graphene let us hope that the profits from our invention stay in Manchester and unlike cotton is not used to maintain London's infrastructure or like Scotland's oil used to build a second channel tunnel.

1 Response: Reply To This...
crisbyNovember 28th 2014.

I live close to the Etihad and am very glad to see the way East manchester regeneration has been brought back to life by Abu Dhabi investment - also happy for local people who benefit from it. But pardon me if I feel uneasy about this money coming from members of a ruling elite whose morals and sense of community extend to suppressing dissent from those who think the community should be run differently, and killing people whose morals are different. I'd rather see their money spent here than elsewhere, but Mr Smith doesn't have to suck up to them quite so obsequiously.

AnonymousDecember 8th 2014.

Does anyone know after nearly ten year who in the world is making a graphene product FOR SALE

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