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George Osborne Confirms New £60m MCR Graphene Centre

University to build new Engineering Innovation Centre for the world's 'miracle material'

Written by . Published on September 12th 2014.

George Osborne Confirms New £60m MCR Graphene Centre

MANCHESTER will gain a new £60m graphene research centre, following an announcement by Chancellor George Osborne this week.

The new Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) is due to open in 2017, and has been designed to complement the National Graphene Institute (NGI), currently under construction and due to open at the University of Manchester next year.

Graphene is the thinnest, strongest, most flexible and conductive material in the world. A carbon sheet, one-atom thick and 200 times stronger than steel (but six times lighter), the material is set to 'revolutionise everything'.

Osborne said: “Graphene is potentially a game-changer – its properties make it one of the most important commercial scientific breakthroughs in recent memory. It presents tremendous opportunities with the potential to provide thousands of jobs of billions of pounds of further investment.

“This new centre, alongside the National Graphene Institute, has put Manchester and the UK in pole position to take advantage of these opportunities and lead the world in this exciting new technology.”

The University of Manchester has stated 'the facility will be critical in the development of commercial applications and in maintaining the UK’s world-leading position in graphene and related 2-D materials.

National Graphene Institute, due to open in 2015National Graphene Institute, due to open in 2015

Graphene is the thinnest, strongest, most flexible and conductive material in the world. A carbon sheet, one-atom thick and 200 times stronger than steel (but six times lighter), the material is set to 'revolutionise everything'.

Russian-born University of Manchester Professors, Sir Andre Geim and Sir Kostya Novoselov, isolated the material for the first time at the University in 2004. It won them the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010, knighthoods in 2012 and the Freedom of Manchester (the highest honour the city can bestow) earlier this year.

The GEIC will be partially funded by £15m from the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF), £5m from the Technology Strategy Board and £30m from Masdar, an Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company owned by Mubadala - an investment vehicle of the Government of Abu Dhabi.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The announcement of the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre in Manchester, to complement the existing National Graphene Centre, is a highly significant one.

“Not only does it underline the University of Manchester’s world-class credentials, it also reinforces the city’s place at the leading edge of advanced material research.

“It is another compelling illustration of Manchester’s ability to attract foreign investment in a competitive global market.This announcement is another manifestation of Abu Dhabi’s commitment to working with Manchester and the network of constructive relationships which have been built up over the last five years.

“Manchester is where graphene was first discovered and it’s genuinely exciting that the city will be in the forefront of work into its commercial applications.”


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

AnonymousSeptember 12th 2014.

Where will this be?

Poster BoySeptember 12th 2014.

It would be useful if someone could actually explain how Manchester will be at the forefront of the commercial application of graphene given China has 2,204 patents, the US 1,754, South Korea 1,160, and the UK...54 (2013 figures). Samsung has 407 alone. The graphene revolution is patently now taking place elsewhere, as will the wealth generated.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 13th 2014.

Most of these patents are useless when it comes to graphene, you've nothing to worry about.

GordoSeptember 15th 2014.

such a treasure, Poster, such a treasure.

Poster BoySeptember 15th 2014.

Are you blind Gordo? It's a legitimate question. An investigative publisher would look for the answer, but no you just carry on with the cheap shot.

AnonymousSeptember 13th 2014.

A lot is said about the standard of new building in the city,but when did the universities last build a attractive building ?.

6 Responses: Reply To This...
Ghostly TomSeptember 14th 2014.

The new Art College is pretty good. Like a modern take on Hogwarts inside with all the random staircases.

AnonymousSeptember 14th 2014.

The bridge/precinct over Oxford Road will be demolished thank goodness and there's a hotel being built amongst the business school buildings. There's lots happening at the University, we should all be proud of it.

Calum McGSeptember 14th 2014.

Tom, the inside of that building is brilliant fun. However, the outside is pretty piss poor. Sad times!

AnonymousSeptember 14th 2014.

Manchester University has an appalling record on commissioning new buildings. University Place in particular looks very cheap. MMU on the other hand have delivered some excellent architecture such as the new business school and the Geoffrey Manton building - which still looks top class after 15 years or so.

AnonymousSeptember 15th 2014.

You get the impression that the people commissioning the buildings don't live or come from the city and see no connection between the universities activities and the wider city.

AnonymousSeptember 15th 2014.

Good point. The same could be said for a lot of the university's activities Anon. How well integrated are their research activities with local firms? How engaged are they with local business? How good are they at raising money from business and alumni? I think uni are still more ivory tower than Ivy League in certain crucial areas.

AnonymousSeptember 13th 2014.

I quite like the new business school at MMU. It's a bit spartan/industrial inside though.

Duke FameSeptember 14th 2014.

George Osborne seems to have ut more into Manchester in 4 years that Labour has managed since it's sorry inception

5 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 14th 2014.

you're joking right?

AnonymousSeptember 14th 2014.

... or particularly susceptible to political spin. This funding has nothing to do with George Osborne or party politics. Read the article properly.

AnonymousSeptember 15th 2014.

The super casino also had nothing to do with Gordon Brown ,but it did not stop him from announcing in the Daily Mail that he was stopping it.Ed Balls has pretty much said the same about the high speed train link.Labour vision of the north is one of dependency,it's not not one of backing investment in the north economic revival.

AnonymousSeptember 15th 2014.

No HS2 under a future Labour government and no second runway for Manchester Airport too remember, if Prescott & Blair had got their way back in the 1990s.

AnonymousSeptember 15th 2014.

Oh yawn David (last couple of Anonymous rants). Why not add your other usual copy-and-paste rant about Graham Stringer and Bob Scott? .. HS2 was a Labour project in case you forget.

Jonathan SchofieldSeptember 15th 2014.

Lord above. I don't understand negativity masquerading as 'we're the only people who really understand the truth'. This is a good thing for Manchester.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Poster BoySeptember 15th 2014.

Agreed. Any new investment is good news as a means to end per se, and better it is in Manchester than in say Cambridge. But Mr Leese engages in the politics of rhetoric that has no foundation, and the reality is that current evidence suggests the real wealth and jobs arising from graphene will be created elsewhere. Not in Manchester. That is the real story here.

Mark FullerSeptember 15th 2014.

Graphene was invented in Manchester; George Osborne is trying to ensure that that some of the resulting benefits and investment comes to Manchester. I'd like to believe that Osborne is a "One Nation" Tory in the Disraeli mold. Certainly, he is trying to show that the Tories are not as London centric as the Labour establishment were in the Blair/Brown era.

Trish KarneySeptember 15th 2014.

Well you can say what you like about Gideon, but he seems to like Manchester a lot more than the London Labour lot.

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