Granted planning permission by Manchester city councillors today [04/02/16], the GEIC will accelerate taking graphene products to the marketplace, as well as be a state of the art research and technology development facility.
The virtual tour of the building shows its location on the North Campus of The University of Manchester, next to the Mancunian Way and Sackville Street. It also shows laboratories and offices on each floor.
Along with the £61m National Graphene Institute (NGI), which opened in 2015, and the £235m Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials, the GEIC will be crucial in maintaining the UK’s world leading position in graphene and other 2-D materials research.
Whereas the NGI features academic-led research in partnership with industry, the GEIC will be industry-led, working with academia and focussing on innovation and applications.
The GEIC, which has been designed by world-renowned architect Rafael Viñoly, is around 8,400 square metres. It will initially focus on a number of the University’s world-class graphene application areas: energy, composites, formulations and coatings, electronics and membranes.
It will also have pilot production facilities and characterisation for the industrial scale-up of graphene, as well as develop graphene and 2D materials applications. It is set to be completed by the end of 2017.
The University has more than 230 researchers working on graphene research across a wide breadth of disciplines and subjects. The NGI, GEIC and Sir Henry Royce Institute will be positioned in the heart of the city, cementing Manchester as the home of graphene with unrivalled expertise.
This is a wonderful facility that will develop our world-leading research to new products and markets in collaboration with key industrial partners. The GEIC will be a catalyst for industry-university partnerships that will drive innovation and invention of new applications for graphene.
Graphene Business Director James Baker said: “It is exciting to see inside the GEIC for the first time and see a glimpse of the world-class facilities that will be built.
“We have worked closely with a number of industry partners and other institutions to ensure that this will form a crucial centre for scaling up production of graphene applications and taking them to the market.
“Already we are seeing a number of existing partnerships in the NGI start to develop some exciting graphene enabled concepts and applications and we will see this world-class research mature into the next phase of commercialisation in the GEIC and then support the development of a UK supply-chain for graphene products and applications.”
Martin Schröder, Vice President and Dean of Engineering and Physical Sciences said “This is a wonderful facility that will develop our world-leading research to new products and markets in collaboration with key industrial partners. The GEIC will be a catalyst for industry-university partnerships that will drive innovation and invention of new applications for graphene.”
The GEIC is partially funded by £15m from the Higher Education Funding Council England’s UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF), £5m from Innovate UK and £30m from Masdar, the Abu Dhabi based renewable energy company owned by Mubadala. The remaining £10m will be provided by other research funds and institutions.