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Graphene enjoys a Royal visit

17 Feb 2012

His Royal Highness The Duke of York visited the University this week to learn more about wonder material graphene and commercialising research.

Dr Branson Belle shows the Prince how to make graphene
Dr Branson Belle shows the Prince how to make graphene

Prince Andrew was given a tour of the graphene laboratories by Nobel prize winner Professor Andre Geim, and had the chance to make graphene himself under the microscope.

Members of the graphene research team told the Prince about future applications of graphene, which is the world’s thinnest, strongest and most conductive material.

At a lunch hosted by President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, he was also introduced to fellow Nobel Laureate Professor Kostya Novoselov.

The Prince had the chance to meet some student technology entrepreneurs, as well as visiting NanoCo, in the University’s Innovation Centre, as an example of a successful manufacturing spin-out which grew from a proof-of-principle project to a £100M+ stock-market listed company in six years.

In the afternoon, the Prince was invited to the Innovation Centre and met UMI3 CEO, Clive Rowland.   His Royal Highness visited UMI3 as part of his desire to see that the UK is recognised as the best place in the world for Science and Engineering.

Clive commented: “It was very encouraging to see how knowledgeable and positively engaged The Duke of York is about research commercialisation and related activities such as student enterprise projects.

“He is keen to see the University continue to develop its capabilities in this regard and promote its successes and products internationally. He is extremely enthusiastic about the potential of graphene and interested in the different applications and routes to market for it.

“For those of us who try our best to contribute to the British economy’s industrial leadership through creating entirely new science-based businesses and via licensing of technology enhancements of existing processes and products arising from the University’s top-class research, it’s highly motivating to hear how passionately His Royal Highness offers suggestions to develop our work and how he promotes our cause internationally.”