New £60m Engineering Innovation Centre to be based in Manchester


Funding provided by the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund, the Technology Strategy Board and Masdar, an Abu Dhabi-based clean technology and renewable energy company

The University of Manchester is to build a £60m Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC). 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.

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 by £30m from Masdar, the Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company owned by Mubadala which focuses on advancing the development, commercialisation and deployment of clean technologies and solutions. Additional funding for the Centre and its programmes will be provided by other research funds and institutions. The Centre will allow for the acceleration of applied research and development in partnership with other research organisations and industry.

In addition, The University of Manchester and Masdar Institute, the research-intensive university that is a key pillar of the Masdar Initiative, have commenced identifying joint graphene application research and fellowship programmes, which will focus on industrial applications for graphene across a range of sectors.

The GEIC will complement Manchester’s existing National Graphene Institute (NGI), where over 200 scientists and engineers are dedicated to graphene and 2-D materials research. Together, the two facilities will reinforce Manchester’s position as a globally leading knowledge base in graphene research and commercialisation.

Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Professor Colin Bailey, said: “Research and development in graphene and 2-D material applications will transform the world.  The world-leading knowledge base is here in Manchester and to harvest this knowledge, for the benefit of the economy and society more widely, urgent infrastructure facilities are required. The GEIC, supported by part funding from the UKRPIF, TSB and Masdar, is essential to maintain the UK’s international leadership position in this area and ensure effective commercialisation of a UK discovery.”

The Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, Dr. Ahmad Belhoul, said: "Developing and implementing new sustainable technologies is at the heart of Masdar’s mission. Our existing research partnerships have a history of producing innovative solutions across a range of sectors. Masdar is pleased to be partnering with The University of Manchester, which has world leading academic and research credentials. With potential applications for graphene across major industries, we are confident that together we can pioneer the use of this ground breaking material."

The GEIC will fill a critical gap in the ecosystem for graphene and 2-D material research, development, and application in the UK. It will offer the UK the unique opportunity to establish a leading role in a disruptive technology that spans a number of industrial sectors.  Linking into existing national expertise, the GEIC will focus on pilot production and characterisation, together with application development in composites, energy, solution formulations and coatings, electronics, and membranes.

The GEIC facility will also stimulate the commercial redevelopment of the University’s North Campus, creating a cornerstone for ‘graphene city’ and a wider advanced materials campus. The campus is located just yards from HS2 at Piccadilly Station and the proposed HS3 link across the north, recently announced by the Chancellor.

Notes for editors

For media enquiries contact:

Daniel Cochlin
Graphene Communications and Marketing Manager
The University of Manchester
0161 275 8382
07917 506158
Twitter: @UoMGraphene

The University of Manchester

The University of Manchester, a member of the prestigious Russell Group of British universities, is the largest and most popular university in the UK. It has 20 academic schools and hundreds of specialist research groups undertaking pioneering multi-disciplinary teaching and research of worldwide significance. According to the results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, The University of Manchester is one of the country’s major research institutions, rated third in the UK in terms of ‘research power’, and has had no fewer than 25 Nobel laureates either work or study there. The University had an annual income of £807 million in 2011/12.

About Masdar Institute

Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (Masdar Institute) was established by the government of Abu Dhabi as a not-for-profit, private graduate university to develop indigenous R&D capacity in Abu Dhabi addressing issues of importance to the region.
In collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Masdar Institute has developed an academic and research platform that articulates its mission and vision according to critical energy and sustainability challenges.
An important characteristic of Masdar Institute is its focus on complex real-world problems that require a multidisciplinary approach for the development of solutions from an integrated technology, systems and policy perspective. This multi-interdisciplinary and integrated approach is supported by the structure of its academic programs and by the emphasis placed on engaging external partners from industry, government, and other academic institutions in collaborative activities.
Serving as a key pillar of innovation and human capital, Masdar Institute remains fundamental to Masdar’s core objectives of developing Abu Dhabi’s knowledge economy and finding solutions to humanity’s toughest challenges such as climate change.
Masdar Institute integrates theory and practice to incubate a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, working to develop the critical thinkers and leaders of tomorrow.  With its world-class faculty and top-tier students, the Institute is committed to finding solutions to the challenges of clean energy and climate change through education and research.

Masdar Institute offers degrees in:
•    MSc Engineering Systems and Management
•    MSc Computing and Information Science
•    MSc Materials Science and Engineering
•    MSc Mechanical Engineering
•    MSc Water and Environmental Engineering
•    MSc Microsystems Engineering
•    MSc Electrical Power Engineering
•    MSc Chemical Engineering
•    MSc Sustainable Critical Infrastructure
•    PhD in Interdisciplinary Engineering

For more visit http://www.masdar.ac.ae/


The Technology Strategy Board is the UK’s innovation agency.  Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation.  Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit www.innovateuk.org.