Carl-Christian Buhr of the European Commission congratulates Jari Kinaret, director of The Graphene Flagship

Graphene flagship sets sail

The EU’s ten-year €1bn Graphene Flagship was launched during a ceremony in Gothenburg, Sweden, today.

The project, one of Europe’s flagships in Future and Emerging Technologies selected by the European Commission in January, is designed to take graphene and related layered materials from academic laboratories to society, revolutionise multiple industries and create economic growth and new jobs in Europe.

A flagship sail was symbolically set jointly by Wolfgang Bosch of the European Commission, Karin Markides, president of Chalmers University of Technology, and Nokia’s representative Tapani Ryhänen.

"Now, we are all in this together, the Commission and all the academic and industrial partners of The Graphene Flagship. It is an unusually long-term commitment, and there will be challenges, let’s be clear about that," said Carl-Christian Buhr, member of the Cabinet of European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes.

"One challenge will be to keep the agility, to get the right new partners inside, so that you can react and steer in a new direction as the context changes. Another is of course the scientific challenge. Thirdly, we need to bring in industry in such a way that ideas are taken up in a way that leads to new products and markets. That’s the whole idea of the flagship."

The voyage of Graphene Flagship is divided into two separate phases: a 30-month ramp-up phase under the 7th Framework Programme from 1 October 2013 to 31 March 2016, with a total European Commission funding of €54m, and a steady-state phase under the Horizon 2020 programme, starting 1 April 2016, with expected European Commission funding of €50m a year.

The consortium initially includes 75 academic and industrial partners in 17 European countries and focuses on the area of communications, concentrating on ICT and the physical transport sector, and supporting applications in the fields of energy technology and sensors.

The consortium will be expanded with another 20 to 30 groups through an Open Call, to be issued in November 2013 with the executive board of the Flagship to decide details on topics of the Open Call, its funding limits and final rules during October 2013.

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