Academia and industry talk graphene in energy technologies

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Academia and industry talk graphene in energy technologies

​​By Francis Sedgemore, 15 October 2014.

Later this month, research scientists and engineers will join with industry representatives and investors to discuss the use of graphene and related nanomaterials in future energy solutions.
​The two-day Graphene Connect – Energy applications workshop, which takes place in Dresden from 20-21 October, will cover recent scientific advances, together with manufacturing issues, industrial innovation, and the commercial exploitation of graphene and other two-dimensional nanomaterials. It will feature plenary sessions, and also smaller group discussions focusing on the energy conversion industry, future energy conversion applications, and solar energy generation.

The Graphene Flagship

Graphene Connect – Energy Applications is organised by the Graphene Flagship: an international consortium of academic and industrial partners, funded in part by the European Commission. The flagship focuses on the need for Europe to address the big scientific and technological challenges through long-term, multidisciplinary research and development efforts. Graphene Connect – Energy Applications is aimed at energy sector companies both large and small, together with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists eager to collaborate with technical experts working at the cutting edge of nanoscience and technology.

In bringing together researchers, manufacturers and investors, the Graphene Flagship will provide industry with an overview of recent scientific developments in the field, and an opportunity for networking. Industry participants will gain new R&D contacts, and hopefully inspiration for new innovation projects.

Setting the scene

Following an introduction from Helena Theander, deputy leader of the Innovation work package for the Graphene Flagship, her colleague Etienne Quesnel, leader of the Energy work package, will set the scene with a scientific presentation on the use of graphene in energy devices.

“The core objective of Graphene Connect – Energy Applications is to show the various industrial players, producers and investors that graphene is no longer a simple object of curiosity for passionate physicists,” says Dr Quesnel. “Proofs-of-concept for this outstanding material, together with real-world demonstrators for energy applications, exist today in our laboratories.”

A sense of urgency

When it comes to energy-related devices, what is important is that, beyond hardware performance, they should in the medium term take into account various issues surrounding the production chain: from material sourcing, device fabrication and testing, to upscaling and cost issues. Underlining how critical these issues are for European success in the commercial exploitation of graphene, Etienne Quesnel adds: “Competition with Asia is now so harsh, that time is short for the future European graphene industry. We must act now!”

Reinforcing this message of urgency, Dr Theander adds: “I am looking forward to open and vivid discussions, where industry representatives and researchers together start finding solutions to mutual challenges. It is time for action, and these two days will hopefully result in new relations, new ideas and new R&D projects.”

Acting now is precisely what the partners of the Graphene Flagship are doing. And in organising the Graphene Connect – Energy Applications workshop, we invite others in Europe, with an interest in disruptive technologies which promise to have a massive impact on human society, to do likewise.

Stay tuned for reports of the Graphene Connect – Energy Applications discussions. These will be published on the website of the Graphene Flagship, and disseminated via press, broadcast and social media platforms.

For media enquiries relating to the research and development activities of the Graphene Flagship, please contact Dr Francis Sedgemore.

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Publishing date: 27 April 2016 13:00