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Graphene Highlights at Mobile World Congress Shanghai

Graphene was a key focus at the recent Mobile World Congress Shanghai, with high-profile graphene events jointly organised by the Graphene Flagship partner Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), Spain, and the China Innovation Alliance of the Graphene Industry (CGIA). Image credit: ICFO

​Mobile World Congress is held annually in Barcelona in February, and is the world’s largest mobile industry gathering with up to 100 000 attendees each year. Previously known as the Mobile Asia Expo, Mobile World Congress Shanghai provides an Asia-focused perspective in mobile technology developments. The Mobile World Congress events bring together cutting-edge research and developments in various areas of mobile technology, including mobile telecommunications, wearable technology, and the internet of things (IoT). Each of these areas are key technologies in which graphene is expected to make a large commercial impact due to its unique properties.

This year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona featured the inaugural Graphene Pavilion, jointly organised by the Graphene Flagship, Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), Spain, and GSMA. Following its success, graphene-related exhibitors in academia and industry from Europe and Asia were brought together at the second Graphene Pavilion in Mobile World Congress Shanghai, between 29 June and 1 July, coordinated by ICFO and CGIA.

As well as the Graphene Pavilion, which was open throughout Mobile World Congress Shanghai, a dedicated Graphene Summit was organised by ICFO, with support from Flagship partners at the University of Manchester, FlexEnable, as well as other graphene industry supporters. The session on the future of graphene-based mobile technologies was held on the morning of the second day, chaired by Professor Frank Koppens of the ICFO. The Summit was opened with a talk from Professor Konstantin Novoselov of the University of Manchester, UK, who described the exciting potential of graphene in printed mobile electronics. This was followed by presentations about graphene-based flexible electronics, touch screens, and wearable sensors, including talks from Dr Stijn Goossens of the ICFO, and Dr Rouzet Agaiby of FlexEnable, UK.

Graphene Flagship research had a significant presence within the Graphene Pavilion. Exhibitors from the Flagship included the Institute of Photonic Sciences, Spain, University of Cambridge, UK, University of Manchester, UK, National Research Council of Italy, Italy, and FlexEnable Ltd, UK. Among the devices displayed were sensors, displays, flexible electronics, and conductive inks, as well as wearables, such as gloves with strain and temperature sensors. Interactive exhibits, such as keyboards and LED displays, were particularly popular with the VIPs touring the Graphene Pavilion, including the chairman of China Mobile.

Dr Stephen Hodge, of the University of Cambridge, attended the event: "Mobile World Congress Shanghai was a great opportunity for graphene research and the Graphene Flagship. Seeing exciting developments from industry really illustrates how fast-moving graphene technologies are. There is already a huge demand for high-quality graphene, and Flagship research is already making significant impact in industry. The highlight of the event was seeing the buzz and excitement regarding 5G mobile internet and IoT – hopefully graphene and new materials can be play a key role in these future technologies."

With over 500 exhibitors and more than 53 000 attendees from 104 countries, the fifth Mobile World Congress Shanghai event showcased a huge variety of mobile devices and technologies. As well as the presence of leading industry partners, parts of the event were open to the public, in connection with the Shanghai Digital Information Festival and Smart City Expo. These large exhibitions demonstrated the exciting potential of mobile and networking technologies – and graphene’s potential within those technologies – to the wider world.

After the success of the graphene-related events in both Barcelona and Shanghai this year, graphene will remain a key focus in mobile technology developments, and the Graphene Flagship will again be involved in organising the Graphene Pavilion at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February 2017.

Read more about the Graphene Pavilion at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona 2017

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Publishing date: 23 September 2016 15:14