As interest in graphene continues to grow, so does the importance of the longest running graphene and related materials conference, Graphene Week. Based in Europe but with a global appeal, Graphene Week 2017, was held on 25-29 September, saw over 550 delegates from 39 countries immerse themselves in the world of graphene and related materials.
Graphene Week 2017 was jointly organised by the Graphene Flagship and its partner FORTH (Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas) and held in the Greek city of Athens.
Speaking at the conference opening ceremony, Thomas Skordas, the Director of Digital Excellence and Science Infrastructure at the European Commission said “Graphene Week, the conference of the Graphene Flagship, is an excellent event which shows how much we can do together from a European perspective. It is an excellent platform for sharing, networking and for setting the path to the future”.
Graphene Week, now in its 12th edition, had a very clear and unique programme. Each morning was devoted to a single session of keynote talks from eminent speakers on topics ranging from fundamental science through to the applied field of biomedical research, all focused on graphene and related materials. Keynote speakers travelled far and wide for these well attended sessions and included Nobel laureate Konstantin Novoselov (University of Manchester, UK), Jose Garrido (ICN2, Spain), Andrea Ferrari (University of Cambridge, UK), Michael Crommie (Berkeley, US) and Antonio Castro-Neto (National University of Singapore, Singapore).
Each afternoon saw four parallel sessions where over 140 speakers gave talks on all aspects of the science and technology of graphene and related materials. Nearly 300 posters were also presented in two different sessions, with an amazing atmosphere of scientific discussion and insight.
As the graphene and related materials community moves forward from fundamental science to applications, so Graphene Week moves with it. With the Graphene Innovation Forum held on the first three afternoons, delegates could delve deep into industrialisation, road-mapping and commercialisation, hearing from academic and industrial experts. On the closing afternoon there was a Graphene Connect, aimed at forging relationships between academia and industry to aid the path of graphene and related materials to commercial success.
Jose Garrido from Graphene Flagship partner ICN2 (Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology) Spain said “I was surprised by how much innovation is picking up within the graphene community, with many strong contributions from research centres but also from companies, pushing graphene towards innovation and applications. I think is the right direction for the community.”
With further sessions on Ethics, Women in Graphene, Scientific publishing and an open session about the Graphene Flagship, there was so much more to Graphene Week than met the eye.
The fantastic social programme at Graphene Week did not disappoint, the Welcome Reception held at the Acropolis Museum, had the most breath-taking view of the Acropolis and Parthenon. The majestic Zappeion Peristylion was the stunning setting for the conference dinner.
Costas Galiotis, of the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH), Greece, was the Graphene Week 2017 Conference Chair. “We are very pleased with the outcome of Graphene Week 2017, the presentations were very good, the science was excellent and the innovation forum was very exciting. It has been a very exciting week in Athens”.
Professor Andrea C. Ferrari, Science and Technology Officer of the Graphene Flagship, and Chair of its Management Panel, added “There is an ever growing number of conferences, workshops and meetings in Europe and worldwide focussing on graphene and related materials. This is a sign of success for these materials, with an ever wider academic and industrial reach. Graphene Week, the first international conference in this field, remains at the core of these burgeoning dissemination activities, and is the prime happening for the Flagship Partners to exchange their latest results with leading industries and academic groups.”
After such a fantastic week in Athens now we look forward to Graphene Week 2018 which will be held in the beautiful Spanish city of San Sebastian from 10-14 September 2018.