On 23-24 September 2019, at the Graphene Flagship's annual conference Graphene Week, delegates from Europe and Australia met to discuss common results and challenges in research advances and developments of graphene and related materials (GRMs).
The workshop was chaired by Ken Teo from Graphene Flagship partner Aixtron, UK and Dusan Losic from the University of Adelaide, Australia. It was the second international workshop co-organised by the European Graphene Flagship project and the Australian Research Council (ARC) Hub for Graphene Enabled Industry Transformation and just one in a series of workshops organised by the Graphene Flagship to foster collaborations across geographical borders.
The goals of the Europe-Australia Workshop are to enable researchers from the two continents to meet and discuss graphene research and its industry translation and to foster cross-continental collaborations to help develop a graphene-enabled future.
The first two workshops have been very successful in attracting delegates and speakers from Australia and across the EU and coming from both academia and industry. At the first joint workshop, held in Adelaide and Sydney, Australia, in 2018, delegates showcased all their research areas from different universities and industry partners to enable both sides to get to know each other and to initiate collaborations.
This year at the second EU-Australia Workshop, during Graphene Week 2019 in Helsinki, Finland, 16 speakers—including four from industry—presented broad range of topics, i.e. graphene production and functionalization, composites, water filtration, energy, fundamentals, commercialisation and certification. Delegates identified the common topics of interest, thus allowing for a more focused discussion on the latest findings that could lead to closer collaboration including the exchange of students, samples, and instruments as well as the generation of joint publications.
Programme highlights included presentations from both EU and Australian representatives providing recent progress on these topics and raising many interesting questions, encouraging dialog and opening collaborations.
In addition to the workshop program, the participants had a memorable visit to VTT, Graphene Week 2019 host and the leading research and technology company in Scandinavia. During the tour, delegates visited VTT's state-of-the art facilities, including the Printed Electronics Lab and the MICRONOVA clean room. The group also visited Aalto University, where they toured their impressive Nanomicroscopy Center and Low Temperature Lab. A networking dinner allowed the discussions to continue on a more informal level.
The next workshop will be held in Australia in 2020 and will include a more interactive format with a focus common challenges, specifically unsolved problems, in graphene research and the emerging graphene industry. Participants can look forward to having more robust discussions and problem-solving sessions through panel and group discussions. Principally, the groups will discuss how to work together more efficiently to address these challenges and engage industry partners. There will also be networking opportunities and graphene-related laboratory and industry tours.
"For the Australian delegates, this was their first time participating in the Graphene Flagship's Graphene Week, and we have been overwhelmed with the quality of the conference and organization. We believe this is the best platform to continue our future workshops," says Losic.