Deep Dive: Towards industralisation of graphene and layered materials
Meet the Graphene Flagship Industralisation team, which works to accelerate the uptake of graphene and layered materials in European industry.
Join us for a new edition of our behind-the-scenes Deep Dive series. This time, we are introducing the multidisciplinary team that works towards industrialising the innovative results of the Graphene Flagship.
The key mission of the Graphene Flagship’s Industrialisation Work Package is to bring research results to the real world. To this end, the group facilitates and accelerates the uptake of graphene and layered materials in commercial applications through four closely interconnected tasks:
- Exploring, evaluating and forecasting application opportunities based on market needs through the Technology and Innovation Roadmap (TIR);
- Improving trust and confidence in graphene and layered material-enabled products by providing validation services;
- Developing consensus-based and accepted international standards for properties and characterisation of graphene and layered materials, and devices, components and systems enhanced by them;
- Communicating characteristics and specifications transparently via the Samples and Materials Database.
Graphene industralisation in 2019
Over the past year, the Industrialisation Work Package continued to monitor the global landscape in order to identify windows of opportunity for Europe. We conducted additional focus investigations on biosensors, water purification, Magnetic RAM and elastomers to identify innovation targets and to elaborate specific value chain roadmaps.
Industrialisation has also worked to create trust and confidence in graphene and layered materials by providing a professional, world-class Validation Service. In 2019, the service received 38 requests by ten different Graphene Flagship Work Packages. It delivered 30 validation reports (with excellent customer feedback: over 90% of users would use it again and recommend it to a colleague) and regularly developed and rolled out new services to meet the user’s needs: four new services were added in the past year.
The Graphene Flagship Standardisation Committee (GFSC) has also worked to position Europe as an innovation leader. The committee has led nine out of 28 international standardisation projects (ISO, IEC).
The Industrialisation Work Package is leading the conversation around graphene innovation. In collaboration with the Innovation Work Package and the Graphene Flagship Science and Technology Officer, Industrialisation set the scene for the industrialisation of graphene and layered materials in a Nature Nanotechnology editorial. We also presented and promoted our services widely to international communities at industry days and international conferences, including Graphene Week.
The Work Package is also steering the conversation on the industrialisation of graphene and layered materials within the Graphene Flagship, supporting the initiation of new Spearhead Projects on batteries and solar cells through our value chain roadmapping.
All of our industrialisation tasks support sustainability. The Roadmap takes sustainability issues into account in two ways: we explore future application areas that contribute directly to a sustainable future, such as graphene and layered material-enhanced perovskite solar cells or water treatment systems, and our focus investigations highlight the importance of sustainability concepts in innovation.
The measurement data provided by the Validation Service can be used by the requester for Environment, Health & Safety risk assessments. The Validation Service also offers capabilities for ageing, degradation and lifecycle properties assessment, including lifetime duration prediction.
We are committed to increasing confidence and trust in graphene and layered materials and their products, which are prerequisites to adoption by industry, consumers and society, and are vital for the move to a sustainable society.
A vision for the future
The industrialisation workflow established in the early phases of the project (the Technology and Innovation Roadmap, key performance indicators for graphene and layered materials, the validation and standardisation services and the samples and materials database) will continue to provide a guiding framework for the future path of graphene and layered materials towards markets and society. The Industrialisation Work Package will therefore also enable the Graphene Flagship to communicate its relevance in a convincing way.
A challenge-focused approach to the Roadmap will supplement the current industry sector, market or technology-based approach. This will inform the direction of travel for the Graphene Flagship’s future technology developments, allowing it to address grand challenges and Sustainable Development Goals. We will also initiate the expansion of current Roadmap actions in order to anticipate the evolution of the market and to plan and control the technological needs of production. The Industrialisation Work Package will therefore play a coordinating role for global graphene and layered material-based innovation similar to the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS). We see Europe as having a chance to steer the industry worldwide by taking an early lead in creating an International Technology Roadmap for Graphene (and other 2D materials) (ITRG).
Validation will largely continue as a service, however, the current emphasis on materials will shift to devices in the near future and eventually to the system level. Specifically, in relation to the 2D Experimental Pilot Line, we expect the validation team to play a role in providing independent assessment of its outputs. This independence is important, as it ensures customer confidence.
With regard to standardisation, we expect that within a few years the majority of measurement methods will be standardised or well on track to standardisation. Where gaps still exist, for example with the emergence of drastically novel applications or new types of materials, the existing framework of the Graphene Flagship Standardisation Committee will continue its current role. The standardised measurement methods will also inform regulation, particularly concerning the health and environmental aspects of devices and systems enhanced by graphene and layered materials.