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FLAG-ERA Kick Off Welcomes New Graphene Flagship Partners

FLAG-ERA held a kick off seminar on 21 and 22 March 2018 to welcome the Graphene Flagship and Human Brain Project's new Partnering Projects.

​FLAG-ERA, an ERA-NET Cofund action that brings together most European regional and national funding agencies that support the Future and Emerging Technologies Flagship initiatives Graphene and Human Brain Project, held a kick off seminar on 21 and 22 March 2018 to welcome the Flagship projects’ new Partnering Projects. Project representatives were able to meet and interact with their National Funding Agencies’ representatives and to network with Graphene Flagship work package representatives. 

Mar García Hernandez, leader of work package Enabling Materials, presented the general structure of the Graphene Flagship, its main objectives and how it has evolved over time. Furthermore, she outlined the mechanism for partnering projects to interact with the core project. Most Graphene Flagship work packages were able to send a representative to brief the new partners on their work and potential for collaborations.

The atmosphere at the event was welcoming and motivated the partnering projects to consider sample and knowledge exchanges and other collaborations, García Hernandez said. “The exchange was fruitful,” she noted. “I discovered that many of the projects had partners who were members of the core project, in which collaboration is assured. Some other partners were members of the previous core project and certainly know the mechanism for interaction.”

“Unforeseen ideas for collaboration have emerged from the event,” concurred Emilie Klecha, who presented the FET Flagships on behalf of the European Commission. Researchers from the Associated Members and Partnering Projects were able to liaise with those from the core projects and to meet with their NRFO representatives, strengthening the link between the overall initiative and the member states, Klecha added.

The assembled group concluded that further opportunities for scientific exchange between the groups would be desirable and proposed holding oral or poster sessions during the Graphene Flagship’s annual Graphene Week to allow core partners and partnering projects the opportunity to connect and promote collaborative research. 

The event was the culmination of the 2017 Joint Transnational Call by the FLAG-ERA project to bring new partners into the Graphene Flagship consortium. This second call brought 17 new partnering projects to the group, and a third FLAG-ERA Joint Transnational Call is expected to be launched next year.