Manchester's graphene spin-outs attract substantial investment for sustainable innovation
Several spin-outs that are directly partnered with the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) at Graphene Flagship Partner The University of Manchester (UK) have received milestone funding, including a $1 billion investment.
Graphene Flagship Partner the University of Manchester's graphene innovation ecosystem is renowned for its success in attracting investment to northern England. Here are some outstanding examples.
$1 billion deal for Graphene Innovations Manchester
In March 2023, Graphene Innovations Manchester Ltd formed an international partnership with Quazar Investment Company to create a new company in the United Arab Emirates. The investment vision, worth a total of $1billion, will be one of the most ambitious projects to date to fast-track the commercialisation of 2D materials. This ambitious project also aims to create a 'Sustainable Materials Translational Research Centre' as part of the Greater Manchester Innovation Accelerator programme.
Nationwide Engineering Research and Development (Nerd) received multimillion pound funding for Concretene
The Nationwide Engineering Research and Development (Nerd) received £8M of seed funding from the venture capital firm LocalGlobe and formed strategic partnerships with Black Swan Graphene and Arup to further develop a graphene-enhanced admixture for concrete, known as Concretene. This admixture uses around 30% less concrete, reducing the carbon footprint of a construction project, and has attracted significant market attention. According to “The New Civil Engineer” website: “Nerd is working alongside project partners including Heathrow and Manchester Airports, Network Rail, National Highways and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority for early adoption of Concretene.”
Molymem was awarded an investment for its water membrane technology
Manchester spin-off Molymem has developed an energy-efficient membrane coating based on modified molybdenum disulphide for use in water filtration. Molymem has been awarded an investment funding package of £500,400 from private investors, such as Cambridge Angels, Manchester Angels, and NorthInvest. The water filter can be tailored to remove particulate contaminants found in water, such as nitrates, phosphates, PFAS/PFOS, dissolved organics, and heavy metals.
Watercycle Technologies won an Innovate UK grant for lithium extraction
Watercycle Technologies has won a £500,000 Innovate UK Smart Grant, in partnership with Cornish Lithium, to test its direct lithium extraction process in the historic mining district of Cornwall, UK. Due to the increasing demand of lithium for batteries, such as for electric vehicles, extracting this metal from water cost-effectively is considered a crucial opportunity to support UK's Net Zero strategy.