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COVID or not: The Graphene Flagship keeps sailing forward

​By: Tom Foley (Graphene Flagship)

The Graphene Flagship will continue sailing forward throughout and beyond the coronavirus lockdown.

The COVID-19 outbreak has created an unprecedented situation for Europe and the Graphene Flagship. The safety of the Graphene Flagship family is our highest priority, but nevertheless, we are committed to our promise of pushing forward European research, innovation and collaboration. Our network of passionate and talented scientists never ceases to innovate, and in light of the coronavirus lockdown, it is our time to do the same.

We are now introducing new online approaches to events and conferencing. We started with our annual Women in Graphene career development event last week, hosted in a virtual world provided by Virtway Events. It had an excellent reception, a whole host of inspiring speakers and a number of face-to-face networking sessions, as well as a fully interactive workshop. 70 people from Europe and beyond attended the event, and we received a very positive response. Many of our delegates are excited to see what the future holds, and we look forward to introducing more virtual events over the course of the year.

Furthermore, we are currently exploring our options for Graphene Study 2020. Although we have decided to postpone the physical event until next year, we will still offer an online alternative in 2020, crafted to meet the needs of our students and early-career researchers. Our main goal will be to offer a valuable, interactive and enjoyable experience for all who attend. More information on this year's online Graphene Study will be released soon.

Finally, for those with financial or technical concerns regarding how COVID-19 will affect the end of the current phase of the Graphene Flagship project and the start of the next phase, we will maintain a list of frequently asked questions for its partners on the project intranet OnBoard. The Graphene Flagship's recommendations are based on the information currently available, and as a result, they may be subject to change.

While the coming months will be a challenge, and our hearts are with everyone affected by the crisis, it also forces us to consider how we can improve our processes and tools. We are already experimenting with innovative new ways to meet, communicate and collaborate online, and we will strive to be the leader of the pack when it comes to sustainable and accessible networking. Our new approaches could broaden our reach, helping us to become even more inclusive to everyone in the European graphene community, and open the door to a bright future of environmentally friendly conferencing.

We hope that this trying time will be a catalyst for positive change. We are ready to support our partners and community in any way we can, and we wish everyone in the Graphene Flagship family all the best.

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Publishing date: 25 March 2020 16:51