The Graphene Flagship General Assembly was this year held at IMEC, Belgium, 11 to 12 April 2018. Held annually to bring together members from all parts of the Flagship, the General Assembly exists to share Flagship news, as a networking platform to enable cross work package collaboration and as the forum for the Graphene Flagship to undertake its voting decisions. This year saw almost 200 delegates from nearly 100 different Graphene Flagship member organisations.
Opened by the Director of the Graphene Flagship, Jari Kinaret, the General Assembly saw presentations from across the Flagship focusing on both science and technology.
“The Graphene Flagship has now been operating for 4 1/2 years and has much to be proud of. The past year brought about many breakthroughs within the Flagship which is well on track to deliver on its promises,” said Kinaret.
The Keynote lecture at this year’s General Assembly was given by Anne Goldberg, a senior principal scientist at Solvay and a member of the Graphene Flagship Strategic Advisory Council, who spoke about the importance of responsible research and innovation, noting “Responsible innovation needs to lead to genuine benefits for society”.
The General Assembly saw talks from all of the Graphene Flagship Divisions. The divisions group different work-packages together to enable a more unified aim and help to foster cross work-package collaboration. The Division leaders spoke of the key achievements from within their Divisions over the previous year and more details can be found in the Graphene Flagship’s Annual Report. There was also a session dedicated to the Graphene Flagship partnering projects and their successful research and innovation. These projects focus on graphene and related materials work that is complementary and synergistic with the core Work-Packages.
This year, as an illustration of the move that the Graphene Flagship is making from research towards innovation, there were also a number of success stories from partners and associate companies both SME and large enterprises.
Ericsson spoke of its exciting 5G technology with photonics switching for datacom traffic. Emberion presented its mission to provide game-changing solutions for professional infra-red imaging and photodetection and launched its first product to market, a single pixel photodetector. GRAPHENE-XT announced the sale of the first 5km roll of graphene film. Thales discussed their roadmap to commercialise graphene-based supercapacitors in the next 2-3 years. Talga outlined their integrated value chain and the access to one of the largest supplies of graphite in Europe and worldwide, which can be turned in billions of meters squared of graphene to cover a number of markets.
Professor Andrea C. Ferrari, Science and Technology Officer of the Graphene Flagship, and Chair of its Management Panel, chaired the sessions covering the advances in the divisions and the success stories. He stated "It is exciting to see that all the efforts put in establishing the Graphene Flagship are paying off and not only do we keep at the cutting edge of science, but our partners and associate members are launching products in the market across several application areas. We are on track on our innovation roadmap, and we look forward to further successes in Core 2."
The Graphene Flagship General Assembly also saw the launch of the next phase of the Graphene Flagship (Core 2) which includes seven focused Spearhead projects, ranging from integration of graphene into 5G communications, the internet of things, novel batteries, solar farming and flexible (bio)-electronics. These projects are application oriented and motivated by future market opportunities and to fulfil the Graphene Flagship aim of taking graphene and related materials from the lab and into society.