Manchester University graphene institute awarded £23m

Image caption,
The money will go towards the National Graphene Institute

Scientists in Manchester have been awarded £23m to help develop the so-called "wonder material" graphene.

The European funding will go towards the National Graphene Institute (NGI) at the University of Manchester.

The centre will be a base for research into graphene, the world's thinnest, strongest and most conductive material.

The university said graphene had the potential to revolutionise a "huge number of applications", including smartphones and ultrafast broadband.

'Revolutionise our lives'

It was first isolated by Prof Andre Geim and Prof Kostya Novoselov at the university in 2004.

The academics won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their research into graphene in 2010.

The £23m is believed to be one of the largest sums ever awarded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The five-floor NGI is set to open in 2015 and create 100 jobs.

Professor Novoselov said: "Graphene has the potential to revolutionise so many different areas of our lives, and it is fantastic that the government and ERDF have recognised that with their significant investments."

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