Riding the Graphene Wave
Graphene was developed in Manchester, where the National Graphene Institute is being built. Gerry Northam explores how Manchester's 'wonder material' will fare globally.
Construction work is underway to build a world-class laboratory at Manchester University. Costing £61m, the National Graphene Institute aims to be the world's leading centre of graphene research and commercialisation.
Graphene is super-strong and super-conductive - it's often called a 'wonder material' - and it was invented in Manchester by Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov, who won a Nobel prize for their work. The city takes great pride in the discovery, seeing a direct line of descent from its legacy of industrial invention, and has awarded the two scientists the freedom of the city in recognition of their work.
Gerry Northam finds out how the the UK is competing in the global market as Korea, China and the USA pour money into the patenting and commercialisation of Manchester's magic material. What will it take for graphene to move out of the laboratory and into the commercial world?
Investors are running the numbers to work out which applications are most ready for go-to-market products, and which countries are making fastest progress in finding ways to manufacturer graphene. Can graphene give the UK a significant new role in the 21st century global economy?
Producer: Philip Reevell
A City Broadcasting production for BBC Radio 4.