Poland among graphene research leaders

Friday, 20 December 2013

Production and internet sales of Polish graphene have just started. – For the first time we have been able to join the power of invention, the energy of financers and the state aid – said Prime Minister at the ceremony held by the Industrial Development Agency.

It is an excellent example of good and successful cooperation between science and business - stressed the Minister of Science Professor  Lena Kolarska-Bobińska.

The project of  Nano Carbon, a company created by the Industrial Development Agency and the KGHM company, is the first successful Polish attempt at commercializing graphene, based on the achievements of a Polish research centre  – the Institute of Electronic Materials Technology (ITME) .
Polish scientists can react quickly and catch up with the world leaders. The graphene project is the best proof of this – said Professor Lena Kolarska-Bobińska. – In addition to the    courage to cross the borders, shown by Polish scientists, the courage to invest in science, the project also required the courage of many institutions to get involved in it – added the Minister. Graphene is known as “the miracle material of the 21st century”. This special form of carbon has multiple uses, in particular in  electronic industry and in medicine.

A year after researchers from the University of Manchester were awarded the Nobel Prize for their research on graphene, Polish scientists from ITME invented an innovative method of obtaining silicon carbide. Since 2011, the method has been protected by the international patent. Today an internet shop started  through which one can buy this unique form of carbon. – Thanks to the efforts of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, an adequate amount of  money will also flow to Polish scientists. All this creates a  landscape in which  this project is a ”lighthouse” – said Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

So far, the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR) has allocated PLN 60 million to graphene research under the GRAF-TECH Programme. In October 2013, the EU Graphene Flagship (GF) Programme started with the budget of EUR 1 billion. The Institute of Electronic Materials Technology is a member of the consortium implementing this flagship European project.

You are fulfilling our dreams of knowledge-based economy, while also raising the hopes of many people for a better quality of life, said Professor Lena Kolarska-Bobińska.

Today, Wojciech Dąbrowski, the President of IDA  informed that the production of graphene for the needs of the research and development sector will help to intensify work on its use in various branches of the economy. It is also the first stage of the building of the Graphene Centre which will operate in the area of research, educate research staff and promote technology transfers.

Graphene is a unique form of carbon, a hundred times harder than steel, flexible, light, transparent. It is an excellent conductor of heat (better than silver) and electricity (better than silicon). It is only one-atom wide, so it is known as the only two-dimensional nature material, having only length and width. Thanks to European researchers the use of graphene was made possible in 2004. It can become a miracle material of the 21st century, similarly to plastics in the 20th century. Thanks to Polish scientists we are now much closer to its industrial production. Graphene research inspires new technology solutions in various areas of life and the economy. It is expected to have numerous applications, in particular in electronic industry and medicine.

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