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Graphene - the new 'miracle' material for future technology

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Louise Rushworth.

Our March business lecture will inform us about graphene and the applications of this new material into many aspects of technology development. We will hear about the research being carried out in the University of Cambridge, how UK research sits in the world arena and about a new European Graphene Alliance.

Taken from graphite, (‘pencil lead’) graphene is being heralded as the new miracle material. It is the strongest material in the world; so strong that ‘an elephant balancing on a pencil on a sheet of the material as thin as cling-film’ (Prof James Hone, University of Columbia) wouldn’t break it. It could be used for an enormous array of applications, similar to the way plastics and carbon-fibre is used currently. However, its conductive properties mean that it has wide ranging applications in electronics. And its flexibility means that one day you may be able to fold your iphone….

Two scientists in Manchester, Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2010 in recognition of their work with teams in universities across the UK, including Cambridge. We’re very pleased that one of those scientists from Cambridge, Prof Andrea Ferrari (pictured), will be talking to us about his work and the applications of graphene for the future.

But whilst the Nobel Prize winners are based in the UK, IP intelligence company CambridgeIP has identified that UK academic institutions hold far fewer graphene patents than their peers in China, South Korea and the USA ’ (see the full article here) which raises serious questions about how the UK can reap commercial returns on investment for current research.

The Cambridge Nokia Research Centre is working with key companies across Europe interested in turning graphene science into technology. Their planned consortium, a ‘Graphene Alliance’ aims to formulate and sharpen a technology roadmap across Europe. We’re delighted to have Dr Stefano Borini to talk about this alliance.

Speakers: Prof Andrea Ferrari, Dept of Engineering, University of Cambridge Prof Ferrari is Professor of Nanotechnology and Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award Holder. He is the head of the Nanomaterials and Spectroscopy Group at the University of Cambridge Engineering Department and Nanoscience Centre. He is Professorial Fellow of Pembroke College. (

Stefano Borini, Cambridge-NOKIA Research Centre (NRC) Dr. Stefano Borini is a Principal Researcher in the Nanosensing group at Nokia Research Center (NRC) in Cambridge UK. Stefano has been a researcher at the Italian National Institute for Metrological Research (INRIM) for some years, working on nanodevices for metrological applications. He has just joined NRC , where he is involved in the development of graphene technology for future mobile devices. (

Quentin Tannock, Chairman & co-founder, CambridgeIP CambridgeIP is a provider of business intelligence, technology mapping, technology market research, technology evaluation, IP strategy and innovation policy services and training to private and public organisations in high-technology sectors (

Cambridge Network members can attend for free and non-members must pay £50 + VAT to attend

To register please go to

The next event in this series is ‘Economic growth of Cambridgeshire’ speaker Cllr Nick Clarke and Neville Reynor – 17th April 2012.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Network events series.

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