The Commissioner curious about graphene

​EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström visited Chalmers to find out more about the research on graphene, the flagship project and industrial opportunities for Europe.
​During a visit to Gothenburg, Cecilia Malmström attended the MC2 Department at Chalmers, and heard more about the proceedings in one of the world's largest research projects, the Graphene Flagship.

She was received by President Stefan Bengtsson, and Professor Jari Kinaret told her about the setup. He is responsible for coordinating around 1000 graphene researchers from 150 different partners in 20 countries.

"Brexit is one of the most important issues for us. Between 16 and 18 percent of the budget in the flagship project is allocated to research groups in Britain," said Jari Kinaret.

Five years after the start of the project, more and more consumer products are released on the market with alleged graphene content – that is, carbon in single atomic layers with a characteristic hexagon shape that gives the material superior properties. Often sports products are said to be stronger or cooler through the use of graphene. But it's difficult to know how much graphene they actually contain, and what quality of graphene.

"I understand, standardisation and validation of what graphene really is, it's central now," said EU Commerce Commissioner Cecilia Malmström.

The discussion was about which countries are ahead when it comes to different types of applications. Reinforced airplane wings, reinforced concrete, high speed electronics and graphene-coated boat hulls, which could make poisonous antifouling superfluous, were some examples around which the conversation circulated. Cecilia Malmström wanted to hear how graphene could help the climate.

The visit was rounded up by an exciting visit to the clean room.

Text: Christian Borg
Image: Johan Bodell

Published: Mon 15 Oct 2018.