The initiative starts at the turn of the year 2020 and will focus on technology based on two-dimensional materials in several different application areas for Swedish industry. It is about getting multifunctional composites, sustainable energy, electronics and new materials.
"That we get this funding is crucial for us to be able to establish the 2D materials in society", says Ermin Malic (to the right), professor at the Department of Physics and director for the new center, which will be part of the Graphene Centre at Chalmers.
Hosted by MC2
Just like the Graphene Centre, 2D-Tech will be hosted by the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2. In total, 17 Chalmers researchers from six different departments are associated with the project. Most of these are active at Physics and MC2, but there are also members from the Department of Industrial and Materials Science, the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, the Department of Electrical Engineering, and the Department of Chemistry and Chemical engineering involved. The center will also be strengthened with around 20 PhD students and post-doctoral researchers.
The Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) and Region Västra Götaland are also included in the center – as well as 16 different companies: 2D Fab AB, Airbus, APR Technologies AB, Battenfeld Sverige AB, Billerud Korsnäs, Biopetrolia, Elitkomposit AB, Gapwaves AB, GKN Aerospace, Graphensic AB, Saab AB, SaltX Technology AB, SHT Smart High Tech AB, Talga Graphene AB, Wellspect Healthcare and Volvo Cars.
In total, 2D-Tech is financed by more than SEK 100 million over five years. In addition to the support from Vinnova of 36 million, Chalmers and the cooperating parties contribute equally.
Vinnova is investing in a total of eight new competence centers where universities and companies together will conduct world-class research and education in areas that are important for Sweden. Three of them end up at Chalmers.
"In order to address today's global challenges, we need to develop completely new solutions and research needs to benefit society. Research environments where universities and industry work closely together are therefore crucial, and long-term investments in centers of excellence are an important part of it", says Vinnova's Director General, Darja Isaksson, in a press release.
"Confirms the potential of 2D-materials"
The new center is coordinated by Cristina Andersson, Vice Head for Utilization and Industrial Relations Officer at MC2:
"It's absolutely amazing! We are so excited about Vinnova's decision to fund 2D-Tech. It confirms that 2D materials have a great potential to create competitiveness. The center will strengthen not only Chalmers, but also the region and Sweden by creating a competitive Swedish node for research and innovation within 2D materials", she says.
Vinnova says in its motivation that they were impressed by how 2D-Tech was presented:
"The application is based on a strong base at Chalmers, and addresses an important area that links to the future industrial capacity in Sweden", they write among other things.
"This is the beginning of a new research area that is equally fascinating and interesting for academia as it is for industry", Ermin Malic concludes.
Text: Michael Nystås and Mia Halleröd Palmgren
Photo: Mia Halleröd Palmgren