The Advanced Graphene, Nanomaterials & Nanotechnology Research Center (MackGraphe) was recently unveiled at Mackenzie Presbyterian University (UPM) in São Paulo, Brazil. Built with support from FAPESP, the Mackenzie Presbyterian Institute and the National Council for Scientific & Technological Development (CNPq), MackGraphe has received an investment of more than R$100 million (over $28 million) and is the first center of its kind in Latin America.

MackGraphe includes nine stories and more than 4,000 square meters of floor area. It will aim to explore the properties of graphene and other two-dimensional (2D) materials with a view toward industrial applications. MackGraphe’s state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment are staffed by a team of researchers who specialize in producing and characterizing graphene for industrial applications.

MackGraphe’s interaction with industry will initially focus on photonics, energy and composites. Representatives of the center say it will later extend its interaction to other sectors, such as agriculture, in which Brazil is a leading exporter. The interaction with industry will also aim at mastery of the graphene-production process and development of graphene-based innovations within five years, the estimated R&D window of opportunity in this case.

Brazil's interest in graphene seems logical as Brazil is one of the world’s leading graphite producers.