The following is a sponsored post by IDTechEx

IDTechEx will be hosting the 11th global Graphene and 2D Materials event in Santa Clara (CA), USA, on November 15 & 16. This is the most important business-focused conference and exhibition on Graphene and 2D Materials, providing all the players with unparalleled opportunity to find and secure commercial interest, to develop global business relationships across the entire value chain, and to learn about the latest technological and commercial developments. In this article IDTechEx Research Director Dr Khasha Ghaffarzadeh would like to explain to you why this is the case and hopes to convince you to join IDTechEx in California.

IDTechEx graphene & 2D Materials conference photo

Commercialization: painpoints that our event remedies

From the outset we set out to focus on commercialization and commercialization only. This is not to say that we did not cover innovation. In fact, we aggressively covered innovation but carefully selected only those works which were commercially relevant. Our decision to be business focused went, at the beginning, against the grain since the technology was then still in R&D phase and most events were only catering to researchers or companies interested in the R&D market.

We however soon recognized the industry had to evolve past sample sales to R&D groups and transition towards real commercial applications. They industry needed to be in touch with real end users from across the world who could guide the industry and become its customers. The industry also needed to also be in touch with vital value chain partners to make things happen.

We also soon recognized that holding a graphene only event made little sense. This was because such events inevitably lacked the scale to attract the diversity of end users and partners that graphene commercialization required. Indeed, our years of experience in event planning convinced us that such events would turn out be a place where only competitors would meet and catch up. And events since have proved us right.

We also acknowledged that graphene does not exist in a vacuum. In fact, as a material that is still mostly a substitute, it is in competition with other technologies in almost every application it targets. Graphene-only events risked becoming detached from commercial reality in which technology developers and producers could not properly gauge the competition and the end users could not assess alternatives.

IDTechEx graphene & 2D Materials exhibition photo

Co-location with all the major target markets

To address all these issues we decided, from the outset, to co-locate our Graphene and 2D Materials event alongside the IDTechEx Show!. This was already a major and well-established show, attracting 3500 business attendees and 250 exhibitors. It is an event that has 8 parallel conference tracks, each focused on one technology, together with a common exhibition floor.

  • Printed Electronics: The IDTechEx Show! includes the largest and most-established global event on printed and flexible electronics. This was a great fit because graphene inks were one of the first products to reach the market. Here, at this show, you will find the entire value chain for commercialising all types of functional inks: material/chemical producers, formulators, printers/coaters, and all types of end users. The co-location therefore instantly places graphene and 2D materials inside the ecosystem of a major near-term target market.
  • Energy Storage and Electric Vehicles: Energy storage is the largest existing commercial user of graphene materials. Energy storage is also the primary market for carbon nanotubes. And, as you all know, the energy storage business landscape is changing as mega and gigafactories rise to address the growing demand of electric vehicles. We also know that the performance targets for energy storage technologies- batteries and supercapacitors- are stringent, fuelling the push for alternative chemistries and materials. This is why we have also been co-locating an event on Energy Storage technologies as well as on Electric Vehicles, again providing our graphene and 2D material community to connect with a major end user industry.
  • Wearable Technology and E-Textiles: The IDTechEx Show! also includes the leading event on wearables and e-textiles. This is a great fit too. Indeed, scanning the landscape of graphene products and prototypes, reveals many textile-based applications. Our event brings together wearable/e-textile material/component suppliers, traditional textile companies, major contract manufacturers, and small end users as well as big brands. Similarly, this too places graphene and 2D materials inside the emerging value chain of another major target market.
  • Innovative Sensors: Graphene can be used as sensing platform and material thanks to its tremendous surface area. This is particularly the case for CVD graphene although platelet types are also being considered for various sensor devices. At the IDTechEx Show! we have been hosting an event dedicated to the latest innovations in sensors, particularly emphasising the overlap with large-area, flexible, and/or printed electronics. This also serves as an excellent bridge between graphene/2D materials and sensor communities.
  • 3D Printing: There is growing interest in expanding the choice of materials available for 3D printing. This is not just making improved version of existing materials but also includes the developments of new functionalities. Here, graphene and 2D materials can serve as additives, helping modify the behaviour of various 3D printable materials. At the IDTechEx Show! we have been organising a 3D printing event with a major emphasis on materials development. This, again, provides an excellent opportunity for the graphene/2D materials and 3D printing communities to closely interact.

This will be the 11th edition of our event. We have been holding this event twice a year- once in Germany and once in the US (California). In this time, nearly all the major graphene technology developers, producers, and users have lectured, exhibited and/or attended our event. And in this time we witnessed the evolution of the technology and the industry as each year breakthrough announcements were made, major prototype/product were launched. We hope very much that this year you will join us too.