Article last updated on: Apr 21, 2020

The Graphene Flagship is a Future and Emerging Technology Flagship project by the European Commission. With a budget of €1 billion, the Graphene Flagship represents a new form of joint, coordinated research on a large scale, forming Europe's biggest ever research initiative.

Graphene Flagship logo (2020)

Launched in 2013, the Graphene Flagship’s mission is to advance graphene commercialization and take graphene and related materials from academic laboratories to society within 10 years, while revolutionizing entire industries and creating economic growth and new jobs in Europe.

The core consortium consists of about 150 academic and industrial research groups in over 20 countries. In addition, the project has a growing number of associated members that will be incorporated in the scientific and technological work packages from the Horizon 2020 phase (1 April 2016 – 31 March 2018). The project started in a ramp-up phase (October 2013 till the end of March 2016), then planned to enter into the steady-state phase (2016-2020).

The research effort covers the entire value chain from materials production to components and system integration, and targets a number of specific goals that exploit the unique properties of graphene. The Graphene Flagship is coordinated by Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.

The latest Graphene Flagship news:

Graphene Flagship Partner SPAC updates on graphene-enhanced automotive components project

SPAC, an Italy-based medium-sized company specializing in the production of technical textiles, has joined the Graphene Flagship's Spearhead Project G+BOARD that aims to build parts of cars’ passenger compartments with graphene and related materials.

G+BOARD’s researchers aim to remove most of the copper wiring currently used in dashboards, to reduce the car’s weight and production steps, while improving aesthetics, disposal and recyclability. SPAC is developing new steering wheels and glove boxes with graphene-based materials.

Graphene to enable ten times higher data storage in computer memories

Researchers at Graphene Flagship partners the University of Cambridge, UK, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, Empa-Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Science and Technology, Switzerland and Graphene Flagship Associate Member the University of Exeter, UK, in collaboration with colleagues at CSIR-Advanced Materials and Processes Research Institute, India, National University of Singapore (NUS), A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research), Singapore, the University of Illinois and Argonne National Laboratory, US, have demonstrated that graphene can be used to produce ultra-high density hard disk drives (HDD). This can potentially lead to the development of ultrahigh density magnetic data storage: a big jump from the current one terabit per square inch (Tb/in2) to ten terabits over the same area.

HDDs contain two major components: platters and a head. Data are written on the platters using a magnetic head, which moves above the platters as they spin. The space between head and platter is continually decreasing to enable higher densities. Currently, carbon-based overcoats (COCs) – layers used to protect the platters from mechanical damages and corrosion – occupy a significant part of this spacing. The data density of HDDs has quadrupled since 1990, and the overcoats’ thickness was reduced from 12.5nm to about 3nm, which corresponds to one Tb/in2. However, a COCs’ thickness of less than one nm would be required to make a significant improvement in data storage and reach a density of 10 Tb/in2.

The Graphene Flagship launches GrEEnBat project to improve battery technology for electric vehicles

The Graphene Flagship's new Graphene Enabled High-Energy Batteries for Automotive Applications (GrEEnBat) Spearhead project will aim to improve battery technology for electric vehicles.

The output of the strategic three-year project will be an automotive battery module prototype that is composed of 60 to 90 battery electric vehicle (BEV) cells. The core of innovation will be the negative electrode of the cell, composed of a silicon-graphene composite developed during earlier Graphene Flagship research projects.

Inbrain Neuroelectronics closes €14.3 million round

Inbrain Neuroelectronics, spun-off from the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) and Icrea (and associated with the Graphene Flagship) , recently announced closing a $16.85 million (€14.3 million) round led by Asabys and Alta. The company has also received financial backing from Cdti and two international investors.

Inbrain Neuroelectronics closes €14.3 million round image

NBRAIN Neuroelectronics was established in 2019 with the mission of developing brain-implants based on graphene technology for applications in patients with epilepsy, Parkinson’s, and other neuronal diseases. These smart devices, built around an innovative graphene electrode, will decode with high certainty neural signals from the brain and produce a therapeutic response adapted to the clinical condition of the specific patient.

Researchers find that graphene can interact with excitatory synapses of the nervous system

A new research has shown that graphene is able to act on excitatory synapses and interfere with the development of anxiety-related behaviors. Carried out by SISSA – International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste, Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) of Barcelona, and the National Graphene Institute of the University of Manchester, in the framework of the European Graphene Flagship project, the research has shown that graphene has the ability to interact with the functions of the nervous system in vertebrates in a very specific manner. The researchers say that the material interrupts the build-up of a pathological process that leads to anxiety-related behavior.

Study leader, Laura Ballerini of SISSA, explained that previous research has shown that when graphene flakes are delivered to neurons, they interfere spontaneously with excitatory synapses by transiently preventing glutamate release from presynaptic terminals. Ballerini said: “We investigated whether such a reduction in synaptic activity was sufficient to modify related behaviors, in particular the pathological ones that develop due to a transient and localized hyper-function of excitatory synapses”.