The Graphene Flagship was launched in 2013 with the mission to take graphene and related layered materials from academic laboratories to the market, revolutionize multiple industries and create economic growth and new jobs in Europe. Five years later, the Flagship consortium has reported that it successfully completed the Core1 phase and is progressing towards more applied phases. It is reportedly on its way to achieving its objective of developing the high potential of graphene and related 2D materials to the point of having a dramatic impact on multiple industries.
The Reviewing Panel thoroughly examined the results obtained in this Core1 phase and concluded that for many topics, there has been a clear transformation of the activities, moving from individual research projects to genuine collaboration towards larger goals – exactly what a Flagship project should aim for. Nearly all milestones and key performance indicators have been met, often exceeding expectations. There are numerous examples of significant scientific and/or technological achievements, with clear progress beyond the state of the art. The Work package on Photonics and Optoelectronics led by ICREA Prof. at ICFO Frank Koppens was recognized as one of the closest to being brought into industrial exploitation due to its significant potential for both scientific breakthrough and innovation.
As the Flagship moves into the Core2 phase, a number of so-called Spearhead projects are also taking off. Related topics range from integration of graphene into 5G communications and the internet of things, to novel batteries, solar farming and flexible (bio)-electronics.
Another development being ushered in with Core2 is the launch of the Network of Business Developers. The business developers are the key players in creating the network connecting the research efforts to industry. Their tasks include scouting developing technologies from within the Flagship and identifying industry trends, needs and roadmaps. ICFO is hosting one of the business developers, who will be devoted to the portfolios of Photonics and Optoelectronics and Flexible and Wearables technologies.