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Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre celebrates key milestone

20 Oct 2017

Set to open its doors next year, the new £60m Centre will accelerate the commercial pace of graphene and two-dimensional materials in Manchester

GEIC topping out

A special event today marked the ‘topping out’ of the newest building in the University’s Campus Masterplan. The Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) will see industry-led development of graphene and 2D materials applications in collaboration with world-leading academics at the University.

The new flagship facility has been funded by Masdar, HEFCE, the European Regional Development Fund, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Innovate UK.

President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell said at the event: “We are grateful to all of the funders for their investment into what promises to be an incredible asset. 

“This building, and the work which will take place within it, will give us a huge number and range of opportunities.”

The GEIC will complement the existing National Graphene Institute (NGI) to create a critical mass of graphene expertise made up of scientists, engineers, innovators and industrialists. It will also stimulate the commercial development of the North Campus, creating a cornerstone for Graphene City.

Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Luke Georghiou, also speaking at the event, described the GEIC project as a significant step for the area: “We see the GEIC as a first step to realising a transformation of our wider surroundings. 

“Manchester was known around the globe as Cottonopolis at the height of the Industrial Revolution, in this century our aim is to be Graphene City – a district where 2D materials and complementary technologies drive jobs and growth.”

Dr Nawal Al Hosany, Deputy Director General of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy, revealed during the ceremony that the building which houses the GEIC will be named The Masdar Building and said: “Masdar and the emirate of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates are proud to be closely involved in the journey of scientific discovery that began with the isolation of graphene more than a decade ago.”

The GEIC building, designed by world-renowned architect Rafael Vinoly, is 8,400 square metres in size and will house pilot production facilities and conduct research into other advanced materials. 

Greater Manchester's Deputy Mayor and lead for business and economy Sir Richard Leese said: “This centre will accelerate graphene's transition from the laboratory to factories and business parks, creating jobs and driving economic growth. Manchester has an incredible record of innovation and is a leading centre for the development of advanced materials – graphene fits right in and is a key part of the next evolutionary phase in our history.” 

Diana Hampson, Director of Estates and Facilities, added: “The Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre is a key component of the Campus Masterplan. We are creating a world-class campus for a world-class University, making The University of Manchester the partner of choice for industry.”