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Graphene partnership with Khalifa University aims to tackle global challenges

02 Dec 2022

An ambitious partnership between our University and Abu Dhabi-based Khalifa University of Science and Technology has been agreed with the aim to deliver a funding boost to graphene innovation that will help tackle the planet’s big challenges

Professor Sir John O'Reilly and Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor, and Professor Sir John O’Reilly, President, Khalifa University officially signed a contract between the two institutions during a visit by a Manchester delegation to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 

This international partnership will further accelerate Manchester and Abu Dhabi’s world-leading research and innovation into graphene and other 2D materials. The Research and Innovation Center for Graphene and 2D Materials (RIC-2D), based in Khalifa University, is part of a strategic investment programme supported by the Government of Abu Dhabi, UAE. 

Growing international partnership

This partnership will support expediting the development of the RIC-2D at Khalifa University as well as help building capability in graphene and 2D materials in collaboration with Graphene@Manchester, a community that includes the academic–led National Graphene Institute (NGI) and the commercially-focused Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC), a pioneering facility already backed by the Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company Masdar.

The historic agreement will bring together the vision of the two universities to tackle some of the globe’s biggest challenges, such as providing clean drinking water for millions of people and supporting a circular ‘green economy’ in all parts of the world.

The focus of the Khalifa–Manchester partnership will be on key themes, with a priority to meet the most immediate of global challenges, including  climate change and the energy crisis. These flagship areas are:

  • Water filtration and desalination 
  • Construction
  • Energy storage 
  • Lightweighting of materials 

Professor Sir John O’Reilly, President, Khalifa University, said: “This Khalifa University-University of Manchester collaboration is greatly to be welcomed. It has all the hallmarks of a most successful approach to inspiring and nurturing outstanding research, innovation and enterprise in graphene to be taken forward to the benefit of the wider community.”

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor, added: “We look forward to a long and productive partnership with Khalifa University that will realise the potential of graphene to address global challenges including water and energy security and, above all, sustainability.”

  • You can read more about the partnership and the scope of the agreement on our newsroom.