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Business and Innovation News

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Graphene 2017 Conference connects Barcelona with the graphene-based industry

by Àlex Argemí

This prestigious event aims to bring together academia and industry to integrate new graphene technologies into practical applications. More than 250 speakers will summarise the latest graphene-based achievements, including the Nobel Prize laureates Andre Geim and Albert Fert. ICFO and ICN2 are the local organisers of this Conference gathering in Barcelona around 1000 graphene experts from around the world.

This past February, Graphene shone at the Mobile World Congress 2017, exhibiting real prototypes and demonstrations to more than 108.000 visitors by different academic institutions and companies that aimed at highlighting the amazing potential this 2D material could have in mobile innovation and technologies in general.  

Underscoring the wealth of graphene research and development activity taking place in the Barcelona area, the 7th edition of Graphene Conference will now take place from the 28th until the 31st of March 2017 at the Barcelona International Convention Center (CCIB). This is the world’s largest graphene conference, bringing together both scientists and industry to work towards integrating new graphene technologies into current applications. Mr. Francesc Subirada, General Director for Research of the Catalan Ministry of Business and Knowledge, will participate in the event Opening.

ICN2- the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and ICFO- the Institute of Photonic Sciences are the scientific organizers of the Graphene Conference 2017. Both research centers, founding members of BIST- the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, are world renowned for their expertise in graphene and 2D materials research and graphene related technologies. In addition, the event organizing committee includes experts from UCL – Université Catholique de Louvain and IIT – Italian Institute of Technology. The event main organizer, Phantoms Foundation, began organizing these series of events in 2011 and since then has brought together more than 3500 participants from over 60 countries.

During this 4 day-long conference, around 1000 attendees will have the opportunity to listen to approximately 100 prestigious keynote and invited talks, more than 150 oral presentations and around 400 posters will be presented.  The event also creates many networking opportunities for future collaborations. The top class speakers will include Prof. Albert Fert, awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 2007 for the discovery of giant magnetoresistance, and Prof. Andre Geim, awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 for his ground-breaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene.


A special focus on industry and knowledge transfer

Research and industrial communities around the world are ambitiously racing to uncover commercial applications for graphene. There is no known material that is thinner or more lightweight, and its resistance, flexibility and conductive properties are second to none; we are only just beginning to understand its potential for technological fields such as data communications, internet of things, health, displays, and energy. 

For this reason, the general conference includes two parallel events focused on industry and knowledge transfer. Firstly, the conference will include an Industrial Forum running in parallel on Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th aimed at connecting the academic world with industry to discuss the latest advances in graphene-based technologies as well as market opportunities for this material. Secondly, on March 31st, there will be a Brokerage event promoting one-to-one meetings, aiming to encourage companies, universities and research centers to foster technical cooperation in the field.

Attendees will have the opportunity to visit the exhibition area and interact with both local and international participants, including booths where companies and research institutes like ICN2 and ICFO will be presenting their graphene-based technologies. Among the exhibitors, visitors will find Pavilions devoted to initiatives from as far away as Canada, Malaysia and China participating in this conference with a global impact. 

ICREA Prof. Stephan Roche, group leader at ICN2, highlights that “thanks to its innovative companies, its excellent research and a firm support from its institutions, Catalonia is in a good position to lead the European efforts to expand the graphene-based industry. Celebrating the Graphene Conference in Barcelona is a new step forward.”

ICREA Prof. at ICFO Frank Koppens, group leader at ICFO, states “Science and innovation, merged in one conference, that is when magic happens.  All the main players of the entire world come to this event. As ideas have now turned into exciting product prototypes, we are at the tipping point to see this new technology turn into large-scale commercialization.”