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Monday, 19 May 2014

The China Innovation Alliance of the Graphene Industry visits ICN2 and ICFO

The purpose of the alliance’s visit to ICN2 and ICFO was to learn more about graphene-related research at the institutes and explore the possibility of collaboration among ICN2, ICFO, and the alliance.

The China Innovation Alliance of the Graphene Industry (CGIA) is a consortium of Chinese companies, academic institutions, and research organizations that focus on the research and development of graphene and graphene-based products.  Established in July 2013 with support from the Chinese government and the National Natural Science Foundation, CGIA is the world’s first association dedicated to the graphene industry in China.  The alliance consists of committees for technology, quality assurance, patents, resources, industry promotion, and international cooperation.

CGIA’s main objective is to improve industrial innovation and enhance the overall industrial competitiveness of the consortium in the field of graphene.  In addition, CGIA hopes to provide knowledge-sharing and networking opportunities, as well as investment opportunities, for those engaged in graphene-related technologies.  The alliance has expressed interest in collaborating with scientists engaged in graphene-related research at both ICN2 and the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO).  ICN2 and ICFO are actively building a partnership together and working to make Catalonia a well-recognized hotspot for nanoscience and nanotechnology.  By joining forces, ICN2 and ICFO aim to use their complementary expertise and resources to garner more attention and support from local, national, and international enterprises.

On May 12, 2014, CGIA visited ICFO and ICN2.  During their visit to ICN2, researchers from ICN2, la Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB), and Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC) presented overviews of graphene research at these institutes to eight members of CGIA.  The topics presented included spin transport and using spin torque effects to store information, nano-biosensors, thermal transport and thermoelectric materials, graphene-based photovoltaic cells and supercapacitors, and graphene for wireless communications.  Following the presentations, the members of CGIA were given a tour of ICREA Prof. Dr. Arben Merkoci’s and CSIC Prof. Dr. Laura Lechuga’s laboratories.  ICN2's expertise in graphene research would be of great benefit to CGIA, while funding and the graphene production capabilities in China could accelerate ICN2’s efforts to develop marketable products.

Among the eight members was Dr. Xiaoyue Xiao, a member of the CGIA Board of Directors, Director of CGIA’s International Business Cooperation, and Chairman of the organizing committee of the International Graphene Innovation Conference.  Dr. Xiao emphasized CGIA’s interest in having members of ICN2 attend the International Graphene Innovation Conference (GrapChina 2014), to be held in Ningbo, China, from the 1st through 3rd of September, 2014.  Organized by CGIA in collaboration with the Phantoms Foundation in Europe and the Ningbo City Government, the aim of the conference is to further enhance graphene-based technology, innovation, and research for individuals, institutions, and enterprises around the world.  Information on symposium topics, invited speakers, and logistics can be found at the GrapChina 2014 website.