The isolation of graphene in 2004 by two scientists at the University of Manchester—a breakthrough later recognised by the Nobel Prize for physics—revealed to the world a brand new ‘wonder material’ which had been ‘completely hidden from science’. Graphene, the world’s first two-dimensional material, promises huge opportunities for a range of sectors, from aerospace to energy to biomedical. But how can the UK be known for ‘Made in Britain’ as well as discovered in Britain? As an answer, this book explores how the Manchester model of innovation has evolved to not only support great science but also accelerate the adoption of graphene into real-world products and anchoring an innovation ecosystem in the place of UK discovery. This book features first-hand experience, case studies and interviews with key strategic players in the graphene story to illustrate how Manchester has built a unique model of collaboration with industry to create an ecosystem that features a supply chain of companies not only producing graphene material but also starting to disrupt the marketplace with new products and application as we approach the tipping point of commercialisation.
Table of Contents
1. The Innovation Revolution: From Closed to Open Innovation
2. Graphene: The New Kid on the Block
3. Graphene’s Great Expectations
4. Overcoming the Challenge: A New Model Approach
5. Building the First Home for Graphene: the NGI
6. Steal with Pride: Creating the GEIC
7. Graphene City and Beyond: Building an Innovation Ecosystem
8. Making It Happen: Industry Engagement
9. Getting Graphene Ready: Adopting the Manchester Model of Innovation
10. Creating an Icon: The Making of a Global Brand
11. The New “Gold Rush”: Graphene’s Research Renaissance
12. Future Histories: Graphene Innovation after Covid-19
James Baker is a recognised innovation leader and commercialisation expert. He is currently CEO of [email protected], based at the University of Manchester, which he joined in 2014. In his unique role, James develops industrial partnerships and collaborations to accelerate the commercialisation opportunities for graphene. Before entering the higher education sector, James worked in industry for 25 years and led on a number of prestigious national innovation projects as Managing Director of the Advanced Technology Centres for BAE Systems in the UK.
James Tallentire is a former journalist who has led communications and stakeholder engagement activity at Staffordshire University, Birmingham City University and The University of Manchester. These institutions have all shared similar commitments—to support the economic development of their respective city-regions through applied research, innovation and talent creation. Most recently, James has been an advocate of Manchester’s world-class advanced materials portfolio, including the unique Graphene City ecosystem that brings academic, civic and business leaders together to help commercialise graphene.