News story

£50 million hub to commercialise Nobel Prize winning material

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: “One year ago scientists working in Manchester won the Nobel Prize for their discovery…

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said:

“One year ago scientists working in Manchester won the Nobel Prize for their discovery of graphene - the Global Hub will ensure we win the race to develop commercial uses for it as well. The Hub will keep world-beating research into graphene in this country. It brings researchers and the companies seeking to exploit its incredible commercial potential together.

“This is an excellent example of leading-edge British science being harnessed to drive economic growth and the creation of high-tech jobs.”

Graphene, discovered by Manchester University scientists Professor Andre Geim and Dr Konstantin Novoselov, is an exceptionally good conductor and the strongest and thinnest material ever measured. Its potential uses include flexible touchscreens, pollution sensors and biomedical sensors.

The UK has particular strength in graphene research with centres of excellence at leading universities. UK researchers are in a worldwide race to develop commercial uses for graphene. The Hub will ensure leading researchers stay in Britain, leverage private sector investment and help develop a home grown high-tech industry.

The Government, through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), has supported the early research which led to the discovery of graphene.

Notes to editors:

  1. The Government has today, in addition to the ring-fenced science budget, ‘earmarked’ capital funding of £50m for the Graphene Global Research and Technology Hub subject to approval of the full business case being developed by the EPSRC and the Technology Strategy Board (TSB).

  2. Additional resource cost will be determined during the development of the business case.

  3. A competition to establish and operate the graphene hub will be launched by the EPSRC/TSB subject to the approval of the business case.

  4. There are Graphene centres of research excellence at Manchester, Cambridge, Lancaster, Exeter, Bath, Oxford and Durham universities and Imperial College London.

  5. Since the original discovery of graphene at Manchester, EPSRC has invested over £16 million into research funding for the area.

  6. BIS’s online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See for more information.

Notes to Editors

Contact Information

Name BIS Press Office Job Title

Division COI Phone




Name Michael Gibbs Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Phone 020 7215 1635 Fax



Published 3 October 2011