New Beginnings from Graphene and Brexit
September 29, 2016
At our breakfast event last week attendees heard from speakers who covered both the world of Graphene and also how the UK economy might look post-Brexit.
Andrew Wilkinson, CEO of Graphene Enabled Systems, introduced graphene to the audience; it’s a substance that’s thin, lightweight yet strong, thermally and electronically conductive, as well as being the most impermeable material about. In its purest form, it looks like a lump of rock – what you’d find inside a pencil.
Following initial Russian development, graphene has been developed more recently by a team at Graphene Enabled Systems; a business wholly owned by Manchester University working with companies to turn their ideas into reality. In the future, graphene could be combined with other material to be used in screens, coatings, security devices, smart textiles, packaging and even to provide smart information. There is however, a huge gap between the science and the commercial or industrial application. It is difficult to manufacture large sheets of graphene on an industrial scale, so being used to filtrate water for a whole city for example is off the cards right now. It is believed that industry will become more interested in this developing material once more scientific research has been done and this is where GES come in; they take the science, reduce the investment risk and give added value to potential end users.
“Rather than speculating on unproven scientific research, investors will now be able to make more informed decisions as to whether or not to invest.”
In addition to Andrew’s talk, we heard from Kevin Doran who, as an economist, gave us his thoughts just 3 months post-Brexit on how he saw Britain’s future and noted that essentially, as a nation, we will have to work harder to get the same things we enjoy now.
“Leaving the EU doesn’t have to be a disaster, but we need to be careful about the message we send to the outside world.”
Read more about this event on page 18 of the GM Business Connect magazine here.