Adding graphene to thin rubber films can make them stronger and stretchier, University of Manchester researchers have shown.
The Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials Research is at the centre of an ambitious plan to create a 'Northern powerhouse'.
The institute will galvanise the economy of the UK from here in the North of England and ensure that the country leads the world in the development and application of advanced materials.
The National Graphene Institute, alongside the Royce Institute, will help cement the North, and Manchester in particular, as a world leader in science and innovation.
George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The Centre will encompass 14 key areas of materials research including graphene. The proposed research areas are grouped into four themes - Energy, Engineering, Functional and Soft Materials - critical areas to underpin the government's industrial strategy.
The Sir Henry Royce Institute will be a world-leading centre for materials research, and is testament to the excellent research taking place at The University of Manchester, the partner institutions and more widely throughout the UK.
Prof Colin Bailey, Vice-President and Dean of The University of Manchester's Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
The new Institute, will have its research centre in Manchester. The Manchester centre will be supported by satellite centres or 'spokes' at the founding partners, comprising the universities of Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool, Cambridge, Oxford and Imperial College London.
The total funding from Government is £235m.
Aims of the Sir Henry Royce Institute of Materials Research and Innovation
- Accelerate safely and with confidence the use of advanced materials in existing and emerging industrial sectors within the UK.
- Underpin and provide growth to the entire UK manufacturing base and reduce the time to market from invention to application for new materials, with significant knock-on impact for the national economy.
- Invent and innovate new materials in various sectors covering fabricating, testing, analysing and demonstration, under different operating environments and provide the 'missing link' in the development of materials within the UK.
- Cover a number of sectors from soft-to-hard-to-functional materials allowing translation of ideas across sectors.
- Provide an international beacon for UK expertise and deliver national leadership and critical mass to allow identification of expertise within the UK.
- Attract inward national and international investment from industry, academia and government.
- Provide the required skills and training, allowing industrialists to work alongside academics, to produce the expertise of the future from apprentices to doctorates.