Nokia bags EU graphene research money

News 4 Feb, 2013

Finnish phone maker hails innovation and job creation potential of graphene.

Mobile phone maker Nokia will be one of the beneficiaries of a €1 billion European Union (EU) grant that will be used to fund research into the development of graphene.

The sum has been awarded by the EU’s Future and Emerging Technology (FET) research programme, which recently announced plans to give European researchers €1 billion to develop commercial applications for graphene.

The material has been touted by the electronics industry for several years now as a possible replacement for silicon in computer chips.

The material has been touted by the electronics industry for several years now as a possible replacement for silicon in computer chips.

The material is made from a one-atom thick layer of graphite and is renowned for being exceptionally strong, lightweight and flexible, and for its ability to conduct electrons faster than silicon.

Nokia, through its involvement with the Graphene Flagship Consortium was selected by the FET to receive the funding, and claims to be “flying the flag” for the use of graphene in mobile devices.

Henry Tirri, executive vice president and enterprise vice president and chief technology officer of Nokia, said the company has been working with graphene since 2006 and has already identified “multiple areas” where it can be applied in modern computing.

“We’ve done some very promising work so far, but I believe the greatest innovation have yet to be discovered,” said Tirri.

“Graphene happens to be an area where we, in Europe have all the important players in the value chain who are ready to use it in application...[so] this is a very efficient and promising way of doing research investments for Europe.”

Jani Kivioja, research leader at the Nokia Research Centre, said graphene will not only open up new technology opportunities, but has the potential to create jobs across Europe.

“Not only does creating a graphene research consortium open up new research possibilities, it will also create work and jobs across all of Europe," said Kivioja.

"This kind of research is also an investment to the people that live within the EU, from an economy perspective."

The EU funding news follows on from the announcement last month that a UK Government-backed graphene research facility is to open in Cambridge later this year.