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SCIENTIFIC ARTICLES

Graphene Flagship annual report 2016

The Graphene Flagship was launched by the European Union in 2013 as part of its largest research initiative ever. With a budget of €1 billion it represents a new form of joint, coordinated research initiative on an unprecedented scale. The overall goal of the Graphene Flagship is to take graphene from the realm of academic laboratories into European society, facilitating economic growth and creating new jobs, in the space of ten years. Through a combined academicindustrial consortium consisting of more than 150 partners in over 20 European countries, the research effort covers the entire value chain, from materials production to components and system integration, and targets a number of specific goals that exploit the unique properties of graphene.

In 2016 the Graphene Flagship left the ramp-up phase and entered the main part of its voyage when the first Core Project was launched on April 1. During 2016 the Flagship has continued to produce excellent scientific and technological results as described on the following pages and noted during the final review of the rampup phase and the interim evaluation. We have attracted many new Associated Members and several Partnering Projects, showing that the Flagship impact extends beyond the EC-funded Core Projects. Internationally, we are recognized as a key collaboration partner, as demonstrated by our workshops with US, Japan, Korea and China. We have to continually re-assess our initial plans: is the technological promise still there in terms of improved performance, and is the technological uncertainty decreasing in the manner that justifies continued investment? In most areas we see that this is the case, as witnessed by the products and demonstrators emerging from our work, but in some cases we have to accept that we need to adjust our course. This continuous re-assessment is integral to the success of a long-term action such as the Flagship. We must now concentrate on producing the results that enable the impacts that the Flagship aims to deliver. I see that many work packages are becoming more technology-oriented, ideas are evolving to concrete prototypes that have true promise in society outside the academic laboratories. This said, we must not forget that the Flagship’s origins lie in fundamental, curiosity-driven research: we would not be where we are now without ground-breaking basic research. The Flagship will continue to balance the fundamental and applied dimensions of its research portfolio, with a moderate increase of the more applied parts as time moves on.

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