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Over 650 graphene stars meet in San Sebastian


The international Graphene Week 2018 congress kicked off today at the Kursaal Conference Centre in Donostia-San Sebastian; its local organiser is the CIC nanoGUNE research centre. This congress is the main conference of the Graphene Flagship, one of the biggest European research projects in history with over 150 members and funding to the tune of 1,000 million euros.

This morning the congress chairman and nanoGUNE’s CEO Jose Maria Pitarke welcomed the over 650 experts in graphene and other two-dimensional materials; they come from 47 different countries and will be participating in Graphene Week throughout this week. “We aim to position the Basque Country at the forefront of research into nanoscience, thus contributing towards creating the necessary conditions so that society can benefit from a broad range of nanotechnologies,” he said.

The choice of Donostia-San Sebastian, the capital of Gipuzkoa, to host the congress is the result of the clear commitment being made in recent decades in the Basque Autonomous Community (region) in the field of research and innovation. The Basque centres nanoGUNE plus its start-up Graphenea, Tecnalia, energiGUNE and biomaGUNE are in fact members of the Graphene Flagship project.

The President of the Basque Autonomous Community Iñigo Urkullu, who officiated over the opening ceremony, stressed that “for us it is hugely important that this congress should be held here so that we can make known the industrial and technological culture of this city. That is why we warmly welcome research and exploration of the material of the future, graphene.”

The ceremony also had the participation of the Graphene Flagship Director Jari Kinaret, the representative of the European Commission Jean-Francois Buggenhout, the head of the Charter Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa Markel Olano, the Basque Autonomous Community Ministers for Economic Development and Infrastructure, and for Education Arantza Tapia, and Cristina Uriarte, respectively, and the Head of Economic Promotion, Rural Environment and Territorial Balance of the Charter Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa Ainhoa Aizpurua.

The aim of the Graphene Week 2018 international congress is to report on the most significant advances being made in the fields of graphene and other two-dimensional materials. So a tantalising programme has been organised and will include talks given by the main speakers, such as the 2010 holder of the Nobel Prize in Physics Andre Geim, and the expert in energy storage at the University of Cambridge, Clare Grey, plus 30 talks given by top guest speakers, 95 oral presentations and 300 or so posters.

Graphene Week 2018 will also be hosting multidisciplinary sessions, such as the workshop entitled Graphene for human space exploration, which will be exploring the various potential applications of graphene in space, thanks to the collaboration of the European Space Agency (ESA) and NATO; the Graphene Innovation Forum, which will be focussing on the commercial and industrial applications of graphene and other two-dimensional materials; and the USA-Europe International Workshop co-organised with the National Science Foundation. Graphene Week 2018 will also include the initiative Women in Graphene, set up to promote women in science and to create a more diverse scientific community.

The Kursaal Conference Centre will also be hosting an industrial exhibition with demonstrations of products that use graphene, and inspiring success stories of companies and start-ups from across Europe.

About Graphene Flagship

Graphene Flagship is one of the European Union’s biggest research initiatives. With funding to the tune of 1,000 million euros it represents a new form of collaborative research on an unprecedented scale. The overall aim of Graphene Flagship is to take graphene and two-dimensional materials from the laboratory to European society, thus facilitating economic growth and creating new jobs within a ten-year period. Through a consortium that brings together about 150 members, from academia as well as industry, this research effort covers the entire value chain, from the production of the materials right up to the integration of components and systems, and focusses on certain specific aims that seek to exploit the unique properties of graphene and other two-dimensional materials.

Graphene Week is the main congress in the Graphene Flagship project. This year it is being held in Donostia-San Sebastian from 10 to 14 September after being hosted in previous years by Athens, Warsaw and Manchester, among other venues.

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