New R&D facility continues the Grafine Ltd journey

Dr Maria Iliut and Dr Aravind Vijayaraghavan

Grafine Ltd has established a Research and Development(R&D) facility in the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) at Manchester University.

The business, founded by renowned experts in graphene and University of Manchester academics Dr Maria Iliut and Dr Aravind Vijayaraghavan, offers a range of technical development services to manufacturing companies from around the world who wish to profit from the performance benefits that graphene can add to their products.

Grafine Ltd is looking to exploit the potential of rubber and elastomer products, a global market forecasted to be worth more than £70bn by 2021.

Elastomers and rubbers are used world over in products such as tyres, shoes, gloves, industrial components, construction materials, coatings and medical devices.

In addition to the development projects that it has commenced in the GEIC, Grafine Ltd is in advanced negotiations with various global manufacturers of elastomer and rubber products, as well as actively seeking investment to expand its team and facilities.

Dr Iliut, the academic co-founder and chief technical officer of Grafine, said: “Establishing a R&D facility in GEIC is a landmark moment for Grafine Ltd as we continue on our journey.

“The GEIC is a perfect R&D base for us. It combines latest knowledge base in graphene and related materials arising from the university, with the scale-up and characterisation facilities to bridge the gap between research and production, which is the space in which Grafine operates.”

Grafine’s R&D base in the GEIC will also enable it to partner and collaborate with the wide range of other GEIC partner companies who can take advantage of Grafine’s expertise and infrastructure in composite materials development and testing.

Grafine was founded with the support of Graphene Enabled Systems and UMI3, the university’s tech transfer organisation.

UMI3 recently became the latest Tier One partner of the multimillion-pound centre which is based in the Masdar Building on the university’s North Campus.

Grafine will undertake its R&D activities in UMI3’s Tier One lab as well as the state-of-the-art shared facilities available within the GEIC.

Andrew Wilkinson, UMI3 chief executive, said: “Grafine Ltd is a very exciting university spin-out company that is now generating sales revenue and actively building its customer base.

“With this R&D facility, we believe that the business will have a huge impact on the use of 2-dimensional materials in the global rubber and elastomer markets.”