50m boost for 'wonder material' graphene should not be a one-off for science, says RSC chief


03 October 2011

The 50m global research and technology hub outlined by George Osborne today is good news for the future of science, according to the chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, but concerns remain about overall funding.

Dr Robert Parker said the government investment to look at ways of commercialising graphene - a flat sheet of carbon just one atom thick - will hopefully translate into significant economic development and job creation in the UK.

"It has been a rough ride for science in recent months, with real-terms cuts in spending now being implemented. This announcement by the Chancellor is good news and the RSC hopes it is not a one-off 'eye-catching' investment considering how much coverage has been devoted, deservedly so, to the possible applications of graphene in the future.

"Other areas of chemistry, such as synthesis and catalysis, also provide a significant boost to our economic and social well-being, so we will continue to press the government for adequate funding in these areas also."

The Chancellor set out his plans for a 50m global research and technology hub, likely to be created in Manchester, at the Conservative Party conference today.

Notes for editors:

. Graphene was a central theme at the Royal Society of Chemistry's Materials Chemistry Division biennial conference in Manchester this year. Nobel Laureate, Professor Kostya Novoselov, speaking at his home institution, gave an inspiring plenary lecture on the latest advances ranging from fundamental research into building three-dimensional structures from graphene to applications of graphene in photovoltaics and microelectronics.

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