The Advisory Board of the National Graphene Association, including business leaders and top researchers from across the globe, held a historic meeting in Nashville on Sunday to discuss commercialization of graphene, the “super material” with applications ranging from energy storage and electronics to sensors, medical devices and composites.
The meeting was a prelude to the inaugural National Graphene Innovation Summit & Expo, which takes place Monday and Tuesday, October 30 and 31, at the Music City Center in Nashville.
The meeting focused on bridging the gap between university-based scientific research and industry-led innovations and applications for graphene. Executive sessions dealt with the establishment of the new Center for Graphene Research and Innovation at the University of Mississippi and the need to develop standards of practice for graphene research and production.
Members discussed the pressing need for establishing industry-wide standards for production of high-quality, commercial-grade graphene. At present, the quality of graphene batches varies from one producer to the next. Establishing standards will benefit all stakeholders, ensuring consistency of quality at the master batch level, noted Denis Kolstov, chair of the International Organization of Standards (ISO)’s TC 229 Nanotechnology committee, who addressed the board via Skype.
“We have seen quite a lot of investment pouring into this area, while the capacity of material production … is also growing quite steadily,” Kolstov said. “And it is predicted that the capacity for production of nanomaterials, including graphene, is going to rise quite quickly.”
Sunday’s meeting also dealt with the development of a Graphene Venture Fund to help support commercialization and the formation of the American Graphene Institute, a nonprofit 501C corporation, to receive funds from industry, foundations and other sources to represent the graphene industry’s interests in Washington, D.C. and to facilitate work on public policy issues, standards and other matters critical to advancing the technology.
“We share a vision of a future that will see new products developed and current products improved in ways not yet imagined,” said Dr. Ed Meek, founder of the National Graphene Association, in his comments to the board. “Perhaps no discovery in my lifetime holds the promise that may be revealed in graphene.”