An Open Letter to Members of The Graphene Council
With 2019 drawing to a close, I want to reflect on everything we have achieved together this past year while also looking forward to what promises to be a highly successful 2020.
As I write this I am at the University of Manchester, UK, the “home of graphene” where we will have two days of meetings with leading academics including Prof. Ian Kinloch, the Morgan Advanced Materials/Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair in Carbon Materials and a leader of the Advanced Nanostructures Group within the School of Materials and the National Graphene Institute.
In addition, we will have an opportunity to engage with Sir Professor Andre Geim, one of the two Nobel Laureates recognized for isolating graphene.
The meetings at the UoM will also be an occasion to meet with business leaders and R&D professionals from a select group Global 100 companies that are evaluating how to leverage and commercialize graphene materials.
From the very beginning in 2013 when The Graphene Council was created, our focus has been to support graphene commercial adoption on a global scale.
Our strategy has been to connect the entire ecosystem, from university based researchers to innovative graphene producers, to established end-user industry companies looking for the next advancement in materials.
The result is that we have successfully attracted a cross section of leading universities, graphene producers and industry sector companies from around the world as formal members of The Graphene Council.
An important piece of our strategy to promote graphene has been the development of strategic partnerships with leading sector associations, publications and innovation platforms.
These partnerships have provided unique opportunities for The Graphene Council and for our highly valued Corporate and University member organizations to reach end-users and customers for their graphene and graphene enhanced solutions.
At the same time, our strategic partners gain access to the most up-to-date and accurate information available about commercially produced graphene materials and solutions, helping our partners to educate and inform their members.
Strategic Partners include;
- The Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre (GEIC) at the University of Manchester, UK (The Graphene Council is a founding Affiliate Member).
- The American Composite Manufacturers Association (ACMA) representing 4,000+ composites manufacturing companies and their supply chain.
- TechConnect, a community of more than 400,000 individuals searching for innovative materials and solutions, representing Fortune 500 companies, the defense sector and technology scouts.
- IDTechEx, the hosts of Graphene & 2D Materials trade shows in the US and Europe each year as part of a multidiscipline, co-located event that also features wearable and flexible electronics, energy storage and other topics that are complimentary to graphene.
- The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), a global association of more than 80,000 plastics engineers, representing thermoplastic and thermoset applications.
- Composites World (CW), the leading trade publication for the composites sector with a readership in excess of 25,000 composites professionals.
- JEC World, organizers of the leading trade show for the composites sector in Europe with 9,000 annual attendees and additional events in Asia and the US.
- SAE International, an association of 200,000 transportation related engineers. This organization sets the standards and specifications for the automotive and aerospace sectors and is a critical ally to get graphene introduced to these massive industries.
- The Society for Specialty Protective Coatings (SSPC), a professional association focused on the protection and preservation of concrete, steel, and other industrial and marine structures and surfaces through the use of high-performance, protective, marine and industrial coatings.
- NACE International, a global society for corrosion specialists with approximately 40,000 members and a certification for those that provide anti-corrosion protection to critical infrastructure around the world.
- The Advanced Materials Show (Europe and US) bringing together leading companies that are searching for innovative materials and solutions.
In addition to the partnerships already agreed, we are working on other sectors including Sensors, Energy Storage and Cement/Concrete to identify just few. Our mission is to help our Corporate and University members to effectively connect with their target audiences in key industries.
Standards and Verification
The development of Standards in any industry is a critical activity but also one that is incredibly slow and time consuming. As a relatively new material, standards development for graphene is still a work in progress.
While this process plays out through the formal standards development bodies in the ISO system, The Graphene Council has launched the Verified Graphene Producer™ program to provide independent third party, in-person evaluation of graphene producers. As graphene is increasingly embraced by large established companies, they will require supply chain validation and the Verified Graphene Producer™ program can play an important role.
We were very pleased to announce earlier this year that Versrien plc successfully completed a rigorous physical inspection at their production facility which included a full characterization of a random material sample that was performed by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in the UK. The NPL is arguably the most experienced metrology lab in the world when it comes to characterizing graphene materials.
Communications, Reports and Commercial Updates
Through our weekly Graphene Intelligence Brief, The Graphene Council provides up-to-date information on graphene commercial, research and patent developments on a global scale.
In addition, we host webinars and podcasts ("Graphene Talk"), using social media channels (LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter) and direct emails to reach more than 25k materials scientists, researchers and professionals.
We were very proud that Nature Nanotechnology asked us to write an exclusive editorial piece for their special Graphene 15th Anniversary Issue. Our article, “Graphene: The Hype versus the Commercial Reality” generated great interest and feedback.
In June 2019, we posted "Graphene Commercialization Update", highlighting recent developments which has already been viewed more than 8,500 times on YouTube.
Plans for 2020
Looking forward to 2020, we see real momentum building for graphene commercial adoption as we pass the "valley of death" and enter the next phase of market maturation.
Strong signals are being sent with virtually all graphene producers reporting increased sales and announcements of actual products and applications. From The Graphene Council perspective, we are also getting increased queries from end-users across a wide range of applications looking for qualified sources of supply.
The challenge to date has been to produce graphene at commercial scales. This problem has largely been solved with multiple graphene producing companies able to deliver in the multi-tonne range.
The challenge going forward will be a.) to scale for very large volume applications (e.g. cement, asphalt, plastics, etc.) and b.) to have graphene producers collaborate as very large customers demand multiple sources of supply.
Priorities for 2020
The Graphene Council will continue to disseminate information to end-user markets through our strategic partners and communication campaigns so that companies, engineers, R&D teams and other interested parties receive accurate, neutral, informed and up-to-date intelligence on graphene materials and graphene producer companies.
At the same time, we will provide our university and graphene producer members with actionable intelligence and contacts with qualified industry partners looking to develop graphene enhanced solutions or projects.
Priority areas for The Graphene Council in 2020 include:
- Confidentiality and Trust - we will continue to be a neutral platform for all stakeholders, with a solid appreciation for confidentiality, integrity, transparency and accuracy in our business dealings.
- Collaboration - we will work with our industry, university and sector partners to promote graphene as an innovative advanced material through multi-channel communications and in-person presentations.
- Standards - we will continue to provide input and guidance to standards bodies that reflect the needs of the commercial market for graphene.
- Verification - we will encourage the adoption of the Verified Graphene Producer™ and the Verified Graphene Product™ programs to provide greater transparency and confidence to the graphene marketplace.
- Market Intelligence - we will maintain the most up-to-date and comprehensive global database of graphene producer companies, tracking the types and volumes of materials produced and sold.
- Advisory Services - through a global team of subject matter experts from academia and industry, we will provide consulting and advisory services as a trusted, neutral and independent sector organization free from any conflicts of interest.
- Commercial Connections - we will continue to connect queries we receive from potential graphene customers or project sponsors with our member organizations, facilitating relationships between those looking for graphene with those that supply it.
Our mission for 2020 will continue to be the acceleration of graphene commercial adoption, advocating on behalf of our members and connecting the growing, global graphene community.
Member Dues enable us to support the graphene industry through the many communication and advocacy activities we are engaged in year-round.
Membership dues effective from 1 January 2020 will be:
Companies with ≥1,000 employees or ≥USD 100 million in revenue: USD $5,500
Companies with <1,000 employees and <$100 million in revenue: USD $3,000
Universities USD $3,000
*Organizational Membership includes a copy of the newly expanded and updated "The Graphene Report", a USD $5,000 value. It also includes the weekly Graphene Intelligence Briefing covering global graphene commercial, research and patent filing news. Organizations can have an unlimited number of individual subscriptions to the weekly Graphene Intelligence Briefing for your employees / students as a member organization!
Graphene commercialization has clearly reached a tipping point. The sector has evolved over the past few years from "can we make this stuff" to, "can we meet the demands of more than 45 industry sectors that have identified graphene enhanced materials as a key innovation pathway?"
The Graphene Council will continue to be the largest, most trusted, independent and neutral body for graphene commercialization on a global scale.
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If you would like more information about The Graphene Council and how
we can add value for your organization, contact me personally: