The UK Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) are offering funding of up to £2.5 million ($4.2 million) in feasibility studies to accelerate commercial applications for the carbon material graphene.
The carbon allotrope graphene is a 2-dimensional crystalline material that can otherwise be described as a one-atom thick layer of graphite.
The two organizations envisage R&D in a variety of fields including several plastics-related ones. These include structural composites, conductive fillers such as for aerospace applications, barrier coatings for food packaging, rollable e-paper, foldable organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, flexible electronics, and thermal heat dissipation in polymers.
Novel properties of graphene that may be exploited include mechanical strength and stiffness, electrical and thermal conductivity, thinness, transparency and other optical properties, high surface area to volume, high-charge carrier mobility, impermeability and biocompatibility.
The organizations expect to fund feasibility studies (mainly pre-industrial research projects) in which a business partner will generally attract up to 65% public funding for its project costs (75% for SMEs). Research organizations are eligible for funding of up to 100% of their costs.