One of the key trends at CES 2013, and even 2012, was flexible smartphones and displays, but everything shown off was a prototype and very expensive to manufacturer. One of the key substances that will be used in the production of flexible phones down the road, will be graphene. Graphene is a one atom thick version of carbon that is extremely versatile and can be used for countless things. It's the strongest material ever tested, as well as the lightest. Graphene can be unbelievably helpful in producing flexible phones, extremely large batteries, improved cameras, or even transparent screens.
The Graphene Flagship Consortium is made up of 74 companies, one of which is Nokia. The consortium announced today that the European Union will be giving them $1.36 billion for graphene research over the next 10 years.
Nokia is very excited about the research it can now do and says that "today, the future just got a little more present" thanks to the grant.
"Nokia is proud to be involved with this project, and we have deep roots in the field – we first started working with graphene already in 2006," said Henry Tirri, EVP, CTO of Nokia. "Since then, we have come to identify multiple areas where this material can be applied in modern computing environments. We've done some very promising work so far, but I believe the greatest innovations have yet to be discovered."
Nokia says that Europe already has all of the important players in the chain who are ready to start using graphene. The company calls it a very "promising way of doing research investments for Europe."
"During the last 18 months we have seen a tremendous effort to build collaboration between European academia and industry. Now we have all the ingredients in place to be globally successful," Tapani Ryh¤nen, Head of the Sensor and Material Technologies Laboratory at Nokia added. "We believe that new two-dimensional materials will have an impact on industrial value chains in many ways, creating opportunities for new products, services and economic growth."
According to data released by CambridgeIP, Asia and the United States are currently leading the way in terms of graphene related patents. Nokia hopes that with this investment, it can jump to the forefront of innovation.
Still don't understand exactly what graphene is? Check out the video below!