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Kerala set wheels in motion for India’s first graphene innovation centre

- October 19, 2022

Thiruvananthapuram, October 19 (BPNS)

The wheels have been set in motion for establishing the India Innovation Centre for Graphene in Kerala’s Thrissur district. Conceived as India’s first graphene-specific cleanroom and innovation centre, it was on last Friday (October 14) that a comprehensive administrative sanction was accorded by the government for the project. The project which is a joint venture of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of Kerala, Tata Steel Limited, and other industries come with a total outlay of Rs 86.41 crores.

“The national graphene institute and innovation centre will be jointly set up by the Digital University Kerala and the Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology. The industrial partner is Tata Steel Limited. The major contribution will come from the ministry,” said an official.

At the same time, the state government had made it clear that its share for 2022-23 fiscal has been limited to Rs 15 crore due to the acute fiscal crisis being experienced by the state.

As per the project note, which has been approved by the government, the centre will act as an incubator facility with at least 10 small and medium-sized enterprises/entrepreneurs. It will also provide a skill-based training programme to at least 500 entrepreneurs and technicians.

“The centre will strive to generate at least four intellectual properties (IP) annually that has the potential to be commercialized,” reads an excerpt from the note.

The beneficiaries of the project have been identified as startups, companies, Ph.D. students and postdocs for translational research, university researchers for translational research, the public as the end users of the products, and investors who could take the IPs to the market.

Earlier, during chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s foreign visit to Europe the digital university had signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with the universities of Oxford, Edinburgh, Manchester and Siegen for collaboration in the field of graphene.

Graphene is often described as the material of superlatives due to its multitude of desirable properties, which open up a myriad of different applications across many sectors.

Graphene is a one-atom-thick layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. It is the building block of Graphite, but graphene is a remarkable substance on its own with a multitude of astonishing properties. It is the thinnest, most electrically and thermally conductive material in the world, while also being flexible, transparent, and incredibly strong.