Agreement for setting up graphene research centre in Kochi to be signed tomorrow

Digital University of Kerala, which is the first on-campus digital university in India, C-MET and Tata Steel are the implementing partners of the knowledge centre.

Digital University of Kerala (Image: DUK website)Digital University of Kerala (Image: DUK website)

Press Trust of India | June 15, 2022 | 09:58 PM IST

KOCHI: An agreement will be signed between the Digital University of Kerala, the Centre for Materials and Electronic Technology (C-MET) and leading steel maker Tata Steel to set up India Innovation Centre for Graphene here, which is slated to be the country's first research and development knowledge centre for graphene.

The agreement will be exchanged in presence of Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday. The university, which is the first on-campus digital university in the country, C-MET and Tata Steel are the implementing partners of the knowledge centre, Digital University of Kerala said in a release. Graphene is often referred to as a wonder material for its extraordinary electrical and electronic properties. It is the thinnest and strongest material in the world ever known and has good chemical stability, high electrical conductivity and a large surface area while being transparent and lightweight.

"The centre has the potential to become a hub for creation of new generation technology companies that can help spur industrial growth in the state of Kerala," the release said. India Innovation Centre for Graphene (IICG) is a research and development knowledge centre established by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in collaboration with Government of Kerala. The centre will be located in the Integrated Startup Complex at KINFRA High Tech Park at Kalamassery in Kochi. "The centre is being established with an overall outlay of Rs 86.41 crore.

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Digital University Kerala will develop graphene transfer and applications while CMET will be involved in graphene synthesis and development required for these graphene-based applications," the release said. With an investment of Rs 7 crore, Tata Steel will be the key industrial partner in this initiative and the steel manufacturer will also provide business and technical support for developing the centre’s profile.

IICG will undertake research and development, product innovation, and capacity-building activities in the area of graphene and other 2D material systems for sensors and actuators, energy storage and harvesting, graphene – CMOS integration, and wearable devices with a view to developing indigenous technology, products, intellectual property rights (IPR) and trained manpower. While the application of graphene is universal, the primary focus of IICG will be in the fields of electronics, sensors and energy conversion devices where there is huge potential for industrial growth in India. IICG will also create common facilities that can be widely accessed by research labs, MSMEs and startups working in this area.

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