Italy participates significantly in the “gold rush” of applications of graphene: last June the “Workshops of graphene” were in fact opened at the Science Park ComoNext in Lomazzo (Como).
They are the largest European plant for the generation of highly pure graphene sheets.
The first module of the plant has a production capacity of 30 tons per year. It has been realized in order to consume a limited amount of energy and do not generate any type of emission or gap.
DirectaPlus, an Italian excellence since 2005, built the facility. In 2006 it submitted a patent application for the process known as G + for the production of nanomaterials based on graphene.
DirectaPlus intends to experience the use of its technology of graphene production in the field of lithium-ion and lithium polymer made from nylon.
For this reason, with the opening of the plant it announced a collaboration agreement with the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Genoa.
The agreement provides for an exchange of know-how with Graphene Labs in IIT through the joint work.
For this reason TalenTour decided to organize a Pint of Talent with Francesco Bonaccorso, principal investigator of the Italian Institute of Technology.
Francesco Bonaccorso gained a PhD from the Department of Physics, University of Messina in Italy after working at the Italian National Research Council, the Engineering Department of Cambridge University (UK) and the Department of Physics and Astronomy of Vanderbilt University (USA).
In June 2009 he was awarded a Royal Society Newton International Fellowship at the Engineering Department of Cambridge University, and elected to a Research Fellowship at Hughes Hall, Cambridge. In April 2014 He joined the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Graphene Labs. He was responsible in defining the ten years scientific and technological roadmap for the graphene flagship programme. His research interests encompass solution processing of carbon nanomaterials (such as graphene, nanotubes and nanodiamonds) and inorganic layered materials, their spectroscopic characterization, incorporation into polymer composites and application in solar cells, light emitting devices, lithium-ion batteries and ultrafast lasers.
Francesco showed TalenTour the Graphene Labs, a structure created in a few months at IIT unique in Italy.
The laboratories are equipped with sophisticated tools that allow to test jointly DirectaPlus technology in new application areas, with enormous potential for development.
But the mission of IIT is not limited to cooperation with DirectaPlus.
For a long time, the Institute is involved on one of the most futuristic European programs, the Graphene Flagship:
Graphene Flagship is the largest research initiative ever defined in EU.
With a budget of €1 billion, it represents a new form of joint, coordinated research on an unprecedented scale.
The Graphene Flagship is tasked with bringing together academic and industrial researchers to take graphene from the realm of academic laboratories into European society in the space of 10 years, thus generating economic growth, new jobs and new opportunities.
Launched in 2013, the Graphene Flagship is, along with the Human Brain Project , the first of the European Commission’s Future and Emerging Technology (FET) Flagships , whose mission is to address the big scientific and technological challenges of the age through long-term, multidisciplinary R&D efforts.
The Graphene Flagship is coordinated by Chalmers University of Technology , Gothenburg (Sweden).
Vittorio Pellegrini, one of Francesco’s colleagues in IIT, is the Scientific Secretary in the Strategic Advisory Council of Graphene Flagship.
In 2016, the Institute will also have the responsibility of organizing the sixth edition of Graphene Conference:
A unique opportunity for Genoa and for Italy, organized by Francesco and his colleagues within IIT.
An event that will be told by TalenTour in the next few months.