Technology and Innovation Roadmap within the Graphene Flagship (Graphene Roadmap)

Within the Graphene Flagship of the European Commission Fraunhofer ISI is elaborating a technology and innovation roadmap (TIR). The roadmap aims to guide flagship research towards developing products based on graphene or other 2D materials, thereby merging technology potentials and market needs. Insights from the roadmapping are also used in the work package innovation of the Graphene Flagship for identifying innovation objectives.

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 research and development efforts. With a budget of 1 billion Euro the flagship forms Europe's biggest ever research initiative. It was initiated in 2013 and will run over 10 years. The core consortium of the flagship consists of over 150 academic and industrial research groups in 23 countries. The Graphene Flagship is tasked with bringing together academic and industrial researchers to take Graphene from the realm of academic laboratories into European society, thus generating economic growth, new jobs and new opportunities.

Graphene is a 2-dimensional atomic crystal made up of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. It is the thinnest compound known to man at one atom thickness and has a unique combination of superior properties. It is  the strongest compound discovered, the lightest material known and flexible. In addition, it is impermeable to molecules, extremely electrically and thermally conductive and transparent. Due to this unique combination of propoerties, graphene is expected to contribute to the development of new devices and products in many different application areas such as sensors, photonics and opto-electronics, energy, electronics, composites and coatings or biomedical technologies.

The main aim of the technology and innovation roadmap is to guide the community towards the develpment of products based on graphene or other 2D materials. In particular the roadmap should consider how industrial demand can meet technology supply, how economic aspects and European added value can be integrated and how non-technological framework conditions can be considered. The roadmap is expected not only to provide a key strategic document within the flagship, but also to inform industrial stakesholders outside the flagship about opportunities to make use of flagship research results. As an additional task a monitoring of the international state-of-the-art of research and technologial development in graphene and related areas is carried out based on science and technology indicators such as publication and patent statistics.

A first full version of the roadmap has been elaborated and provided to the Graphene Flagship community. It considers 4 main topics (special biomedical applications, electronics and photonics, energy generation and storage, composites, bulk applications and coatings) with 18 subtopics and about 84 application areas covering nearly all industrial sectors. During the roadmapping a broad range of available ressources such as existing roadmaps, market reports, strategic documents, data bases were analysed. In addition, interviews with industrial stakeholders and 2 roadmapping workshops with all in all more than 80 participants were carried out. The roadmapping document with a total size of more than 500 pages contains for each of the 18 subtopics detailed market analyses, technology analyses, key performance indicators, roadmaps and conclusions.

Current work concentrates on detailed focus investigations of most promising value chains where graphene or other 2D materials may provide unique selling propositions. Examples include improved batteries or supercapacitors, novel solar cells, photonic data communication, biosensors and water treatment.

The monitoring of the international state-of-the-art resulted in 2 monitoring reports. The analysis indicates that graphene and related materials is a research area with a very strong international dynamics. The international research landscape is increasingly influenced by research activities in China. There is not only a very high number of publications from China. They are also of high quality as measured by citation indicators. Europe is playing an important role internationally at a similar level as the United States. Also the landscape of potential applications of graphene and related materials has been expanding considerably. The analysis indicates that graphene and related materials are getting increasingly interesting for economic purposes.

Reiss, T.; Hjelt, K.; Ferrari, A.C. (2019): Graphene on track to deliver on its promises. In: Nature Nanotechnology 14, pp. 907-910 (DOI: 10.1038/s41565-019-0557-0).




    European Commission



    Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden (coordination)
    over 150 partners from academia and industry


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