OXFORD, Miss., Nov. 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Following its highly successful Graphene Innovation Summit & Expo in Nashville last month, the National Graphene Association (NGA) has created a formal non-profit advocacy organization and a venture fund to advance the commercialization of graphene, the two-dimensional "wonder material" with applications ranging from energy storage and electronics to biomedical sensors, water filters, composites and smart textiles.
Key members of NGA's advisory board recommended the creation of the two entities during a meeting at the event, which took place October 29-31 in Nashville. Leading graphene researchers, industrialists and entrepreneurs from around the world gathered at the historic summit, which focused on developing revolutionary new products and technologies and bringing them to market.
The event was a whirlwind of panel discussions, seminars, idea pitches and networking, headlined by industry leaders like Dr. Kari Hjelt, Head of Innovation for the European Commission's Graphene Flagship, and Dr. Antonio Castro Neto, director of the Center for Advanced 2D Materials in Singapore.
"I don't think this meeting is just important—I think it's critical," said Steven Rodgers, a principal with EmergenTek, LLC, a Salt Lake City company that specializes in the manufacturing and practical applications of graphene. "We have the right people here from around the world. In the few months I've been involved, this has transformed from a national group to a global one, and that international presence is very encouraging because it's going to take all of us working together."
"This has been a very good event for us," agreed Paolo Bucciol, co-founder of Deewear, an Italian company that incorporates graphene into sportswear. "We've made lots of connections, not only in terms of potential partners but also investors, plus other opportunities with companies that provide graphene."
In light of the summit's success, NGA established the American Graphene Institute, a nonprofit educational and advocacy organization, and the Graphene Venture Fund, which will create growth opportunities for graphene businesses and product development.
NGA will also produce the Global Graphene Conference in May 2018 in Las Vegas.
"We all share a vision of a graphene future that will see new products developed—and current products improved—in ways yet to be imagined," said NGA founder Dr. Ed Meek. "Through this summit, we have begun to build the foundation necessary for the growth, development and commercialization of graphene. Perhaps no discovery in my lifetime holds the promise that may be revealed in graphene."
Rick Hynum, Communications Director
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SOURCE National Graphene Association (NGA)