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27 December 2012, 15:43
The University of Cambridge is to receive a share of the £21m investment being offered by the Chancellor into the so-called "super-material", graphene.
George Osborne has announced the award of investment funds to institutions, including the University of Cambridge, to develop commercial uses for graphene.
UK academics Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for demonstrating the remarkable properties of graphene - a kind of two-dimensional carbon which is one of the thinnest, lightest, strongest and most conductive materials known to man.
Now it is hoped that the material will be used in a wide array of industrial and everyday applications, delivering potentially lucrative technological breakthroughs in areas ranging from electronics to energy generation and telecommunications.
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council has identified the most promising graphene-related research projects in British universities to benefit from state funding.
The University of Cambridge has been awarded more than £12m for research into graphene flexible electronics and opto-electronics, which could include things like touch-screens and other display devices.
Mr Osborne says: "The Government moved quickly and decisively to make sure this Nobel Prize-winning technology invented here in the UK was also developed here. It's exactly what our commitment to science and a proactive industrial strategy is all about - and we've beaten off strong global competition."
The Chancellor added: "Now I am glad to announce investment that will help take it from the British laboratory to the British factory floor. This shows that even in tough times we are investing in science which is vital to helping the UK get ahead in the global race."