China's President XI Jinping visits the National Graphene Institute
President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China visited the National Graphene Institute (NGI) at The University of Manchester today (October 23), on the final day of the President’s UK state visit.
President Xi was welcomed to the University, during the first visit of any Chinese President to Manchester, by Professor Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University, alongside the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, Viscount Hood, the Queen’s Lord-in-waiting, the Chief Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Lord Jim O’Neill and the Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, James Wharton.
President Xi visited the world leading graphene research facility to learn about the future graphene applications being developed in Manchester, in collaboration with the University’s global industrial partners.
The official visit took place on the same day that Chinese electronics giant Huawei, China’s largest mobile phone manufacturer, announced a partnership with the NGI to research graphene and related 2D materials. The NGI currently has over 45 industrial partners who work collaboratively with academics to accelerate the commercialisation of graphene applications.
Graphene is the world’s first two-dimensional material, first isolated in Manchester. It is 200 times stronger than steel, more conductive than copper, and has changed the way scientists and industry approach materials science.
Nobel Laureates Professor Andre Geim and Professor Kostya Novoselov also welcomed President Xi to the University and were joined by senior government officials from both the UK and China.
Kostya highlighted current graphene research and University links with Chinese business before presenting the President with a gift of traditional Chinese-style artwork, which Kostya himself had painted using graphene paint.
Led by University representatives, President Xi was shown demonstrations of a raft of graphene-based prototypes including; a mobile phone with dramatically increased charging capabilities thanks to a graphene supercapacitor, super-efficient street lighting and pioneering cancer treatments utilising graphene for improved drug delivery.
President Xi also enjoyed a tour of the NGI’s 1,500 square metres of cleanroom laboratory space, the largest academic area of its kind in the UK dedicated to graphene research.