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Graphene flagship defends ‘slow progress’

Participants in the EU's Graphene Flagship programme have said that they need more time to demonstrate impact, following criticism that the initiative has been slow to achieve results.

At a meeting organised by the European Parliament’s Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) unit on 2 June, participants of the Flagship told MEPs that they will delivered commercial applications as promised, but that they need at least 10 more years to achieve this impact.

The flagship, a decade-long initiative launched in 2014 with a budget of around €1 billion, has been criticised for its slow progress on delivering tangible results, such as graphene-based products and patents. In March, the European Commission’s first review of the initiative—which is funding through Horizon 2020—said that it needed to prioritise the development of an R&D commercialisation strategy and place more emphasis on protecting intellectual property. The flagship has also been criticised for registering few patents compared with initiatives in emerging nations such as China.

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