has signed a new Tier 1 partner – Graphene Innovations Inc Manchester (GIIM) – a company spun out from The University of Manchester led by alumnus and entrepreneur Dr Vivek Koncherry.
GIIM, a company dedicated to the acceleration and deployment of graphene research, will be headquartered at the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC), part of The University of Manchester, United Kingdom.
The partnership with the GEIC enables GIIM to equip a private lab in the facility, with access to highly specialised applications labs and equipment, plus the unique academic and engineering expertise of the world-leading graphene and 2D materials community at the University.
Now CEO UK and Europe of GIIM, Dr Koncherry was formerly a post-doctoral Impact Research Fellow in the University’s Department of Materials. His two start-ups were spun into the GEIC: SpaceBlue (recycled rubber flooring) and Graphene Space Habitat, designed by global architects Skidmore, Owings and Merrell (SOM).
Dr Koncherry benefited from the support of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Bridging the Gap programme and his work led him to win first prizes at the Eli Harari Graphene Enterprise Awards and the EPSRC Future Composites Manufacturing Hub researchers’ competition in artificial intelligence and internet-of-things. This background fuelled the creation of GIIM, with its first base at the GEIC lab, and the proposed establishment of a larger manufacturing facility in Manchester.
GIIM joins the GEIC with the backing of around $5 million (£3.6m) of overseas investment, with a further $35m (£26m) in the pipeline for advanced manufacturing capability for construction material in Greater Manchester. GIIM plans to hire at least 10 people in the first half of 2022, with plans for further appointments later in the year.
“The accelerated research and global commercialisation of graphene-based products like batteries, solar cells, hydrogen fuel tanks, space habitat, recycled rubber, and sustainable construction materials using advanced robotics, conducted by GIIM’s elite team, will truly put Manchester on the world map as the epicentre for commercial graphene research and innovation.” Tom Hirsch (CEO, GII)
“We are excited to see how this international investment into GIIM can help create Manchester-based, high-value, sustainable jobs in the UK that in turn can create global impact and address important strategic areas like international space exploration at a large scale. This further supports the Manchester region in general as a hotbed of graphene activities and international sales to benefit the UK economy.” Mark Diamond (Chairman, GII).
“We are delighted to extend our partnership with Dr Vivek Koncherry, an example of the exceptional talent that exists at The University of Manchester, who we have supported initially as an SME/Spin-in company through our Bridging the Gap programme and now through investment as a key Tier 1 partner to the GEIC. We look forward to further developing this relationship and supporting the GIIM business in its acceleration of graphene-enhanced products and capabilities to the market.” James Baker, CEO of [email protected]
“GIIM’s partnership with the GEIC further adds to Greater Manchester’s credentials as a globally unrivalled concentration of graphene expertise. We’re looking forward to welcoming the diverse talent GIIM will attract to the city region and to supporting this exciting wave of innovation. Not only will it revolutionise technologies internationally, but it will also help us to explore habitation beyond Earth in a sustainable way.” Tim Newns, Chief Executive of MIDAS Greater Manchester’s inward investment agency.
“At GIIM, we believe anything is possible for creating global impact through our innovative work. I am grateful to the support of James Baker, The University of Manchester, Greater Manchester and the new colleague’s Tom Hirsch, Mark Diamond and others for facilitating the work done as a run-up to the successful stage where we are at today.” Dr Vivek Koncherry (CEO, GIIM UK and Europe).