Graphene Flagship runs EMDESK

“EMDESK is a highly reliable partner that provides us with a tool that helps us to manage and monitor all our project activities”, Katarina Boustedt.

Pushing graphene from the research lab to the marketplace

Graphene is a 10 year EU-funded FET Flagship project, which started in 2013 with an expected budget of €1 billion. The number of associated members continues to skyrocket and the current consortium consists of over 145 industrial and academic research groups from 21 countries.

“Our focus is in strengthening our cooperation with industry stakeholders to increase technology readiness levels,” said Kari Hjelt, Graphene Flagship Head of Innovation.

Graphene is a versatile material that is flexible, strong, transparent, and thin. Its chemical properties allow it to function as an energy conductor (electrical and thermal). Since successfully discovering the vast potentials of graphene, the laboratory findings are being converted into products that will positively impact society. To date, 46 products have been launched from graphene research. The expected value of the graphene market is €100 million by 2020 and up to €550 million by 2025.

As a result of its inherent properties, graphene has potential applications for the automotive and aeronautics industries, batteries, ICT, etc. It also has a great deal of potential in material science since it can be combined with other materials. Being the fourth most abundant element, graphene could take the place of many rare earth elements and result in more ecological natural resources use.

Despite strong research promising findings, any great discovery might find itself stagnating without the right funding to scale up. No one knows this better than Graphene Flagship Executive Board Chair, Ken Teo: “The Graphene Flagship, now halfway through its 10 year programme, is uniquely positioned to take emerging graphene-based technologies from the lab to fab. We have assessed many of the scientific breakthroughs and can see their potential commercial application in a variety of applications; and as such, we will strive to realize future Graphene-based products by increasing the number of spearhead projects, industrial partners, and business development activities.”

Graphene – a multi-talented material

The main goal of the FET flagship when it was launched in 2013 was shifting graphene from research to practical applications. One of the biggest issues in reaching this goal was the management and coordination of a consortium of 145 academic and industrial research groups and information management with an ever growing list of team members and collaborators. Conducting research and converting its results into projects, requires all teamers fully understanding what is happening at every stage and the overall goals of the project .

Over time the Graphene team found themselves facing a number of challenges with efficient reporting and updating of progress and consumed resources. Communication between 750 users from the 145+ partner organizations in 21 countries, was proving to be inefficient and they had difficulty finding a secure and confidential working environment. There was also the unique dilemma of having numerous unconnected systems with their own user administration. In order to resolve these issues, the coordinating team sought out management software that would optimize processes and communication among partners. A simple solution to this problem was the migration and switch of hosting to EMDESK.

EMDESK assessed the Graphene Flagship framework and carried out the installation and deployment of an on-site solution. This included integrating MS Azzure for central account management, which allowed a more fluid flow of information. As there were numerous projects integrated in the programme, EMDESK customized this to meet project needs and management requirements.

The initial result of this migration was the availability of a central, integrated project and work management platform; which resulted in much easier information coordination amongst different partners and project teams. This change overcame delays with information dissemination for the first time since Graphene Flagship began. Streamlined communication and information dissemination resulted in greater efficiency for all project partners, saving time and allowing users to concentrate on their work.

Central, integrated project and work management platform for Graphene

A complex system like Graphene Flagship required that all systems and associated systems run optimally in order to achieve its objectives. EMDESK met this challenge by optimizing Graphene’s IT infrastructure to safeguard the achievement of project objectives. Graphene was able to benefit from EMDESK’s single depository, which ensures that all project data is securely stored and accessible in one place. The quick and easy reporting systems of EMDESK also ensured that Graphene could collate data and generate reports with a single click.

Challenges

  • Sustaining collaboration for a progressive 10 year, billion euro project.
  • Real-time information reporting and information dissemination.
  • Eliminating numerous repetitive and redundant tasks in diverse systems distributed across 145 partners in 21 countries with no central administration.
  • Establishing a secure working environment that accommodates the complexity of the project.

Solution

  • Migration to the hosted edition of EMDESK, which allowed for installation and deployment of an on-site solution.
  • Integration with MS Azzure enabling the creation of central account management that can be customized to the project and management requirements.

Results

  • Development of a central, integrated project and work management platform that ensures fluid information dissemination to over 750 participants.
  • Optimized IT infrastructure to ensure the achievement of project objectives.
  • Creation of a template to bridge communication gaps in future complex projects.
  • Effective monitoring of every aspect of project activities.
  • Customer satisfaction leading to the extension of the contract.

As of 2018, the Graphene Flagship has 145 partners, 31 partnering projects, and 87 associated members. Today, Graphene Flagship is positioned to accommodate more partners. “The particular strength of Graphene Flagship is in the synergetic development of fundamental and applied research. New and fresh scientific results are getting translated swiftly into applications,” said Konstantin Novoselov, Graphene Strategic Advisory Council Chair.

The Graphene Flagship

The Graphene Flagship is one of the first two FET Flagships launched in 2013 by the EU. It is one of Europe’s biggest ever research initiatives: it coordinates over 145 academic and industrial research groups in more than 20 countries, has 87 associate members and 31 partnering projects. The Graphene Flagship activity involves over a thousand researchers in 21 countries across Europe.

The Graphene Flagship is tasked with bringing together academic and industrial researchers to take graphene from the realm of academic laboratories into European society in the space of 10 years, thus generating economic growth, new jobs, and new opportunities. Its research effort covers the entire value chain – from materials production to components and system integration – and aims at developing applications in the areas of flexible electronics, printed electronics, 5G mobile technologies, batteries, aerospace, medical applications, filtration, and automotive. Watch these videos explaining graphene applications for biomedical technologies, the internet of things, and the automotive.

Facts and performance

  • Coordinator: Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Framework Programme: FP7, H2020
  • Scheme: CP-CSA & RIA
  • Duration: 10 years
  • Number of Partners: 145+
  • Partnering projects: 31
  • Countries: 21 countries + growing number of associated members
  • Total cost: EUR 1 billion incl. funding EUR 500 million
  • Scientific publications: 2700+
  • Products launched: 46
  • Patents / Spin-off companies: 25 / 9
figures by mid 2019
Visit Graphene’s website