New Tech: What I Took Away From The American Graphene Summit

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Article written by Forrester’s Carlton Doty

Graphene will (eventually) affect all of us, whether we know it or not. I’ll explain later, but first, let’s take a step back and level-set. What is graphene? Simply put, it is one single atomic layer of carbon, produced by various methods of separating layers of material from graphite. It only existed in the theoretical sense until 2004, when two scientists from the University of Manchester became the first to isolate the material. Since then, an entire industry has emerged at the intersection of manufacturing, energy, aerospace, transportation, electronics, and more.

Last year, Forrester cited nanotechnology as one of the top 12 emerging technologies to watch. As it turns out, lots of businesspeople are watching.

According to a recent Forrester Analytics Business Technographics survey of business executives (director-level or higher), 66% of respondents say that nanotech is very or extremely important to their business in the future. That number jumps to 73% of respondents in the manufacturing industry.

Enter graphene. This material may be just one form of nanotech, but it shows practically limitless promise as a material. I recently attended the American Graphene Summit in Washington, D.C. as a guest of the National Graphene Association (NGA). What I found most compelling was the sheer breadth of applicability that this material has across industries and technologies. To help explain what I mean, here are just a few of the properties of this so-called “wonder material”:

  • 200x stronger than steel
  • Best electrical conductor of any known material
  • Highest melting point of any known material
  • Best conductor of heat of any known material
  • Flexible, transparent, and very stable
  • 100,000x thinner than a human hair

Article written by Forrester’s Carlton Doty

Read more here.

About the National Graphene Association (NGA)

The National Graphene Association is the main organization and body in the U.S. advocating and promoting the commercialization of graphene. NGA is focused on addressing critical issues such as policy and standards development that will result in effective integration of graphene and graphene-based materials globally. NGA brings together current and future graphene stakeholders — entrepreneurs, companies, researchers, developers and suppliers, investors, venture capitalists, and government agencies — to drive innovation, and to promote and facilitate the commercialization of graphene products and technologies.

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