NGA DIRECTOR DR. ZINA JARRAHI CINKER PRESENTS AT GRAPHENE WEEK
International Conference Creating Pathways Between Research and Commercialization
ATHENS, Greece – Dr. Zina Jarrahi Cinker has spent the bulk of her career researching graphene at Vanderbilt University and as a graphene entrepreneur in the “Athens of the South,” Nashville, Tennessee. On Tuesday at Graphene Week in Athens, Greece, she was invited to tell her own story of challenges in bridging the gap between research and commercialization, and how this experience is what led her to help launch the National Graphene Association.
“When you enter the world of product development using graphene, the first step is to find a supplier. There are hundreds of them, all with different materials, and everyone is using the term ‘graphene’ to describe their product,” Dr. Jarrahi Cinker told the conference. “While doing R&D for your graphene venture, you will need to measure parameters such as thermal and electrical conductivity, and sometimes you find different results than reported by the company – often because there are no standardized protocols for testing and characterization. In order to take the next step to commercialization, we have to tackle the issue of standards.”
As the executive director of the National Graphene Association, Jarrahi Cinker aims to lead the charge on standardization for the industry. That effort received resounding support from the international graphene community at Graphene Week.
“The most effective way to do this is by forming close-knit global alliances and partnerships, so we can bring everyone to the table to address issues such as standards and the ambiguity in the graphene supply chain,” she said. “I couldn’t help but tell the group in Athens that we also have a real size replica of the Parthenon in the middle of our city in Nashville.”
Prior to Dr. Jarrahi Cinker’s presentation, James Baker from the National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester (England) spoke on the “teenage years” in the maturity lifecycle of graphene innovation. Baker said that technologies such as carbon fiber took decades to be streamlined, and graphene is going at much faster rate. Meanwhile, the products being showcased that incorporate graphene are more impressive every day in their diversity: one company demonstrated a clarinet that used graphene in its carbon fiber lining to improve both strength and sound.
She has been invited to participate and talk about her experience in the Women in Graphene forum this afternoon, a session designed to share the stories of female innovators making a difference in the budding industry.
“The Women in Graphene initiative within the Graphene Flagship has been set up to help support women and create a more gender-diverse scientific community,” she said. “At Graphene Week 2017, the Women in Graphene session has an innovation focus with a number of great speakers talking about innovation and gender equality from a number of different angles.”
For more information on the National Graphene Association or the NGA’s Graphene Innovation Summit in Nashville October 29-31, please visit www.nationalgraphenassociation.com.