Removing carbon dioxide from natural gas to reduce emissions, creating biosensors to detect molecules and enhancing night vision goggles – the potential applications of graphene seem endless.
But what are the biggest challenges in getting the one-atom-thick material out of the lab and onto the factory floor?
This September, Horizon talks to scientists who are turning graphene into membranes that can strip impurities from water, and we find out how one of the big hurdles is working out how to grade graphene.
And we hear from the scientific director of graphene-maker Graphenea, who believes that the graphene market could be extremely attractive for companies once applications start to come online.
In 2013, the EU launched the EUR 1 billion Graphene Flagship - its biggest-ever research initiative - with the goal of developing applications for graphene within a decade by bringing together researchers from academia and business.
For more information http://graphene-flagship.eu/
Graphene production could become a very attractive market for small- and medium-sized enterprises, according to Dr Amaia Zurutuza, scientific director of the graphene production company Graphenea, but it might take a while.
Pure graphene is impenetrable to even the smallest atoms but with a few adjustments it is giving rise to a new generation of permeable membranes, with possible applications from water filtration to reducing power station emissions.
To mark the European year of cultural heritage, Horizon explores how science is helping to uncover more about our past and to preserve our art, landscapes, buildings and ways of life for the future. We discover why prehistoric humans chose to paint rock art where they did, and how farming techniques from hundreds of years ago could help fight climate change today. Plus, we learn how cultural heritage feeds into European identities and what can be done to prevent the destruction of historical sites during wartime.
The way we work is undergoing a major shift thanks to technological development and demographic change and, this month, Horizon looks at how research is helping us stay ahead of the game. We find out how decisions made early in your career could determine when you retire, and how to get the most out of the relationship between humans and machines in factories. We also investigate some of the ethical issues that could arise in the jobs of the future and how best to take them into account.
A lot of lip service is being paid to making scientific papers free to access but when it comes to action there is a lot of hypocrisy, according to Robert-Jan Smits, the EU's outgoing director-general for research, science and innovation. He has recently been appointed the EU's special envoy on open access, tasked with helping make all publicly funded research in Europe freely available by 2020.
There is a need for renewed political attention, says EU’s new special envoy.
Digital cannot replace personal experiences.
Cultural heritage destruction can be a war crime as sites form part of people's emotional landscape, says Dr van Ess.