European Commission approves an investment of 30 million euro from the ERDF to establish a research hub in North West England

March 11, 2013

Funding Scheme: 2013-03-11


European Commission approves a 30 million euro investment of the European Regional Development Fund for establish what should become Europe’s leading research and commercialisation centre for graphene in Manchester.


The project will allow the building of the National Graphene Institute as a national and European research hub to develop cutting edge work into graphene. Graphene is the world’s thinnest, strongest and most conductive material. It offers huge potential for researchers and industry alike in fields from computing to smart phones.
The institute will work with other research centres and companies in applied research which helps take graphene from the laboratory to the market place, strengthening Europe’s competitiveness in the growing global market for graphene applications.

The investment will have a positive impact on the overall economy of the region and increase Europe’s competitiveness. It is hoped the centre will initially create around 100 jobs, with the long-term expectation of many thousands more in the North West and more widely in the UK.

The investment comes through a programme called “North West England Regional competitiveness and employment”. The European Union, through the ERDF, will finance €30 million out of a total investment of € 78.1 million.


The facility will comprise 7,626m² across four floors. The NGI will accommodate a range of equipment including electron beam lithography system, laser writer, semi-automatic mask aligner, plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition system, raman spectrometer and helium liquefier.

This is a “major project”, of which the total investment (VAT included) is above €50 million and thus subject to a specific decision by the European Commission, whereas other types of projects are approved at national or regional levels.

The UK has been allocated approximately €10.6 billion in total cohesion policy funding from 2007-2013.

Url description: DG Regional Policy