In a momentous achievement for sustainable technology, Graphene Innovations Manchester Ltd (GIM), founded by University of Manchester Alumnus, Dr Vivek Koncherry, has won The Spectator’s Innovator of the Year Award for Excellence in Sustainability, presented in partnership with Investec.
The prestigious award ceremony, held in London on November 9, recognised and celebrated outstanding British entrepreneurship, firmly establishing GIM as a leader in sustainability and innovation.
The Innovator of the Year Awards, hosted by The Spectator, have become a hallmark in the UK's business and investment communities, attracting a growing number of entries each year. The award was well deserving of GIM's groundbreaking work in harnessing the power of graphene to drive sustainability and economic viability.
Earlier this month, GIM, alongside Economic Innovator of the Year finalists, was featured in The Spectator's podcast. The episode delved into their expertise in manufacturing and engineering, with GIM's contributions highlighted from 27:30.
Graphene Innovations Manchester Ltd
GIM design graphene-based compounds and production systems that allow partners to commercialise graphene-enhanced products at scale, unlocking competitive advantage, sustainability, and cost reduction. Notably, GIM's work in developing graphene-enhanced concrete stands out as a game-changer for the construction industry, where concrete production contributes 8% of global CO2 emissions.
GIM Concrete, a pioneering product by the company, is a fusion of graphene, polymers, and additives. What makes it truly innovative is its manufacturing process, which eliminates 88% of CO2 emissions by abstain from the use of cement. Not only does it address environmental concerns, but GIM Concrete also boasts 4 times the compression strength of traditional concrete, is 30% lighter, and cures in a mere 2 to 4 hours, compared to the 28 days required for traditional concrete.
The company has also developed a sustainable waste upcycling platform, utilising graphene as an additive to transform ground waste tires and plastics. This approach allows for the creation of high-quality, durable products through traditional manufacturing processes, optimising both performance and sustainability.
Graphene Innovations Manchester Ltd was founded by Dr Vivek Koncherry, an alumnus, with their research and development centre located in The University of Manchester’s Graphene Engineering Innovations Centre (GEIC).
Vivek expressed his delight saying: “We are honoured to receive the Excellence in Sustainability award and grateful for the supportive environment in Manchester's graphene ecosystem and the focus of The University of Manchester on this core area of social responsibility. This recognition exemplifies the collaborative efforts and transformative potential of graphene-based solutions. Personally, my time as a senior research fellow at The University of Manchester, combined with recognising the fundamental role of sustainability in the University’s ethos, inspired me to working with graphene and the GEIC.
"From first proposing a graphene suitcase idea to recycling car tires into graphene floor mats, the journey has been very transformative with exciting future developments now taking place. With this recognition, GIM eagerly anticipates continuing its innovative journey, contributing to a sustainable future, and inspiring others to leverage the graphene ecosystem for positive impact."
What is graphene, and its link to Manchester?
If you've ever used a pencil, you've unwittingly engaged with graphene. Discovered in 2004 by Manchester-based researchers, Professor Andre Geim and Professor Kostya Novoselov, graphene is a one-atom-thick, two-dimensional crystal. Their pioneering work in isolating graphene from graphite earned them the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010. Today, Manchester known as the home of graphene, remains a hub for graphene research and applications, and GIM stands as a shining example of the city's continued contribution to groundbreaking technological advancements.