Manchester brand 7L has been recognised as the City’s leading functional-first performance brand and chosen to partner the GEIC’s (Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre) for a project called ‘Bridging the Gap’ granted by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Manchester University in developing Graphene based textile, fashion and outerwear products.
GRAPHENE ENGINEERING INNOVATION CENTRE
To accelerate the understanding and use of graphene within Greater Manchester-based SMEs, the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) secured a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) grant opening the doors for the 'GEIC' and project 'Bridging the Gap'.
To accelerate the understanding and use of graphene within Greater Manchester-based SMEs, the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) has secured a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) grant, allowing us to expose our world-class labs and engineers to local companies across the region.
Open to SMEs operating within the Greater Manchester area, the grant covers 100% of staff time and equipment use at the GEIC to help bring new ideas from concept to reality, helping unlock the full potential of graphene and other 2D materials in new products, services or processes.
What is Graphene?
Graphene is a remarkable new material, first isolated at the University of Manchester. It has a broad array of unique characteristics and properties, that include superlatives such as the strongest and stiffest material currently known; the most electrically and thermally conductive; the most stretchable; most impermeable; and the thinnest material that can be imagined, with the highest surface area.
Many novel applications for this new material have already been identified; many more are still to come. Yet graphene is just the first of hundreds of new ‘2D’ or ‘layered materials’ that offer the promise of a staggering array of innovative materials, each with their own remarkable properties.
On the 11th October 2017, Design Manchester launched their 5th Festival with the Textiles and Fashion Innovation Symposium in partnership with Manchester School of Art and Manchester Fashion Institute.
This was part of Design Manchester’s initiative to connect research and the creative economy. At the top of the discussion agenda was the potential for innovation in materials and manufacturing, focusing on environmental and sustainability issues. The task set for the group was to pull together ideas for further exploration and formulate potential collaborations and projects.
Identified as Manchester’s leading tech-garment manufacturer, 7L contributed ideas to the round- table; which lead to a meeting with Russian-British physicist, and Nobel Prize winner, Sir Konstantin Novosolov. Meeting with Konstantin and his team at The University of Manchester, 7L gained an increased understanding of the potential applications for graphene and graphene commercialisation.
Towards the end of 2018, while working closely with the DIT Export programme, 7L were introduced to the ERDF funded ‘Bridging the Gap’ scheme at the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC), at The University of Manchester.
7L were then invited to be an industry partner as part of this scheme, with a particular focus on their ongoing research and development for developing eco and sustainable fabrics from recycled yarn for the textiles industry. As part of the ERDF Phase 1, GEIC research teams produced a top-level report for 7L highlighting potential benefits of graphene / composite fabrics for a range of applications.
7L and the GEIC have identified a product to develop for the ERDF phase 2 programme and as a result the 7L team will now be working in partnership with GEIC R&D staff and business development teams. Further information can be found on the GEIC website https://graphenegrants.com
Jamie Lundy 7L CEO said about the project:
“Manchester is such a great city and to be part of this project with the GEIC is very exciting. With premium garment manufacturers such as ‘Private White’ still going strong in the City and ‘English Fine Cottons’ reopening a cotton mill in Dukinfield, it feels great to be part of a movement to bring textiles back to the region.
Special thanks to 7L’s Shu-Ling Li and Jonathan Green in working close with the GEIC over the past 12 months in bringing this project together”.