Nokia (NOK) this week made a somewhat under-the-radar announcement that could nevertheless pay out major dividends for the future of the tech industry. Via Tom’s Hardware, Nokia and the Graphene Flagship Consortium this week won a grant of €1 billion ($1.35 billion USD) to develop graphene, a two-dimensional “super-material” that measures just one atom thick and is described by Nokia as the “strongest material ever tested, having a breaking strength 300 times greater than steel.”
Nokia says that it first joined the Graphene Flagship Consortium, which consists of 74 industry and academic partners, as a way to realize its “realistic dreams of improving the [mobile] industry.” Nokia CTO Henry Tirri says that Nokia has been experimenting with graphene since 2006 and has “come to identify multiple areas where this material can be applied in modern computing environments.”
Jani Kivioja, a research leader at the Nokia Research Center, goes as far to say that graphene will have the same impact on manufacturing as the mass production iron and silicon have had in past eras.
“When we talk about graphene, we’ve reached a tipping point. We’re now looking at the beginning of a graphene revolution,” he says. “Before this point in time, we figured out a way to manufacture cheap iron that led to the Industrial Revolution. Then there was silicon. Now, it’s time for graphene.”