Kerala government has announced a pioneering project to establish a graphene production facility, marking a significant leap in material technology. Graphene, often referred to as a “wonder material” for its extraordinary electrical and electronic properties, is set to become a cornerstone of Kerala’s innovation landscape.
A Bold Decision in a Cabinet Meeting
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan took the decision to set up this innovative graphene production facility in a recent cabinet meeting. The facility is designed to operate on a public-private partnership model and will require an estimated investment of ₹237 crore. The Kerala Digital University will be the implementing agency, while the Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA) has been assigned the role of a special purpose vehicle for infrastructure development.
Securing Funds and Private Partners
To kickstart this ambitious project, the Kerala Digital University has been given the green light to prepare a preliminary proposal. This proposal aims to secure loans from the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) and seek private partners through a global expression of interest. By tapping into both public and private resources, the state government aims to ensure the success of this groundbreaking initiative.
Graphene: A Marvel of Modern Science
Graphene, often hailed as the thinnest and strongest material in the world, offers a wealth of remarkable properties. It possesses exceptional chemical stability, high electrical conductivity, and an expansive surface area while remaining transparent and lightweight. These characteristics make it a material with vast potential for applications across various industries.
Building the Project Team
To ensure the smooth execution of this project, a managing committee will be formed. This committee will comprise representatives from the Industries and IT Departments and key individuals from the Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA). This multi-stakeholder approach is expected to streamline decision-making and project oversight.
A Vision for the Future
In 2022-23 budget, the Left government in kerala had already announced its commitment to establish a graphene ecosystem in the state. This ecosystem is envisioned to encourage the development of future material technologies. The Graphene Innovation Centre, a research and development facility dedicated to graphene-based technology development, is in its nascent stages. It is expected to play a pivotal role in the realization of this visionary ecosystem.
Progress in the Pipeline
As a testament to their commitment, the Chief Minister’s Office has stated that a mid-sized graphene production unit is currently under development, aiming to produce graphene materials on an industrial scale. This step is set to lay the foundation for the larger and more ambitious graphene production facility.