China to strengthen support for graphene

By Yoke Wong
Published: Thursday, 23 February 2017

Beijing will back graphene development under its 'Made in China 2025' initiative, focusing on R&D and new projects.

China will roll out a series of projects to promote new materials including graphene development and application, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said in January.

This is part of the "Made in China 2025" initiative, which the government will implement over the next five years. This series of reforms is set to adjust industry structure, and to improve and upgrade Chinese manufacturing.

Over the next five years, China will strengthen research in graphene, metallic and polymer material, shape memory alloy, self-repairing materials, intelligent biomimetic and metamaterials, liquid metals and new low-cost superconductors in extreme temperatures, according to MIIT.

The country wants to accelerate breakthroughs in these new materials research and gradually expand their end-use applications.

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Graphene film on silicon substrate. (Source: Graphenea)

The government will expand its existing support for the new material industry, by implementing favourable tax rates for high-tech enterprises. In addition, Beijing will also increase funding for this industry, and encourage private investments through crowd-funding, venture capital funds or private equity in the development of new materials. Finally, it will support qualified new material businesses to float in domestic or foreign exchanges. New compensation mechanisms through insurance could also be developed to support the first trial of new materials applications.      

China will also construct about 20 new material production and application demonstration platforms across a number of industries, such as integrated circuits, new display, large aircraft, new energy vehicle, high-speed railway, nuclear, marine engineering etc. At the same time, the initiative will also focus on downstream application and development.

In aerospace, the government hopes to speed up the use of special rare earth alloys and also in the application of titanium alloy material.   

China will also support developments in energy-saving automotive and electric-vehicle. It will conduct studies on advance battery materials, including the safety and performance consistency of lithium, nickel, cobalt and lithium-manganese based composite material and silicon carbide composite material.  

There will also be further developments in rare earth materials in the environment protection and energy saving industries.