The government of Kerala has embarked on a pioneering project to create a graphene production facility, representing a groundbreaking leap in the realm of material technology. Graphene, often hailed as a “wonder material” for its extraordinary electrical and electronic attributes, is primed to play a pivotal role in Kerala’s landscape of innovation.
In a recent cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan made the decisive move to establish this innovative graphene production facility. The project is designed to operate through a public-private partnership model, with an estimated investment of ₹237 crore. The Kerala Digital University will serve as the implementing agency, while the Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA) has been entrusted with the role of a special purpose vehicle for infrastructure development.
To kickstart this ambitious endeavor, the Kerala Digital University has received the green light to craft an initial proposal. This proposal is geared towards securing funding from the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) and attracting private partners through a global expression of interest. By leveraging both public and private resources, the state government is committed to ensuring the success of this pioneering initiative.
Graphene, celebrated as the thinnest and strongest material globally, boasts a wealth of exceptional properties. It exhibits remarkable chemical stability, high electrical conductivity, an expansive surface area, and retains transparency and lightness. These attributes position it as a material with immense potential across diverse industries.
To facilitate the seamless execution of this project, a managing committee will be established. This committee will comprise representatives from the Industries and IT Departments, along with key figures from the Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA). This multi-stakeholder approach is anticipated to enhance decision-making and project oversight.
In the 2022-23 budget, the Kerala Left government had already demonstrated its commitment to fostering a graphene ecosystem within the state. This ecosystem is envisioned to catalyze the development of future material technologies. The nascent Graphene Innovation Centre, dedicated to the research and development of graphene-based technology, is expected to play a central role in realizing this visionary ecosystem.
In a resounding display of their dedication, the Chief Minister’s Office has announced the development of a mid-sized graphene production unit, aimed at achieving industrial-scale production of graphene materials. This crucial step is poised to lay the foundation for the more extensive and ambitious graphene production facility.