The world-wide COVID-19 pandemic closed businesses, as well as educational facilities and sent people home to work remotely. On Friday, June 19, Advanced materials company, First Graphene Limited announced the re-opening of its laboratories at the Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre (GEIC), Manchester, UK.
The GEIC laboratories were closed by the University of Manchester on March 18, 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The First Graphene UK team has been working remotely since the closure.
Following extensive risk assessment and planning in collaboration with the University facilities management team the UK laboratories are now ready to restart operations. A range of risk controls are now in place including social distancing markings, access restrictions and carefully planned activities. The formal clearance to proceed was given by the University on Monday 15th June.
While working remotely the UK team has continued to provide technical support to global customers, completed background research in preparation for technical projects and supported the activities for the Henderson site. In addition, the website hosting service has been upgraded and a number of technical enhancements have been made to the website backend to improve performance and security. Also, multiple announcements and articles for publication were authored during this period. The team is well prepared for the immediate restart of technical programmes in rubber and TPU additives, supercapacitor materials, fire retardancy and customer application development.
Craig McGuckin, Managing Director of First Graphene Ltd said: “The UK team has played a critical role supporting our business throughout the lockdown. We are all very pleased to be re-starting operations and getting back to technical projects and customer application development in our laboratories”
National Graphene2D Association CEO, John Weathersby, is happy to see the research facility back to work in their facility. “Adhering to prevention measures was and is critical in today’s world in dealing with the COVID-19 situation. But having researchers back in their own laboratories and working safely together is a benefit to the entire graphene community and beyond,” Weathersby said.