A Cambridge University project researching graphene is intended to point the way towards a €1bn European programme.
The initiative aims to achieve new breakthroughs both in terms of technological innovation using graphene and the economic exploitation of the material.
The pilot phase of the project started on 1 May and includes British input from the universities of Manchester, Lancaster and Cambridge. Its main task is to pave the way for the full, 10-year, €1bn flagship programme.
The plan for this will be submitted to the European Commission in 2012, with a view to launching in 2013.