President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China visited the National Graphene Institute (NGI) at The University of Manchester today, on the final day of the President’s UK state visit.

President Xi was welcomed to the University, during the first visit of any Chinese President to Manchester, by Professor Nancy Rothwell, president and vice-chancellor of the University, alongside the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne and other senior government officials.

The visit took place on the same day that Chinese electronics giant Huawei, China’s largest mobile phone manufacturer, announced a partnership with the NGI to research graphene and related 2D materials. The NGI currently has over 45 industrial partners who work collaboratively with academics to accelerate the commercialisation of graphene applications.

Led by University representatives, President Xi was shown demonstrations of a raft of graphene-based prototypes including; a mobile phone with dramatically increased charging capabilities thanks to a graphene supercapacitor, super-efficient street lighting and pioneering cancer treatments utilising graphene for improved drug delivery.

President Xi also enjoyed a tour of the NGI’s 1500m2 cleanroom laboratory space, the largest academic area of its kind in the UK dedicated to graphene research.

Prof Rothwell said: “The University has a rich heritage and is proud of the breadth and depth of its links with China. We have strong collaborations with leading universities and companies in China.”