Pioneering graphene partnership sets the standard

inov-8 founder Wayne Edy said: “This powerhouse forged in Northern England has taken the world of sports footwear by storm. We’re combining science and innovation together with entrepreneurial speed and achieving incredible things.”

Graphene is the lauded atomically thin material, first isolated from graphite by Manchester scientists, leading to the award of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010. At just one atom thick it is lightweight yet incredibly strong, meaning it has many unique properties. inov-8 was the first brand in the world to use the material in sports footwear, and both G-GRIP and G-FLY are patent-pending technologies.

That footwear has since gone on to win multiple awards. The TRAILFLY G 270 and TRAILFLY ULTRA G 300 MAX were both named ‘Trail Running Shoe of the Year’ in the Runner’s World UK Gear Awards for 2020 and 2021 respectively. Graphene-enhanced shoes have also been worn by athletes to set records, especially over ultramarathons distances. Damian Hall wore them to set a new fastest time for the 185-mile Wainwright’s Coast to Coast trail in 39 hours and 18 minutes, as did Jasmin Paris to famously win the 268-mile Spine Race outright and set a new record time that still stands.

The ongoing research and innovation has now also seen the KTP Associate, Dr Nadiim Domun, hired by inov-8 as a Senior Materials Engineer to retain his expertise and to continue the graphene technology development through close collaboration with The University of Manchester.

Graphene has the potential to change lives in so many ways. Athletic equipment is just one current success story for the versatile material. Water filtration, aviation and consumer electronics are among the many applications that are exciting scientists, product developers and the public the world over.

2021 saw Manchester placed at the top of the table for the UK’s Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and become partner of choice for innovation in businesses.

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