Chancellor George Osborne has promised £50 million for research into graphene, the carbon-based material tipped as a breakthrough in material science, nanotechnology and electronics.
Graphene was discovered in 2004 by Dr (now Professor) Kostya Novoselov and Professor Andre Geim from the University of Manchester in work that won them the 2010 Nobel Prize for physics.
Announcing the investment at the 2011 Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, Osborne said "We will fund a national research programme that will take this Nobel-prize winning discovery from the British laboratory to the British factory floor".
A statement on the Conservative Party website said "We will invest £50 million in a Graphene Global Research and Technology Hub to commercialise graphene. This will capitalise on the UK's international leadership in the field. It will act as a catalyst to spawn new businesses, attract global companies and translate the value of scientific discovery into wealth and job creation for the UK".
Professor Novoselov said in a statement that "With the enormous interest this material has already generated around the world, we expect to be able to convert our world-leading research expertise into real technologies. The Research Hub will certainly allow us to explore deeper into the vast applied potential of graphene, but also will lead to many new exciting results, continuing the scientific excellence in the UK".