Imagine IM receives research grant from Transurban to develop “smart” roads

Australian graphene applications company, Imagine Intelligent Materials, has been awarded a $100,000 grant by road transport infrastructure provider, Transurban, to fund continuing development of scalable, graphene-based sensors that will lead to motorways becoming “smart”.

The grant will be used by Imagine IM over a nine-month project to build prototype sensors that will be able to be installed under motorways. These will ultimately be able to monitor and report on traffic movement, road conditions, and eventually even enable energy storage or generation.

Imagine IM’s CEO Chris Gilbey said it was further validation for the company’s strategy of building a business that leverages graphene’s remarkable qualities for developing high-value applications.

“At Imagine IM we don’t just talk about the cool things you can do with graphene. We are developing a vertically integrated company that can make graphene, functionalise it, realise applications for it via smart, sensing fibers and textiles, and build the hardware interface devices that enable data to be extracted,” said Gilbey.

“The R&D agreement with Transurban is a significant step for Imagine IM, as it will ensure that we understand that market need at a practical level, by working with Australia’s leading motorway business.”

Imagine IM Head of R&D, Dr Phillip Aitchison, said that the project target of making roads smart will initially start with sophisticated pressure sensors that measure vehicle movements.

“It will ultimately become a part of the maintenance system for a road. Our vision is to create structural integrity reporting functionality for every part of the built environment. Beyond that there is enormous potential for energy generation and storage,’” he explained.