The Chancellor George Osborne has announced today investment funds totalling £21.5m to go to universities researching possible future commercial uses for Graphene – the recently discovered so-called 'miracle material'.

Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov of Manchester University won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery of the two-dimensional material that is harder than diamonds, stronger than steel and more conductive of electricity than copper.

Such properties mean that Graphene could be used in various industries from aerospace to communications, and the one-atom thick material is expected to replace silicon used in high-speed computer chips to biochemical sensors.

The University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, The University of Manchester, Durham University,the University of Exter and Royal Holloway will all receive funding, with companies such as Nokia, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Dyson, Sharp all helping the universities in the research.

Announcing the news the Chancellor stated, "This shows that even in tough times we are investing in science which is vital to helping the UK get ahead in the global race".

Written and presented by Alfred Joyner