Nokia has been awarded a $1.35 billion, 10 year grant from the European Union to further develop graphene for practical applications. The 2D super material is just a single atom thick yet according to the Finnish handset maker, it’s the strongest material ever tested – exhibiting a breaking strength 300 times greater than steel.

At one atom thick, it’s the thinnest object ever created by man as well as the lightest. A model of the material resembles 2D crystals aligned to look something like scotch tape. The material is transparent and bendable and is a much better conductor than copper which could lead to a number of uses in computing and the electronics field in general.

Nokia is part of the Graphene Flagship Consortium, a group of 74 academic and industry partners interested in the technology. Nokia CTO Henry Tirri points out that his company has been working with the material for the past seven years and have come to identify multiple areas where graphene could be applied in modern computing environments.

Nokia Research Center leader Jani Kivioja believes the technology will ultimately have the same impact on manufacturing as iron and silicon have had in previous generations. He says we are now looking at the beginning of a graphene revolution.

It goes without saying that Nokia is interested in the technology for the mobile industry. Given enough time, it is believed that they will be able to use graphene to make handsets that are lighter and more durable that today’s phones while being less susceptible to overheating.