Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - EULA-NETCERMAT (EULA NETWORK IN CERAMIC MATERIALS WITH ENVIRONMENTAL AND INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS)

Modern Advanced Ceramics (MACs) are characterized by their high strength, texture, longevity, chemical inertness and electrical resistance. MACs market has experienced growth in both areas of the application of new and traditional. In traditional applications, the growth came from improved performance, either by a complementary role or the substitution of conventional materials, new applications, MACs assume greater role to provide certain services not possible before. Technological innovations over the years have contributed to improvements in performance and productivity, to popularize an important factor for the use of advanced ceramics in several sectors. MACs find diverse applications in modern industry such as health and medicine, environment and energy, transport and space and communication and information, promising to transform the entire industrial scene.

However there is a need for an enhancement of fundamental research in critical identified areas such as nanomaterials synthesis, nanomaterials analysis, and nanomaterials modeling to overcome major challenges and barriers recognized. Otherwise, the development of new nano-materials and nano-ceramics will still be limited by our knowledge rather than by our resources. Such barriers and challenges involve:
• Achieve a much better control of the size and shape of the primary materials to exploit their full potential
• Develop a new level of analytical capability for characterization of nano-materials, nanoceramics, and nano-devices under relevant operating conditions as well as with the highest resolution and sensitivity
• Develop a detailed microscopic understanding of how a given artificial nano-architecture and its properties are related (structure-properties relationships).

To solve some of the exposed challenges and barriers exposed on the relevance of the thematic, the main objectives proposed for the exchange programe within EULA-NETCERMAT involved:
• Enhancement of human capacity of LA partners by the exchange of know-how and experience, with the support of the EU research centers, organization of twining activities, workshops, training courses etc. This aim has been achieved through the activities performed under WP1 and WP5, especially reflected under D1.1 concerning the different training activities carried out concerning training and R&D knowledge transfer concerning advanced ceramics synthesis, and characterization.
• Supporting innovation and fostering cooperation with industry (EU and LA). Action and Business through the activities carried out under the framework of WP2 and WP3 that delivered the methods for co-creating innovation on MACs applied to environment, health and aeronautics together with the road map to speed up the process from idea generation to implementation of MACs.
• Plans for the industry, mainly the ceramic industry in Argentina, Brazil and Chile. Simultaneously, in addition to the outputs of the deliverables related to WP2 it has been possible to provide such plans through the corresponding report of socioeconomic and environmental impact of MACs in EU-LA and the Report on impact to academia, private sector, civil society and regional development together with the SWOT of the competitive position of EU-LA MACs sector. In overall, a series of documents with key information that supported the generation of the Strategic plan for future cooperation and bilateral cooperation in H2020 .
• Achieving and reinforce present and future ERA through close cooperation with LA partners as a result of the activities reflected above as well as through the development of the database of existing EU and LA networks concerning MACs useful for potential stakeholders and Preparation of new consortiums addressed to NMP or ENV calls within H2020 on MACs topics.
• Improvement the existing technical and scientific and management capacities of EULA-NETCERMAT partners. (H2020 participation of Latin American partners) through the activities carried out so far under the framework of WP1 that let to report on state of the art and needs, identifying the existing requirements and potentials as well as the training activities carried out concerning training and R&D knowledge transfer concerning advanced ceramics synthesis, and characterization.
• Dissemination and diffusion of results of EULA-NETCERMAT between all relevant and identified stakeholders according with the Triple Helix (academia, industry and political authorities) through an intensive activity carried out during the overall length of the project through WP5, being possible the generation of the project presentations and progress to local HE to achieve the proposed networks, the high level students and local populations training courses (in-situ and on-line) through the virtual platform for training and short courses of all partners developed and the project presentations, including action plans, on local newspapers, local radios, local TV

In order to complete these objectives series of activities has been undertaken, generating a series of results summarized below:
• Mobilities: A total of 149.79 p/m through secondments performed so far, the greatest part of the exchanged corresponds to researchers (seniors or young), the rest to technics-administrative.
• Education and Training: by educational modules on MACs topics capable to generate economic activities with attendant socio-economic impacts on local populations. After completing the modules a platform for on-line courses at the involved LA universities that has been developed by UNLU. Education has been focused on R&D knowledge transfer concerning advanced ceramics synthesis, characterization and application, mainly Synthesis of Nanoparticles with homogeneous composition and controlled crystal size, Nanoparticle arrangement with uniform particle size, integration, and dispersion control; Fabrication of ceramics with pore structures. High order structural control from the micrometer to the nanometer order and Nanostructure design based on theoretical and experimental study of the relationships between local structures and the manifestation of object functions.
• Generation of a series of reports on state of the art and needs, identifying the existing requirements and potentials in academia and industry at both EU and LA concerning MACs that let to identify opportunities, threats, strengths and weaknesses of EU-LA cooperation to assist in further development and elaborate a business plans to meet the companies in this sector and to assist in further development and elaborate a business plans to meet the companies in this sector
• Action and Business plan: such documents derived from the EULA-NETCERMAT SWOT analysis, let to identify and prioritize which systems and processes must be sustained and provide the necessary information for maintaining the activities in order to reach future objectives (scientific-technological and also in economic terms). Combined with the generated roadmap it has been possible to provide a strategic planning tool used to predict the development needs and the steps needed to promote progress in the ceramics industry through a simplified graphical representation, all the proposed actions, in the short, medium and long term, indicating the ways to achieve the desired future. This outputs allowed EULANETERMAT partners to communicate and share effectively the strategic intentions, in order to mobilize, align and coordinate efforts of the parties involved to achieve common goals.
• Dissemination of results: through the specifically designed website (http://www.netcermat.unlu.edu.ar/)
• Establishment of a strategic plan for future cooperation and bilateral cooperation in FP7&H2020 with significant impact on ERA and EC agreements seeking new collaborative agreements in order to share risks and explore new market opportunities that will be complemented by the Latin America new nanotechnology development programs during the next years.

The successful completion of the EULA-NETCERMAT project provided three major outputs:
• Highest quality competence in research in advanced ceramics with significant influence on the socio-economic development of the region/country
• Reinforce ERA as an internationally-renown partners of LA and initiator of cooperation projects in the next H2020 with an international cooperation dimension focused on the participation of private companies and development of the close cooperation with outstanding EU and LA partners
• Synergy of the research offer with the requirements of innovation market and industry well developed cooperation Academia-Industry (LA and EU) and high number of technical applications due to the future of ceramic materials.

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UNIVERSITAT AUTONOMA DE BARCELONA
Spain
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