Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

TRACKWAY Report Summary

Project ID: 642514
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.3.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - TRACKWAY (Training of Innovative, Creative and Entrepreneurial Researchers in Waterborne Dispersed Polymers)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

TRACKWAY aims at training the next generation of creative, entrepreneurial and innovative researchers combining projects at the frontline of the research in functional dispersed polymers with interdisciplinary training in transferable and specialized skills. Based on the synergetic collaboration between BASF, a leading industry in dispersed polymers and University of the Basque Country, a reputed academic institution in the field, the research programme faces the challenge of innovation aiming at creating new waterborne dispersed polymers with new functionalities and lower environmental impact. In particular, it aims at developing intrinsically autonomous self-healing coatings, waterborne adhesives with controlled temperature responsiveness, and non-leaching exterior coatings that will avoid the leaching of surfactants into the environment. The research program is complemented with training in basic and industrially-relevant transferable skills and with exposure of the young researchers to different environments and ways of thinking beyond the consortium. The young researchers trained in this interdisciplinary and intersectorial programme will be able to face the challenge of converting knowledge into useful, marketable and sustainable products, which will make them highly valuable by the large EU industry in this field as well as for many other industrial sectors and academia.
The main objective of TRACKWAY European Industrial Doctorate (EID) programme is to improve the career perspective of Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) by training them in an interdisciplinary programme at the forefront of research in the field of functional polymers in dispersed media, as well as in transferable and specialized skills that are the key for success in academic and industrial sectors. TRACKWAY aims at excellence developing high quality training opportunities through the synergistic collaborative research programme between BASF, a leading industry in dispersed polymers and University of the Basque Country (UPV) an internationally reputed academic institution in this field.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The project has progressed smoothly so far, and the milestones set at the beginning of the project have been fulfilled. The three ESRs have successfully started their research work under the supervision of the academic (UPV/EHU) and industrial (BASF) supervisors, and they have already obtained the first milestones of their projects: self-healing proof of concept with PU dispersions obtained by miniemulsion, proof of grafting of the polymer onto ASRs and proof of temperature responsiveness in crystalline-soft adhesives.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The recruited researchers have been exposed to an interdisciplinary (polymer science, chemical engineering, surface science, nanotechnology, advanced polymer characterization...) and intersectorial (academic and industrial) training environment. They have been trained in scientific skills and in transferable skills of industrial interest as well, they have learnt new languages and they have benefited from the multicultural work atmosphere in both institutions. The ESRs are developing their employability through Europe.
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