The European Virtual Institute on Knowledge-based Multifunctional Materials AISBL (KMM-VIN) emerged from a dedicated project funded by the European Commission Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). It was primarily orientated toward multi-functional materials for the transport and biomedical sectors. EU funding of the INNVIN project enables researchers to improve KMM-VIN's financial viability and expand its thematic scope toward the energy sector. Project partners aim to help this large transnational partnership adopt a more effective strategy toward industry. KMM-VIN focuses primarily on transport, energy and biomedicine (TEB), as expertise has reached a critical mass in these sectors. To better serve the needs of these three industry sectors, the initial academic research structure based on advanced material classes is being transformed. Now, there are working groups that focus on advanced materials for TEB as well as material modelling. A set of actions has been proposed to reach the project objective. This includes surveying technology needs in the TEB sectors, updating database content, disseminating KMM-VIN research through Industrial Workshops and Specialised Training Courses, and recruiting members from industry. The INNVIN survey has revealed much information about technological needs. Besides the INNVIN questionnaire, the technological needs have been drawn from analysing the Strategic Research Agendas (SRAs) of relevant European Technology Platforms (ETPs) regarding the TEB sectors. The partnership has been improving database content, based on records delivered by members, including information about member expertise and material processing in KMM-VIN laboratories. Direct visits to companies and efforts to attract new companies to join the partnership have been the strategy core parts for expanding KMM-VIN towards industry. To date, over 30 institutions have joined the Institute. Furthermore, members have presented the KMM-VIN strategy on the project website and at a number of conferences. Expanding and properly coordinating joint research and development activities within the working groups with industry member participation remains a key priority. This should attract new members, thus strengthening partnership integration and boosting research activities.
Materials science, industry, advanced materials, transport, energy, biomedicine