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Reinforcement of Regional Microsystems and Nanosystems Centre

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Serbia gets onboard the EU nanosensor research train

A leading Belgrade-based research centre has successfully expanded research capabilities to become fully integrated into the European Research Area (ERA) in the field of micro- and nanosystems related to sensors.

Industrial Technologies

The Centre of Microelectronic Technologies and Single Crystals (CMTM) is a department within the Belgrade-based Institute of Chemistry, Technology and Metallurgy (ICTM). It has a history of high-level research that has established it as the leading Serbian science centre in the fields of micro- and nanosystems. The Centre focuses on the applications of sensor, detectors, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and microoptoelectromechanical systems (MOEMS) in areas such as environmental safety, national security, health and industry. ICTM-CMTM sought to become a regional Centre of Excellence, ensuring integration into the ERA and sustainable growth of research and development. Researchers initiated the EU-funded project 'Reinforcement of regional microsystems and nanosystems centre' (REGMINA) in order to expand research capability. REGMINA recently completed its four-year endeavour with great success. Advanced equipment purchased with project funding includes a multifunctional scanning probe microscope (SPM), an infrared (IR) spectrophotometer and an IR microscope, all of which are up and running. In addition, ICTM-CMTM researchers received specialisation and training at leading European institutions. Applications are already coming to fruition with a new generation of pressure sensors having four times smaller surface area with the same high level of performance as previous ones. Networking and collaboration of ICTM-CMTM researchers with those at prominent EU institutions led to submission of seven grant proposals, four applicable to the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) calls, one to the Swiss National Science Foundation, and two for bilateral projects with Greece and Croatia. As evidence of the impressive growth and potential of Serbian nanotechnology, four young researchers hired for the project have decided to remain in Serbia, two of those at CMTM. ICTM-CMTM has become a regional leader in the western Balkans in micro- and nanoelectromechanical systems, a Centre of Excellence fully integrated into the ERA. Recognising the potential and wanting to continue the momentum, the Serbian Ministry for Sciences and Technological Development has approved substantial funding of the Centre beginning with the completion of REGMINA. Novel environmental and health sensors will no doubt soon be improving the lives of European citizens as a result.

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