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Nanoscale Phenomena and Structures in Bulk and Surface Phases

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Bulgarian institute boosts research capacity

Advancing research in nanoscale phenomena and structures calls for enhanced EU-wide collaboration and improved research facilities. An EU-funded project helped an institute in Bulgaria move forward in both respects.

Industrial Technologies

The 'Nanoscale phenomena and structures in bulk and surface phases' (Nanophen) project sought to improve and strengthen research capacity at the Institute of Physical Chemistry at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (IPC-BAS) in the field of nanoscale phenomena in bulk and surface phases. The project thus also aimed to advance the impact of nanotechnologies on national scientific and economic development. Objectives included enhancing collaboration with similar Member State institutions, initiating stable networks, and improving participation in the European Research Area (ERA) and Framework Programme initiatives. Of specific interest to the region, activities aimed to realise the formation of a strong group of highly qualified young researchers and to improve the technical level of scientific equipment in IPC-BAS. Nanophen objectives were achieved thorough the exchange of scientists and expertise at research visits outside and within Bulgaria, as well as the organisation of international scientific events. The latter included a conference, three workshops and two expert meetings. Project outcomes led to the enhanced quality and scope of IPC-BAS research activities and elaborated a new concept for coupling multidisciplinary practical training and fundamental knowledge in the field of nanoscale phenomena. Support actions implemented over the course of the project also focused on the creation of new job opportunities and improved working conditions, as well as combating the brain drain of young Bulgarian researchers. The most important outcome is that IPC-BAS moved nearer to being considered a high-level European research and advanced-training centre in the field of nanoscience and nanostructured materials. The institute's new and improved scientific background has prompted other initiatives for a new era in its scientific work, collaborations and participation in EU-funded programmes.

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