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Knowledge-based Multicomponent Materials for Durable and Safe Performance

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Integrated European research for advanced materials

Knowledge-based multicomponent materials (KMM) are advanced materials designed to have specific properties that serve defined purposes in a controlled way. For example, properties might include strength and hardness whereas functionalities could be enhanced resistance to fracture or corrosion.

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The ‘Knowledge-based multicomponent materials for durable and safe performance’ (KMM-NOE) project set out to create a Network of Excellence (NoE) including research and industrial partners involved in developing materials with enhanced performance in extreme loading and environmental conditions. Such situations are of particular interest to the aerospace and automotive, chemical, electronic devices and biological implants sectors. The most important outcome of the KMM-NOE project was establishment of the self-supporting pan-European KMM Virtual Institute (KMM-VIN). It was created in 2007 as an international non-profit organisation that combines industry-oriented research and services with educational and training activities. The KMM-NOE project also created two external networks for partners interested in closer collaboration with the KMM NoE. By the end of the project the external research network (ERN) consisted of 42 members from 12 countries. Eight ERN members were inducted into the KMM-VIN and several were invited to the consortia to prepare KMM-VIN proposals for Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) projects. The external industrial network (EIN) consisted of 33 companies and small and medium enterprises, also by project end. The EIN was responsible for promoting KMM-NOE activities and disseminating KMM-NOE results to industry outside of the NoE. In addition, the EIN assimilated information to guide future KMM-NOE and KMM-VIN research. Finally, the EIN developed recommendations for integrating European academic research and industry. In summary, the KMM-NOE project made a significant contribution to European economic competitiveness and innovation in the field of specialised composite materials for use in extreme conditions. Transfer of research results from academic research centres to industry will help rapid commercialisation of innovation in an important global market. In fact, several patents have already been filed, two of which have been granted. Yet another European NoE has produced the fruits of its labour.

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