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Industrial-scale production of nanomaterials for printing applications

Specific challenge: The migration towards low-cost, liquid-based, high-resolution deposition and patterning processes such as ink jet, soft lithography, scanning probe-based lithography (e.g. dip-pen), spin-on and screen printing compatible with flexible substrates and high throughput printing systems (e.g. roll to roll and sheet to sheet) requires that suitable functional nanomaterials formulations (inks) are available for end users in industrially relevant quantities.

Scope: Proposals should aim at developing and demonstrating in relevant industrial environments the synthesis and functionalisation of nano-materials for printing applications with high process throughput. Technical challenges relate to the optimisation of the synthesis process for controlling the crystallinity and morphology of functional materials, as well as obtaining the rheological properties needed for wet deposition technologies. Post and in-process characterisation methods should be addressed to ensure a stable, sustainable production process. The developed nanomaterials (inks) formulations should demonstrate functionality, process compatibility, non-toxicity, environmental friendliness (e.g. aqueous media) and low-cost.

For this topic, proposals should include an outline of the initial exploitation and business plans, which will be developed further in the proposed project.


Wherever possible, proposers could actively seek synergies, including possibilities for funding, with relevant national / regional research and innovation programmes and/or cumulative funding with European Structural and Investment Funds in connection with smart specialisation strategies. For this purpose the tools provided by the Smart Specialization Platform, Eye@RIS3 may be useful[1]. The initial exploitation and business plans will address such synergies and/or additional funding. Exploitation plans, outline financial arrangements and any follow-up will be developed further during the project. The results of these activities as well as the envisaged further activities in this respect should be described in the final report of the project.


The implementation of this proposal is intended to start at TRL 4-5, target TRL 6. Implemented as cross-KET activities.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 5 and 8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

      Supply of low cost, high performance and environmentally friendly functional nanomaterials (inks) tailored for high throughput printing systems, allowing European manufacturers to exploit the great growth opportunity in this field;

      Creation of new market opportunities for nanomaterials suppliers, SMEs in particular;

      Promote closer collaboration between materials suppliers, production engineers, equipment manufacturers and end-users, addressing the full value chain and leading to a competitive advantage in the market introduction of the final products;

      Contribution to standardisation in relation to nanomaterial interaction with the printing process for better product and process design.

      Promoting safe-by-design approaches in collaboration with the EU nano-safety cluster and contributing towards the framework of EU nanosafety and regulatory strategies[2].

Type of action: Innovation Actions

[1]; the relevant Managing Authorities can be found at

[2] EU Nano-safety strategy 2015-2020 and NanoReg project