Any material in contact with water or moisture during its life-cycle is rapidly colonised by microbial species which can be the source of severe deterioration processes, such as microbially influenced corrosion (MIC), also called biocorrosion. The annual direct and derived costs of corrosion are estimated to be around 4% of the GNP of developed countries, of which 10-20% are related to biocorrosion. Today the main treatment against biocorrosion is the massive application of biocides that lead to significant environmental pollution. Currently, European research teams are concentrating efforts on biocorrosion, but there is a lack of harmonisation and collaboration due to the differences of approaches, analytical methodologies and disciplines involved, from chemistry through materials to biology. The objectives of BIOCOR are: 1) to develop a new profile of researcher, capable to address and manage all aspects of scientific and/or industrial problems related to MIC and 2) to provide the European industries with alternative multidisciplinary expertise in this area. The “problem-oriented approach” developed in the project is essential when dealing with such a complex topic as MIC. This pioneer training programme will open the road to new generations of research project managers capable to lead groups of experts from different disciplines and countries. Such results will ultimately lead to increase the competitiveness of the European scientific and industrial communities. The objectives will be achieved by: 1) linking up 10 research teams and 4 associated partners from 9 different countries during 4 years, from both scientific and industrial sectors, and 2) by implementing a new research methodology based on multidisciplinary and combined analytical approaches, and a close intersectorial arrow “From the field through the lab to the field”. The project will offer an overall effort of 488 person-months of which 81% will be dedicated to ESRs.
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