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"NanOtechnology, Biomaterials and aLternative Energy Source for ERA integration"

Final Report Summary - NOBLESSE (NanOtechnology, Biomaterials and aLternative Energy Source for ERA integration)

Executive Summary:
The main goal of the NOBLESSE project was to establish the Institute of Physical Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences (IPC-PAS) as an integrated partner and respected participant in the European nanoscience community.

The IPC-PAS has a strong research record in both fundamental studies of physicochemical processes and in application oriented research. The use and control of nanostructured materials is of great importance in the development of new environmentally-friendly materials, more efficient energy sources and biosensors for medical analyses. The NOBLESSE project not only provided the Institute with essential equipment, but also helped to create a Polish nanoscience network to survey the major equipment at Polish research centres and to make sure that the necessary equipment is available to researchers. This is an important development not only for IPC-PAS but for the Polish nanoscience community as a whole.

A major part of the NOBLESSE project involved reinforcing the research potential of the Institute by bringing in experienced scientists in new research areas and strengthening the staff through a number of supporting activities such as training programmes, networking, improvements in dissemination and collaboration with industry. The most important part of fully integrating IPC-PAS into the ERA community is the establishment of strong partnerships with mutual staff secondments within a network of leading EU research centres sharing scientific interests. This is expected to lead to a broadening of contacts , promoting the Institute and further integrating its staff into EU projects and international collaboration.

The main general objectives of the NOBLESSE project were as follows:
- To develop a nanomaterials science platform in IPC PAS to catch up with European Science for ERA integration.
- To better integrate IPC-PAS in ERA by strengthening its existing links, the establishment of new contacts, and twinning with leading European research centres in the areas of Biotechnology and Nanotechnology for Health, Energy, Environment and Materials Production.
- To create a new generation of European researchers and enhance the transfer of knowledge to the scientific community, high schools, the general public and SMEs. To establish contacts with SMEs to improve the transfer of technologies.
- To build up capacity for an improved success rate of IPC-PAS applications in European research Cooperation programs, in particular FP7.

The activities implemented within the NOBLESSE project are expected to reinforce IPC-PAS's position as a leading research centre on a national level, contributing to preventing a brain drain by offering young devoted researchers competitive resources and facilitating the exchange of know-how with the wider scientific community and, equally importantly, with the public and potential business partners. The creation of stronger bonds between academia and industry is of vital importance for IPC-PAS and for society as a whole.

Project Context and Objectives:
The Institute of Physical Chemistry Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw (IPC-PAS) is the leading research institute in chemical sciences in Poland. It consists of a group of young and talented researchers arranged into strong research groups – PhD students, post-docs and professors who are strongly motivated scientists with a wide knowledge of many aspects of physical, general and applied chemistry as well as nanotechnology.

The NOBLESSE Project was targeted at reinforcing the excellence and creativity of IPC-PAS through boosting its scientific potential and research possibilities by means of institutional mobilization including the unblocking of internal economic, organizational and human barriers, and by the improvement of science management. The implementation of a tailored action plan strengthened the coherence of our research areas with regional, national and European priorities, including the 7th FP and allowed us to successfully participate in research activities at Community level with leading research centres in an interdisciplinary approach in the field of nanotechnology in areas, which are significant from a human perspective, i.e.: health, food, environment and bioenergy.

The NOBLESSE Project aimed to reshape our internal structure and unlock hidden capacities and capabilities in order to become a competitive partner in FP7 projects and an important contributor to the socio-economic development of the Mazovia Region. The NOBLESSE Project enabled the development of the young research personnel of the Institute. It helped to develop new partnerships and strengthen those existing between ICP PAS and the European Research Area and the highest quality scientific centres. Implementation of the NOBLESSE project served to upgrade ICP PAS's potential as a competitive player in collaborative research in the FP7 Cooperation programme.

The general objectives of the NOBLESSE Project (see above) were accomplished by the implementation of the following operational objectives:
1. An exchange of knowledge and experience by establishing and developing two-way secondments of research staff between IPC-PAS and fifteen knowledgeable and experienced European scientific institutions.
2. The employment of experienced researchers to develop scientific capabilities and human potential - 6 persons (including returning Polish nationals).
3. The purchase of research equipment to support the analytical potential of IPC-PAS.
4. The organization of conferences and workshops (4 conferences; 3 workshops) with the participation of top scientists from all over the world for better dissemination of scientific information and research results.
5. The formation of 3 research groups under the leadership of young researchers to create a new generation of young scientists in the most important fields of knowledge and technology.
6. The creation of research opportunities for women in science by strengthening the role of women in scientific research through observing the Equal Opportunity Policy.
7. Institute mobilisation - staff training on specialised courses/lectures including: management in science, the first steps in establishing contacts between scientific institutions and SME/Venture Capital (VC), industrial/intellectual property rights (IP), evaluation for IP based on the market/economy, specialised software operation; reshaping of the internal structure; the promotion and propagation of research achievements through supported participation in at least 15 conferences/congresses.
8. Project promotion activities with a communication platform meeting the socio-economic needs of the region.
9. Project promotion activities by way of open days at the Institute, participation in a science festival, extension of business liaisons, press notes and informational releases, promotional films (at least one) about the Institute and its scientific/R&D activities.
10. Patent applications, their evaluation and the support necessary for the transfer of knowledge into industry.

The Institute's priority areas (NANOSTRUCTURES, CHEMO- and BIOSENSORS, BIOspectroscopy and GREEN NANOTECHNOLOGY) require various methods of support, that is why a set of measures (the recruitment of experienced researchers, two-way secondments with partnering organisations, facilitated participation in international conferences and the organisation of conferences and meetings) was tailored, taking into account the needs of particular areas, for full integration of the whole Institute with the European Research Area. The reshaped IPC-PAS’s structure offers “core-facilities”, specialised labs accessible on demand to all researchers, therefore the purchase of equipment was located in the “Institute Mobilisation” work package. This work package also included the recruitment of one professional to the Project Support Office (project manager) for the successful application and running of FP7 Projects – including the management of the NOBLESSE project.

The Project Support Office was responsible for seeking new opportunities, supporting more effective applications for research projects under the 7th Framework Programme within the Cooperation pillar - under this project and beyond. The PSO also included administrative staff from the accounts office, human resources, a person responsible for contact with the press and for press release notes, a person responsible for the web project, one person for advertising events/the Institute/photos, brochures (also one person to be hired).

Through effective promotion and dissemination activities (including the organisation of and participation in science or regional need-focused meetings - Knowledge – Public Transfer Zone) IPC-PAS was expected to improve its national and global visibility.

The implementation of the action plan was divided into 7 Work Packages, each led by persons selected according to their experience in the particular field:

WP1 included management of the overall project, the coordination of individual WPs in order to optimise impact and maximise interactions between partnering organisations, authorities, businesses and the general public as well as reporting to the EC.

WP2, WP3, WP4 and WP5 combined their efforts to reinforce scientific potential in the research priority areas NANOSTRUCTURES, CHEMO- and BIOSENSORS, BIOspectroscopy and GREEN NANOTECHNOLOGY by implementing networking within ERA, the mobilization of IPC-PAS human resources (staff secondments) and the recruitment of 6 experienced researchers (including 2 Poles returning from the USA). Four high-profile international conferences and 3 workshops were organised and there was participation in at least 15 congresses/conferences to improve the Institute's visibility nationally and globally. The ultimate goal of each WP was the formation together with partnering organisations of consortia aiming to submit project proposals to the FP7 Cooperation Programme following this project.

WP6 covered actions focused on the mobilisation of the whole Institute: the establishment of the Mazovia Centre for Surface Analysis and Project Support Office (PSO-IPC), the creation of an open-access Electronic Laboratory Equipment Database (ELAD), the purchasing of the highest level technology equipment, the efficient support of patent applications and an upgrading of staff capabilities through focused specialised training sessions (including science management) with special emphasis on intellectual/industrial property rights.

WP7 included the promotion and dissemination of the NOBLESSE project results in the international scientific community and in the local and regional environment, to increase the visibility of IPC-PAS's excellence on the global market and for the regional authorities, enterprises and business support organizations. The Knowledge – Public Transfer Zone was established, increasing the IPC-PAS's contribution to sustainable socioeconomic development at local, regional and national levels through the organisation of events directed at groups of precisely-defined participants.

Project Results:
The main objectives of the project were achieved by implementing the following operational objectives:

1. Exchange of knowledge and experience

In order to upgrade IPC PAS’s research potential, two-way mutual secondments between IPC PAS and fifteen different experienced European scientific organizations were established.

The planned twinning agreements were signed and there was co-operationbetween IPC PAS and the following research institutions:
1. Department of Chemistry, University Bath (UB-DoC), Bath, United Kingdom, Dr Frank Marken, (Nanoparticle modified electrodes, electrochemical reactions in microfluidic devices).
2. Institute of Interdisciplinary Research, University of Lille (IRI) 1, Lille, France, Prof. Sabine Szunerits (Surface modification with nanomaterials, sensor development).
3. Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg (UOL-IRAC), Oldenburg, Germany, Prof. Dr. Gunther Wittstock (Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy for study of nanostructured electrodes. The development of new methodologies and studies of newly developed materials).
4. Department of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh,(SoC-UEDIN), Edinburgh, United Kingdom, Prof. Eleanor E.B. Campbell (Preparation of carbon nanotubes modified surfaces by direct growth).
5. Department of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, University of Milan (UM), Milan, Italy. Professor Patrizia R. Mussini (the effect of cross linking on molecular imprinting for selective determination of biorelevant compounds, the electroactivity of cross linking monomers).
6. Institute of Molecular Science, University of Bordeaux 1 (UB), Bordeaux, France, Prof. Alexander Kuhn (the nanoporosity of MIP films triggered by layered polystyrene or silicate nanospheres for selective determination of biorelevant compounds, extending the MIP surface area by increasing nanoporosity of the MIP films).
7. Department of Electrochemistry and Conducting Polymers, Leibniz-Institute for Solid State and Materials Research (L-ISSMR), Dresden, Germany, Prof. Lothar Dunsch (the mechanism of chemical free radical polymerisation leading to molecular imprinting, the electroactivity of biorelevant compounds, the role of free-radicals in electropolymerisation).
7. Department of Electrochemical Properties of Functional Materials, Leibniz-Institute for Solid State and Materials Research (L-ISSMR), Dresden, Germany, Dr. Annett Gebert and Dr. Margitta Uhlemann (Electrochemical Properties of Advanced Metastable Alloys, Effects of Hydrogen on Metallic Materials, Corrosion in Magnetic Fields, Corrosion of Permanent Magnets, Corrosion of Magnetic Shape Memory Alloys, Electrodeposition).
8. Department of Engineering, Faculty of Technology, De Montfort University (DMFU), Leicester, United Kingdom, Dr. Yong Sun, (Surface engineering and coating technologies for tribological, corrosion resistance, and biomedical applications, and characterisation of surface engineered systems.)
9. National Biophotonics and Imaging Platform, National Centre for Sensors Research, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland, Prof. Tia Keyes (nanoscale interfacial platforms for surface enhanced bio- Raman spectroscopy and enhanced luminescence, photochemistry, supramolecular interfacial chemistry
10. Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, Eberhard-Karls University of Tübingen, Germany, Prof. Alfred J. Meixner (Nano-Optics, Optical Single-Molecule Spectroscopy, advanced laser spectroscopy on a nanometer scale)
11. Ultrafast Photochemistry Group (UPG), Department of Physical Chemistry of the University of Geneva, Switzerland. Prof. Eric Vauthey (ultrafast spectroscopy, dynamics of photoinduced electron transfer and photopolymerisation reactions)
12. Department of Chemistry, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, Prof. Johan Hofkens (single molecule microscopy and its application in material and bio-sciences).
13. Cambridge University, Department of Chemistry: Prof. Dominic Wright (design and synthesis of inorganic clusters and materials), Dr. Andrew Wheatley (nanoparticle synthesis and characterization, nanomaterials for catalysis and biomedical applications), Dr. Tomislav Friscic (mechanochemistry as a tool for coordination polymers, porous metal-organic frameworks, supramolecular materials for pharmaceutical applications), Dr. Oren A. Scherman (design and synthesis of functional nanosystems and supramolecular hybrid materials in aqueous environments).
14. Laboratoire de Chimie de Coordination CNRS in Toulouse: Prof. Bruno Chaudret and Prof. Myrtil Kahn (synthesis and characterization of metal oxides nanoparticles and their applications in catalysis).
15. Nottingham University, School of Chemistry: Prof. Martin Schroder (Porous MOFs construction and their post-synthetic modification, gas storage and separation).

Under the twinning program 19 experienced scientists from the above European scientific institutions visited IPC-PAS (22 visits from: WP2 -University of Bath, University of Lille, University of Edinburgh, WP3 - University of Milan, De Montfort University, Leicester, and Leibniz-Institute for Solid State and Materials Research, Dresden, WP4 – Dublin City University, Eberhard-Karls University of Tübingen, University of Geneva, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, WP5 - Cambridge University and Laboratoire de Chimie de Coordination CNRS in Toulouse) and 28 scientists attended the Warsaw-Cambridge meeting, organized in IPC PAS.
25 researchers from IPC PAS visited their scientific partners (41 visits to: WP2 – University of Bath, University of Lille, University of Edinburgh, WP3 – University of Milan, University of Bordeaux, De Montfort University, and Leibniz-Institute for Solid State and Materials Research, WP4 – Dublin City University, Eberhard-Karls University of Tübingen, University of Geneva, WP5 – Cambridge University, Laboratoire de Chimie de Coordination CNRS in Toulouse, and 43 attended the Warsaw-Cambridge meeting, organized at Cambridge University.

It was difficult to keep to the planned schedule with respect to the implementation of the extremely rich programme of incoming and outgoing visits of individual experienced scientists. Therefore, a new mechanism for the exchange of knowledge via the organization of meetings of researchers from IPC PAS and the partner Institutions started in March 2013 with the “1st Warsaw-Cambridge Young Scientist Meeting” held on the 8 and 9 March in IPC PAS and the 2nd Cambridge-Warsaw Young Scientist Meeting "Breaking Boundaries in Chemistry" organized on 14 and 15September, 2014 at Cambridge University (this mechanism started at our request and with the consent of the Project Officer in DG RTD). It should be stressed that the new Action Plan of twinning including the organization of meetings and a smaller number of individual visits allowed us to achieve one of the general objectives of the project, i.e. better integration of IPC-PAS in the European Research Area through a strengthening of the existing links and the establishment of new contacts with leading European research centres in the area of Biotechnologies and Nanotechnologies for Health, Energy, Environment and Material Production.

2. Employment of experienced researchers

The recruitment of experienced researchers was accomplished by the employment of 6 experienced researchers, specialists in Nanotechnology and Biomaterial Science (Tasks 2.2 3.2 4.2 5.2).

Dr. Palamisamy Kannan (Task 2.2) a highly-qualified scientist in material science and electrochemistry, was employed in the group of Prof. Marcin Opallo from 15 October, 2012 and is participating in a project entitled “Design, preparation and studies of surface modified with nanomaterials and/or enzymes for potential application in sensors and cells”.

Dr. Arumugam Sivanesan (Task. 4.2 18 months from 1 March 2012) worked in Prof. Jacek Waluk's group on the synthesis of nanoparticles which are properly functionalized for biology-related Raman spectroscopy studies.

The Noblesse project helped us to attract four gifted scientists to return to Poland to carry out interesting research in our Institute:

Dr. Wojciech Nogala (Task 2.2) a highly-qualified electrochemist who developed his skills in SEM and the preparation of nanometer size electrodes during his postdoctoral stay in the group of Professor Michael V. Mirkin, at Queens College, New York, joined Prof. Marcin Opallo's group (24 months from 1 January, 2012). He is currently working as an assistant professor (pol. “adiunkt”) at our Institute on the application of scanning electrochemical microscopy (SEM) in the creation of nanomaterials at solid surfaces.

Dr. Piotr Pieta (Task 3.2) an expert in the area of application of electrochemistry for the determination of biologically significant compounds and in polymer science has been working with Prof. Wlodzimierz Kutner from 1 August, 2012. Dr. Pieta focused his studies on devising and fabricating novel thin layer materials of composites of carbon-based nanostructures coated with multi-polymer films with tunable properties, potentially useful for application in both energy storage and conversion devices as well as chemical sensors for the selective determination of biorelevant analytes). Dr. Pieta is currently working in our Institute as an assistant professor.

Dr. Piotr Zarzycki (Task 5.2 24 months from 1 October, 2011) was employed to support experimental chemical synthesis in the field of “Green nanotechnology – producing environmentally friendly functional inorganic-organic porous nanomaterials” with theoretical calculations. Dr. Zarzycki joined Prof. Lewinski’s group after several years of postdoctoral research in leading universities and laboratories in the USA. During his 18-month employment at IPC PAS he: (i) published six research articles in prestigious international journals and (ii) obtained four grants from the National Science Centre (NCN), the Foundation for Polish Science (FNP), and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. Dr. Zarzycki has just started to establish a quantum chemistry group aimed at the molecular modelling and design of a modern chemical synthesis. He is employed in the position of IPC PAS professor and is the leader of a new research group at our Institute.

Dr. Katarzyna Wojcik (Task 5.2 24 months from 1 October, 2012) was appointed to carry out research in the field of functionalization of nanomaterials and preparation of bioconjugates for biochemical/biomedical applications. Dr. Wojcik is a highly experienced specialist in the field of organometallic and inorganic chemistry as well as biodegradable polymers for biomedical applications. She also has experience in cell culture, in vivo studies, and the introduction to clinical trials of biologically active substances. Dr. Wojcik is currently working in our Institute as an assistant professor.

3. Purchase of research equipment

This objective was focused on upgrading the infrastructure required for the improvement of IPC-PAS's overall research capacity
.
• Scanning Electron Microscope (FEI Nova 450 NanoSEM) equipped with EDS and WDX (Task 6.2a)
The development of surface science requires modern research techniques. Research on materials’ surface layers by spectroscopic methods is extremely important for nanotechnology, material engineering, microelectronics and many other areas. One of the most effective tools for analyzing the surface region nowadays is Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Since research conducted by all teams within the NOBLESSE project concerns surface phenomena, it was proposed to purchase a scanning electron microscopy (SEM) microscope.
Several laboratories in the Institute of Physical Chemistry were interested in gaining access to electron microscopy as soon as possible, and thus one of the first actions was to start a tender procedure for the purchase of a SEM (30 August, 2011). The winner of the tender was the company FEI (represented in Poland by the company LABSOFT). Following the preparation of a room for installation and delivery of the equipment, the handover took place on 22 May, 2012.
As indicated in the NOBLESSE project application, the analytical potential of the scanning electron microscope would be greatly increased by the additional facility of Wavelength Dispersive X-ray spectrometer (WDX). Although the microscope was initially equipped with an energy dispersion spectrometer (EDS) with energy resolution of 130 eV, the WDX spectrometer allows the recording of X-ray spectra with a much higher resolution (better than 20 eV), and consequently, enables the elemental analysis of a selected area on a sample with much improved accuracy. This facility may be very useful in studies of materials for which the knowledge of their accurate composition is of vital importance. The microscope is also equipped with a set of optional necessary equipment (low vacuum secondary electron detector, low-vacuum in-lens detector, sample surface cleaning system integrated with SEM microscope, software for easy navigation on the specimen surface, control console for SEM Nova 450 NanoSEM microscope) and was installed on 12 June, 2012.In 2013, in order to improve the quality of images at high magnifications (800 000 x and 1 000 000 x), the SEM microscope was placed on a stage that was isolated from the foundation of the building. This work was completed successfully. It should be pointed out that the installation of SEM in IPC PAS under the Noblesse project turned out to be a great success. A number of employees expressed their interest in using this technique. Consequently, a number of basic courses lead by experienced operators were organized. In total, 43 persons were trained during the second half of 2013 to apply the basic functions of SEM in their research. Moreover, from 10 - 12 June, 2013, three experienced operators from the SEM team were delegated to Eindhoven to participate in an advanced course in which different techniques of SEM measurements were addressed.

• Rotating Disc Electrode (Task 6.2b)
A rotating disc electrode is an invaluable tool in the investigation of the mechanism of electrode processes and for measurements in systems where mass transport is important. The electrode is especially useful in research on bio-catalytic reactions.
The tender for this contract was announced on 20 January, 2012. The best offer was proposed by the company LAMBDA SYSTEM KREFT Barszczewski. The equipment was delivered on 18 April, 2012. The system is mainly used for studies of enzymatic reactions and catalytic reactions in suspensions of nanoparticles.

• Powder X-ray diffractometer
The development of new materials requires modern research techniques. Research on new materials is extremely important for nanotechnology, material engineering, microelectronics and many other areas. The basic tool for these investigations is powder X-ray diffraction. Since the research conducted by most teams within the NOBLESSE project concerned materials’ properties, it was proposed to purchase a powder X-ray diffractometer. For example, considering that inorganic-organic microporous materials (MOFs) are currently at the centre of focus of the United States Department of Energy due to their promising properties towards mobile hydrogen fuel storage, the availability of modern powder X-ray techniques in our Institute is of primary importance for conducting world-class research on advanced crystalline materials.
The purchase and installation of a powder X-Ray diffractometer was accepted by the DG RTD Officer (the purchase was possible thanks to the reallocation of 225,000.00 Euro from the twinning program (WP2 – WP5) to the implementation of the additional programmes within Work Package 6 “Institute Mobilization”). The tender started on 12 December, 2013. After evaluation of the submitted offers, the contract was awarded to PANanalytical B. V., Almelo, The Netherlands. The contract was signed on 24February, 2014. In accordance with the contract and following the preparation of a room for the installation and delivery of the equipment, the powder X-Ray diffractometer (PANalytical Empyrean II) was installed in IPC PAS on 24 June, 2014. M.Sc. Kamil Sokolowski, who assisted in the installation, and nine other researchers of the IPC PAS were trained in basic experimental procedures. Moreover, M.Sc. Michał Leszczyoski participated in the training course in the company PANalytical B. V. in Almelo, The Netherlands, from 22 - 27 June, 2014.
The purchase and installation of the Scanning Electron Microscope (FEI Nova 450 NanoSEM) equipped with EDS and WDX detecting systems and the necessary optional equipment, the Rotating Disc Electrode and the Powder X-ray Diffractometer were completed on schedule.

4. Organization of conferences and workshops

Four conferences and three workshops were planned and organized during the project period:

• “Advanced Infrared and Raman Spectroscopy” AIRS 2012
An international conference on "Advanced Infrared and Raman Spectroscopy" was organized from 16 – 18 November, 2012 by IPC-PAS underWork Package WP2. The conference centre was located in a historical palace in Lochow. 80 scientists attended, including seven invited speakers, world-famous scientists: Professor Ricardo Aroca from the University of Windsor in Canada, Professor Johan Hofkens from KU Leuven in Belgium, Professor Halina Abramczyk from the Technical University of Lodz, Professor Katrin Kneipp from the Technical University of Denmark, Professor Malgorzata Baranska from the Jagiellonian University in Poland, Professor Tia Keyes from Dublin City University, and Professor Alfred J. Meixner from the University of Tubingen in Germany. The subject matter of the conference included topics such as: IR and Raman microscopy, biochemistry, structural biology and medicine, high-resolution spectroscopy, near-field techniques, non-linear Raman spectroscopies, spectroscopic imaging, surface spectroscopies and new materials, time-resolved and coherent methods, two-dimensional techniques, new results and novel techniques in spectroscopy, photochemistry, photophysics, photobiology, photomedicine, and photodiagnostics.

• 9th ECHEMS Meeting “Electrochemistry in Particles, Droplets, and Bubbles”
The 9th ECHEMS Meeting was held from 23-26June in Lochow, Poland, about 60 km north-east of the capital – Warsaw. The conference was organized by IPC-PAS under Work Package WP2 under the auspices of the Bioelectrochemistry Section of the International Society of Electrochemistry (ISE). Every meeting had its own theme related to electrochemistry usually formulated as “Electrochemistry in…”. This time “Electrochemistry in Particles, Droplets and Bubbles” was selected. Its selection was motivated by the key role of (nano)particles, droplets and bubbles in contemporary electrochemistry – from fundamental studies to functionalisation of materials. The unique properties of nanoparticles are being explored nowadays, however their role in electrochemical processes is still far from being understood. Droplets or liquid films provide unique electrode modification with a well-defined liquid|liquid interface and specific geometry of solid|liquid|liquid junction. Bubbles play an important role in electrode reactions with gaseous reactants and their role in electrode modification procedures was also explored.
This conference hosted 58 participants from 16 countries at a single location – the Łochów Palace – providing many opportunities for discussion both inside and outside the lecture hall, and an exchange of ideas that could lead to new concepts, collaborations, and joint research projects. The meeting was organised within a popular series of smaller meetings in electrochemistry, usually collecting approximately 60 participants.
Six prominent researchers working on particles, droplets or bubbles from the UK, France (2 speakers), USA, Japan and Poland were invited as keynote speakers at the meeting.

• International Symposium on “Mechanochemistry in Synthesis and Nanoscience” ISMech 2013
The “International Symposium on Mechanochemistry in Synthesis and Nanoscience (ISMech 2013)” was organized within Work Package WP5 from 21 – 24 September, 2013 in hotel Ossa, Poland.
The broad areas of interest of the conference encompassed the main aspects of nanoscience including: mechanochemically-facilitated chemical transformations, synthesis and processing in solid-state chemistry, solvent-free synthesis of metal complexes and their solid-state transformations, the mechanosynthesis of coordination polymers and metal-organic frameworks, the mechanochemistry of metal oxides and related compounds, metallopharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical cocrystals, polymer mechanochemistry, mechanochemical control over nanomaterials and nanosystems.
The conference gathered 65 participants, including eight invited speakers, world-famous scientists: Professor Christopher Bielawski from University of Texas, Austin; Professor Tomislav Friscic from McGill University, Montreal; Professor Przemyslaw Dopieralski from Ruhr-Universitat Bochum and University of Wroclaw; Professor Bartosz A. Grzybowski from Northwestern University, Evanston; Professor Fabrizia Grepioni from University of Bologna; Professor Frederic Lamaty from Universite Montpellier; Professor Laszlo Takacs from University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and Professor Rint Sijbesma from Technische Universiteit, Eindhoven.
The conference was divided into seven thematic sessions, each one beginning with a plenary lecture. During poster sessions 23 young researchers presented their posters.

• 6th International Workshop on “Surface Modification for Chemical and Biochemical Sensing” SMCBS’2013
The 6th International Workshop on Surface Modification for Chemical and Biochemical Sensing was organized in Lochow near Warsaw from 8 - 12 November, 2013 under Work Package WP3. The main topics of the workshop covered various aspects of surface chemistry related to chemo- and biosensing in solutions or gases.
This workshop hosted 113 researchers, who actively participated– it was the biggest within the series of six SMCBS workshops.
Over 30 distinguished European and US researchers accepted the invitation to deliver keynote or tutorial lectures. Moreover, around 70 posters were presented by young researchers. The SMCBS’2013 Workshop was organized under the auspices of the Bioelectrochemical Society and the International Society of Electrochemistry.
The main topics of the workshop covered various aspects of surface chemistry related to chemical and biochemical sensing in solutions or gases, in particular: chemical surface reactions; self-assembled monolayers (SAMs); Langmuir, Langmuir-Blodgett (LB), and Langmuir-Schaefer (LS) films; the preparation and properties of supported thin films; chemically modified electrodes and polymer modified electrodes.

• International Workshop on “Applications of Raman Spectroscopy” BioRaman 2014
From 15 – 17 May, 2014, the BioRaman Workshop, an international workshop, was organized under WP4. The workshop centre was located at the Institute of Physical Chemistry PAS (Warsaw). 66 researchers attended, including seven invited speakers: Professor Alfred J. Meixner from the University of Tubingen in Germany, Professor Hugh Barr from Gloucestershire Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust Glo, United Kingdom, Professor Aleksandra Weselucha-Birczynska from the Jagiellonian University in Poland, Dr. Maxime Tchaya from Witec, Germany, Dr. Agnieszka Sozanska from Renishaw z.o.o. (Warsaw), Professor Malgorzata Baranska from the Jagiellonian University in Poland, and Dr. Marcin Kozanecki from the Faculty of Chemistry, Lodz University of Technology, Poland. The applications of Raman Spectroscopy in various fields: materials science, biomedical, pharmaceutical, medical (diagnosis, in vivo) were presented in detail through invited talks. Additionally, the aim of the workshop was to enable participants to apply Raman spectroscopy in their own research. For the laboratory training session, participants were encouraged to bring their own samples for analysis. During the workshop, participants were offered the following possibilities: presentation of research results, presentations of Raman instrumentations (Renishaw, Witec), practical training in the use of Raman spectrometers and the ability to analyze their own samples.

• International Symposium on “Nanostructured Functional Materials” NanoFunMat 2014
The International Symposium on Nanostructured Functional Materials (NanoFunMat2014) was organized underWork Package WP5 from 15 - 18 June, 2014. The Symposium was held in “Hotel Zamek Pultusk”.
The Symposium covered a broad range of areas concerning nanomaterials and their applications in electronics, optics, biomedicine etc. The specific topics catered to the interests of a diverse, interdisciplinary audience. The broad area of topics of the conference encompassed the main aspects of nanoscience including: the chemistry of molecular precursors (design, synthesis, reactivity, mechanisms of transformations), molecular functional materials (single molecule magnets, macrocycles and host-guest chemistry, supramolecular assemblies, molecular materials with catalysis function); semiconducting nanocrystals (synthesis procedures, multifunctional nanostructures, quantum dots, self-assembly), functional materials for bio applications (quantum dots, luminescence materials, drug delivery systems, bioelectronics, nanoparticulate drug carriers, magnetic nanoparticles, biosensing), nanostructured materials for electronic, optoelectronic and photovoltaic (semiconducting materials, conducting polymers, nanocomposites, solar cells, photocatalytic materials, optoelectronic devices); nanostructured soft materials (hydrogels/aerogels, self-healing materials, non-equilibrium soft materials), porous functional materials (MOFs, COFs, non-covalent porous materials, gas storage, small molecules separation, catalysis, porous coordination polymers, drug delivery), metal nanoparticles in catalysis and materials science (nanoparticulate metals and metal oxides).
In total there were 159 participants registered online and finally 140 participants from 17 countries contributed to the conference. The conference was divided into ten thematic sessions and each of them began with a plenary or invited lecture. The group of invited guests included 4 plenary speakers and 10 invited speakers, all of them world-famous scientists: Vincent Rotello (University of Massachusetts, Amherst MA, USA), Lei Jiang (Institute of Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China), Bartosz A. Grzybowski (Northwestern University, Evanston IL, USA), Anthony K. Cheetham (University of Cambridge, England), Bruno Chaudret (Institut National des Sciences Appliquees, Toulouse, France), Mircea Dinca (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA, USA), David Fairen-Jimenez (University of Cambridge, England), Omar K. Farha (Northwestern University, Evanston IL, USA), Myrtil Kahn (CNRS Toulouse, France), Jonathan Nitschke (University of Cambridge, England), Wolfgang Parak (Philips University, Marburg, Germany), Jean-Pascal Sutter (CNRS Toulouse, France), Robert Less (University of Cambridge, England) and Tomislav Friscic (McGill University, Montreal, Canada).
During the poster sessions 70 researchers presented their posters.

• “Platform for Commercialization of Knowledge” conference
The “Platform for Commercialisation of Knowledge” conference was held at IPC PAS in Warsaw on 20 May, 2014 under Work Package WP7. The main goal of this conference was to encourage young scientists, PhD students and inventors to commercialize their knowledge, to start their own spin-offs as well as to cooperate with SMEs and VC. The conference was designed to show young people the advantages of creating spin-offs. In order to do this several case studies were shown and discussed.
One of the topics discussed during the conference was the functioning of the Innovation Corps – a project team at IPC PAS responsible for the evaluation of projects presented by researchers and conversion of the projects into feasible business models, adequately tailored to specific investor needs. Another topic discussed during the conference was the activity and achievements of the spin-off companies established at IPC PAS.
It was repeatedly stressed during the conference, how important the role played by a stimulating environment is in the development of technology companies, and how important activities similar to those undertaken by IPC PAS towards establishing science parks in Warsaw are for building the culture of academic entrepreneurship. The “Platform for Commercialisation of Knowledge” conference was completed with a poster session. The conference was attended by 76 participants from 24 different institutions.

It should be emphasized that the conferences made it possible to present progress in Polish science as well as to increase the visibility of the Institute of Physical Chemistry PAS in the scientific world. The conferences provided an opportunity to discuss and plan future collaboration with scientific partners - the discussions stimulated the exploration of new research ideas. Importantly, a lot of young scientists participating in the conferences were given the chance to discuss their research topics with the highly professional audience and distinguished scientists. The direct confrontation of their research results with the views of others resulted in the most effective evaluation of these results.

5. Formation of 3 research groups

Three research groups under the leadership of young researchers were formed to create a new generation of young scientists in the most important fields of knowledge and technology.

“Surface Nanoengineering for Chemo- and Biosensors”
On 1 January, 2012 the Surface Nanoengineering for Chemo- and Biosensors group was launched in the Department of Electrode Processes IPC-PAS under Work Package WP2. The leader of the group is Dr. Joanna Niedziolka-Jonsson. Presently the group consists of two experienced young researchers, one post-doc, three PhD students and one undergraduate student.
The aim of their research is to change the properties of surfaces to make them useful for sensor construction. For this purpose electrodeposition is used to obtain sol-gel or metal nanostructures on conducting surfaces. Their first approach has been depositing nanoparticles of noble metals exhibiting localized surface plasmon resonance. On the basis of their plasmonic properties we want to build a platform for effective label-free molecular recognition of compounds such as viruses using e.g. molecularly electroimprinted thin films of sol-gel materials.
The group is also interested in the synthesis of nanomaterials and their surface modifications with biological molecules such as antibodies, DNA, RNA, etc., and the use of such materials as elements of biosensors. One of the strategies used in the team is the organization of nanomaterials on substrates based on "click chemistry". They are also working on the use of graphene and its derivatives for the construction of sensors. Their goal is to solve problems encountered in biology, physiology and medicine. Their advantage is the possibility of using physicochemical methods - rarely used in these areas of research. The group wants to use these new tools to enable scientists to look at issues from a new, previously unknown perspective.
The research group maintains collaboration with, among others, Prof. Sabine Szunerits at the Interdisciplinary Research Institute in Lille, Dr Barbara Palys at the Department of Chemistry, Warsaw University, Dr Marcin Los at the Department of Molecular Biology University of Gdansk and has recently started with Dr Sebastian Mackowski at the Institute of Physics, Nicolaus Copernicus University.
Since its establishment the group has published 19 papers in international scientific journals and 2 patents.

“Charge transfer processes in hydrodynamic systems”
The “Charge transfer processes in hydrodynamic systems” group led by Dr. Martin Jonsson-Niedziolka was started on 1 January, 2014. Currently, the group consists of two experienced young scientists, two PhD students and one young researcher.
The area of interest of the group is mainly focused on electrochemical processes in microfluidic systems, especially on charge ion transfer between separate phases in microfluidics. Having successfully compared results obtained under static conditions with a droplet of organic phase on an electrode immersed into an organic phase, with those in microfluidic channels, the group is now targeting more complex systems such as using the fullerene C60 as a redox probe, and experiments of facilitated ion capture using ionophores in one of the phases to capture ions from the second phase. Further, electrochemical processes in droplet-based microfluidic systems are under development.
A second area the group is working on is kinetic studies of enzymes at modified electrode surfaces. Enzyme kinetics is measured in systems under hydrodynamic control such as rotating disk electrodes (RDE) and microfluidic systems. This field also requires new materials for electrode modification to be developed that ensure proper immobilisation and electron transfer between the enzyme and the electrode. Therefore novel electrode materials is an important part of the group's research.
A new area to be developed is the study of electrochemical reactions in EWOD actuated microdroplets. The group has started the construction of a setup for EWOD measurements at IPC PAS. A chip with integrated electrodes for electrochemical measurements inside the droplet will be developed.
The research group maintains collaboration with. among others, Prof. Frank Marken at the University of Bath and Dr Vincent Thomy a IEMN in Lille.
Since its establishment the group has published 8 papers in international scientific journals.

“Charge Transfer in Biological Systems and at the Interfaces”
Starting on 1 January, 2014, a new research group “Charge transfer in biological systems and at the interfaces” was established on the initiative of Noblesse project coordinator Prof. Robert Holyst, Head of the Institute of Physical Chemistry PAS. Initially, this new group was composed of two independent researchers: Assoc. Prof. Piotr Zarzycki, recruited under the NOBLESSE project and Dr. Patryk Zaleski-Ejgierd. Soon after, two PhD students joined the group, and three early-career researchers have declared their wish to join at the beginning of next year (2015). The current group leaders are promising early-career independent researchers, who have already proved their ability to conduct high-quality independent research, publish in prominent scientific journals and collaborate in a team towards a common scientific goal.
The main goal of the group is to implement a novel strategy of assembling experts in diverse scientific areas of organic, supramolecular, analytical, biochemical and theoretical chemistry in a collaborative project-oriented team. Each group member provides a unique set of skills and knowledge, thus forming a multi-angle approach towards well-defined, interdisciplinary problems. The group does not limit its interest to a particular area, however in 2014 the group focused on two research topics: (i) electron transfer in biological systems and at the interfaces and (ii) first-principle chemistry in extreme conditions.
In the first year of operation, the group managed to start extensive collaboration with experimental teams – collaboration aimed primarily towards future research projects. The group has submitted its first major research grant proposal “LIDER, NCiBR 2014” that will engage both current and future members in a collective effort towards understanding particle formation from novel high-pressure silica monoxide (SiO) crystalline precursors. Although the research proposal involves most of the computational capacity of the group, it is, in fact, primarily aimed at accompanying experimental research that will be carried out by future group members.
At present, the group is preparing a second grant proposal for inter-institutional collaboration (“SYMFONIA 2015, NCN”). This grant proposal includes extensive collaboration between the Institute of Physical Chemistry PAS and prominent research institutions in Poland (Department of Biology and Centre for New Technologies at the University of Warsaw), the European Union (Department of Chemistry, Manchester University, UK and Department of Chemistry, University of Zagreb, Croatia) and National Laboratories in US (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA). The main goal of this project is to combine experimental and computational efforts towards gaining a molecular insight into non-classical nucleation pathways.
The formation of new research groups led by young scientists ensures the continuation of the development of IPC PAS. The responsibility and independence offered to the new group leaders will help them to develop their careers and to establish the next generation of European scientists.

6. Creating research opportunities for women in science

There were no ethical issues involved in the project and gender equality was promoted. Several women were involved in research. There were four female work package Vice-leaders and one of three new research groups created within the project is led by a young female researcher.
In its activities IPC-PAS strengthens the role of women in scientific research by observing the Equal Opportunity Policy in employment: (i) two new research groups (of 28) are led by women, whereas before the Noblesse project only one research group of 30 was led by a woman, (ii) women make up the majority of our PhD students (40 of 70) and they have earned more doctoral degrees than men since 2007 (34 of 63), (iii) in 2013 women accounted for 41% of the total number of employees of IPC PAS.

7. Institute mobilisation

Institute mobilisation covered actions focused on whole IPC-PAS activity. This objective was been reached by:

• IPC PAS staff training with special emphasis on intellectual/industrial property rights and patent applications
Task 6.5. of the NOBLESSE project involved collaboration between IPC-PAS and an international patent attorney aimed at the protection of intellectual property. The task included training sessions on industrial property rights including patenting process, training in the evaluation of patent applications, and on preparing and filing patent applications.
Training sessions on industrial property started on 22 November, 2011 with Session 1 "What is a Patent and How Can One Get Patent Protection?", Session 2 "How to Build a Patent Application?" on 13 December, 2011 and Session 3 "What is an inventive step? Cases and examples" on 31 January, 2012. All the sessions were organised in the plenary hall of IPC-PAS. The average number of participants in each event was 70, most of them employees of IPC-PAS. The speaker was Dr. Jakub Sielewiesiuk, patent attorney from AOMB Polska Sp. z o.o.. 117 patent applications were supported under the Noblesse project. The list of patents and patent applications is available on the following website: http://ichf.edu.pl/noblesse/Patents.html).
Three workshops were organised in IPC-PAS on evaluation of intellectual property. They all took place in 2012: the first one on 19 June, the second on 22 June and the third on 7 November. There were about ten participants in each event. The coach was Mr Andrzej Podszywalow, a judicial expert and practitioner in the assessment of intellectual property. There were also 3 evaluations of value of inventions.

• IPC PAS staff training on specialised courses
The implementation of Task 6.4. aimed at improving research quality by upgrading the staff’s capabilities through training sessions in specialized courses.
During the project, IPC-PAS employees participated in the following short training events:
- European School of Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies (ESONN’12), 2 persons, from 26 August to 15 September, 2012;
- Blender workshop (3D computer graphic open-source engine), 7 persons, the 20-hour workshop took place in the Institute of Physical Chemistry PAS in March and April, on 3 March, 4 March, 31 March, and 1 April, 2012;
- Bath Electrochemistry Winter School held in Bath, United Kingdom, 2 persons, from 13 – 19 January,2013;
- Challenges of Leadership in Teams, the course took place at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA), 1 person, from 22- 26July, 2013;
- The 1st European Crystallography School at the University of Pavia, Italy, 3 persons, from 28 August to 6 September, 2014. The main objective of the course was both the theoretical and practical education of young researchers in the field of crystallography.
- XRD Basic Application Course at the PANalytical BV Application Competence Centre in Almelo, Holland, 1 person, from 23 - 27June, 2014.
• Facilitation of IPC PAS’ staff participation at international conferences
To be among the leading international teams dealing with subject matters, it is necessary to keep up with the newest scientific reports on the topic. The most effective way of obtaining information on recent scientific studies as well as presenting one's own results is taking part in international conferences. In view of the apparent future benefits for both the researchers of IPC PAS as well as for the Institute itself, the researchers took part in conferences most relevant to their research interests. Participation in these scientific events was supported by at least one lecture, oral communication or poster.
IPC PAS scientists implemented Tasks 2.4 3.5 4.4 5.3 and 7.2 actively participating in 53 international conferences. For details of participation in these conferences, see 4.2. Use and dissemination of foreground.

• IPC PAS staff training on specialised lectures
Under Task 7.5. eminent European scientists with significant experience in science and who had acquired large European grants were invited to deliver lectures on "Combining Science and Management Presented on My Own Example". 22 distinguished European scientists gave lectures as part of this series. They talked about their own experience with managing research groups including the procedures for hiring people, the manner of collaborating with other groups, applications for funding and finally the selection of a research subject. They also presented the most important results of their research, preferably research sponsored by the European Research Council. This series of lectures was primarily aimed at young researchers, who were planning to become principal investigators in science or already held this position. They were able to become acquainted with different views on managing research groups and use this knowledge in their own activities. This expertise was also expected to be useful for more experienced group leaders, who could improve their leadership and management. Most of the lecturers also focused on their successful applications for grants from the European Research Council. We expected this would encourage and help our Principal Investigators.
In addition, nine advisory board experts gave lectures on “The Boundary between a Science Institution and an Enterprise”. We also invited investors with earlier experience with scientific institutions and researchers from both Poland and other European countries having previous experience of transfer of knowledge from scientific institutions to business. We considered them to be experts on the boundaries between scientific institutions and venture capital or small business enterprises. We expected that they would be able to help researchers from our Institute in their contacts with business. Altogether the invited guests gave 8 lectures showing successful and unsuccessful examples of relationships between business and sciences. They tried to identify the reasons for their successes and more importantly their failures. People from the business side also pointed out how to talk to them and what wa important when one was presenting one's ideas to them. This is not trivial, as scientists are often not aware of how to talk to business people. We expected this to help our Principal Investigators in their contacts with business people, and finding more resources for research from sources other than the state or European budget.
For details of the lectures, see 4.2. Use and dissemination of foreground.

• Organisation of “Promotion of Science” training session
As part of Task 7.3. on 17, 22 and 31 January, 2013, Wiktor Niedzicki, broadcasting journalist and academic lecturer, conducted the training session “Effective presentation and promotion of science” in IPC-PAS. This workshop was widely advertised on websites such as Facebook, Alpha Galileo and our website. The purpose of this training session was to enhance the role of the traditional mass-media in the communication of scientific issues to the general public. A large group of PhD students and employees of IPC PAS and 14 other academic and research institutions attended the workshops.

• The development of a nanomaterial science platform in the IPC PAS
The development of a nanomaterial science platform in IPC PAS for keeping up with leading European scientific centres for ERA integration. The Dream Chemistry Award, a prize awarded for a visionary research project waiting for implementation, was for the first time funded and organized by IPC PAS in 2013/2014. The Contest was addressed to researchers from around the world, under the age of 36. Dutch chemist (from the Ecole Superieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles, France) Dr. Evan Spruit won the Dream Chemistry Award on 12 March, 2014. The members of the Award’s Scientific Committee in this way expressed their appreciation for his visionary project of creating artificial cells - microdroplets of water capable of autonomous growth and division. The creation of such cells in the laboratory would be an important step towards a deep understanding of the physical and chemical foundations of life. The Institute is now planning to create ae Department of Physical Chemistry of Biological Systems.

8. Project promotion activities with a communication platform meeting the socio-economic needs of the region

The position of the Mazovia Region, although strong in Poland, is weaker than that of the highly developed countries in the European Union. The opportunity for Mazovia lies in infrastructural investments with participation in European and international projects, economic development based on the knowledge of society and in including the Region in developing processes, such as science, knowledge, research. The topics of NOBLESSE reflect the most important fields of knowledge and technology where research excellence is particularly important to improve the local ability to address the social, economic, health, environmental and industrial challenges of the future.
Project promotion activities to increase contribution to regional economic and social development were carried out through:

• the creation of the Mazovia Centre for Surface Analysis
The Mazovia Center for Surface Analysis (MCSA) is a new facility in the Institute of Physical Chemistry (WP6). The Centre was formally opened on 27 November, 2012. During the opening ceremony the laboratory was demonstrated to invited guests from a number of chemical institutions in Warsaw.
Two previously established laboratories: Special Laboratory of Electron Spectroscopies (created in 1995) and Special Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Materials (created in 2004), and the new Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) laboratory were merged to create the Centre. The most essential equipment of the Centre includes: (i) Scanning Electron Microscope Nova 450 NanoSEM equipped with the energy dispersion spectrometer (EDS), a wavelength dispersive X-ray spectrometer (WDX) and the necessary optional equipment and software (the instrumentation was purchased under the Noblesse project, Task 6.2a) (ii) PHI 5000 VersaProbe multichamber spectrometer, (iii) ESCALAB-210 spectrometer, (iv) MICROLAB 350 scanning Auger microanalyser, and (v) Autolab PGSTAT302N Electrochemical System for Corrosion Studies. This equipment allows for the study of material samples using over a dozen spectroscopic and microscopic techniques. Members of the new team of operators of the SEM microscope and WDX spectrometer were trained to operate the purchased equipment at six courses in 2012.
The Mazovia Centre is one of the most advanced laboratories in Europe – four standards in electron spectroscopy (i.e. 50% of all the standards) have been created in this laboratory in IPC PAS and acknowledged by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in USA. The Mazovia Centre will certainly boost research.
Detailed information about the Mazovia Centre is available on the web page: http://ichf.edu.pl/mcap/mcap_en.html

• the creation of an open-access Electronic Laboratory Database of research equipment
An open-access Electronic Laboratory Equipment Database (ELAD) of the research equipment available in specialized laboratories in Poland is already available on the website of IPC PAS Baza Aparatury Naukowej (Task 6.3). The main aim of the ELAD is the creation of an open-access electronic database accumulating information on the laboratory equipment resources of the research entities in Poland with the objective of its popularization. The ELAD project will help to establish relations and new common research projects between research entities and will extend the use of the laboratory equipment available in research entities and R&D centres to a wider group of potential users from the research and industrial field. The ELAD will allow provide researchers and students within formation on research equipment and check if they can carry out their measurements. In the future, the application will be used by research units in Poland.
Detailed information on IPC PAS laboratory equipment has been already collected in the database. We also intend to collect information on lab equipment possessed by other organisations, especially members of the Mazovian Valley of Green Chemistry. The database is being promoted among various institutions, both industrial and scientific. The ELAD will help to establish relations and new common research projects between research entities and will extend the use of laboratory equipment available in research entities and R&D centres to a wide group of potential users from the research and industrial field.

• the organization of the regional conference “Platform for Commercialisation of Knowledge”
The “Platform for Commercialisation of Knowledge” conference was held at IPC PAS in Warsaw on 20 May, 2014 under Work Package WP7. The main goal of this conference was to encourage young scientists, PhD students and inventors to commercialize their knowledge, to start their own spin-offs as well as to cooperate with SMEs and VC. The conference was designed to show young people the advantages of creating spin-offs. In order to do this several case studies were shown and discussed.
It was repeatedly stressed during the conference, how important the role played by a stimulating environment is in the development of technology companies and how important activities similar to those undertaken by IPC PAS towards establishing science parks in Warsaw are. . The conference was attended by 76 participants from 24 different regional institutions.

• publications and participation in fairs, information and brokerage events
The Institute successfully took part in fairs in order to facilitate wider access to knowledge for business people, especially SMEs, regional authorities, policymakers and the general public. We chose fair venues whose objectives met our needs, such as: demonstrating the scientific achievements of Polish scientists and inventors against a background of global solutions; enabling inventors to establish contacts with potential investors; familiarizing public opinion with the achievements of Polish inventors; creating a positive image of Polish science; promoting innovative thinking among youth.
IPC-PAS staff took part in the following fairs:
- 8th Industrial Technology, Science and Innovation Fair TECHNICON - INNOVATION 2012 25 - 26 October, 2012 in Gdansk
- 9th Industrial Technology, Science and Innovation Fair TECHNICON -INNOVATION 2013, 24-25 October, 2013,Gdansk, Poland
- 7th International Warsaw Invention Show, 8-10 October,2013, Warsaw, Poland
- Innovations Technologies Machines, IMT Poland , 4-7 June, 2013, Warsaw, Poland
In the Innovation 2012 contest IPC-PAS submitted two patents for competition. As a result, we won the silver medal for: “Derivatives of bis(2,2'-bithienyl)methane, molecularly imprinted polymer prepared by polymerization of derivatives of bis(2,2'-bithienyl)methane and its application for selective determination and release of adrenaline, and a distinction for: "The way of protecting the channels inside the microfludic devices from the organic solvents". In the contest during the Innovation 2013 fair, the Institute submitted two inventions to the competition. As a result, we won a gold medal in TECHNICON - INNOVATION 2013 and a special award, a cup from the Rector of the Technical University of Gdansk for invention “Quartz balance for microfluidic applications”.

9. Project promotion activities - spreading excellence, exploiting results, disseminating knowledge

There was intensive and diversified promotion of visibility of the excellence of the IPC PAS: among researchers (scientific publications, scientific conferences and workshops), children and youth (Open Days), students (participation in student conferences with lectures about the Institute), the general public (Science Festivals, Science Picnics), business people, regional authorities (trade fairs), etc.

• Scientific publications
Better integration of IPC-PAS in ERA by strengthening its existing links, establishing new contacts and twinning with leading European research centres in the field of Biotechnology and Nanotechnology for Health, Energy, Environment and Materials Production as well as the employment of experienced researchers and the purchase of research equipment resulted in 39 publications in excellent scientific journals. All the scientific papers include acknowledgement to the project.

• Scientific conferences and workshops
The Institute intensified action aimed at increasing the visibility of its research excellence outside IPC PAS and its partnering institutions. We organized 5 scientific conferences, 4 workshops and 2 meetings that hosted representatives of the domestic and international scientific community (the total number of participants was 1,041). Furthermore, the Project facilitated knowledge sharing and network building through the participation of Institute staff members in 53 scientific congresses, conferences, and symposia (79 posters and 40 oral presentations were delivered).

• Web-site
A new IPC PAS website was created to disseminate knowledge from the area of bio- and nanotechnology for health, energy and the environment. Extensive knowledge was delivered to all stakeholders and the public through comprehensible texts, attractive design and rich illustrative materials acquired through the newest analytical methods. Close cooperation was envisaged with regional mass media which had already released several broadcasts with IPC PAS staff members, with a positive feedback from the viewers.

• Press notes
Thanks to the Noblesse Project we developed one of the best systems of scientific press releases (certainly the best in Poland and one of the best in Europe). On our website there were 60 press notes released during the project. They included 60 notes in Polish and 36 in English. Of these 60 notes 23 appeared on ScienceDaily (6 million unique visitors per month) and on TreeHugger (>3 million users). 60 Polish notes appeared on approx. 500 portals and 36 English notes on approx. 570 portals. Nearly 28,000 visits were registered and 13,500 downloads were made from AlphaGalileo. Since 2013 we have also published 22 notes on EurekAlert! (4.8 million views per month). The visitors on EurekAlert! are mainly academic personnel, journalists and editors who are representatives of media from all round the world. Our press releases have been viewed 46,000 times. Our notes generated numerous hits, among others, on Phys.org the largest physical world service with approx. 2 million unique users per month, which gains higher than the average user ratings. During the implementation of the Noblesse project more people could see the achievements of our Institute than during the whole 60-year history of the Institute.

• Organisation of Open-days and participation in Science Festivals
IPC PAS organized local events such as 58 open-day lessons and 13 open-day lectures. During the Open-days the Institute and its newly equipped laboratories were open to the general public, schoolchildren and students, and there were short lectures, shows and laboratory demonstrations. Open days were aimed at mostly Secondary and High School pupils and students, however, additionally, workshops for small children, called “Tatobus” (“Fatherbus”), were organised.
The Institute co-organised and took part in large scientific events: the 16th, 17th and 18th Science Picnics of Polish Radio and the Copernicus Science Centre [12 May,2012, 15 June, 2013, 31 May,2014], which are Europe’s largest outdoor science events, and participated in 1st Science Picnic in Nidzica, [28 IPC PAS took part (like each year) in one of the biggest science promotion events in Poland, i.e. the 16th 17th and 18th Science Festival. The Science Festival in Warsaw has been organised for 17 years now, making it the oldest event of this type in Poland. The organisers’ inspiration came from the International Science Festival held in Edinburgh since 1989. The Festival’s idea has always been to make knowledge available to as wide an audience as possible. Lectures and demonstrations are conducted in a manner that is comprehensible to everyone over the age of 14, to all who have finished primary school. During the festival, the Institute presented four Open-days, the lecture “Gases, liquids, solids and beyond”, it took part in the “Children's Science Festival” [Festiwal nauki małego człowieka] and organised Researchers’ Night.
Additionally, the Institute was invited and took part in the 19th and 20th Picnic “Dzien Ziemi” (Earth Day) organised in Warsaw [29 April,2012, 28 April,2013]. As the main subject was ecology, we designed seven different experiments and 4 posters combining ecology and science, based on research performed in the Institute, such as pheromones to protect forests, solar alchemy, photocatalysts to clean water and recover chemicals, fuel cells, etc.

• promotional activities aimed at university students
Consecutive editions of the all-Poland competition “Golden Medal in Chemistry” for the best bachelor thesis in chemistry are organised at IPC-PAS. The aim of this prestige competition, funded and organized by IPC PAS under the auspices of the President of the Polish Science Foundation, is to promote a choice of scientific career among undergraduate students. The competition has become a well-known event and interest in it and the number of candidates continue to increase significantly. Under the project the winners are invited to Noblesse lectures delivered by eminent European scientists. This is a unique opportunity for young talented students to participate in such lectures and is beneficial for both them and the project itself. Competition finalists can also carry out research internships at the Institute.
As part of the IPC-PAS's information activity Prof. Marcin Opallo presented the IPC PAS offer for student training, bachelor, master and PhD oriented projects, and PhD studies at the 26th Polish School of Chemistry Workshop (Rynia near Warsaw, 29 April, 2012), the 6th Forum for Students of Chemical Sciences “Chemofor” (Warsaw, 17 May, 2012), the 27th Polish School of Chemistry Workshop (Stary Gieraltow, 1-5 May, 2013) and the 28th Polish School of Chemistry Workshop (Bialystok, 28 April - 2 May, 2014).

• Other promotional/information activities
A promotional/information book on IPC PAS has been prepared and printed. The book is a collection of several dozen popular science publications, developed on the basis of the Institute’s news releases. It is well illustrated and presents, in a comprehensible way, numerous aspects of modern chemistry, physics, and the domain on the border between physical and chemical sciences and biology. The book contains a collection of press notes and news releases published by IPC PAS researchers, which have in the last two years attracted the particular attention of the Polish and international media. The book is divided into four thematic groups entitled: (i) “to understand”, (ii) “to see”, (iii) “to make use”, and (iv) “to organise”. The first group describes part of the basic research work of IPC PAS. The second is related to the detection techniques and methods that are of essential importance in chemistry. The third group is devoted to research achievements with a particular potential for application. The fourth group presents some of the activities related to the organisational aspects of both our Institute and, more generally, science. The book is available in English and Polish and also as a PDF file on our website.
A ten minute promotional/information film on the Institute and its activities has been prepared by a professional company with extensive experience in popularising science and making films about the achievements and work of researchers. The film is directed by Wiktor Niedzicki, a well-known TV science populariser. In collaboration with the graphic studio Midori from Wroclaw and a professional graphic designer and animator a 1.5 minute 3D animation "The Limits of Science" has been prepared. The film shows the physical and chemical phenomena studied in the Institute. It attracts the viewer with astonishing interiors of particles and microdroplets. The film shows large chemical molecules discovered by our scientists in space, rotating molecular motors built from molecules hooked on the surface of water, and switching of tunnelling protons in porficen, the preparation of Janus capsules, microfluidic devices, the movement of molecules experiencing varying nanoviscosity and the processes for producing graphene coatings.
In order to promote IPC PAS's excellence an open-air exhibition of photographs presenting the works and achievements of our Institute was organized. Photos measuring 165x165 cm were placed on the fence of the Institute. The seat of the Institute is located in one of the main streets of Warsaw. The aim of this exhibition was to engender interest in the achievements of the Institute among a wide range of people from young talented people to the regional authorities, policy makers, the general public and SME’s. The exhibition consists of 54 boards with photos.
A wide range of promotional materials, such as roll-ups, notebooks, pens, pencils, colour crayons, calendars and canvas bags as well as a promotional flyer and Warsaw City map were designed and produced. All promotional materials are distributed during conferences, open days, fairs, informal meetings etc. and posted to the institutions and enterprises which co-operate with the Institute.
These ideas have greatly contributed to increasing the visibility of both the Institute and the Project's outcomes at regional, national and international levels.

10. Patent applications, their evaluations and support necessary for transfer of knowledge into industry

Intellectual property (IP) management has become an issue in the research area. In the management of intellectual property several legal instruments applicable to invention protection can be used, depending on the invention. For research institutions the protection of IP is a very important and sensitive issue because any invention can have potential value which may be the object of trade - just the IP rights have value.
All employees of the Institute are familiar with the rules governing IP rights. This matter was formally regulated in 2009 in all 79 Institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences. In 2011, the Institute hired a professional external company to provide legal advice to research staff on the possibilities of protection when there is a potential invention. Moreover, this problem was addressed through a set of training sessions provided for IPC PAS staff. There were three training sessions on copyright and intellectual property. 117 patent procedures were supported from the resources of Noblesse, including 34 granted patents.
To enhance the exploitation of results training sessions were organized in the evaluation of patent applications/patents granted, necessary for further commercialization.
Moreover, an Innovation Corps has been created at IPC PAS – a team responsible for the evaluation of projects presented by researchers and conversion of the projects into feasible business models, adequately tailored to specific investor needs. The Innovation Corps' role is to provide support for both researchers from our Institute and prospective investors.
It is very unusual to combine business with science in Poland. However, in 2012 the Institute initiated the establishment of the second of two spin-off companies created at IPC PAS. Both companies are engaged in manufacturing products for the medical sector. They employ 30 researchers.
To familiarize researchers with issues related to the transfer of knowledge to enterprise we organized a series of 9 lectures (Section 7. Institute Mobilisation) on various aspects of the relationship between science and industry. The lectures were provided by advisory board experts employed in Polish and foreign scientific institutions, enterprises and institutions from the business sector.
In addition, the Institute participated successfully in fairs in order to facilitate a wide access to knowledge for business people, especially SMEs, regional authorities, policymakers and the general public. We chose fair venues whose objectives met our needs, such as: demonstrating the scientific achievements of Polish scientists and inventors against a background of global solutions; enabling inventors to establish contacts with potential investors; familiarizing public opinion with the achievements of Polish inventors; creating a positive image of Polish science; promoting innovative thinking among youth.

Potential Impact:
The NOBLESSE project has made an impact by improving capacity at IPC-PAS, and a socioeconomic impact at the level of the Mazovia Region, Poland and the European Union.

The implementation of the NOBLESSE Action Plan has tangibly supported and unlocked the Institute’s potential. Investment in human resources and the acquisition of major research equipment has substantially boosted the quality of research conducted at the Institute.

Human capital has been increased by the employment of 6 top class researchers (for 138 person months altogether). They immediately joined the ongoing studies and enhanced our potential in applying for European grants. They published many papers in scientific journals and delivered a number of research projects funded from national institutions. Four of them decided to continue their scientific career at the Institute. They are now the beneficiaries of 7 national grants. One of the recruited scientists is now the leader of a new research group in our Institute. From the start of the project to today one ERC StG grant (which passed the first round), one ERC AdG grant and an ERA-Chair project has been prepared at IPC PAS. The decision together with Radboud University in Nijmegen in the Netherlands was taken to apply for grant funding under Horizon 2020 within the framework of the Twinning programme “Spreading excellence and widening participation”. IPC PAS has just received (as a coordinator) a grant from the EU with partners from Ukraine, Germany, Israel, and Belarus. The recruitment of qualified and competent researchers has shortened the usually long and expensive process of gaining experience. Contacts established then have been bringing continuous benefits; today the more experienced fellows maintain stable links with Institute staff, a fact which is in turn reflected in the vast number of common papers published these days.

The current staff of IPC-PAS were strongly mobilized in a variety of ways. Within the framework of NOBLESSE, we established co-operation with 15 leading European institutions that conduct research complementary to the areas studied at the Institute. They are ready and eager for longstanding scientific collaboration that will help the Institute in its pursuit of stronger integration with ERA and in reinforcing its position on the international arena. The two-way secondments strengthened long-lasting contacts and consolidated the new ones, especially as the friendly bonds were supported with twinning agreements. The result of this cooperation is a number of publications, patents, and so far two projects: Polish Project No. 2012/05/B/ST5/00751, of the National Centre of Science (the idea of a joint project was generated as a result of the participation of Dr. Y. Sun from Department of Engineering, Faculty of Technology, De Montfort University in Leicester, United Kingdom), and Fondazione Cariplo, Italian Grant No. 2011-0417 (through the collaboration of Prof. Kutner's group with the groups of Prof. P. R. Mussini and Prof. F. Sannicolo of the Department of Chemistry, University of Milan, Italy).
Other factors increasing the potential of IPC PAS are :
- the expected future co-operation with Partner Institutions
- the educating of a new generation of European researchers
- intensifying scientific contacts with leading European research laboratories in the field of advanced materials for electrochemical processes
- strengthening existing and developing new strategic partnerships of IPC PAS with the European Research Area, and top quality scientific centres in particular
- supporting and more rational use of new and existing materials, instrumentation, equipment, and resources of IPC PAS.
- facilitating communication between research centres involved in similar or complementary research domains
- increasing the national and international visibility of IPC PAS
- increasing the research opportunities for women in science

The two-way secondments supported and strengthened the IPC- PAS’s research potential, increased the speed of its development in planned priority research areas and kept within the innovatory research trends in the field.
The personal development of the staff was stimulated through making it easier for them to participate in international conferences. This opportunity was available to researchers with the consideration of two aspects: the presentation must be accepted as an oral presentation and the research subject must be within the Institute’s strategic priorities of research. IPC-PAS staff participated in 55 international conferences and workshops covering an interdisciplinary approach to Biotechnology, Nanotechnology applied to Health, Energy, Food and Materials Production. The direct confrontation of their own research results with those in the international environment provides the most effective means of self-evaluation and is a stimulus to achieve perfection. Participation in the conferences is also a very effective way of showcasing IPC-PAS's excellence along with improvement of its visibility.
The added value for IPC PAS resulting from participation in the international conferences and scientific meetings within NOBLESSE is, as follows:
- Supporting and mobilizing IPC PAS's human resources.
- Brain gaining through active research contacts with European well-established scientific organisations.
- Facilitating communication between research centres involved in similar or complementary research domains.
- More effective dissemination of scientific information and research results.
- Attracting PhD students from other institutions to apply for post-doc positions in IPC PAS.
- Increasing the national and international visibility of IPC PAS.

Establishing the Project Support Office (PSO) assisted by a project manager significantly affected the research performance of IPC-PAS. The lack of such an office forces the research staff to prepare complete research projects, including the financial part. When an application is successful it subsequently requires them to carry out the administration and accounting during implementation, whereas the time and effort engaged in those activities could strictly be devoted to research. Thus, the establishment of a PSO increased the capacity of the Institute, and the research capability of the staff was substantially upgraded.

The purchase of new equipment- a SEM microscope (FEI Nova 450 NanoSEM) equipped with a WDX spectrometer and optional equipment, a rotating disc electrode RRDE-3A, and a powder X-Ray diffractometer were essential for the realization of dynamically developing ICP PAS research. The acquisition and installation of modern equipment has improved the analytical capabilities of the Institute resulting in an increase in the number of requests to access our new equipment. This results in a number of publications and patents, as well as in co-operation and an improved ability to apply for research projects.
As an impact of the project the number of IPC PAS scientific publications with an Impact Factor of over 5 increased from 24 in 2011 to 39 in 2013.

The position of the Mazovia Region, although strong in Poland, is weaker than that of the highly developed countries in the European Union. The opportunity for Mazovia lies in infrastructural investments with participation in European and international projects, economic development based on the knowledge of society and in including the Region in developing processes, such as science, knowledge, and research.
Establishing a new “Mazovia Centre for Surface Analysis” within NOBLESSE, open for general use and the conduct of research for the Institute as well as for other research entities, has resulted in IPC PAS establishing new forms of cooperation and further development. The creation of an open-access “Electronic Laboratory Equipment Database” of research equipment available in specialized laboratories in the Mazovia Region is expected to help in the establishment of relations and new common research projects between research entities and to broaden the range of exploitation of laboratory equipment available in research entities and R&D centres for a wide group of potential users from the research and industrial fields.

Activities under the Project are additionally expected to contribute to building a regional platform of scientists, regional authorities and society, not only dealing with but also interested in sustainable development, and thus to improve communication, exchanges of opinions, increase competence and impact. The activation of various social groups in the region by means of multiple training and knowledge transfer is also expected. For this reason, representatives of researchers, business people, policymakers and other relevant users were invited to some of the events organized within the framework of the project. At the opening ceremony of the “Mazovia Centre for Surface Analysis” they were informed about the research capabilities of the new laboratories and the creation of the open-access “Electronic Laboratory Equipment Database” of research equipment. At the “Platform for Commercialisation of Knowledge” conference, IPC PAS representatives informed the wide audience about the Institute's experience in the commercialisation of research findings and advanced technologies, how to most effectively convert research findings into commercial products useful for industry and how to operate spin-off companies. The “Effective presentation and promotion of science” training session demonstrated how to enhance the role of the traditional mass-media in the communication of scientific issues to the general public.

Under NOBLESSE there were many activities disseminating knowledge among researchers (scientific conferences and workshops), children and youth (Open Days), students (participation in student conferences with lectures about the Institute), the general public (Science Festivals, Science Picnic), business people and regional authorities (trade fairs), etc.
Thanks to the Noblesse Project we developed one of the best systems of scientific press releases (certainly the best in Poland and one of the best in Europe). On our website there were 60 press notes released during the project. They included 60 notes in Polish and 36 in English. Of these 60 notes 23 appeared on ScienceDaily (6 million unique visitors per month) and on TreeHugger (>3 million users). 60 Polish notes appeared on approx. 500 portals and 36 English notes on approx. 570 portals. Nearly 28,000 visits were registered and 13,500 downloads were made from AlphaGalileo. Since 2013 we have also published 22 notes on the EurekAlert! (4.8 million views per month). The visitors on EurekAlert! are mainly academic personnel, journalists and editors who are representatives of the media from all round the world. Our press releases have been viewed 46,000 times. Our notes generated numerous hits, among others, on Phys.org the largest physical world service with approx. 2 million unique users per month, which gains higher than the average user ratings. During the implementation of the Noblesse project more people could see the achievements of our Institute than during the whole 60-year history of the Institute.

As a result of all the described activities, the visibility of the Institute increased significantly. This process, though difficult to measure exactly, is reflected in the growing number of interviews, citations in the press as well as the increasing interest in our educational offer. The number of students who undertake student internships in our laboratories has grown rapidly from 35 in 2011 up to 91 in 2014. The number of candidates applying for interview for IPC International doctoral studies has increased from 11 in 2011 to 22 in 2013. The number of doctorate students increased from 68 in 2011 to 72 in 2013, with a simultaneous increase in the number of doctoral degrees granted from 6 in 2011 to 12 in 2013.
The number of inputs in the web page of IPC-PAS has grown from about 5,900 in October, 2011 (the start of the project) to about 7,000 in October 2014.

One of the indicators of the impact of the project on increasing the research capacity of IPC-PAS is first place in Poland in the Q1 Category (High Quality Publications) in the SCImago Institution Ranking. There is also an important category: Excellence with Leadership. The Excellence rate indicates the amount (in %) of an institution’s scientific output that is included in a set of 10% of the most cited papers in their respective scientific fields. Leadership indicates the percentage of an institution’s output as main contributor, that is, the number of papers in which the corresponding author belongs to the institution. Excellence with Leadership indicates the amount of documents in the excellence rate in which the institution is the main contributor. In 2009 our Institute was ranked at 31st place in Poland in the Excellence with Leadership category. In 2014 we moved 22 positions up and achieved the 9th place. The position of the IPC-PAS in the ranking also increased in such categories as: Innovative Knowledge Rank and Technological Impact Rank.

The management of intellectual property (IP) is becoming an issue in the research area. In Poland this is a serious problem, very often neglected by researchers who usually do not realize the commercial value of their invention. For research institutions the protection of IP is a very important and sensitive issue because any invention can have potential value which may be the object of trade. The IPC PAS staff were trained under NOBLESSE in industrial property rights issues and in the evaluation of patents. The number of patents granted increased from 6 in 2011 to 23 in 2013. The support of patent applications helped IPC PAS to be in the “top twenty” research institutions in Poland (for example the number of patents granted in 2013 is comparable to that of the 15 times larger AGH University of Science and Technology). Two spin-off companies - Scope Fluidics and Curiosity Diagnostics – are now cooperating with IPC PAS. Both companies plan to manufacture products for the medical sector. The Noblesse project helped us to broaden the scope of our patent activity and provided an active atmosphere for bringing science towards industry.

Encouraged by the increasing visibility of the Institute the Directors of IPC-PAS decided to organize an unprecedented Dream Chemistry Award Contest. The goal of the Contest was to award a prize to a young scientist for the idea of a scientific project in the field of chemistry, combining chemistry with physics, biology, medicine or materials engineering. The Dream Chemistry Award, a prize awarded for a visionary research project waiting for implementation, was for the first time funded and organized by IPC PAS in 2013/2014. The Contest was addressed to researchers from around the world, under the age of 36. Dutch chemist (from the Ecole Superieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles, France) Dr. Evan Spruit won the Dream Chemistry Award on 12 March, 2014. Two IPC PAS researchers, Dr. Jacinto Sa (and Prof. Robert Holyst, have just applied for ERC grants (the former has passed through to the second round). The Institute is now planning now to create a Department of Physical Chemistry of Biological Systems.

One of the most prestigious actions within NOBLESSE was the invitation of eminent European scientists with significant experience in science and who have acquired large European grants to deliver lectures on the topic "Combining Science and Management Presented on My Own Example" . 24 distinguished European scientists delivered lectures as part of this series. Apart from delivering lectures our guests visited selected laboratories of our Institute. Typically they visited 10-12 laboratories and had conversations with their principal investigators. We selected research groups for visiting led by either experienced or young researchers and also on the basis of overlap between their research area and the research area of the visitor. The lecturers were asked to prepare short reports about their visit pointing out strong and weak points and giving some recommendations. On this basis the lecturers prepared short reports emphasizing the strong and weak points of the Institute. They can be stressed as follows:
Strong points:
- Visionary leadership by the director and some group leaders.
- Coverage of very topical subjects. A good number of research grants and highly cited publications.
- Promotion of young researchers in the Institute gives them the opportunity to build research groups and independence. This is supported by innovative measures such as splitting groups and promoting postdocs to principal investigators.
- The enthusiasm of the people, who are proud of the scientific achievements of their teams.
- The recently refurbished buildings and laboratory infrastructure. Huge progress seen by persons who visited the Institute 20 years ago.
- The idea of the global prize “Dream Chemistry Award” to increase visibility and to attract people (students, young investigators) to the Institute.
- PhD seminars in English.
- Good internal collaboration between research groups. Numerous techniques available for people from other research groups.
Weak points:
- The lack of internal funding desirable for groups led by young researchers, and a well defined start-up package.
- o low (uncompetitive) salaries of young researchers, postdoctorals, assistants making it difficult to attract the best people.
- Many groups are settled in a well-established research area. The fraction of risky projects is too small. People are not trying to come up with scientific breakthroughs. This will result in publications in highest impact journals.
- Lack of a principal investigators meeting.
- Although there is already collaboration between research groups it has to be more intense and facilitated by internal seminars.
- The Institute is quite inbred and there are few non-Polish nationals
- Enhancement of international collaboration is needed
- The Institute is not exploring the Marie Curie Fellowship programme and not attracting Chinese postdoctoral and PhD students.
- Too small laboratories in some areas and lack of social space in the Institute.
- The closed workshop and lack of core technical facilities.
- The lack of a dedicated biological laboratory, despite the ambitions of many groups to branch out into biological sciences
- The lack of a group covering theory of physical chemistry, both structure and dynamics collaborating with experimentalists.
- Research in the laser centre is focused on technical issues not on answering specific questions
- The inconsistent web site
Following these remarks we have already taken the following measures:
- The "Dream Chemistry Award" prize was established not only to increase the visibility of the Institute, but also to attract young leaders. One of the applicants from the first edition became a group leader and applied to the ERC Young Investigators scheme.
- Two risky projects were submitted to ERC Ideas and ERC Young Investigators competitions.
- In 2014 three papers resulting from strong internal and international collaboration were published in the Nature group of journals.
- To increase laboratory space we prepared new laboratory space (800 m2) in a former machine workshop building. Some space was left there for a small machine shop and we help principal investigators in outsourcing mechanical and electronic work.
- A group in theoretical physical chemistry led by specialists in molecular dynamics (prof. Piotr Zarzycki and dr. Patryk Ejgierd-Zaleski) was established. Part of the research in this group is also experimental.
- The specialist in photochemistry and spectroscopy Dr. Gonzalo Angulo was moved as co-leader to the Laser Centre.
- Three non-Polish nationals (from Sweden, Portugal and Spain) became group leaders.
- Three specialist biological laboratories were established.
- The website is being continuously improved.
- The first Chinese PhD student was accepted. We are currently establishing strong ties with the Nankai University in Tianjin in China.
- Meetings where all principal investigators are invited were set up.

Plans following the project
We intend to continue the activities of dissemination of knowledge among researchers (scientific conferences and workshops), children and youth (Open Days), students (participation in student conferences with lectures about the Institute), the general public (Science Festivals, Science Picnic, press notes), business people, regional authorities (trade fairs), etc.
We also intend to set up two new spin-off companies and we plan to continue using patent procedures to protect the results of our research and apply for funds to pay the costs associated with this.
Another method of exploiting the outcomes of the Project is to undertake special initiatives in the areas of bio- and nanotechnology for health, food, energy and the environment after the implementation of the Project. For this reason we are planning to apply, in cooperation with our EU NOBLESSE partners, for joint research projects, create joint scientific publications, joint conference presentations and joint patents.
The website with all the information about the results of the project will be hosted for another five years after the end of the project. This will allow the Institute to refer to the website as a focal point of information about the project for the next few years.
In addition, some scientific papers have been submitted but not yet published. We expect at least 2 additional publications within the next few months.
The above actions will ensure the reinforcement and further upgrading of the research potential beyond the time frames of this Project. We assume that the recognition won during the term of the Project at regional and national levels will encourage the significant interest of partners from this region and further afield. This, in turn, will facilitate the setting up of long-lasting strategic partnerships with other institutions (SMEs), capable of generating new research initiatives benefiting the economy and society, and it will enable an increase in competitiveness and innovation of research.
The plans of using and disseminating the foreground of the activities within the NOBLESSE project represent the strategic vision of the Institute in terms of information about its achievements and results. The plan we implemented was intended to ensure that activities within NOBLESSE were oriented towards a target audience that included European researchers, potential users, students, national authorities, policy makers, SMEs and other partners for adopting IPC PAS's results. The Institute was diligent in completing its tasks and it should be noted that the press service of IPC PAS was distinguished by the Polish Press Agency for its information policy in 2012.

List of Websites:
http://ichf.edu.pl/noblesse/