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European Action towards Leading Centre for Innovative Materials

Periodic Report Summary 1 - EAGLE (European Action towards Leading Centre for Innovative Materials)

Project Context and Objectives:
The EAgLE project aims at establishing at the Institute of Physics of Polish Academy of Sciences (IF PAN) a multi-profile research Centre of European renown, dedicated to the design and fabrication of innovative materials, their characterization, and testing under extreme experimental conditions. The Centre should play a leading role in identification and selection of novel materials, structures, phenomena, and computational protocols for functional, new-concept nanodevices. The main objectives of the EAgLE project are defined as:
1. Enhancement of human capacity through twinning activities with leading European research centres, also in the currently emerging R&D areas, the recruitment of experienced researchers, organization of and participation in workshops and topical conferences.
2. Enhancement of technical capacity via purchasing new equipment and upgrading the existing facilities in the EAgLE laboratories, by exploiting the capabilities of European large facilities, and by developing appropriate theoretical and computational tools.
3. Fostering of innovation and promoting cooperation with industry by identifying the market needs, evoking entrepreneur spirit, and developing IPR strategy within IF PAN as well as by adapting laboratories, characterization protocols, and computational methods in order to deliver world-top expertise for industrial users.
4. Better integration in ERA by twinning activities with leading European research centres, organisation of focussed events, participation in international and European events, particularly foreseeing pan-European needs and project calls.
5. Increasing the visibility of the EAgLE capabilities and accomplishments through dissemination and promotion activities among following stakeholders: industry, academia, regional and national authorities, as well as public at large.

Twinning with 16 leading European research institutions (universities, research centres, and large European facilities) is foreseen. The partners have sound expertise in the field of materials fabrication (e.g. MBE, chemical synthesis, lithography, FIB), characterization (e.g. XPS, TEM, EELS, synchrotron diffraction and NMR spectroscopy), nanodevice design and testing (e.g. semi- and superconducting electronics, cryogenics, computer simulations). The research potential will be further enhanced through employment of 8 experienced specialists in the relevant research fields.

To enhance the technical capacity the acquisition of an X-Ray Photoelectron Spectrometer (XPS) is under way, to achieve element specific and chemical sensitive characterization of materials with 3D resolution. Another essential purchase is a cryogen-free dilution refrigerator, offering new opportunities to study properties of the materials and devices down to a few millikelvins.

To implement a new approach to innovation and cooperation with industry an Innovation Manager has been recruited. Transfer of innovations to new spin-offs, SMEs, and industry a management strategy on the IPR issues (intellectual property, licensing, and patenting) is an important part of the project. Effective IPR management is ensured by employing competent legal attorneys and a patent specialist. Project activities include also organization of and participation in trade fairs and brokerage events.

Activities towards spreading excellence, exploiting results and disseminating knowledge, which are aimed at raising the visibility of the EAgLE Centre and the IF PAN at the regional, national and international level as well as among selected stakeholders: society, regional and national public authorities and industry are foreseen in the project. The elaborated dissemination strategy implies the promotional activities through the entire duration of the project, parallel to other scheduled activities.

Project Results:
To achieve project objectives the work has been organised in seven work packages, six of which have been active during the reporting period, according to the work plan. The main results of the respective work packages are the following:
WP 1 Project Management
• A manual on project implementation has been elaborated.
• Two annual Action Plans (EAgLE Action Plan 2013 and EAgLE Action Plan 2014) have been prepared.
• Seven Management Board (MB) meetings have been organized.
• 1st meeting of the International Steering Committee has been organized and reported to the Commission
• 12 deliverable reports have been prepared and submitted to the Commission in due time.
WP 2 Enhancing of human potential through exchange of know-how and twinning activities
• 54 short term (up to 2 weeks) incoming visits from the twinning partners have been received
• 8 middle term (from 2 weeks to 2 months) incoming visits from the twinning partners have been received
• 1 long term incoming visit from the twinning partner has been received
• 24 short term visits to the twinning partners have been organized
• 12 middle term visits to the twinning partners have been organized
• 1 long term visit to the twinning partner has been organized
WP 3 Enhancement of IF PAN human resources through recruitment of experienced researchers and trainings
• Six experienced researchers and two experienced engineers have been recruited.
• A workshop on electronic structure of solids with Wien2k code was organized.
• The first of the two planned workshops on new challenges and solutions for XAS data analysis was organized.
WP 4 Capacity building of the EAgLE laboratories through purchase and upgrading of
research equipment
• Public procurement procedures for purchase of the XPS spectrometer and customized cryogenic platform were prepared, carried out, and concluded.
• The necessary room reconstruction and preparation of infrastructure for installation of the above equipment was assessed, initial works by the manpower of IF PAN were accomplished, the public procurement procedure for specialized reconstruction and installation works was prepared, carried out, and concluded.
WP 5 Enhancement of EAgLE innovation capacity, collaboration with industry and IPR management
• The recruitment for the posts of Innovation Manager and IPR Manager has been carried out and completed.
• The workshop "Priorities of Innovation Policy in Europe" was organized.
• Two day long workshop “Legal aspects of cooperation with innovative stakeholders” was organized.
• Meetings with representatives of CHM, Sensilab, and KGHM companies were organized, letters of intent were signed.
• EAgLE participated in 3 brokerage events, two European trade fairs, and seven trade fairs in Poland.
WP 6 Building of EAgLE visibility – promotion and dissemination activities
• Five topical symposia were organised in frames of the 2014 Fall Meeting of the European Materials Research Society in Warsaw.
• The XII International School and Symposium on Synchrotron Radiation in Natural Science was organized.
• The topical session “Materials for spintronics” was organized during the 17th International Conference on Crystal Growth and Epitaxy.
• 14 Eagle researchers from the Institute of Physics participated in 12 conferences (7 European conferences and 5 conferences outside Europe).
• The EAgLE website was designed, launched and updated with current information.
• Several promotion materials like: posters, rollups, visiting cards were designed and printed.
• The movie “Physics works wonders” was prepared, recorded and broadcasted on the TV channel TVP Polonia in four parts
• EAgLE Open Day at IF PAN was organized on 19.10.2013
• EAgLE participated in two editions of Warsaw Science Festival (September 21, 2013, September 20, 2014).
• The stand “Low temperature physics and precise time measurements” has been papered and interactively presented at the 18th Science Picnic organized by the Polish Radio and the Copernicus Science Centre
• A number of workshops and lessons for school and pre-school children popularizing various branches of physics, was presented with emphasis on the role of the EAGLE Project.
• A two-day long seminar for secondary school teachers was organized

Potential Impact:
Three sustainable outputs of the EAGLE centre have been defined as:
• establishing the highest quality research with a significant impact on the socio-economical development;
• transfer of knowledge and innovation into industry, providing the expertise of the highest quality for industrial and regional partners;
• the integration within ERA and, in particular, participation in and initialization of the projects within Horizon 2020 Programmes.
The activity area of the EAgLE Centre – innovative materials – is at the heart of any innovation in new generations of devices based on electron’s spin operation, as well as in new generation of precisely targeted drugs or multifunctional sensors. Materials themselves are the first step in increasing the value of such products and their performance. New materials open up new horizons for applications in many diverse sectors such as information technology, health, energy, environment, transport, chemical technology, and construction. The innovations proposed by the EAgLE researchers are based on new technologies making it possible to tailor the material structure at the nanoscale and to develop the material systems made up of components with nanoscale dimensions. Nanotechnology belongs to the key enabling technologies, defined by the Europe 2020 Strategy.

The improved research capacity will contribute in various aspects to the regional economic and social development of the Mazovia region. First of all, the highest level of unique research will foster the establishment of regional research specialization – smart specialization in the field of innovative materials. The building of such a specialization gives the opportunity to apply successfully to FP7 calls and the Horizon 2020 Programme and to attract renowned researchers form abroad to continue their scientific careers in the region. Moreover, the unique expertise will lead to the enhanced collaboration with industry and gives the EAgLE Centre a status of innovative centre aiming at technology transfer. The certification of laboratories planned in frames of the project will enable the effective cooperation with industry – both SMEs and large companies - consisting in providing modern services and unique expertise. The links with industry will support the economic development of the region and the country. The planned establishment of spin-off companies will have as well a positive impact on economic and social cohesion. The modern innovative and IPR strategies developed in the EAgLE Centre will contribute to the increased number of application of innovative research result supporting additionally the smart specialization of the region.

The upgrade of material potential of the EAgLE Centre through the purchase of modern scientific equipment - specialized units of the research infrastructure: X-Ray Photoelectron Spectrometer (XPS) and dilution refrigerator “cryofree” - enhances the level of research performed in the EAgLE Centre and gives the possibility to deliver unique expertise as well as attract top level scientists and engineers working in the field of innovative materials. It will help to maintain and to strengthen the leading position of the EAgLE laboratories in the field of innovative materials, and to provide a new generation of physicists with the tools necessary for the developments of their talents

Successful integration and active involvement of the EAgLE Centre in the European Research Area (partnerships, twinning with leading research groups in Europe) will be beneficial not only to its Polish members, but will considerably contribute to reducing the fragmentation of effort within Europe, which is one of the main goals of Europe 2020 Innovation Union Initiative

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