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Multifunctional Nanoparticles and Materials Controlled by Structure

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NANOMATCON (Multifunctional Nanoparticles and Materials Controlled by Structure)

Periodo di rendicontazione: 2015-06-01 al 2016-05-31

NANOMATCON envisages the creation of a new Centre of Excellence (CoE) for multifunctional nanoparticles and materials controlled by structure at the Technical University of Liberec (TUL), in a close partnership between the Institute for Nanomaterials, Advanced Technologies and Innovation (TUL-CxI) and the German Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research (FhG-ISC) in Würzburg. This Centre will focus on up to now not yet realized automated high through put production of multifunctional nanoparticles, nanoinks and nanocomposites responding to an ever-growing world-wide demand. It will strongly contribute to close the gap between basic and applied research with respect to development, (3D-) processing and application of nanomaterials fostering market introduction. The new Centre will not only target a yet non-occupied market share in the European R&D landscape, it will also provide the basis for innovation for a number of industrial sectors in the fields of life sciences, energy as well as information and telecommunication technologies. The mission of the CoE is to contribute to Europe`s Key Enabling Technologies (KETs), it will help modernizing Europe’s industrial base, and drive the development of entirely new industries in the field of nanotechnology. The innovative fundamental high-throughput screening takes place at the TUL-CxI amplified by counseling, up-scaling and commercialization under the guidance of FhG-ISC.

Strengthening the innovation capacity through the CoE does not only result in positive economic effects, but it will also results in various important societal impacts:
: Through economic growth and the creation of new jobs, the unemployment rate and related negative societal consequences in Liberec region can be reduced.
: Through increased international mobility of qualified scientists (inwards and outwards) the understanding of and respect for foreign societies and innovation systems will be strengthened and will therefore contribute to the reduction of societal prejudices; it will also help to build up a European spirit.
: The introduction of low-lost, non-toxic and easy-to-recycle ZnO Nanotechnology and higher resource efficiency due to additional fully automated nanoproduct manufacturing will lead to higher social acceptance of nanotechnology and nano-based products.
: Through additional training activities for scientists and lab staff higher education levels can be reached with associated positive societal impacts.

The overall objectives are be divided into five groups:
A. Scientific: Key scientific personnel hired; Set-up of lines for nanomaterials development, Characterization platform established.
B. Technologic: Ramp-up of high-throughput screening systems; Set-up of 3D-laser printing station and successful patterning tests; First commerce near demonstrators available; Scale-up processes established
C. R&D management: Strategic portfolio process established, Marketing and sales processes established; Accounting methods established for independent acting; Network with EU based prestigious R&D players
D. Business: Revenues by projects, services and royalties outside the teaming project
E. Pedagogic/societal: Enrollments of MSc and PhD students; Postdocs and Researchers hired
Right from the beginning of the project, all the activities were targeted to the successful submission of the second stage TEAMING proposal. The work packages and the partial tasks were composed so that they cover all the aspects related to establishing, positioning, operation and sustainability period of the Centre of Excellence.
The project activities may be considered at 2 levels: scientific and activities related to management.
The scientific activities were performed within the WP 1 Long-term Science and Innovation Strategy with the final most significant output: D1.2 Final Science and Innovation Strategy and partly within the WP2 Regional and International Integration Strategy with the final deliverables: D2.2: Long-Term International Cooperation Strategy; D2.3: Concept for the integration of the Centre of Excellence for Nanomaterials into relevant market structures; D2.4: Synthesis report: framework conditions for effective and coordinated approaches to foster Centre of Excellence for Nanomaterials. In close cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research in Wurzburg, Germany, the comprehensive report on the scientific focus and activities of the CoE was prepared by the NANOMATCON scientific representative prof. Lubomir Spanhel. This report was a base for the second stage NANOMATCON proposal.
During the first project phase, four coordination meetings with both project partners – Fraunhofer Institutes (Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research in Wurzburg and Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW) and Czech-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce were organized. Next to these, more narrowly focused meetings were organized targeted on two crucial topics: scientific activities and organizational and management structure of the Centre.

Head of the TUL project team prof. Petr Tůma, director of the Institute for Nanomaterials, Advanced Technologies and Innovation (CxI TUL) was responsible for the negotiations on the future organizational structure of the CoE and its integration into the Institute´s structure. Final draft of the CoE structure was due to different legal environment in partner country the most crucial point, which led to solution in late spring 2016. The proposed structure as presented in the second stage proposal was agreed by both project partners and the base was presented to the Scientific Board of CxI TUL.
Continuously, business trips to the premises of academic and especially industrial partners, where NANOMATCON idea and research topics were presented, took place. In total 27 letters of Intent were signed.
The web page of the project was established. In first project month, the press release was issued, also during the life time of the project the popularized publication were issued. The project team participated at several conferences (NANOMATCON, NANO ISRAEL, Nanomaterials for Industry), one was organized at the TUL premises – NART 2015, where NANOMATCON project was presented. In April 2016 workshop for Industry at the premises of Czech-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce was realized, where more than 20 representatives of industrial companies listened to the presented research topics.
Prof. Petr Tůma, director of CxI, and prof. Kůs, rector of TUL had the opportunities to speak with many politic representatives and acquainted them with the project idea.
In March 2016 the ESIF NANOMATCON project was submitted to Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MEYS). This project should ensure the infrastructural funding for the investment and devices.
Scientific impact in terms of Access to new research avenues, creativity and the development of new approaches is expected mainly in:
a. Development of novel multifunctional particles, inks and composites (MFNP, MFNI, MFNC)
b. High Throughput screening of novel multifunctional particles with respect to optoelectronic, biomedical and solar antennas applications
c. 3D patterning of MFNP, MFNI and MFNC
d. Private research funding
e. Additive processing
g. Digitalization

Further scientific impacts:
: Increasing the scientific capabilities of Liberec Region and the Czech Republic
: Measurable and significant improvement in the research and innovation culture of Liberec region and the Czech Republic

NANOMATCON will create significant scientific impacts between institutes, universities and companies dealing with nanoparticles, nanoinks and nanocomposites over Europe and to enable more exchange of information between the individual players enforcing the scientific position of Europe in this field. NANOMATCON will also link different disciplines starting from chemistry, medicine, physics, engineering and information technology and will generate novel scientific targets. Both results in the increase of competitive strength of Europe compared to Asian, US and further developed countries and will lead to increased employment in the scientific and industrial sector of Europe, and, particularly, in Czech Republic. NANOMATCON will contribute to foster the implementation of the concept of Industry 4.0 in manufacturing. According to a study by McKinsey released in 2016 (Industry 4.0 after the initial hype: Where manufacturers are finding value and how they can best capture it), many manufacturers are still being held back. Six out of ten manufacturers are facing implementation barriers that are so strong that they achieved either limited progress in the last year or none at all.
NANOMATCON will not only contribute to scientific excellence and relevant progress in the focus areas, but will also trigger significant economic and social impacts:
: Enable Liberec region and the Czech Republic to engage in a strategic growth path in terms of long-term opportunities for economic development and increasing the regional value creation.
: Links to innovative clusters established.
: Improved chances to seek competitive funding.
: Strengthening the European nanotechnology base.
: Creating growth and jobs in Liberec region and the Czech Republic.
: Increased mobility (inwards and outwards) of qualified scientists.