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Slovak Centre of Excellence in Ion Beam and Plasma Technologies for Materials Engineering and Nanotechnology

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SlovakION (Slovak Centre of Excellence in Ion Beam and Plasma Technologies for Materials Engineering and Nanotechnology)

Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2016-05-31

The Centre of Excellence (CoE) SlovakION aims to become Eastern Europe’s leading research centre in materials research using ion-beam and plasma technologies. Based on a solid foundation of outstanding scientific research, a number of excellent applied research units are expected to flourish. Positioning SlovakION as a centre for engineering materials and electronics for automotive and electronics applications favouring close collaborations with industry, a unique role within Europe’s ion beam community will be achieved. An ion beam centre that bridges the gap between research and industry in fields such as automotive and smart electronics, which are a core part of Slovakia’s Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialization (RIS3 SK), is clearly missing.
Innovation and valorisation will be another key focus area for SlovakION fostering the demand-driven and profitable transfer of cutting-edge research results into economically and ecologically viable and robust industrial innovation. Experiences not only from HZDR and the Dresden scientific cluster, but also innovation processes from all over Europe require a holistic approach to innovation and valorisation of research results.
This deficit represents a unique opportunity for the STU University Science Parks (Univerzitný vedecký park, hereinafter UVP) “Science City” and “CAMBO”, the university itself as well as for the whole Slovak Republic. Based on substantial investments (€42M) supported by the European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF) program from 2007 to 2013 these contributed to infrastructure and human resources taking part in materials research using ion beam and plasma technologies. The project primarily focuses on further development of the Centre with a second stage follow up in analytical techniques, nanotechnology and advanced materials processing.
Emerging plasma techniques such as the High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (HiPIMS) will enable synthesis of materials with novel functionalities for automotive and biotechnological applications. SlovakION will also focus on high-energy ion irradiation and frontier ion beam analysis techniques which are highly relevant for interdisciplinary research (biomedicine, environment or food safety, engineering materials etc.). These techniques are based on the use of specific (radio)isotopes or the implementation of high-resolution chemical imaging techniques. STU has a long lasting tradition in ion-beam research, an accelerator laboratory at STU FEI was operating a 0,9MV home-built electrostatic accelerator. The opportunities with the recently acquired 6MV Tandem and 500kV single-ended accelerators are much wider and currently, a new multidisciplinary group of scientists with diverse backgrounds is being built up around the new labs, which began operating in 2016.
SlovakION in this regards relies heavily on the decade-long cooperation between STU and HZDR, which also contributed substantially to the construction of the new facility. Yet, as expertise in ion-beams and related research was limited to application fields the old lab was able to serve, SlovakION is in the obligation to attract and recruit excellent researchers as well as educate a new generation of scientists and broaden cooperation with other European and worldwide centres.
HZDR will not only contribute with its own experience in proliferating excellent research and develop fruitful technology transfer, but also is able to take advantage of the entire Dresden research cluster including a leading technical university, several thematically linked Fraunhofer institutes as well as a number of public-private partnerships.
In close cooperation with the Slovak government and relevant industrial partners, SlovakION will establish and develop an integrated system for technology transfer and applied research. As a long-term vision, this transfer model will be extended to other areas of research and industrial fields within Slovakia whilst be
During project duration we have worked out deliverables and reached milestones shown below. Main interest was aimed at Business plan preparation.
All meetings during phase 1 of Teaming project were devoted to Business plan to which we have also submitted minutes as reports.
Submitted deliverables (all reports and all confidential)
D1.1 - D1.4: Project Management, steering and executive meetings (M 3,M 6,M 9,M 12).
D1.5: Project Website (M 2)
D1.6: Business plan (M 12)
D2.1 KPI development plan (M5)
D2.2 Installation of the Scientific Advisory Committee (M6)
D2.3 Short- and long-term research agenda of the new CoE (M8)
D2.4 Facility and human resources development plans (M12)
D2.5 Integration and networking strategy (M12)
D3.1 Status quo analysis (M5)
D3.2 Exploitation and IP guidelines (M8)
D3.3 Innovation Gateway (processes, tools, organisational structure, capacity planning) (M12)
D3.4 Innovation and technology transfer strategy (M12)
D3.5 Implementation plan for innovation and technology transfer strategy (M12)
D4.1 Objectives report and schedule (M5)
D4.2 Comprehensive organisational system of new CoE (M12)
D4.3 Long term funding strategy (M12)
D4.4 Legislation impact report and action plan (M12)

List of milestones reached during project duration:
MS1: Kick-off Meeting. Minutes of the meeting. (M1)
MS2: Project Website operational. (M2)
MS3: Business plan. Approve of the Business plan by the JSC. (M12)
MS4: Approval of the SlovakION research agenda by the SAC (M10)
MS5: Design of status quo analysis approved (M2)
MS6: General agreement on general exploitation strategy reached (M5)
MS7: Implications and conclusions from status quo analysis for future development approved (M5)
MS8: General decision on Business- & Transfer models approved (M6)
MS9: General design of Innovation Gateway approved (M8)
MS10: Internal governance procedures and structure approved (M10)
MS11: Legislation impact analysis and action plan approved (M10)
Main result achieved so far is comprehensive, viable, and effective Business plan which includes detailed and robust plan of action, time schedule of setting up CoE SlovakION and its development over time, its own ogranisational structure etc.
SlovakIONs progress beyond the state of the art is its objectives and proposed organisation structure of CoE for phase 2 of Teaming project. Another parts of this progress are already reached pre-agreeements on Joint Venture Company and Common Ion Beam Centre with HZDR and HZDR-I as well as establishment of innovation and compensation/incentive fund.
The overarching goal is to build SlovakION as one of Europe’s leading ion beam and plasma technology research centres with both an excellent reputation in the scientific community as well as an effective link into the regional and European industry in order to transfer research results into industrial innovation.
Improve the scientific capability of the Slovak Republic by
- creating a leading ion beam and plasma technology research centre;
- strategically putting it on a path to scientific excellence and organisational growth,
- benchmarking it together with the resources and competences of HZDR via a Joint Ion Beam Centre; and
- making it financially sustainable via a mix of public and private sources.

Increase STU’s and as well as Slovakia’s access to competitive funding by
- engaging pro-actively and significantly in proposals for competitive funding on international and the European level, particularly by
- joining forces with HZDR in the Joint Ion Beam Centre also on the level of European funding; and
- engaging in industrial projects not only in Slovakia, thus attracting international resources from purely private or public-private sources.

Support the economic development of the Slovak Republic and the whole region by
- supplying targeted and industrial relevant innovations to the regional and European industry,
- focussing primarily on the automotive and electronics clusters of Slovakia and the surrounding regions. At a later tage, expanding into the field of biotechnology or other enticing fields,
- creating joint innovation network with the industry in a bi-directional transfer of ideas, research interests, industrial tasks for improvement, and even talent; and
- finally achieving profits not only for the companies involved, but also creating significant revenues for SlovakION.

Establish SlovakION as an example and source of experience for other scientific institutions in Slovakia and beyond by
- analysing and documenting SlovakION’s development, as well as
- making its experiences available in a suitable way.

Scientific topics
- Coating solutions and surface functionalization by next generation PIII&D based on HiPIMS technology
- Emerging ion beam analysis techniques
- Ion-beams in transdisciplinary research

Joint Ion Beam Centre
An important success factor for the sustainable development of SlovakION is the continuation of the existing decade-long cooperation between HZDR and STU’s faculty MTF in Trnava. This will now be done on a higher level, leading to a Joint Ion Beam Centre with facilities in Bratislava / Trnava and Dresden-Rossendorf in the second part of the project period. The general approach is to realize a close bilateral collaboration under a joint organizational umbrella following the rules for Integrated EU infrastructure which include common TNA offers, research activities, and networking but will also compass joint innovation transfer and commercialization activities.
The Joint Ion Beam Centre will integrate many scientific and organisational functions, but preserve the legal independence of the two scientific institutions SlovakION and HZDR IBC. The goal is to create an even larger and more versatile research institution with similar capabilities in plasma and ion beam technologies. A number of complimentary and synergetic specialisations will be installed which delivers a clear benefit for the user community. Figures in attachement illustrate complementary and synergetic capabilities of SlovakION and HZDR IBC with respect to their research activities and facility specialisation.
This integration combines complementary rese
Evaluation and choice of scientific topics
Joint Ion Beam Centre: Complementary and joint research activities of both institutions
Concept of the STU-HZDR joint ion beam centre
SlovakION internal structure
Joint Ion Beam Centre: Complementary and common facility capabilities of both institutions