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Twinning for Improving Capacity of Research in Multifunctional Nanosystems for Optronic Biosensing

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - TWINFUSYON (Twinning for Improving Capacity of Research in Multifunctional Nanosystems for Optronic Biosensing)

Reporting period: 2017-04-01 to 2018-12-31

The project Twinning for Improving Capacity of Research in Multifunctional Nanosystems for Optronic Biosensing (TWINFUSYON) was a 3-year H2020 TWINNING project initiated on 1st January 2016. TWINNING is a new instrument of the Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation (SEWP) part of Horizon 2020 program. The philosophy of H2020 TWINNING projects lies in strengthening of a specific research field in a research institution through linking it with internationally-leading partners via a number of institutional networking and training activities. The aim of the SEWP projects is to increase research quality and prestige of a coordinating institution from a country with lower efficiency in research, development, and innovation through knowledge transfer and exchange of practices with leading institutions.
The TWINFUSYON project unites 4 partner-institutions Masaryk University, CEITEC – Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC MU, Czech Republic), CNR-NANOTEC (Italy), Linz University (JKU, Austria), and CNRS-LNCMI (France) under a unique mission to seek opportunities in the development of nanotechnologies, new materials and structures with intelligent surfaces and exceptional mechanical, electrical, magnetic, optical and biological properties to develop novel design of an optronic biosensor.
The TWINFUSYON aim was to strengthen, to the highest European level, CEITEC MU scientific excellence and innovation capacity in emerging multifunctional two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides materials and heterostructures coupled with plasmonic nanosystems for a novel generation of label-free non-invasive optronic biosensing by harmonising integration of expertise in nanomaterials synthesis, characterization at nanoscale, nanofabrication technologies, theory and modelling development, design of biosensors, which are the building blocks to innovate biosensing devices.
During the 2nd reporting period, TWINFUSYON team, with their specific expertise in different fields, has continued in reinforcing the research performance of CEITEC following the three main directions: (i) by direct transfer of knowledge via guest lectures at CEITEC, (ii) by performing joint research activities and trainings with CEITEC researchers in various laboratories, and (iii) by disseminating information about CEITEC and TWINFUSYON actions with various channels at national as well as international level. A number of results were already achieved, resulting in joint publications in prestigious international peer-reviewed scientific journals and presentation at international conferences.
Furthermore, several high-profile joint training events were organized. International workshop entitled New Frontiers in linear and Non-linear Optical Spectroscopies and Microscopies for chemo- and bio-sensing took place in Italy, International Winterschool on New Developments in Solid State Physics was held in Austria, EMFL school in France and last but not least a workshop called Advances in Single-Molecule Research for Biology & nanoscience taking place in Linz and the other.
The joint project results were presented at number of international conferences, e.g. at International Symposium on Nanophysics and Nanoelectronics, Nizhny Novgorod, AVS 64th International Symposi & Exhibition, Florida, International Symposium on Modern Optics and Its Applications, Indonesia, 14th Biennial Conference on High Resolution X-Ray Diffraction and Imaging “XTOP 2018”, Italy and many others. TWINFUSYON project was also presented at various occasions in Czech or Slovak Ministry or at REA (Coordinator´s Day) as examples of good practice. Last but importantly, the consortium placed emphasis on dissemination of TWINFUSYON activities as well as the project as a whole among wider public via active participation at Researcher’s Night, open days and other events for public.
Thanks to a collaboration with top European leaders in the field, TWINFUSYON project helped to reinforce CEITEC research profile as well as its international recognition. During the whole time of the project implementation, number of collaborative publications co-authored by CEITEC and other TWINFUSYON partners was published in prestigious journals. CEITEC has also improved in the quality of publications in the field of functional properties, synthesis, and analysis of nanostructures. During the implementation period, the number of publications with impact factor bigger than 4 published by CEITEC researchers in the field rose from 26 in 2015 to 38 in 2018.
The collaborative links created in within the 1st repoting period were further reinforced within the 2nd period. The novel partnership within TWINFUSYON have expanded the research profile of CEITEC towards novel research directions in current condensed matter physics, notably in 3D Dirac semimetals in cooperation with LNCMI-CNRS, in graphene and related materials and their biofunctionalisation in cooperation with CNR-NANOTEC and in plasmonics and new model analysis in cooperation with JKU. These new collaborations and networks importantly advanced CEITEC towards becoming an internationally acknowledged excellent research institution with increasing research and innovation potential of the South Moravian region in the Czech Republic, which aims to become one of the innovation hubs of Europe.
The social relevance of TWINFUSYON lies also in the establishment of a consolidated scientific and technical platform in the area of multifunctional nanomaterials for biosensing that can be exploited in various fields of food safety, security, environmental monitoring and life science, for a healthier society and for generating interest of companies with activities in the field of biosensing with consequent open opportunities of jobs for the trained young scientists.