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Promoting smart specialization at the Technical University of Moldova by developing the field of Novel Nanomaterials for BioMedical Applications through excellence in research and twinning

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NanoMedTwin (Promoting smart specialization at the Technical University of Moldova by developing the field of Novel Nanomaterials for BioMedical Applications through excellence in research and twinning)

Reporting period: 2018-11-01 to 2020-01-31

The main objective of the NanoMedTwin is to promote the Smart Specialization Strategy in Moldova through developing the field of nanomaterials for biomedical applications by enhancing the scientific excellence of the National Center for Material Study and Testing (NCMST) of the Technical University of Moldova via a collaborative strategic partnership program with world leading research institutions in Europe. In addition, promotion of technology transfer to medical institutions in Moldova within the NanoMedTwin project will aim at sustaining high-tech research and development in Moldova and attracting new investments for the creation of new jobs, thus leading to a considerable economic and societal impact. This is implemented by:
- Collaboration of NCMST with EU partners, aiming to promote links between Nano and BioMedicine fields, via expert staff visits, student visits for training at research intensive institutions and organizing attendance of NCMST students at specific modules of Master and PhD programs at the partner institutions.
- The training of a new generation of researchers is realised through establishment of a nanobiomedicine training program which integrate the principles of nanoscale science and biomedicine in research and coursework, via organizing a relevant multidisciplinary training program for graduate students, Master students, PhD students and young researchers at NCMST; organization of a summer school; online based training, as well as training and support in Horizon 2020 and towards the future FP9.
- Developing a strategic programme focusing on the field of nanomaterials for biomedical applications, establishing links with medical institutions in Moldova and building of capacities for promotion of technology, via short term visits of experts from NCMST to partner institutions for acquainting with best practices in innovation and technology transfer; training of students from NCMST at partner university units responsible for innovation and technology transfer; organizing a training program and a summer school in topics of innovation and technology transfer.
The main activities carried out during the first reporting period of NanoMedTwin and the main results achieved include the following:
- Aiming to promote the links between Nano and Biomedicine fields, 2 expert staff visits were performed to the University of Bristol and the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and 2 students training visits were carried out to the Hannover Medical School (6 months) and JRC (4 months). The expert visits aimed at getting acquainted with the research activities carried out in partner organisations and identifying research and training activities based on joint interests. The training visits focused on nanomaterials characterization and their interactions with biological systems, tissue engineering as well as extensive networking with peers and liaison with internationally recognised experts.

- The Advanced Training Course on Nanotechnologies and Biomedical Engineering of 188 hours was developed, consisting of 14 training courses structured in 6 modules, including topics such as nanotechnology, nanoelectronics, nanomedicine and nanomaterials, biomedical engineering, electrochemistry for nanofabrication, microfluidics and micromotors, biomaterials, biocompatibility, bioengineering and bioinstrumentation. The courses attended by up to 35 students started in October 2019 and are ongoing. The Autumn School on Nanotechnologies and Biomedical Engineering organized in September 2019 was attended by 33 participants, with courses delivered by professors and researchers from Hannover Medical School, University of Bristol, Technical University of Moldova, State University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Academy of Sciences of Moldova and Shizuoka University, Japan.

- Focused on building capacities for promotion of technology transfer in the field of nanomaterials for biomedical applications, senior staff visits and a student training visit (4 months) were carried out to the University of Bristol. NCMTS expert attended group meetings, networking events and was familiarized with best practices on technology transfer training available at University of Bristol. The student training visit comprised more than 200 hours of laboratory training, 50 hours of lectures and a dedicated industrial training module.

- Researchers from NCMST, TUM and other research institutions in Moldova received training on H2020 provided by EFPC. Two three-day workshops on Framework Program proposal preparation and project implementation were delivered in April and September 2019, attended by about 60 participants and receiving a very positive feedback from the audience.

- NanoMedTwin network of regional, national and European contacts increased, based on activities of mutual interest and new collaborative links. The international visibility of Moldova in nano-biomedicine increased considerably in connection with the organization of the 4th International Conference on Nanotechnology and Biomedical Engineering (ICNBME-2019) held in Chisinau on September 18-21, 2019, with active participation of NanoMedTwin consortium partner experts. Note that the Proceedings of the ICNBME-2019 were published by Springer and are available online (

- Dissemination of NanoMedTwin project results was ensured via participation in international meetings and via national mass-media (TV Companies, Radio-Moldova, news agencies portals). Seven scientific papers have been published in international journals.
The implementation of the NanoMedTwin project will promote the link between Nano and Biomedicine fields in Moldova, the convergence of nanotechnologies and biomedicine, and will offer innovative solutions for a series of healthcare related issues through training of young researchers, exchange of expertise and increased research excellence.

The research-intensive partners of the consortium will have access to the emerging pool of talent and markets in Moldova in the fields of nanotechnology. The strengthening of networking on a regional and European level will be used for preparing joint European and international research projects and to plan future twining activities with centres of similar expertise.

These activities will also provide a long and medium-term impact via educating Moldovan society about nanobiotechnology; translating nanobiotechnology science into economic and societal benefits and improving technology transfer to industry. Most importantly, this will sustain a dynamic development of research in nanotechnologies and nanobiomedicine in Moldova through expanding NCMST activities and increasing its level of excellence, so that it can compete and collaborate with leading research institutions in Europe, gain access to excellent project consortia for future EU calls for funding, accelerating creation of supply chains for high-end technology and market opportunities. NanoMedTwin will consolidate the role of NCMST in Moldova as a key institution in the network of research institutions, universities, technology parks and SMEs.
NanoMedTwin H2020 training workshop in April 2019