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SYmbiosis for eNERGY harversting concepts for smart platforms on foils

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SYNERGY (SYmbiosis for eNERGY harversting concepts for smart platforms on foils)

Reporting period: 2020-10-01 to 2021-12-31

SYNERGY main ambition is to leverage the research, innovation, development and deployment capabilities of Portuguese widening beneficiaries (PT Cluster) in the multidisciplinary area of energy harvesting/storage and autonomous systems on flexible substrates, which involves deeply the fields of nanotechnology and advanced functional materials.

Implementing this vision, through SYNERGY, the lead Portuguese institutions aimed:

• Create a top environment for international scientific talent attraction/retention in Portugal;

• Create strong multidisciplinary cohesion within PT Cluster;

• Act as Portuguese leader and an international key player in nanotechnology, advanced materials, and advanced processing, targeting energy harvesting and storage for systems on flexible substrates.

This report describes in more detail the main project activities and achievements according to the expected project targets. However, the natural objectives of the project were deeply affected by the pandemic outbreak of COVID 19, strongly limiting one of the key factors of SYNERGY: face to face meetings, mobility of researchers, namely the ones of the Portuguese cluster aiming to enhance their technical and scientific knowledge and skills. Since this is crucial for the SYNERGY ambition, an extension will be of utmost relevance to fill in the gaps left by the pandemic.

Independent of that, relevant achievements were obtained, by exploring as much as possible digital platforms and online seminars for science promotion, together with impact concerning the Portuguese cluster and their mentors, to promote to the frontline the science and technology making the cluster a national reference, besides being a key actor for the European challenges in the future.
SYNERGY partners have worked close to RTO, Academies and industries, at national and European levels. They have promoted creativity and innovation, as a way to leverage the impact of the project gains concerning the acquisition of expertise by the PT Cluster institutions.

The activities performed and actions implemented so far allowed the PT cluster to advance on the three components listed in the summary of the context.
According to the initially defined objectives the following outputs were achieved:
• A draft of a Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) and a Science & Technology Roadmap (STR) at PT cluster
• Partnerships established with world-leading institutions in Europe (industry and scientific ones)
• Individual and joint proposals to several funding schemes
• Establishment of industry-driven initiatives at PT cluster towards the establishment of a pilot line
• Preparation in collaboration with other initiatives of workshops and summer schools concerning advanced materials and sustainability.
• Organization of popularisation action involving high-schools and civil society on nanotechnology and advanced materials toward energy-related applications
• Virtual training actions
• Strategic partnerships were established with science and technology dissemination players.
The implementation of the actions planned during SYNERGY, with a strong interaction between PT cluster research organisations (UNINOVA and CNMT/i3N) and the international leading organisations FhG-IKTS, UCC-Tyndall, POLITO and VTT, had already a positive impact in the:

• Scientific excellence and innovation capacity, nationally and internationally, translated by joint publications in high impact journals and other approaches to outstanding European institutions, regional authorities, and other stakeholders.

• Enhance reputation national and international, mostly translated by the invitations of the key members to integrate several committees of reputed conferences, the set of awards gained and the impact in social media.

• Attractiveness, and networking channels, where one important vector is related with a joint master, PhD programmes, and Cost actions at the European level where PT cluster has been included. Additionally, PT Cluster has integrated several national and European clusters

• Improve capacity to compete successfully for national, EU and internationally competitive research funding, where one vector has been exploring novel concepts with outstanding research groups to prepare national and international research project proposals. One key output has been the success in the agendas included in the Portuguese Resilience and Recovery Plan.

Furthermore, the activities to be implemented are expected to contribute to an increase in the economic impact of the area of Advanced Functional Materials, Nanotechnologies, Biotechnology and Nanoscience, aligned with the Smart Specialization Strategies at a regional and national level, namely, concerning the exploitation of green technologies and green products, and so allowing a better perspective for the future aligned with UN Sustainable Development Goals, grounded in scientific achievements.