The networks NEXUSEAST and NEXUSPAN were launched to supplement and expand the activities of the ESPRIT Network of Excellence in Multifunctional Microsystems, NEXUS, towards cooperation with and integration of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the new independent States (NIS) of the former Soviet Union. Microsystems Technology (MST) is considered one of the most promising technologies for future European industrial competitiveness.
In its second phase, NEXUSPAN will supplement the NEXUS work focused on Western Europe by providing information on the status and development of MST and supplying links to key MST institutes and companies in Eastern Europe. The work will take into account the different R&D structure in the CEE/NIS countries and operate towards close cooperation between institutes and industry from Eastern and Western Europe.
Considering the achievements in the coordination of more than 50 NEXUSPAN members from 16 countries in the first phase, the following clearly defined activities will be executed:
annual actualisation of the Who is Who in East European MST through identifying institutions involved in MST;
providing a communication infrastructure for efficient information exchange between the member of NEXUS and NEXUSPAN and dissemination of relevant information to the members;
permanent technology assessment and evaluation of new technologies in the CEE/NIS;
providing input to the NEXUS task forces and user clubs from the specific perspective of Eastern Europe;
bringing together MST researchers from East and West for information exchange, joint training activities and joint research;
advising on and supporting the set up of national MST infrastructures.
As a result, it is expected that NEXUSPAN will shortly include and coordinate up to 100 members from all CEE/NIS, leading to close links and efficient cooperation between East and West Europe in the field of MST. All activities will be disseminated both electronically and via the widely acknowledged newsletter "mst-news". To achieve a greater awareness of the specific situation in the CEE/NIS an "mst-news" special on Eastern Europe will be prepared. NEXUSPAN is launched as a part of NEXUS.