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Centre of Excellence in Multifunctional Materials for Industrial and Medical Applications

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NOMATEN (Centre of Excellence in Multifunctional Materials for Industrial and Medical Applications)

Reporting period: 2017-09-01 to 2018-08-31

The overall objective of the NOMATEN project was to establish a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Multifunctional Materials for Industrial and Medical Applications that will exploit unique nuclear research infrastructure and expertise from Poland and Europe. The H2020 Teaming Phase 1 NOMATEN project was focused on development of a detailed and robust Business Plan for the CoE establishment and further operation.
We are proud to announce that – following the successful implementation of the Teaming Phase 1 project – the NOMATEN CoE was officially established and started its operation in September 2018 on the basis of the National Centre of Nuclear Research (NCBJ) through the partnership with two internationally-leading institutions: the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. (VTT). To support NOMATEN operation, the NOMATEN partners signed a Trilateral Framework Agreement, which created a background for further activities, while the Foundation for Polish Science provided a dedicated financial commitment of 10 million Euro in the frame of IRA PLUS grant.
The long-term vision for the NOMATEN CoE is to provide world-class research and development in two thematic fields “Novel materials resistant to high temperature, corrosion and radiation for industrial applications” and “Novel radiopharmaceutical materials for medical applications”.
The mission of NOMATEN is to serve well-identified impelling needs of industry and society in multifunctional materials for industrial and medical applications, as well as generate break-through research and innovation outputs and train new generation of experts in order to improve Poland’s scientific excellence, capabilities and competitiveness and provide long-term opportunities for economic development and societal improvements in Poland and EU.
A forward-looking approach to CoE sustainability consists of wide range and flexibility of research and technical capabilities to be accumulated by the NOMATEN CoE to deliver added value to three groups of customers – industrial companies, government and public bodies, and research community – in three market domains: energy, chemical and radiopharmaceuticals.
These areas are fully in line with the National Smart Specialization priorities of Poland and the governmental Strategy for Responsible Development of Poland for the period up to 2020, as well as addressing current challenges faced by the European Union on the way to strengthening the economy and providing prosperity of EU citizens. At the same time, these areas are vital for high-tech industries, which are quickly growing both in Europe and in Poland and heavily rely on innovations.
In line with the Teaming Phase 1 work plan structure and clearly defined sub-objectives, the partners performed the following work:
First of all, the partners organized an extensive Teaming audit in order to understand the current research and innovation position of each partner and the whole consortium. The audit was performed in a form of questionnaire and three intensive on-site visits to the each partner premises. Based on the audit results analysis, a set of practical recommendations were formulated to create a background for development of CoE concept and business model.
In parallel with these activities, the CoE organizational structure and operational procedures were developed in a way to ensure full autonomy of decision making by the CoE and to provide an environment, where multinational, multidisciplinary and versatile team of scientists performs advanced research and create innovations, enjoys academic freedom, has access to world-class research infrastructure and is supported by business, management and technical professionals.
A comprehensive market analysis in the CoE domains was performed. To clearly understand which funding sources are available for the research agenda of the CoE, market trends in main industrial market areas were evaluated, key industrial stakeholders and their development needs as well as the needs of other groups of customers (research community and society) were assessed. On this basis the International Marking Plan was set up.
At the next step, the IPR and technology transfer strategy for the protection and successful commercialization of research and innovation outcomes was developed. The principles of joint infrastructure planning, as well as procedures to provide shared access to the CoE infrastructure for both the CoE partners and external users were defined to ensure efficient management of research infrastructure. The Performance Assessment Systems already in use at NCBJ, CEA and VTT were analysed and benchmarked to create the comprehensive CoE assessment methodology.
Detailed analysis of 15-years financial scenarios was performed to assess the CoE self-sustainability. The diversified sources of the NOMATEN CoE funding were analysed and operation costs carefully planned in the context of four key successive – “SEED”, “STARTUP”, “GROWTH” and “EXPANSION” – up to full operational maturity. The cost plan includes a set of external funding which is already committed, and estimated revenues from CoE activities.
Finally, all the developed components were integrated into the comprehensive Business Plan, which covers the whole cycle of CoE establishment and operation. In addition to the above, the sound, ambitious and cutting-edge Research and Innovation Agenda was built across two thematic fields: “Novel materials resistant to high temperature, corrosion and radiation for industrial applications” and “Novel radiopharmaceutical materials for medical applications” to combine basic and applied research and bring excellent research and innovation outcomes. Also a detailed Action Plan to implement CoE long-term strategy was developed as a part of the Business Plan, which defines specific actions, processes and timeline for implementation the world-class CoE in Poland.
As a result of the Teaming Phase 1 project implementation, the NOMATEN consortium produced a detailed and robust Business Plan required for CoE establishment and further operation. Thus, objective of the Teaming Phase 1 project has been successfully achieved.
In the long-term prospective, operation of the NOMATEN CoE in line with the defined Research and Innovation Strategy and robust Implementation Roadmap will generate a strong impact on Poland and EU, specifically:
• Improve Poland’s scientific capabilities and competitiveness
• Improve research and innovation culture in Poland
• Create a long-term opportunities for economic development in Poland and EU
• Create a long-term opportunities for societal improvements in Poland and EU.
Thanks to all of these improvements, the NOMATEN CoE will help to mitigate the disparities between “widening” and “well-performing” EU countries. It will also help to exploit the potential of Europe’s talent pool in the most efficient way for the purposes of Europe’s competitiveness and its ability to address societal challenges in the future by focusing on international participation and cooperation.
Rollup poster from NOMATEN project presented at various events.