The existing imbalance between the ease with which batch-fabricated micro components and Microsystems can be produced in silicon compared to the difficulties and the costs associated with their manufacture in other materials limits the speed with which new based-based products are introduced into the market. At the same time to broaden the range of these products and multiply their capabilities require the introduction of new materials and processes that are reasonably compatible with IC-based, batch-fabrication processes. The main aim of 4M is to develop Micro- and Technology-Technology (MNT) for the batch-manufacture of micro- components and devices in a variety of materials into user-friendly production equipment, processes and manufacturing platforms for incorporation into the factory of the future. To achieve this the proposed Noël will integrate the currently fragmented R&D capacity in non-silicon micro technologies in ERA into a European Centre of Excellence. The establishment of such world class expert resource and infrastructure at European level will be crucial to the future of European companies engaged in satisfying the growing demand for portable, wireless communication products and many lifestyle, health and transport related systems incorporating MNT. The network will have 30 partner' organisations, including 16 core partners - each an internationally recognised centre of excellence - from 10 member states and 4 associated countries. The proposed Centre intends to integrate facilities and create synergistic links to on-going R&D programmes with total values exceeding 110 M? And 66 M? respectively. 137 researchers together with initially 88 PhD students will perform the 4M Joint Programme of Activities, organised into eight specialist technology and application cluster groups.
- FP6-NMP - Nanotechnologies and nanosciences, knowledge-based multifunctional materials and new production processes and devices: thematic priority 3 under the 'Focusing and integrating community research' of the 'Integrating and strengthening the European Research Area' specific programme 2002-2006.
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