Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 1 - IBS-NETWORK (Network for Sensor Knowledge Transfer)

The aim of this Research Exchange programme Ionophore Based Sensor Network (IBS-NETWORK) is to establish the scientific basis from which the utility and potential for IBSs can be extended in a range of new sectors. To achieve this requires the combined expertise from a number of disciplines and backgrounds, including analytical science focused on IBSs, organic synthesis, material science, microfluidics and statistics. IBS Network combines expertise of researchers in these fields and we expect that the research exchange between these groups will achieve the following main goals:
• Greatly expand the utility and potential for application of IBSs in a range of new sectors with recognized potential for benefit (climate action, health, wellbeing, marine and maritime research and food security) through the:
o Scientific validation of a range of new methodologies utilizing current sensor platforms;
o Development of novel platforms able to house IBSs and utilize the existing methodologies and new methodologies established in this project.
• To strengthen existing and create new research collaborations between experts from a number of disciplines, techniques and equipment. As such they will be capable of addressing major issues in development of new generation of sensors for application in a wide variety of critically important industrial sectors.
• To provide the basis for long-term, sustainable collaborations in research with the knowledge to take forward developments in the IBS field.
The main objectives of the exchange programme comprise of 1) Research objectives, 2) Knowledge Transfer objectives and 3) Strategic objectives.
1) Research objectives
a. Develop new materials, scientifically verified methodologies and sensing platforms for utilization of IBSs hence break new grounds for their expansion in non-traditional sectors.
b. Introduce new sensing concepts that will open new research avenues and directions for future IBS development.
2) Knowledge Transfer objectives
a. Build a sustainable team of future leaders in the IBS field with the expertise necessary for leading future developments.
b. Create conditions for the translation of acquired fundamental knowledge from visionary research into industry.
3) Strategic objectives
a. Fostering collaboration between EU and the rest of the world.
b. Foundation of long-term joint work.
c. Leverage funds from multitude of funding bodies:.
During the first year of the project the main objective was:
i. to extend already existing collaboration within IBS Network members and
ii. to promote dialogue and flow of ideas in order to initiate new collaboration.

Achieving the objectives for the first year lays the foundation for the successful achievement of the above mentioned objectives of the entire IBS Network exchange programme.
The activities of the project are organized in three scientific themes divided into a total of 10 work packages (WPs). The purpose of Theme 1 (Synthesis of adaptive and responsive materials) is the design and synthesis of new classes of hybrid materials with the view of their application in sensing applications. The purpose of Theme 2 (Characterization and understanding of mechanisms of response) is characterization and critical evaluation of materials parameters relevant for their sensing application. The activities in Theme 3 (Development of new methodologies and sensing platforms) are focused on the development of new methodologies and sensing platforms capable of addressing the challenges associated with application of IBSs in the non-traditional sectors.
Activities across all three themes took place during the first two years of the project. It is very interesting that activities in the network spontaneously resulted in the formation of two core sub-groups that became the leaders of research activities. For example, groups at Keele, Clark, and UNE formed a really vibrant research focus group forging a very active and intensive collaboration. A number of new hybrid materials and analytical methodologies were developed that demonstrated excellent abilities for application in real-life samples. This work crossed Themes 1 and 3 (through WPs 2 and 10). In addition, groups in UNIGE and USC formed another focus group. They forged a really intense and fruitful collaboration around which teams from ABO and NJU gravitated the most. These groups collaborated on the utilization of highly-specialized instrumental techniques to elucidate the electrochemical properties of newly synthesized hybrid materials. This work addressed Themes 1 and 2 by crossing between WPs 7 and 9. Finally, admittedly less intense yet meaningful new collaborative work has been done between groups from UCF and NJU, Keele and NJU, and Keele and USC. The plan and expectation is that the latter collaborations are expanded and extended in the next two years of the programme while the intensity of the core focus groups is maintained.
It is important to note that this work achieved both objectives for the first year of IBS Network project. For example, the groups form UNIGE and USC which are classified as world leaders have really maintained this reputation and included a number of research groups classed as emerging leaders thus allowing their development which has been identified as an important goal of the IBS Network. Importantly, IBS Network promoted discussion between EU-based groups. A number of visits and exchange took place (at no cost to IBS Network). The discussions and encouragement by UNIGE, USC, and ABO really allowed the emergence of the strong core formed by Keele, Clark, and UNE. In our opinion this is really encouraging development particularly from the aspect of development of experienced researchers from these groups.

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United Kingdom


Life Sciences
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