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SupraChem Lab Report Summary

Project ID: 667387
Funded under: H2020-EU.4.c.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SupraChem Lab (SupraChem Lab - Laboratory of Supramolecular Chemistry for Adaptive Delivery Systems - ERA Chair initiative)

Reporting period: 2015-07-01 to 2016-09-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The strategic objective of the SupraChem Lab Project ( is to unlock and foster excellent research in the INSTITUTUL DE CHIMIE MACROMOLECULARA PETRU PONI (ICMPP) – IntelCentre by setting up a strong research group in the field of hybrid materials for adaptive self-organized supramolecular structures. The project is meant to improve the research capacity of ICMPP IntelCentre, as an outstanding Romanian research centre, by attracting and maintaining high quality human resources –recruitment of the ERA Chair Holder and other highly trained researchers, secondments of new scientific and research staff in leading European research centres having similar and complementary expertise, training the staff through participation in conferences, short training events, workshops, seminars dedicated to the use of new investigation techniques, etc. – and implementing the structural changes necessary to achieve excellence on a sustainable basis.
Considering the INSTITUTUL DE CHIMIE MACROMOLECULARA PETRU PONI (ICMPP) development strategy, the research challenges in the Romanian Smart Specialisation Strategy and the Horizon 2020 objectives, the ultimate goal for the IntelCentre is to build an optimal scientific research team capable to improve the excellence of the centre both within ICMPP and within the European research and innovation landscape. It is very important to match the IntelCentre scientific research topics to the level of leading international laboratories and to place the Centre at the forefront of Romanian research in the field of supramolecular chemistry.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

"The project started on 01.07.2015 and the first activity concerned the recruitment of the ERA Chair Holder taking into account the EC requirement that he/she should be both an outstanding researcher and research manager in the field of supramolecular chemistry, with a proven record of effective leadership skills – equivalent of R4 Leading Researcher. An open and merit-based recruitment process was followed based on both the Romanian and European legislation.
Based on the results of the recruitment process, Dr. Mihail-Dumitru Barboiu ( was appointed and his contract started on 10.10.2015.
Dr. Barboiu with the support of the IAB and NAB put in place a "Scientific and Management Plan" for the SupraChem Lab group. According to this plan, the group was organised in four different sub-projects that have as follows: (a) Dynamic Interactive Systems for Constitutional Water and Ion Channels; Subproject; (b) Constitutional systems for DNA transfection and drug delivery; (c) Dynameric networks and gels for delivery, cell recognition and cell growing; (d) Modelling and Theoretical chemistry of constitutional systems.
During the first implementation period of the project activities concentrated mainly on the start-up of the new research group. Thus, once the recruitment of the ERA Chair Holder was completed and the "Scientific and Management plan" was finalised, the main activities were directed towards the recruitment of the SupraChem Lab team and on the acquisition of equipment and materials needed for the start-up of the group.
In first reporting period, emphasis was placed on the training of the new team: two trainings with members of the IAB were organised (May and September 2016); one week training on ICMPP equipment; three trainings stages to IAB members.
The project activities were disseminated via several different means and a special attention was given to outreach and networking activities.
In spite of the short period of the team's existence, several dissemination activities have been performed and six articles have already been published in peer reviewed journals."

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

"As per the "Scientific and Management Plan", the research of the newly composed group focuses on Dynamic Interactive Systems-(DIS) operating under the natural selection to allow structural/functional adaptability in response to internal constitutional or stimulant external factors. The main targets demonstrating the ground-breaking nature of the SupraChem Lab group have as follows: (a) to improve the understanding of the adaptive functional self-organization towards the natural selection of the components by exploring the synergistic influence of internal structural self-assembly based on constitution and of self-evolutive behaviours on the addition of stimuli; (b) to ensure accurate control of functional responses through dynamic platforms developed through tuned incorporation of responsive components into nanostructures, with the extension toward the construction of appropriate micro-scaffolds; (c) to investigate application avenues towards larger impact of developed bio- and environmental responsive “smart” systems like membranes and delivery systems cell recognition and cell growing devices.
A deeper understanding of the physical properties of polymers in terms of their chemistry and supramolecular architecture raises many new scientific challenges. The successful exploitation of new polymers often hinges on their physical properties. Therefore,, a very important scope for the SupraChem Lab group is to achieve new fundamental knowledge and to assist the development of new hybrid materials with supramolecular structures. All these will equally contribute to the increase of the quality of research according to the NE Romanian Smart Specialisation Strategy objectives and to the creation of a working environment attractive for both experienced researchers and ambitious young researchers. Based on this idea, the SupraChem Lab project can assume a key position in supporting the increase of regional competitiveness and the integration of the Romanian expertise in supramolecular chemistry into the broader European research landscape.
Due to the fact that the strategic objective of the SupraChem Lab project is to unlock and foster excellent research in ICMPP IntelCentre by setting up a strong scientific research group in the field of hybrid materials for adaptive self-organized supramolecular structures, the impact of the project results will affect relevant external stakeholders, such as: (a) The members of the Chemical Sciences Section of the Romanian Academy – to benefit of their scientific expertise and to obtain the approval of the establishment of a new department within ICMPP; (b) The Romanian Authority for Scientific Research – to elucidate legal and managerial aspects related to the establishment and evolution of the new research group/department; (c) Prestigious international scientists – cooperation, support and monitoring performed by the International Advisory Board (IAB); (e) NE Romanian Development Agency – focussing on the NE Romanian Region objectives for Smart Specialisation Strategy that can benefit from research and innovation based on supramolecular chemistry; (f) Other local and regional stakeholders – several universities from Iasi, Suceava and Bacau, which can provide candidates for the new created group, different SMEs that produce medicaments that could collaborate with the new research group.
All external stakeholders have shown real interest in the establishment and implementation of the new group in ICMPP – especially, in the context of the ERA Chair initiative – and have also already expressed their willingness and commitment in supporting the implementation of the SupraChem Lab project."

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