Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - SAMOSS (Sample In - Answer Out Optochemical Sensing Systems)

Sample In – Answer Out Optochemical Sensing Systems

Summary of final report

In the SAMOSS network the overall objective was to develop optochemical sensors (applied to detect relevant analytes such as mycotoxins or antibiotics in foods, drugs in healthcare and endocrine disruptors such as contraceptive hormones in environmental samples) that are able to handle a chain of operations that should constitute an autonomous process starting with a sample and ending with reporting a result as an “answer”. To deal with this objective a consortium of 8 full partners and three associated partners was established. Crucial was the developed very efficient collaboration between the partners at the Universities, research institutions and the private sector. Another aspect was the qualification of recruited ESRs and ERs within the network. It can be stated, that the recruitment of the ESRs and the two ERs was temporal and qualitative successful. The latter is confirmed by the high scientific output of the project. With the exception of one, all recruited ESRs will finish her PhD.
The consortium was able to fulfil all the scientific plans and particular projects of SAMOSS with high quality and in time. As one result of the project, 23 papers in peer-reviewed journals were published; still more than 10 publications are in preparation. Beside numerous contributions to international conference (lots of them as invited lecturer or plenary lecturer), the scientific output of the project involves the above mentioned scientific papers, and one patent and, as the main result with potential impact for the collaborating companies, the development of three prototypes within the collaboration between the research institutions and the private sector. It is worth to mention, that 5 ESRs received prizes at several conferences as the best or as one of the three best poster contributions. This shows the international recognized high quality of the research done in the project as well as the high ability of the ESRs to present their research at the scientific community! Furthermore, a very high impact factor of the published papers (e. g. one of the papers has only 1 ½ year after publication already 19 citations) confirms this high scientific level of the results.
The communication between the ESRs and the ERs was excellent. They built-up a Facebook group as well as a WhatsApp group to distribute information between them. The team-building events and the kick-off meeting of the ESRs in Jena enabled from the first day of the project an excellent communication and friendship among the ESRs (and included later the ERs). The ESRs and the ERs were very well integrated in the activities of the partner institutions, especially by 36 secondment stays at partner institutions and the private sector, by the progress reports given at every training school and lots of additional activities.
The secondments of the ESRs and the ERs involved all partners in the consortium as host institutions. High attention was given to the transfer of the knowledge from the universities and research institutions to the private sector by having 8 secondments of the ESRs at the partners in the industry and 3 secondments of the two ERs at the scientific partners. The consortium established a very intensive exchange between the partners to fulfil the research plans of the ESRs, e. g. A. Karczmarczyk made her secondments at two partner institutions to use their expertise and instrumentation to develop a high sensitive biosensor system for the detection of mycotoxins in beverages.
To inform the non-scientific community about the project, the results and the specific aspects of the ITN network a high number of outreach activities were done involving articles in newspapers, presentations at student conferences, inviting pupils from High Schools to attract them to study natural sciences or engineering science courses. It was interesting to see how well these activities were adopted by the community, which confirmed the high interest of the non-scientific community in the topic of this project.
The research was done in four scientific work packages containing each several research objectives, starting from recognition and sensing elements up to prototype development and validation. The work packages included the individual researcher projects of the ESRs and ERs. But it is to mention, that the individual researcher projects were less individual as it seems. In opposite, the research activities in the network were very tightly connected and linked together. This was connected with a very intensive exchange of ideas, project details and scientific discussion among the fellows which provides them, from the very beginning, with an excellent knowledge of the possibilities and the expertise of the partner institutions. To foster this exchange of knowledge and ideas, team building activities from the very beginning of the project helped to overcome any fear of contact between the fellows as well as to the PIs.
Having this in mind it can be concluded that the SAMOSS project was within all aspects of an ITN training network very successful. But the collaboration of the partners has not finished with the end of the project. The partners and the former ESRs and ERs stay still in close contact. Lots of common activities are on the way to create new common projects, to apply again for EU projects within Horizon 2020.
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