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Monday, 15 July 2013

ICN2 spearheads Nanometrology initiative for Barcelona KEY

Proposal led by ICN2 to build dedicated Nanometrology centre accepted in first round of planning for Barcelona KEY, the hi-tech cluster planned for northern Barcelona

A proposal launched by ICN2 and associates to build a dedicated Nanometrology centre has just been accepted in the first round of evaluation of possible projects for Barcelona Knowledge Economy Yard (KEY), a high-tech cluster slated for construction in northern Barcelona over the next few years. The centre, BCNanoMet, was among eleven projects chosen from 53 proposals in the Call for Ideas for KEY, which will eventually house academic institutions, research centres and technology companies. These eleven proposals currently represent 20 institutions. For instance, BCNanoMet is a public-private initiative led by ICN2, and also including the UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and the Spanish companies APPLUS+ and IRIS, though it would eventually incorporate other industry partners.

Barcelona KEY was envisaged by the city halls of Barcelona and Sant Adria de Besos as a way to ensure that the Barcelona metropolitan area remains competitive in tomorrow's knowledge economy, based on the three core activities of Higher Education, Research and Entrepreneurship. As part of the planning stages for the site, the organisers recently evaluated a diverse array of proposals from key players around the world, hoping to draw world-class facilities in Biomedicine, Nanotechnology, Engineering and TIC to the future site. Other proposals that have passed the first round of evaluation include an engineering campus of the University of California, Irvine; campuses of the French business school ESCP Europe and of Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT); and initiatives in Neurosciences, Online Learning and other areas. Meanwhile, the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC) is already building a new campus on the site.

Nanometrology is a rapidly expanding field in which researchers are establishing standard measurements, methods and even terminology for nanoscale phenomena. BCNanoMet has been designed to provide industry-focused R&D, training, certification and support services in Nanometrology, drawing on the expertise of its members in this area. It would encompass a "total package" of Nanometrology expertise: researchers, testing and certification laboratories, training providers, instrumentation providers, industry consultants and legal experts. The consortium hopes that the centre, should it go ahead, will grow to have a staff of some 50 people within about 5 years.

For more information on Barcelona KEY, click here.