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Thursday, 11 January 2018

Nanotechnology brings together companies and research centres from both sides of the Pyrenees

A new European-funded project starting in February 2018 will enable greater cooperation between SMEs and research centres in the Spain-France border regions. Coordinated by the Basque company BihurCrystal, the ICN2 Atomic Manipulation and Spectroscopy Group led by ICREA Research Prof. Aitor Mugarza will be contributing their expertise. Here we present the official press release.

The European Interreg programme POCTEFA has awarded a grant of 1.2 million euros to the project, Trans-Pyrenean Node for Scientific Instrumentation (TNSI). This project aims to encourage and enable cooperation between SMEs and research centres based in the Spain-France border regions in R&D, innovation and technology transfer. In total some 1.9 million euros will be allocated to the creation of a technology hub for nanotechnologies, advanced materials and advanced manufacturing, highlighted by the European Commission as key enabling technologies (KET), and the development of three main areas of activity:

  • Pre-competitive research: the SMEs and centres will collaborate on the study of key technologies, exploring their technical and economic potential.
  • Fundamental research: products developed by the SMEs will be integrated into research projects, with a view to identifying improvements that will allow entry into new markets.
  • Training: a secondments programme for SME employees and young researchers will deepen their experience base and smooth the transition between academia and business.

These actions will be supported by a comprehensive programme of communication and dissemination that will include several specialised conferences and a summer school.

TNSI is coordinated by BihurCrystal and brings together five research centres, three SMEs, one university and one large facility, distributed regionally as follows: in Catalonia, the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB, CSIC), the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) and the ALBA Synchrotron (managed by CELLS); in Aragon, the Institute of Material Sciences of Aragon (ICMA, CSIC), the University of Zaragoza (UNIZAR) and GraPhene NanoTech (GPNT (SME)); in the Basque Country, BIHURCRYSTAL (SME) and the Centre of Materials Physics (CFM, CSIC); in Haute-Garonne, CEMES (CNRS); and in Hautes-Pyrenées, ISP-SYSTEM (SME).