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A new €1.7 million EU funded project involving 17 world-leading research institutions - and led by The University of Manchester - will encourage the transfer of ideas and knowledge between top scientists around the world.
The InForm project will provide a boost to an exciting area of research known as formulation science.
Formulation science is of vital importance to the development of many products that make our lives more comfortable, safer and enjoyable - such as household and personal care products, foods, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and coatings.
These products contain the appropriate quantity of several compounds, mixed, arranged, and structured to perform a specific application.
But the development of new formulated products using novel materials - including nanomaterials - requires a careful evaluation of the environmental impact and toxicological effects.
Nanoformulation is already helping with the development of more effective methods of drug delivery with in the body.
In industry there is a huge demand for high performing, cheap and environmentally sustainable products - and formulation design has been identified as being key in their development.
Now researchers working on the three-year InForm project are aiming to bring together top scientific knowledge in this area to enhance understanding of the subject.
At present, the design of formulated products is based on repeated cycles of measurements and testing, and the optimisation strategy depends to a large extent on the ‘experience' of the formulator.
InForm will create appropriate platforms for dissemination between researchers from Europe, USA and Asia-Pacific working in academia, public research laboratories and industry in order to identify and enhance complementary interests.
InForm will distribute its activities between six thematic lines that are of fundamental importance in formulations, using activities such as scientific and technical forums, networking events, fact finding missions and technical workshops to achieve its goals.
A researcher exchange program will also enable seeding of new collaborations between partners in different world regions.
The project has been funded by the European Commission through the European Union Framework 7 programme.
Notes for editors
The full list of InForm partners is as follows:
* The University of Manchester (UK) (coordinator)
* Automaxion SARL (France)
* Bayer CropScience AG (Germany)
* Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (Spain)
* Daren Laboratories (Israel)
* Dechema (Germany)
* Higgins Consultancy Ltd. (UK)
* Indian Institute of Technology Madras (India)
* Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences, A*STAR (Singapore)
* Novartis (UK)
* Royal Society of Chemistry - Formulation Science and Technology Group (UK)
* Societé Chimique de France (France)
* Southwest Forestry University (China)
* Strider Research Corporation (USA)
* University of Malaya (Malaysia)
* University of Sydney (Australia)
* YKI, Institute for Surface Chemistry (Sweden)
The thematic lines are as follows:
* Formulation of nano-bio materials
* Handling and processing of nanopowders
* Process intensification and soft nanomaterials formulations
* Physical chemistry at the nanoscale
* The nanoscale and the formulation of smart and functional coatings, films and tapes
* Toxicology and health effects of nanomaterials
About University of Manchester
The University of Manchester has an exceptional record of generating and sharing new ideas and innovations.
Many of the advances of the 20th century began at the University, such as the work by Rutherford leading to the splitting of the atom and the developments of the world's first modern computer in 1948.
Today, we are one of the world's top centres for biomedical research, leading the search for new treatments for life-threatening diseases. We are also at the forefront of new discoveries in science and engineering.
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