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A new EU-funded project is set to link up the world's leading formulation-science experts in a single network. Dubbed INFORM ('Integrating the nanoscale in formulations'), the 3-year, EUR 1.7 million project is funded under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
Formulation scientists study the mixing together of raw materials to create new products. The Formulation Science and Technology Group in the UK, one of the INFORM project partners, says that 'designing a formulation is akin to drafting a recipe, albeit with very specialist and highly sophisticated tools, and a more systematic approach'. The subject covers disciplines as diverse as chemistry, chemical engineering, pharmaceutical research and the biological sciences, and also touches on marketing, packaging, and environmental and toxicological issues.
Formulation science plays an important role in the development of many everyday substances, including personal care products, foods, pharmaceuticals and household cleaning products, as well as agrochemicals and coatings.
Furthermore, industry is increasingly looking to formulation science for support in the creation of high-performance, cheap and environmentally friendly products.
The latest developments in nanotechnology have not gone unnoticed by the formulation science community. However, the incorporation of nanomaterials in formulations requires a thorough evaluation of the impacts of these substances on human health and the environment.
The aim of the INFORM project is to enable the world's top formulation scientists to share best practice on the use of nanomaterials in formulations. It will focus its efforts in particular on six priority areas: the formulation of nano-bio materials; the handling and processing of nanopowders; process intensification and soft nanomaterial formulations; physical chemistry at the nanoscale; the nanoscale and the formulation of smart and functional coatings, films and tapes; and toxicology and other health effects of nanomaterials.
The project will encourage the transfer of ideas and knowledge amongst the project partners through a variety of tools. Scientific forums and technical workshops will boost the exchange of scientific ideas and the communication of research results, while networking events will help researchers find and cement contacts for future joint work.
Fact finding missions will allow partners to better understand each other's needs and facilities, and trade missions will promote the exchange of skills, ideas, services and products. In addition, a researcher exchange promotion will strengthen links amongst the project partners, who are scattered all around the world.
INFORM is coordinated by the University of Manchester in the UK, and the 17 project partners come from Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Malaysia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the US. They include universities, public research laboratories and companies.
For more information, please visit:
University of Manchester:
Formulation Science and Technology Group:
CORDIS, the Community Research and Development Information Service for Science, Research and Development, is the official source of information on the seventh framework programme (FP7) calls for proposals; it offers interactive web facilities that links together researchers, policymakers, managers and key players in the field of research.
For more information, please click here
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