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The EUMINAfab ('European infrastructure for micro- and nanofabrication and characterisation') infrastructure facility has opened its virtual doors, and now offers researchers from science and industry open access to machines and know-how in micro- and nano-technologies.
Coordinated by the Germany-based Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) through its 'NANOMICRO: Science, Technology, Systems' programme, EUMINAfab combines scientific expertise with technological capabilities and provides top European research institutions and companies with solutions.
'Based on our extensive portfolio of miniaturisation technologies, users are offered specific micro- and nano-technological solutions for their problems and development projects,' explained project leader Dr Matthias Kautt from KIT.
EUMINAfab users are able to access 36 high-tech installations at 10 institutions in 8 EU Member States so as to obtain scientific and technological expertise. Access to this information is free for users as long as they agree to allow the project to publish their research results.
The EUMINAfab partners say that both micro- and nano-technologies make it possible for new materials, effects and functionalities to emerge. Because of their uniqueness, researchers assign these two complementary disciplines a key role in innovations in several areas. Thanks to EUMINAfab, researchers and developers have access to new pathways that provide them with the means to assess and process many functional materials.
According to the project partners, users can choose from a wide range of options, including gaining access to individual machines, and testing and assessing future technologies under conditions they have selected themselves. The development of coordinated technical solutions and tailored process chains are also on the list of options. The project targets micro- and nano-structurisation, as well as thin-layer deposition (mixing thin layers into surfaces), moulding and characterisation.
On 1 September, researchers and developers were invited to begin submitting project proposals through the project's website. The technical feasibility, scientific relevance and originality of the proposals will be reviewed independently; successful candidates will be granted access to EUMINAfab.
Financial support amounting to a maximum of EUR 6 million over the next three years is expected from the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). These funds are to be earmarked for the use or shared operation of facilities as well as for some travel expenses.
EUMINAfab also provides know-how and confidentiality for non-public proprietary research, but users are expected to bear the costs.
The European Commission has said the funding will help European science and industry actors gain easier access to technologies for their early transfer to products, and make their competitive advantage a reality.
EUMINAfab partners include Centro Ricerche Fiat SCpA in Italy, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique in France, Fundación TEKNIKER in Spain and the National Physical Laboratory in the UK.
For more information, please visit:
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology: www.kit.edu/english/
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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