How to send your input? Just email us at RTD-NMP-MATERIALS@ec.europa.eu.
Brussels, Belgium - 21 June 2013
The clustering meeting "Nano and advanced materials for cultural heritage" will take place on 21/06/2013 in the MADOU Auditorium, Place Madou 1, Brussels.
The meeting is dedicated to FP7 projects dealing with nano and advanced materials for cultural heritage.
The event will involve six projects:
HEROMAT, IMAT, NANOFORART, NANOMATCH, PANNA and ROCARE.
The purpose of the meeting is to foster collaboration and synergies among these projects. A special focus will be put on SMEs-related issues and on the exploitation and commercialisation of results.
For more information on FP7 research for protection, conservation and restoration of cultural heritage assets, see here. (PDF version)
For more information on the Joint Programming Initiative on Cultural Heritage, see here
A second and more complete version of the brochure which reviews materials modelling in projects funded under the EU Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) is now available for download here (PDF version, 2.58MB)
This update is based on the numerous (and positive!) reactions of our stakeholders and readers of the first brochure.
It includes a renewed definition of mesoscale models, the addition of new FP7 projects and statistical mechanics models at all scales.
Last but not least, colourful graphs present the digested data!
The website has been also re-designed to present the modelling information in a more interactive way.
You are welcome to navigate it with the help of the many hyperlinks
Comments and suggestions are welcome and may be sent by email to
On 17 April 2013 the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted an opinion on the Commission's Communication "Promoting cultural and creative sectors for growth and jobs in the EU" which is relevant for advanced materials.
The EESC believes that a medium-to-long-term strategy is needed to provide the cultural and creative sectors (CCS) with, among other things, a technological dimension that promotes research into new technologies and innovative product and process applications with creative added value and the use of designers as intermediaries or facilitators of interface processes between development, technology and production.
The full text of this recent EESC opinion in all EU languages is available here.
Recently, the European Commission funded several projects in answer to a call for proposals for developing novel materials and design based solutions for the creative industry.
For more information, see here (PDF version) and the projects websites:
Share with us your ideas RTD-NMP-MATERIALS@ec.europa.eu
In December 2012 the Members of the European Resource Efficiency Platform issued a memo called MANIFESTO FOR A RESOURCE-EFFICIENT EUROPE which started with the following statement:
In a world with growing pressures on resources and the environment, the EU has no choice but to go for the transition to a resource-efficient and ultimately regenerative circular economy. Our future jobs and competitiveness, as a major importer of resources, are dependent on our ability to get more added value, and achieve overall decoupling, through a systemic change in the use and recovery of resources in the economy. According to the OECD, this could lead to steady economic growth with business opportunities across the whole economy.
Here (PDF version, 188KB) you can find some further thinking around such an approach, with a non-binding overview of concepts linked to close-loop management of materials and to the circular economy.
© picture : Andres Rodriguez, #42031736,
2013. Source: Fotolia.com
The NanoFormulation conferences organised through the FP7 Project InForm (Integrating Nanomaterials in Formulations) in 2010, 2011 and 2012 have been helping to realise the potential of the nanotechnology investment by providing an interface between the formulation scientists and engineers on one side and materials scientists, optical physicists, bio-scientists, regulatory scientists and surface technologists, on the other.
Some of the partners are now organising NanoFormulation2013 which will be held in Manchester, 18-21 June 2013. Continuing in the spirit of the InForm project but without using EU funding, this event will share the best practices on the use of nanomaterials in formulations, including graphene, as well as a showcase on formulating industries.
The objective of the study was to identify, determine the characteristics of and develop a classification system for “emerging industries”. These are industrial sectors, typically based on new products, services, technologies or ideas, which are in early stage development and are characterised by high-growth rates and market potential.
18 candidates for emerging industries were identified. New Materials was among the 18, but had a low score on employment and turnover.
Seven final emerging industries were selected:
According to the study, these emerging industries have significant potential to fuel economic growth, help renew or diversify a country's or region's economy, and create new and high value-added jobs. The development of these emerging industries is key for enhancing Europe's present and future competitiveness and prosperity, for enabling its industrial renewal by fostering the development of robust and sustainable industrial platforms from which European companies can compete globally, but also for unlocking the innovation required to allow Europe to shift towards a low carbon, resource-efficient and knowledge-based economy.
Comments and suggestions are welcome and may be sent by email to
Read the report (PDF version, 5.83MB)
Four proposals have been positively evaluated by the European and Chinese experts, resulting from the first co ordinated call for research proposals in “Biomaterials: Imaging and rapid precise prototyping technology for custom made scaffolds”, launched by the European Commission and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) to accelerate scientific progress in this important field as well as to foster greater co operation between China and the EU.
Due to the announced budget availability, negotiations could be initiated only for three of the fours proposals, which will cover the development and tissue prototyping of bioscaffolds for bone regeneration, nervous system and urethra reconstruction and the deployment of natural inorganic polymers and smart functionalised micro-units into such bioactive scaffolds.
The objective of the call was to integrate medical imaging, e.g. computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and rapid micro/nano prototyping in order to create customised scaffolds using novel biomaterials for tissue regeneration or repair. An added feature of this co ordinated call and giving it its name, was to foster a balanced cooperation from European and Chinese researchers in each project, in the form of integrated and coordinated research activities with approximately equal research effort on both sides, along with an intensive exchange and training of researchers as part of a successful proposal. A more intensive exchange and training of researchers was also needed as well as the added value of the European-Chinese cooperative research. A total number of 28 proposals was received by the EU services and were evaluated by a panel of experts drawn from the relevant scientific fields both from China and the EU.
The experts felt that the experience was a positive one and worth repeating, perhaps on a grander scale in the future, and recommended the European Commission and NSFC to act in this sense. All in all, the exercise can be considered as highly appropriate for the closure of the Chinese Year of the Dragon (2012), which is considered to be the ultimate auspicious symbol of success and happiness.
© picture : Deyan Georgiev, #38170704,
2013. Source : Fotolia.com
A portfolio analysis on Value Added Materials has been carried out during the last five months. The final result is now available.
This portfolio analysis shows that material science plays an important role along the innovation value-chain and that research on materials is also largely cross-cutting as it encompasses multiple disciplines and various fields of application.
This analysis contributes to the strategic discussion about future European research and underlines the crucial importance of material science to tackle the Grand Challenges of our society and deliver valuable solutions to improve quality of life of the European citizens, stimulate growth, wealth and job creation.
Portfolio Analysis (PDF version, 895KB)
© picture : Delft University of Technology
Self-healing materials are materials that are able to repair themselves after damage caused by e.g. impact, abrasion, corrosion, wear, fire, and ice.
Self-healing materials are of great value for society and economy, most certainly for industrial sectors such as chemistry, high-tech and energy. They can increase the material reliability and durability and enhance safety when used in vehicles, machinery and transportation infrastructure. They can reduce maintenance, incidents, injuries and permanent damage; reduce environmental pollution, and urban noise. The development of the self-healing capacity of materials as asphalt, concrete and coatings, is a great technological innovation and is crucial to preserve European infrastructure, cohesion and business operations.
In answer to a recent call for proposals published by the European Commission for developing self-healing materials, 2 projects (SHINE and HEALCON) concerning smart concrete or asphalt have been funded.
They propose the development and encapsulation of viscoelastic polymers that undergo spontaneous self-healing and of non-elastic repair materials, such as calcium carbonate precipitated by bacteria, or new cement hydrates whose formation is stimulated by the presence of hydrogels.
The project SAMBA was also funded in the same call, and proposes the development of self-healing thermal barrier coating for turbines and other thermally loaded structures in order to realize a significant extension of the lifetime of critical high-temperature components.
Related projects receiving national funding are also running in the Member States, let us know your success stories!
The European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes has announced the “Graphene” flagship initiative, with one billion euro in funding over a period of 10 years from the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) scheme as well as national and industrial sources.
Graphene is a material with an extraordinary combination of physical and chemical properties: it is a very thin (two-dimensional) material, it conducts electricity better than copper, it is stronger than steel and it has unique optical properties.
Knowledge concerning graphene and how to obtain it experienced a jump in 2004, thanks to remarkable work of European researchers. Its applications are studied in multiple fields, e.g. in ICT, where it could potentially challenge silicon.
The "Graphene" flagship initiative is led by Prof. Jari Kinaret, from Sweden's Chalmers University; it involves over 100 research groups, with 136 principal investigators, including four Nobel laureates.
Graphene research has long been supported by the Materials Unit of the European Commission's Directorate for Research and Innovation. In 2008 the NMP programme published a call for research on graphene, followed by a workshop in 2011 (click here for the proceedings) bringing together European Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and three Nobel prize laureates and then a further call, published in 2012, on graphene production technologies.
There are at present 8 NMP research projects related to graphene running, with a total budget of almost 45 million euro and an EC contribution of 31 million euro, and several others are currently being evaluated.
Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn met students from St Killian's College at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition held in Dublin 10-12 January. Their project, entitled "A 'cool' cool box", had been selected as one of 550 finalists in the category “technology“ for the 2013 awards at the 3-day event. Their work, inspired by the Secret Materials Box learning tool developed by DG Research and Innovation, consisted of a box design using nanomaterials to bring fresh, healthy and safe-to-eat lunches to school.
This remarkable project shows how the interactive experiments in the Secret Materials Box can support science education activities and empower young people to harness the innovative potential of advanced materials. The next edition of the material boxes, which are currently out of stock, will be announced here The BT competition broke previous records of participation, attracting more than 1,800 entries from over 4,000 students, and the exhibition was visited by over 40,000 people.
The EU project CRM_InnoNet intends to create an integrated community that will drive innovation in the field of Critical Raw Material substitution. The scarcity of Critical Raw Materials, together with their economic importance for EU industry, makes it necessary to explore new avenues towards their possible substitution to reduce the EU’s consumption and decrease the relative dependence upon imports.
The project will survey current EU initiatives in the field of substitution of Critical Raw Materials, produce a methodology for prioritisation of ‘threatened’ applications and deliver a Critical Raw Materials Substitution Roadmap. A Pole of Excellence will be created to provide a dynamic, open and proactive platform for the entire stakeholder community.
To receive further information about this project, please contact Catherine.Joce@ciktn.co.uk.
Report on the round table discussion, 5 October 2012, Brussels
The aim of the meeting, organised by the European Commission (DG Research and Innovation, Unit Materials) was to hold an open discussion on the materials research and innovation needs of the creative industries.
In line with the definition of creative industries (Commission Green Paper “Unlocking the potential of cultural and creative industries”, 2010), representatives of creative industries linked to the European materials and manufacturing industries were invited, e.g. architecture, art, crafts, supports for cultural items, decoration, fashion, furniture, lighting, interior design materials and products, jewels, luxury, media supports, publishing, sport and toys, amongst others.
The participants expressed the need to support creativity-driven (e.g. design-driven) innovation by reducing the knowledge and communication gaps between the material scientists and engineers, the designers and creative communities and the producers. All actors capable of adding value to products and processes should be considered upstream in material development. Research projects and prizes have been identified as effective instruments that can spread awareness, stimulate new ideas and the conception of new products, connect players along the value chain, and speed up access to market.
Download the full report here (PDF version, 1.15MB)
A brochure reviewing modelling in materials research has been published recently, see menu on the right (‘Modelling Materials’) or click here
Models are useful to industry when they have reached an advanced maturity and cover a wide range of physical and chemical phenomena. This requires strong interaction between the different modelling communities and industry, and, because of the complexity and long timescale of the code development and validation process, the support of programmes such as NMP makes an important contribution to competitiveness.
Among other things, it contains statements from the industries involved in our Programme on how they use modelling and the achievements that can NOT be obtained experimentally.
25 representatives of key stakeholders in materials science and engineering met in Brussels on September 10th 2012 for the Materials Summit 2012.
They provided the European Commission with input for defining more effective and efficient research, development and innovation support measures to the benefit of the quality of life of the European citizens and of a more competitive, sustainable and inclusive industrial economy.
The full report of the Summit may be found here (PDF version, 169KB).
Comments on the conclusions of the Summit, as well as suggestions for future research and innovation in materials, are welcome and may be sent by email to the following address:
The Commission has adopted on 10.10.2012 the Communication “A Stronger European Industry for Growth and Economic Recovery” highlighting how industrial revolution can bring industry back to Europe
The role of innovation is emphasized, with a focus on six priority areas with enormous potential for growth and jobs in Europe:
Human capital and skills are key; it is needed equipping labour force for industrial transformations, notably by better anticipating skills needs and mismatches.
Early this year, the President of E-MRS, FEMS and EuMat have endorsed the Aarhus Declaration (see below in this blog) where manufacturing industry committed itselfto join forces with the public sector to significantly contribute to European recovery and to address the challenges facing our society.
European materials researchers are willing to share in this effort in order to achieve the goal of a stronger, more competitive and sustainable industrial the economy in Europe.
The "Mihai Eminescu" School in Braila, Romania, organised a Physics Summer School (20-24th August 2012) for schoolchildren aged 9-14, using the free of charge educational boxes provided by the Materials Unit, DG Research and Innovation.
Children were encouraged to perform hands-on experiments, discuss applications of materials and nanotechnology in our everyday life and brainstorm on the possible uses of the smart materials studied.
Prof. Maria Neicu from the Science Department said of the experience: “The "Secret Materials" educational sets were a great way to make classes more exciting, to ignite imagination and curiosity in our pupils, as well as foster a critical spirit when it comes to everyday applications of emerging technologies. We congratulate you for this initiative and we are looking forward to more educational sets!”
For more information on the Physics School:
Agenda (PDF version, 408KB)
Worksheet (PDF version, 340KB)
Imagination exercise results (PDF version, 251KB)
Journal (PDF version, 897KB)
The new edition of the material boxes, which are currently out of stock, will be announced here
Target group : All citizens and organisations are welcome to contribute to this consultation.
Contributions are particularly sought from companies, organisations and researchers active in metrology research and its application.
Background : A European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP) has been established under FP7, a metrology-focused European programme of coordinated R&D that facilitates closer integration of national research programmes. EMRP is jointly supported by 22 participating Member States and associated countries and the European Commission. The running initiative under FP7 has according to its midterm assessment clearly contributed to the creation of the European Research Area (ERA). However further steps should be done and further integration in particular towards MS having little metrology capacity is suggested. These aspects should lead to an improved situation coming from EMRP under FP7 to a successor programme under Horizon 2020.
Objective : The consultation aims at assessing the state of play of the European metrology research system and the challenges it is facing. It is specifically seeking input in connection with the preparation of a potential successor initiative of EMRP (European Metrology Research programme) under Horizon 2020.
Closing date : 23.12.2012
The FUMAT 2011 conference held on 22-23 September 2011 in Warsaw discussed the vision of future materials and manufacturing in relation not only to technological progress but also to societal challenges, political needs and financial capabilities.
The FUMAT 2011 position paper has been recently published by the organizers.
It reports the debate conclusions on several topics including the role of advanced materials in the grand challenges, horizontal initiatives on materials, and challenges in various sector applications (energy, transport, environment, health, sustainable development and societal aspects).
For more information (PDF version, 8.01MB)
A survey on how FP7 NMP consortia include and handle environmental issues has been conducted recently.
Overall, it was found that consideration of environmental issues helps to create a technological culture that avoids future health and environmental damage, which is costly in human and economic terms.
Two main advantages of including environmental and eco-toxicity issues upstream in the innovation value chain in materials projects have been identified by the respondents. It helps developing less harmful materials and processes (by substitution or optimisation), and paves the way to faster industrial take-up of promising material solutions.
For the full report please click here (PDF version, 417KB)
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, highlighted the potential of the new EU-funded project WINSMART in a speech given at the Public Private Partnerships Information Days, held in Brussels on 9-10 July 2012.
Studies show that Europe uses 40% of its energy consumption in buildings which also account for 36% of our greenhouse gases emissions. Improving our buildings to save energy will have an immediate and considerable impact on our energy (and economic) balance. Since windows are critical for the energy performance of a building, improved solutions for “smart windows” (i.e. multifunctional systems with enhanced energy efficiency), at a reasonable price, are urgently needed.
In answer to a call for proposals published by the European Commission for developing novel materials for smart windows with enhanced energy control, the project WINSMART will develop a new vacuum insulation glazing solution and combine it with newly developed and robust switchable glazing systems mounted in durable and energy efficient sash and frame. Additional functionalities targeted include switchable optical properties, anti-fogging, scratch resistance and easy cleaning. Three other projects (SmartBlind, MEM4WIN and HarWin) are also funded under the same call, for which the total FP7 contribution trespass 15 € million for total budget for the research and innovation activities of more than 22 € million.
More on Energy efficient Buildings (EeB) PPP
Black-board designs of metamaterials (artificial materials with advantageous or even radically new properties) have been around for some years. Manufacturing 2D and 3D nanostructured metamaterials was a challenge.
Four projects have been funded by the European Commission within the seventh Framework Program with the purpose to develop appropriate fabrication and characterisation technologies for nanostructured metamaterials: NIM_NIL, NANOGOLD, MAGNONICS, and METACHEM.
The lists of exploitable results of the four projects (PDF version, 7.72MB) are presented in this recently published brochure.
Using nano-scale inclusions and clever materials engineering, it is now possible to realise the black-board designs of metamaterials operating with light and spin waves.
The brochure presents these manufacturing and characterisation technologies to the application designers, who can then use them to create sensors and filters for information processing, which may find application in all industrial sectors. These optimised manufacturing technologies can of course also be applied outside the field of metamaterials to create advanced 2D or 3D nanostructures.
On July 10th, the European Parliament Science and Technology Opinion Assessment (STOA) panel organised the “Materials for the 2020 Challenges” workshop together with representatives of the European materials community. The workshop promoted a debate between scientists, industrial representatives and EU politicians on the crucial role of materials science and engineering in supporting and driving the future European industrial and societal growth. In this context, Director Herbert von Bose, from the European Commission, talked about the future of materials research in the next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation 'Horizon 2020'.
In their concluding remarks, Prof António Correia de Campos and Dr Paul Rübig, members of the European Parliament and of the STOA Panel, confirmed the commitment of the European Parliament to promote materials research and development and to tackle the normative and regulatory impact on the use of traditional and innovative materials in commercial or industrial production. They also stressed the importance of drawing political attention towards creating the conditions for decreasing the European dependency on materials produced outside Europe and stimulating the creation of European producers of strategic materials for the European industry.
The FP7 NMP project NANOCLEAN realised a textured mirror cup as demonstrator of self-cleaning 3D complex plastic components for the automotive industry.
This is a step towards developing an industrial production method for injection moulded products that mimic highly water repelling (super hydrophobic) surfaces found in nature.
This texturing technology will result in self-cleaning surfaces for outdoor applications, where rainwater washes off the dirt without leaving any traces
More info (PDF versio, 844KB)
Figure: Self-cleaning mirror cup mould during the texturing process and with the completed texture, by Lightmotif BV, The Netherlands
The report on the workshop "Forward Looking on Materials for Emerging Energy Technologies", held on 28th October 2011 by the European Commission (Materials Unit, Directorate Industrial Applications, DG Research and Innovation), is now available here (PDF version, 1.84MB).
The aim of the workshop was to identify research and development of new materials to support emerging low carbon energy technologies for market deployment by 2050.
Possible priorities, bottlenecks and synergies have been identified for a variety of emerging energy technologies and materials, including artificial photosynthesis, thermoelectrics, piezoelectrics, salinity gradients, osmotic power, thermoacoustic power, structural power materials, materials based design, low energy nuclear reactions and high altitude wind power, together with their potential for industrial development and successful deployment of materials with improved performance.
NMP consortia are invited to submit Join Research Projects (JRPs) on one of the 55 science research topics selected by the European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP) committee after the first stage evaluation
All details can be found here
Closing date: Monday 01 October 2012 (23.59 CET)
To register interest in a topic and see who else is interested click here
Information about Partnering meetings
At the EU Danish Presidency Industrial Technologies conference 2012 in Aarhus the European material research societies and the technology platform EuMat have engaged themselves in the effort to realise a stronger, more competitive and sustainable industrial economy in Europe.
Representatives of Industry and of Research and Innovation communities have signed the attached Declaration (PDF version, 554KB)
The Chinese Committee for Biomaterials (CCBM) and the European Society for Biomaterials (ESB) have been cooperating for a long time. In 2006, they started a series of joint conferences, the China - Europe Symposium on
Biomaterials in Regenerative Medicine. Subsequently, the European Commission has been liaising with the National Science Foundation of China with a view to set up a coordinated call on biomaterials research, development & innovation.
More information and background on the EU-China cooperation in the area of biomaterials can be found here (PDF version, 1.04 MB).
6th June 2012: Conference Centre Albert Borschette, Brussels
NMP is planned to contribute to the work programme "The Ocean of Tomorrow 2013".
One item of interest to the NMP materials community is "OCEAN 2013.3 Innovative antifouling materials for maritime applications".
What Will Happen on the Infoday?
For more information:
On March 28, 2012, a Trilateral Conference and Workshop on Critical Materials was hosted by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Japan. Participants included officials from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the European Commission, and the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as material scientists and executives from related industries.
Critical materials, including rare earth elements, are essential for producing several key components in high technology devices that support our daily life. Possibilities for technological solutions to current challenges in the critical materials market have been discussed, including national strategies on R&D and supply chain management from mining to recycling of critical materials. The first day was devoted to a strategic political analysis while the second day was a closed internal technical workshop to advance the trilateral cooperation. The latter included a discussion on how to involve joint cooperation in science and technology and thus accelerate the needed innovation in the field.
The EU and Japan decided to collaborate in the substitution of rare materials by launching a joint call for proposals in summer this year: FP7.NMP.2013.4.1-1 Development of new materials for the substitution of critical metals
Agenda of the Trilateral Conference and Workshop on Critical Materials
News item on the EU Delegation to Japan
Seagate Technology, involved in the EU projects ULTRAMAGNETRON and FEMTOSPIN, has doubled the storage capacity of today’s hard drives with the Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) technology supported in these projects.
Seagate achieved the one terabit per square inch demonstration with breakthroughs in materials science, in particular ferrimagnetic rare earth-transition metal alloys, and near-field optics.
The EU project ULTRAMAGNETRON contributed considerably to the scientific understanding and Seagate will continue to work on the subject in the project FEMTOSPIN which is aimed at developments even beyond HAMR.
Figure: The ultimate recording system consisting of magnetic islands, each representing a bit of information, reversing under the heating effect of a laser beam (courtesy Dr R Evans)
For more information:
The European Commission, Directorate Industrial Technologies - Materials Unit, organised a workshop in Brussels on March 14th to present the recently published market study on "Technology and market perspective for future Value Added Materials".
The goal of the workshop was to help develop and implement a new integrated approach to research and innovation policy which takes into consideration investment willingness and venture capital strategies for the successful transfer of research results into commercial products. The agenda of the workshop is available here. (PDF version)
The workshop highlighted that a critical dialogue and a common understanding of scientific needs and commercial opportunities of future value added materials are crucial for the accurate evaluation and design of early stage technologies, where both the risk and the potential for innovation and commercialisation are high.
Full text of the market study. (PDF version, 4.08MB)
Start of 5 Coordination and Support Actions (CSAs) on Materials Innovation
In FP6 several Networks of Excellence (NoE) have been creating Durable Integrated Structures (DIS).
Five of these associations that were successful in industrial activities have been selected in FP7 to strengthen their approach to innovation using targeted Coordination and Support Actions (CSAs).
The CSAs will focus on optimising the technology transfer to the industry and will prepare for innovation in the form of access to material and material technology databases, R&D and training services, testing and modelling, infrastructure use, market studies, Life Cycle Assessments, telephone hot lines, studies in the form of state-of-the-art reports, market studies, roadmaps, cost analyses and benchmarking.
As the projects are dealing with very different materials, material technologies and application sectors, the innovation approaches will be very diverse.
A natural source for innovation on
self-cleaning (bio-mimetic) materials
© Ilona Wellmann Photography
More information can be found here (PDF version, 244KB)
Final report is now available on-line
The Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), the EU Delegation to Japan, and the European Commission's Directorate General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) organised an expert workshop in Tokyo on 21-22 November 2011.
The workshop reviewed current research activities in Japan and Europe that are aiming for the substitution of critical raw materials. In addition, several topics were identified and discussed for possible bilateral cooperation in this field of research. The conclusions of the meeting were provided to the European Commission and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) with the recommendation to explore the possibility of funding coordinated EU-Japan research projects in the field of materials substitution.
For further information please download the final workshop report (PDF version, 680KB)
Overcoming Europe's raw materials shortages
The supply of raw materials, the lifeblood of today's high-tech industry, is increasingly under pressure. With a view to increasing Europe's own production, the European Commission has proposed to set up a European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on raw materials.
The aim of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) is to address weaknesses, bottlenecks, and obstacles in the European research and innovation system that prevent or slow down good ideas being developed and brought to market. The EIP on raw materials is not a funding instrument. Nonetheless, Member States, companies, and researchers will join innovation efforts to support exploration, extraction, and processing of raw materials.
For more information please visit the EIP on raw materials website.
The press release can be found here (PDF Version).
Call for images and pictures to visualise the scientific and economic importance of materials
Added Value Materials are key factors for progress in our industrial economy, making it more competitive, sustainable and centred on people's needs.
How can this be expressed with images or pictures?
Images relating to any area of materials R&D are welcome. It can be a single image or drawing or a composition. Image quality and resolution should be high (e.g., sufficient for use in print).
If you have any suitable images that you would like to send us, please:
If your image is eventually used, your contribution will be acknowledged as well as any copyright, as applicable.
Send your your image(s) to RTD-NMP-MATERIALS@ec.europa.eu
Barcelona, 28th May -1st June 2012
NanoFormulation2012 is the 3rd and final international event organized through the FP7 Project INFORM (Integrating Nanomaterials in Formulations).
NanoFormulation2012 will highlight the scientific and technical challenges in formulating materials at the nanoscale and will show that nanoparticles, novel in size, shape or surface chemistry, offer very attractive functional properties to a range of formulated products, from drug delivery systems to coatings.
NanoFormulation2012 will showcase that nanotechnologies are likely to offer a wide range of economic benefits as nanoformulation scientists unlock the potential of formulated products.
Alongside a traditional conference programme, NanoFormulation2012 offers delegates the opportunity to participate in 1-2-1 meetings and a Trade Day focussed on food nano-technology at Alícia Foundation
Call for abstract is open until 31/03/2012.
DG Research and Innovation, March 16, 2012 Brussels
This one-day workshop will provide an overview and perspective of research and development involving Biomaterials for Health.
It will also explore the various technical and economic scenarios linked to the potential development of such materials.
The workshop will take place on March 16, 2012 in Brussels and will bring together experts in the field both from the commercial and private sectors as well as research policy makers.
Registration will be free of charge. However, in view of the limited number of available places, we ask for expressions of interest to participate in the workshop to be sent to:
Participants will receive confirmation by March 9, 2012 at the latest.
More information on the workshop is available here (PDF version).
Belgium based research center IMEC reported to have achieved 8.3% efficiency with a polymer-based inverted solar cell. This is the highest value obtained so far for inverted polymer cell architectures. Organic solar cells are an emerging field of renewable photovoltaics, which has the potential to substantially increase the commercial viability and potential uses of solar energy in our society.
This success is a result of the cross-fertilization of know-how on cell processing, molecular design, and chemical synthesis in the FP7 project ONE-P (2009-2011). The European FP7 framework plays an important role to increase this type of collaboration between academia, research centers and industry, in particular for multi-disciplinary research and development
FP7 project ONE-P
Picture: Organic solar cell with inverted device architecture and 8.3% efficiency developed by imec, Polyera and Solvay.(With the courtesy of Imec.)
Stage 1 of the EMRP call 2012 will be launched soon
The European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP) is an initiative for high quality joint R&D amongst the metrology community in Europe, with partial funding from FP7. At stage 1 of the EMRP call all stakeholders have the chance to influence future R&D projects of the EMRP community by identifying potential research topics. Suggestions for potential research topics will soon be invited in the following areas:
The research topics that receive the highest priority at stage 1 will provide the basis for stage 2, when EMRP will invite proposals for joint research projects.
The first stage opened on 02/02/2012. Deadline: Sunday 18th March 2012 23:59 CET. Details are already available on the EMRP website.
New roadmap adopted by the European Commission
The Materials Roadmap has been elaborated by nearly hundred leading European scientists and industrial researchers. It is designed to support coherent and strategic decisions on materials research in industry and academia, both at European level and in EU member states. It is in line with FP7 and Horizon 2020 and with the priorities of the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan).
The Institute for Energy and Transport of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission has conducted a study to assess whether there could be any potential bottlenecks in the supply chain of low-carbon energy technologies due to the shortage of certain so-called high-tech metals.
The study examined the use of metals in the six strategic energy technologies in the EU, namely: nuclear, solar, wind, bioenergy, carbon capture and storage and the electricity grid. The study concluded that 5 metals, namely tellurium, indium, gallium, neodymium and dysprosium, are at a particularly high risk, with special relevance to the wind and photovoltaic energy generation technologies. Potential mitigation strategies and alternatives to the use of these metals have also been explored.
Read the report here.
The final meeting of FP7 project ONE-P will be held publicly on December 16th 2011 at the European Parliament, under the patronage of Green MEP Philippe Lamberts.
During its 3 year life span, the ONE-P project developed electronic and photonic devices using organic materials. This will enable the production of novel, low cost and sustainable applications, such as (1) efficient light emitting diodes and memory devices, (2) cheaper solar cells, (3) energy efficient e-printing, (4) sensitive sensors for medical applications and effective environmental monitoring.
The project benefited from a EUR 18 million EU contribution and involved 28 partners from 11 European countries, including some of the major industrial and academic players in the field.
ONE-P the movie
FP7 project CapWa (Capture of evaporated Water with novel membranes)
CapWa applies membrane technology to produce clean water from the water vapour present in the air or in the smoke emitted by various industries.
The project aims for a commercially available system in 2 to 3 years time. Recent press releases in English and Chinese sparked considerable interest in CapWa technology, both from the media and from potential end users.
For more details please read the coordinator's update on CapWa.
CapWa invites end users to complete a questionnaire to help them understand industrial needs. If you are a potential end user or an organisation interested in water capture technology please fill in the online questionnaire, using the link below. CapWa will inform participants about the outcome of the questionnaire, if desired.
Coordinator's update (PDF 78KB)
Three coordinated projects on superconductivity materials started on 1st October 2011
The projects focus on studying the fundamental properties of novel superconducting materials. Such materials might be used in cables to transmit electrical power with reduced losses, to improve the resolution of medical imaging devices, in advanced sensors or even in space applications. Three EU research consortia and their twinned Japanese teams will carry out coordinated research on superconductivity during the next three to four years. The total EU budget for the three projects is 5 million EUR, and an equivalent budget is made available by the Japanese authorities.
Following engaged and constructive negotiations, the European Commission and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) have been able to create this new funding possibility that enables European and Japanese researchers to work together in coordinated projects. The concrete hope is to realise substantial synergy with a view to achieve acceleration in the generation of new applicable knowledge in the promising field of superconductivity.
More information on the funded projects and on the background of this EU-Japan cooperation is available here (PDF version)
Trilateral EU-Japan-U.S. Meeting in Washington on October 4-5, 2011
The European Union, Japan and the United States are engaged in delivering clean energy technologies to the marketplace. The aim is to reduce the carbon fingerprint of our industrial economies and fight against climate change. Wind turbines, electric vehicles, and other emerging clean energy technologies depend on materials with unique properties, such as rare earth elements.
The availability of a number of these materials is at risk due to the possibility of supply disruptions and lack of suitable substitutes. Therefore, strategies to meet a possible shortage of rare earth materials were discussed at a recent trilateral the EU-Japan-US conference in Washington DC, hosted by the European Institute on October 4 and the U.S. Department of Energy on October 5, 2011.
The conference was jointly organized by European Commission’s Directorate General for Research and Innovation, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Two main strategies have been addressed to cope with diminished supply of rare earth materials. One strategy to meet this problem is to expand available supplies through sustainable and cost-effective technologies for separation, extraction, processing and recycling of rare earths. Another is to temper raw material demand by designing wind turbines and motors that require less critical raw material. The challenge of realising knowledge-based materials by design has also been discussed.
Background information and the report of the previous EU-U.S. workshop on rare earth elements are available here.
More information on the European Commission's raw materials initiative can be found here.
FUMAT addressed the role of advanced materials in tackling the grand societal challenges in Europe. The key objective was to suggest strategies and research directions that will help to meet these challenges and lead to a sustainable industrial economy, new jobs, and a wealthy Europe. Perspectives and needs in materials research and innovation were analysed by 400 participants, including academic and industrial researchers, politicians and administrators, financial actors and societal scientists.
Mr Paul Rübig, member of the European Parliament and Chair of the Science and Technology Options Assessment Panel for the European Parliament addressed FuMat participants.
A highlight of the conference was the announcement by the Polish Presidency of the establishment of the Alliance for Materials (A4M) and the decision of European Materials Research Society (E-MRS) and the Federation of European Materials Societies (FEMS) to explore the possibilities of joint or coordinated activities, with a dynamic participation of the European Technology Platform on Materials (EuMat).
Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) emerge as a new high potential material class. High specific surface areas, catalytic activities for selective conversion and scalable synthesis routes promise a huge variety of potential applications in gas storage, air and hydrogen purification, CO2 reduction, and various chemical processes.
The workshop brings together experts from academia and industry with a focus on application and formulation in gas purification, separation and toxic gas treatment of MOFs. Beside a survey of the state of the art the workshop focuses the attention on new innovative processes.
Some calls of the EU FP7 (Seventh Framework Programme) mention standards and standardization as activities or target outputs for these projects.
The European Committee on Standardization (CEN) is organising an info session with the aim to support and inform the research community in understanding and integrating standardization in their future research and innovation projects.
Participation is free of charge and open to all interested parties. The number of places is limited.
Registrations are accepted on a first come, first served basis. For more information on the agenda and on how to register visit the CEN web site.
When: Friday 09 September 2011, 10:00 – 12:00
Where: CEN-CENELEC Management Centre, 17 Avenue Marnix, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Anybody interested in this subject but unable to attend the info session may obtain the presentations by sending a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The projects focus on the fundamental properties of novel superconducting materials. Such materials might be used in cables to transmit electrical power with reduced losses, to improve the resolution of medical imaging devices, in advanced sensors or even in space applications.
Three EU research consortia and their twinned Japanese teams are currently concluding the grant agreement procedures.
Read more (PDF version, 135KB)
The European Commission has decided to produce some promotional material to enhance the marketing of Materials Research.
Interested parties will soon be invited to submit an offer for the production of boxes/containers containing a few objects showing materials research progress over the last few years and their potential (together with a succinct explanation of why the materials behave like they do).
This will be the subject of a contract of 6 months for a total maximum cost of EUR 60 000. This is a follow-up to a similar tender launched at the end of 2010, the results of which can be seen here.
Any potential tenderer does not necessarily have to follow the previous format.
If it is the case, please express your interest by 15 September via email to
RTD-NMP-MATERIALS@ec.europa.eu Specific information will be sent in reply.
Succinct preliminary information can already be found here (page 104 of the Work Programme)
An interesting article was published in “Estrategia Empresarial” (a business magazine at Basque country level) regarding the last consortium meeting of NANOTOUGH project.
Nanotough is a European framework project that focuses on developing polymer nanocomposite materials with superior properties, particularly impact strength. A total of 11 partners from Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Romania and Denmark are participating in the project.
The objective of Nanotough is to optimise, and through novel interface design, to develop new cost efficient hybrid (nanofiller-fiber) nanocomposites as an alterntive to heavily filled polymers. These new materials should fulfil industry requirements for high performance materials in high tech applications where today metals or plastics are used in for example cars or aircraft. The research will look at how the products can be made both lighter and stronger using nano-particles.
Read more (PDF version, 156KB)
The European Commission, Directorate for Industrial Technologies – Materials Unit, cooperated in the organisation of the Trans-Atlantic Workshop on Rare Earth Elements and Other Critical Materials for a Clean Energy Future.
The European Metrology Research Programme has just opened the call for proposals for Joint Research Projects (JRP) and associated Researcher Excellence Grants (REG) with call topics in the following fields: Health, New technologies and SI Broader scope.
You can now register on the EMRP site to show interest to participate in specific topics, including advertising the skills and or equipment you can offer. This year some of the call topics (Selected Research Topics, SRTs) will arrange partnering meetings. Note that the rules for participation and financing are different from FP7 and that this call is not managed by the Commission Services.
Closing date: 03 October 2011
The European Commission, Directorate Industrial Technologies - Materials Unit, organised the workshop Assessing the Coordinated Call with India "Computational Material Science" in Brussels on March 30th-31st.
Computational Material Science is a growing field that aims to model, simulate and/or predict properties of materials and structures. These computer simulations can be used to accelerate understanding and discovery in materials science, with the potential to speed up the development of innovations based on material science.
The workshop aimed at assessing the results achieved so far by the six projects funded under the call NMP-2008-2.6-2. The assessment by the EU and Indian coordinators was done in two steps: a questionnaire was followed-up by a workshop with representatives for each consortium. The feedback from the project coordinators has been collated in the attached report.
Read the report (PDF Version, 1.63MB)
The European Multifunctional Materials Institute EMMI was founded in 2008 by 14 partners of the FP6 Network of Excellence FAME
It is an international non-profit organisation with 11 academic Full Members, 3 Academic Partners, and 5 Adherent Members from industry.
Softcomp was born in 2004 as a FP6 Network of Excellence (NoE) aiming to establish a knowledge base for an intelligent design of functional and nanoscale soft matter composites.
From December 2009 it has a durable structure organized as a Consortium, which is now self-financed by the partners.
The Workshop on the future of graphene took place in Brussels on 21st- 22nd March 2011. 123 high-level experts participated, including 3 Nobel prize laureates: professors A. Fert, A. Geim and K. von Klitzing.
Opening speeches were given by the European Commissioner for Research and Innovation, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, and the 2010 Nobel prize laureate in physics, professor Andre Geim from the University of Manchester.
A comprehensive overview was given and debated, both on the current state-of-the-art in graphene research and the potential applications. We also heard talks on graphene activities in the US and Korea, as well as presentations on financing knowledge transfer, patenting and creating novel industrial spin-outs. Professors Fert, Geim and von Klitzing also met Robert-Jan Smits and Herbert von Bose, respectively Director-general for "Research and Innovation" and Director for "Industrial Technologies".
What is the environmental impact of nano-structured materials?
Are there possible risks along their "life", their manufacturing into products, their use, repair or recycling?
These questions were debated by 60 experts during a successful workshop held last March 2011 in Brussels, as a part of a joint dissemination and exploitation action of the EC research project MUST
Read more (PDF version, 2.76MB)
After three years of activity, the European project Napolynet has successfully set up research intensive clusters across the EU on characterization of polymer nanostructures in the field of packaging, textiles and membranes.
Next year Dublin, City of Science 2012, will host the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF), an inter-disciplinary, pan-European meeting. The event will bring together over 5,000 scientists, business leaders, government officials, policy-makers and international scientific media representatives to discuss the best of European science and to address all of the current major global scientific challenges, including Energy, Climate Change, Food and Health.
A call for proposals for both the scientific programme in July and the year-round public engagement programme is now open!
The European Commission, Directorate for Industrial Technologies – Materials Unit, organised a workshop on CO2 and algae utilisation as future raw materials for chemicals in Brussels on March 30th 2011.
Approximately 50 experts on catalysis, biology, chemical and CO2 technologies and algae utilisation gathered and identified challenges and opportunities for potential future research activities.
How can materials of the future contribute to the strategies and solutions for the grand societal challenges of our time?
Are you interested in discussing the roadmaps for development of materials determined not only by the technological progress, but also by the societal and political needs?
If so, book the date and come to Warsaw on September 22nd – 23rd!
FUMAT 2011, the European Industrial Technologies Conference on Materials, will be a major event on materials in the frame of the Polish Presidency of the Council of the EU which will be organised in cooperation with the European Commission.
Brokerage event to help setting up FP7 consortia.
13-14 July 2011 in Tam Dao, Vietnam
Following the successful EU-South East Asia Workshop on Materials Research for Environmental and Health Applications in November 2010 in Hanoi/Vietnam., SEA-EU-NET is arranging a brokerage event aiming at scientific matchmaking related to upcoming EU Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7) funding calls. The symposium will bring together EU and SEA experts from industry and academia on depollution technologies with a particular focus on photocatalysis, to identify opportunities for future EU-SEA collaboration under upcoming EU FP7 funding calls.
Do you communicate well enough with non-scientist?
Can you explain your research to a politician or a journalist?
Do you want to improve your communication skills and practice?
The following web site includes resources to help prepare and deliver a communication strategy, website, publication and presentation, and generate positive media coverage
Download the brochure "A scientist's survival kit" (PDF version, 1.98MB)
After four years of research, the European project CustomIMD has developed a breakthrough concept for fully customised medical devices.
Embarking on a research career is not always easy. Young researchers will soon discover that chemical elements have different personalities….
At Marie Curie Actions they are well aware of that and realize this short movie.
Watch the video
Catalysis is the science at the interface between chemistry, physics, biology, engineering and material sciences that enables chemical processes to be realised in a cost-, energy and eco-efficient way. More than 80% of the processes in the chemical industry worth approximately € 1500 billion, depend on catalytic technologies.
A short movie, explaining catalysis at a basic level, was produced by the University of Southampton (Moniek Tromp, Jeroen Klijs, David Read, Gill Reid, John Evans), within the framework of the European Network of Excellence IDECAT and in cooperation with European Research Institute on Catalysis (ERIC).
Watch the video
EMRP will soon open a call for Researcher Excellence Grants and Researcher Mobility Grants related to the 2010 call on Metrology for Industry and Environment.
Researcher Excellence Grants (REG) aim to "enlarge the number of organisations with capacities closely relating to metrology” within the EU Member States and FP7 associated countries.
Researcher Mobility Grants (RMG) aim to “develop the capacity of individuals in Metrology”. The EMRP provides Researcher Mobility Grants (RMGs) to increase the capability of the European metrology researcher community, thereby supporting countries as they are building and furthering their capacity in Metrology.
Opening date: 31 March 2011
Closing date: 06 May 2011
The Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission is organising a workshop on "Graphene 2020 – opportunities for Europe", with the expected participation of the European Commissioner for Research and Innovation, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, and 3 Nobel Prize laureates: A. Geim (2010), A. Fert (2007) and K. von Klitzing (1985).
Six European Technology Platforms (EuMaT, SUSCHEM, SMR, MANUFUTURE, TEXTILE and ESTEP), with a fundamental and significant material component in their strategy, wrote a letter to Commissioners Geoghegan-Quinn and Tajani.
They announced to provide in the near future a proposal for concrete initiatives on how to align the value chain consisting of the supply of materials, their processing and the manufacturing needed to address the key societal challenges defined with the EUROPE2020 policy objectives.
These initiatives can also be applied in the ongoing work of the High Level Group of Key Enabling Technologies.
Read more (PDF version, 166KB)
Non-energy raw materials are vital inputs for the EU’s economy, and are particularly crucial for the development of modern environmentally friendly technologies such as electric cars and photovoltaic.
However, as global raw material markets are increasingly distorted by protectionist trade policies, maintaining fair and undistorted access to these materials for EU industry and citizens is increasingly difficult.
Based on the first Communication on the Raw Materials Initiative published in November 2008, a new strategy document was published on February 2nd 2011 which sets out targeted measures to secure and improve access to raw materials for the EU.
Raw materials website
The list of the critical raw materials is given at page 6 (PDF version)
The FP6 European project NanoGLOWA is now ready to run industrial trials in Germany, Portugal and Israel with two new types of nano-membranes developed to sequestrate CO2 with low energy penalties and without any chemicals or regeneration steps.
"Continuing our current patterns of resource use is not an option" said EC President José Manuel Barroso, steering the launch of the Flagship initiative for a Resource Efficient Europe on January 26th 2011. "They put too much pressure on our planet and make our economy more dependent on external supplies. A smarter use of scarce resources is therefore a strategic necessity, but also an economic opportunity”.
This is the 7th flagship initiative launched so far within the frame of Europe 2020 strategy. It provides a long-term framework for actions in many policy areas, supporting policy agendas for climate change, energy, transport, industry, raw materials, agriculture, fisheries, biodiversity and regional development.
Commission communication (PDF version).
A successful EU - South East Asia workshop was held last November 2010 in Hanoi, Vietnam, sponsored by SEA-EU-NET and supported by the Institute of Materials Science, Hanoi, ASEAN Sub-Committee on Materials Science and Technology and the European Commission.
On February 4th 2011 the European Metrology Research Programme (EURAMET) will announce the launch of the 2011 call. The aim of this call is to advance measurement science and technology in the following areas:
The European project BUGWORKERS aims at presenting an alternative to current petroleum based materials. The project focuses on the electronic equipment, telecommunications and household appliance sectors.
On November 25th and 26th 2010 a workshop was jointly organised by the European Commission, Directorate G - Industrial Technologies- Materials Unit and the State Committee of Ukraine on Science, Innovation and Informatization. The workshop involved high level experts from EU and EaP countries in order to exchange ideas and identify a common ground for future research co-operation. It was kindly hosted by the Ukraine State Committee on Science, Innovation and Informatization, Kyiv. The workshop was a success after the elaborated exchange of ideas between the experts of both sides, it was concluded that indeed there was common ground of possible co-operation research in the technological area of the present workshop. The fields to be addressed are Materials for Energy Conversion, Energy Transfer and Energy Storage.
The Official International Launch Ceremony for IYC 2011 took place at UNESCO World Headquarters in Paris on 27-28 January 2011, under the aegis of the UN, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) and with support from the European Commission.
The European Commission and its Directorate Industrial Technologies was represented with a stand where the movie "The Chemical Party" has been presented in continuum to a broad and enthusiastic audience.
Renzo Tomellini (Head of Unit Materials Research) moderated the final high level panel including CEOs and the president of CNRS.
Website: IYC2011 Launch Ceremony
Discover the world of new materials
A learning tool for aspiring European scientists
Shirts which do not wrinkle, paper from the remains of apple juice production or rear windows with programmable lights. 70% of product innovation is estimated to be based on materials with new or improved properties. Materials play a key role in the generation of growth and the creation of wealth in Europe.
This "Secret Materials" box contains a few items representative of novel materials with explanations and tasks demonstrating their properties. Enjoy discovering their secret properties!
To get your own free Secret Materials box, click here
Do we want mobile phones that are recharged once a year or less? Do we want computer, lightening and music players that are flexible, portable or wearable? Photovoltaic cells with high efficiency and affordable cost? Prostheses that do not generate adverse reactions in our body? Packaging that does not pollute?
The reply to these and many other requests and needs of our society lays in the availability of suitable materials. Materials that do not yet exist today, or at least not in the condition or at the price that we want.
In the 7th Framework Programme, the European Commission supports research and innovation to develop new materials, components and systems. Their ultimate goal is to serve us better and simply improve the way we live.
You are all invited to provide your inputs on this. Scientists, industrialists, citizens, students are invited to send us their suggestions about targets for materials research that should be addressed under the European Framework Programme for Research. Inputs can address all the factors of success of the materials research and innovation value chain, e.g. suggest new research topics that you would like to see opened for funding, technological or non technological bottlenecks that need to be solved, etc.