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Success Story

The European Multifunctional Materials Institute (EMMI): a successful outcome of FP6 FAME Network of Excellence.

EMMI was created in the framework of the European Network of Excellence FAME (FP6).

It is now best considered as a platform for its members, for the creation of projects in research on Multifunctional Materials for Energy, Environment, Information Technology and Health as well as for higher education and information exchange.

At the origin of the FAME/EMMI network was the idea to bring together the research communities of functional ceramics and organic-inorganic hybrid materials.

This combination has successfully resulted in many interesting ideas and projects, such as ferroelectric polymers and ferroelectric nanograins in hybrid ORMOCER® layers. Collaboration between theorists and experimentalists is also a core objective of EMMI as demonstrated, for instance, by the FP7 OXIDES project.

The projects created by EMMI and its members also include a European Master programme, an international doctoral school and collaborative research projects funded by FP6 and FP7 (ex: Metachem project).

EMMI website
EMMI brochure (PDF version, 993KB)
European Master programme
International Doctoral Programme in Functional Materials
Oxide project
Metachem project

SOFTCOMP Network of Excellence on Soft Matter Composites: the story of a success!

The SoftComp Network of Excellence (NMP3-CT-2004-502235) started on June 1, 2004, with 24 academic groups, belonging to 19 different institutions, and 5 industrial companies.

During the contract, the SoftComp community decided to ensure sustainability and keep networking activities alive using an annual fee paid by the partners. SoftComp currently includes 34 academic and 4 industrial groups.

SoftComp established a series of International Soft Matter conferences: in Aachen (Germany, 2007), in Granada (Spain, 2010) and in Rome (Italy, 2013). SoftComp continues to be in charge of the organization of this conference and both events held so far have attracted more than 500 participants.

During the project lifetime, there were 267 short visits totaling 1.597 days, 55 exchanges of scientists totaling 2.371 days, 343 samples exchanged between the partners, 1.116 publications among which 210 were joint, 40 dissemination and 30 educational events.

The SoftComp community is becoming more and more important on the European stage, with its members now involved in many projects granted by the EU within FP7, including the ESMI (European Soft Matter Infrastructure) infrastructure project which practically extends the SoftComp experience to the whole European Soft Matter community.

SoftComp website
SoftComp brochure (PDF version, 4.12MB)
ESMI website

Polymer films are essential to keeping food safe and in edible condition.

The image shows the complex morphology at nanometric dimension which exists in polypropylene films used for food protection. The key properties of the polymer film arise from the complex crystalline morphology which has been revealed here, along with the embedded nanoparticles, using a combination of chemical etching and a high resolution scanning electron microscope. The novel nanoparticles are used to direct the crystallisation during processing to provide films with enhanced properties for food and medical packaging. Such films provide families across Europe with improved food security and smart functionality.

NaPolyNet is a 36-month FP7 Coordination Action involving 16 partners from 10 European countries, aimed at creating a network at regional, national and international level with experts on the characterization of polymeric nano-structured materials in the field of packaging, textiles and membranes.

NaPolyNet brought together methodology, structure–characterization techniques, properties, health and environmental considerations in order to support the design of innovative and safe polymer nanomaterials with controlled structures and properties.

An European Open Laboratory (EOL-NaPolyNet) was set up to broaden the pool of available instruments and the base of expertise in preparation and characterization tools for innovative and safe polymer nanomaterials.

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The newest technologies in industrial processes for customised implants

After four years of research, the European project CustomIMD has developed a breakthrough concept for fully customised medical devices including: new biomaterials, additive manufacturing technologies, medical device demonstrators, protocols for customisation together with IT tools to support customised collaborative design and supply chain management.

All results are in a precompetitive development phase and early stages of industrialisation are beginning. Five patents have already been filed, sixteen scientific publications released as papers or in congresses and a new manufacturing machine has been launched in the market.

We expect both better implants and also new jobs in Europe out of this research.
For further information
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Pilots in coal-fired power stations using novel nano-membranes against global warming

With more than 1,500 gigawatt of coal plants installed globally, power generation contributes substantially to anthropogenic carbon emissions. Membrane based capture holds the promise to sequestrate CO2 with low energy penalties and without any chemicals or regeneration steps.

The FP6 NanoGLOWA project (NMP3-CT-2007-026735) has reached an important milestone: two types of nano-membranes developed to remove CO2 from flue gas are ready for industrial tests in megawatt power plants. Pilot trials are now ready to run on a scale of 1-10 m2 square meters of membrane surface at coal-fired power plants in Gelsenkirchen (Germany), Sines (Portugal) and Ashquelon (Israel).
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Biopolymers and nanocomposites for household appliances and computing and telecommunications devices.

The European project BUGWORKERS ('New Taylor-made PHB-based nanocomposites for high performance applications produced from environmentally friendly production routes’) aims at presenting an alternative to current petroleum based materials. The project focuses on the electronic equipment, telecommunications and household appliance sectors. To fulfil this objective, the current limitations of PHB polymers and their composites will be overcome by using a synergic combination of different environmentally friendly approaches. These will include a tailor-made PHB biopolymer structure obtained using different bacteria strains fed on sugars produced from agro-industrial waste. The optimisation of the PHB synthesis and cost-competitiveness of the PHB biopolymer and development of cellulose whiskers and lignin nanofibres are three other approaches.

The project started in July 2010 for a duration of 4 years. It is co-ordinated by AIMPLAS (Asociación de Investigación de Materiales Plásticos). The consortium includes 15 partners from 9 countries: 4 research centres, 9 SMEs (Small Businesses- and 2 large companies.

The project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement NMP3-SE-2010-246449.

Further details can be found at the project website.

Lab-scale bioreactors for bioprocess development: microorganisms are grown in the bioreactors and accumulate the desired biopolymer which is afterwards purified.

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