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Revolutionary 'seismic wallpaper' can help brittle buildings withstand earthquakes
Historically a target for earthquakes, Italy has also become an epicentre in the search for ways to reduce or prevent the loss of life and property when these sudden and unpredictable events occur.

Exploring nano-scale scaffolds for mending damaged hearts
EU-funded researchers have used advanced nanomaterials to engineer heart tissue, and have explored the development of innovative stem cell-based therapies that could greatly improve the recovery rates of people who have suffered heart attacks. The researchers have made some preliminary tests on rats, the basis for further study. An automated microscope and software developed in the project are currently being commercialised.

Smarter is better for systems manufacturers
In the race for new markets, electronics manufacturers have to produce ever smarter and more streamlined devices. An EU-funded project helps companies achieve this more cheaply and with less waste – a boost to their competitiveness.

New stent to help lung cancer victims breathe easier
Many lung cancer patients have trouble breathing – and if they can’t be cured, the struggle for air can become a relentless ordeal. Pulmonary stents – tubes inserted in the lung – can help. EU-funded researchers of the PULMOSTENT project are taking this technique another step ahead with a new type of stent designed to improve and potentially extend the lives of people going through the final stages of the disease.

Nano-powered boost for stone conservation
Castles and cathedrals, statues and spires … Europe’s built environment would not be the same without these witnesses of centuries past. But, eventually, even the hardest stone will crumble. EU-funded researchers of the Stonecore project have developed innovative nano-materials to improve the preservation of our architectural heritage.

Lighter and stronger materials for greener aircraft
EU-funded researchers of the IMS-CPS project have used carbon nanotubes to create exceptionally strong, lightweight and cost-effective materials for aircraft parts.

Magnetic nanoparticles make attractive partners
EU-funded researchers of the MagPro2Life project have piloted a novel purification process to dramatically cut the cost of extracting specific biological molecules from complex mixtures – a boost to the competitiveness of Europe’s pharmaceutical, food and animal feed industries.

Table-top 3D laser printer opens door to new world of small-scale innovation
The European Union funded project FEMTOPRINT has invented a compact printer which can generate tiny glass objects three times stronger than steel.

Mass producing super-thin films that can “squeeze” electricity
Many technological advances are needed to improve and miniaturise devices like Mobile-phone cameras, desktop printers, medical equipment, automobile parts and other everyday items. One such advance is the growing use of a type of thin material known as “piezoelectric” film. The European Union (EU)-funded project PIEZOVOLUME focused on speeding the production of this material.

EU tooling industry tools up
Few of us go entire days without handling products the sector helped to shape, such as a toothbrush or a smartphone. Researchers of the EU-funded IC2 project, have developed innovative products as well as guidance on business models to help Europe’s tooling manufacturers remain competitive.

“3D printing” holds potential to transform how objects are manufactured
Imagine, instead of hitting “Print” and watching a document slide out of your desktop printer, the end product is an aeroplane part, a hearing aid, a sculpture, or an artificial finger. As futuristic as this may sound, a technology known as “additive manufacturing” is turning the improbable into the possible.

Lighter, tougher materials for large fuel savings
The textile industry consumes large amounts of water and its operating costs can be high. The European Union (EU)-funded project DIGITEX sought to change this.

Robotic assistants for workers on the factory floor
Electric cars are the most likely environmental-friendly replacement for combustion engine-powered vehicles. To help industry make the expected transition, the EU-funded LOCOBOT project has developed reconfigurable robotic assistants to increase productivity on the assembly line – reducing costs.

Digital technology transforming the textile industry
The textile industry consumes large amounts of water and its operating costs can be high. The European Union (EU)-funded project DIGITEX sought to change this.

Power suits: wearable fabric that can generate electricity from the sun
A major consumer of time and money in the manufacturing of aircraft, motor vehicles, electronic equipment and other products is adapting assembly lines to produce different sizes, shapes and styles of such complex items. Work must stop along the line while machines are reconfigured to change how raw materials are cut, holes are drilled, and rivets are punched into place.

The very small is big in manufacturing
Small means big business these days, but squeezing everything into smaller packages is a huge manufacturing challenge. To help, European researchers from the COTECH and MULTILAYER projects have developed ways to produce the micro components needed for these smaller devices.

Nanotechnology to fight cancer
Researchers on the Sonodrugs project are developing ways to treat killer diseases like cancer using nanotechnology.
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Peering into nano-objects – in 3D
These days, we rely increasingly on the most microscopic of mechanisms, machines and modules. Yet until recently it hasn't been possible to take a close look non-destructively without using large-scale research equipment. A new affordable scanner designed by EU researchers of the NANOXCT project, gives a 3D view inside nano-objects, and so will advance materials research.

Making buildings more sustainable to improve health and comfort
Though often taken for granted, healthy and comfortable indoor environments are in the interest of everyone – families, employees and children alike. To further these goals, the European Union (EU)-funded project Clear-up has developed designs for healthy homes and workplaces that also deliver environmental benefits.

Power suits: wearable fabric that can generate electricity from the sun
Imagine wearing clothes that can generate electricity from the sun’s rays. What is more, imagine this electricity could power medical, athletic and other personal electronic devices. Significant advances in solar energy technology have made this possible. At the forefront of this research is the European Union (EU)-funded project Dephotex, which has developed methods to make photovoltaic material light and flexible enough to be worn.

New surgical breakthrough in repairing damaged spinal discs
Lower-back pain due to damaged spinal discs is a major cause of long-term disability for millions of people. Seeking a cure, EU-funded researchers of the DISC REGENERATION project have developed a new surgical approach and the materials to repair damaged spinal discs, potentially helping many sufferers enjoy better, more productive lives.

Finding a better way to help treat disease
Many potential drugs that have the desired effect in the laboratory never make it onto clinical trials because they may cause serious side-effects or simply cannot be absorbed by the human body. To bypass these negative reactions, the European Union (EU)-funded research project Meditrans has developed smart drug delivery systems to help treat diseases such as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis more accurately.

Deep earth modelling to reveal vast EU deposits
High-tech 3D models of rock formations deep underground should reveal that Europe has vast concealed ore deposits, researchers at the PROMINE project believe, helping to ease Europe's dependency on imported metal.

Using nanotechnology to prevent heart attacks and strokes
By using nanotechnology to diagnose and deliver drugs early and effectively, the EU-funded NanoAthero project promises to save lives.

Tapping Europe’s mineral potential to increase competitiveness
An advanced pan-European raw material database will help mining companies identify untapped sources, thus reducing our reliance on imports.

Smart, adaptable machines for the production line
The automotive, electronics and printing machine sectors are not obvious allies. But all are united in the quest to make metal-cutting both more efficient and environmentally friendly.

Making Europe’s buildings more energy efficient
If Europe is to achieve its energy efficiency targets for 2020 and 2050, one vital step would be to make the continent’s vast stock of buildings more energy efficient. The CETIEB research project aims at devising innovative ways of both monitoring and controlling the indoor environment in the most cost-effective ways possible, so that Europe can achieve the ‘best of both worlds’ – highly energy efficient buildings together with optimal indoor air quality and climate.

Tiny technology to tackle Alzheimer’s
Today, some 24 million people worldwide are affected by dementia. EU funded researchers have engineered tiny particles to trace and treat Alzheimer’s the most prevalent neurodegenerative disease.

Bringing affordable 'mass-customisation' techniques to the clothing industry
We should all soon be able to go online, specify the precise design we want for that new shirt, and have it delivered to our door in days.

Roadmap for smarter, greener manufacturing machines
New process automation concepts and machine designs for faster, greener manufacturing, allowing production lines to be more easily adapted to changing demand.

A pan-European project, decoding the DNA
Of all the opportunities offered by the decoding of the human genome, one of the most exciting is the chance to learn how DNA determines health. Thanks to a European research project, this medical breakthrough is getting a little closer to reality. The project, NanoDNAsequencing, discovered a novel method to decode human DNA, paving the way for personalised therapy based on an individual’s genetic profile.

Using lasers to transform the manufacture of high value, complex parts
Modern industry faces increasing demands for high-precision manufacturing. Not only are designs becoming more and more complex, with dimensions specified down to microscopic levels, but also these items frequently have to be produced as individual, customised parts or in very small batches.
The EU-funded IMPALA project explored the exciting potential of laser technology to transform this type of high-precision, low-volume manufacturing.

Developing high-efficiency lasers to manufacture solar panels
As the world continues its efforts to combat climate change and to move away from its dependence on fossil fuels, solar energy looks set to become an important technology for the future.
The manufacturing of solar energy panels is therefore likely to grow into a significant industry, offering large rewards for whoever can establish an advantage. The aim of the EU ALPINE project was to develop new laser techniques which would enhance the manufacturing of solar energy panels, making them more efficient and less expensive than anything currently available.

Smart specialisation: Building on Europe's strengths
You may be good at maths, art or sport, but you are probably not great at all three. The same is probably true of the region where you live, where the strengths of local industries rely on a unique combination of resources, knowledge or expertise. The EU is seeking to build on these regional and sectorial strengths to drive growth and prosperity across Europe.

Copyright photo: ©  Alberto Masnovo -

Developing a nanotech 'Swiss Army knife' Researchers develop advanced and effective tools to make the best use of nanotechnology.
From micro-electronics to life sciences, nanotechnology plays a key role in many areas of modern life. As new advances enhance the capabilities of what is sometimes referred to as ‘molecular manufacturing’ and broaden its range of applications, nanotechnology is expected to assume greater and greater importance. It is a technology which not only delivers major benefits to society, but which also has the potential to make European industry more competitive.

Copyright photo: © Tyler Boyes -

Cooking up plastics
The WOODY project’s objective is to replace fossil-derived materials with exclusively natural materials.

Modular, flexible, sustainable: the future of chemical manufacturing
Picture a chemical plant. How would you describe it? You’re probably n ot thinking along the lines of compact, nimble or adaptable – but that's about to change. Europe's chemical industry is innovating in order to survive and thrive in the face of rapidly changing market demands and fierce global competition. New technologies will enable the industry to manufacture products faster, more flexibly and more sustainably, and EU-funded research is providing the solutions.

Copyright photo: © INVITE and Evonik

A 3D printed key to the Factory of the Future

In homes, offices and workshops around the world, the revolution of 3D printing is only just beginning – mainly with equipment designed for small-scale production at a leisurely pace. Just think what could be achieved with fast, high-precision printers built for large-scale manufacturing, such as those developed by the EU-funded PHOCAM project.

Copyright photo: © TU Wien

How 'plug-and-produce' concepts can revolutionise the factory floor ...

A major challenge facing the European manufacturing sector is how to reduce shaking and vibration in production lines so consumers get better quality end-products. But it is complex and costly to adapt operations already in place. The EU-funded HARCO project has developed a smart “plug-and-produce” solution for industry to transform existing machinery into more accurate tools for today’s modern production lines.

Copyright photo: © Mikalai Bachkou -

A robotic answer to safe, automated industrial maintenance

Maintenance and repair work in the aeronautics and construction industries can be both time-consuming and dangerous, which is why the CableBOT EU project is developing robots that are a cost-effective way to get the job done without exposing workers to potential harm.

Copyright photo: © 3dmentat -

Zero tolerance for manufacturing faults

EU-funded researchers and industrialists of the MUPROD project are developing monitoring tools for the production line that can prevent and correct defects faster. This innovation will reduce costs, downtime and wastage, and lead to better, safer products.

Copyright photo: © industrieblick -

Nanotech sun block for your home

What's harder: heating your home in winter or keeping it cool in summer? In Europe's sunnier parts, stopping buildings from soaking up the rays is usually the bigger challenge. Traditional architecture in these areas has come up with a number of ways of coping with the heat, and research and development are taking this skill to the next level. The EU-funded COOL-Coverings project, for example, has applied cutting-edge technology to create innovative tiles, paints and membranes.

Copyright photo: © Alexi TAUZIN -

Metal oxides : building blocks for future nanoelectronics

We human beings breathe oxygen to live. But oxygen is also part of a class of materials - transition metal oxides - which have excited academics and industry alike. Little is understood of their properties. EU-funded researchers, led by Trinity College Dublin, are keen to change that. The team has developed modelling tools for investigating the behaviour of potential micro- and nanoelectronic devices using transition metal oxides.

Copyright photo: © Edelweiss -

Turning the nanotech promise into commercial reality (Pronano)

Nanotechnology offers human society a vast range of benefits, making possible startling advances in everything from medicines and cosmetics to energy generation, electronics and even 'hi-tech' clothing. What is more, this nanotechnology 'revolution' is still only in its infancy. Research into ever more applications is in full swing.

Copyright photo: © James Thew - Fotolia

Developing new weapons in the fight against cancer (Caminems)

Cancer causes some 13% of deaths worldwide. Of these deaths, some 90% are caused not by the original cancer, but by its spread to other parts of the body. These secondary cancers, known as metastases, are most often caused by 'circulating tumour cells' (CTCs) which escape from the primary tumour and travel around the body in the bloodstream.

Copyright photo: © Fotolia

Plastic materials for environmentally friendly devices (One-P)

A radio made completely of plastic? We might see them in the near future, claim scientists. In 1977 researchers discovered that certain types of plastic can conduct electricity, just like metals. Initially these plastics remained a curiosity, but by improving their electrical properties researchers have now opened the way for their use in a large number of electric and electronic devices.

Copyright photo: © Fotolia

Charting Europe's nanotechnology 'roadmap' (Nanofutures)

Nanotechnology is opening the way to a new industrial revolution. From 'individualised' medical treatments tailored for each patient to new, environmentally-friendly energy storage and generation systems, nanotechnology is bringing significant advances. Exciting new futures await those businesses able to get ahead in the race to turn this wealth of promise into commercial success. But in a field which requires a high degree of coordinated effort involving many different stakeholder groups, including researchers, policymakers and commercial players across a wide variety of industrial sectors, it has perhaps been inevitable that fragmentation, disconnectedness and duplication have stood in the way.

Copyright photo: © Fotolia

Super surfaces at your service (SURFUNCELL)

Every time a firefighter braves an inferno, a scientist wonders if a new material or special flame-resistant coating could be created to protect him. Today, armed with nanocomposite techniques and insights into bio-based materials, new classes of smart, adaptable super-surface coatings are possible.

Copyright photo: © Fotolia

Thin-film "smart glass" puts rivals in the shade (INNOSHADE)

Electrochromic glass – which instantly glazes or shades at the flick of an electrical switch – has proved popular in a range of applications where the control of light and heat is important. But the physical nature of the glass and the costs involved limit the opportunities open to this technology. An EU-funded project has applied these 'smart glass' principles to a flexible film which opens up a whole new world of green, low-cost and commercially viable possibilities.

Copyright photo: © Fotolia

Nanotechnology to fight hospital superbugs (NANOBOND)

Each year, twice as many people die in Europe from hospital acquired infections than from road accidents. These infectious diseases have developed antibiotic resistance and spread despite the best efforts of staff, mainly through textiles like bed linen. But the technology developed by a European research project helps fight back against the so-called superbugs, by using a revolutionary nanotechnology to treat bed linen and other textiles.

Copyright photo: © Fotolia

Hydrogen storage for energy efficient buildings (H2SusBuild)

Accounting for some 40% of all energy consumption, the building sector is one of Europe's most energy consuming. And as the vast majority of this power comes from fossil fuels, increasing energy efficiency, reducing CO2 emissions and using Renewable Energy Sources (RES) has in recent years become priority.

Copyright photo: © Fotolia

An innovative production platform for micro-products (LIGHT-ROLLS)

Micro-products have become increasingly important in the medical, biotechnology, consumer and automotive sectors. However, products in these sectors such as innovative display solutions and light emitting panels require the integration of different functionalities and demand new mass manufacturing methods and technologies.

Copyright photo: © Fotolia

Using simpler synthesis and greener chemistry to improve medicines (EUMET)

An estimated 170 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C, which kills more than 350,000 every year from related illnesses like liver cancer. There is no vaccine for it, and treatments are costly thanks to the complicated chemistry used to make the drugs. However, if a way was found to simplify and speed up the manufacture of hepatitis C drugs, it could slash the costs of treatment and at a stroke promise to wipe out the insidious killer disease.

Copyright photo: © Fotolia

New safeguards foster innovation in nanomaterials (Nanodevice)

Measuring between 1 and 100 billionth of a metre, nanomaterials may be tiny and invisible to the eye but what they lack in size, they make up for in impact. Engineered nanomaterials are already widely used in technologies and consumer products ranging from toothpaste to paints.

Footwear gets a 21st century refit (DOROTHY)

Faced with tough competition from low-wage countries and economic strife at home, European shoemakers are interested in clever and efficient solutions to design and customise stylish shoes that meet every customer's needs. But is ‘mass customisation’ like this a contradiction in terms? Not according to EU-funded researchers.

Uniting European and Russian expertise in shared nanotechnology research (SAWHOT, INGENIOUS, S3)

The goal of enhanced integration between the European Union and the Russian Federation was significantly advanced by a series of three linked EU-Russian research projects.

High power fibre lasers with unprecedented accuracy (LIFT)

Over the last ten years, high power fibre lasers have moved quickly from the research laboratory into production. In stark contrast to traditional lasers, fibre lasers now offer near perfect beam quality ensuring optimal focus even in long distances. In addition, high efficiency, low operating costs and virtually no maintenance allow for a simple integration into industrial, automated production processes.

European nano-warriors tackle a big killer ... cancer (Namdiatream)
European researchers are waging war on cancer, a major medical and societal challenge today. Thanks to progress in nanotechnology and strong leadership by Trinity College Dublin, teams from diverse scientific fields are developing sensitive portable devices to diagnose cancer much earlier and to better monitor treatment when and where it is needed.

Copyright photo: © Fotolia

European scientists develop pioneering adaptive system for advanced metal cutting (Adacom)
A team of scientists from nine different EU member states has created a generic adaptive platform in the area of metal cutting that can be applied to a variety of industries, from automotive parts to aerospace component makers, to enable them to respond to changing circumstances in the production process.

Pioneering EU-backed research allows computers to perform faster data processing (Ultramagnetron)
Researchers from across the EU have discovered a technique to write information to computer hard drives faster, giving European industry an important edge when it comes to the development of the next generation of hard drives.

Copyright photo: © ultramagnetron

EU research leads to breakthrough technology in easy-clean surfacing for industry (Nanoclean)
An EU-backed research project in the field of easy-clean and self-cleaning surfacing for applications such as automotive parts, household appliances and biomedicine has resulted in the development of ground-breaking technology.

Copyright photo: © Nanoclean

EU researchers develop breakthrough technologies in footwear and gloves (FIT4U)
A team of scientists from across Europe has developed a series of technologies central to consumer-centred product and process innovation in the emerging footwear and glove niche markets. Focused on personalised safety and outdoor sports applications, the technologies and processes will give a much-needed boost to European industry at a time when the market is becoming increasingly dominated by third country imports.

Planning for a sustainable plastic future (SustainComp)

Sustainability in the plastics sector will become a more pressing issue in the future as legislation and public demand force companies to manufacture more environmentally friendly products. A European project has been developing alternative materials, production processes and even products like a composite bus seat which could, in time, replace oil-based plastic versions.

SONODRUGS - Delivering affordable and effective new treatments

EU textile technology to cut transmission of hospital acquired-infections (NANOBOND)
European Union scientists have developed pioneering textile technology that can reduce the transmission of infections in hospitals from items such as patient gowns, bed linen and compression socks.

EU-funded plastic electronics project puts cheaper solar energy within reach (MINOTOR)
European researchers have made great strides in the improvement of plastic solar cells, making them a potentially affordable alternative to conventional silicon-based devices. Such research is making a major contribution to the global quest for energy sources that are not only sustainable and reliable but also more economical.

Picture: Visualization at the atomic scale of a self-assembled monolayer on a gold surface

Micro-machining consortium seeks to boost European competitiveness (INTEG-MICRO)
A research consortium comprising academic and industrial partners from across Europe has developed a series of machines that combine complimentary high precision micro-manufacturing techniques that could potentially boost the competitiveness of European products such as smartphones, watches and dental equipment parts.

EU-backed research boosts industrial safety and competitiveness (IRIS)
A risk-based management process that uses European satellite images to help companies improve the safety and competitiveness of their industrial plants and meet the challenges of tougher regulations in areas such as environmental and climate change law is attracting global interest.

Copyright photo: Prof. Dr. Helmut Wenzel, VCE Holding GmbH

CORONA - Boosting European competitiveness in micro and nano devices
An EU-funded project to improve and strengthen Europe’s competitiveness in micro and nano devices has resulted in the successful development of a customer-oriented engineering methodology that will ultimately benefit a wide range of European industries that depend on these technologies.

Copyright photo: ITE

Focusing European competence on mass producing piezoelectric MEMS
The EU-funded piezoVolume project is developing the design, production and testing of specialised micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) exploiting piezoelectric effects to enable such microsystems to sense and move. Success will help secure the competitiveness of European industry – particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – in advanced instrumentation for communications and sensing of mechanical, thermal, acoustic, chemical, optical and biomedical phenomena.

Boosting the use of nanomaterials in everyday products
Nanoparticles 80 000 times smaller than the width of a human hair offer an ever-widening range of attractive functional properties that can be used in innovative consumer and industrial products. Their novel size, shape or surface chemistry can be engineered at the scale of atoms and molecules, resulting for example in more effective drug delivery, more durable coatings or better cosmetics. The EU-funded InForm project set up a global forum to improve cooperation between researchers working on formulation and those developing products.

Customised implants speed treatment and cut costs
A four-year EU-funded project has led to a breakthrough in the supply and fitting of customised medical devices. These can now be designed, manufactured, sterilised and delivered in a short timeframe, meeting the specific needs of individual patients. Not only will the results of the Custom-IMD project increase patient quality of life by potentially faster recovery and reduced risk of failure or side-effects but healthcare costs should also be cut by 20%, not least through simpler, lower-cost operations.

Design your own shoes
Imagine designing your own shoes while paying mass-produced prices. This is just what the EU-funded DOROTHY project has made possible while strengthening European shoe manufacturers’ capability to face global market challenges. Customers will be able to walk into a DOROTHY shop, have their feet measured and specify their desired fit, function and style. The customised design would then be manufactured in a multi-site factory, designed thanks to DOROTHY tools.

Modular Production System Boosts in-House Assembly
A large and growing proportion of European assembly activities are being outsourced to non-EU countries. The EU-funded IDEAS project has now developed a flexible approach to automated production to make assembly in-house more cost effective, particularly for new products and markets. It introduces an entirely new way of developing production systems based on highly automated modules which can be combined as required with no programming or expert knowledge required.

FIBLYS – a "Swiss-knife" Nano-tool
Seeing is believing – and understanding. When it comes to analysing and controlling matter at nano-scale this however requires highly sophisticated instruments.

Nano-membranes against global warming (NanoGLOWA)
The ultimate way to capture carbon dioxide from flue gasses is with the use of membranes. Membrane technology is an attractive alternative for molecular separations because of its high energy efficiency, small foot print and reliability - no moving parts.

Lighter, innovative materials for multipurpose industrial applications (Nanotough)
Lighter and more resistant materials are needed to construct cars and aeroplanes that consume less fuel, have lower operational costs and a lower environmental impact. The EU funded NANOTOUGH project has created several polymeric materials that could meet these challenges.

Organic Nanomaterials for environmentally friendly devices (ONE-P)
ONE-P has invented a great variety of new materials that can be used in an emerging industrial field of great prospects called “Plastic Electronics”. Europe is still leading the emerging industrial field of plastic electronics which has a current market value of 1 billion euro.

Flexible manufacturing for a competitive European industry (XPRESS)
Today's customers demand products that are tailored to their individual needs. Manufacturers need flexible systems to meet variations without slowing down the process or increasing costs.

Producing Clean Water from Smoke (CAPWA)
CapWa applies membrane technology to produce clean water from the water vapour present in the air or in the smoke emitted by various industries.

Machining AW-6082 aluminium with the COMET Robot Cell at SIR (Modena, Italy) Exploring robotics for the factory of the future (COMET)
Today, EU manufacturing enterprises, in particular SMEs, have to adapt to global competitive pressures by developing the necessary enabling technologies to support EU manufacturing across a broad range of sectors.

EU Research Team Develop textiles to kill MRSA Superbug in Hospitals (BioElectricSurface)
Partners of the research project BioElectricSurface, have developed textiles that will kill the MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) superbug. The technology developed could significantly improve cleanliness in hospitals and help to reduce the occurrence of hospital-acquired infections

New metallic materials to reduce energy needs (IMPRESS)
Alloys are metallic materials that are at the core of many industrial products. IMPRESS has become the world leading project in intermetallic materials and their applications.