From the ICMAB, we are glad to continue particpating in the NFFA-Europe project, which has already allowed several inernational researchers to come to the ICMAB and collaborate with our researchers. Many researchers have collaborated with the Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) laboratory, the Low Temperatures and Magnetometry Lab, the Electron Microscopy lab (SEM and TEM), or the X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) lab.
The main goal of the project, which has a total budget of 15 M€, is to offer free-of-charge combined access to a wide portfolio of services to users. It is especially designed to support excellence of science and technology. To tackle complex nanoscience challenges, users' projects increasingly require access to resources of internationally competitive academia, national laboratories and Analytical Large-Scale Facilities for fine analysis. This is a unique service for European nanoscience research that cannot be provided by any other individual research infrastructure.
The overall objective of NEP is to strengthen the current NFFA-Europe pan-European consortium of national and international infrastructures to offer more integrated access opportunities for comprehensive user research projects in nanoscience and nano-to-micro analysis and technology
The project will impact on the way nanoscience and nano-to-micro scale analysis are done in Europe by consolidating an Integrated/Interoperable Distributed Research Infrastructure for Nanoscience (IDRIN) and a data-supportive structure that would be robust also in the changing pattern of social mobility of the post-COVID-19 crisis.
"NFFA-Europe next Spring will become PILOT for new schemes of Research Infrastructure: NEP (NFFA-Europe-Pilot).The impact on European research of the NFFA-Europe consortium will be enhanced and empowered by the novel, strengthened, NEP-consortium with third parties.
The half-decade 2021-2025 will see a substantial reshape of the Research Infrastructure services, and a novel structuring effect of the European Research Area. NFFA-Europe will be a key actor, with recognized innovative approaches to research offer and organization. The nanosciences will be at the forefront of research both along blue sky studies on quantum aspects of matter and material assemblies, as well as along the mission oriented activities of Horizon Europe, addressing complex issues as the great challenges and the needs for a green economy.
NFFA-Europe links the unique competences of specialized academic laboratories with the larger national and international institutes and the combined usage of the large scale analytical facilities. The new partnership of NFFA-Europe-Pilot represents a substantial part of the European resources for nanoscience, with methodological and geographical coverage.
The strengthening of NEP organizational structure (full score in the evaluation!) reflects the complexity of our scope and richness of the partners and service providers. We will see if it is visionary enough to lead us to full success and to influence positively the overall European-way to distributed research infrastructures, even in the COVID-time and to reset in the forthcoming post-COVID era. Our ambition is to confirm and expand the usage of RIs as a structural support to research projects.
We have merited trust and have been given recognition and resources. The best start for an engaging project!"