International Congress on Nanotechnology and Research Infrastructures. Reporting Fact Sheet Reporting Results. Fact Sheet Reporting Results. Final Report Summary - GENNESYS International congress on nanotechnology and research infrastructures Executive summary: Synchrotron radiation and neutron scattering - originally developed for investigation in basic science - are increasingly used for technological applications.
These sophisticated methods are bound to the use of large infrastructures and provide information on individual molecules and atomic structures on the surface and in the interior of matter. It resulted in a White Book with contributions of about renowned scientists also endorsed by a number of high-ranking personalities in the area of research administration. The first international GENNESYS conference held in May in Barcelona encouraged the community to proceed further towards achieving a more effective structuring of the top-level analytical possibilities of synchrotrons and neutron sources, with the aims of reinforcing their use by a broad spectrum of research disciplines and improving the access of industry to these most advanced analytical tools.
The contributions from United States US and Japan at this conference have shown that in those countries strong, centrally supported activities exist that include the strong participation of industry.
As a follow-up to the conference, concrete steps towards quantifying demand, the design of optimal structures in selected fields, and estimates of the needed resources within the European Union EU over the next 10 years are planned. By the end of , a concise GENNESYS summary document containing concrete policy-relevant recommendations and high-level conclusions on the above-mentioned points will be available.
Every link should be strengthened in the innovation chain, from 'blue sky' research to commercialisation'. More and more, innovation in numerous areas depends on precise knowledge of atomic structures at the limit of present detection capabilities.
This requires not only expensive, state-of-the-art infrastructures and experimental techniques, but also top-class evaluation and interpretation of the data to achieve practical utilisation of the results, as well as highly qualified personnel for technical and scientific support. To provide solutions to the grand challenges over the long term, we propose to establish new high-level technology centres clustered in close proximity to such large-scale infrastructures synchrotrons, as well as neutron sources in Europe in order to carry out research and provide services to different application fields.
In particular, industry partners are typically interested in obtaining solutions for their problems without having to work out highly sophisticated scientific details for themselves. This task could be entrusted to nearby research infrastructures. Technology clusters linking large-scale infrastructures with users would enable them to join forces over the long term and make use of available European coordination mechanisms.
The GENNESYS White Paper puts forth a comprehensive proposal for re-structuring research infrastructures and the surrounding facilities in order to assure globally competitive research in the area of nanotechnology and related areas. This proposal is reiterated in the conclusions of the GENNESYS conference held in May in Barcelona and involves the successive creation of a small number of excellent, thematically oriented technological and scientific centres cf. Through an approach that respects the European scientific and technological landscape, a peer-to-peer level will be achieved within the next few years that matches that of the best US and Japanese facilities.
The final goal of GENNESYS is a strategic contribution of existing large European infrastructures related to nanotechnology synchrotron radiation, neutron sources, laser facilities, computing infrastructure , with the aim of re-structuring European nanotechnology research, similar to the European nanotechnology action plan.
A timely delivery of results which are a basis for innovations in areas, such as information technology, materials science, energy technology and, increasingly, in medicine, biology and biotechnology will be assured and will make possible transcending the borders between established disciplines. These highly precise methods will support standardisation and metrology activities, which are also strong drivers for innovations. In addition, contributions to solving questions relating to the safe use of nanomaterials will be facilitated through these activities.
Other necessary prerequisites comprise education and training, as well as capacities needed for the interpretation of experiments, simulation and in some cases experimental production facilities for in-situ analysis of the production processes, since nanotechnology contributes to all parts of the value chain.
Representatives from the participating research infrastructures, nanosciences community and interested industry partners will elaborate long-term roadmaps in close cooperation with the national funding bodies and the EC. An appropriate governing structure will be established after obtaining the necessary mandate from these actors. In this way, an important contribution to closing the 'innovation gap' between excellent European research and the relatively low take-up of research results in innovative products will be achieved.
Project results: - Congress conclusions The congress has highlighted the key conclusions and recommendations of the GENNESYS White Paper on how to develop a European strategy for nanotechnologies that integrate universities, research laboratories, industry and European research infrastructures.
International key authorities from research, education, industry and policy-makers have met in Barcelona for two days. The audience and speakers list included high-level representatives from the US National Science Foundation, the US Department of Energy, the EC, research directors from all major European research centres, and representatives from the chemicals industry, car manufacturers and semiconductor technologies. The congress accentuated the need for addressing the grand challenges of our modern society: - How do we arrive at new and more efficient energy concepts?
All experts agreed that these challenges can only be mastered by the development of advanced materials with novel functions, which are designed on the nanometre scale. Nanotechnology has highly promising prospects for turning fundamental research into successful innovations. Not only can it boost the competitiveness of our economy, but it can also address effectively the challenges for a better life and society. This congress is the first step in directing Europe's nanotechnology science policy towards an integrated strategic effort.
The new future paradigm of knowledge-based materials design requires the integration of design, engineering, characterisation, simulation and synthesis together with the most advanced analytical techniques, enabling the understanding of the functioning of novel materials at a molecular level.
In order to achieve this, a new partnership is proposed between nanomaterials experts, academia, industry and the existing European research infrastructures - with a spirit of open innovation - in which research discoveries will be transferred smoothly into industrial innovations and applications. A better integrated concept for training and educating the materials scientists of the future is a key element for the success of the roadmaps. The congress also stressed that societal acceptance is a key aspect of the development of nanotechnologies.
Guidelines were provided on how to promote interactions between nanotechnology and society, and on the need to focus on ethics and on the environmental impacts and nanotoxicology. The communication of the EC on 'Key enabling technologies' names nanotechnology, micro and nanoelectronics, photonics, advanced materials and biotechnology as the drivers for future innovations in European industry.
The economic leverage effect of nanotechnology is enormous. All these technologies need information about structures at the nanometre and sub-nanometre scale. Such information is also needed for the areas of energy, chemistry, medicine, and of course information technology, as described in the corresponding roadmaps of the ETPs or in statements of several European high-level groups. The 'Expert advisory group position paper on future RDT activities of NMP for the period ' from November EUR states that 'the importance of large facilities, such as synchrotron radiation, laser and neutron scattering has been recognised by all major global trading blocks for supporting competitive advanced materials research.
The GENNESYS White Paper provides a systematic review of Europe's specialist facilities and their importance to its manufacturing industry base as a major step in opening up access to researchers across the EU and facilitating support to cooperative projects'. For more than a decade such facilities have received strong attention from industry, particularly in the US and Japan. In particular, structures of computer components with characteristic dimensions of below 20 nm, future nanoelectronic components with a well-defined layer thickness of below 1 nm, and the visualisation of molecular and atomic structures form the basis of many innovative products.
In order to reach a clear picture about chemical reactions, and particularly catalysis, a time resolution on the order of femtosecond seconds and in the future attoseconds is also needed. Such information serves as an input for computer models, which makes it possible to perform large numbers of simulation experiments on supercomputers which would be too costly or simply impossible to carry out experimentally. Materials or tribological properties pose similar demands.
Medical and biological questions are in many cases even more demanding, since investigations must be performed in an environment permitting the cell or cellular structures to survive. Such investigations are of eminent importance for establishing data for the identification of safety hazards arising from nanoparticles and nanomaterials. Further examples for innovative applications include sensors, future computing and future communication networks, safety for industrial processes. Industrially oriented activities using these advanced experimental techniques are still in an early phase.
They require strong cooperation and integrated infrastructures at the highest level covering nanocharacterisation, nanosimulation, and, where appropriate, nanofabrication, since nanotechnology provides contributions to the whole value chain. It is important that industrial research can obtain strong support from such dedicated centres, since the 'entrance fee' for using such facilities and techniques is very high. Close physical proximity of an industrial research base can further enhance effectiveness.
Similar infrastructures of smaller size have been developed or are under development in Karlsruhe around the synchrotron ANKA, together with the establishment of major equipment for nanotechnology research and a number of interested industrial partners within a short distance.
Such research infrastructures also have an important impact on the manufacturers of equipment and instrumentation for measurements, analysis and nanofabrication, with an annual turnover in Europe of EUR 10 billion. Research infrastructures are equally important for service providers for a whole range of activities from instrumentation up to providing support for modelling and simulation.
GENNESYS proposes a basis for a more systematic, long-term structuring of the complex field requiring organic links ranging from basic research to industry, the inclusion of activities supporting development of standards and reference materials, and the creation of databases of basic materials properties. Moreover, through the proposed concentration of experimental and theoretical work including simulation, not only will the generation of new knowledge be accelerated, but also attractive conditions for education and training on the highest level will be created.
Interdisciplinary work in the so-called 'converging technologies' will be substantially supported by the co-location of different disciplines, sectors, and qualifications. In the area of nanotechnology and nanoscience, many experimental observations have to be transformed through extensive computation to obtain the desired results. Understanding structures and reactions and interpreting experimental results are strongly enhanced by theoretical models, which need strong computing support.
The connections between nano, micro and full-scale structures have to be generated by sophisticated models. The data provided by experiments also make it possible to perform simulation experiments, since direct measurement of many parameters is not possible at the nanoscale.
This is even truer for standards and reference materials, which are of essential importance for the calibration of measurements by nanoinstrumentation. The request for dramatic improvements in methods, their resolution and speed are formulated in a number of documents, such as the Nanosciences, nanotechnologies, materials and new production technologies NMP strategy Science centres will focus on fundamental research in nanomaterials science under the guidance of a university and research laboratory consortium and will provide the molecular database for technology development.
Technology centres will focus on the development of elaborating 'nanosolutions' in all key technologies. In order to capitalise on the existing unique analytical potential of European research infrastructures, these centres should be co-located at large-scale research facilities for the fine analysis of matter, so that their fundamental capabilities can be utilised for nanoscience and nanotechnology.
These GENNESYS advanced science and technology centres provide a strategic context for a knowledge-based pathway from fundamental science to applications. Industrial integration extends to all aspects of facility access and experimental service needs such as novel instrumentation, beam lines as well as support and interface laboratories in both applied, pre-competitive and industrial research and development.
These elements are of vital importance for the cross-fertilisation of discoveries and the stepping up of technological innovations in the nanoindustry landscape in Europe. The GENNESYS advanced science and technology centres could assure the efficient combination of advanced analytical methods, simulation as well as fabrication- and processing tools. They could be developed towards leading competence pools and towards cutting-edge user facilities, giving both internal and external users access to key technologies at one site, thereby strengthening cooperation with universities, knowledge transfer centres and industry.
The mission of a centre should be underpinned by widening strategic access of the centre to European-based large scale facilities. Each centre should be given an appropriate legal status that takes into account preferences by the hosting country. The combination of physical, chemical, engineering skills with applications in materials research, biological and medical sciences in the GENNESYS centres provides a fertile background for designing new curricula for nanosciences and nanoengineering.
The facilities provide important facilities for students to understand computational methods and to engage with a wide range of advanced experimental methods and applications.
They will thus be given a solid foundation enabling them to become successful researchers and industrial innovators. Highly specialised training courses for scientists from other disciplines of research and industry will give them access to experimental techniques using synchrotron radiation or neutron scattering and allow for more efficient use of these exceptional experimental instruments also for interested researchers from institutions and firms not having access to such facilities.
The close proximity of universities, research centres and industries all oriented towards highly innovative applications and products provides a fertile ground for developing high-level graduate and post-graduate courses both in sciences as well as engineering to train and develop the next generation of leading young scientists who are vitally important for a modern, growing and knowledge-based economy. For instance, the Spring-8 synchrotron radiation source in Japan plays an important role in the development of key components for next-generation vehicles, but also for industrial applications in the life sciences, electronics and the environmental field.
The Toyota-owned beamline at Spring-8 is a unique analytical tool, making extensive use of time-resolved X-ray absorption fine structure XAFS for chemical reactions in catalysts, secondary batteries and fuel cells. The 'National nanotechnology' initiative NNI in the US is a collaborative, multi-agency, cross-cutting programme comprising 25 federal funding agencies that fund research to safely develop and apply nanotechnology for societal benefit, economic growth, and the protection of public health and the environment.
In support of this programme, five dedicated Nanoscale science research centres NSRC s co-located at national DoE laboratories with existing major user facilities synchrotron radiation light sources, neutron scattering facilities, other specialised facilities were created between and These five NSRCs are research facilities for the synthesis, processing, fabrication, analysis, characterisation, and modelling of nanoscale materials and differ from one another somewhat in thematic thrust and focus.
They provide specialised equipment, unique tools, and support staff which is otherwise difficult for individual institutions to build up and maintain. Because the NSRCs are co-located with large national research infrastructures, they act as a gateway to synchrotron radiation sources, neutron sources and other major facilities and provide unique access capabilities to the best set of tools available to the scientific community. It is apparent that the long-term realisation of the ambitious goals requires strong efforts and long-lasting support from different national and European bodies and organisations.