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Posted: October 8, 2009

CNRS establishes its first joint international nanotechnology research unit in Asia with an industry partner

(Nanowerk News) The French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Thales have established a joint international research unit (Unité Mixte Internationale) called CINTRA (CNRS International – NTU – Thales Research Alliance). Based in Singapore, the new unit will conduct research into nanotechnologies for electronics, photonics, and related applications.
The agreement was signed in the presence of Valérie Pécresse, France's Minister for Higher Education & Research, and Dr NG Eng Hen, Singapore's Minister for Education. The new research unit illustrates to the partners' ongoing efforts to promote cooperation between academic and industry researchers in France and Singapore, and will make a significant contribution to strengthening pathways between technological breakthroughs and innovation in industry.
The three partners in the joint unit are highly complementary, and will focus their research on nanocomponents and the new circuit architectures needed to overcome current limitations. They will work together to develop new technologies supporting co-integration of electronic and photonic components on a single substrate to leverage the properties of both and meet future requirements in the field of communications, computing and sensors (biological, medical, etc.).
At the signing ceremony, CNRS General Director Arnold Migus stated: "CNRS is very proud to contribute, through the creation of this joint laboratory with NTU and THALES, to the intensification of scientific relations between France and Singapore. This alliance brings together the prestigious Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, the major European multidisciplinary research organization and a French leading industrial group. This new UMI (Unité Mixte Internationale – joint international laboratory) is a structure of excellence which positions us at the cutting edge of Nanotechnologies. It will allow us to combine our respective strengths in scientific and technological research in this field".
Marko Erman, Thales's Chief Technical Officer, said: “Thales is happy to be part of this joint international research unit. As one of the industry leaders in the field of nanotechnologies for electronics and photonics, our company now wants to develop new skills and new technologies to meet the needs of future generations of electromagnetic sensors and processing functions, which will combine ultra-high performance with low power consumption.”
“NTU is pleased to partner with CNRS and Thales to set up the CINTRA laboratory which is testament to the University's global links, R&D capabilities and ability to develop technologies to meet real-world needs,” said NTU President, Dr Su Guaning. “The laboratory located at NTU is also envisioned to be an important conduit for the transfer of scientific and technological knowledge, breakthroughs and industrial innovations between Singapore and France.”
Located at NTU's Research Techno Plaza, the CINTRA Laboratory is expected to open by the end of October 2009.
The CINTRA laboratory will be managed by a Scientific Committee with representatives from the three partners. Prof. Dominique Baillargeat of CNRS has been appointed as Director of the laboratory, with Prof. Tjin Swee Chuan of NTU and Dr Myriam Kaba of Thales as Deputy Directors.
About the CNRS
Established in 1939, the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) is a government-funded research organisation to advance knowledge and serve society. The centre has more than 32,000 people on staff, of which 11,600 researchers; a 2008 budget of €3.277 billion, of which an endowment of €588 million; and campuses across France. It is active across all the sciences, leveraging more than 1,200 research and service units. As France's leading multidisciplinary research organisation, it encompasses such disciplines as mathematics, physics, information science and technology and engineering, nuclear physics and particle physics, cosmology, chemistry and life sciences, as well as the humanities, social sciences and environmental science. It is also assertively committed to partnerships, especially with business.
Source: CNRS
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