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Posted: May 21, 2008
EU new member states push for integration into European micro-, nanotechnology research
(Nanowerk News) The MINOS-EURONET project has combined novel methods with traditional ones to help organisations from New Member States to gain a higher visibility within European research in Micro- and Nanotechnologies (MNT). Also different approaches to efficient networking have been applied.
The project that will finish in May 2008, had started 3 years ago with the development of knowledge databases, combined with organising workshops and brokerage events and publicising through the website, an Email newsletter and the printed MNT Bulletin. These „standard‰ networking methods showed some success in bringing Eastern and Western researchers together but outcome in terms of joint projects was still limited.
To increase the visible outcome of these actions, MINOS-EURONET decided in 2007 to combine different actions into a unified database (www.minos-euro.net/databases) that now contains profiles of European specialists, research centres, projects and networks related to the Micro and Nano Technology field, with a special emphasis on profiles from Central and Eastern Europe. The database aims to reveal and promote the research competences from the New Member States (NMS) at European scale and to facilitate the participation of these organisations to EC programmes and other activities in the field of micro- and nanosystems. The unified database is also the backbone for online brokerage activities. For the preparation of proposals in EC FP7 this tool has been extensively used in addition to face-to-face brokerage events.
The idea of a roadshow was born as it became clear that while many of the Eastern partners in MINOS know each other very well, and had a clear idea of their capabilities, there was still too little contact with institutions in Western Europe. In fact awareness of the Eastern partners was very low in the West due to the lack of contact with the major research institutes. A key objective of the roadshow was to address this lack of awareness in the West. Many of the major institutes in the West have been accessing EC funding since the inception of the Framework programmes. As a result, there are many academics who are highly networked and experienced in putting together successful proposals. However, in the East, many institutes have little experience of working on EC proposals, and are therefore at a disadvantage to their more experienced Western colleagues. The roadshow aimed to forge strong partnerships between East and West in order to utilise the Western expertise and improve the chances of Eastern partners successfully receiving EC funding.
MINOS-EURONET is devoted to stimulating, encouraging and facilitating the participation of New Member States (NMS) and the Associated Candidate Countries (ACC) in the activities of Micro- and Nanotechnologies of the European Union. The project is focussing on the following objectives:
1) To reveal and promote the research competences from NMS and ACC, namely competences which are relevant for the development of the field of micro-nanosystems at the European scale.
2) To facilitate the participation of NMS and ACC organisations to EU programmes and other activities in the field of micro-nanosystems: a) by providing specific information through databases and other electronic or conventional means and b) by direct contacts through information and awareness events, as well as through brokerage meetings.
3) Extensive networking at the pan-European scale in the field of micro-nanosystems, especially by networking the organisations in NMS and ACC which have a potential for the future development of the field with the established networks in EU.
4) Facilitating progress towards building a future research policy and research direction for micro-nanosystems, micro/nanotechnology and converging technologies in NMS/AC.
The characteristic of this project is given by the presence of eight coordinators of big FP6 projects in the project consortium: 5 Networks of Excellence (GOSPEL, PATENT-DfMM, AMICOM, 4M, Nano2Life), 2 Integrated Projects (GOOD FOOD, HEALTHY AIMS) and ASSEMIC, a Marie Curie network are involved. A general presentation and the project description can be found at: www.minos-euro.net
The database system has been recently improved by adding some new features in order to facilitate the access to the information and the management of profiles. Therefore four databases have been merged into a single one. Currently the database contains more than 400 Research Centers, 350 Specialists, 40 Projects and 18 networks. The system is based on a single logon, where the user can manage all the profiles that belong to his/her account. In order to see the information provided by other people the user has to share some information in exchange, so every new user will have to fill in at least one form for the database. All European Micro and Nano experts and innovative SMEs are invited to complete the databases and participate to networking. To become part of the database, please log in at www.minos-euro.net/databases .