Strengthening the nanotechnology capabilities of a key institute in Poland will enable the country to upgrade research on biomaterials and alternative energy. It will also help further integrate the country in the European Research Area (ERA).
Nanotechnology has been instrumental in creating many new materials and devices that offer numerous applications from biomaterials to alternative energy, representing an important driver of competitiveness within the ERA. The EU-funded project
‘Nanotechnology, biomaterials and alternative energy source for ERA [European Research Area] integration’ (NOBLESSE) is supporting Poland in strengthening its research capabilities in this pivotal field.
To achieve its aims, NOBLESSE is procuring new equipment for the academy, in addition to strengthening links with other institutes, promoting twinning activities and enhancing knowledge transfer. …
Already, the project team has installed an advanced scanning electron microscope, created a new laboratory in the IPC PAS, the Mazovia Center for Surface Analysis (which is one of the most advanced in Europe), and built an open-access Electronic Laboratory Equipment Database (ELAD) that documents research equipment available in specialised laboratories across Poland.
There is more about the NOBLESSE project from this webpage: http://ec.europa.eu/research/infocentre/article_en.cfm?id=/research/star/index_en.cfm?p=ss-noblesse&calledby=infocentre&item=Energy&artid=28137&caller=SuccessStories (article published Nov. 15, 2012),
The use and control of nano-structured materials is of great importance for the development of new environmentally friendly materials, more efficient energy sources and biosensors for medical analysis. The European Noblesse project is boosting a Polish academy’s capabilities to research these developments.
… Such is the scope for the development and application of nanotechnology that nano-structured materials are in high demand. To meet this demand, nano-science institutes need to rise to the challenges that modern society presents.
This is one of the driving forces behind the Noblesse project which aims to establish the Institute of Physical Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences (IPC-PAS) as an integrated partner and respected participant in the European nano-science community.
Through a combination of newly purchased, state-of-the-art equipment – financed by EU FP7 funding – and a programme of recruitment and training, Noblesse promises to position IPC-PAS as a leading research centre in Europe and beyond.
The project has already made great strides towards bringing new nanotechnology applications to the market place and in promoting the career development of a team of young, dedicated researchers in the field.
“In the first year of the project, we filed 49 patent applications, 25 of them abroad – most of which are nanotechnology patents,” says Professor Robert Holyst, the project coordinator. “I am not aware of any institute in Poland filing more patent applications than us at the moment.
“We have also established two spin-off companies, thanks to the valuable influence of our advisory board members from industry,” he adds. Tomasz Tuora, who is on the advisory board of the Noblesse project, is the main investor in Scope Fluidics Ltd and Curiosity Diagnostics Ltd, Prof. Holyst explains. “While the Noblesse grant did not promise to set up spin-off companies in the Institute, we did promise to collaborate and develop ties with industry,” he says.
According to Prof. Holyst, the two companies plan to make products for the medical sector and have each employed between 10 and 20 scientists to develop new nanotechnology applications.
The creation of spin-off companies from IPC-PAS is unlikely to end there if an application for a €1.3 million-grant from the NCBIR, the Polish funding agency for applied research, is successful. “We are currently applying for this grant to develop and later commercialise the SERS (surface enhanced resonance spectroscopy) platform for molecular diagnostics,” Prof. Holyst explains. “If we are successful in our application, we’ll establish a new spin-off company for this purpose.”
,The 2013 news item on Nanowerk does not mention the commercialization project referred to in the 2012 article. Good luck to the NOBLESSE team and I look forward to hearing more about the nanotechnology effort in Poland.