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NanoKTN helps V-SMMART Nano EU Project secure €3.1m for Product Development

FP7-NMP The Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN – www.nanoKTN.com), one of the UK’s primary knowledge-based networks for Micro and Nanotechnologies, has helped secure €3.1 million of funding for V-SMMART Nano, an EU funded programme. The funding, which comes from the FP7-NMP call, will support development of the Volumetric Scanning Microwave Microscope (VSMM), for non-destructive 3D nanoscale structural characterisation of samples.

The VSMM project will probe the local reflection and transmission microwave spectroscopy of key material properties, measuring complex permittivity, conductivity, resistivity, and magnetic response and hence structural and chemical material constitution with 3D nanoscale resolution. The work will address the technical development of the tool and demonstrate its ability to characterise the 3D structure in situ at the nanoscale. The tool will be applied to relevant real-life systems including nanoparticle drug uptake in biological cells, domain structure in ferroelectric devices and trap mechanisms in solar cells.

The consortium that will develop and commercialise the VSMM comprises 7 partners: Bio Nano Consulting (London, UK), MC2 (Lille, France), Agilent (Linz, Austria), National Physical Laboratory (Teddington, UK), CNR-IMM (Rome, Italy), IBEC (Barcelona, Spain) and Nanoworld Services (Erlangen, Germany).

"The help provided by the NanoKTN has been invaluable in helping to review funding applications to ensure it fits within the scope of the call. Assistance from Theme Managers at the NanoKTN helped put us in a position where we were able to confidently apply for funding which has now given us the opportunity to develop the VSMM product" says David Sarphie, CEO at Bio Nano Consulting.

As well as input from international partners, support from the NanoKTN has been integral in securing funding for the V-SMMART project. The NanoKTN is dedicated to helping its members understand how to write a successful proposal and identify suitable partnerships for collaborative work and has worked closely with UK project partners Bio Nano Consulting, to help them apply for funding, write proposals and understand the processes and requirements.

Alec Reader, Director at the NanoKTN adds, "Nanotechnologies and microtechnologies are being recognised as important means of wealth and job creation for the UK and Europe, and successful development and uptake of new technology is central to the UK’s wealth creation in the next twenty years. Support for preparing calls is crucial and the NanoKTN is committed to assisting its members in making the best possible decisions to ensure continued inward investment into the UK nano and microtechnology markets."

Funding for the project has come from the New Production Processes (NMP) funds, made available as part of Framework Programme 7. European Framework Programme 7 enables organisations, through collaborative research and development, to access new partners, skills and knowledge in the development of their future products and services. By making funds available, the European Commission aims to strengthen Europe’s Science and Technology base and guarantee global leadership in the market. The Framework 7 Programme enables this through a combination of investments which harnesses the collective expertise of the EU member states and other participating countries.

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