Background

The Materials Helix was amongst the first tranche of Helix communities launched by Crowdhelix in early 2013, and is led by Leitat Technological Center, a world-leading material research organisation in Terrassa, Spain.

Nanotechnology and Materials are the essence of any new innovative technology. As such, considering that technologies evolve through a technology readiness pathway, their evolution must integrate the concept of Readiness Level (closely linked with its production scalability) at each step; from unit development to the final application (including, unit integration, sub-system, and operational system) and new nanotechnology and materials must reach a degree of readiness prior to being integrated into components (the integrated unit).

These new components are often likely to require (or substantially benefit from) being tested as more experimental demonstrators at lower readiness levels. In other words, components, devices, systems, and applications are re-designed in light of the new materials, and Readiness Level upgrading activities occur at every stage from basic unit to application.

Scope

The Materials Helix provides an Open Innovation platform for experts seeking international collaborators to carry out research and innovation across the following topic areas:

  • Nanomaterials, including additives, encapsulation, photonics, surfaces, & coatings
  • Nanofabrication (including workers’ exposure safety)
  • Graphene
  • Biomaterials including synthetic biology, industrial biotech, & bioinformatics
  • Materials modelling & characterisation
  • Smart materials including catalysis, environmental treatment, energy transport and storage
  • Material from Cradle to Cradle (including Bio-based, Re-use, & Recycling)

Due to the cross-cutting nature of the domain, the Materials Helix is also closely integrated with the activities of several other Helix communities; including Circular Plastics, Manufacturing, Health, & Energy. At the EU level, this integration is reflected in the aggregation of materials-relevant topics into the overarching “Nanotechnologies, Advanced Materials, Biotechnology and Advanced Manufacturing and Processing” (“NMBP”) Work Programmes Policy.

One of the European Union’s strategic aims for the industrial sector includes the application of Open Innovation and Open Science principles to materials research & innovation, including for upscaling, characterisation, modelling, and safety through Open Test access for companies to seek and try development beyond laboratory scale.

Organisations

  • ETH Zurich
  • Sabanci University
  • Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
  • Eindhoven University of Technology
  • Ege University
  • École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
  • Technische Universiteit Delft
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • Tyndall National Institute
  • Centre for Process Innovation Ltd

Projects

  • Graphene Flagship

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