NANOTRANS is a consortium associating eight academic and two private full partners, across seven EU countries. It is part of the European Commission's Horizon 2020 innovation program, as an Innovative Training Network.
Its aim is to train young scientists with suitable scientific profiles and a specific range of skills, who will be able to deal with the fundamental and technological challenges of the future in the field of soft matter. NANOTRANS provides a rigorous, balanced, and timely supra-disciplinary training program delivered by Europe’s (and world’s) leading scientists in the field. Moreover, it represents a unique opportunity to move between industry and academia, which is crucial to foster inter-sectorial exchange of individuals and ideas.
The scientific objective is to understand the transport of fluids and colloids at the nanoscale. This is one of the core problems of technological development, whose key demands are downscaling applications and controlling non-equilibrium dynamics (e.g. design of “smart” nanomaterials, nanofluidics, lab-on-a-chip devices, energy production and storage, drug delivery...). For this specific focus, multidisciplinary and inter-sectorial approaches, that are inherently a part of soft matter research, are crucial. The experimental and theoretical methods are presently at a stage where exploration of key processes is viable and our research program promises fundamental and applied breakthroughs.
Our aim is to establish long-term collaborations, structuring the EU research environment and bridging the gap between academic and industrial research. The overwhelming goal is to train young researchers with unique profiles, who will work across sectors and might become future leaders in emerging and rapidly growing fields such as nanoscience and nanotechnology. Our research and their future careers are going to make the difference on some of the core challenges of modern society: energy production and storage, novel disease treatment strategies and sustainable development.
Lastly, we believe in the importance of scientific outreach, both as an educational mission of science toward society and as a way to show its fundamental importance to citizens. Investing in research in the emerging field of soft matter at the nanoscale is determinant for Europe’s position as the world-leading academic and technological power.