order to promote increased collaboration between
nanoscience researchers in Europe, the EU is to part-finance
the creation of a European Theoretical Spectroscopy
Facility (ETSF) along the lines of existing European
The ETSF is an initiative put forward by the Nanoquanta Network of Excellence,
funded under the nanotechnologies strand of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6),
with additional resources provided by national research funding organisations.
The countries represented in the network are: the UK, Germany, Belgium, Italy,
France and Spain.
The project builds on fifteen years of successful collaboration between leading
condensed matter theory groups in Europe, whose work focuses on the properties
of electronic excited states in matter, particularly nanostructures.
According to Lucia Reining, research director at the École Polytechnique
in Paris: 'Over the last two decades, European research and training networks
have increasingly contributed to the development of scientific communities.
In order to share this benefit more widely between scientists and with society,
we have to find new forms of working together. The ETSF will be a major help
for us to answer this challenge.'
The main objective of the ETSF will be to bring a deeper theoretical understanding
of the science that underlies nanotechnologies to the wider scientific community.
'Until now,' the network states, 'support for such work by the EU and national
organisations has concentrated on self-contained, fixed-term research projects
and networks with no permanent opportunity for other researchers to benefit
from the new theoretical and computational developments.'
In a similar way to existing synchrotron facilities, the ETSF will act as a
professionally managed knowledge centre whose expertise, theory and associated
software can be employed differently according to the needs and interests of
its various users. At its core will be a number of collaborating research groups
specialising in the theory of nanosciences or associated software developments,
while users of the facility will be drawn from a much wider community, comprising
researchers from both the public and private sector that wish to benefit from
the latest developments in the field.
Such outreach initiatives will include the dissemination of theories, algorithms
and computer programmes through publications, events and training sessions,
as well as hosting visiting research teams from universities, research institutes
and other organisations. The ETSF will also provide long-term training for
users and doctoral students, as well as modules for Masters-level students.
Martin Stankovski, a doctoral student at The University of York, which is coordinating
the Nanoquanta network, concludes: 'Nanotechnology has enormous potential for
the industry, but deeper theoretical knowledge of the science involved is often
missing in the broader research communities, especially in the private sector.
With the ETSF we have the opportunity to get the experience and knowledge of
our research out where it will be of direct use.'
For further information, please
consult the following web address:
Based on information from the Nanoquanta consortium
Programme or Service Acronym: FRAMEWORK
6C ; FP6-INTEGRATING ; MS-FR
C ; MS-D
C ; MS-B
C ; MS-E
C ; MS-I
C ; MS-UK
C ; FP6-NMP