|The NANOPHEN project implemented by Institute of Physical
Chemistry at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (IPC-BAS) was advanced in
response to a specific FP6 call: "Promotion of co-operation with Associated
Candidate Countries: Reinforcement of the Associated Candidate Countries'
Research Capacities" (FP6-2004-ACC-SSA-2) targeted especially at Rumania,
Bulgaria and Turkey. The call was related to the EU program of "Integrating
and Strengthening the European Research Area". The aim was to identify
poles of scientific excellence in these countries, whose research activity
is related to one of the basic priorities of FP6. The basic characteristics
of these poles had to be (i) respectable history of scientific achievements;
(ii) present state-of-the-art related to high level of research activities
and availability of excellent researchers. The basic idea was that the presence
of these features guarantees the most efficient stabilization of such institutions
and the European support will guarantee an immense impulse to their progressive
development in the next 5 - 10 years ensuring the effective integration
in structure of the European Research Area.
The analysis of the state-of the-art of Institute of Physical Chemistry by the moment of the project preparation has shown the following:
- IPC-BAS has very good achievements in the field of nanosciences, nanotechnologies and new materials and processes (NMP), and in particular in the trends of: (i) nucleation and growth of crystalline and amorphous materials; (ii) interfacial phenomena in colloidal systems; (iii) knowledge-based multifunctional nanomaterials with direct industrial application;
- IPC-BAS has unique and original experimental instrumentation (for the investigation of surface forces at liquid interfaces, for the studying the initial stages of electrocrystallisation and crystallisation of proteins, etc.)
- IPC-BAS has a group of eminent senior research scientists.
Three major problems have been identified:
- a constant lack of adequate funding of research activities;
- although IPC-BAS has had diverse scientific instrumentation, most of the setups had not been renovated in the past 18-20 years and have been morally and physically outdated;
- a strong tendency of "brain-drain" and age-misbalance has persistently developed, exhausting the human potential of the Institute.
Therefore, the basic aim of the project was to target these major issues.
Starting off this state-of-the-art, the strategic objective of the project NANOPHEN was to improve and reinforce the research capacity of the Institute of Physical Chemistry at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in the field of nanoscale phenomena in bulk and surface phases so as to foster the impact of nanotechnologies on the national scientific and economic development.
The project aimed at:
The support actions implemented within NANOPHEN
The basic result of the implemented
actions is that Institute of Physical Chemistry at Bulgarian Academy of
Sciences has moved significantly to the point of conversion into a high-level
European research and advanced-training Center in the field of Nanoscience
and Nanostructured Materials.