INSTM a success in the world of research

INSTM is a leading research organisation, both in Italy and Europe-wide. Since 1992, it has played a valuable role with respect to the funding agencies, while providing a "one-stop-shop" for its affiliates, enabling them to access funding for their activities. It has also participated actively in promoting its preferences regarding areas of research to be considered for funding.

To date, the Consortium has participated in 225 projects, most of them Italian, and so has contributed significantly to Italy's scientific progress, its research quality and its innovative capabilities. Among these projects are INSTM's Industria 2015 projects, financed by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, numerous FIRB and FISR projects subsidised by the Italian Ministry of Instruction, Universities and Research (MiUR), and contributions to INSTM research from CNR and the country's regional administrations.

At European level, and since its beginnings, INSTM has been involved in 83 projects. These have been evenly distributed between the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th Framework Programmes: long-term initiatives through which the European Union has developed and met the needs of its research policies, and which also form the main instruments for funding European level projects.

Of INSTM's European projects, the majority concerned "Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials and New production technologies" thus naturally involving Europe's three Networks of Excellence: Molecular Approach to Nanomagnets and Multifunctional Materials (MAGMANet), Integrated Design of Catalytic Nanomaterials for a Sustainable Production (IDECAT) and Nanostructured and functional polymer-based materials and nanocomposites (Nanofun-poly). Their Europe-wide activities were coordinated by INSTM, the only Italian organisation to have been selected for this role.

INSTM's management of these networks led to the formation of three structures with the aim of integrating this European-wide joint scientific research for the longer term. These are:

  • From Nanofun-poly: The European Centre for Nanostructured Polymers (ECNP)
  • From MAGMANet: The European Institute of Molecular Magnetism (EIMM)
  • From IDECAT: The European Institute of Catalysis (ERIC)

Now, in the light of some very clear challenges facing Europe, and as part of its strategy to ensure ongoing global competitive growth, the European Community is currently developing a new Framework Programme, Horizon 2020. This initiative is dedicated to maintaining and growing Europe's research excellence, increasing its competitive technological strengths in manufacturing, and enhancing the cooperation between industry and those individuals and institutions that are engaged in expanding Europe's knowledge base and innovative capabilities.

INSTM is already playing an active role in Horizon 2020, in developing proposals in the areas of "Sustainable Technology for Resource Efficiency by the Process Industry" and "Critical Raw Materials". These themes were prepared by the European Federation of Chemical Industries (CEFIC), and other European organisations within the ambit of Public Private Partnerships (PPP), one of main instruments for preparing and managing Horizon 2020 calls, proposals and projects.

Its active participation in Horizon 2020 is strategic to reinforcing INSTM's presence in the European Union's European Research Area (ERA), and in improving Italy's potential for success and participation in European research projects. And of course INSTM will be supporting its affiliates' Horizon 2020 project proposals, helping them gain access to capabilities, structures and funding that would be difficult if not impossible to obtain if they were individual research groups.

© 2013 - Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale per la Scienza e Tecnologia dei Materiali