NFFA-Europe met users at its first science workshop
The first NFFA-Europe Science Workshop entitled “Your Gateway to Nano-science: Open-access Research at NFFA-Europe Facilities” took place in Trieste on 27-28 March 2017. Approaching in time the Mid-Term of the Horizon 2020 grant, the focus of the workshop was set on the scientific achievements obtained to date, featuring in particular selected highlights on results coming from both user access and joint research activities. Keynote lectures enriched the programme by addressing the new trends in nano-science and in data management. The two-day event registered the attendance of 84 participants coming from 13 different countries situated in Europe and one from down under Australia, gathering together a broad scientific community which spanned from material science to biotechnology and neuroscience, with a focus set on a wide array of research topics, ranging from fundamental properties to applied research and innovation, as well as on instrumentation and method development. On day one of the workshop, after an overview of the research activities carried out up to now by users at NFFA-Europe facilities, scientific talks on successful proposals were delivered by selected users coming from both academia and industry.
User activity was set in the context of the forthcoming trends and challenges in nano-science research by Prof. Lars Montelius from the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, in a collaborative effort to encourage also our users to positively contribute to the challenges of tomorrow. Research-data management was an issue that raised great interest in the audience. NFFA-Europe’s answer to the general question and framework presented by our keynote lecturer, Dr. Rainer Stotzka (Karlsruher Institute für Technologie) on the first day, was presented on the second day as one of the main results of our joint research activities: the powerful Information and Data Repository Platform that is in a test phase and will be offered to our users during the last period of the grant. On March 28, the technical and scientific highlights of all the other joint research activities were then presented and discussed. Great emphasis was placed on the potential impact they will have on users’ activity, and practical examples were provided on what new kind of research they can generate. The innovative methods and instruments will be made available in about one year but some earlier results will be already included in the NFFA-Europe offer catalogue in a few months.
In the afternoon of March 27, the participants of the workshop were given the opportunity to visit NFFA-Europe installations in Trieste, thus touching with hands our offer and our philosophy. A great contribution to the general positive atmosphere and liveliness of the event came from the venue of the workshop itself, located in the city centre, right on Trieste’s waterfront, as well as from the convivial spirit of the social dinner held in a historic restaurant in the Old Town.
Last but not least, the workshop was also the occasion to share impressions and ideas on the future of user access to our facilities. In the same days, the NFFA-Europe General Assembly met and discussed the suggestions received, with the aim of optimizing and even extending the opportunities offered to a larger and larger user community. New news coming soon…. Stay tuned on www.nffa.eu!