Center of nanomaterials technologies and research (NAMUR+) provides the opportunities for high-level research
For Estonia to be able to compete in innovative and high-tech sectors, new approaches and collaborations need to be promoted in order to put the existing infrastructure to effective use and to put Estonia on the map in other fields.
NAMUR+ is a component of the Estonian roadmap of research infrastructure. Its main objective is to establish a complex of analytical and visualising equipment needed for nanosciences and materials research that would satisfy the needs of Estonian scientists in special fields as well as broaden the opportunities of companies to carry out product and technological development.
The aim of NAMUR + is to provide the opportunity to conduct high-level research both for research partners and also for the public and private sector. Such a center is based on the expertise of the material science, nanotechnology, nanotoxicology, novel energy conversion and storage systems research teams University of Tartu, Tallinn University of Technology and National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics.
The facility consists of three high-level setups, foremost for analysing and developing nanoscale materials and technologies. The Center provides the services on the world's leading nanotechnology and nanosafety level. Technical support is provided as a service to clients looking to perform experiments and expert support is provided to clients for the interpretation of the research results.
A current challenge is the creation of a strong backbone for the long-term implementation of NAMUR+ activities due to its intensive financial and human resource investment requirements.
Value of the equipment exceeds 5 mln EUR.
Evidence of success
NAMUR+ funding comes from ERDF, national basic R&D funding and national specific funding instruments. NAMUR+ has received 5 mln EUR from the national government.
The described practice has already acquired nearly 25 customers which already have created economical value. Together with the university researchers, the equipment utilization is in the range of 50-75%. This shows the high demand when considering the very specific purposes of dedicated machinery.
One challenge is to create a strong backbone for long-term implementation of NAMUR+ activities, as it requires financial and human resource investment.
The cooperation mechanisms between university and industry could be further strengthened and improved.
Potential for learning or transfer
• Educational platform
NAMUR+ has developed a top-level infrastructure for manufacturing, researching and applying nanomaterials and it was consolidated into an attractive multifunctional hub offering research and development services.
The described practice is an example of an educational platform and it increases competitiveness in the materials science sector.
The greatest potential for learning is the interdisciplinarity and openness for research, technology and industry in the field of electronics, energetics, ICT, biomedicine etc.
The infrastructure facility is managed by well trained and educated engineers which are there to help the customers/companies in their needs so it has great potential to promote collaboration between knowledge institutions and businesses. The infrastructure has found very active use by both Estonian research and development institutions as well as industrial companies and has significantly improved the synergy of activities between those.