EXCELL - Network of Excellence: to overcome the fragmentation of European research in multifunctional thin films

FP6-NMP3-2005 - Network of Excellence

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In the frame of the FP6, EXCELL is a 5 years project started in April 1st, 2005, which involves 16 European partners, including universities, research centres, one large scale company (ArcelorMittal), two SMEs and VINF.

It is well-known that European research in many of areas is fragmented to a high degree and, as a consequence, is not cost-efficient. One of the research areas where fragmentation shows its most serious adverse affects is research related to understanding of nano-materials phenomena for multifunctional thin films with a wide range of industrial applications. For example, research in nano-crystalline films and, in particular, in hard and superhard nanofilms is vital for many important applications such as European tool manufacturing industries. Factually, European tools industries are loosing their competitive edge worldwide.

EXCELL is designed to become a key player for overcoming the fragmentation of the European research in the field of thin multifunctional films. EXCELL pursues a deep and fundamental restructuring of European research in this particular area via establishing a durable long-lasting integration to stimulate innovative research and development, standardisation and the promotion of the industrial uptake of the breakthrough technologies.

EXCELL represents the European excellence in nano-films research and applications. No similar networks on thin nano-films have ever been established. EXCELL is built on a premise of joint research, integration and spreading excellence beyond the Consortium partnership. Training is one of the most important components of EXCELL. Besides that, EXCELL promotes the exchange and collaboration between academic and industrial sites through technology transfer activities. It maintains an advanced supporting information and communication infrastructure and represents a comprehensive source of technological expertise.

EXCELL en route to its success installs new tools for fast efficient communication between partners to improve research infrastructures, to boost the interoperability of data (including tests of experiments) and to better manage available resources such as equipment, knowledge, education and technology transfer. EXCELL, albeit is not a research project, but it strongly supports the European Research Area (ERA) as it builds a reliable and lasting infrastructure with necessary ingredients needed to attract high quality science, leadership and funding.

VINF has integrated EXCELL for the last 2 years of the project and has been implemented to allow networking between partners and new coming Members beyond the project funding period. The funding Members of VINF are actually the scientific EXCELL partners.