WG1. Advances in Porous Materials and Technologies
This is a fundamental and transversal set of tasks in the Action. The development of the technologies to produce and functionalize porous materials, research on the material properties, efforts in finding applications and bringing them to the proof-of-concept stage must be continuously performed. This working group will be open to all action members with capabilities in technologies for the production and application of porous semiconductor and/or oxide materials. Collaboration between members will make it possible to improve the quality of the research results, which is expected to have a later impact on the results of other WGs. One of the main tasks within this group will be to monitor a technology database devised to create alliances between researchers and industry entities, and to promote the exploitation of new products. The coordinated research performed within this working group should disclose new material properties, functionalization or surface modification, and applications. Special attention within this WG will be focused on the optimization of production methods and in their up-scaling, with a view for future industrialization and commercialization of porous materials-based products.
Porous materials have demonstrated promising potential in health-related applications. Their sensing capabilities enable ultra-low detection limits for a broad variety of analytes such as antibodies or other disease markers. Furthermore, these porous structures are adequate for drug loading, and controlled and sustained release. Research in health applications of porous semiconductor and oxide materials will be carried out through collaboration between research groups more directly related with these applications and research-involved companies in order to strengthen links and efforts, and bring these technologies as close to the market as possible. Within this workgroup the tasks will be distributed in terms of the final goal, namely i) diagnostic systems, ii) targeted/controlled/sustained drug delivery, iii) combining diagnostics and therapeutics with the help of porous materials, and also iv) using the porous materials as three-dimensional nanostructured cell scaffolds for tissue engineering applications.
||Prof Hélder SANTOS Univ. Medical Center Groningen (The Netherlands)
Porous materials offer great possibilities in energy-related applications because of their exceptional surface-to-volume ratio, optoelectronic properties, and the possibility of nano-engineering their geometry to tailor physical properties. This workgroup will concentrate efforts of different stakeholders interested in such applications, covering green energy generation and storage. Tasks will be distributed in three main portfolios: i) green energy generation, the main interest is solar energy conversion, where nanostructuring using porous materials as templates can provide an increase in interfaces between the active layers and contribute to the improvement in photon-to-charge conversion efficiency and charge collection, ii) efficient energy storage, where the porous structure can be tailored to match the requirements for high surface-to-volume ratios as in supercapacitors, and finally iii) the porous structure can also be important in thermal isolation to improve energy efficiency of different systems.
The goals of this workgroup are similar to those of diagnostics in the WG2, and thus, they will have concurrent tasks, as they will be devoted to the improvement of sensitivity, limit of detection and selectivity of sensors based on porous materials. From the point of view of environment, however, the analytical targets of the systems to be developed are different. For water, the focus is on toxic components, bacterial organisms, toxic algae, chemicals such as pesticides or waste drugs. In the case of food quality, the main targets to be detected are microorganism proliferation, illegal additives, or decay state. The collaboration among the different stakeholders can bring such products to higher stages of sensitivity and especially in selectivity, their main drawback to date. Efforts will be put in the development of low-cost, low maintenance portable systems as the impact of such systems can reach to the most disfavoured areas in the world, where fresh water sources and quality food management are necessary.
WG5. Management and Dissemination
All Action members will participate in this WG, led by the Action coordinator. All the tasks related to the Action management, objective assessment and risk and contingency management will be organized by this workgroup. The first task will be to coordinate the operative Action structure, with the Management Committee
(MC) and the Core Group
(CG). CG will be responsible to periodically stimulate the creation of new knowledge, the sharing of this knowledge between the stakeholders and to drive the exploitation of the results up to the highest possible TRL. One very important task within this workgroup will be the organization of the different dissemination and networking activities: Web page and Social Networks, Industry Workshops, the main scientific forum, the PSST.
The Management Committee
(MC) will be responsible for the general coordination and organisation of the COST Action. The MC comprises a Chair and Vice-Chair, who may be assisted by a Secretariat, as well as the WG Leaders, the Dissemination Responsible and the STSM Coordinator. The MC will be completed by two National Representatives from each participating COST country and by a COST Mission and Policies supervisor. The MC will meet every six months to assess the progress of the work being completed and ensure that the collaboration and coordination between the Action participants is optimized. At least the Chair or Vice-Chair of the MC will be a person from an ITC and/or from the less represented gender. The leaders for the WGs will also be part of the MC, so that the coordination can be focused and more effectively put into action. The composition of the MC and the actual WG leaders will be chosen on the basis of inclusiveness (with the presence of ITC members), with care to balance the less represented gender and also early career researchers. MC and WG leaders will also be the responsible for producing annual reports in each of the four years.
A Core Group
(CG) will be appointed by the MC and will assist the Chair for rapid, flexible and efficient coordination. It will be responsible for executive decisions between MC meetings.
A Dissemination Board
(DB) will be the responsible for maintaining the Action web page and the related social network activities. It will serve as Editorial Board as it will give support to members publishing papers or filing for patents. A Short-Term Scientific Mission
(STSM) Board with a MC-appointed manager will be assigned to explore opportunities in each WG and Action members and organise, evaluate and assign the STSM calls to be issued twice per year of the Action.