ESTEEM3 group members at the last GA meeting in Toulouse
Since the beginning of the ESTEEM3 project, in January 2019, DENSsolutions has been involved as one of the industrial partners. Our aim in this project is to promote and improve in-situ TEM technology by communicating and collaborating with ESTEEM3 partners in solving scientific problems from basic methodology development to characterising materials related (but not limited) to ICT, energy, health, and transport. Now, being in the 14th month of the project, we want to share some background of the project and see what has been achieved thus far. We interviewed Lucie Guilloteau who is the project manager of ESTEEM3.
What is the main goal of ESTEEM3?
The main goal is to provide transnational access (TA) to the leading European state-of-the-art electron microscopy research infrastructures, to researchers in the private and public domain. During the previous ESTEEM projects, 1 and 2, we have been able to build a strong infrastructure and develop procedures that now enable us to connect many users to labs all over Europe.
On our website, we make it easy for a wide range of academic and industrial research communities to submit their application. Each proposal will be assessed by a committee of renowned and external scientists in microscopy and materials science on 3 points: Scientific quality of the proposal, demonstration of the need for the use of the advanced infrastructure, and potential impact for academic or industrial innovation.
The selected proposals will be granted access to required facilities, made available by one of the 15 labs in our consortium. Think of sample preparation, TEM study and data analysis.
Can institutes outside of the EU also apply?
Yes, access for user groups where the majority of users are not working in an EU or associated country is allowed, but these groups are limited to 20% of the total amount of ‘units of access’ provided under the grant.
The project started in January 2019 and will run until December 2022. During this time period, our goal is to provide a total of 50 applicants from outside of the EU access to one of our 15 labs.
At the moment, we already have successfully provided access to 19 groups so we are ahead of schedule. If we look at the amount of access we provided overall, including user groups inside of the EU, which take up 80% of the total amount of units of access provided, we are at more than 30% of our project goals.
Who are the people behind the project?
The project is funded by the European Research and Innovation program Horizon 2020 under the Excellent Science pillar and coordinated by Prof. Peter van Aken of the Max Planck institute. The consortium list can be found here.
What other things does ESTEEM3 make possible?
Next to providing free access to the best European facilities and expertise in electron microscopy for the study of materials, ESTEEM3 members and SMEs also develop joint research activities. The goal of these activities is to develop new techniques in electron microscopy, study materials applied to ICT, energy, health and transport sectors and to improve automation and data study. And the last part of ESTEEM3 concerns education and training where we organise schools, workshops and webinars on electron microscopy.