A new €1.7 million EU funded project involving 17 world-leading research institutions - and led by The University of Manchester - will encourage the transfer of ideas and knowledge between top scientists around the world.
The InForm project will provide a boost to an exciting area of research known as formulation science.
Formulation science is of vital importance to the development of many products that make our lives more comfortable, safer and enjoyable - such as household and personal care products, foods, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and coatings.
These products contain the appropriate quantity of several compounds, mixed, arranged, and structured to perform a specific application.
But the development of new formulated products using novel materials - including nanomaterials - requires a careful evaluation of the environmental impact and toxicological effects.
Nanoformulation is already helping with the development of more effective methods of drug delivery with in the body.
In industry there is a huge demand for high performing, cheap and environmentally sustainable products - and formulation design has been identified as being key in their development.
Now researchers working on the three-year InForm project are aiming to bring together top scientific knowledge in this area to enhance understanding of the subject.
At present, the design of formulated products is based on repeated cycles of measurements and testing, and the optimisation strategy depends to a large extent on the ‘experience’ of the formulator.
InForm will create appropriate platforms for dissemination between researchers from Europe, USA and Asia-Pacific working in academia, public research laboratories and industry in order to identify and enhance complementary interests.
InForm will distribute its activities between six thematic lines that are of fundamental importance in formulations, using activities such as scientific and technical forums, networking events, fact finding missions and technical workshops to achieve its goals.
A researcher exchange program will also enable seeding of new collaborations between partners in different world regions.
The project has been funded by the European Commission through the European Union Framework 7 programme.