Ten Million Euros for Soft Matter Research

A new European research infrastructure project under the leadership of Forschungszentrum Jülich is about to be rolled out: in April, the European Commission and Forschungszentrum Jülich signed the grant agreement on the distributed “European Soft Matter Infrastructure” (EUSMI). The European Commission will support EUSMI with 10 million Euros over a period of four years.

A total of fifteen European partners are to pool their in some cases unique facilities for undertaking physical studies on soft matter, for developing and synthesizing new materials and computer simulations, and will make this infrastructure available to external scientists for their research work. Joint research and development projects should then ensure that these facilities are guaranteed a place amongst the best in the world, both now and in the future.

Soft matter includes very diverse substances, but all have one thing in common: they are soft at room temperature. They encompass biological materials, such as cell membranes, as well as synthetic materials, such as plastic polymers. “Our aim is to improve our understanding of how certain properties of soft materials come about, and how desired properties can be tailored to meet specific needs”, explains Prof. Jan Dhont, Director at the Institute of Complex Systems, who is coordinating the project together with his colleague Dr. Peter Lang. “Due to the high complexity of soft matter, a wide variety of different methods and instruments are necessary and an interdisciplinary approach is advantageous. This platform is both provided and supported by EUSMI.”


EUSMIMap showing European partners: in the EUSMI project, 15 European research institutes and businesses are to make their research infrastructures available to partners, and a further eight will contribute by offering other kinds of expertise.
Copyright: Walbert Visuelle Kommunikation, Aachen