ONE-P is the name of a 3 year project involving 15 universities, 5 research centres and 8 Industrial partners or SMEs, thus 28 organisations and around 200 researchers. But why are so many partners needed? and what brings multisectorial collaboration?
- Because the field needs synergy of mixed backgrounds to tackle complexity
The goal of the project, to develop compounds of carbon for technological applications, cannot be approached by only one team of specialists. These compounds are very complex by nature since they are made of carbon atoms, which attach themselves to one another to an extent not possible for atoms of any other element, forming long chains and rings, and binding other elements such as hydrogen, oxygen sulfur or nitrogen, to build different arrangement with specific chemical and physical properties. To fulfill the technological needs they should be able to transform light into electricity, electricity into light and conduct electrical charges in devices. Moreover the fabrication cost should be low and processing environmentally friendly.
In summary, these compounds should be:
Multisectorial collaborations in ONE-P are precious because:
“a holistic approach from materials development to devices and system aspects are considered, which is of fundamentally importance in the specific field of organic and large area electronics.” Dr. Yvette Kaminorz, VDI/VDE, Germany
“they allow partners to carry out research of greater complexity and to gain a deeper insight on the materials' properties, the perspective of their applications.” Dr. Fabio Biscarini, CNR-ISMN, Italy
“they mix backgrounds and provide the synergy required for a successful research.” Dr Jérôme Cornil, UMons, Belgium
- To ensures that a top level approach is employed
The problem to be faced is interdisciplinary by nature: theoreticians, experimentalists, chemists and physicists should learn to work together but “even inside a given sector, such as computational chemistry, different state of the art techniques such as quantum chemistry or molecular dynamics have to be put to play at the same time and thus collaboration ensures that top level approaches in all needed aspects are employed, both in terms of know-how and of capacity to adapt and advance the techniques as required by the problem” mentioned Prof. Claudio Zannoni from Università di Bologna.
- To train young researchers
This type of project is a perfect exchange network for young researchers and it allows them to have very diverse contacts.
- Because diversity brings innovation
Ask a question to a child; ask a question to a class of children. Even if they have the same education and culture the answers will always be faster and more original in the second case, when solved together. Imagine now researchers with different cultures, backgrounds, using different tools BUT the same goal. It is exactly this mix of complementary expertise which will lead to cross fertilization.
"Nowadays, the field of (opto-)electronics, as well as many others, is facing new challenges due to the increased demand of more powerful, efficient, long lasting technology. To accomplish these objectives, it is therefore needed to "think out of the boxes", which implies to look at problems from different points of view. As an example, the precise control (down to nano-scale) achieved in patterning self-assembled organic layer on metal substrate leads to the fabrication of electronic devices with improved performances. This is only one example which shows how chemistry, material science for surfaces and interfaces, and physics have jointly worked to face this goal and achieve results, which have a high impact on science and technology, as well as on the everyday life." Dr. Federico Polo, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster , Germany
“the potentialities and application fields emerging from tailoring material properties at nanoscale are numerous and precious. The role of fundamental physics to propose a new application toward target of plastic photovoltaics and electronics is crucial. In a process which is similar to learning, multisectorial contributions build up a detailed and critical view of material processing, en route to improve sustainability.” Dr. Paolo Greco, Scriba Nanotecnologie, Italy
- To address societal needs
Multisectorial collaborations in ONE-P are precious because “they enable us to achieve the ultimate goal of addressing a wide variety of societal needs in the most effective way." Prof. Franco Cacialli, University College London, United Kingdom
Finally, scientific research is driven by collaborations and competitions. Thus, a the driving force to collaboration is a common short term objective and a confidentiality agreement between partners to allow fast exchange of information.