The SmartMatLab Centre is an advanced research centre at the academy/industry interface focused on prominent key enabling technologies (KETs) such as nanotechnology, micro- and nanoelectronics, advanced materials, biotechnology and photonics, and optoelectronics.

It involves a public-private consortium between

  • Dipartimento di Chimica, Università degli Studi di Milano (DC UNIMI)
  • the Institute of Molecular Science and Technologies (ISTM) of the National Research Council of Italy (CNR)
  • four industrial partners, i.e. Industrie De Nora, CISI scrl, Laboratori Alchemia, and Petroceramics spa.

The Center starting founds have been granted through a combined effort of Regione Lombardia, Fondazione Cariplo, Università degli Studi di Milano, Dipartimento di Chimica and the CNR Institute of Molecular Science and Technologies.

The Center is conceived as an advanced R&D infrastructure including

  • a laboratory with up-to-date instrumentation affording to test in pre-applicative device mode the advanced and smart functional materials developed jointly by UNIMI and ISTM-CNR.
  • a training centre offering free-of-charge theoretical/practical training activities in advanced material science to students, industrial partners and other interested people from the sorrounding territory.

The Centre is particularly aimed to afford interested SMEs and LEs on the territory to advance their knowledge and build new business:

  • by having their personnel updated/trained free-of-charge within the SmartMatLab advanced training program;
  • by accessing the wide portfolio of top-level smart materials developed by the Centre researchers up to the preapplicative stage;
  •  by developing advanced research on “hot” preapplicative and applicative issues of their peculiar interest in cooperation with the Centre, benefiting from its up-to-date instrumentation and the top-level expertises of its research scientists.

Cooperation proposals by industries and research centres are therefore quite welcome.

Hosted by the Department of Chemistry of the Università degli Studi di Milano, and run by a core Center Management committee, the Centre involves more than 60 affiliated reserchers from both University and CNR, operating in the above advanced research fields.

The Centre startup activities have begun in early 2014 and we are now in the process of establishing its core infrastructures, affording multitechnique solution/vapour phase device prototyping as well as advanced combined characterization techniques. Dr. Maciej Zalas (Poznan University, Poland) has arrived in Milano to collaborate in SML startup as resident foreign scientist expert in solar cell development. A number of graduate and postDoc students have been hired to gain experience in the SML Centre techniques, with the specific requirement that their training also include a stage in first-class international academic advanced labs, entirely supported by SML Centre funds.


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