Dr Malcolm Faers, SCI’s Colloid and Surface Chemistry Group Secretary and formulation scientist at Bayer CropScience, is currently involved in an exciting new research project, funded by the EU and led by the University of Manchester, which will encourage the transfer of ideas and knowledge between top scientists around the world.
What does InForm stand for?
MF: InForm stands for Integrating Nanomaterials in Formulation. It also tells others about the project’s aim – disseminating information to people.
Who is involved?
MF: 17 world-leading institutions have partnered to bring together formulation scientists from Europe, USA and Asia-Pacific. Each partner has been selected for their knowledge of nanomaterials, their affiliation with key formulation and nanotechnology advances and their passion for making this knowledge available for the benefit of all.
What are the main objectives?
MF: Creating appropriate platforms for information exchange between researchers from Europe, the USA and Asia-Pacific, who work in academia, public research laboratories and industry, in order to identify and enhance complementary interests.
The core topic of InForm addresses the new challenges of formulation, related to the use of nanomaterials. Six main thematic lines (work packages) that are of fundamental importance to formulation science will be looked at by the partners. These include: formulation of biological nanomaterials, handling of nanopowders, processing soft nanomaterials, physical chemistry at the nanoscale, formulation of thin films and the safety aspects of nanomaterials.
How will the knowledge-sharing component of the project work?
MF: InForm will organise yearly events, with the first one integrated with the Formula VI conference, on 7-11 June 2010 in Stockholm (see: www.chemsoc.se/sidor/KK/ formulaVI/index.htm). The type of activities will span from scientific and technical forums, to networking events, fact finding missions, and technical workshops. Some travel grants will be available to industrial and academic scientists to attend the InForm events.
How do you see this project impacting the nanomaterials market?
MF: A lot of exciting research is underway to produce a wide range of nanostructured materials, which promise new or enhanced properties. The challenge is to incorporate these materials into products and ensure that they are safe for use. The project aims to address this challenge by facilitating knowledge exchange and coordinating research.
How can SCI members be kept up to date with the project’s progress?
MF: www.nanoformulation.eu will have all the updates. SCI members can see exactly what’s going on and what’s to come. They can also sign up to our mailing list for important announcements. Just send details to project manager Dr Helen Dutton: E: helen.dutton@ manchester.ac.uk. Members can also email to enquire about specific work package involvement.
SCI members can use InForm to provide the most up-to-date forum to discuss nanotechnologies in formulations. Travel grants are available to researchers who would like to seize this opportunity to participate in key nanotechnology conferences throughout the world.