National Consortium for Research within Functional Materials and NanotechnologyFUNMAT is a newly established national consortium for research within functional materials and nanotechnology and has four senior partners:
The University of Oslo
Norwegian university for science and technology (NTNU), Trondheim
SINTEF, Trondheim and Oslo
Institute for energy technology (IFE), Kjeller
The partners represent the two largest universities in Norway (UiO: 31,480 students; 1.604 permanent research staff; NTNU: 19.383 students; 1.403 permanent research staff) and the two largest research institutes (SINTEF: 1700 research staff; 1.700 MNOK turnover 2002; IFE: 550 research staff; 450 MNOK budget 2002).
The consortium is being established now in 2002 in order to implement the national research plan on functional materials and nanotechnology. The institutions have agreed to let their best research groups merge into national teams with coordinated research efforts, sharing of tasks and development of strong, complementary laboratories in order to be able to compete in rapidly developing multidisciplinary science and technology on the international scale.
The FUNMAT consortium operates with virtual laboratories as the sum of the activities localised at the four partner institutions. Norway, with just 4.5 million inhabitants, thereby obtains one research consortium within functional materials and nanotechnology of a good European size.
In several fields the research is of excellent scientific quality, in several fields the summed activities comprise 10-40 permanent staff members. Within these selected areas FUNMAT envisage to become a partner in European networks of excellence within the 6 FWP.
Materials technology in Norway is traditionally strong in the fields of light metals and polymer production, and it combines university, institute and industrial research. These areas are, when relevant, fronted by the respective institutions and companies towards 6FWP.