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The Warsaw Voice » Other » September 30, 2009
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Hi-Tech Research Center in the Works
September 30, 2009   
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Work to establish an Advanced Materials and Technology Center (CeZaMaT) is under way in Warsaw, marking Poland's largest hi-tech research infrastructure project to date.

After it is completed in 2012, the center will work to develop interdisciplinary research into modern materials and technologies. Another aim is to spread information about advanced technology among the public.

The Warsaw University of Technology (PW), a leading technical university in Poland, is coordinating work to establish the center. The project also involves other academic and research centers in Warsaw.

The Warsaw University of Technology leads a consortium of scientific institutions working to establish the center using funds available under the European Union's Innovative Economy Operational Program for 2007-2013.

"Establishing the consortium enabled us to seek co-financing for our project," says Prof. Romuald B. Beck, the CeZaMaT project manager and head of the Faculty of Microelectronic and Nanoelectronic Devices at the PW Department of Electronics and Information Technology. EU funds will cover 85 percent of the costs of building the center and equipping it with state-of-the-art research apparatus, Beck says.

In addition to the Warsaw University of Technology, the consortium includes the University of Warsaw (UW), the Military University of Technology (WAT) and a number of research institutes run by the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN). The consortium was established in December last year.

CeZaMaT aims to "create a platform for cooperation" for research institutions, both those that are members of the consortium and those that remain outside it, says PW president Prof. Włodzimierz Kurnik.

Building and equipping CeZaMaT laboratories is designed to achieve the most important goal behind the project, which is to "create an environment enabling cooperation and interdisciplinary development of research into modern materials and technologies," Kurnik says.

CeZaMaT will feature advanced technology systems and specialist laboratories. The center's main eight-story building in Warsaw's Mokotów district will house state-of-the-art laboratories with a combined area of over 17,000 sq m meeting high cleanliness standards. Split-level facilities underground are intended for infrastructure and research laboratories equipped with sensitive measurement apparatus. The sixth floor will house modeling and simulation laboratories known as "calculation clusters," in addition to storage and administration facilities.

CeZaMaT researchers will also use several specialist laboratories made available to them by the consortium's members. These include a nitride quantum structures laboratory at the PAN Institute of High Pressure Physics; a spectroscopic and magnetic research laboratory at the UW Institute of Experimental Physics; a high-precision chromium masks and microoptical diffraction structures laboratory at the Institute of Electronic Materials Technology; and a laser nanotechnology laboratory at the Military University of Technology.

CeZaMaT will encourage the formation of interdisciplinary research teams to deal with highly complex scientific problems. Interdisciplinary research is expected to ensure more efficient laboratory management and help reduce research costs.

According to Beck, the main goal of CeZaMaT is to conduct interdisciplinary research into state-of-the-art materials and technologies. "The research will focus on developing new designs for application in fields such as micro-, opto-, nano- and bioelectronics, in addition to multifunction micro- and nanomaterials engineering," he said.

CeZaMaT will be managed by a Consortium Board that will shape the research policies of the center, determine the directions of the center's development, and admit new members. Another body called the Scientific Board will approve applications for research in CeZaMaT laboratories and review research results.

The CeZaMaT project aims to help spur the development of science in both Poland and Central Europe as a whole. The project is also expected to boost the development of the Warsaw metropolitan area and the central Mazovia region.

CeZaMaT is an integral part of the scientific research agenda of Warsaw City Hall, which urges the development of a modern economy based on knowledge and scientific research.

CeZaMaT's infrastructure is expected to contribute to the creation of new jobs for young talented scientists and prevent them from leaving Warsaw in search of more attractive employment options. Experts are sounding the alarm that due to insufficient spending on the development of research centers across the country, many young researchers and university graduates seek jobs abroad. Polish universities enjoy an excellent reputation abroad and many foreign colleges are interested in hiring Polish PhD students, experts say.

According to Beck, CeZaMaT will be a milestone in the development of Polish science and give it a new momentum. "The project removes fundamental technical barriers that previously constrained Polish scientists dealing with advanced technology research; it also makes it possible to achieve a synergy effect in interdisciplinary research," says Beck.

The project aims to put an end to a brain drain among young Polish researchers by creating attractive jobs for university graduates and persuading them to stay in the country.
Marcin Mierzejewski


In a Nutshell
The Advanced Materials and Technology Center (CeZaMaT) is being established under the Innovative Economy Operational Program 2007-2013 (Priority Axis 2: R&D Infrastructure). The project began in 2007 and is scheduled for completion in 2012. EU co-financing will total zl.359 million.

In addition to the Warsaw University of Technology (PW), the consortium coordinating the establishment of CeZaMaT includes the University of Warsaw (UW); the Military University of Technology (WAT); the Institute of Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN); the PAN Institute of Physical Chemistry; the PAN Institute of High Pressure Physics; the PAN Institute of Fundamental Technological Research; and the Institute of Electronic Materials Technology (ITME).

CeZaMaT will conduct interdisciplinary research into modern materials and technology based on research platforms bringing together experts from various research centers in fields such as physics, chemistry, electronics, materials engineering, mechatronics, and biochemistry.


Timeline
October 2006: The Warsaw University of Technology (PW) comes up with the idea to establish the Advanced Materials and Technology Center (CeZaMaT) in Warsaw.

May 2008: The president of the Warsaw University of Technology signs a preliminary agreement with the Ministry of Science and Higher Education to establish the center.

December 2008: A consortium coordinating the project is established and an application for EU co-financing is submitted.

April 2009: The project is found eligible for co-financing by the European Commission.

July 2009: A bidding process opens for companies interested in preparing technical documentation for the CeZaMaT building on Warsaw's Narbutta Street.

Design work on the center is scheduled to be completed by September 2010.
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