Overview

CHEM2NATURE aims to establish a “TWINNING” consortium team including the low performing country institution (UMINHO) in order to improve the know-how, knowledge, experience and training staff members in the field of chemical modification of materials for healthcare applications. By increasing the critical mass of excellent researchers and know-how in the group, UMINHO aims to enhance its research outputs, including number of publications in high-quality and high impact factor peer-reviewed scientific journals and citations. This will be performed by establishing collaborations that were previously non-existing between UMINHO and the world-leading consortium institutions, regarding both institutional and scientific domains.

The creation of this new knowledge and expertise exchange partnership envisions strengthening UMINHO’s ability to attract competitive funding in the near future at regional, national and international levels, through an active policy of inter-institutional collaboration with different institutions and financing agencies, e.g. the EU framework programmes.

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Concept

CHEM2NATURE addresses current limitations of UMINHO in the Chemistry field regarding its scientific know-how and partnerships with world-leading institutions. UMINHO seeks to improve the multifunctionality of natural-origin polymers, often with limited bioactivity and stimuli-responsiveness, and increase the performance of cell-based therapies. Introducing such properties by precision chemical modifications would allow the development of added-value products with instructive and adaptive properties for cellular response control, drug delivery and diagnosis. The main goal of CHEM2NATURE is to combat UMINHO’s limited knowledge, expertise and experience on advanced chemical routes for biopolymer, biomaterials and “living” surface modification. To this aim, an international training and scientific network will be established to accelerate the generation of technologies amenable to be used in the production of innovative healthcare devices. The capability of UMINHO to train highly-qualified researchers and staff would greatly increase, giving rise to a new generation of specialized professionals with scientific/translational competence. The consortium will comprise UMINHO and 3 international competitive institutions in Chemistry: 2 European and 1 Asian. The latter will improve UMINHO’s know-how in the translational/clinical fields and raise opportunities to establish new contacts with high-performing and Emerging Asian countries. CHEM2NATURE proposes the joint organisation of events and short-term exchange of senior researchers and staff, aiming at training actions and execution of scientific work in the scope of ongoing scientific projects. Outputs include the increase of number and quality of scientific publications, intellectual property and regional-to-national economic development. CHEM2NATURE will endorse the establishment of a long-lasting consortium beyond the project timeframe for the preparation of new scientific projects and research lines in UMINHO.

Expected Impact

The main objectives of CHEM2NATURE is to provide a series of enhancements to the 3Bs Reserach Group (UMINHO) that can be summarized in the following topics:

  • Improvement of the know-how of the low performing partner (UMINHO) in chemical modification of materials to be used as advanced devices in the biomedical field.
  • Knowledge transfer between all partners
  • Strengthen the cooperation and research links between the partners
  • Increase the number of publications in high impact factor journals
  • Establishment of a strong consortium between the partners, including beyond CHEM2NATURE timeframe
  • Establishment of new training strategies adapted to different backgrounds
  • Establishment of new partnerships with research groups and enterprises
  • Establishment of new research lines in the groups in the future, namely in the low performing partner
  • Exchange of organisational know-how and culture
  • Training and fixation of highly skilled and adequately trained researchers in the low-performing partner
  • Generation of intellectual property
  • Improvement of UMINHO’s knowledge and performance on translational medicine and clinical testing (highly developed in Republic of Korea)
  • Establishment of new long-term strategic cooperation partnerships with Asian institutions
  • Regional economic and social development
  • Setting a base for getting funds for common research activities