The SUSNANO project is in full swing - Catrin

The SUSNANO project is in full swing

The international SUSNANO project, whose partners are, besides CATRIN of Palacký University, the University of Tirana, ICN2 in Barcelona, and Intelligentsia Consultans Sarl, is in full swing. After the October kick-off meeting in Tirana, the researchers have already had several exchanges, including a two-week internship of Albanian scientists in Olomouc. Apart from sharing experience and knowledge, the main goal of this Horizon Europe project is the development of an electrochemical sensor for water quality control.

“The primary objective of the project is that CATRIN and ICN2 share knowledge and expertise with Albanian colleagues to help them increase the prestige of their research and to support the development of the institution. We will focus on detecting pollutants in surface waters, which is a substantial problem in Albania. The aim is to develop a simple sensor that will be able to detect heavy metals, antibiotics, or pesticides in water. We will provide our nanomaterials, Spanish colleagues will provide knowledge on the development of such sensors, and Albanian scientists will carry out on-site analyses,” said Petr Jakubec, member of the CATRIN research team.

The transfer of knowledge between experienced and early-stage researchers is already taking place in the form of staff exchanges. Training sessions, summer schools, and joint workshops have also been planned over the course of the project implementation.

“It is a completely different situation for us, when we are in the role of mentors and provide our experience. Thanks to this cooperation, colleagues from Albania can experiment with techniques and infrastructure that have not been available to them before. The cooperation and mutual communication is very intense and happens every week in the framework of regular meetings where we assess our progress and whether we’re on schedule,” added Jakubec.

The Albanian scientists who were at CATRIN for a two-week internship not only started to work on the analysis of materials suitable for detecting pollutants in water but were also introduced to the operation of our research centre, including the Grants Office or the Technology Transfer Office. They also visited the Welcome Office or the Project Service of Palacký University.

SUSNANO—Twinning to boost the scientific and innovation capacity of the Universiteti i Tiranes to develop sustainable nanosensors for water pollution detection—is a three-year project funded by the European Union under the Twinning Western Balkans call (HORIZON-WIDERA-2021-ACCESS-02), as part of the Horizon programme. The aim of this call is to support countries of the Western Balkans in order to accelerate their economic recovery, promote ecological and digital transfer, alongside enhancing their integration and convergence with the European Union.

Author
Martina Šaradínová
Translation:
Monika Klimparová
November 14, 2022