An acute need across chemistry for advanced atomic-scale characterization
Development of modern chemistry relies on atomic level investigation of increasingly complex solid substrates in frontier research areas crossing disciplines from catalysis and energy materials through polymers to pharmaceutical formulations and medical implants. Thanks to a number of recent breakthroughs in instrumentation and methodology, solid-state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is uniquely positioned today to characterise the structure and dynamics at the atomic-level and can reveal morphology in solid substrates. However, such state-of-the-art methods rely on the use of sophisticated and costly solid-state NMR equipment that is only available in a handful of national facilities. The rarity of the instrumentation and associated operational know-how has restricted the uptake of these enabling methods by the broader base.
EU invests 5 million euros to unlock NMR technologies for key research in chemistry
To enable researchers from European academia and industry to extend innovative chemistry research, EU has invested 5 million euros to a Pan-European Solid-State NMR Infrastructure for Chemistry-Enabling Access (PANACEA) through its Horizon 2020 program. The PANACEA consortium aims at facilitating the generation of knowledge and advances in pharmaceutical, fine chemicals, cosmetics, food, fuel, polymers and clean energy industries. PANACEA will do this by bringing together and integrating on the European scale, seven national infrastructures across Europe and one infrastructure in the United States, and by opening them to all European researchers, ensuring their optimal use and joint development. Specifically, the project will offer trans-national access (1700 instrument days) to more than 30 unique NMR spectrometers ranging from 100 to 1500 MHz, fully equipped to cover the most advanced solid-state NMR techniques and applications.
Advancing technologies beyond the state of the art
Joining forces within the PANACEA consortium also enables the partners to collaborate in joint research activities that will allow new and better ways to perform chemistry experiments. PANACEA will build on the expertise of the partners headed by Aarhus University develop new web-based software tools to simplify the analysis and interpretation of NMR experiments to non-expert users. In addition, the consortium will develop new instrumentation and protocols that will extend the applicability of the NMR technique to a broader range of solids, including new and innovative materials that are attracting the interest of the wider academic and industrial community: energy storage materials (batteries, supercapacitors), catalytic surfaces, polymer thin films, porous materials for gas capture, storage or separation, implants and drugs for pharmaceutical formulations.
PANACEA and Aarhus university
The PANACEA project will be coordinated and managed by CNRS, and aim to provide the European chemistry community with effective and convenient access to the best research infrastructures in solid-state NMR available worldwide. The project partners bring together and integrate national infrastructures including The Danish Center for Ultrahigh-Field NMR Spectroscopy at Aarhus University with Professor Thomas Vosegaard in the front and as project partner. The Danish Center for Ultrahigh-Field NMR Spectroscopy is the largest assembly of high-field spectrometers in Denmark and hosts among others the only ultrahigh-field spectrometer in Scandinavia.
The center is located partly at the Department of Chemistry and partly at the iNANO center at Aarhus University campus and counts a total of 10 state-of-the-art NMR spectrometers equipped for numerous purposes.
Having an extremely broad profile, the Center is able to help in most cases where NMR is applicable. The facilities have since the inauguration in 2015 been available to companies and researchers from other universities.
Read more about The Danish Center for Ultrahigh-Field NMR Spectroscopy here: https://nmr.au.dk/
Call: Integrating Activities for Starting Communities, INFRAIA-02-2020
Project duration: September 2021 – August 2025
Total budget: 4 998 890.75 euros
Project website: https://panacea-nmr.eu
Partners: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (Lyon and Orléans, France; coordinators); the University of Warwick (UK); Consorzio Interuniversitario Risonanze Magnetiche di Metallo Proteine (Florence, Italy); Stichting Katholieke Universiteit, (Nijmegen, the Netherlands); Aarhus Universitet (Denmark); University of Aveiro (Portugal); University of Göteborg (Sweden); the Florida State University (Tallahassee, United States); Bruker Biospin GMBG (Rheinstetten, Germany); Mestrelab (Santuago de Compostela, Spain); the Weizmann Institute of Science (Rehovot, Israel); École Polytechnique Fédérale (Lausanne, Switzerland)