Brussels, 04 April 2002
A new EU-funded virtual network of excellence in the area of chemical measurement has started work.
Europe's Virtual Institute for Chemometrics and Industrial Metrology (VICIM), which took up operations in March this year, aims to provide a valuable resource for industry in the analysis of chemical measurement data. The three-year initiative has been awarded 2.2 million euro of funding under the Growth programme of the Fifth Framework programme for research (FP5).
Modern chemical measurement technology produces large amounts of complex information. Chemometrics focuses on the development and application of new data analysis tools, while metrology aims to ensure good quality data. Both have important applications in the industrial use of chemical measurement methods in areas such as pharmaceuticals and environmental monitoring. It is hoped that the integration of the two disciplines in one virtual institute will offer new opportunities for progress.
VICIM, which includes 13 centres from EU Member States and associated and candidate countries, will provide a range of services to the industrial community. These include courses in chemometry and metrology, precompetitive research and development through industrial consortia and commissioned research in the agro-food, pharmaceutical, chemical and petrochemical sectors. It will also host industrial fellows and provide distance learning, consultancy, metrological support for standardisation bodies and guidelines and software.
Dr Jürgen von Frese of the Institut für Chemo- und Biosensorik in Germany, one of the centres involved in the project, said VICIM would help to build links between fundamental research and industry. 'What's special about this network is that we will try to figure out what industry really needs,' he said. He added that the network aims to develop links with similar initiatives in areas such as bioinformatics in order to broaden the range of support for European industry.
Following an initial three years of funding from the EU, VICIM will become an independent research foundation.
For further information, please consult the following web address: http:///www.quimica.urv.es/quimio/VICIM
Dr Catherine Perrin
Vrije Universiteit Brussel