Encouraged by the relatively low number of COVID-19 cases and with a suitable safety concept, three project consortium meetings of the EU projects PPHABULOµS, NextGenMicrofluidics and SYMPHONY took place in Weiz and Graz from October 4 to 8, 2021. In addition to the long-awaited personal meeting or reunion of the project partners, the program included content-related coordination and laboratory tours at the Weiz site.
Three successful EU project meetings at the MATERIALS Institute in Weiz: PHABULOµS, NexGenMicrofluidics and SYMPHONY
22 months after the start of the project, which still took place physically in the beginning of 2020, JOANNEUM RESEARCH CEO Heinz Mayer and MATERIALS Institute Director Paul Hartmann welcomed most of the partners of the PHABULOµS project to a meeting at JOANNEUM RESEARCH in Graz and Weiz on October 4th and 5th. PHABULOµS is the European one-stop shop for the manufacturing of free-form micro-optics offering accelerated innovation & production cycles from prototypes to piloting and large volume production. Among the participants were Toralf Scharf, president of the "Phabulous-Pilot-Line" association, Rolando Ferrini from the Swiss CSEM as coordinator, and partners from Spain, Finland, Germany, Czech Republic, Scotland, France and the Netherlands. During the meeting, the important personal exchange about the progress of the project as well as about the further course of the project was finally possible.
After many online meetings, the NextGenMicrofluidics consortium was able to meet for the first time at JOANNEUM RESEARCH MATERIALS in Weiz and Graz on October 5th and 6th. Moderated by project coordinator Martin Smolka from MATERIALS, the progress of the five demo cases, which are used in the project for technology validation for successful roll-to-roll high-throughput manufacturing of microfluidic systems, was presented. As the start of the project had already fallen into the period of the first lockdown, it was a special pleasure for the more than 40 participants to finally exchange ideas in person after 18 months of project duration and to plan further steps together. The additional informal discussions on the fringes of the meeting are often difficult or even impossible in online formats, so this opportunity was also used extensively during an evening visit to a typical styrian "Buschenschank".
Also within the H2020 project SYMPHONY, coordinated by MATERIALS expert Jonas Groten, it was finally possible to welcome most of the SYMPHONY partners at JOANNEUM RESEARCH MATERIALS in Weiz on October 7th and 8th, 2021, 18 months after the start. The results achieved in the last months regarding the development of energy harvesting materials (piezoelectric, triboelectric and magnetoelectric), components (rectifiers, supercapacitors and polymer batteries) and the corresponding manufacturing processes were presented. Furthermore, with around 20 international participants in Weiz and 25 participants connected remotely, the meeting offered many opportunities for open discussions and interactions, which could also be arranged very efficiently in a hybrid format.