Open Innovation Test Beds for Lightweight, nano-enabled multifunctional composite materials and components

The field of new smart lightweight nano-enabled materials has made remarkable progress in recent years. Many different types of materials, with radically enhanced properties and functionalities, are today available for a wide range of industrial applications; e.g. lightweight solutions for transportation and construction, enhanced properties for packaging materials and processes, incorporating smart interacting sensors or indicators, and materials offering enhanced electrical performance and reliability, high-performance thermal and/or electrical conductivity, and UV shielding. The challenge is to scale up and enable industry and users, in a cost-effective and sustainable way, to develop, test, and adopt new lightweight, high performance, multifunctional, and environmentally friendly materials for high-value composite components and structures.


  • Open Innovation Test Beds should upgrade or develop materials facilities and make available to industry and interested parties, including SMEs, services for the design, development, testing, safety assessment, and upscaling of specific materials compositions, including nano-particle/objects;
  • Attention should be given to materials new functions, features, capabilities, and properties (functionalisation), and to processing techniques and optimisation of process parameters, from uniform dispersion and distribution of nano-particles within the materials (or nanoparticle aggregates) to the association of dissimilar materials;
  • Potential regulatory, economic and technical barriers should be identified and assessed;
  • A methodology for providing open access at fair conditions and cost as well as outreach and dissemination across Europe;
  • Quality control processes and tools should be validated to allow on-line quality controls;
  • Materials should be demonstrated in relevant industrial environments.

Proposals submitted under this topic should include actions designed to facilitate cooperation, across Europe, with other projects; to enhance user involvement; and to ensure the accessibility and reusability of data produced in the course of the project.

Activities should start at TRL 4 and achieve TRL 7 at the end of the project.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 7 and 15 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact

  • Open and upgraded facilities at the EU level for the design, development, testing, safety assessment, and upscaling of lightweight, nano-enabled and multifunctional materials and components, easily accessible to users across different regions of Europe;
  • Attract a significant number of new SME users, with at least a 20% increase for existing test beds;
  • Increased access to finance (for SMEs in particular) for investing in these materials or in applications using them;
  • At least 15% improved industrial process parameters and 20% faster verification of materials performance for highly promising applications;
  • At least 20% improvement in industrial productivity, reliability, environmental performance, durability, and reduction of life-cycle costs of these materials;
  • At least 15% indirect reduction in energy consumption across sectors using lighter materials in their products and processes.

Relevant indicators and metrics, with baseline values, should be clearly stated in the proposal.

Cross-cutting Priorities

  • Open Innovation
  • Socio-economic science and humanities
Application date
Social sciences : Political science, Psychology & Cognitive Sciences