Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) is a highly selective European call, aiming at establishing doctoral programs through partnerships between organizations from diverse sectors across Europe and beyond. The over-arching goal is to provide highly skilled doctoral candidates with training that stimulates their creativity, enhances their capacity for innovation, and improves their long-term employability. Doctoral Networks encompass partnerships between universities, research institutions, and infrastructures, to provide researchers with exposure to both academic and non-academic sectors.
This year’s annual MSCA Doctoral Networks call has attracted considerable interest from the research community, with about 1000 proposals submitted and less then 150 selected for funding (20 in Italy).
Among these, 2 DMEC proposal were selected.
MSCA GAP Project (Coordinator: Laura Vergani), Figure 1
GAP MSCA Project envisions novel pathways for addressing the fragility fracture crisis from a multi-scale perspective, including patient-specific preventive and advanced treatment solutions. With aging and in presence of bone pathologies, human bone becomes more brittle and prone to damage. At the macro-scale, the identification of fragility is assured by the clinical practice: common clinical tools, however, can predict only 70% of fractures. For this reason, a deep investigation of the bone micro-architecture would be a fundamental hint for the comprehension of damage mechanisms, improving the reliability of fracture risk indicators and performing more accurate diagnosis of bone pathologies. This knowledge level goes beyond the current state of the art, and this is where GAP comes into play. The challenging aim of GAP is to educate young and talented scientists towards a combined high-level experimental and numerical approach for the early-stage accurate and precise detection, and mini-invasive treatments of bone fractures, shedding light on bone micro-scale alterations due to pathologies. The inter-disciplinary findings, that exploit cutting-edge multi-scale imaging facilities and advanced artificial intelligent-based strategies, will enable Europe to overcome the silent paralysis of its healthcare system.
Prof. Laura Vergani, Coordinator of GAP project and expert of multi-scale fracture mechanics phenomena, together with her team including Federica Buccino as Junior Research Assistant, has shaped an excellent multi-disciplinary consortium of eight academic partners, two research centers, one clinical and one social institutions. These groups offer transversal competencies in multiple fields, such as mechanics (Trinity College Dublin, together with POLIMI), biomedical engineering (TU Eindhoven, TU Delft), computer science (IMPAN, NTNU), biological and biochemical science (EMPA, CNRS). GAP network puzzle is completed by three other essential partners: excellence research center, i.e. ELETTRA synchrotron, unique for unprecedent high-resolution images of bones, clinical (IOG) and social institutions (CittadinanzaAttiva).
MSCA RE-MAKE (Coordinator: Mario Guagliano), Figure 2
The ambitious goals of the European Green Deal call for new sustainable and material-efficient manufacturing technologies, able to reduce energy and raw material consumption; this objective can be upheld by extending the product life via optimized production methods, recovering product performance through refurbishing, and even improving its functions beyond design by remanufacturing. These are the overarching objectives of RE-MAKE that considers cold spray (CS), a solid-state metal powder deposition technique, as the key for a new route to additive manufacturing (AM), repair and remanufacturing. Thanks to its exceptional deposition efficiency, high build-up rate, limited energy consumption, and flexibility of material choice, CS is an ideal candidate for the EU Circular Economy Action Plan. However, currently, there are multiple scientific and industrial gaps, paired with poor awareness about CS’s potential due to the lack of qualified engineers and scientists, that impede the full exploitation of CS.
RE-MAKE is planned to establish CS as a unique sustainable and scalable tool for AM, remanufacturing and upcycling, paving the path to a green and efficient sustainable industrial development. This ambitious goal will be achieved by training highly qualified doctoral candidates (DCs) through advanced transversal and inter-sectoral training. The wide-ranging hard and soft skills the DCs will gain enable them to embark on tackling scientific and technological challenges with a practical perspective. Creating a network of leading European research and industrial partners, all working at the cutting edge of CS, will expose DCs to a holistic training with access to a wealth of expertise and a rare multidisciplinary environment.RE-MAKE will endow a first cohort of these essential researchers with a deep, discipline-specific knowledge, that will fulfill the increasing demand of the manufacturing industry for this missing profile.
RE-MAKE is coordinated by Politecnico Milano (Prof. Mario Guagliano, Prof. Sara Bagherifard), involves most of the European Scientific community active in cold spray development and application (University of Barcelona, Trinity College Dublin, University of Nottingham, University of Tampere, University Rey Juan Carlos Madrid, Institute of
Plasma Physics (Prague), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique-UTBM Belfort, Fundacion CIDETEC (San Sebastian (Spain), TWI (UK), HILASE (CK)), cold spray plants manufacturers (Titomic Europe (NL)) and companies aiming at implementing cold spray in their manufacturing route (Schuf Armaturen und Apparatebau (D), Rolls-Royce (UK), Oseir and Valmet (FI).