What is INL?
The International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory is the first, and so far the only, fully international research organisation in Europe in the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology. INL is the result of a joint decision of the Governments of Portugal and Spain, taken in November 19, 2005, whereby the two Governments made clear their commitment to a strong cooperation in ambitious science and technology joint ventures for the future. The combination of an appropriate level of available research funds, internationally competitive recruiting, a state-of-the-art research facility, and an innovative and entrepreneurial attitude in our organisational values are the major factors in attracting leading scientists and young and promising researchers to join the founding research team of INL.
The decision of Portugal and Spain to create an International Research Laboratory was announced in November 19, 2005 by the head of Government of Spain and the Prime Minister of Portugal at the end of the XXI Portugal-Spain Summit that took place in Évora. The International Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) has been installed in Braga, Portugal, having as first Director the Spanish Professor José Rivas, and will count with 200 researchers to be recruited all over the world, aiming at international excellence. The decision was received with special interest in the European Union by the Commision and several of the other Member States. It was selected as one of the best practice cases to be presented in the first workshop of best practices on the Lisbon Agenda held on October 6, 2006, in Lisbon.
INL concentrates on nanotechnology, and considers applications to several other areas, following a truly interdisciplinary approach. The Laboratory has been conceived to:
- Assure world class research excellence in all areas of activity
- Develop partnerships with the industry and foster the transfer of knowledge in economic values and jobs
- Train researchers and contribute to the development of a skilled workforce for the nanotechnology industry
- Survey, prevent and mitigate nanotechnology risks
INL will provide a state-of the art research environment promoting an interdisciplinary effort in addressing the major challenges in the emerging areas of Nanobiotechnology, Nanoelectronics, Nanomedicine and Materials Science at Nanoscale. The key research activities are based on existing areas of excellence in Portugal and Spain, as well as on new strategic development areas where PIs (Principal Investigators) will be hired. INL seeks strong collaborations with industrial partners and academic research institutions, through a vigorous participation in international research programs. INL will further foster the creation of spin-off companies in competitive nanotechnology areas, and will manage a strong program in public outreach. The INL sets a clear example of a new type of research collaboration between European Union Member States, and fosters international cooperation with other regions, namely North America, Latin America and certain Asian states.
The International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory is the first Intergovernmental Organisation in Europe in the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology. This particularly favourable status assures the most adequate conditions for counting with the most talented researchers from any country in the world and attracting a wide range of investors willing to fund spin off enterprises or other ways of commercialising research results.