Luminescent materials are increasingly starring in many aspects of our daily lives. They can be found in traffic lights, computer screens, smartphones, tablets, Euro banknotes, medical devices and films for X-rays and light sources. In fact, they have become indispensable.
The European Commission has identified luminescent materials as a key technology in the future. In order to further develop this area, a network of 13 research institutes and companies will be training talented young people to form the next generation of leading experts in this field. This is the focus of LUMINET (European Network on Luminescent Materials), an initiative with EUR 3.6 million in EU funding over four years. The intention is to strengthen the European technology and research area and help European companies to keep their status as market leaders in this field.
The Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) devised a rigorous training program and recruited PhDs to take part. The aim was to recruit well-educated and talented young researchers with a broad, interdisciplinary knowledge in chemistry, physics, materials science and engineering, but also in soft-skills like problem-solving and project management - skills that will help them tackle the challenges of the future.
“Worldwide, lighting alone consumes a large share of electric energy – about 20 percent,” says LUMINET'S coordinator, Prof. Anja-Verena Mudring from the Ruhr-Universität. She continues, “Up to 50 nuclear power plants could be removed from the network without replacement if all the bulbs were replaced with efficient energy saving bulbs or LEDs – as already initiated in the EU, Australia and other countries.”
LUMINET is a consortium of several universities, research institutions and companies located in the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Spain and Switzerland.