Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Advanced Technology and Research Institute (CATRIN)

Palacký University Olomouc ( was founded in the 16th century and is the second-oldest university in the Czech Republic. Today, it is a modern higher education facility with about 20,400 students and a wide range of study programmes and copious scientific and research activities. UP’s Czech Advanced Technology and Research Institute (CATRIN, carries out interdisciplinary research into emerging nanotechnologies, biotechnologies, and biomedicine at the highest international level. Specifically, CATRIN has expertise and facilities to conduct research into (i) magnetic nanostructures; (ii) carbon nanostructures, biomacromolecules and simulations; (iii) environmental nanotechnologies; (vi) photoelectrochemistry, and many more. The most important infrastructure/equipment includes a cutting-edge microscopic laboratory, electron paramagnetic resonance, structural characterization laboratory, Mössbauer spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, plant phenotyping facility, microbial and biological laboratory, experimental medicine laboratory, and genome integrity laboratory. CATRIN’s internationally recognised research team has participated in numerous national and international projects including the H2020 ERC Consolidator (2D-CHEM), two H2020 ERC Proof-of-Concept projects (UP2DCHEM, FunGraB), HEU EIC Transition (TRANS2DCHEM), HEU ERA Chair (ACCELERATOR), etc.

VSB-Technical University of Ostrava, Centre of Energy and Environmental Technologies (CEET)

Centre for Energy and Environmental Technologies ( is a university research centre of VSB-Technical University of Ostrava with 275 employees and total annual budget of more than 340 mil CZK. CEET is unique research workplace focused on fundamental and applied interdisciplinary research in the areas of materials for energy and environmental technologies, energy storage, transformation and management, energy utilization of secondary raw materials, and alternative energy sources as well as environmental aspects and technologies. The key feature is the cooperation with partners from academia and industry, in particular (annual contractual research amounting to more than 70 mil CZK). In 2022, the CEET implemented 61 national and 8 international research projects.

​University of Trieste, The Materials for Energy and Environment (MEE) research group

The Materials for Energy and Environment (MEE) research group operates in the Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DSCF), and is an associated Research Unit of the National Research Council (CNR) – ICCOM and is part of the Centre of Excellence for Nanostructured Materials (CENMAT). The expertise of MEE include the synthesis and characterization of materials for sustainable catalysis, with emphasis on energy and environmental applications. Preparation of nanocomposites and nanohybrids either as all-inorganic or as carbon-inorganic systems has been applied to photocatalysis and electrocatalysis for CO2 reduction, H2 evolution, N2 reduction as well as to thermal catalysis (reforming, water-gas-shift, methane oxidation). More recently, photocatalyst development for sustainable organic synthesis has emerged as a further interest, in particular for the evaluation of the structure/activity relationship of photocatalysts.   The infrastructure of group consists of fully equipped laboratories for synthesis and characterization of the nanomaterials, as well as photo-, electro- and thermos-catalytic investigations. Other facilities are also availbale within the DSCF, including HRTEM, AFM, Raman, FTIR, UV-Vis spectroscopy, NMR, DLS, XRD and others.

The Superstructures Lab was established in late 2015 thanks to the award by the PI of a personal research grant through the SIR programme (Scientific Independence of Young Researchers) by MIUR (Italian Ministry of Research and Education). The research focuses on the control over the self-organization of molecules into superstructures that span over a sizescale that goes well beyond that of the single components (just like a building is made of bricks, windows, etc.). Some activities target the use of both D- and L- amino acids to form short heterochiral peptides that self-organize into different architectures. Our favourite systems are in water and they can be in the form of biomaterials (hydrogels), or nanostructures, especially for biological or catalytic applications. In addition, the team works on carbon nanomaterials (CNT, graphene, nanohorns, etc.) that we covalently functionalize to exert control over their properties, in this case both for energy or biological applications. (

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)

Founded in 1743, the Friedrich-Alexander University is a strong research university with an international perspective and one of the largest universities in Germany, with 40000 students, 261-degree programs, 4000 academic staff (including over 579 professors), 200.7 M€ third-party funding, and 500 partnerships with universities worldwide. FAU scored at the top of the most prestigious categories in the QS World University Ranking. The University is at the top of the national and international ranking for the number of citations per faculty. According to the Reuters, FAU is the most innovative university in Germany, and is #5 in Europe and has performed excellently in the Centre for Higher Education’s (CHE) university ranking. FAU has demonstrated its strength in research and its powers of innovation receiving an excellent rating in the international U-Multirank university ranking in the Research and Knowledge Transfer categories for the fifth year running in 2018. 

Institute LKO

The Institute of Surface Science and Corrosion within the Department of Materials Science and Engineering targets basic and applied aspects of surfaces and interfaces, electrochemistry of semiconductors and metals, modern aspects of micro- and nanotechnology as well as corrosion and corrosion protection (more details).

The Institute supports the transfer of fundamental knowledge into modern surface technology and promotes advancements leading up to technical applications. Due to this highly transdisciplinary approach, the scientific staff is recruited from various faculties and consists typically of physicists, chemists and materials science engineers.

LKO institute owns a broad range of equipment for surface preparation and characterization: an Auger Electron Spectroscopy and Microscopy, X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy, a High-Resolution FESEM including Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy and Electron Backscatter Diffraction is available for the surface morphology characterization, an X-Ray Diffractometer, thin-film XRD, an Atomic Force Microscope, Scanning Tunneling Microscope, Fourier Transformed Infrared Spectroscopy, Contact Angle goniometer, Ellipsometry and SEM with e-beam lithography, and a high number of electrochemical workstations (including high-voltage potentiostats for anodizing and impedance spectroscopy) are available for the project. A photoelectrochemical setup will be used for the characterization of the semiconducting properties, A Rapid Thermal Annealing (RTA) system will be used for annealing of the anodized samples. Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (TOF-SIMS).