Press release: Kick-off of AERoGELS COST Action
On the 30th of April, it was held in Brussels the kick-off meeting of the project “Advanced Engineering and Research of aeroGels for Environmental and Life Sciences” – AERoGELS, with the participation of 42 members of the Management Committee from 36 countries.
During the day, the Management Committee (MC) has elected the project’s Chair, Vice Chair, Science Communications Director, STSM Coordinator, ITC Conference Head and the Leaders of the five Work Groups of the Action. The short- and long-term plans for the activities of the project were also established. Dr. Carlos A García-González (Universidad de Santiago de Compostela) was elected as Chair, and Prof. Irina Smirnova (Hamburg University of Technology- TUHH), as vice-chair. Prof. Luísa Durães, from University of Coimbra, was elected as coordinator of the Short Term Scientific Missions. She, along with Prof. António Portugal, two professors from the Dept. of Chemical Engineering, are the two delegates of Portugal in the MC of AERoGELS, due to their experience in sol-gel chemistry and aerogels development.
Aerogels are extremely attractive nanostructured materials due to their unique properties, namely their high porosity (usually above 90%), very low density and thermal conductivity, versatile composition and surface chemistry. They are being currently used mostly for thermal insulation purposes (aerospace industry, buildings, equipment), but emergent surface-dependent applications in Energy, Environmental and Biomedical/Pharmaceutical sectors are being consolidated, enhanced by the research efforts of worldwide Aerogels’ scientific community.
Until 2023, AERoGELS, as a Horizon 2020 funded European Cooperation in Science & Technology (COST) project, aims to gather knowledge about research and technology of aerogels from both academia and industry in order boost novel products and technology transfer. The full potential of these materials will be explored in the context of environmental and life sciences applications due to the exchange of ideas, knowledge and results, whereas early career investigators will be trained in this area for the next generation of aerogels’ inspired scientists.