NFFA-EUROPE PILOT (NEP) aims at expanding and consolidating the operation of a Interoperable Distributed Research Infrastructure for Nanoscience (IDRIN) supporting research on materials and functional systems at the nanoscale and at the microscale. NEP provides a unique overarching offer of experimental and theoretical facilities to be combined to suit user needs ranging from materials synthesis, growth, nanofabrication to nanocharacterization, microscopy and spectroscopies also with fine analysis methods at large scale X and neutron radiation sources, and to numerical simulation. The model IDRIN fostered by NEP builds on the four-year experience of transnational access provision of NFFA-Europe that delivered combined scientific services to over one thousand European users.
NEP expands the catalogue of facilities with new offer of cleanroom services, high-end electron microscopy, unique 50-100 fs sources for optical and electron spectroscopies, Free Electron Laser beamlines and chemistry based mesoscale material science. An overarching metadata and data management tool (Metastore) will realize the interoperability of the NEP results and a unique open access archive of FAIR nanoscience data to merge with the EOSC. The multi-technique character of the NEP user proposals leads to advanced reproducibility of results, research goals and effectiveness in multi-disciplinary research for curiosity driven, mission-oriented and application-oriented projects by academic or industrial users.
The transnational access is proposed in modalities that help coping with the post COVID-19 conditions of restricted user mobility: interactive remote access (IRA) will be available from the beginning in some TA facilities and will be further generalized through the Joint Activities along with innovative Virtual Access and pilots of FAIR-by-design data generation. The construction of the IDRIN will address the issues for Long Term Sustainability of the NEP infrastructure services.