Anagrafe della ricerca

iENTRANCE@ENL - Infrastructure for ENergy TRAnsition aNd Circular Economy @ EuroNanoLab

30 mesi (2022 - 2025)
Responsabile scientifico:
Tipo di progetto:
PNRR – Missione 4
Ente finanziatore:
MINISTERO (Ministero dell'Università e della Ricerca)
Codice identificativo progetto:
Ruolo PoliTo:


The growth of the global population to over seven billion people, which has increased energy consumption and in turn natural resource depletion, pollution, waste disposal and anthropic CO2, has made “energy transition” and “circular economy” the essential challenges for the future. This Project of Research Infrastructure aims to develop a future generation of nanomaterials, processes and systems to limit the environmental impact of production, storage, distribution and use of energy from the perspective of a sustainable and circular economy. This is a research priority of all the most important international agencies, such as ONU, FAO, EU, WTO, whose strategic plans report “Energy Transition”, “Circular Economy” and “Sustainability” as a “planetary challenge” (, Clean energy transition is an EU priority:, SET Plan Progress report 2021: Outside of Italy, Research Infrastructures devoted to energy transition research are already active or under implementation in all other industrialized countries.In Italy there are no Research Infrastructures of European excellence devoted to this mission. EuroNanoLab (, established in 2015, is a distributed technological research infrastructure consisting of over 40 state-of-the-art academic nanofabrication centers across Europe, with a vision to accelerate research in the micro- and nanotechnology sector by enabling an integrated knowledge base supporting scientific excellence and providing researchers a fast-track to results. The Italian node of EuroNanoLab ( was established in 2017 with the aim to coordinate and empower the national ecosystem of micro- and nano-technologies, providing a fully multidisciplinary approach to create innovative solutions to societal challenges in the fields of energy, environment, transport, health, and wellbeing.Through this experience, CNR and co-proponents have been guided to focus EuroNanoLab research on new materials, processes, devices and systems for the clean energy transition, under the general umbrella of sustainability and the circular economy. All the industrial roadmaps suggest that in the near future, when all world energy will be produced from renewable and sustainable sources, devices for energy production, storage, green energy use and management will be the pillars of the new industry. Therefore, EuroNanoLab needs to grow to successfully address all the challenges around materials production and characterization, and devices and system integration. This will be accomplished by the present project, an “Infrastructure for Energy Transition and Circular Economy @ EuroNanoLab” (iENTRANCE@ENL) as a new Research infrastructure in the framework of the NextGenerationEU (NGEU) program proposed by the consortium.The new infrastructure will focus its research activities and services on four main topics: 1. Nanomaterials for energy; 2. Processes for material production and transformation to devices for green energy, green fuel production, energy storage, and energy management; 3. Micro and nanoscale characterization systems for functional and structural/mechanical properties and devices; 4. Technologies for the realization of devices and systems. In order to maximize impact, reduce costs and time of realization, and to cluster the NGEU investments, the new infrastructure will be based on geographical nodes, which are internationally recognized in complementary research domains of the initiative. The Bologna node, consisting of CNR in Bologna, Modena and Parma, and the University of Bologna, will specialize in advanced structural and functional characterization. The Torino node, comprising Politecnico of Torino and INRiM, will specialize in technologies for fabrication and packaging of innovative devices for energy production, storage, use and management, and for fabrication and calibration of sensor arrays for energy management with metrological primary traceability. The Roma node, comprising Sapienza University, University of Roma Tre and CNR, will specialize in chemical-physical-functional-mechanical characterization, battery and electrode applications, and materials and processes for photovoltaics. The Napoli node, with the participation of CNR, will specialize in analysis and development of materials, processes and technologies to improve the efficiency of conversion processes, and development and structural and functional characterization of composite materials. The Potenza node, with the participation of CNR, will specialize in the preparation, surface treatment, processing and characterization of materials for energy storage and conversion. The Catania node, with the participation of CNR, will specialize in power electronics and wide band gap semiconductor materials and applications. Overall, the infrastructure will provide opportunities for research excellence across materials for catalysis, electrodes, thermoelectrics, membranes, photovoltaics, and structural materials for combustion, hydrogen and marine renewables. It will provide top-level knowhow on micro- and nano-scale structural, compositional, optoelectronic, in-situ and in-operando characterization. Technologies and processes on power electronics, sensing, fuel cells, photovoltaics, batteries, supercapacitors, engines/combustion systems, waste valorization, (photo)catalysis, recyclability and durability of materials, new fabrication technologies with reduced environmental and energy impact, recyclability and durability of materials will be extensively covered.All topics will be integrated with a systematic implementation of the FAIR-by-design approach tailored to the experimental and theoretical data within the infrastructure. This will enable full integration and interoperability of the nodes, both for current resources and new acquisitions, and the building of the RI management and operational backbone. iENTRANCE@ENL will therefore be compliant to EOSC and fully address the Digital Goals of NGEU. The infrastructure will operate through a Central Hub acting as single-entry point and a unique catalogue of all the methodologies, technologies and techniques available within the consortium. All resources will be integrated and made fully interoperable in terms of access procedures, protocols and training, and will be organized in five Technical Groups of Services (TGS), (i) Materials Production, (ii) Characterization, (iii) Processes and Systems, (iv) Simulation & Modelling, (v) Data Services. These will be populated first with available resources from the different nodes, then integrated and brought to pan-European state-of-the-art excellence through NGEU investments, and continuously strengthened by in-house research activities. A central role in the implementation and operation of iENTRANCE@ENL will be played by its digital backbone, the e-infrastructure, that will consist of: (i) standardized process and methodology documentation format (in accordance with metadata structures recently developed within EU cluster actions, e.g. MODA and CHADA), (ii) process and methodology documentation and transfer; (iii) users and RI staff forums; (iv) e-learning materials; (v) simulation and characterization results and methodology. The data management within the e-infrastructure will be based on FAIR principles and the six main pillars of the Data Lifecycle: Creation, Processing, Analysis, Preservation, Access, Re-usability. Moreover, the participation of INRiM, which is the Italian National Metrology Institute, ensures the use of best metrological protocols for assessing the quality of data. In particular, the metrological traceability of these data with regards to primary references will be assessed, in order to ensure comparable measurements and hence more meaningful experiments, in a digital and interoperable way (see the initiative Metrology for Digital Transformation ( by EURAMET, the European Association of National Metrology Institutes).The access policies will take into account Open Science best practices and the pivotal role of excellent science as well as the sustainability of the infrastructure. They will be governed by the Central Hub, which will operate under all three access modes as defined by the “Charter of Access to RI” (Excellence-driven Access, Market-driven Access, Wide Access). The users’ projects will be evaluated by a Technical Feasibility Committee (TFC) and an External Scientific Committee (ESC), before being distributed among the most suitable nodes of the RI. The management structure will be completed by a Technical Management Committee (TMC) that will monitor the development and execution of the users’ projects, identify mitigation actions in case of problems, and follow the outputs. The implementation of the infrastructure is organized in 2 phases: 1) Design and Implementation (M1-M18), to construct the operational and management backbone of the RI; 2) Ramp-Up (M19-M30), in which users can access the available resources, while acquisition and commissioning of the new equipment will be realized. The RI will then enter into the Full Operation phase at the end of the NGEU project. A careful risk analysis will be conducted, considering possible discontinuation of the access services during the Ramp-Up phase due to temporary unavailability of specific resources, that can be faced with appropriate redundancies, and the sustainability of the RI with the need to maintain the services provided at the state-of-the art. Moreover, training and outreach activities will be planned in the awareness that Europe and local ecosystems need more human resources to tackle pressing societal challenges. iENTRANCE@ENL intends to provide services that complement advanced academic education, as well as personalized training programs for Ph.D. students and early stage researchers. The fruitful synergy of iENTRANCE@ENL and the academic ecosystem is expected to boost research, growth, innovation and job creation, giving people the knowledge, skills and competences to critically use and benefit from scientific data.Once the infrastructure enters its Full Operation phase, Italy will finally have a one-of-a-kind, distributed, integrated and fully interoperable structure to perform clean energy transition research up to TRL 4 on the basis of devices for green energy and fuel production, energy storage and energy management. iENTRANCE@ENL will operate for at least 10 years after the completion of the NGEU project phase. A long-lasting Consortium Agreement between the co-proponents of the project will operate with the aim to establish a robust government and management structure ensuring continuous and smooth functionality of the infrastructure. Sustainability will be carefully addressed in terms of operational costs (e.g. running costs, maintenance, user support) and necessary upgrades of the instrumentation as a consequence of scientific advances. Strong connection with national and regional programs will be envisaged: the pivotal role within the national framework of universities and research institutions of all the co-proponents of iENTRANCE@ENL is an added value and a guarantee of sustainability and support, as well as of keeping the RI at the European state-of-the art. iENTRANCE will be one component of an integrated system of infrastructures and research and innovation programs realized in the framework of the NGEU program from academic and industrial research up to technological transfer in the area of clean energy transition, circular economy and sustainability, able to cover the entire value chain from low to high TRL. The system will foster Italian competitiveness, autonomy and sovereignty within the global challenges identified by the European Green Deal and the Missions of the Horizon Europe Framework Program, recently promoted by the European Commission, with priorities related to Clean Energy, Sustainable Mobility, Climate Action and Eliminating Pollution.Indeed, iENTRANCE@ENL can be fully integrated with the Partenariato Esteso 2 “Scenari Energetici del Futuro” (M4C2 action1.3 in the framework of NGEU) and the National Center “Sustainable Mobility” (M4C2 action1.4 in the framework of NGEU) where UNIBO coordinates the spoke “Materials”. Moreover, iENTRANCE@ENL is aligned and integrated with several of the Ecosistemi dell’Innovazione initiatives (M4C2 action 1.5 in the framework of NGEU), such as the “Just and Resilient Industry” project in Emilia Romagna on ecological transition. iENTRANCE@ENL will be fully integrated with the Innovation Infrastructures proposal in preparation in Emilia Romagna, Lazio, Piemonte and Sicilia. Moreover, the IR will complement and integrate the activities of projects supported by the “Fondo crescita sostenibile – MISE – Accordi per l’innovazione” with activities on advanced materials (2019) and with the European Climate-KIC and EIT Raw Materials.Although the main objective of iENTRANCE@ENL will be the support and promotion of low TRL research activities, process scale-up, technology transfer and industrial research will be carefully addressed. An effort to promote collaboration with companies and access by industrial users is foreseen, as well as strong integration and collaboration with the NGEU actions more related to innovation and industrial research (e.g. Regional Innovation Ecosystems and Infrastructures for Innovation). The strategic socio-economic impact of R&D activities on materials for sustainability, circularity and energy efficiency will be shared with and supported by companies in the field.The infrastructure will generate Intellectual Property in fields from materials, devices and systems in the areas of clean energy transition and circular economy, to newly developed methodologies, techniques and data solutions. The IPR management plan will be set up during the Design and Implementation phase and it will be managed and exploited for the lifetime of the infrastructure. iENTRANCE@ENL will also structure an internal roadmap for in-house research with the aim of developing methods, techniques and technologies beyond the state-of-the-art enabled by the investments foreseen, to empower the capabilities of the infrastructure beyond the end of the NGEU project. The overall objective is to promote the infrastructure’s long-term scientific sustainability, keeping its capabilities at the forefront of the methodologies needed to face the challenges of the energy transition and circular economy, and to continue to support national and European scientific excellence throughout the infrastructure’s lifetime. In addition, this will boost the competitiveness of the individual iENTRANCE@ENL partners as well as of the infrastructure as a whole in the national and European landscape, both in competitive projects and pan-European infrastructures. The iENTRANCE@ENL project will be organized in 7 work packages (WPs): WP1 for Management and Sustainability of the RI, WP2 for Coordination and Operation of the RI, WP3 for Digital structure and Data Management, WP4 for Access setup, management and provision for academic and industrial users, WP5 for Strengthening the Infrastructure capabilities, WP6 for In-house research for developments beyond the state-of-the-art, and WP7 for Training and Education.

Persone coinvolte

Dipartimenti coinvolti



Parole chiave

Settori ERC

PE8_6 - Energy processes engineering

Obiettivi di Sviluppo Sostenibile (Sustainable Development Goals)

Obiettivo 7. Assicurare a tutti l’accesso a sistemi di energia economici, affidabili, sostenibili e moderni


Costo totale progetto: € 75.165.077,53
Contributo totale progetto: € 75.165.077,53
Costo totale PoliTo: € 14.296.891,57
Contributo PoliTo: € 14.296.891,57

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