Ion-Molecule Processes for Analytical Chemistry Technologies
Summary: Soft chemical-ionisation mass-spectrometry (SCIMS) is an exquisitely sensitive analytical technique with applications to health, the environment and security that are vital to the EU. However, the recent, rapid and widespread adoption of this technique has caught Europe unprepared. The resultant shortage in analytical chemical expertise has created an urgent need for highly skilled young researchers to be trained in the wide variety of SCIMS methods. IMPACT addresses this skills’ shortage by establishing an intersectoral and multidisciplinary SCIMS training network. IMPACT also brings cohesion to the fragmented SCIMS research and development activities within the EU. To date, most SCIMS developments have been driven not by users but by manufacturers, whose main focus has been on increased sensitivity. However, just as crucial is improved selectivity. Indeed, many users consider improved selectivity to be the key to taking SCIMS technology to a whole new level. Instead of private and public sectors working independently, we need a fresh, intersectoral approach. IMPACT will achieve this through intersectoral work packages and multidisciplinary research projects. In place of major and costly changes in instrumental design, IMPACT’s projects will focus on developing new methods for improved chemical specificity by manipulating ion chemistry. Hence, IMPACT’s fresh approach will produce a step change in SCIMS instrumentation to deliver both economic and societal benefit to the EU. Specifically, IMPACT will train ten early-stage researchers (ESRs) within an integrated partnership of commercial, governmental and academic organisations, with planned secondments, advanced training courses, interactive complementary skills workshops, and ESR-centred research meetings. IMPACT will therefore provide Europe with both a world-class capability in SCIMS technology and a cohort of highly trained researchers who will bring the benefits of that technology to citizens across the EU.
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