EnEx_Logo_Japan6. EnEx Japanese-European Student Workshops
21st – 30th May 2018, Japan
This series of six workshops will allow the students to present the results they have obtained during the Enabling Excelelnce project, and put into practise presentation and communication skills they have developed. This challenging outreach event will establish and strengthen European-Japanese links and hopefully provide the students with excellent networking opportunities.
5. Graphene Materials and preparing for the future
30th – 31st January 2018, Zaragoza, Spain
This workshop will be a 2-day training workshop focussing the first day on writing skills and supervised by associated partner Edward Goldwyn. On the second day scientific discussion will be planned for each ESR project.
4. Graphene Characterisation Workshop
20th – 24th March 2017, Wotton-under-Edge, Bristol, UK
This workshop will develop expertise in a range of nanomaterials characterisation techniques, focussing primarily on optical microscopy and spectroscopy, but covering electron and x-ray microscopy and spectroscopy. Emphasis will be on “hands-on” practical skills training. In parallel both the business and communication training will be extended, building on previous training, along with on-going scientific discussions. Graphene Commerce Workshop
31st August – 5th September 2016, Dublin, Ireland
This workshop will identify and develop skills for dealing with commercial exploitation of science and technology, and how best to ‘bridge the gap’ between science and commerce. This will be preceeded by scientific discussions and the NanoteC international carbon nanoscience conference.
cropped-graphite-armchair-side2.jpg2. Graphene Nanobuilding Blocks Workshop
3rd – 7th May 2016, Larnaka, Cyprus
The general topic of this workshop will be “Graphene as nanoobject: Structure, Synthesis, and Manipulation”. The scientific training will be accompanied by complementary activities in communication as a follow-up to the work started at the last project’s Communication training workshop (December 2015).
chat-309417_6401. Communication Training Workshop
29th November – 4th December 2015, Wellcome Centre, Cambridge, UK
Establish trust and boundary conditions, provide basic communication skills (communication tools, video, story-telling, editing; how to write well, science journalism, talking to people not involved in science or objecting to science), explore research philosophies; exercises of cooperation and mutual recognition of skills, fairness and rewards.

21st Century scientists do not face the same challenges and constraints of their predecessors. A successful modern scientist requires a vast toolkit of skills of which scientific competence is only one aspect: the ability to harness and maximize their creativity, exploit the vast potential of their surrounding scientific network, draw on synergies and lever their collaborations to overcome hurdles whether scientific, technological, economic or human, and then find the most effective routes to dissemination and exploitation of research output. Successful scientists must nowadays be equally at home in academic and commercial environments, able to communicate and convince their peers, potential investors, policy makers and the general public. It is our profound belief that current training mechanisms are not best adapted to this modern research reality and the result is scientists who do not perform to the best of their capabilities.

The key to the successful modern scientist is communication. For this reason the training programme of Enabling Excellence is ITSELF an experiment, within the context of the highly dynamic and interdisciplinary field of nanoscale research. The experiment is to find how best to develop the right communication skills in our students to create an environment where even “second-class researchers can do first class work” (Max Perutz, describing the design of the multiple Nobel-prize winning LMB Molecular Biology lab in Cambridge). Our key deliverable is excellent students capable of leading future European research. However, the results of our experiment will also serve as a model and template adaptable to European training and research at all levels, fostering the right conditions under which European scientific minds are best able to flourish.

From the beginning the communications workpackage strongly bonds together all partners (students and supervisors), fostering a highly creative environment. It is the distinctive key element of the network providing the glue for Enabling Excellence.

Enabling Excellence offers its students a highly structured training programme at doctorate level consisting of a set of coherent, supervised, career oriented, interdisciplinary and intersectorial training modules. The training modules are directly linked to the science and technology in the project, and combine the issues of Research (“Get the basics”: Interdisciplinary issues in Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science, Engineering), Business (“Take the chance”: Intersectoral issues on Commercial Products such as Advanced Composites, Instrumentation, Market and Business Opportunities) and Science Communication (“Talk and Convince”: Engagement within the network and wider public).

Specialised training at the local host sites combines with complementary training through focused secondments. Common network training in joint network events creates a highly favourable environment in which the students acquire, in a step-by step approach, a broad set of practical knowledge and transferable skills.

The training programme covers:

  • Research techniques and methodologies in fields of Chemistry, Materials, Processing, Characterization, Instrumentation, “traditional” scientific presentations
  • Commercial environment, including commercial product development, IP protection, market analysis and transfer of knowledge to business opportunities and entrepreneurship, venture capital acquisition and start-up design.
  • Experience in business environments of all sizes, from large (Renishaw, 3500 employees), medium (M-SOLV, 32 employees), to SME start-ups (Academatch, 1 employee).
  • Science Communication, including tools and continuous practical exercises to effectively communicate among each other and between specialists in different disciplines, also for non-scientists and even “anti-science” pressure groups.

Exposure to high-level external expertise; for example the students can pitch start-up projects to genuine venture capitalists, develop communication skills with invited policy makers and senior scientists, run a business stand at major international event, etc.

Secondments of students between different partners. Each student will spend several months at different partner sites to acquire complementary knowledge, training or/and datasets combined with insights to another research environment contributing to additional transferable skills. According to the needs of the individual student and the network as a whole, Enabling Excellence offers its students a broad set of possibilities for both interdisciplinary (academic-academic) and intersectoral exchanges (academic-public, public-academic), with at least one intersectoral secondment per student.