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be used in a flexible way. The scheme supports the mobility of

researchers and therefore the transfer of knowledge and experience

between different places, which is important.

Before even applying for funding, we had chosen our partners; we

wanted to work with Australia. We were also advised of the possibility of

securing match funding from third countries, and it was this flexibility

that attracted us.

Yet this action has a problem as I believe the funding is not enough to

cover local expenses for the seconded researchers, especially when the

secondments take place in Australia, where the cost of living is much

higher than in Europe.

Why did you choose to work with Australian partners?

The two universities are extremely well equipped in the area of the

commercialisation of materials; for example, the University of New South

Wales has extremely good infrastructure regarding the characterisation

of materials similar to the ones that we want to develop.

Another motive is the people –for example, in the University of

Technology Sydney, there is strong expertise in the development of

biomimetic calcium phosphates that could be used in the project.

Furthermore, there is also a lot of experience of how to take such

materials from the lab to the market. They have some successful

schemes and strategies for how to achieve this which would be very

useful to have in Europe.

What are the next steps in undertaking the project?

At the University of Birmingham, we have plans to generate further

funding from Europe that will complement this project, including

further applications to Horizon 2020 as we aim to advance the project

beyond 2017.

Throughout July, August and September, we will have our first

secondments to Australia. Within these three months we hope to gather

enough data in order to complete deliverables that we have promised to

finish in the next six months of the project.

After arriving back in the UK, we will have Australians visit us for a project

update. Academics from the two Australian universities will also mentor

students from the University of Birmingham and INPT, which is important.

We hope that this project will create a basis to better structure this area

of research at the University of Birmingham, and seek further funding in

order to develop materials for other applications, in tissue engineering

and drug release.

In addition to working with universities in

Sydney, we are also working with a company

called BresMedical based in Ingleburn, New

South Wales. This relatively new firm

specialises in 3D printed and personalised

implants and is interested in developing its

own products.

Also involved in the project is L’hôpital Joseph

Ducuing in Toulouse, France, where we are in

contact with a clinician who identifies and

advises on the current clinical problems in this

area, as well as the current demands, available

materials, and what role they are unable to fulfil.

Why are you focusing on 3D

materials for orthopaedic and

dental implants?

The clinical applications in orthopaedics are

quite advanced; there are very serious

problems associated with bacterial infections,

especially in open operations on the hip and the

knee. It is the use of materials that might trigger

this kind of infection, so multifunctionality is

therefore necessary, as well as a good design

and the rapid treatment of problematic areas.

A core focus is how the industry can process

materials and provide them to the patient.

The orthopaedic and dental fields are closely

related as they both deal with bone.

Applications of biomaterials in orthopaedic and

dentistry have progressed in the last ten years,

and it is important that we have suitable

materials being used as this will lead to further

research developments. Orthopaedics and

dentistry are costly to the UK NHS, so

everything that can be done to make this job

easier is important.

Why did you choose the MSCAs?

We can use both early stage as well as

experienced researchers, and the funding can

Dr Artemis Stamboulis

University of Birmingham

B R OW S E

www.birmingham.ac.uk

H O R I Z O N

2 0 2 0

www.horizon2020projects.com

H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L

I S S U E S E V E N

99

M E D I C A L T E C H N O L O G Y & R E S E A R C H

The NEXT-3D project

has a number of

partners in Australia,

including the

University of New

South Wales, Sydney

© Hai Linh Truong