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
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
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
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 Ewww.birmingham.ac.uk
H O R I Z O N
2 0 2 0www.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
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,
University of New
South Wales, Sydney
© Hai Linh Truong