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New national nanolab infrastructure

The recently established Norwegian Micro- and Nanofabrication Facility (NorFab) links laboratories in Trondheim, Oslo and Horten to form a joint national research infrastructure.

Photo: NorFab (Photo: NorFab) The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), the University of Oslo, the SINTEF Research Group and Vestfold University College have launched NorFab as a common portal to their respective cleanroom laboratories.

The establishment of this research infrastructure was made possible through allocations of NOK 71 million over a four-year period from the Research Council of Norway. NorFab is led by NTNU NanoLab.

Optimal use of resources

“NorFab is a collaborative effort between the three largest players in this field in Norway. In keeping with the National Financing Initiative for Research Infrastructure (INFRASTRUKTUR), this new network will promote effective task-sharing and utilisation of resources at the national level,” says Anders Hanneborg, Executive Director of the Division for Science at the Research Council.

At the opening of NorFab. From left, Rector of Vestfold University College Petter Aasen; Director of NTNU Nanolab Kay Gastinger; Minister of Research and Higher Education Tora Aasland; Executive Vice President of SINTEF-ICT Aage J. Thunem (behind Ms Aasland); Professor Bjørn Torger Stokke of NTNU; Vice-Rector of the University of Oslo Doris Jorde; Rector of NTNU Torbjørn Digernes; and Executive Director of the Research Council’s Division for Science Anders Hanneborg. (Photo: Vidar Skagestad, Research Council of Norway) Photo: Vidar Skagestad, Forskningsrådet At the opening of NorFab. From left, Rector of Vestfold University College Petter Aasen; Director of NTNU Nanolab Kay Gastinger; Minister of Research and Higher Education Tora Aasland; Executive Vice President of SINTEF-ICT Aage J. Thunem (behind Ms Aasland); Professor Bjørn Torger Stokke of NTNU; Vice-Rector of the University of Oslo Doris Jorde; Rector of NTNU Torbjørn Digernes; and Executive Director of the Research Council’s Division for Science Anders Hanneborg. (Photo: Vidar Skagestad, Research Council of Norway) (Photo: Vidar Skagestad, Forskningsrådet)

The laboratories will give researchers in academia and nano-based companies alike access to vital competence and equipment. NorFab will coordinate investments in equipment and establish routines for user access.
Important area of growth

Anders Hanneborg Photo: Sverre Jarild Anders Hanneborg (Photo: Sverre Jarild) In recent years micro- and nanotechnology has become an important area of research in Norway, as well as an increasingly significant area of commercial growth.

This has been driven in part by the trend towards miniaturisation in the semiconductor industry. Micro- and nanotechnology is also expected to play a role in solving energy, climate and medical challenges.
Nanolaboratories must meet stringent requirements for cleanliness because research is conducted on nature’s smallest building blocks – nanostructures – which are measured in millionths of a millimetre.
 

Written by:
Brita Skuland/Ingvil Bjørnæs. Translation: Victoria Coleman/Carol B. Eckmann
Published:
30.06.2011
Last updated:
13.09.2016