Research and Innovation

Inspired by the impossible

The COAST Research & Innovation program

Many societal and all scientific development build on reliable measurements: knowing exactly what, how much, where and when something is going on. Analytical science and technology provides the fundamental background knowledge, practical tools and quality of measurements necessary to obtain that information.

Research and Innovation themes

Our strategic ambition is to advance research and development in analytical science and technology for the benefit of application domains such as health, food, water, energy, circular economy and climate change, and to enable scientific discoveries in general. The COAST R&D program facilitates breakthroughs in analytical science and technology along three different overarching R&I themes:

Theme 1: Revolutions in Resolution

Resolution in analytical science and technology relates to the level of detail of information that can be obtained. Three different types of resolution are considered: chemical, spatial and temporal resolution of measurements.

Theme 2: Analysis of Intact Systems

Analysis in real living or working systems requires measurements in their undisturbed natural or well-controlled functional environment. In-situ, in-vivo and operando analysis are addressed. The crucial issue here is that the system is minimally perturbed by the measurement. Examples include measurements in living organisms, (bio)reactors and devices in operation.

Theme 3: Bringing the Lab to the Sample

Modern problem solving practice increasingly requires that the lab be brought to the sample instead of the sample to the laboratory. Decreasing the size of analytical instruments will allow personalized and in field analysis. The challenges for such small, portable analysis systems are improved performance comparable to their laboratory counterparts, reduced size, weight and energy consumption, ease of use and real-time data processing. This eventually will allow non-experts to use the equipment and rapidly take reliable decisions, opening up opportunities in personalized medical treatment, personalized food, diagnosing at home, in-field compliance tests (e.g. environmental issues, quality control), etc.

The first set of COAST R&D projects

Within the three different R&D themes seventeen research projects have been funded and executed, 17 million euro in total. 59 private partners, including 18 SMEs, and 35 academic research groups were involved in the execution of these projects. The projects are part of the Technology Area COAST program (TA-COAST)  facilitated and funded in close collaboration with NWO. Finished projects are presented here.