The ATN and ISTA entered into a broad collaborative Agreement in 2005 with its objectives to:
● deliver enhanced research outcomes in areas of significance and
relevance to the research agenda of member universities through the
development of joint capabilities in nanoscience and nanotechnology;
● demonstrate a strong capability for ‘team building’ across the member
universities and thus be attractive to external parties seeking high-
value and innovative solutions to ‘real world’ problems that require
multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional collaborations; and
● promote technology transfer of research outputs to industry, making
high level impact and contribution to the economic development of the
During 2006/8 researchers from the ATN and ISTA convened a number of forums and workshops in Australia and China to further grow mutual understandings of their research interests and capabilities and the potential for collaborations where complementarities were identified.
As well research leaders from the universities strove to understand complementarities between research priorities in Australia and China as one means of developing foci for ATN/ISTA research collaborations.
In early 2009 the ATN and ISTA endorsed a formal MOU describing the formation of the ATN/ISTA (Australia/China) NanoNetwork. The NanoNetwork MOU stems not only from the complementary research capabilities of ATN and ISTA universities but also their:
● strengths in working with research ‘receivers’ towards the application
of their research outcomes;
● training of high quality research students towards their development
of strong research careers in industry and Governments as well as
The NanoNetwork will thus build multi-university research teams involving research students and emerging researchers as well as lead researchers. These teams will focus on substantive research questions in which nanoscience and nanoengineering can provide ways forward. In its initial phase the NanoNetwork will target these collaborative efforts at the health care, renewable energy and environment sectors. It is expected that one common thread across these sectors will be the impact of novel nanomaterials.