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INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research

Centre for Optical and Acoustical Sensor Technology

Alternative title: Senter for optisk og akustisk sensorteknologi

Awarded: NOK 3.4 mill.

The Centre for Optical and Acoustical Sensor Technology shall strengthen Norway’s competence on novel ultrasound and optical technology. It is aimed at applications in healthcare, maritime and environmental monitoring. The goal shall be achieved by collaborating with two internationally leading laboratories, Stanford Microphotonics Laboratory at Stanford University in California and Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. The centre is industry oriented, supporting the NFR appointed SFI Centre for Innovative Ultrasound Solutions and the expertise cluster Electronic Coast. In both of these, Norwegian high-tech companies collaborate with universities on novel technology developments. The main activity of the centre is student and staff exchange between USN and the two American universities. Norwegian MSc and PhD students get a unique opportunity to do part of their study at a world-leading laboratory in the US, with cutting-edge knowledge production and research infrastructure. Likewise, US students get the opportunity to do part of their study at USN’s micro and nano technology laboratories, strengthening the links between our institutions. The students will come out with international experience and a network that will benefit them throughout their career, whether it be in industry or academia. Furthermore, short and long stays of faculty members at the partner institutions provide specialized courses and guest lectures at an advanced level which would be difficult to achieve alone. The centre will promote development of joint research applications, further strengthening the bonds between our institutions and create collaborations that last after the INTPART period is finished. Sustainability is secured by lifting the collaboration to an institutional level and involving management and administration, to avoid dependence on a few key persons.

COAST is a collaboration between the University of South-Eastern Norway (USN), Stanford University, and the University of Washington (UW) on research and education on acoustical and optical sensor technology. USN has a national role in supporting industry with research and competence within these important topics for Norwegian high-tech industry, through our position as partner in SFI Centre for Innovative Ultrasound Solutions and industry cluster Electronic Coast. The centre is founded on existing personal relations between USN and UW's Applied Physics Laboratory and Stanford University's Microphotonics Laboratory. Acoustical and optical sensors constitute the ears and eyes of a computer, providing information from the physical world. The rapid increase in computing power, IoT and AI increases the ability to handle and extract information from more advanced and sensor systems, opening opportunities while increasing the need for more advanced technology. New sensor and actuator technology open new opportunities in medical diagnosis and therapy. Sensors for healthcare and environmental monitoring are key applications of our project. Emphasis is on ultrasound mediated drug-delivery, with promising results in cancer therapy, and implanted micro-sensors for continuous monitoring, e.g. of diabetes. New sensor technology is essential for monitoring air and sea pollution and ecosystems, is used in oil well integrity monitoring to prevent leakage and ecological disasters. Our project addresses both industrial and societal challenges by pushing the research front through aligned projects and research based education through collaboration with top ranked universities. Individuals exchanged between partners will advance their careers and perspectives through stays at partner organisations. MSc and PhD students will be available as highly skilled workforce for the specialised and R&D heavy industry targeted in this cooperation or as future researchers in academia.

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INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research