InnovaXN to launch with a kick-off meeting in Grenoble on 14 February

A meeting to bring together the partners of the InnovaXN Doctoral Training Programme has been organised for 14 February 2020. The meeting will feature presentations introducing a selection of the InnovaXN PhD projects and signature of a collaboration agreement between the three Grenoble-based partners, ESRF, ILL and UGA. The PhD project partners from industry and academia across Europe have been invited. Following the signing of the collaboration agreement, a tour of the large-scale facilities (ESRF and ILL) is planned for the guests.

Twenty projects have been selected for the first recruitment round in the InnovaXN programme, a second round also with 20 projects will take place in 2021. The students will be based in Grenoble at either the ESRF or the ILL. Each project is linked to industry, with the project idea originating from them and with co-supervision of the project by the industry partner. Students will be registered at a European university, often already collaborating with the industrial partner.  The first cohort of PhD students will start in September 2020 and recruitment has opened with application deadline of 15 March 2020.

The first projects are in the fields of materials science, chemistry, biochemistry and engineering, with subjects including battery materials, catalysis, drug delivery, polymers, enzymes and much more. The projects involve 16 companies and 16 universities spread over 11 countries (see figure).

Map showing the location of industry and academic partners of InnovaXN round 1

Map showing the location of industry and academic partners of InnovaXN round 1


The Grenoble-based partners

The European Synchrotron (ESRF) ( is the world-leading source of synchrotron and a centre of excellence for fundamental and innovation-driven research for imaging and studying the structure of matter at the atomic and nanometric scale in many fields of research, including life sciences, materials science, chemistry and physics. The ESRF owes its success to the international co-operation of 22 partner nations. An ongoing upgrade, the ESRF’s Extremely Brilliant Source (ESRF-EBS) has been selected as a Landmark by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) for the 2016 Roadmap and reiterated in the 2018 Roadmap, recognising the strategic importance of the ESRF’s pioneering new-generation synchrotron ring.

The Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) ( is the world’s flagship centre for neutron science and technology, providing scientists with a very high flux of neutrons feeding some 40 state-of-the-art instruments, which are constantly being developed and upgraded. As a service institute, the ILL makes its facilities and expertise available to visiting scientists. Every year, about 1400 researchers from over 40 countries visit the ILL. Research focuses primarily on fundamental science in a variety of fields including condensed matter physics, chemistry, biology, nuclear physics and materials science. The ILL also collaborates closely and at different levels of confidentiality with the R&D departments of industrial enterprises. ILL is funded and managed by France, Germany and the United Kingdom, in partnership with 10 other countries.

Université Grenoble Alpes (UGA) ( is one of France’s leaders in higher education and research. A comprehensive, global university, UGA enrols about 45,000 students each year in its high-quality academic programmes, and maintains 80 research centres of all disciplines. As an international leader in both pure and applied research, UGA also benefits from a uniquely innovative setting. Its researchers enjoy ties to a thriving local community of international businesses and industry. Its IDEX project is focused on creating a single world-class university from multiple Grenoble institutions.


For further information about InnovaXN, please see the programme website: