The NCCR (National Centre for Competence in Research) MaNEP (Materials with Novel Electronic Properties) was initiated and founded by Prof. Øystein Fischer in 2001. His drive as the director of MaNEP and his relentless commitment to physics in Switzerland led to a remarkable development of collaborations in the field of MaNEP between scientists in academia and with industry.
The main goal of MaNEP was to achieve drastic improvements in the fundamental understanding and control of the electronic properties of new materials, with the long-term ambition to asses and exploit their technological potential. The NCCR played a central role in strengthening the Swiss condensed matter community during twelve years, from 2001 to 2013. Significant progress has been achieved on all fronts, from a fundamental understanding of intrinsic physical mechanisms to a more practical level of new materials synthesis and applications.
MaNEP has been a very productive NCCR with excellent contributions to science, becoming a renowned brand at the national and international level. Over 3’100 articles were published and annual citations reached nearly 9’000 in 2012. The average journal impact factor did notably shift to higher impact journals, growing from 3 to 7.
In parallel, MaNEP was running a strong effort to transfer its technology to industrial applications. The number of collaborating industries has increased from two to reach a total of twenty-eight over the twelve years. MaNEP has also been very active on education, communication and equal opportunities. Many of these outreach activities set up during the NCCR funding period are to continue after the formal end of the NCCR: KTT through the Laboratory for Advanced Technology (LTA); Education with the Physiscope (created in 2007) and the Scienscope; Communication with the travelling exhibition centered around the the sculpture SUPRA100 by Etienne Krähenbühl. On the educational side, specific actions launched by MaNEP, in particular the summer internships and exchange programmes, conferences, summer and winter schools and topical meetings continue at an equivalent level by the MaNEP Switzerland Network.
As a leader in quantum electronic materials, the NCCR had a significant impact on the Swiss landscape in the field and remarkably bolstered condensed matter physics at the Home institution, the University of Geneva. The NCCR has had far reaching and lasting benefits at the Home institution beyond the core topic of MaNEP, resulting in substantial additional support for the entire physics Section, astronomy and mathematics.