The use of recently developed nanostructured materials offers wide designing possibilities of novel devices for ICT applications. The scientific community interest in this area has been increasing in the last years opening new expectations in a wide range of technologies applicable to many different scenarios: communications, biosensors, health, electronics, etc.This COST Action aims to include a number of classic ICT technologies (liquid crystals, ceramic materials, electroacoustic devices, sensors) using innovative, intentionally engineered materials to obtain novel devices and to generate scientific progress. The challenge of integrating devices and materials is expressed in the Action name and its acronym: IDEM.The importance of the IDEM Action relies in the combination of different groups working in diverse disciplines (chemistry, engineering, materials) with a common focus: the scientific development of nanostructured materials and their application in new technologies and devices.

The knowledge exchange derived from this Action will impact not only in the development of novel materials and devices but also in the success of current and future projects being the seed of new collaborations and international projects.

The promotion of new collaborations in areas on the frontier of knowledge is in line with COST programme objectives to fund pre-competitive research activities in new emerging lines. To date, the joint activities among some of the participant groups in this Action have been carried out in an informal way or in previous bilateral projects. To this end, a COST Action offers the most appropriate framework for the coordination and the merge of efforts pursued by the members of the Action; in fact, it will enable developing a suitable program of exchange of both senior and young scientists, which represents the fundamental basis to carry out a coordinated interdisciplinary research like the described one.

The aim is to address novel research topics that are very interdisciplinary and cannot be conducted by any of the participants alone. COST will enable the necessary interaction channels to efficiently collaborate on these topics. These comprise: technical brainstorm meetings, mutual visits to gain deep knowledge of (the possibilities and limitations of) each other’s facilities and techniques, short term training programmes for visiting young researchers, etc. In other European research tools there is no time or funding for such explorative and educational activities. The interaction channels established in this COST Action will facilitate, in a later phase, the construction of consortia to apply for regular European research projects.

Very often the gap between the basic studies and strictly application oriented material development was found to be just a matter of time shift between the mentioned aspects. This time shift could be overcome mainly by wide networking between partners binding the application oriented research with the basic one.