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SELECTA: “Smart ELECTrodeposited Alloys for environmentally sustainable applications: from advanced protective coatings to micro/nano-robotic platforms” is a 4 year Innovative Training Network (ITN) that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement Nº 642642.

- Duration: April 2014 – March 2018

- Web:

The project

SELECTA is a highly inter-disciplinary initiative which has the primary goal of training young researchers in the field of smart electrodeposited metallic alloys suitable for environmental / sustainable development applications.

The Network encompasses the fabrication and in-depth characterization of: (i) innovative protective coatings, (ii) resilient micro/nano-electromechanical systems, and (iii) wirelessly actuated micro/nano-robotic platforms for cutting-edge environmental applications. The project will explore new types of electrodeposited alloys (based on Fe, Cu or Al; free from hazardous and scarce raw elements), with tunable structure (amorphous, nanocrystalline), morphology (dense, nanoporous) and geometry (films, micropillars, nanowires), to meet specific technological demands (high wear/corrosion resistance, superior magnetic properties or hydrophobicity).

SELECTA seeks to achieve the target purposes using a sustainable approach, designing alloy compositions without or with minimum amounts of scarce or toxic elements while employingenvironmentally-friendly, minimally invasive electrolytic baths. In this sense, the following policies (compositional restrictions) will be taken into account in SELECTA: avoid or minimize the use of rare-earths (RE) and noble metals (NM) in the electrodeposited alloy compositions, avoid the use of highly toxic metals and the use of hazardous chemicals in the electrolytic baths, avoid the use of cobalt or nickel and minimize the use of gallium and phosphorus.

SELECTA aims to integrate technological progress with environmental sustainability concerns, which is one of the major “Societal Challenges” listed in the Horizon 2020 Work Programme. Several disciplines (Physics, Electrochemistry, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Biology and Robotics) converge together to provide a holistic approach to accomplish the SELECTA goals.


The project brings together 10 Beneficiaries and 6 Partner Organizations (including 5 private companies), belonging to 10 EU Member States (plus Switzerland and Serbia). Special efforts will be devoted to bridge fundamental science with commercialisation of the research outcome. The complementarities among partners will render a high-level, multi-faceted educational programme. World-class research will be combined with unique training opportunities in soft skills, such as career planning, dissemination, intellectual property rights, entrepreneurship or management. The Network aims to provide highly-qualified specialists able to face future professional challenges in either Academia or Industry in an independent manner.

Beneficiaries: UAB (Barcelona), UCAM (Cambridge), UOI (Ioannina), CHAL (Chalmers), IFW (Leibniz), VU (Vilnius), FINK (Kragujevac), INRIM (Torino), Hirtenberger Engineered Surfaces.

Associated: ETHZ (Zurich), EMPA (Thun), ELEOSS (Thun), ALUINVENT (Miskolc), CIDETEC (Donostia-San Sebastián), YR (Amsterdam).

Our role

CIDETEC takes part in ITN SELECTA as a non-funded Associated Partner. The participation and contribution of CIDETEC to the Training Network can be summarized as follows:

 - Supporting activities in WP3, WP6 and WP7.

 - Offering expertise in the electrodeposition of Fe+ ceramic or fullerene-type particles and Cu- and Al-based alloys, and testing in wettability and corrosion resistance.

 - Participation in the Supervisory Board and in planning and monitoring training activities

 - Accepting ESRs from academic partners to perform secondments.

 - Serving as a bridge between Universities and Industries.