Goals and prospects


In order to promote original yet strategic thinking in this dynamic research field, resulting in new discoveries and possibly new commercial products, the meeting of people with complementary expertise is of essence. With this exploratory workshop we wish to gather a small but representative group of leading European soft matter scientists whose research addresses liquid crystal-related issues but from quite different perspectives and in varying contexts.

The prime goals of the meeting can be concisely summarized as follows:
  • to obtain an overview of current innovative European research in the realm of soft condensed matter that addresses, applies or relies on aspects of the liquid crystalline state of matter and its formation processes,
  • to cross-fertilize activities in different subdisciplines of soft matter research that share an interest in liquid crystallinity but are so far often not as much in contact as could be beneficial,
  • to sow the first seeds for new European research networks on strategically relevant topics in the field, and to distinguish those with the best prospects of producing a valuable contribution to society,
  • to contribute to the definition of a ‘road map’ for focused future development of European research on liquid crystalline soft matter, taking academic as well as industrial perspectives into account, thereby strengthening Europe´s position in this rapidly growing multidisciplinary research field.


We are confident that considerable synergies will result from the bringing together of a knowledgeable and dynamic group of world class researchers in open exploratory discussions on soft matter, with liquid crystal-related aspects as a special focus. It will enrich the different communities, outstanding problems in one field being confronted with possible solutions from another, experimental methodologies that are standard in one field possibly opening new approaches when applied to a different system.

In terms of added value for Europe, the workshop will on the one hand be an excellent starting point for new intraeuropean and crossdisciplinary collaborations, pursuing and possibly even initiating innovative research fields which will enjoy increasing attention in the years to come. On the other hand, it can serve to help define future strategic directions for academic liquid crystal-related soft matter research in Europe. Finally, an important issue will be the possibilities of industrially exploiting knowledge gained in the new topics, preferably within Europe, building on European scientific and technological expertise and infrastructure.