The “Institut National de Recherche et d’Analyse Physico-Chimique” (INRAP) was created in Tunisia in January 2nd, 1995 to support research and development, as well as, different socio-economic sectors, for developing new analytical methods to meet the national needs and to valorize research results and promote their exploitation by industries to stimulate links between research and industry.
The INRAP institute includes three research laboratories, 32 researchers and 50 PhD students, focusing basically on three key themes: environment, food and health, and several analytical laboratories, employing 24 engineers and 20 technicians. INRAP is also the center of reference of the Tunisian institutions regarding chemical metrology and it is a designated institute having already access to European initiatives through the EMPIR program (European Metrology Program).
Furthermore, the institute has the responsibility of taking part in customs and border protection activities, control of products for import and export, as well as, quality control, organize trainings in the field of physical-chemical analysis, and to develop an expertise in the analysis of warfare chemicals, to later train other African countries, etc. In terms of analytical expertise and instrumentation, the INRAP is very well equipped with excellent personnel and with a series of mass spectrometers (GC/ICP/MS, LC/MS, GC/MS, LC/MS/MS and GC/MS/MS), a multifunction nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy NMR instrument and a variety of other remarkable instruments devoted to surface analysis, molecular, elemental and organic analysis.
The TUNTWIN project has started on January 1, 2021 and will last 3 years. The funding allocated to the project amounts to approximately 0.9 million €, including communication, dissemination and awareness raising.
TUNTWIN will strengthen research excellence and knowledge transfer of INRAP regarding mass spectrometry, and synchrotron techniques applied to environment, food and health sectors with a special attention to organic contaminants, element speciation, light and non-traditional isotopes, nanoparticles and food traceability, authenticity and safety. These sectors are of high economic benefit and relevance for the development of both EU and Tunisian economy and legislation.
To accomplish this, TUNTWIN will create an environment to transnational cooperation and develop a sustainable framework of research capacity building, research management, finance and administration, international networking to enhance the sustainable expertise of Tunisian scientists and stakeholders. As a result, TUNTWIN will foster the economic development of Tunisian economy in the sectors of environment, food and health. Strengthening of INRAP’s staff will be developed by EU partners of established scientific excellence in target topics, through 6 case studies, with proven record of experience.
TUNTWIN aims to improve research and innovation capacities and stimulate scientific excellence in the field of spectroscopic techniques, mainly for advanced mass spectrometry methods for both inorganic and organic compounds of key application for the Tunisian economy within environment, food and health sectors.
It will reinforce research and knowledge transfer capacity of the “Institut National de Recherche et d’Analyse Physico-Chimique”, (INRAP). The project will develop capacity building of permanent scientists, early stage researcher (ESR) training, enlarge cooperation between academia, industry and stakeholders in Tunisia with a general sustainable framework for research, international networking, mobility and integration in the European Research Area.
Strengthening the experience of researchers and technicians of INRAP, including a new generation of young scientist, will be developed through the cooperation with EU partners of established scientific excellence in the topics and demonstrated experience in economic impact and awareness raising and integration into national policies.