LNNano - Brazilian Nanotechnology National Laboratory

Innovation Q&A

The following topics list the most usual Q&A about the Innovation Initiatives led by LNNano.

Scroll down to see all answers.

If your question is not listed below, please contact LNNano Innovation team.


Services

  1.  How should I proceed to contract a service?

Services must be requested exclusively by electronic means, by filling a form located at Services Request.  In this form, you will be required to select the desired analytical technique or facility, and to provide business and technical information about you and your samples. Filling of the form is mandatory and no service will be quoted without a completed form. 

  1. How will I know my request was processed?

After filling and sending the form, one member of the Innovation team will contact you by phone or e-mail to confirm the receipt of your request and/or to clarify questions about your order for preparing a commercial proposal.

  1. Does LNNano have a standard commercial proposal template ?

No. Due to the high complexity execution protocols of the techniques offered by LNNano and sometimes the necessity of special sample preparation and additional tests to fulfill the customer needs, each demand is technically discussed with expert researchers before the issue of the commercial proposal, which are tailored to each demand.

  1. How long will it take for me to receive my commercial proposal?

In average up to 7 working days after the phone or e-mail feedback from the Innovation team. Complex requests may take longer.

  1. I am a business user. How will the service be charged to my company?

Services execution by LNNano is always charged, regardless the origin of the requester. Services will be billed on behalf of the corporation as a service rendered by a third-party supplier, complying with all the requirements established by Brazilian commercial and fiscal regulations. 

  1. I am an academic user (e.g. a researcher from a University).  Am I eligible to request services?

If you are an academic user with a project supported by a University foundation or by a governmental agency (e.g. FUNCAMP or FAPESP), you can hire LNNano to execute third-party services. Depending on the rules of the funding institution, services will be billed on behalf of the researcher in charge of the project, either on behalf of the governmental agency or on behalf of the legal private entity representing the University.

If you are an academic user and want to use LNNano’s open facilities, but do not have a project granted by external funds (usually the case of post-grad students) you must submit a research proposal through LNNano Users Portal.  The proposal will be evaluated by a Technical Committee who will judge the technical value and scientific merit of the proposal and will give a verdict about a free use of the LNNano facility. If approved, the execution of the proposal is subject to the availability of open dates in the agenda of the chosen facility and shall be booked in advance. Please access https://lnnano.cnpem.br/for-users/ for specific instructions.

  1. My service request involves sharing sensitive information or will generate information that must be kept confidential. How does LNNano guarantee the confidentiality of the executed services?

LNNano adopts the best practices to ensure data protection, and controls and applies policies regarding the confidentiality of the name of the contractor, the scope of the service, the nature of the samples, of any information shared for the execution of the service, and also of final reports.

At the discretion of the company, LNNano offers the alternative of signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before the execution of the service. If this is your case, please select the option for a NDA in the Services Request Form.

  1. How can LNNano guarantee that other users will not have access to the data shared for service execution and the results of the service contracted?

Users have restricted access control to equipment software and data files in all LNNano installations. Users mandatorily need to register with the CNPEM’s Information Technology Dept. for a User ID and password, and accesses are monitored remotely by the IT team.

  1. I want to have a copy of the equipment set parameters, analytical method, data, images, result reports or any other information generated by the service contracted. Can I use a portable media device for this?

According to Brazilian laws, the requester has a 100% ownership of all information resulting from the service performed. However, pursuant to the confidentiality protocols described above, it is not permitted for the requester to use any portable or removable media element to collect data from the equipment or facility during or after the service is performed. Digital copies of reports or any other information should be formally requested to the specialist researcher who will be accompanying you during the analysis, who will oversee recording your request and transferring the data to you.

  1. For how long data acquired during the service (e.g. microscope images) are stored at LNNano? Can they be easily retrieved?

Results reports can be issued in hard (paper) or soft (digital) copy, by choice. Raw and treated data is digitally stored at LNNano for at least 5 years after the conclusion of the service and can be retrieved at any time by request.

  1. Which cost criteria are adopted for the quotation of the service?

The cost estimate of each service considers a set of parameters which arise from the complexity of the methodology:  (a) necessary steps for sample preparation, (b) consumables to be used in the test, (c) hours dedicated by the researcher to set the equipment parameters, (d) hours dedicated by the researcher to execute the test, (e) hours dedicated by to researcher to treat the data and images collected and (f) hours necessary to issue the results report. Also, cost estimate may include additional labor costs incurred if the tests are executed out of business hours.

  1. Are equipment costs estimated by the number of hours dedicated to the service execution or by the number of samples evaluated?

Microscopes are normally cost-estimated by machine hour, because they require specific set of arrangements what usually blocks the use of the equipment for other users at a given time. Therefore electronic (scanning & transmission) and scanning probe microscopies can be booked only for a minimum period in hours. Depending on the complexity of the request, service time can take single or multiple periods of one or more days.

However there are LNNano facilities in which costs are estimated by the number of samples (e.g. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy).

For detailed information on costs, please contact LNNano’s Innovation team.

  1. LNNano has facilities for sample preparation?

LNNano has very sophisticated open facilities to prepare samples to be tested for service. Sample preparation at LNNano can be carried out by LNNano technicians or by representatives from the customer, when properly trained. However, LNNano is not liable for any damages caused by undue preparation of samples at its premises made by the customer. In the case when samples are prepared by LNNano staff, the costs of manpower, consumables and machine hours consumed are added to the total cost of the service. 

  1. Can company representatives be present at the service execution?

The presence of company representatives at the moment of the test is essential to guide the researcher on the objects of interest to be explored, as well as to identify artefacts and to clarify doubts which can arise during the analysis. The customer is also trained on-the-job in the procedures. 

  1. Company representatives can perform services at LNNano’s equipment and facilities unassisted by a technician?

This is possible only to frequent and experienced customers already trained into the procedures and installations, and is prone to the approval of CNPEM´s HSE team.

Beside the on-the-job training offered during the service, LNNano offers to the customers the possibility of special training sessions focused on the technique of interest. These short trainings are offered as consultancy services at any time of the year. Please contact LNNano Innovation team for detailed information on training.

  1. What are exploratory tests ? Are they charged ?

We strongly recommend performing an exploratory test before the service is contracted to confirm: (a) if samples were correctly prepared, (b) if LNNano’s equipment can perform the test, (c) to preset process parameters and (d) to properly estimate the duration of the test.

Exploratory tests are charged, but since they do not contemplate data treatment and issue of a result report, they will have a lower cost, which depends on the technique. If the exploratory test is successful, its cost can be posteriorly included in the final commercial proposal.

  1. In average, how long does it take to receive the final report with the results of my service?

It will depend on the complexity of the request and the technique chosen. The average time is 15 working days after the completion of the service. Complex requests which demand images and data treatment may take up to 45 working days.

  1. How do I schedule my service request?

Scheduling must be agreed by the customer directly with the researcher of LNNano in charge of your demand, only after receiving the formal confirmation from the LNNano Innovation team that the service request has been accepted and the service will be executed.

  1. How are the commercial procedures for payment of the service?

After execution of the service and results sent to the customer, the CNPEM commercial team will issue a tax invoice with the description and value of the service, including taxes. CNPEM offers very competitive payment terms and is open to negotiate good favorable conditions for the customers.

  1. Can samples be mailed to LNNano for the service?  How to deal to recollect the samples after the service?

Only samples that do not present risks can be sent to LNNano by mail.

We emphasize that LNNano will refuse to test any sample that does not meet Brazilian legal requirements to attend personal safety, protection of the environment, protection of genetic heritage, and protection of human and animal health.

The customer shall provide instructions to the researcher who oversees the service of how to collect the samples after the service and how to properly discard them, or how should the samples be sent back to the customer.

Costs of freight, transportation and insurance of samples are at the expense of the customer, or can be charged at the commercial proposal at the customer’s request.