The IMAT project coordinated by the Universita di Firenze under the European Comission’s Seventh Framework Program for Research on May 27 was awarded with the innovation award award at the 8th AR&PA Biennial of Herigate Conservation and Management in Valladolid, Spain - a meeting point and discussion forum for professionals and institutions in the fields of protection, curatorship, conservation, restoration and management of Cultural Heritage.


The AR&PA Innovation programme organised by the Spanish Castilla & León Regional Authority, in close liaison with the European Commission, Tecnalia Research & Innovation and Cartif Foundation, aims to serve as a platform for the research projects in cultural heritage that have been carried out in the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission (2007-2013). 

The IMAT project researches the application of carbon nanotubes and other conductive nanomaterials to design new highly accurate mobile devices - in the form of flexible mat heaters – “imats” with the unique qualities for conservation and artworks (paintings, paper, textiles etc.). The IMAT project involves cross-discipline team of scientists, electrical engineers and conservators working alongside from the initial concept design phase throughout the final stages of testing and dissemination so as to gain the best insight into design improvements, to optimize the range of potential applications and to develop new treatment methodology. 
The IMAT project responds to a critical omission in current treatment instrumentation for accurate, selective and mobile devices for mild heating, which is essential for success in most structural treatments of various cultural heritage objects (paintings, works on paper, textiles, objects, and others) and since it’s start in November 2011 has been raising a vivid interest in the field, yet the AR&PA innovation  award it has been it’s first official acknowledgment in this  a unique multidisciplinary event in Spain. 

Rocco Furferi and Tomas Markevicius at AR&PA 

Concept design of transparent breathable (perforated) IMAT heater