The Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is a method of analysis employed in various fields such as: medicine, chemistry, physics, food sciences, biochemistry, pharmacology, etc.
The NMR spectroscopy is an essential method for research and education in every of the above fields, as well as for the quality control in specialized industries concerned with drug production, fine organic synthesis, authentication of wines and food additives, drug assessment, etc. In developed countries the current legislation requires high field NMR analyses for quality assessment in every of the above industrial fields.
In spite of the importance of the NMR field for a wide range of sectors, the situation in Romania, before the beginning of the present project was one of the worst in Europe. Although in the field of NMR imaging some progress was made in the last years by the installation of a few tomographs, in the field of NMR spectroscopy out of the whole Europe a worse situation existed only in Moldova and Albania. At the beginning of the present project (1997), in Romania there were only 3 superconducting NMR spectrometers installed. Those spectrometers belong to the generation 1980s and are unable to perform modern experiments. A single University in Western Europe or in the United States has currently a larger number of spectrometers than the whole of Romania! In the year 2002 the Faculty of Physics of the Babes-Bolyai University from Cluj-Napoca founded the National Center for Magnetic Resonance and purchased another Bruker Avance 400 NMR spectrometer equipped with accessories for solid-state experiments. Spectroteam for Romania Foundation welcomes this recent achievement and wishes to our Cluj colleagues good luck in developing a strong solid-state NMR team.
The National Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Laboratory is a project initiated by Spectroteam for Romania Foundation as a response to the positive political and economical trend in the Romanian society. The main idea of the project is the maintenance in Romania for a limited period of time and in free access of a state-of-the-art NMR spectrometer. This spectrometer is one of the most modern in the area. The long term goal is to give Romania a chance to purchase this spectrometer through its institutions concerned with the future of the education and the research and to gain a leadership position in the NMR field.
The project was initiated in December 1996, and the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance National Laboratory was founded in May 1998 by the Spectroteam for Romania Foundation, Bruker Biospin, the Institute of Organic Chemistry of the Romanian Academy and Oltchim S.A.
In June 1998 a Bruker Avance DRX 400 MHz spectrometer was installed. Now Romania became the country with the most modern solution-state NMR equipment in the area (Romania, Bulgaria, Moldavia, Turkey, Ukraine, Albania). The main characteristics of the installed spectrometer are presented elsewhere.
The official opening of the National Laboratory took place on October 20th 1998 in the Institute of Organic Chemistry and was attended by numerous Romanian researchers and professors, by representatives of the Romanian Academy, the Ministry of Research and Technology, the Ministry of National Education, the Embassy of Great Britain, the British Council and the French Cultural Center in Bucharest as well as by other guests from Germany, Canada, Great Britain and the United States.
Since the official opening there have been performed NMR experiments in co-operation with or on request of a great number of researchers from Romania, Moldavia and Canada. The list of the users is steadily increasing.
During the period 1998 - 2000 the 4 founding institutions subsidized the free access with samples for Romanian scientists belonging to non-profit research institutions and universities.
In the year 2000 Bruker Biospin has begun to sale shares of the NMR spectrometer to Romanian institutions. The offer of shares is still valid for other institutions.
The Spectroteam for Romania Foundation launches a call to any Romanian institution/company for association for the second phase of this project in order to purchase the spectrometer. In case there will be no significant financial contribution in purchasing the spectrometer, the spectrometer will be disassembled and returned to the Bruker company. During the current phase of transfer of ownership, the free access to the laboratory is granted only to the founding institutions and the owners of the spectrometer. Requests for association to the present project through purchasing of shares to the NMR spectrometer could be addressed either directly to Bruker Biospin or through our Foundation. During the present phase of the project, any request for access to the NMR spectrometer made by researchers not belonging to either the founding- or associated- institutions should be addressed exclusively to the Spectroteam for Romania Foundation. Such requests would be evaluated taking into account the interests of the Bruker company.
Currently the National NMR Laboratory experiences difficulties to maintain the employment positions. Thus, for a limited period of time Spectroteam for Romania Foundation and Bruker Biospin may allow access to the NMR spectrometer to institutions or groups willing to finance employment positions in the National NMR Laboratory.