Welcome to the ESNAM website!



What is ESNAM?


The ‘European Scientific Network for Artificial Muscles’ (ESNAM) is a network established as a COST Action (MP1003) since 8 December 2010.

To download a chronicle of the ESNAM scientific kick-off click here.


What is COST?


COST is an intergovernmental framework for European Cooperation in Science and Technology, allowing the coordination of nationally-funded research on a European level. COST contributes to reducing the fragmentation in European research investments and opening the European Research Area to cooperation worldwide. The implementing agent for COST is the European Science Foundation.


What is the ESNAM mission?


ESNAM is primarily aimed at fostering scientific and technological advancement of artificial muscles and muscle-like transducers, based on Electromechanically Active Polymers (EAPs) as smart materials for electromechanical transduction (actuation, sensing and energy harvesting).

The network is established among leading European research institutes and industries with consolidated and recognised expertise in this field, as well as in possible areas of application.

In order to improve progress in the broad field of EAP science and technologies, and their applications, the objectives of ESNAM include:


- coordination and promotion of joint research projects;

- classification, organization and dissemination of scientific and technical knowledge;

- standardisation of methods, techniques and processes;

- scientific training and support of early-stage researchers;

- education;

- creation of a platform facilitating collaboration among research centres and companies;

- stimulation and promotion of innovative ideas;

- broader and quicker exchange of information;

- creation of a joint interface with European institutions, funding agencies, investors and industrial developers;

- definition of a road-map targeting wide-spread industrial use of EAP based artificial muscles in Europe.





final event:

EAP Workshop
, UK
25-26 November 2014

Click here


What are EAP artificial muscles?


EAPs represent a fast growing and promising scientific field of research and development. They are studied for devices and systems implemented with ‘smart materials’ inherently capable of changing dimensions and/or shape in response to suitable electrical stimuli, so as to transduce electrical energy into mechanical work. They can also operate in reverse mode, transducing mechanical energy into the electrical form. Therefore, they can be used as actuators, mechano-electrical sensors, as well as energy harvesters to generate electricity. For such tasks, EAPs show unique properties, such as sizable electrically-driven active strains or stresses, high mechanical flexibility, low density, structural simplicity, ease of processing and scalability, no acoustic noise and, in most cases, low costs. Owing to their functional and structural properties, electromechanical transducers based on these materials are usually refereed to as EAP ‘artificial muscles’.

EAPs are today studied for applications that so far have been unachievable with conventional actuation technologies, with usage spanning from the micro- to the macro- scale, in several fields, including robotics, automation, prosthetics, orthotics, artificial organs, optics, energy harvesting and even aerospace.

For further information, see Scientific background.




Europe hosts several research institutes with a well consolidated and recognised expertise in the EAP field. Actually, much of the early stage research/breakthroughs in the field have been pioneered by European research groups and still at present a lot of EAP competence is centred and led by a number of groups in Europe.

Aimed at addressing the widely perceived need for co-operation in the EAP field, these groups have adhered to an initiative coordinated by the University of Pisa aimed at establishing this network.

Today, ESNAM represents the first example, on global scale, of an organically structured scientific network in the EAP field, intended to strengthen the impact of EAP science and technology.


What does ESNAM do?


·          Scientific cooperation in the framework of Working Groups;

·          Organization and support of an annual international conference: EuroEAP conference;

·          Creation of open databases: EuroEAP databases;

·          Definition of standards and guidelines: EuroEAP standards;

·          Creation and development of a European association: EuroEAP society.


A purposely integrated EuroEAP platform website (www.euroeap.eu) hosts the webpages of the EuroEAP conference, databases, standards and society.