Our research group is called IBeA (Ikerkuntza eta Berrikuntza Analitikoa), which in Basque language means Analytical Research and Innovation. The group is formed by lecturers and researchers from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU).
Since 1987 our group has been working in many basic research lines and in several innovative and applied activities with surrounding companies. Though the main research activities are linked with the development of analytical methodologies in the area of environment field and Cultural Heritage, in the last decade we have been involved in many other activities such as food analysis, bioactive compounds, nanomedicine, etc., and nowadays we have incorporated a new research line related with extraterrestrial materials and space missions to explore the Solar System.
The main success till 2005 in the field of cultural heritage was our participation in the PAPERTECH project, funded by the FP5 Program of the European Union. The project finished with a Congress in 2007 where we presented the most relevant results. Other researchers were acting as reviewers of our work; there we met Dr. Ulla Knnutinen, the chemist in charge of the analysis of mural painting fragments recently excavated in a house of Pompeii (House of Marcus Lucretius) under another European project (EPUH, Expeditio Pompeiana Universitatis Helgiensis) leaded by the University of Helsinki.
We presented to Dr. Knuutinen also our advances in a Spanish national Project (DILICO). In both cases we were using mainly portable/hand-held instrumentation as the main innovation of our methodology to (a) characterize the original materials and their degradation products, (b) diagnose the conservation state using chemometric tools to find similarities and relationships among data and (c) suggest chemical reactions between the original materials and the environmental stressors that could explain the transformation of the original compounds in the decayed ones.
The methodologies developed by IBeA till 2007 suggested to the Finnish group in charge of the excavations in Pompeii the possibility to engage us in the chemical analysis of the recovered materials. To test that assumption some fragments (mortars and mural paintings) were sent to our laboratory and the obtained results suggested an important environmental impact on the samples. This was an unexpected fact for the Finnish research group, therefore we were invited by EPUH project to the House of Marcus Lucretius to perform field analysis using several portable instruments while members of EPUH project was developing excavation works. Thus, this was the starting point of the APUV project (Analitica Pompeiana Universitatis Vasconicae).
If you want to know more about our research group you can visit our website: