From 2011-2014, Nina co-led the scientific research project IMAT funded by the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), coordinated by the University of Florence, which aimed to develop innovative approaches and targeted conservation treatments by refining precision mild temperature management with nanotechnology, summarized in ICOM-CC meeting in Copenhagen in 2017. The project produced a series of innovative prototypes with carbon-nanotube technology, which were used in paper, objects and paintings conservation for structural treatments, optimization of enzymatic gels and more. While the economic realities of manufacturing IMAT carbon nanotube technology and making it accessible to conservators persist, Olsson and Markevicius have launched a startup to resolve the impasse, called Precision-Mat.
Precision MAT(Multipurpose Accurate Temperature management system for art conservation). MAT uses existing technology to offer a system composed of a mobile console (MAT-go or MAT-lab) and diverse flexible mats, designed specifically for the field of art conservation to offer precision, steadiness, uniformity, control and safety in heat transfer from ambient to the customary temperatures without exposing the artworks to unnecessary stress and heat-transfer risks of the past. Nina and colleague Tomas Markevicius first applied flexible heating mats for structural treatment of paintings in 2003. MAT heating mats do not have the nanotech features such as transparency or breathability, or ultra-low voltage heating, but offer the same accuracy, mobility and versatility, which is a huge leap over the current state-of-the-art.
You may follow MAT on IG @conservation_mats and www.precision-mat.com.
Nina Olsson is a collaborator in MOX-ART, a pilot project hosted by the European Space Agency (ESA), in collaboration with the University of Ghent Department of Applied Physics, Plasma Physics and Engineering, and the Center for Art Technological Studies (CATS) at the National Gallery of Denmark, to investigate the use of monoatomic oxygen (AO) for use as a non contact method for removing carbonaceous soiling and soot from sensitive cultural heritage surfaces. Pioneering research on the application of AO for cleaning of art surfaces was conducted by Bruce Banks and Sharon Miller at NASA in the 1990s.