The National Laboratory of Sciences for Research and Conservation for Cultural Heritage (LANCIC) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) was created in 2014 by funding of the UNAM and the National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico (CONACYT) as a network of five consolidated groups of research on material analysis of cultural heritage. These groups have complementary research fields, methods and cutting-edge instrumentation. Nowadays, four groups compose the LANCIC. Three groups belong to the UNAM and are part of the Institute of Physics (LANCIC-IF), the Institute of Chemistry (LANCIC-IQ) and the Institute of Art History (LANCIC-IIE). UNAM teams are located in Mexico City but deserves all the country while the group of LANCIC-CICORR of the Autonomous University of Campeche is settled in the Yucatan peninsula. The Laboratory ANDREAH of LANCIC-IF is the head of the national laboratory. LANCIC tasks include installation of cutting-edge infrastructures, specialized human resources training and support to mobility of researchers and students, specialized services for cultural heritage material studies, scientific development and innovation on material science for conservation, diffusion of science and communication of knowledge to the public. The main objectives of LANCIC are the characterization of materials and techniques of Mexican cultural heritage, the development of methodologies and protocols for conservation projects, the integration of databases and material for cultural heritage, and the synthesis and characterization of new materials for conservation. Moreover, LANCIC activities include specialized courses and workshops and collaborate with exhibitions in museums and seminars for the public. LANCIC has about 45 academics – research and technical staff – and about 40 students – 80% related to 7 PhD programs on material science, chemical sciences, biological sciences, art history, archaeology and conservation. LANCIC is also the link to the CONACYT National Network of Laboratories for Study of Cultural Heritage in Mexico. This network has 27 National Institutions, more than 40 Mexican laboratories,3 national labs (LANCIC, LEMA, SAN), 2 groups in the Mexican conservation schools and 7 laboratories associated in other countries with about 320 people in the network.
Jose Luis Ruvalcaba Sil