The project builds on the ERC Consolidator project MIMIC and combines theoretical/numerical expertise of the MIMIC team led by Emanuela Zaccarelli with experimental work at CNR ISC carried out by the groups of Barbara Ruzicka, Roberta Angelini, Simona Sennato and Mauro Missori. In particular, SOFTART will explore the growing potentialities of microgels by focusing on two different aspects that are relevant for both fundamental and applied science. On one hand, it catches up with recent progress in particle synthesis, focusing on a the novel class of ultrasoft microgels that are of great interest for the problem of the glass transition. On the other hand, it proposes to apply microgels in the context of ancient paper preservation, combining soft matter with cultural heritage research. The project will also benefit from the collaboration with Tor Vergata University.