Research projects

Three Irish research projects will receive a share of €168 million EU funding

Two projects at Trinity and one at Athlone will receive funding under an EIC scheme awarding an average of €3 million for innovative technology research ideas.

Three coordinated research projects at Irish universities have won funding from the European Innovation Council (EIC) under its Pathfinder program to develop new technologies for future applications.

This program provides grants to support the early development of future technologies to a proof-of-concept stage. In total, €168 million will go to the 56 projects selected in this call, with an average funding of €3 million per project.

Two of these research projects are coordinated by Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and AMBER, Science Foundation Ireland’s research center for advanced materials and bioengineering research, while another is coordinated by the ‘Athlone Institute of Technology, now part of Shannon University of Technology. : Midlands Midwest.

The EIC falls under Horizon Europe, the EU’s funding program for research and innovation, and was launched earlier this year. It plans to invest more than €10 billion over the next seven years to develop and scale up disruptive technological innovations in the EU.

TCD said its prizes have a total recommended fundraising value of over €6 million, of which around €2 million is expected to go to TCD teams. University provost Professor Linda Doyle said the funding process was very competitive.

“Only 6% of all applications in the last cycle were accepted and only three awards were given to project coordinators in Ireland, meaning only the best research proposals with the potential for lasting societal impacts are given the spotlight. green,” she added.

Irish projects

The TCD ThermoDust project focuses on thermal management issues affecting different industries. The team plans to develop a radically new material with exceptional heat transport performance that could improve heat dissipation and have major impacts in fields such as ICT, electric vehicles and aerospace.

Lead researcher Dr Rocco Lupoi said materials development and the evolution of many electronic devices are hampered by a lack of success in removing heat, with data centers using a considerable amount of their energy only for cooling systems.

“Ultimately, we believe this project will make Ireland and Europe a leader in heat management and pave the way for countless new products and innovations that will be more efficient and sustainable than alternatives. current.”

SSLIP, the other TCD project to receive funding, focuses on a new concept called superlubricity, where atomic-sized solid 2D materials can glide past each other with virtually no friction. The team aims to develop this idea to reduce friction in areas such as manufacturing and transportation to reduce energy consumption and frictional damage.

Lead researcher Dr Graham Cross said a 20% reduction in friction in combustion engines would save around €120 billion each year and cut Co2 emissions by 290 million tonnes . “This is essential for future technologies, as drastic improvements in energy efficiency and low-carbon CO2 emissions are key goals in most roadmaps for long-term sustainable transport.”

Finally, EcoPlastic is Athlone’s IT project to be funded. It seeks to convert forms of plastic waste, such as low-grade PET and mixed recalcitrant PET plastic waste, into high-performance biopolymers – typically naturally produced molecules such as starch, cellulose, zein and gelatin.

Don’t miss out on the knowledge you need to succeed. Sign up for the brief daily, Silicon Republic’s must-have science and technology news digest.