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European subsidies for TU/e research

14 March 2008, 00:00

The TU/e will receive at least one grant in the first round of the “Starting Grant Competition” of the European Research Council (ERC). Luc Brunsveld, who will be appointed professor at the Faculty of Biomedical Technology in July, is to receive 1.25 million Euros.

The TU/e will receive at least one grant in the first round of the “Starting Grant Competition” of the European Research Council (ERC). Luc Brunsveld, who will be appointed professor at the Faculty of Biomedical Technology in July, is to receive 1.25 million Euros.

Frank Geels of Technology Management is high on the list of reserves. He has a good chance of receiving a 900,000 Euro grant.

Brunsveld will start his professorship in July as professor of Chemical Biology. The planned group of six scientists supporting the chair will now have quite a boost. With the starting grant, Brunsveld will be able to appoint another four PhD students or post-docs. Brunsveld, who attained his doctor’s degree at the Faculty of Chemical Engineering at the TU/e, will be focussing on the interactions between proteins. These proteins play an important role in illnesses and their prevention.

In the direct allocation of grants, Geels was passed over. However, the ERC is striving to get additional funds for another hundred applications. Geels is so high up on the list of reserves that he may well receive a grant of over 900,000 Euros. As a result, he will be able to finance his own appointment for five years as well as that of two PhD students. Geels will be using the grant to investigate how sustainable innovations can gain a foothold in non-sustainable conservative sectors, such as transport, energy and agriculture.

The ERC subsidizes research proposals of individual scientists; these starting grants are meant for excellent scientists who attained their doctor’s degrees two to nine years ago and who can use support to start up new lines of research. There was considerable competition in the first round: only 200 proposals will receive grants out of the 9,000 that were submitted. Another 230 are now on a reserve list.

According to the Dutch Ministry of Education, Dutch scientists have done extremely well this first round. With nine per cent of the total number of proposals to receive grants, the Netherlands is in fourth position in Europe.

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