The European Research Council (ERC) has published the results of the second deadline of the Proof of Concept (PoC) 2015 call. Warwick is the only institution in Europe to be awarded three grants, making us the best performing institution in Europe in this call.
Congratulations to the three grantees, Sybille Lammes (Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies), Evgeny Rebrov (Engineering) and Rachel Edwards (Physics) who have won €150,000 each to ‘establish intellectual property rights, investigate business opportunities or conduct technical validation.’
Associate Professor Sybille Lammes
Associate Professor Sybille Lammes has received an ERC Proof of Concept Grant to develop a prototype of a location-based game that can be used for teaching fieldwork in a Higher Education (HE) setting.
The rationale behind it is that location-based games are promising educational tools. The game will be designed to facilitate, enhance and structure fieldwork for university courses in the areas of geography, development studies, architecture, history, archaeology and anthropology.
Associate Professor Lammes explains the benefits of this research:
The game we intend to prototype will offer an innovative cost-effective package for HE institutions to organize informal learning and team-building experiences. The societal benefits are related to creating an innovative teaching platform for informal learning, thus helping to develop new kinds of teaching for HE that are beneficial to our knowledge society.
Such new teaching methods can stimulate different cultural and social engagement with environments, one that brings learners much closer to lived experiences and contemporary issues on a local scale. Importantly, this approach also sees action and intervention as key elements of reflexive and sensitive fieldwork practice, challenging the existing division between academic student projects undertaken for grades, and their more complex real-world subject matter. As a result, the approach developed in this Proof of Concept seeks to change set paradigms in higher education, offering young adults more creative, relevant and useful means and methods to gain knowledge about and engage with environments and people."
Professor Evgeny Rebrov
The European Research Council has awarded Professor Evgeny Rebrov an ERC Proof of Concept Grant to commercialise his research in catalytic coating technology.
In 2010, Professor Rebrov was awarded an ERC Grant worth €1.5 million. This ERC grant addresses the development of advanced composite magnetic materials to be applied for efficient and fast heating using radiofrequency field and for improvement of mass transfer in laminar flow via magnetic actuation. A novel coating method has also been developed in the ERC project. Professor Rebrov has now received an additional grant of €150,000 to conduct market research for the coating method. In this PoC project, the research team led by Professor Rebrov will use this coating method to develop a platform for small-scale distributed synthesis of fine chemicals. The commercial potential of the new reactor concept will be explored. By commercialising the device, this project will facilitate small-scale production of fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals via environmentally benign catalytic routes.
Dr. Rachel Edwards
Dr. Rachel Edwards has received an ERC Proof of Concept Grant to develop a prototype system for rapid defect characterisation in components such as railway tracks, aeroplane engines, and oil & gas pipelines.
Dr Edwards was awarded an ERC Starting Grant in the first round of the scheme and studied interactions of ultrasound with defects with different geometries. The research has led to ideas which could improve detection of surface defects in industry, and she has been awarded an additional grant of €150,000 to develop a prototype system building on these results. The ultrasonic measurements performed during the Starting Grant all used non-contact methods to generate and detect ultrasound, giving the potential for a fast and simple measurement system which would remove the need for visual testing or removal of parts from service, and which could operate in hazardous environments. The proof of concept grant will develop a prototype demonstration unit which combines results from the research into a single device.
Professor Tim Jones, Warwick's Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Science, Engineering and Medicine, said:
Congratulations to Professors Lammes and Rebrov and Dr Edwards for this fantastic achievement. It's testament to our pioneering research, and our outstanding researchers, that we have secured more grants than any other institution in Europe. These grants will enable our researchers to maximise the potential of their work and we look forward to following their progress."