Three Slovenian researchers win prestigious EU grants

Ljubljana, 31 March - Three researchers from the Jožef Stefan Institute (IJS) and the National Institute of Chemistry have won over seven million euro in European Research Council (ERC) funding for their research projects in physics and biomedicine.

Researcher Peter Križan.
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

Ljubljana, Kemijski inštitut.
V okviru Tedna Kemijskega inštituta je potekalo predavanje znanstvenika Igorja Muševiča z Instituta Jožef Stefan z naslovom Liquid Crystal Colloids.
Foto: Nebojša Tejić/STA

The Slovenian projects winning the ERC Advanced Grant 2019 will be led by senior researchers Peter Križan and Igor Muševič, both from the ISJ, and Matej Praprotnik from the Chemistry Institute.

Križan from the IJS's department for experimental elementary particles physics has won EUR 2.4 million for a five-year project termed Flavour Anomalies with Advanced Particle Identification MEthods (FAIME), which will try to identify new phenomena in elementary particles, focussing on the B mesons.

The IJS hopes it could revolutionise elementary particle physics and humanity's understanding of the development of space and of nature in general.

Muševič, head of the department for physics of hard particles, has won around EUR 2.5 million for LOGOS (Light-Operated Logic Circuits from Photonic Soft-Mmatter).

The project aims to develop futuristic technology of logic circuits made of liquid crystals which will be powered exclusively by light.

An exceptional scientific challenge, LOGOS aims far beyond existing technologies venturing into a completely unresearched territory, the IJS said in Tuesday's release.

Its goals attained, it would bring about a technological revolution, transforming data centres and optical telecommunications.

Both IJS projects will be carried out in collaboration with the Ljubljana Faculty of Mathematics and Physics.

The ERC will also provide around EUR 2.5 million for a five-year project related to biomedicine to be carried out by Praprotnik, head of the Chemistry Institute's theoretical department.

MULTraSonicA (Multiscale Modeling and Simulation Approaches for Biomedical Ultrasonic Applications) will research the interactions of ultrasound with microbubbles and submicron gas vesicles in biological fluids.

The aim is to use new simulation models to understand the control of ultrasound delivery of medicines and activation of cells in target areas in tissues.

Almost 1,900 research projects from the EU were assessed as part of the ERC Advanced Grant 2019 competition and only 185 or 9.8% have received funding.