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Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres

Country: Germany

Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres

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1,528 Projects, page 1 of 306
  • Funder: EC Project Code: 101111302
    Funder Contribution: 189,687 EUR

    Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) play an important role in our daily life with a variety of applicants. To this day, significant resources have been dedicated to the development of high-performance LIBs, particularly the research necessary to identify the optimum electrolyte materials to solve the safety issue. Up to this point polymer electrolytes are widely investigated for their potential to improve batteries’ safety. Given the relative high ionic conductivity, λ, around 10-3 S/cm, poly-ethylene oxide (PEO) is frequently utilized as the polymer matrix in this scenario. But compared to the commercial liquid electrolyte, the ionic conductivity of polymer electrolyte needs to be improved for at least ten times. It is widely acknowledged that the transportation of Li+ is directly related to the segmental and backbone motions of the polymer indicating to improve the ionic conductivity by structure optimization of polymer. Instead of using the traditional trial and error method, modern innovative studies intend to develop a microscopic picture of the Li–ion transportation process to instruct the polymer optimization but it is difficult with in-house laboratory methods. This project aims at designing a polymer with high ionic conductivity. To achieve this goal, the microscopic view of Li+ transportation in polymer will be elucidated through molecular dynamics (MD) simulation and the polymer dynamics will be clarified with MD simulation and Quasi-elastic Neutron Scattering (QENS).

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 678215
    Overall Budget: 1,317,500 EURFunder Contribution: 1,317,500 EUR

    In 2012, the ATLAS and CMS experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN announced a ground-breaking discovery: both experiments observed a new particle. Subsequent measurements confirmed it to be a Higgs boson. In the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics, which describes the known elementary particles and their interactions, as well as in many extensions of the SM, the Higgs boson is fundamentally linked to the question of how elementary particles acquire mass. A thorough program of measurements is necessary to determine if this particle has indeed the properties of a Higgs boson as predicted by the SM or one of its extensions, and to gain a complete understanding of the mass generation for elementary particles. Studies of the Higgs sector now open a unique window to the discovery of New Physics. The aim of the presented project is to perform a detailed analysis of the Higgs differential distributions measured in Higgs decays to diphotons and to four leptons, using the data collected by the ATLAS experiment between 2015 and 2021. These distributions are sensitive to effects from New Physics and will be confronted with precise theoretical predictions. In this way, the indirect extraction of Higgs couplings and the search for effects from new heavy particles can lead to a discovery of New Physics. The detailed analysis of differential distributions goes substantially beyond the standard analyses based on measured event counts. A dedicated program is needed to achieve these goals. With an ERC Starting Grant, I will assemble a team to make decisive contributions to these challenging measurements and build a unique research program. As a former leader of the ATLAS Higgs-to-diphoton physics group and current leader of the electron and photon reconstruction group I am in an ideal position to establish a strong research team. This team will build on the important contributions to the Higgs boson discovery and property studies made by my Young Investigators Group.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 713707
    Overall Budget: 150,000 EURFunder Contribution: 150,000 EUR

    Emerging resistance towards antimicrobials marks this decade and the lack of therapy options especially against gram-negative pathogens underscores the need for optimization of current diagnostics, therapies and prevention of the spread of these organisms. In this proposal the PIs medical microbiology background and previous ERC-funded work on molecular resistance markers is exploited towards the development of a diagnostic assay for resistance profiling and genotyping. The implementation of the molecular StG-knowledge based RAPID (Rapid Antimicrobial susceptibility testing and Phylogenetic Identification) Assay could change the current paradigm of culture-based microbiological diagnostics and facilitate surveillance of multi-drug resistance. The overall objective is to initiate steps of pre-commercialization. Through the simultaneous pursuit of exploratory and exploitative innovation activities RAPID will be developed as a diagnostic tool for clinical microbiological laboratories. By applying our molecular assay in phase II diagnostic trials on a world-wide collection of multi-drug resistant pathogens, measures of diagnostic accuracy will be obtained. In addition to the assessment and critical appraisal of the diagnostic test, I will partner with the technology transfer company Ascenion, and apply for the CE label for RAPID. The CE mark will open the door for further commercialization opportunities such as licensing or offering the RAPID Assay as a service. In addition, market research, protection of intellectual property and contacts with end users and pharmaceutical industry for partnering activities will be central to the project. The implementation of RAPID as a tailored and cost-effective diagnostic tool in clinical microbiology laboratories holds promise to provide critical information for decision-making with respect to antibiotic use and for improvement of disease surveillance in multi-drug resistant nosocomial infections, and thus is of high priority.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 891418
    Overall Budget: 174,806 EURFunder Contribution: 174,806 EUR

    The interaction between metals and microscopic plant-like organisms called phytoplankton is a key link to global carbon balance. More than a half of atmospheric CO2 on earth is taken up by phytoplankton, but iron (Fe) limits their growth in large regions of the oceans. Ongoing ocean acidification and global warming will influence Fe-stress in marine phytoplankton and hence the biological carbon fixation. Key existing knowledge gaps are the pathways by which phytoplankton take up Fe, and influences of chemical conditions in the microenvironment surrounding algal cells (i.e., phycosphere) on Fe speciation and bioavailability. This knowledge represents an impediment to understanding the complex effects of climate change on Fe uptake and oceanic carbon fixation. The project ‘Phycosphere Fe’ will determine chemical conditions and Fe speciation in the phycosphere of model phytoplankton species, quantify the role of phycosphere Fe speciation in Fe bioavailability, and investigate influences of climate change (i.e., warming and increased CO2) on Fe-algae interfacial processes. The project is key to the assessment of Fe bioavailability, growth and CO2 fixation of phytoplankton in current and future oceans, which make key contributions to global carbon sequestration. The project will improve our ability to model phytoplankton dynamics and predict biological carbon fixation in a changing ocean.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 101108340
    Funder Contribution: 189,687 EUR

    Microbes in soil drive ecosystem services defining life on the Earth. Translocation of these microbes is key features in the spatial exploration of soil. This directly impacts major ecological processes such as niche colonization and the development of soil structure, but knowledge of how microbes migrate in soil is scarce. A potential universal mechanism is fungal hyphae mediated transport (FHMT) where bacteria use hyphae of fungi as a route to translocate in a directed manner. However, this has been solely observed in the laboratory, but not in soil where single-cell level studies are restricted by technical limits. MICOL-FUNTRANS overcomes these limitations by developing and exploiting a novel system combining microfluidics, microbiological and microscopical methods to i) observe microbial movement in soil-like systems and ii) identify single involved organisms. Micro-channels will provide treatments to compare soil colonization and structure formation with and without FHMT. Ultimately, findings will be upscaled to an ecological level in a dedicated field study using a glacier forefield in the Arctic, which constitutes a unique natural laboratory to study initial soil development as ongoing climate change melts glaciers and frees vast areas of barren soil at present. The results of this project will foster an integrated view on the soil biome and push research on bacterial-fungal interactions to the centre of attention in soil microbiology and related industries. Specifically, knowledge of migration rates of microbes in soil will impact models on nutrient distribution and efforts in bioremediation of contaminated soil. A better understanding of the initial stages of soil structure formation at the micro-scale will impact efforts in soil quality and health preservation related actions, a topic of highest societal and economic interest as the degradation of soil is one of the most pressing environmental threads we are currently facing.

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