Four Technion researchers recently won ERC Consolidator Grants from the European Commission for Research, a record number of winners in one year for the Technion in this track
Four young researchers from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology recently won European Commission for Research (ERC) Consolidator Grants. This is a record number of winners in one year for the Technion in this track. The prestigious Consolidator Grants encourage excellence in science under the Horizon European Research and Development Framework Program, and are designed to support researchers who come up with pioneering, groundbreaking research ideas in the formative stages of the research team and workplan. Each grant is approximately €2 million per researcher.
The grant winners from the Technion are:
Professor Anat Levin from the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering received the grant for SpeckleCorr – a new technology for characterizing materials, and for fluorescent imaging in biological tissue. This technology is expected to influence medicine and the analysis and creation of materials.
Professor Moran Bercovici from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering received the grant for Fluidic Shaping – a new concept that leverages the fundamental physics of interfacial phenomena to rapidly fabricate complex optical components of any size (from millimeters to meters) with sub-nanometer surface roughness, without the need for any mechanical processing such as grinding or polishing.
This innovative approach has the potential to revolutionize the fabrication of optical components both on earth and in space.
Professor Gal Shmuel from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering received the grant for EXCEPTIONAL – a theory for developing novel metamaterials: engineered materials exhibiting properties not found in natural materials. Prof. Shmuel focuses on dynamic metamaterials, aimed at controlling elastic and acoustic waves. These metamaterials have far-reaching potential applications such as noise reduction, energy harvesting, ultrasonography, camouflage, and more.
Professor Eitan Yaakobi from the Henry and Marilyn Taub Faculty of Computer Science received the grant for DNA Storage, an innovative approach that is expected to revolutionize information storage while dramatically reducing storage volume, maintaining long-term information, and significantly reducing the energy and economic cost. Prof. Yaakobi’s developments are expected to accelerate the achievement of this important technological goal.
ERC Consolidator Grants are given to prominent researchers of all ages and nationalities, who have accumulated between 7 and 12 years of experience after receiving their doctorate and who show achievements that testify to their promising future. The research must be conducted through a public or private research body operating in one of the EU countries or one of the countries associated with the program. Funding is up to €2 million per grant, and sometimes an additional €1 million – to support the purchase of unique equipment or the use of dedicated infrastructure – is provided over five years, mainly to cover the cost of hiring the winning researchers and other staff to form research teams.
“This is a new Technion record for a single year, and an impressive academic achievement, especially in light of a 25% increase in submissions in 2021,” said Technion Vice President of Research, Professor Koby Rubinstein. ERC grants are competitive grants designed to support pioneering research and development. The winners demonstrate excellence in a wide range of fields – biological and medical imaging, innovative optics, material engineering, and information storage in biological molecules. The current news comes hot on the heels of a further nine ERC wins by Technion researchers this year, bringing great pride to the Technion. These achievements will promote both the winning researchers and the Technion’s international prestige.”