ERC Grants for commercializing academic research projects
The grants are intended to prove feasibility and accelerate the translation of academic research projects into the application and commercialization phase, including founding start-up companies
Prof. Yoav Shechtman
Prof. Netanel Korin
Prof. Shahar Kvatinsky
Three Technion researchers were recently awarded advanced Proof of Concept grants from the European Research Council (ERC). Each researcher will receive €150,000, to be used for advancing the translation of their academic research into commercial applications, including founding start-up companies. These grants are only offered to researchers who have previously received ERC grants.
Associate Professor Shahar Kvatinsky of the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering will use his grant to build computers with much faster data processing capabilities. Thanks to an innovative computer architecture, the computing will take place in the computer’s memory rather than in the actual data processor. These innovative computers will be significantly faster than existing computers and will facilitate the management and analysis of intricate data sets in diverse sectors, such as finance, healthcare, and social media platforms.
Associate Professor Yoav Shechtman of the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering will use his grant to develop sensitive detection of protein concentrations using computational microscopy. The researchers developed a simple and fast way to measure concentrations of protein in samples of blood or other bodily fluids. The method is based on a microscope with the addition of an optical element designed in Prof. Shechtman’s laboratory. The system tracks fluorescent particles attached to the protein of interest through antibodies. The images are processed by a computer, and the protein concentration is extracted algorithmically. This new method is being studied to monitor protein in the immune system of cancer patients undergoing biological treatment, to enable early detection of side effects and, hopefully, provide preventive treatment. The research is being carried out in collaboration with the Rambam Health Care Campus.
Associate Professor Netanel Korin of the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering is using his grant to develop a solution aimed at preventing blood clots in prosthetic heart valves, a problem related to the abnormal flow in these valves. He was inspired by passive flow control phenomena observed in nature and applied in the aerodynamics industry. Following this principle, a slight modification in the physical structure of a fish fin, bird wing, or airplane wing can induce a significant change in flow characteristics, providing substantial benefits for swimming or flying. Similarly, Prof. Korin and his team aim to develop a novel artificial valve that utilizes passive flow control and redirects a portion of the blood flow to “wash” areas where blood clots are likely to accumulate. The research in Prof. Korin’s lab is led by Yevgeniy Kreinin as part of his doctoral research.