For the second time, precoR will finance six precompetitive projects

The SNSF precoR panel has evaluated 24 applications submitted for the second call. Once again, six outstanding science projects with a clear vision and original and innovative applications have been awarded a grant.

​The transition of a target-oriented project from basic, "non-predictive" research to a stage that enables predictive engineering approaches is challenging. The goal of the precoR programme (funding of precompetitive research) is to support research activities in a project to the point where a commercial application becomes viable.

Despite the thematic limitation to materials science and fabrication technology, a substantial number of applications – 24 in all were submitted by the February deadline. Compared to the first call in 2014, three times as many project proposals were submitted by universities of applied sciences during the second call. The proposals were scientifically evaluated by a panel consortium consisting of members of the National Research Council of the SNSF, the Commission for Technology and Innovation CTI and SwissMEM. The available budget is sufficiently large to finance six of the 24 applications submitted, which corresponds to a success rate of 25%. The high success rate achieved by projects from universities of applied sciences is particularly noteworthy: two of the six approved projects were proposed by researchers at Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften (ZHAW), while another university of applied sciences (Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana) is participating in a third project.

The following six projects have been awarded funding:

  • Bioprinted kidney model for nephrotoxicity assessment, Ursula Graf-Hausner (ZHAW)
  • Photonic Damascene Fabrication Process for High Q integrated SiN Photonic Circuits, Tobias Jan Kippenberg (EPFL)
  • True Color Pigments, Dominik Brühwiler (ZHAW)
  • Developing an innovative type of asphalt joints using induction heating technology, Manfred Partl (EMPA)
  • A supramolecular approach to mechanically resistant adhesives with on-demand debonding characteristics, Christoph Weder (UniFR)
  • Catalyst Substrates from Engineered Structures for state of the art powertrains: High pollutant conversion (including cold-start) with low precious metal requirements, Panagiotis Dimopoulos Eggenschwiler (EMPA)

The experience gained in the context of the precoR calls will be integrated into the Bridge programme, which is included in the SNSF’s multi-year planning 2017-2020. With Bridge, the SNSF and the CTI aim to accelerate the transfer of research findings and their application.