The grants will allow the scientists to start a research group early in their careers. Receiving a starting grant is exceptional because the success rate is not very high – only 13% of all applicants came through the selection this time. The grants give Applied Sciences and QuTech a significant injection of capital as the amount associated with the grant can go up to EUR 2.5 million per grant.
Who are the five researchers that will receive a grant?
- Daan Brinks (Imaging Physics, AS)
Brinks researches brain activity. He uses proteins that emit light if they spot changes in the membrane potential. He detects the light flashes with a microscope.
- Arjen Jakobi (Bionanoscience, AS)
Using an electron microscope, Jakobi is trying to find where microbial pathogens hide in our cells. He is developing new extremely high resolution techniques at nano scale to map the cells and pathogens.
- Tim Taminiau (QuTech)
- Menno Veldhorst (QuTech)
Taminiau and Veldhorst are both working on techniques to correct errors in future quantum computers. This will be essential given the extreme sensitivity to disruptions of quantum states.
- David Vermaas (Chemical Engineering, AS)
Vermaas is researching electrochemical reactions such as electrolysis. This technique could be used to produce hydrogen gas – an important energy source – from water using electricity. He is also researching methods to purify water efficiently using electrochemical reactions.
In total, the European Research Council (ERC) has awarded 408 grants worth EUR 621 million. Dutch universities and research institutes have been awarded 53 European grants.
The University of Amsterdam stands out with 12 grants. Utrecht has nine, of which three are for the academic hospital. The social sciences are well represented with 23 of the 53 Dutch grants. TU Delft is in third place with five grants. The Universities of Twente and Eindhoven each have two grants.
Bas Belleman (HOP), Saskia Bonger and Tomas van Dijk (Delta)