University of Glasgow Projects Granted €11.4 Million EU Funding

Glasgow Space Research Lab

Three new projects at the University of Glasgow have received significant funding boosts from the European Commission.


Researchers from the Schools of Engineering, Geographical and Earth Sciences and Mathematics and Statistics will collaborate with European-based universities and businesses on a number of projects.

A total of 123 projects will share the Commission’s €442m budget, with the University of Glasgow and partners receiving a total of €11.7 million.

The funding will be provided by the EC’s Innovative Training Networks (ITN) project, which aims to cultivate a new generation of creative and entrepreneurial researchers.

Supporting Innovation

Directing the evolution of industry, improving water quality and developing robotics with a sense of touch are some of the innovative projects set to benefit from EU funding.

The NeuTouch project, which is set to receive €4.1 million, is led by the Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia in Italy. This project will be boosted by a research contribution from Glasgow University’s Professor Ravinder Dahiya.

Alongside Professor Dahiya, figures from academia and industry in the UK, Germany, Spain and a host of other European countries will contribute to the pioneering robotics project.

Professor Dahiya’s Bendable Electronics and Sensing Technologies (BEST) Group will play a crucial role in the development of self-powered and neuromorphic touch sensors. The project aims to create devices and algorithms to improve tactile perception in robots and prostheses.

Speaking on the announcement, Professor Dahiya said: “I’m pleased and proud to be involved in both the AQUASENSE and NeuTouch projects, which will extend my current research to exciting new areas and provide valuable new training opportunities for early career researchers.”

Cutting-Edge Investment

Another University of Glasgow-led project has received a significant funding boost. The AQUASENSE project – a collaborative endeavour led by Professors Dahiya, Susan Waldron and Marian Scott – was granted more than €4.1 million.

This aims to develop advanced new technology to monitor water quality and provide multidisciplinary training to 15 early-stage researchers.

The project, researchers said, will exploit the “latest advances in the field of flexible and printed electronics, autonomous sensor systems, wireless communication, autonomous underwater robots and drones to improve the data gathering and AI methods and modelling to improve the analysis of water quality data.”

€3.5 million has been granted to the EVODrops project, led by Professor Thomas Franke of the School of Engineering.

EVODrops aims to provide industry with “new method to help direct the further evolution of natural enzymes which have already proven useful in industrial processes,” as well as creating new molecules with “valuable” industrial applications.

Pioneering work in the groundbreaking field of directed evolution is already underway. Frances H. Arnold’s work in the directed evolution of enzymes was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry this month.

Professor Franke said: “The EVODrops project will use cutting-edge droplet-based microfluidics technology to improve the efficiency and scope of directed evolution approaches for accelerated protein engineering.

“It’s an approach which has a lot of potential applications in a wide range of industries, and we’re looking forward to working with our partners on the project, which include Harvard and Hong Kong Universities, ESPCI Paris, and several major companies such as ThermoFisher and BASF.”

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