29 April 2020

Autonomous air-traffic control, white light-emitting diodes from perovskites, electronic components that harvest energy, and research into how embryos can survive in a foreign uterus are some of the new projects to receive funding in the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.

A road leading to a sunset. 2020 is written on the road with white paint, above it an arrow is pointing in the direction of the horizon.
Horizon 2020 Rasica
The largest new project at LiU in Horizon 2020 is in artificial intelligence, and receives SEK 500 million. AI researcher Fredrik Heintz is coordinating one of the four subprojects: TAILOR – a network of top-flight research centres that will focus on the fundamental requirements for trustworthy AI. More details are given in the link to the right.
Contracts are now ready to be signed for several other Horizon 2020 projects.

Autonomous air-traffic control

LiU researchers are participating in an AI project in autonomous air-traffic control. The MAHALO project has a budget of around SEK 10 million, and its participants come from Luftfartsverket, Eurocontrol (which manages the air space above Europe), LiU researchers at the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Computer and Simulering kommandobrygga flygledningJonas Lundberg Photo credit THOR BALKHEDInformation Science, and research centres in Italy and the Netherlands. LiU will receive EUR 188,450 in the project.

Mahalo, which is the Hawaiian word for “thank you”, denotes “Modern ATM (air traffic management) via human/automation learning optimisation”. Its goal is to create functional and reliable collaboration between the human air-traffic controller and the artificial intelligence in the systems. Leading the project at LiU are Jonas Lundberg and Carl Westin, from the Division for Media and Information Technology and Magnus Bång, from the Department of Computer and Information Science. It will run for 30 months, starting on 1 June 2020 and ending on 1 December 2022.

Materials to harvest energy

Scientists at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics are participating in the SYMPHONY project, which runs for 4 years and has a total budget of EUR 6.8 million (approximately SEK 70 million). LiU will receive EUR 290,000 from the project, which has partners from Austria, Germany, Sweden and France.
“Symphony” is an acronym for “Smart hybrid multimodal printed harvesting of energy”, and the aim of the project is to develop new organic materials that can be used to harvest and store energy from mechanical vibrations. The energy can subsequently be used to power sensors.
“One example of its use is to monitor vibrations in large wind-power units, which could significantly increase their efficiency”, says Isak Engquist, who is leading the research at LiU.

LiU will contribute the technology required to print the supercondensors required to store the energy before it is used to power the sensors. The project is already under way, and will end in 2024.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie exchanges

LiU will also play host to two researchers within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie programme under Horizon 2020. This is an exchange programme in which researchers are given funding to carry out research at the hosting university.

Offering hope to infertile women

Heriberto Rodriguez-Martinez, professor emeritus at the Division of Children’s and Women’s Health will host a postdoc who will spend two years studying whether embryos that are foreign to the mother’s immune system can survive in vitro fertilisation (IVF). In the conventional IVF technique, eggs are harvested from the woman and fertilised outside of the body, to be subsequently implanted as an embryo into the woman’s uterus.
The Alloem project, “Maternal Immune response to allogeneic embryos”, will study a development of this technique in which the egg is provided by a donor. This means that not only the sperm but also the egg are foreign for the woman’s immune system.

“We are investigating whether the reactivity of the immune system is the cause of these allogenic (fully foreign) embryos being rejected and failing to survive the transfer. We are looking at molecular phenomena that take place and we are interested in the embryo, the uterus, and the placenta”, says Heriberto Rodriguez-Martinez.
The Alloem project has been awarded EUR 191,852.

White LEDs from perovskites

In a second Marie Skłodowska-Curie exchange, Feng Gao, professor in the Division of Biomolecular and Organic Electronics, will host a postdoc who will work with a new type Sai Bai och Zhongcheng Yuan, Biomolekylär och organisk elektronik; Biomolecular and Organic ElectronicsPerovskite for LED near infra red. Photo credit Charlotte Perhammarof perovskite that it is hoped will enable white LEDs to be produced. Perovskites are a family of cheap materials defined by a special crystal structure. In this case, the perovskite consists of organic substances, metals and halides (chlorides, fluorides, bromides, etc.).
The project, “White light-emitting diodes based on organometal halide perovskites”, will run for two years and has received EUR 203,852.

Translated by George Farrants


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