With funding of 54 million euro under the FRP’s sixth funding program (FP6) for a total of 184 projects, the University of Stuttgart led the way among German universities. The University also was among the top German universities recipients under FP7, which lasted from 2007 to 2013, by garnering 94 million euros for funding a total of 248 projects.
European Research Council (ERC)
The ERC funds groundbreaking, visionary research and is oriented toward top-flight researchers at various career stages. Success in ERC grants has come to be recognized as a hallmark of international competitiveness for European universities.
ERC-Grants at the University of Stuttgart
European Research Council projects and subventions fall into three categories:
- Starting Grants for young scientists beginning an independent research career and wishing to start a working group.
Funding per grant: up to 1.5 million euro
- Consolidator Grants for researchers whose working group is in its consolidation phase.
Funding per grant: up to 2 million euro
- Advanced Grants for established investigators with an outstanding research track record. The Advanced Grant is one of the world’s most prestigious research grants.
Funding per grant: up to 2.5 million euro
University of Stuttgart's scientists beeing awarded by an ERC Grant up to now:
Professor Oliver Röhrle works on biomechanical simulations of the body. The computer models he developed among other things help to simulate the motion sequences of people with leg amputations. “In this way, we can make a valuable contribution to improving the interaction between stump and shank,” Röhrle explains.
- Grant recipient: Prof. Oliver Röhrle, Institute of Applied Mechanics (Civil Engineering), Chair II
- Project: “LEAD: Lower Extremity Amputee Dynamics: Simulating the Motion of an above-knee amputee’s stump by means of a novel EMG-integrated 3D musculoskeletal forward dynamics modelling approach”
- Term: 2012 - 2017
Using simulations, Prof. Johannes Kästner studies the quantum mechanical tunneling of atoms, which accelerates certain chemical reactions and even makes reactions possible in frigid space. “I’ve been fascinated by tunneling for years,” says Kästner. “Thanks to the EU funding, I can investigate this effect in a comprehensive manner and also significantly expand my research group.”
- Grant recipient: Prof. Johannes Kästner, Institute of Theoretical Chemistry
- Project: "TUNNELCHEM: Atom tunneling in chemistry"
- Term: 2015 - 2020
Normally, interactions such as light refraction or reflection only occur with photons and atoms. In his SIRPOL project, Prof. Hans Peter Büchler investigates a method that can call forth a strong interaction between individual photons (light particles). It originates with the observation that there is a strong interaction between Rydberg atoms (atoms with a specific electron charge) and that they change their wave function in the presence of a photon.
- Recipient: Professor Hans Peter Büchler, Institute of Theoretical Physics III
- Project: "SIRPOL: Strongly-interacting Rydberg Slow Light Polaritons"
- Term: 2016 - 2021
Prof. Albrecht Schmidt supervises the AMPLIFY project that deals with enhancing human perceptivity through interactive digital technologies. The objectives are artificial cognitions and synthetic reflexes that can be deployed intuitively and naturally to give humans new computer-aided capabilities.
- Recipient: Prof. Albrecht Schmidt, Institute for Visualization and Interactive Systems
- Project: "AMPLIFY: Amplifying Human Perception through Interactive Digital Technologies"
- Term: 2016 - 2021
Controlling long range interactions in quantum gases
Quantum systems with long-range interactions offer new possibilities for secure data transmission and quantum computing. Prof. Tilman Pfau and his team study the transformation of photons in atomic gases through efficient absorption. This interaction is crucial for data transmission.
- Recipient: Professor Tilman Pfau, Institute of Physics (5)
- Project: "LIQAD: Long-range Interacting Quantum Systems and Devices"
- Term: 2011 - 2016
Illustration of electrical fields of single molecular charges by means of quantum sensors
For the second time already the European Research Council, ERC, is awarding the physicist, Professor Jörg Wrachtrup from the University of Stuttgart one of the renowned ERC “Advanced Investigator Grants“ for experienced excellent researchers.
For some time now it has been known that quantum sensors set new sensitivity records and that single protons, for example, can be “weighed”. However, up to now this was only possible under very special ambient conditions, for example in an ultra-high vacuum and at very low temperatures. As a result of the first ERC grant, the contents of which was the use of atomic defects in diamonds for quantum technology, Professor Wrachtrup and his team succeeded in also using these methods under ambient conditions. With this a multitude of applications fields, particularly in materials sciences and biomedical diagnostics, were developed.
Some of these findings will now be continued and intensified in the framework of the new ERC grant. "I wish to use this grant to show how it is possible with the aid of quantum sensors to track electrical fields with to date unachieved sensitivity and spatial resolution and with this to track, for example single electrical charges“, emphasised the scientist. In so doing Professor Wrachtrup wishes to pursue two application directions. “On the one hand we will investigate chemical, respectively biochemical reactions to the nanometre scale, even in very complex environments, such as for example in cells. With this we wish to track, among other things, the spatial dynamics of action potentials in nerve cells and understand through this how nerve cells work together in the brain, for example. On the other hand we will make precision measurements on the interaction of electrical charges and search for ‘new interactions‘, that could, for example, be responsible for the explanation of the dark matter in the universe.
- Recipient: Professor Jörg Wrachtrup, Institute of Physics (3)
- Project: Illustration of electrical fields of single molecular charges by means of quantum sensors
- Duration: 2017 - 2022
- Previous Project: "SQUTEC: Solid State Technology and Metrology Using Spins"
- Duration: 2011 - 2016
In recent years, plasmonics has revolutionized optics. With the help of metallic nanostructures, light can be concentrated on the smallest dimensions using nanoantennas that are much smaller than the wavelength of light. This has led to new interaction effects between light and matter, e.g., in sensor technology or nonlinear optics Professor Giessen and his group examine the ultimate limits to interactions of individual nanoantennas with separate objects, molecules, and proteins as well as chiral interactions. This work is intended to bridge the gap between basic research and potential application and between the fields of physics, chemistry, and molecular biology.
- Recipient: Professor Harald Giessen, Institute of Physics (4)
- Project: "COMPLEXPLAS: Complex Plasmonics at the Ultimate Limit: Single Particle and Single Molecule Levels"
- Term: 2013 - 2018
Professor Hans-Joachim Werner and his team experimentally measure as precisely as possible molecular physical and chemical properties in order to understand how molecules react with one another. Werner summarizes his research this way: “Our goal is to develop theories and computer programs for simulating chemical reactions. Starting from the fundamental physical laws and natural constants, we want to predict the properties and reactivity of molecules without utilizing empirical information.”
- Recipient: Prof. Hans-Joachim Werner, Institute of Theoretical Chemistry
- Project: “ASES: Advancing computational chemistry with new, accurate, robust and scalable electronic structure methods"
- Term: 2013 - 2018
The behavior of colloidal particles able to actively move in fluids is the subject of research by Prof. Clemens Bechinger and his team. Among other capabilities, such particles can build swarms. Also being investigated are both the preconditions for the creation of these particle swarms and ideal navigation strategies for use in steering the swarms to specified targets. This latter capability could be of great interest for the targeted delivery of drugs in biological systems.
- Recipient: Professor Clemens Bechinger, Institute of Physics (2)
- Project: "ASCIR: Active Suspensions with Controlled Interaction Rules"
- Term: 2016 - 2021
Activities under the European Institute of Technology (EIT) Framework
From its headquarters in Budapest, the European Innovations and Technology Institute since 2008 has operated with the goal of bridging the gap between research and (entrepreneurial) innovation in Europe, between idea and product, laboratory and market, and students to enterprises. On the practical level, this happens through a series of cluster associations called “Knowledge and Innovation Communities” or KICs.
The University of Stuttgart participates in an InnoEnergy KIC focusing on renewable energies. The consortium’s goals include cost reduction in the energy production chain, safety gains, and the reduction of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.