Progetti europei

Progetti in corso


Project acronym: BioPoweredCL
Project title: Bright and biologically powered chemiluminescent labels for cell and tissue imaging
Grant Agreement Number: 949087
Duration: 60 months
Funding scheme: Horizon 2020 - ERC-STG
Call identifier: H2020-ERC-2020-STG
Principal Investigator: Prof. Alessandro Aliprandi


Imaging is one of the most powerful technique to visualize molecules, tissues, to understand and follow processes and it is the most used diagnostic tool in vitro and in vivo, Current biomedical imaging techniques can have high sensitivity, good spatial/temporal resolution and, in some cases, high tissue penetration but cannot combine all of these desired properties without using harmful radiations (or toxic labels) or very expensive equipment. Optical imaging techniques represent the best compromise among them; however, their ability to scale to human body is precluded. The main restriction of fluorescence imaging is that it requires light excitation which is limited by tissue absorption and scattering. Such limitations are not present in chemiluminescence imaging since light production occurs through a chemical reaction, resulting in higher penetration depth and best sensitivity. However, both natural and artificial chemiluminescent systems require a continuous flow of exogenous reactants since all substrates are irreversibly consumed. BioPoweredCL aims to develop an unprecedented strategy to enable molecular imaging by realizing near infrared luminophores that harvest energy from the cellular respiration chain, in order to emit light without being consumed themselves. BioPoweredCL takes advantage of the most recent progress in artificial light production to develop a novel imaging technique where the absence of an excitation source overcomes the current limitations of fluorescence imaging while the regeneration of the luminophore overcomes the limitations of bioluminescence imaging. If successful it could replace current techniques based on harmful ionizing radiations such as X-rays or γ-rays. To reach such a grand-challenge the work plan is articulated into three different phases: 1) synthesis of new luminophores; 2) electrochemical characterization and energy cell harvesting; 3) in vitro experiments where the full potential of the approach will be validated.


Project acronym: DIRNANO
Project title: Directing the immune response through designed nanomaterials
Grant Agreement Number: 956544
Duration: 48 months
Funding scheme: Horizon 2020 - MSCA - ITN
Call identifier: H2020-MSCA-ITN-2020

Coordinator: Department of Biomedical Sciences, Padova University
Local Coordinator:  Prof. Fabrizio Mancin, Prof. Edmondo Benetti


DIRNANO provides a highly integrated and interdisciplinary training of next-generation Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) at the interface of nanopharmaceutical bioengineering and its translation on preclinical and human immunology. DIRNANO will develop biocompatible nanopharmaceuticals with either “super”-stealth or immune-specific behavior for cancer immunotherapy and vaccination by mapping nanoparticle-immune interactions through two core approaches: 1) inception of novel surface engineering approaches, based on new organic polymers, zwitterionic lipids and conjugation chemistry strategies, 2) engineering of host or microbial-derived modulators of innate immunity (e.g. complement system).

DIRNANO team comprises internationally renowned scientists and industrialists at the forefront of nanoengineering, pharmaceutical sciences, molecular biosciences, commerce and business, thereby generating a unique pan-European macro-environment for interdisciplinary training of ESRs at the highest international level. Through participation of industrial partners, we will furnish ESRs with in-demand industrial and business skills, including process manufacturing, reproducibility and regulatory challenges, intellectual property and commercialization strategies.

DIRNANO will lead to rational engineering of broader libraries of NPs with tunable immune-modulating functions. The combinatorial analysis of new nanomaterial core-coat scaffolds will improve temporal and spatial understanding of biomaterial-innate immune interactions at the molecular level, thereby filling the void in overcoming adverse reactions to nanopharmaceuticals injection. DIRNANO will drive future development of small molecules and biologics-based nanopharmaceuticals through a “low-risk-high gain” perspective and within the context of personalized therapies and precision medicine. As such, DIRNANO, will extensively contribute to European science, education and socioeconomics value, skill retention and brain-gain.



Project acronym: NITROGEN-LIGHT
Project title: Photo(electro)catalytic Nitrogen Fixation
Grant Agreement Number: 894986
Duration: 36 months
Funding scheme: H2020-MSCA-IF (Global Fellowships)
Call identifier: H2020-MSCA-IF-2019
Coordinator: University of Padova (UNIPD)
Supervisor: Prof. Marcella Bonchio
Fellow: Dr. Elisabetta Benazzi

Despite the intensive effort on nitrogen photofixation, there is a clear gap in the design of the catalytic system at the molecular/atomic level: at the same time, the majority of literature examples for nitrogen photo(electro)reduction employed only Uv-Vis semiconductor-based systems with poor control on the molecular aspects of photo(electro)catalysis. NITROGEN-LIGHT lies in the panorama of nitrogen reduction, but offering a new point of view. This project aims to develop a photoelectrolyser to efficiently convert nitrogen to ammonia, but exploiting semiconductor surfaces decorated with controlled molecular assemblies of visible-light sensitisers and nitrogen-activating multi-redox catalysts. The advantage of the molecular design is the possibility to easily tune the redox properties of active sites and the stabilization of nitrogen-derived intermediates, with the final aim of synchronizing photo-induced electron/proton transfer (PCET), lowering the energy barrier and optimizing the quantum efficiency. Success in this task will be instrumental for the fabrication of novel photocathodes for N2RR, to be integrated within a PEC device, in combination with photoanodes for water oxidation. The photoelectrode assembly for the final device will build on the state-of-the-art expertise and recent achievements of the CalTech and the Padova group, while frontier studies on the photophysics of selected molecular assemblies, to be performed with secondment visits at the Prague Institute, will guide the overall component choice and synthetic modification.


Project acronym: PFCsByPlasCat
Project title: Perfluorinated Organic Compounds (PFCs) Degradation using Non-Thermal Plasma Enhanced by Boron Doped Graphene Oxide as Catalyst
Grant Agreement Number: 898422
Duration: 24 months
Funding scheme: H2020-MSCA-IF (Standard European Fellowships)
Call identifier: H2020-MSCA-IF-2019

Coordinator: University of Padova (UNIPD)
Supervisor: Prof. Cristina Paradisi
Fellow: Dr. Kubra Altuntas

Perfluorinated compounds are a group of toxic chemicals that persist in the environment for long periods. These man-made chemicals have been detected in drinking water and groundwater, raising serious concerns about human health. So far, advanced oxidation processes, including Fenton reagents, ozone oxidants, ultraviolet light or catalysts, have shown limited success in reducing and removing these chemicals. The EU-funded PFCsByPlasCat project will test an alternative treatment option known as non-thermal plasmas that produces several reactive species at a time. Various nanocatalysts will be tested, including boron-doped graphene oxide, to maximise the efficiency of the novel hybrid plasma–catalyst process. Real samples of contaminated groundwater will be tested to validate the process.



Project acronym: PHOTO2BIO
Project title: Photo-Organocatalytic CO2 Valorisation into Bioactive Added-Value Molecules
Grant Agreement Number: 891908
Duration: 24 months
Funding scheme: H2020-MSCA-IF (Standard European Fellowships)
Call identifier: H2020-MSCA-IF-2019
Coordinator: University of Padova (UNIPD)
Supervisor: Prof. Marcella Bonchio
Fellow: Dr. Deepak Singh

In my research proposal Photo2Bio, I introduce a conceptually new chemical paradigm for the organocatalytic asymmetric CO2 fixation via synergistic catalysis. This strategy demonstrates its straight to the synthesis of amino acids and diverse complex molecular architectures using renewable sources: light and CO2. The key features of this strategy is to develop a dual catalytic system which can simultaneous activate both coupling partner: the organic substrate and CO2, thus combining two powerful fields of molecular activation: visible light photoredoxcatalysis and organocatalysis. After the development of the discovery phase - development of the dual catalytic system and application to the synthesis of biomolecules - a more applicative execution phase will take place, where organocatalytic magnetic nanoparticles (MN) will be implemented and functionalize to overcome the recovery and catalyst loading issues. This will open the way to environmentally benign industrial applications.

The successful development of proposal is ensured by the merging of diverse skills from hosting group at the University of Padova, led by Prof. Marcella Bonchio i) CO2 valorisation, ii) photocatalyst; the ITM-CNR expert in MN Dr. Alberto Figoli: i) magnetic nanoparticle design and assembly and me: i) photoredox catalysis, ii) asymmetric synthesis and reaction development. Funding of the Photo2Bio will generate great benefit not only for academia and industry through the synthesis of chiral biomolecules but also for the society. At short term new sustainable way to bioactive molecules will be accessed; at a long term this will serve to prove the concept that chemistry useful and can solve global warming by the development of sustainable synthetic methods, thus changing the common people perception of chemistry as toxic and/or dangerous. This will be accomplished by a series of large audience initiative and discussions with scientists and common people.


Project acronym: ProID
Project title: Ultrafast Raman Technologies for Protein Identification and Sequencing
Grant Agreement Number: 964363
Duration: 36 months
Funding scheme: H2020- FETOPEN
Call identifier: H2020-FETOPEN-2018-2019-2020

Coordinator: Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Local Coordinator: Prof. Stefano Corni

The human proteome is the whole set of protein that a human can potentially express. Most of the human proteome is known. However the proteome, being the set of proteins potentially expressed, does not give information regarding the protein really expressed in a specific person or a patient. The possibility of accessing to this fundamental information through a cost and time effective technique will revolutionize our ability to prevent, diagnose and treat most of the human diseases.

This is the commitment of ProID that aims to provide a technological platform able to record single protein Raman spectra with single amino-acid resolution. Namely, by reading the sequence of selected amino-acids along the protein chain, the platform will identify the corresponding protein. To reach this goal we want to combine advanced nanofabrications of plasmonic nanopores with ultrafast time resolved photon detectors and machine learning algorithms. More in details: i) plasmonic nanopores will be exploited to achieve single amino-acid optical excitation and enhanced Raman stimulation; ii) ultrafast and ultrasensitive Raman spectrometers will be obtained by combining the emerging technologies of SPAD (Single Photon Avalanche Diode) arrays with dedicated otpica elements which improve the sensitivity and the speed of the detector, and reduce the number of elements of the array necessary to sample a Raman spectrum; iii) bioinformatics approaches will complete the technological platform by developing specific software for discriminating the Raman spectra of proteins with reduced spectral points. Also, insightful experiments on electrophoretic translocation and augmented fluid viscosity in ultra-confined systems will contribute the molecular motion into the nanopores. Finally, to state of the art in-silico design will support the project by contributing to system optimization and data analyses/interpretation.


Project acronym: SMART THEME
Project title: Surface-supported Molecular ARchiTectures: THEory Meets Experiment
Grant Agreement Number: 842694
Duration: 36 months
Funding scheme: H2020-MSCA-IF (Career Restart panel)
Call identifier: H2020-MSCA-IF-2018
Coordinator: University of Padova (UNIPD)
Supervisor: Prof. Mauro Sambi
Fellow: Dr. Viktoriya Ivanovskaya


The future of nano-electronics has been proposed to be switching soon from bulk 3D materials to lower dimensionalities. The self-assembly of well-designed molecular precursors on appropriate surfaces is a very promising route towards 1D/2D materials with a high degree of long-range order and tailored functionalities. However, the synthesis of well controlled molecular networks is a lengthy and expensive trial-and-error process because growth driving forces are poorly understood and generally hard to investigate. Research in the field can be improved and sped up thanks to optimization guidelines derived from first principles modeling of the elemental steps of the growth process. This project aims to develop a synergistic theoretical and experimental line of research on the on-surface synthesis of novel surface-supported molecular architectures. The candidate is a well experienced computational quantum chemist which will integrate a team of experimentalists and theoreticians expert in the field of molecular assembling and reactivity at surfaces. Novel methods in density functional theory will be employed to simulate complex molecular configurations and reactions paths. On one side the theoretical activity will provide predictive modeling of the mechanisms of surface-assisted reactions and fundamental insights for the interpretation of microscopy and spectroscopy observations. On the other side, precisely targeted experiments will provide the necessary validation of the theoretical approaches employed and will stimulate the most pertinent directions over which the theoretical modeling should be addressed. The ultimate goal of the project will be to build an irreplaceable theoretical tool to rationalize experiments and to drive them towards optimal synthesis routes.

Progetti conclusi


"Novel catalyst materials for the cathode side of MEAs suitable for transportation applications"

Project acronym: CathCat
Type of funding scheme: Collaborative Project
Call identifier: FCH-JU-2011-1
 Annual Implementation Plan topics addressed: Fourth Annual Implementation Plan of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU)

Name of the coordinating persons:  Prof. Dr. Ulrich Stimming
Institution: TechnischeUniversitätMünchen (TUM)

Name of the local Coordinator: Prof. G. Granozzi

Novel low temperature fuel cell (FC) cathode catalyst and support systems will be designed and synthesized. The focus will be on highly active catalyst materials for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) for transportation applications.
 These materials will be fully characterized, benchmarked and validated with a multi-scale bottom up approach in order to significantly reduce the amount of precious metal catalyst loadings (< 0.15 g/kW) and to vastly improve fuel cell efficiency and durability.
CathCat combines groups with experimental as well as theoretical fundamental background, researchers from university and institutes with expertise in fundamental Surface Science, as well as applied systems and strong industry partners with long time experience in FC technology.


Project acronym: COPAC
Project title: Coherent Optical Parallel Computing
Grant Agreement Number: 766563
Duration: 36 months
Funding scheme: H2020- FETOPEN
Call identifier: H2020-FETOPEN-2016-2017

Coordinator: University of Liege
Local Coordinator: Prof. Elisabetta Collini, Prof. Barbara Fresch

COPAC is a transformative novel area in computing both because of the technology, coherent information transfer by ultrafast laser addressing of engineered quantum dots, QD, arrays and because of the specialized parallel processing of large amounts of information. We will make foundational experimental, theoretical and algorithmic innovations to demonstrate a new technological paradigm for ultrafast parallel multi-valued information processing. We aim to develop a ground-breaking nonlinear coherent spectroscopy combining optical addressing and spatially macroscopically resolved optical readout to achieve unprecedented levels of speed, density and complexity. Two key high-risk / high-reward pioneering elements are the quantum engineered coherent concatenation of units and the multidirectional optical detection. Experimental demonstrations on tailored multilayer QD arrays of increasing complexity, integration into a device and novel hardware and matched compilers will be delivered. Preliminary experimental demonstrations of the response of solutions and of QD films are available as is the validation of logic operation in parallel.

We use the dynamic response of the designed QD arrays to implement novel paradigms for parallel information processing. The discrete quantal level structure of nanosystems provides a memory at room temperature. Input will be provided simultaneously to all the levels by broadband laser pulses and the dynamical response will implement the logic in parallel. Disorder and environmental fluctuations are not detrimental because controlled level broadening is essential for the simultaneous multidirectional optical readout at the macroscopic level.

The long term vision of COPAC is the application of atomic and molecular state resolved controlled quantum dynamic processes towards information processing. Within this our targeted breakthrough is a novel prototype device for parallel logic engineered to industry standards and with suitable compilers.



Project acronym: CRESCENDO
Project title: Critical Raw material ElectrocatalystS replacement ENabling Designed pOst-2020 PEMFC
Grant Agreement Number: 779366
Duration: 36 months
Funding scheme: Horizon 2020 - FCH 2 JU
Call identifier: H2020-JTI-FCH-2017

Coordinator: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
Local Coordinator: Prof. Gaetano Granozzi

CRESCENDO will develop highly active and long-term stable electrocatalysts of non-platinum group metal (non-PGM) catalysts for the PEMFC cathode using a range of complementary and convergent approaches, and will redesign the cathode catalyst layer so as to reach the project target power density and durability requirements of 0.42 W/cm2 at 0.7 V, and 1000 h with less than 30% performance loss at 1.5 A/cm2 after 1000 h under the FC-DLC, initially in small and ultimately full-size single cells tested in an industrial environment on an industrially scaled-up catalyst.

The proposal includes the goal of developing non-PGM or ultra-low PGM anode catalysts with greater tolerance to impurities than current low Pt-loaded anodes. It will develop and apply advanced diagnostics methods and tests, and characterisation tools for determination of active site density and to better understand performance degradation and mass transport losses. The proposal builds on previous achievements in non-PGM catalyst development within all of the university and research organisation project partners. It benefits from the unrivalled know-how in catalyst layer development at JMFC and the overarching expertise at BMW in cell and stack testing, and in guiding the materials development to align with systems requirements.



"Direct ElectroChemical Oxidation Reaction of Ethanol: optimization of the catalyst/support assembly for high temperature operation" (DECORE)

 Project acronym : DECORE
 Type of funding scheme: Collaborative project
 Call identifier: FP7-NMP-2011-SMALL-5

 Name of the coordinating persons: Prof. Gaetano Granozzi
 Institution: University of Padua

 Work programme topics addressed: NMP.2012.1.1-1: Rational design of nano-catalysts for sustainable energy production based on fundamental understanding

 The main general goal of DECORE is to achieve the fundamental knowledge needed for the development of a fuel cell (FC) electrode, which can operate efficiently (both in terms of activity and selectivity) as the anode of a direct ethanol (EOH) FC (DEFC) in the temperature range between 150-200 °C (intermediate-T). Such a technology is still lacking in the market. The choice for EOH as an alternative energy source is well founded on the abundance of bioethanol, and on the relatively simpler storage and use with respect to other energy carriers. The intermediate-T is required for an efficient and selective total conversion of EOH to CO2, so exploiting the maximum number of electrons in the DEFC. DECORE will explore the use of fully innovative supports (based on titanium oxycarbide, TiOxCy) and nano-catalysts (based on group 6 metal carbides, MCx, M=Mo,W), which have never been tested in literature as anodes for DEFCs. The new support is expected to be more durable than standard carbon supports at the targeted temperature. The innovative nano-catalysts would be noble-metal free, so reducing Europe’s reliance on imported precious metals. To tailor the needed materials, the active role of the support and nano-catalyst will be studied at atomic level. Demonstrating an activity of such nano-catalyst/support assembly at intermediate-T would open a novel route where DEFCs with strongly reduced production costs would have an impact on a fast industrialisation. The power range for the envisioned application is of the order of hundreds of Watts, i.e. the so called distributed generation, having an impact for devices such as weather stations, medical devices, signal units, auxiliary power units, gas sensors and security cameras. By the end of the project, a bench-top single DEFC operating at intermediate-T will be built and tested.
 1(Coordinator) Gaetano Granozzi, University of Padova (UNIPD)
 2 Julia Kunze, Technical University of München (TUM)
 3 Cristiana Di Valentin, University of Milano-Bicocca (UNIMIB)
 4 Matthias Arenz, University of Copenhagen (UCPH)
 5 Elena Pastor Tejera, University of Laguna, Tenerife (ULL)
 6 Alessandro Lavacchi, CNR(ICCOM)
 7 Martin Batzer, Elcomax GmbH (ELCO)


"Dynamic Covalent Capture: Dynamic Chemistry for Biomolecular Recognition and Catalysis"

Project acronym: DyCoCa
Type of funding scheme: ERC- Starting Grant
Call identifier:

Principal investigator: Prof. Leonard Prins

The objective of this research project is the development of a new methodology for studying and utilizing the noncovalent recognition between two molecular entities, focussing on biomolecular receptors and catalysts.



Project acronym: INSIGHT
Project title: New chemical detection methods based on NMR and nanoparticles
Grant Agreement Number: 640849
Duration: 18 months
Funding scheme: Horizon 2020 – ERC-PoC
Call identifier: H2020-ERC-2014-PoC

Principal Investigator: Prof. Fabrizio Mancin

Chemicals detection is a crucial problems that Chemistry is addressing since its origin and one of the most important in the everyday life (diagnosis, environment analysis). The most common analytical techniques (chromatography, mass spectrometry, Elisa assays) are able to efficiently separate and detect the target compound but provide only indirect information on its identity and may fail in the identification of new compounds. On the other hand, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometry is probably the most powerful technique in identifying organic compounds. Unfortunately, even if highly desired, a robust method that may allow the use of NMR for analysing mixtures of compounds does not exist.

The research activity carried out by Fabrizio Mancin as PI of the ERC project MOSAIC has recently led to the invention of “NMR sensing”, a new method that allow both the detection and identification of organic molecules, based on the use of NMR spectrometry and nanoparticles. In a simplified picture, the nanoparticles added to the sample are able to “capture” and “label” the target molecule in such a way that the NMR experiment sees only the target and is not disturbed by the other compounds present in the sample. In this way, detection, unambiguous identification and quantification of the analyte are simultaneously possible in a single experiment. This method, already covered by a Patent, showed excellent preliminary results and could find several application in the chemical analysis and diagnostic fields.

The goal of this Proof of Concept application is to bring the “NMR sensing” method at the level of an attractive commercial proposal. In particular, the plan include technical testing and preliminary product realization, recruitment of financial and management competencies, collection of information and data capable to indicate the best strategy to create of a start-up company to be presented to venture capitalists/industrial partners to raise further funding.


Project acronym: MMBio
Project title: Molecular Tools for Nucleic Acid Manipulation for Biological Intervention
Grant Agreement Number: 721613
Duration: 48 months
Funding scheme: Horizon 2020 - MSCA - ITN
Call identifier: H2020-MSCA-ITN-2016

Coordinator: The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of The University of Cambridge
Local Coordinator: Prof. Paolo Scrimin, Prof. Fabrizio Mancin


MMbio will bridge the classically separate disciplines of Chemistry and Biology by assembling leading experts from academia and non-academic partners (industry, technology transfer & science communication) to bring about systems designed to interfere therapeutically with gene expression in living cells. Expertise in nucleic acid synthesis, its molecular recognition and chemical reactivity is combined with drug delivery, cellular biology and experimental medicine. This project represents a concerted effort to make use of a basic and quantitative understanding of chemical interactions to develop and deliver oligonucleotide molecules of utility for therapy. Our chemical biology approach to this field is ambitious in its breadth and represents a unqiues opportunity to educate young scientists across sectorial and disciplinary barriers. Training will naturally encompass a wide range of skills, requiring a joint effort of chemists and biologists to introduce young researchers in a structured way to and array of research methodologies that no single research grouping could provide. The incorporation of early-stage and later stage biotechnology enterprises ensures that commercialisation of methodologies as well as the drug development process is covered in this ITN. We hope that MMBio will train scientists able to understand both the biological problem and the chemistry that holds the possible solution and develop original experimental approaches to stimulate European academic and commercial success in this area.


"MOSAIC: Patterning the surface of monolayer-protected nanoparticles to obtain intelligent nanodevices"

Project acronym: MOSAIC
Type of funding scheme: ERC Starting Grants
Call identifier:

Principal investigator: Prof. Fabrizio Mancin

Functional nanoparticles, where an inorganic nanocluster is stabilized by a monolayer of organic molecules, offer unmatched opportunity to build complex structures with simple building blocks and relatively simple manipulations. The main goal of the MOSAIC project is to gain the ability to hierarchically control the self-assembling of metal nanoparticles coating monolayers using supramolecular interactions and take advantage from such ability to obtain complex function from the materials realized.



 "MULTI-valued and parallel molecular logic"

 Project acronym : MULTI
 Type of funding scheme: Collaborative project
 Call identifier: FP7-ICT-2011-8

 Name of the coordinating persons: Prof. Françoise Remacle

 Institution: Chimie Physique Théorique, Université de Liège, Belgium

 Name of the local Coordinator: Dr. Elisabetta Collini

MULTI aims at proposing a new approach to computing at the nanoscale that gives up the notion of the conventional Boolean ‘true-false’ switches. MULTI replaces the familiar sequential model of computation that uses Boolean variables by logic operations that are executed in parallel on devices that have a built-in many state memory and whose inputs and outputs are multivalued. MULTI seeks to design, simulate and experimentally implement proof of principle devices on the atomic and molecular scale.
 In MULTI a single atom, molecule or a supra(bio)molecular assembly acts as a logic element. MULTI plans to take advantage of internal degrees of freedom of such atoms or molecules to implement unconventional logic operations by electrical addressing in the solid state and/or by optical addressing in solution.
 Benefits of MULTI approach are higher information rates for inputs and outputs, enhanced rates of processing due to parallelism and computing in memory and exploration of continuous logic.


"Development of NEXT GENeration cost efficient automotive CATalysts"

 Project acronym : NEXT-GEN-CAT
 Type of funding scheme: Collaborative project
 Call identifier: FP7-NMP-2011-SMALL-5

 Name of the coordinating persons: Dr. Fotios Katsaros
 Institution: NATIONAL CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH "DEMOKRITOS" Institute of Physical chemistry /Nanomaterials & Membranes

 Name of the local Coordinator: Prof. A. Glisenti

 The main objective of NEXTGENCAT proposal is the development of novel eco-friendly nano-structured automotive catalysts utilizing transition metal based nanoparticles that can partially or completely replace the Platinum Group Metals. Based on nanotechnology, low cost nanoparticles will be incorporated into different substrates for the development of efficient and inexpensive catalysts.


"Phonon-Assisted Processes for Energy Tranfer and Sensing"

Project acronym : PAPETS
Type of funding scheme: Collaborative project
Call identifier: FP7-ICT-2013-C

Name of the coordinating persons: Dr. Yasser Omar
Institution: Instituto de Telecomunicações, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal

Name of the local Coordinator: Dr. Elisabetta Collini

There is mounting experimental and theoretical evidence that suggests that coherent coupling of electronic processes to specific vibrational dynamics is essential to selectively drive physiological processes. This project addresses this newly emerging frontier between biology and quantum physics by aiming to determine the role of coherent vibrational dynamics in the efficiency of energy storage in natural and artificial light harvesting systems, as well as in odour recognition. Although these are at first sight two very different biological processes, in both cases their effectiveness is now believed to rely on phonon-assisted mechanisms. In fact, more generally, it is becoming increasingly clear that vibrational dynamics plays a key role in establishing the fundamental connection between structure and function of protein complexes.



Project acronym: PARTIAL-PGMs
Project title: Development of novel, high Performance hybrid TWV/GPF Automotive afteR treatment systems by raTIonAL design: substitution of PGMs and Rare earth materials
Grant Agreement Number: 686086
Duration: 36 months
Funding scheme: Horizon 2020 - NMP
Call identifier: H2020-NMP-2014-2015 

Coordinator: Warrant Group Srl
Local Coordinator: Prof. Antonella Glisenti

To date, three-way catalytic converters (TWCs) have been established as the most effective engine exhaust after treatment system. However, TWCs not only fail to address the issue of particulate matter (PM) emissions but are also the main industrial consumer of Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) mainly Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) and Rare Earth elements (REEs), with the automotive industry accounting for 65%-80% of total EU PGMs demand. The enforcement of new limits on PM emissions (EURO 6c/7) will require higher TWC performance, hence leading to further increase the CRMs content in autocatalysts.

Addressing the necessity of CRMs reduction in catalysis, PARTIAL-PGMs proposes an integrated approach for the rational design of innovative nanostructured materials of low/zero PGMs/REEs content for a hybrid TWC/Gasoline Particulate Filter (GPF) for automotive emissions after-treatment with continuous particulates combustion also focusing on identifying and fine-tuning the parameters involved in their preparation, characterization and performance evaluation under realistic conditions.

PARTIAL-PGMs approach is broad, covering multiscale modeling, synthesis and nanomaterials’ characterization, performance evaluation under realistic conditions as well as recyclability, health impact analysis and Life Cycle Assessment. The rational synthesis of nanomaterials to be used in these hybrid systems will allow for a reduction of more than 35% in PGMs and 20% in REEs content, either by increasing performance or by their replacement with transition metals. The compact nature of the new hybrid system not only will allow its accommodation in smaller cars but will also reduce cold start emissions and light-off times with performance aiming to anticipate both future emission control regulations and new advances in engines technology. Such R&D progress in autocatalysts is expected to pave the way to the widespread use of such low CRMs content materials in other catalytic applications.




Project acronym: PhosChemRec
Project title: Recognition and Cleavage of Biological Phosphates.: Molecular Recognition, Mechanism and Biomedical Applications
Grant Agreement Number:  238679
Type of funding scheme: MSCA-ITN
Name of the coordinating person:  Prof. Florian Hollfelder
Coordinator: University of Cambridge, UK
Local Coordinator: Prof. Paolo Scrimin

Research in this network is centred around understanding the central biological process of phosphate transfer and combines experts in synthetic chemistry, enzyme model building, kinetic analysis, protein chemistry and directed evolution in a concerted effort to gain a quantitative understanding of transition states that are key to understanding how biological systems can achieve phosphate transfer with unrivalled efficiency. Efficiency is also key for drugs, prodrugs or drug delivery reagents that target phosphate bonds.