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Posted: February 23, 2009

Major European grant to support ground-breaking research in energy and sustainability

(Nanowerk News) A major new grant of €2.5M will support ground-breaking research in energy and sustainability at The University of Nottingham.
The award, made to Professor Martin Schröder in the School of Chemistry, will be used to develop new ideas and techniques at the cutting-edge of this field over the next five years.
The funding comes in the form of an Advanced Grant from the newly-established European Research Council (ERC). The ERC Advanced Grant scheme aims to identify and support the very best and most creative researchers in Europe, via consolidated and flexible funding to pursue speculative and ground-breaking research.
It will support new research projects and ideas across the physical sciences at The University of Nottingham in the area of energy and sustainability. Researchers are working to develop new nanoscale framework polymers for the storage and activation of gases — notably hydrogen — and volatile organic compounds, new catalysts for the reversible oxidation and photochemical production of hydrogen from water, and the clean and selective recovery of precious and value metals from process streams and ores by supramolecular recognition and binding.
Professor Schröder, Head of Inorganic Chemistry within the School of Chemistry, said: “I am delighted to have won this award, which will give us consolidated funding for our research over the next five years.
“Many of the inventions and discoveries required in the fields of energy and sustainability have probably not even been thought of, and to have flexible funding over an extended period is essential to try and test new ideas and new methodologies. Moreover, research in the physical sciences will play a key role in developing the new energy technologies of the future.”
Professor Schröder has received a number of prestigious awards for his research from the Royal Society of Chemistry including the Corday-Morgan Medal and Prize, the Tilden Lectureship and Medal, the Award for Chemistry of Transition Metals, and in November 2008 he received the Award for Chemistry of the Noble Metals and their Compounds. He has previously held a Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship and is current holder of a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award.
In 2005 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Technical University of Tallinn, Estonia and has held visiting professorships at the University of Toronto, University of Dunedin and Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg. He was Head of the School of Chemistry at The University of Nottingham from 1999-2005.
The ERC grant underlines The University of Nottingham’s reputation as a centre of excellence in the areas of energy and sustainability research.
The European Research Council (ERC) is the first European funding body set up to support investigator-driven frontier research. Its main aim is to stimulate scientific excellence by supporting and encouraging the very best, truly creative scientists, scholars and engineers to be adventurous and take risks in their research. The scientists are encouraged to go beyond established frontiers of knowledge and the boundaries of disciplines.
Being 'investigator-driven', or 'bottom-up', in nature, the ERC approach allows researchers to identify new opportunities and directions in any field of research, ensuring that funds are channelled into new and promising areas of research with a greater degree of flexibility. ERC grants are awarded on the sole criterion of scientific excellence. The ERC hopes that its grants will help to bring about new and unpredictable scientific and technological discoveries — the kind that can form the basis of new industries, markets, and broader social innovations of the future.
Source: University of Nottingham
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