Mega grant for functional molecular systems

The TU/e division of Molecular Science &Technology, and associated researchers of the universities of Groningen and Nijmegen have been awarded a Gravity Grant (‘Zwaartekrachtsubsidie’) of 26.9 million euro for setting up a research center for functional molecular systems.

According to main applicant prof.dr. Bert Meijer, the three universities will get to play an equal role within the research Center for Functional Molecular Systems (FMS). That means roughly a third of the grant will go to TU/e. The center will offer four research programs that focus on development of functional materials, molecular motors, and tiered catalysis, with an emphasis on non-equilibrium processes. Training young researchers will also be an important part of FMS.

“This center has sprung from the minds of a group of people who’ve known each other for a long time, and who’ve shaped this research area in the Netherlands and the world”, Meijer says. “This grant stresses the importance of crossing borders of disciplines and departments.”

The participating division of Molecular Science & Technology includes Meijer’s group and those of his colleagues René Janssen, prof.dr. Rint Sijbesma, and Luc Brunsveld. It represents one of the subareas of the TU/e Institute for Complex Molecular Systems. In Groningen and Nijmegen, FMS will also tie in with the multidisciplinary institutes that are already there.

The Gravity program of the ministerial department of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) has succeeded the Depth strategy research schools program (Dieptestrategie onderzoeksscholen), the last grants for which were awarded in 1998. Six teams of expert scientists have been granted a total 167 million euro for a ten-year period.

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