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NCCR MARVEL and NCCR Robotics get next phase fully funded



The Swiss National Science Foundation has awarded the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) MARVEL full funding of 18 million Swiss francs for its second phase, which will run until April 2022. The National Centre of Competence in Research Robotics gets the maximum possible funding level - more than 11 million Swiss francs - for its third and final phase, which will run until the end of 2022.

National Centre of Competence in Research MARVEL

NCCR MARVEL targets the accelerated design and discovery of novel materials, via a materials’ informatics platform of database-driven high-throughput quantum simulations. In its report, the SNSF Research Council praised MARVEL’s scientific excellence and performance, national networking, cooperation and structural achievements. “The Scientific Advisory Board continues to be highly impressed and inspired by the results obtained in MARVEL,” said Professor Giulia Galli of the University of Chicago, Chair of MARVEL’s Scientific Advisory Board. “With the presence of a critical mass of world-leading researchers in the Centre, it is exceptionally well positioned to advance computational materials science and to discover technologically transformative materials.” 

The funding will allow MARVEL to build on the work done in Phase 1 uniting a group of outstanding computational scientists towards the goals of materials design and discovery. In Phase 2, MARVEL will leverage this community - and the convergence of simulations, data and experiments - to dedicate itself to six ambitious Design-and-Discovery projects, complemented by two Incubator projects and the structural efforts of its “Open Science” and “HPC and Future Architectures” platforms.

The Design-and-Discovery projects address outstanding scientific problems that have promising technological implications for the high-tech, high-value industrial landscape of Switzerland, or more broadly in energy, pharma, and ICT. Phase 2 will initially focus on organic crystals, complex metal alloys, nanomaterials, metal-organic frameworks, correlated oxides, and topological materials, complemented by Incubator efforts on solid-state ionic 

National Centre of Competence in Research Robotics

NCCR Robotics is pulling together top researchers from all over the country with the objective of developing new, human oriented robotic technology for improving our quality of life. They received the maximum possible funding level for its third and final phase, which will run until the end of 2022. The decision follows an exceptionally positive assessment of the Phase 2 achievements by the NCCR Robotics review panel, which praised the scientific results as well as the structural aspects and the activities related to technology transfer, education and communication.

“After the strong performance in the previous years, the NCCR has become even more visible internationally and is now a benchmark for robotics worldwide” stated the panel, chaired by Professor Katharina Fromm from the University of Fribourg. “The NCCR groups have undeniably earned ‘seats at the top table’ of the international robotics research community”. 

In a competitive evaluation of all National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCRs) that are now entering their third phase, the SNSF ranked NCCR Robotics among the best-performing ones. These centres were awarded 73 per cent of their Phase 2 budget to complete Phase 3, which in NCCR Robotics’ case corresponds to more than 11 million Swiss francs, the highest possible funding that could be obtained. 

The funding will allow NCCR Robotics to continue its research on wearablemobile and educational robots for four more years, consolidating past achievement and opening new lines of research.

Author: NCCR MARVEL / Robotics