Success for WWSC researchers in the annual open calls

The 2023 funding decisions for the Swedish research councils Vetenskapsrådet and Formas were announced in early November. Among the awardees were several WWSC affiliated researchers who will receive financing for 3-4 year projects within the areas of natural science and engineering.

Vetenskapsrådet (VR) is the largest governmental research funding body in Sweden, and supports high quality scientific endeavours in all fields, with an emphasis on fundamental research that can have a societal benefit. At KTH Royal Institute of Technology, several WWSC affiliates received support for projects this year.
Professor István Furó will research the molecular environments of alkali ions in batteries, while Assistant Professor Yuanyuan Li will develop new bio-based ultrasound transparent electrodes, and Professor Fredrik Lundell will perform modelling of nanofibril dynamics in flowing systems. On the biological side, Docent Lauren McKee will develop new stable enzymes for the biorefinery, while Associate Professor Per-Olof Syrén will work on light-driven reactions in a process known as photobiocatalysis.

At Linköping University, Professor Xavier Crispin received support from VR for an investigation into conductive polymer electrodes for vanadium flow batteries. At Chalmers University of Technology, Associate Professor Merima Hasani was awarded support to look into some overlooked chemical aspects of alkaline cellulose solutions. Finally, Dr Amparo Jiménez-Quero will develop techniques to obtain compounds from fungal biomass to develop new ways to combat infections. Dr Jiménez-Quero is currently a Researcher at KTH but will soon begin a position as WWSC Assistant Professor at Chalmers, and the new VR project will be performed there.

There was also good news from the research council Formas, which supports research and innovation with environmental objectives, and projects that aim to support sustainable development. This year, KTH Professor Karin Odelius was awarded support for a 3-year project to develop recyclable insulation materials. Within the WWSC, Prof Odelius focusses on green chemistry as it applies to polymer synthesis and the functionalisation of biobased polymers. In addition Assistant Professor Yuanyuan Li received funding in the annual call for early-career researchers for her project on multifunctional wood aerogels.

Many of the above-mentioned projects are directly in line with WWSC objectives, while others pursue similar approaches and techniques. The competition for financing from VR and Formas is always fierce, and many deserving projects miss out every year. But the large number of successful projects from WWSC affiliates this year shows that there is support at the national level for our goals and our approaches.

Congratulations to all of the grant winners this year!


Text and illustration: Lauren McKee, KTH