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Thursday, 02 May 2019

ICN2 receives one ERC Proof of Concept Grant

The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded additional funding to 54 ERC grant holders via its Proof of Concept Grants. They are meant to explore the commercial or societal potential of their research. The ICN2 Supramolecular NanoChemistry and Materials Group, led by ICREA Prof. Daniel Maspoch, is among the awardees.

Proof of Concept (PoC) grants are worth €150,000 each and can be used, for instance, to explore business opportunities, prepare patent applications or verify the practical viability of scientific concepts. The grants are part of the EU's research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020.

It is the first time that the ICN2 receives one of these grants. The awarded project is led by ICREA Prof. Daniel Maspoch, from the Supramolecular NanoChemistry and Materials Group. They will try to bring closer to the market a new kind of adsorbents to purify water by eliminating its heavy metal ions (arsenium, mercury, etc.).

Previously, in the framework of its ERC-funded project, the group developed a spray-drying technique to support inorganic nanoparticles (INPs) on microscale, porous, metal-organic framework (MOF) superstructures. These structures are spherical beads that combine the excellent adsorption and selective capabilities of both INPs and MOFs. They can also be collected and recycled easily and cheaply. Another important aspect to highlight is the fact that spray-drying (the process optimized for fabricating the beads) is a well-known fabrication method that is widely implemented in industry.

There have been a total of 4 ERC PoC Grants awarded to Spanish institutions. Aside from the ICN2, the other Spanish institutions funded in this call are CSIC, ICFO and the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Congratulations to all the grantees!

Learn more about the awarded projects in: https://erc.europa.eu/news/PoC-recipients-2019-first-round.