NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials Principal Investigator, Professor Francesco Stellacci (EPFL), has been awarded a prestigious ERC Advanced Grant by the European Research Council. Worth €2.5 million over five years, the grant will fund research into nature-inspired polymer recycling.
Stellacci’s NaCRe (Nature-inspired Circular Recycling for Polymers) project will attempt to establish a new paradigm for the recycling of plastics. The idea is to take plastics’ main chemical component, polymers, and to try and recycle them in the same way nature does with proteins.
This funding is part of the EU research and innovation program, Horizon 2020. The new grantees will carry out their projects at universities and research centers across 20 EU Member States and associated countries. ERC competitions are open to researchers of any nationality and, in this round, which saw nearly 1,900 researchers apply, 185 scientists and scholars of 26 nationalities received funding worth a total of €450 million.
Last year, another NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials PI, Professor Ullrich Steiner (Adolphe Merkle Institute), was also the recipient of an ERC Advanced Grant, focusing on furthering the understanding of structural color.