The University of Southampton

ORC Professor awarded major funding for Biophotonics programme

Published: 21 November 2011

Professor James Wilkinson at the Optoelectronics Research Centre has been awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant to realise tools for fast, low-cost point-of-care clinical diagnostics and for chemical analysis in water pollution and food safety.

The £2.6m grant will advance the frontiers of biophotonics research in near- to mid-infra-red devices.  Commencing in early 2012, the five-year programme aims to develop mass-manufacturable integrated photonics technology for chemical and biochemical analysis and advanced spectroscopic techniques for biomedical diagnostics.

"Photonic technologies are set to revolutionise our access to chemical and biochemical information, driven by the demand for fast, low-cost, automated chemical analysis in a multiplicity of applications from food safety, water quality, security and rapid point-of-care diagnostics," said Professor Wilkinson. "The micro-manufacturing approaches that have led to the ubiquitous presence of the mobile phone and digital camera are expected to lead to a similar widespread deployment of chemical and bioanalytical microsystems."

ERC Advanced Grants fund cutting-edge research by the very best established research leaders in Europe. The European Research Council intends that projects funded by these competitive and selective grants be highly ambitious, pioneering, and creative in their approach. The grants support research that takes risks, employing unconventional methodologies and investigations between established disciplines, and presenting the possibility of a major breakthrough with far-reaching impact. 

This year's call drew nearly 2,300 project proposals from across the spectrum of research fields. Typically approximately 14 per cent are funded, with last year’s call funding researchers of 26 nationalities working in 18 EU countries.

Published: 21 November 2011 

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