Fonds National de la Recherche Luxembourg

FNR Annual
Report

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2018 Main figures

18

international bilateral cooperation agreements running in 13 countries worldwide in 2018

260

funded projects

72.10

MEUR new committed

646

running projects

251

finished projects

36

new core projects

40

new industrial fellowship & bridges grants

2018 Statistics Projects funded in 2018 (by domain)

Projects funded in 2018 (by domain)

FNR committed 2018 (by domain)

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SchemeAcronymProject titleHost institutionFnr contrib.
SchemeAcronymProject titleHost institutionFnr contrib.

International
relations

The FNR’s International Relations policy aligns with its mission to set up a sustainable world-class research system in Luxembourg and to increase its international visibility and recognition.

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Success stories

AFR

Understanding the transformations of energy

Energy is not generated; it is only changed. Physicist Riccardo Rao has dedicated his energy to find out more about the thermodynamic costs of these changes in biologically-inspired models.

It is well established that the overwhelming majority of biological processes occur far from thermodynamic equilibrium. Assessing their thermodynamic cost as well as their dissipation is essential to shed light on their working principles. Beyond simple biological processes made of a few components, nonequilibrium thermodynamic descriptions for complex living organisms like cells are missing. The PhD project of Riccardo Rao focused on setting the foundations for such descriptions by formalising thermodynamics for generic far-from-equilibrium stochastic and chemical processes.

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Success stories

ATTRACT

The immune system: a delicate balance

The immune system enables the body to fight off illness – but if it works too little, or too much, this can lead to anything from inflammation, to autoimmunity to cancer. At the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH), FNR ATTRACT Fellow Prof Dr Dirk Brenner works on understanding the functionality that underlies a healthy immune system.

“On a very basic level, the immune system works in two different states: one is the activated state, and one the immune quiescent state,” explains Dirk Brenner, who set up the ‘Experimental and Molecular Immunology Group’ at the LIH in the framework of his FNR ATTRACT Fellowship, which brought him to Luxembourg in 2015, adding: “There is a delicate balance between these two states, which is crucial for healthy body function.”

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Success stories

CORE

CORPORNATION: forging a modern society

Sparked by a collection of over 2,000 images, two projects led by Prof Karin Priem from the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH) reflect on the industrial heritage and societal impact of major Luxembourg-based steel and iron producing company ARBED, examining the social and educational initiatives of the company and how it helped shape Luxembourg’s national and international identity in a time of industrialisation.

Launched in 2013 and 2014 respectively, the FAMOSO projects focus on the interactions between industrialisation and cultural, economic and societal transformations in Luxembourg, and beyond.

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Success stories

CORE JUNIOR

Heading towards a new kind of electronics

Rarely has a scientific discovery led to a Nobel Prize as quickly as the first production of graphene. The British researchers who managed to make it in 2004 were honoured with the Nobel Prize in Physics only six years later. What is particular about this material, which consists of pure carbon, is its two-dimensional structure: the atoms in this material are arranged in a single, extremely flat layer.

Electrons can only move within this 2D plane, and always feel the influence of their constraint. This leads to unusual properties that are not found in ordinary, three-dimensional crystals.

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Success stories

Industrial Fellowships

USING DATA FROM SPACE TO IMPROVE MARITIME SURVEILLANCE

Splitting her time between the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) and company LuxSpace as part of an Industrial Fellowship, Postdoc Ramona Pelich uses data from earth observation satellites to improve maritime surveillance and flood hazard monitoring.

The overall goal is to develop innovative space-borne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)-based vessel monitoring and route prediction methods in the domain of Maritime Surveillance (MS).

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Success stories

IPBG

JOINING FORCES TO CREATE THE TIRES OF THE FUTURE

Corporate researchers and independent scientists are working closely and successfully together in a six-year programme.

Many drivers pay little attention to the tires on their car. But wrongly so: these inconspicuous black rubber rings are packed with all kinds of high technology and are the culmination of decades of elaborate materials research.

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Success stories

OPEN

THE ISSUE AT THE HEART OF EU CRIMINAL LAW: THREE MODELS TO SOLVE A MULTIFACETED PROBLEM

A conflict often arises whenever several states simultaneously claim jurisdiction to prosecute criminal offences for themselves. Together with research colleagues, jurist Katalin Ligeti has found a way out of this dilemma.

Ne bis in idem. The Latin expression means “not twice in the same thing” and serves as a fundamental principle for all fair criminal proceedings. First and foremost, it means that no-one shall be punished more than once for the same conduct. Nor may anyone whose criminal proceedings have been conclusively closed in one EU Member State be prosecuted a second time in another EU Member State.

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Success stories

PSP CLASSIC

SCIENCE MEETS ROCK’N’ROLL: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A PALAEONTOLOGIST HAS A PENCHANT FOR EXTREME METAL MUSIC

Thanks to a unique exhibition at Luxembourg’s Natural History Museum, palaeontologist Ben Thuy has enriched both the music scene and the world of science.

There are two models of the ‘Melusinaster alissawhitegluzae’ basket star: one can be found at the National History Museum (MNHN), while the other takes pride of place in the studio of its eponym, Alissa White-Gluz. The latter – singer of the Swedish extreme metal band ‘Arch Enemy’ – was presented with the basket star replica during a concert at the Rockhal.

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Success stories

RESCOM

FROM SCIENCE TO INNOVATION: LUXEMBOURG CITY IN THE AGE OF SUSTAINABILITY

The first days of September 2017 were full of excitement for Dr Enrico Benetto. The 8th Life Cycle Management Conference he had brought to Luxembourg City was an enormous success. More than 700 participants from 46 countries had accepted his invitation to discuss sustainability. Prominent keynote speakers like the Swiss adventurer Bertrand Piccard and the founder of Global Footprint Mathis Wackernagel inspired the audience.

The most emotional moment for Benetto came quite unexpectedly when Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg graced the hall of the European Convention Center Luxembourg (ECCL) to attend the closing event.

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fnr.lu

More than just funding information

In addition to being a one-stop shop for all information about the FNR’s activities and funding instruments, the FNR website since the 2016 re-launch also boasts a dedicated section for videos and success stories – Research with Impact: FNR Highlights. Over 150 features, interviews and stories have been published, 55 in 2018 alone. Reaching across scientific domains, nationalities and institutions, from junior to senior researchers, the FNR highlights offer glimpses into Luxembourg’s research and the scientists behind it.

+150 stories
55 stories published
in 2018
13 interviews
10 interviews
published
in 2018
45 Young researchers stories published
18 stories published
in 2018 edition
5 articles
published

Mr
Science

10 years

10 years of Mr Science


For ten years now, Mr Science has been getting his audience excited about science, informing them about relevant research and, above all, making sure they have lots of fun. What many do not know: Joseph Rodesch, the man behind the fictional character Mr Science, is an employee at the FNR and fulfills an important strategic task in the Grand Duchy: he is a mediator between science and non-scientists. This mediation has always of key importance for the FNR.

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science.lu

science.lu

science.lu is Luxembourg’s science webpage for all!

On science.lu you can find news about research in Luxembourg, DIY experiments, articles about scientific phenomena, scientific events and teaching material for primary school teachers!

Opinion pieces

Artifical intelligence (ai) – in the service of mankind

AI has arrived in our daily lives. What can and what can AI not do? Which societal problems does AI pose? An opinion piece by FNR Secretary General Marc Schiltz.

The future of research in luxembourg

Ahead of Luxembourg’s general elections on 14 October 2018, it is a welcome development that research has found its way into the political party programmes. In his newest opinion piece, FNR Secretary General Marc Schiltz discusses which role the political parties envision for research in Luxembourg and what future Governments can do to further strengthen this asset of the country.

Getting the next generation passionate about science and entrepreneurship

The science sector in Luxembourg has developed enormously over the last decades. Significant funding has been and continues to be invested in the sector, and modern infrastructure has been established. In an opinion piece, FNR Secretary General Marc Schiltz discusses how one piece of the puzzle is still missing in the quest to transform Luxembourg’s knowledge economy vision into reality.

Videos

FNR Selection
process

Through a rigorous selection process, the FNR aims to fund the most excellent and promising research. FNR’s selection process is therefore based on scientific merit and applies the highest standards of transparency, impartiality and integrity.
So how can researchers apply for FNR funding and how are their proposals evaluated?