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The FNR is pleased to communicate the final results of the 2022 CORE Call. Out of 174 eligible proposals submitted in the Call, a total of 48 research projects have been retained for funding, representing a financial commitment of around 32.2 MEUR.

CORE is the central funding programme of the FNR, with a prime objective to strengthen the scientific quality of Luxembourg’s public research in the country’s research priorities adopted by the Government on 20 December 2019. 

In order to identify the most promising and most excellent projects, the FNR submits project proposals to an assessment by independent international experts. Among the174  eligible project proposals that were submitted, 48 have been retained for funding. 

8 of the 48 projects are CORE Junior projects (CORE Junior PIs marked with * below). In the biomedical field, 2 projects pertaining to research relating to the National Cancer Plan are jointly funded by FNR and Fondation Cancer. 8 PIs are women, 40 are male.

FNR’s CORE programme is one of the major vehicles to implement the national research priorities. Funded research projects have a duration of 2-3 years and will be  implemented in Luxembourg’s

  • Subcategory: Trusted data-driven economy and critical systems – 9 projects
    Principal Investigator
    Björn Ottersten
    Project title
    Metacognitive Radar For Emerging Sensing Applications (METSA)
    Host institution
    University of Luxembourg (SnT)
    FNR Committed

    Many of the recent scientific works in signal processing have been increasingly influenced by the most complex and least explored signal processing system – the human nervous system. Cognition refers to the process through which humans and animals sense and interact with their environment and cognitive radar signal processing aims to parallels to neurobiological cognition to learn from the sensed environment and act accordingly e.g., better focus the sensing on particular areas of interest while nulling others. While the radar gets data on the entire surrounding, it’s the cognitive signal processing that brings about the decision on how to act after inferring from the data.

    Similarly, metacognition is a well-studied concept in both neurobiology and educational psychology, and can be termed as a higher order thinking which can be summarized as learning about learning or knowing about knowing. It is pertinent to remark the importance of metacognition as separate from plain cognition. Since the cognitive cycle is a closed loop system, without any provision of altering any of the steps once the cycle has kicked in a operational system. This leads to an inherent inflexibility of the system to adapt to drastic change in the channel conditions, change of engineering modules, or the operating objective or all of these. Hence, the radar must include multiple strategies with their own cognitive cycles. The selection of the appropriate strategy is handled by metacognition.

    Consider the case of vehicles equipped with Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) systems. It has been reported that many situations like bridges, railroad tracks and parking garages can trick the vehicles into breaking by making them believe that they are about to crash. Even steam coming out of underground tunnels and ducts in large cities can trigger the system, apparently. A standard operational cognitive radar cannot fully “learn” this situation. In a metacognitive radar, on the other hand, this flaw can be monitored and a learning strategy for this situation devised by selecting the optimization objective and solution. Furthermore, the learned information can be transferred in a connected networked so that other cars do not make the same mistake.

    The project formalises such a learning for the different tasks of radar (detection, estimation, classification and tracking) with the transmit waveforms and receiver algorithms as the means of implementing the learned rules. The project aims to create a system that acts in optimal manner based on various possible strategies that can be learned from the environment.

    Principal Investigator
    Michail Papadakis
    Project title
    Metamorphic Relation Inference Automation (MeMoRIA)
    Host institution
    University of Luxembourg (SnT)
    FNR Committed

    Software Testing forms one of the key quality assurance methods and is a vital ingredient of the modern software development practices. Deciding if a program execution corresponds to a correct/incorrect behaviour is currently a manual task. To this end, MeMoRIA will automatically generate a set of (metamorphic) properties that distinguishes good from bad software behaviours. Hence, MeMoRIA aims at investigating and solving this real-world industry relevant problem, and contributing with the adoption of automated testing.

  • Subcategory: Social migration and social cohesion / cultural identities, cultural heritage and nationhood – 4 projects
    Principal Investigator
    Christophe Sohn
    Project title
    The Impact Of Rebordering On Cross-border Cooperation. A Social Semiotic Approach To Borders’ Symbolic Meaning (BOMIOTICS)
    Host institution
    Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER)
    FNR Committed

    n the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a global increase in travel bans and several national borders have been closed outright for many weeks or even months. Following Brexit and the migration and asylum crisis of 2015–16, these border closures represent another signal of the resurgence of national borders in the political agendas of European states. In addition to the difficult practical consequences for everyday life, the rebordering dynamics call into question the future development of cross-border regions, with important social, economic and political implications.

    Against this background, the overall goal of the BOMIOTICS project is to assess the extent to which the hardening of the intra-Schengen border regime is challenging the significance of supposedly open borders for cross-border cooperation (CBC) and cross-border region-building. More specifically, it will involve analyzing how rebordering affects the ways in which borders are mobilized as symbols by local CBC actors for the political construction of cross-border urban agglomerations. The premise underlying this project is that the significance of national borders does not merely diminish with CBC and regional integration. As the role of borders changes, their transformation is accompanied by a process of “symbolic recoding” intended to give them new meanings. Provided they are recoded accordingly, borders may play an important role in the formation of regional identities and the legitimization of cross-border territorial projects. Hence, to understand the extent to which rebordering is likely to modify the role and meaning of borders in CBC initiatives, it is necessary first of all to look at the way in which borders are used by local actors as means for meaning-making. Given the research issue to be addressed, theories of social semiotics that pay attention to the way actors use signs and symbols to create meaning and communicate it in specific situations will be mobilized. Four specific objectives required to meet the goal of the project are defined: (1) elaborating a conceptual framework informed by social semiotics and adapted to the case of border symbolism; (2) analyzing borders’ symbolization strategies at work based on case studies; (3) examining more specifically the material form of borders in space and the political implications of their visibility or invisibility; (4) assessing the impact of rebordering dynamics on CBC discourses and border symbolism.

    The empirical analysis will focus on four cross-border urban agglomerations that constitute emblematic cases of cross-border regionalism in Europe: the Alzette-Belval European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) along the French-Luxembourg border, the European Twin City Frankfurt (Oder)-Słubice at the German-Polish border, the Trinational Eurodistrict Basel at the triple point between Switzerland, France and Germany, and Greater Geneva along the French-Swiss border. The investigation of the symbolization strategies at work in these “laboratories of integration” will rely on discourse analysis focusing on CBC actors’ narratives (i.e., official documents and interview transcripts) and the images (i.e., maps and photographs) they use. This approach will consider different methods of expressing ideas, concepts, or beliefs; thereby representing an innovative and substantial contribution to a better understanding of the symbolic role of borders in the shaping of regional imaginaries, the political construction of cross-border spaces, and the capacity of CBC projects to face the challenges posed by rebordering.