CamBridgeSens announced today grants worth more than £75K to benefit researchers at the University of Cambridge. The grants were administered through two competitive schemes: A Network Grant Competition was aimed at promoting the most valuable ideas which have potential to lead to large scale grant applications in the University by bringing together the expertise and infrastructure from world leaders in sensor related research. A Follow-On Fund Competition was also held, aimed at promoting the best ideas from winners of previous CBS award rounds to provide quick access to funds to test ground breaking ideas.
The grand winners of the Network Grant Competition were a team led by Tanya Hutter from the Chemical Physics Group in the Department of Chemistry. The team (made up by Lei Su, Stephen Elliot, Nikolaos Bamiedakis, Ian White, and Richard Penty) won £30K in funding to develop an integrated optical / fluidic sensor technology for applications in environmental monitoring, homeland security, and health-care. They hope that with the help of the CbS grant, they will be able to demonstrate the promise of this technology in upcoming bids for further funding.
Also winning funding from the Network Grant Competition was the project Wireless Gas Sensors for Volcano Surveillance, a highly collaborative effort bridging the Departments of Geography, Chemistry, and Engineering with the Computer Laboratory and the Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø. Led by Adam Durant of the Department of Geography, this project will use £15K in CbS funding to integrate miniature gas sensor and wireless technology for environmental monitoring and measurements from a variety of platforms. The team, made up of experts in wireless network technology, sensor technology, micro-electro-mechanical systems, atmospheric sensing, volcanology, and hazard mitigation will perform a feasibility study that will develop and deploy a demonstration wireless sensor network at an active volcano.
Innovation Competition Follow-On funding in the amount of £15K each was also awarded to two teams investigating highly innovative ideas. The MagA for Magnetic Biosensor Application project team included Dr. Nicholas Darton from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. The multidisciplinary team also included Dr. Adrian Ionescu and Dr. Justin Llandro from The Cavendish and Dr. David Darling from Kings College London. Having already demonstrated promising results using £5K in seed-funding from the CbS Innovation Competition, this team plans to extend their work using Follow-On funds to generate data for a major grant application. £15K in funding was also awarded to the Flat Nano 3D Vision Sensor project headed by Ranjith Rajasekharan Unnithan from the Electrical Engineering Department. The project will combine nanophotonics, nanotechnology, microelectronics, integral imaging technique and advanced liquid crystal fabrication technologies. It will have applications in high resolution 2D/3D imaging, nano particle imaging and optical microscopy, 3D TV, mobile phones and security cameras. There were 2 winning teams in follow on fund competition.
The quality of proposals submitted to these and all CamBridgeSens funding competitions has been extraordinary. Director of the initiative, Dr. Clemens Kaminski of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology recently said, 'I am delighted to see the success CamBridgeSens has had in promoting sensor research across the University. CBS has demonstrably catalysed interdisciplinary approaches to advancing sensing technologies and interconnected leading labs across the university. The initiative has also been incredibly successful at enabling graduate students and PDRA's to influence the direction of group research activities through a grass-roots movement in research development that has led to pursuit of increasingly novel ideas.' Since its inception in July of 2008, CamBridgeSens has given away over £200K in funding to support collaborative, interdisciplinary research. Activities have ranged from seed-funding competitions, to workshops (e.g. Biomagnetic Sensing Workshop, Wireless Gas Sensors for Volcano Surveillance), to industry/academia sandpits (Sensors for Handheld Devices), to training courses (e.g. Quantitative Image Processing using MatLab) and networking events (e.g. Highlighting Sensor Research Across the University).