U of Southampton's Wilkinson garners major funding for biophotonics program

Professor James Wilkinson, University of Southampton Optoelectronics Research Centre

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

The £2.6 million grant will advance biophotonics research in near- to mid-infrared devices. Beginning in early 2012, the five-year program aims to develop mass-manufacturable integrated photonics technology for chemical and biochemical analysis and advanced spectroscopic techniques for biomedical diagnostics.

ERC Advanced Grants fund cutting-edge research in Europe, with the intention 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, employs unconventional methodologies and investigations between established disciplines, and presents 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. Approximately 14 percent are funded, with last year’s call funding researchers of 26 nationalities working in 18 EU countries.

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