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Portuguese science adds up and continues: ERC Advanced Grants guarantee more than 4.35 M€

Scientists Rui Reis and Adélio Mendes have obtained the prestigious Studentships Advanced Grants awarded by the European Research Council(ERC - European Research Council), earning their projects a global funding of 4.35 million euros.

President of Associate Laboratory ICVS/3B's, of the University of Minho, Rui Reis, 45, will use the 2.35 million euros that were allocated to him to create methods that evaluate the complex interaction between stem cells and materials. This is a project in the area of tissue engineering (regenerative medicine).

Adélio Mendes, 48, from the Laboratory of Process, Environmental and Energy Engineering (LEPAE) of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, is studying ways to make the so-called dye-sensitized solar cells, an alternative form of photovoltaic cells, more competitive. The two-million-euro funding now obtained could lead to the widespread use, within 10 years, of an affordable and aesthetically pleasing photovoltaic technology that turns sunlight into electricity by halving energy bills.

The two researchers who have now been awarded Studentships ERC bring to 11 the number of Portuguese scientists whose projects received this important funding in 2012 (four Advanced Grants, seven Starting Grants). This figure makes the current year the most significant ever in terms of funding from that European entity secured by Portuguese science.