First Horizon Europe grants awarded to CERN

The European Commission has recently approved funding for the first Horizon Europe projects coordinated by CERN, including two ERC grants hosted by the Organization.

27 June, 2022


EU horizon
EU horizon (Image: CERN)

The harvest of Horizon Europe projects continues for CERN. A few months after announcing the selection of the first Horizon Europe projects with CERN participation, the European Commission announced the selection of the first project coordinated by the Organization, ATTRACT 1(B). This good news was quickly followed by the award of two ERC Consolidator Grants: one in the EP department and one in the TH department. The three projects will respectively address the transition of detection and imaging technologies from the lab to the market, give new perspectives on nuclear structure studies and help our understanding of complex collider events.

The ATTRACT Programme to be extended to Earth observation and monitoring

Following the success of the first ATTRACT project referred to as Phase 1(A) and the recent launch of Phase (2), the ATTRACT Consortium has been granted 5 Million Euros by the European Innovation Council (EIC) to replicate Phase 1(A) with a dedicate focus on Detection and Imaging (D&I) for Earth Observation and Monitoring. This ATTRACT Phase 1(B) will fund 30 breakthrough D&I concepts at €100.000 each. Consortia selected through an Open Call will have 12 months to investigate the scientific merits, technical feasibility, and potential game-changing applicability of their concept up to TRL level 3-5. Technologies should be capable of collecting data (physical, chemical, biological, etc.) with high specificity and extreme sensitivity whilst offering high spatial and temporal resolution and massive parallelism. They should be suitable for seamless integration into pervasive, low cost, and low-power ICT systems (incl. portable, wearable, IoT). The Open Call for proposals is scheduled to be launched during the autumn 2022 with the detailed information on the award and selection criteria.

Two new ERC Consolidator Grants to support fundamental research at CERN

The European Research Council (ERC) was established as the first-ever European programme for support to fundamental research. As one of the very few EU programmes which are truly bottom-up, the ERC has quickly become very popular with the particle physics community. Since the start of the programme in 2007, CERN has been hosting researchers of outstanding track-record thanks to such grants. “CERN is now proud to host the first ERC projects under Horizon Europe, which are two Consolidator Grants. These grants support world-class researchers who are consolidating their own research team and/or programme” explains Svetlomir Stavrev, Head of the EU Projects Management and Operational Support section at CERN.

Neutrons are fascinating particles but their electrical neutrality makes it difficult to learn about their distribution in nuclei. The ERC consolidator grant PreSOBEN aims to investigate this field by using a novel, high-accuracy experimental approach, combining radiation-detected Nuclear Magnetic Resonance with rf-laser double spectroscopy on optically-pumped short-lived nuclei produced at ISOLDE. “The project will involve a close collaboration with quantum-chemistry, atomic- and nuclear-physics theorists, who will use the data to improve their approaches. We hope that this will open new perspectives for nuclear structure studies, determination of neutron-star properties, or APV studies”, explains Dr. Magdalena Kowalska, PreSOBEN Project Coordinator. CERN is the only participant to this project which will run from 1 September 2022 for five years.

The future investigation of the fundamental laws of nature in collider experiments relies on the interpretation of complex scattering events by means of accurate theoretical calculations, which are instrumental to find small signals of elusive new phenomena. These calculations must describe the evolution of the system from the few particles produced in the high-energy phase of the collision to the tens or hundreds of low-energy particles observed in the detectors. “As an ERC consolidator grant, JANUS aims at transforming our understanding of such a multi-scale evolution. New innovative techniques will be developed to obtain state-of-the-art theoretical predictions in the important fields of Higgs and jet physics, enabling their optimal exploration at the LHC and future collider experiments”, explains Pier Francesco Monni, JANUS Project Coordinator. The project, that will start in the fall/winter 2022 for five years, will involve researchers at CERN and at the University of Bern.

From quantum-resistant cryptography to advanced robotics, from two-dimensional materials to extreme data mining, over twenty Horizon Europe calls have been identified by CERN’s EU Projects Office as of potential interest for the organisation. If you are considering EU funding for your R&D projects, please do not hesitate to visit the CERN EU Projects website and contact the EU Office.