Funded Projects

hotel2
PROJECT

4th Joint Call: ROBTI

The proposal aims to create a distributed bidirectional cross-reputation rating and review service for hotel and tourism industry that can be used through multiple countries, in transboundary transactions, for sustainable, cooperative business. ROBTI is thus in pursuit of several specific objectives (SOs).
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Background

Contemporary hospitality industry faces difficulties maintaining reputation, which is vital for South East Asia where quality and responsible customers are needed in times of tourism boom and looming danger of pollution. In fact, the reputation concept has been widely used since old times, in many areas. For example, selecting doctors or dentists based on their reputation constructed by other friends, getting married with a person based on family and friends’ suggestions or selection of university to attend based on reputation constructed by past students etc. In an organized world, institutions and certifications replaced classical “word of mouth”-based reputation, whereas doctors, universities, companies are rated or accredited by individual institutions who are expert and recognized by the government and trusted as accrediting institutions.

Yet, the ever increasing power of internet, social media and user generated content, revived centuries old “word of mouth”-based reputation. This, on the other hand brings its own special problems to tackle. Vast amount of data generated turns into a big data problem to be solved and processed, whereas credibility of each user generated data becomes questionable. Users, generate star ratings, comments, stories, blogs, tweets and many different content about the experience they had from the service or goods. These are usually incomplete, varying in quality and credibility and vague in general. This in turn increases the pressure onto the emerging forms of cooperative sustainable tourism that does not have the solid market power of multinational chains.

 

The project

The proposal aims to create a distributed bidirectional cross-reputation rating and review service for hotel and tourism industry that can be used through multiple countries, in transboundary transactions, for sustainable, cooperative business. ROBTI is thus in pursuit of several specific objectives (SOs):

  • Prototyping software algorithms that validate research on cross-reputation rating and review service for the hospitality sector, blockchain and cooperatives.
  • Combining together holistically concepts and approaches from disciplines in computer science, urbanism, environmental studies, tourism science, and management.
  • Creating an integrated decentralised system for rating and review ready for demonstration and validation in tourism.
  • Contributing to the transformation of the hospitality industry into sustainable, inclusive, cooperative model of transboundary business that is rated by trustworthy distributed rating.

The science

 ROBTI is aligned with concepts such as sustainability and climate-resilience applied to the tourism industry. It aims to combine other aspects of the project with making the hotel business ‘greener’: reducing the carbon imprint of the hospitality sector onto the environment, hotels shall also build resilience in the local community of the tourism destination to disasters. The research by STMIK and further studies to be done within the project will enable disaster resilient hotels to become major catalysts in managing disasters in the destination area.

ROBTI combines studies and applied research about ICT tools for payments of transboundary transactions and cooperative tourism operations, blockchain technology for distributed review and ranking in the tourism industry and machine learning for trust rate calculation, natural language processing and sentiment analysis. To that extent, the industrial partners (Protel and Setur) and Gebze Techical University have previous research that the project will build upon.

The team

The ROBTI partners are:

Alphan Kimyonok (Coordinator), Meltem Turhan Yöndem, Cenk Yusuf Ustabaş, Müslim Erdal Şekerci, Anıl Özdemir, Mustafa Çelen, İsa Öztürk, Setur,Turkey

Hüseyin Atun, Hakan Özkırım, Tolga Gezginiş, Hasan Soysal, Batuhan, Çoşkun, Protel, Turkey

Assoc. Prof. Mehmet Göktürk, Gebze Techncical University, Turkey

Tri A. Sundara,STMIK Indonesia Padang, Indonesia

Contact:

Cenk Yusuf Ustabaş           E-Mail: cenk.ustabas@gmail.com

antibi
PROJECT

4th Joint Call: TIC-TAC

The current antibiotic crisis represents a global problem of fundamental importance, comparable with other global challenges as e.g. climate change or sustainable energetics, but far less discussed in the society. Without active approach right now the, the infectious diseases will soon become the most frequent cause of death worldwide.

The TIC-TAC project consists of two objectives aiming to avert the threat of an antibiotic crisis: 1) Knowledge-based hunt for novel bioactive metabolites derived from plants and microorganisms and 2) Development of promising compounds into drugs.
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Background

The current antibiotic crisis represents a global problem of fundamental importance, comparable with other global challenges as e.g. climate change or sustainable energetics, but far less discussed in the society. Without active approach right now the, the infectious diseases will soon become the most frequent cause of death worldwide.

The TIC-TAC project consists of two objectives aiming to avert the threat of an antibiotic crisis: 1) Knowledge-based hunt for novel bioactive metabolites derived from plants and microorganisms and 2) Development of promising compounds into drugs.

 

The project

Within the Objective 1 we will create a collection of 1000+ unique Actinobacteria strains, a corresponding number of culture broth crude extracts, and 100+ plant crude extracts. Metabolites in the crude extracts will be separated into 5000+ fractions and these will be tested for a broad spectrum of biological activities, particularly against clinically important pathogenic microorganisms (including MDR strains). These include Mycobacterium tuberculosis (causing tuberculosis), G- bacteria, Plasmodium falciparum (causing malaria), Zika virus, and others.

The Objective 2 aims to the development of previously patented hybrid lincosamide derivatives developed by the Czech team and further compounds suggested by SEA teams into drugs.

The science

Our strategy to combat the antibiotic (antibacterial and antiparasitic) crisis exploits natural products that proved to be a superior source of druggable compounds. We will use modern biology and chemistry methodology for this purpose – knowledge-based genome mining (oriented on the search for biosynthetic pathways utilizing alkyl-proline derivatives, which are far more efficient when compared to L-proline incorporating compounds), mass spectrometry-based metabolomics (GNPS molecular networking + other bioinformatics tools); and we will focus on testing multiple targets, i.e. multiple pathogens including those clinically most important and threatening. CZ team will provide a collection of the clinically most dangerous bacterial strains from the WHO list for antimicrobial activity testing; Thai team possess a collection of P. falciparum strains for antimalarial properties and resistant M. tuberculosis strains for antimicrobial properties testing. Unique sources of bioactive metabolites from yet underexplored Thai and Indonesian biotopes will be used to search for new compounds.

 

Project partners:

Institute of Microbiology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic (PI and main coordinator - Jiri Janata)

School of Pharmacy, Walailak University, Thailand  (PI and coordinator for SEA - Amit Jaisi)

Faculty of Pharmacy, Andalas University, West Sumatra, Indonesia (Deri Dachriyanus)

Research Centre for Chemistry, Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI), Indonesia (Abdi Wira Septama)

 

Contact:

Jiri Janata, Ph.D.                   

volt
PROJECT

4th Joint Call: SiNanoBatt

The objective of the SiNanoBatt project is to use low-cost semiconductor nanomaterials (i.e., 3D silicon nanostructures for anodes) and top-down nanotechnologies to realize lithium-ion rechargeable batteries with high energy density and long cycle life.
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Background

Lithium-ion batteries with high energy density are crucial to meet the ever-expanding demands of portable electronic, electric vehicles, and large-scale energy storage. Traditional and most commercialized lithium-ion batteries use graphite and lithium metal oxides as the materials for the intercalation-based anodes. Despite their good cycling stability, such materials possess low capacity limiting the high energy density applications of the lithium-ion batteries (e.g., stationary energy storage and electric vehicles). Various anode materials have been investigated as an alternative to overcome that issue, including silicon, which is the second most abundant element in the earth’s crust. Silicon has ultra-high theoretical capacity of 4200 mAh g-1, which is about ten times higher than that of graphite anodes. However, drastic volume expansion of silicon materials during the battery operation leads to mechanical failures, loss of electrical contact, and undesirable side reactions, leading to the poor cycle life of the batteries and hinder their large-scale commercialization. Meanwhile, rapid development in the field of nanotechnology has uncovered many exciting properties of nanomaterials, including silicon nanostructures for energy storage applications. Many advances in the energy storage technology could not have been possible without enormous efforts and improvements in nanotechnology, in which understanding and manipulating the physicochemical of the materials with the desired properties at the nanometer scale had become the keys for innovation. 

The Project

The objective of the SiNanoBatt project is to use low-cost semiconductor nanomaterials (i.e., 3D silicon nanostructures for anodes) and top-down nanotechnologies to realize lithium-ion rechargeable batteries with high energy density and long cycle life. The silicon-based materials will be nano-engineered to alleviate the effect of volume expansion of silicon. Hence, we can prevent the capacity losses, improve the cycle life, and enhance the C-rate performance of the batteries. Two main strategies will be introduced for the anode design: (1) to use the 3D silicon nanostructures with different architectures and crystal orientations and (2) to integrate them with carbon or polymeric frameworks for creating novel hybrid carbon/polymeric/silicon nano-anodes. Such approaches are expected to be able to accommodate the volume expansion on the silicon anode without losing the structural integrity and mechanical stability during the lithiation process. Furthermore, the experimental works will be supported by theoretical studies (i.e., modeling of silicon nanomaterials and packing capacity of lithium-ion in the anodes) to understand the effects of the proposed approaches at the atomic scale.

 

The Science

SiNanoBatt enables a top-down fabrication of well-controlled and vertically-aligned 3D silicon nanostructures that are employed as an anode for lithium-ion batteries. Different 3D vertical silicon architectures will be realized (e.g., vertical silicon nanowires with various geometries), in which they are expected to be able to maintain high electrical conductivity, obtain good ionic conductivity, and exhibit robust structural integrity during the lithiation/delithiation processes. Various nanopatterning techniques (e.g., photolithography, nanoimprint lithography, and colloidal nanosphere lithography) will be utilized to fabricate the desired structures. Moreover, those well-tailored silicon nanoplatforms will be integrated with carbon-based materials and polymeric networks to enhance the battery performance by creating such unique hybrid nanostructures with higher conductivity and stronger mechanical properties.

 

The Team

The SiNanoBatt partners are:

 

Contact:

Dr.-Ing. Hutomo Suryo Wasisto, e-mail: h.wasisto@tu-braunschweig.de

apl. Prof. Dr. Erwin Peiner, e-mail: e.peiner@tu-braunschweig.de

bacteria
PROJECT

4th Joint Call: NAPARBA

NAPARBA aims at the development of a reliable and sustainable nanotechnology-enabled approach to ultrasensitively detect and differentiate antibiotic-resistant bacteria in a point of care diagnostic setting.
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Background

Resistance to antibiotics is considered to be one of the major health problems worldwide. Unfortunately, the rate of development of new drugs is too slow to address the need that is apparent by alarming reports on multiply resistant bacteria against which no antibiotics work. Among the pathogenic bacteria Staphylococcus aureus (SA) is one of the most common human pathogens that can be either hospital acquired or community associated. SA is particularly prone to acquire resistances to most antibiotics. Although infection rates differ considerably among various countries, MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a worldwide concern in health care facilities, i.e. also in Asia, and represents a severe infection disease burden, in particular in the ageing population. The necessary screening methods are typically expensive and require laboratory facilities. To be able to screen patients in hospital admission, to administer antibiotics in a targeted fashion (i.e. to match the drug to the bacterium) and to analyze pathways of resistance spread, reliable on-site tests are absolutely necessary. These should be rapid, ultrasensitive, selective and accurate, yet also economic and sustainable.

 

The project

NAPARBA aims at the development of a reliable and sustainable nanotechnology-enabled approach to ultrasensitively detect and differentiate antibiotic-resistant bacteria in a point of care diagnostic setting. The project addresses the core challenge to detect bacteria and in particular to differentiate resistant from non-resistant strains at low concentrations of potential biomarkers. The approach developed in NAPARBA to separate, up-concentrate and analyze small amounts of DNA will tested for applicability in a prototypical demonstrator to ensure applicability in a working environment.

 

The science

NAPARBA builds on a versatile and ultrasensitive detection approach, enhances the functionality and performance of the individual components and also utilizes nanoparticles of local natural resources. These are complemented by to be improved high performance non-toxic luminescent quantum dots for signaling, magnetic nanoparticles for separation and nanocoatings of advanced polymers to suppress particle aggregation and to afford functionality. The nanotechnology elements are combined in a point of care (POC) compatible workflow employing low cost materials and are tailored towards prototypic application.

 

The team

The NAPARBA partners are:

Prof. Dr. Holger Schönherr, Physical Chemistry I and Research Center of Micro and Nanochemistry and Engineering (), University of Siegen, Germany (Project coordinator)

S. N. Aisyiyah Jenie, Ph.D, Research Center for Chemistry, Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Indonesia

Associate Prof. Dr. Sedat Nizamoğlu, Koç University, Turkey

 

Contact:

Prof. Dr. Holger Schönherr           E-Mail: schoenherr@chemie.uni-siegen.de

basin
PROJECT

3rd Joint Call: REBECCA

Climate change and socio-economic growth are projected to severely challenge river basin development worldwide. This is particularly relevant in monsoonal Southeast Asia, where large water storage systems play a key role for securing water, energy, and food to a rapidly growing and changing society. The objective of this project is to develop a decision analytic framework for supporting the robust, strategic planning of river basins in monsoonal areas with respect to future changes in water availability (climate change) and demands (socio-economic and technological changes).
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The Background

Climate change and socio-economic growth are projected to severely challenge river basin development worldwide, calling for robust planning solutions with respect to such uncertain and evolving conditions. This is particularly relevant in monsoonal Southeast Asia, where large water storage systems play a key role for securing water, energy, and food to a rapidly growing and changing society. These systems require robust and adaptive operations capable of coping with high intra-annual and inter-annual hydroclimatic variability and to increasing frequency of extreme events. They also have to face multi-sector changing demands across multiple time scales, from daily operation to strategic river basin development.

The Project

The ambition of the project is to develop a decision analytic framework for supporting the robust, strategic planning of river basins in monsoonal areas with respect to future changes in water availability (climate change) and demands (socio-​economic and technological changes). The framework will integrate future climate scenarios, including a catalogue of extreme climate events, future water demand scenarios, and a high-​resolution infrastructure-​accounting hydrological model to build accurate projections of water availability that also include water management policies optimized by means of a strategic model, against which to assess sustainability and robustness of future river basin development plans. The focus will be on the Red River Basin, China-​Vietnam, a large transboundary river basin, where conflicts among different water uses, including hydropower production, flood control and water supply, and negative impacts on long-​term sustainability are expected to increase under the combined pressure of increasing water and energy demands, and climate change. Particularly, extreme weather events are expected to become more frequent and extreme.

The Science

REBECCA will advance the current state-of-the-art from different scientific disciplines and integrate it within a multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary framework to support the robust, strategic planning of water infrastructures in river basins that will be highly impacted by climate and socio-economic changes, with a focus on monsoonal areas. The project will bring the current state-of-the-art of integrated water resources management a step further by: (i) developing a decision analytic framework that explicitly integrates multiple models and their feedbacks, including a detailed characterization of the co-variance between future hydro-climatic and socio-economic changes; (ii) quantifying the impacts of future hydro-climatic and socio-economic scenarios on water resources, planned infrastructures and strategic development plans of decision makers; (iii) identifying robust planning options (e.g., multi-purpose water reservoirs) that are able to deal with a vast array of highly uncertain future changes and still perform satisfactorily with respect to economic, environmental and societal aspects in order to foster environmentally and economically sustainable growth.

The Team

Project coordinator: Prof. Dr. Paolo Burlando, Institute of Environmental Engineering, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Prof. Dr. Andrea Castelletti, Department of Electronics, Information, and Bioengineering, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Dr. Anna Costa, Institute of Environmental Engineering, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Prof. Dr. Andreas H. Fink, Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Dr. Roderick van der Linden, Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Dr. Van Anh Truong, Meteorology and Hydrology Faculty, Hanoi University of Natural Resources and Environment, Vietnam

 

Contact: Prof. Dr. Paolo Burlando, Dr. Anna Costa

featured image from R. Beránek
PROJECT

3rd Joint Call: FLOATCAT

The objective of this project is to develop a novel composite floating photocatalyst with synergic adsorption function applicable for solar photocatalytic detoxication of surface waters contaminated by non-polar organic pollutants. It is funded under the 3rd Call of Southeast Asia - Europe Joint Funding Scheme for Science and Innovation.
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Background

The project contributes to research on novel low-cost approaches to environmental remediation that belongs among national priorities in all countries of the involved partners. The proposed technology will have a broader applicability for removal of non-polar, poorly water-soluble contaminants (pesticides, petroleum products etc.) that represent environmental burden and health risk of global scope. More specifically, the application of the floating photocatalysts for water decontamination in remote rural areas of Vietnam and elsewhere will in long-term lead to improvement of health standards of poor and underprivileged people based in areas affected by the overuse of herbicides and other toxic organic substances.

The Project

The main technological objective of FLOATCAT is to develop a new type of low-cost floating photocatalyst for solar-driven removal of non-polar, poorly water-soluble contaminants that represent environmental burden and health risk of global scope. This will be achieved by incorporation of a specific sorption function with high affinity to non-polar substances, which should fundamentally improve the existing floating photocatalyst via a synergic effect. Within the proposed project, the research and development work will culminate in laboratory pilot tests aimed at validating the technology for decontamination of water contaminated with non-polar test contaminants (e.g., herbicide diuron, insecticide DDT).  The newly developed technology will have a wider applicability for cleaning different types of surface water.

The Science

The main scientific objective of FLOATCAT is to obtain novel scientific insights into the advantages and possible operational bottlenecks of photocatalysis in complex composite architectures represented by floating photocatalysts with integrated sorption functionality. In addition, the photocatalysts will be modified with co-catalysts for oxygen reduction, which should lead to a significant enhancement of photocatalytic degradation rates since the oxygen reduction is often the rate-limiting step in environmental photocatalysis. Notably, some of the intermediates of photocatalytic degradation reactions can be highly toxic. Therefore, it is essential to investigate kinetics and mechanism of such oxidative degradation processes by means of analyzing chemical composition and toxicity of the reaction mixtures for variable extent of irradiation. Kinetic and mechanistic studies of relevant pollutants will therefore play an important role in the project.

The Team:

The FLOATCAT partners are:

Prof. Dr. Radim Beránek: Institute of Electrochemistry, Ulm University, Germany

Dr. Jaromír Jirkovský, J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic

Ing. Jan Šubrt CSc.: Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic

Dr. Hoang Hiep: Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Environment, Vietnam National University of Agriculture, Hanoi, Vietnam

Contact:

Prof. Radim Beránek: radim.beranek@uni-ulm.de

 

featured image from R. Beránek

 

tuber
PROJECT

4th Joint Call: SMART-TB

Tuberculosis (TB) remains an urgent public health threat and a leading infectious cause of death worldwide. The SMART TB project propose a novel app that will not only screen patients who are being non-adherent, but will also guide healthcare providers to identify patients’ individual problem and to deliver the recommended personalized strategies
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Background

Tuberculosis (TB) remains an urgent public health threat and a leading infectious cause of death worldwide. Despite long-term support such as directly observed treatment to help patients complete their treatment, non-adherence to TB treatment is known to be suboptimal which leads to treatment failures, poor quality of life, or development of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. The reasons underlying non-adherence are not entirely independent and are heterogeneous. Digital interventions are gradually being integrated into practice because of affordable mobile electronic devices in many settings. However, the flaws of some of the existing digital technologies to improve medication adherence are that they are not tailored to patients’ individual problems. The existing apps are commonly delivered as a one-size-fit-all intervention, assuming that the reasons for non-adherence are the same for the patients. We propose a novel app that will not only screen patients who are being non-adherent, but will also guide healthcare providers to identify patients’ individual problem and to deliver the recommended personalized strategies

 

The Project

The aim of this project is to develop a smart-phone application for health care providers that can be used for personalized interventions to improve medication adherence of TB patients (SMART-TB) in Indonesia. The proposed apps can be applied in primary, secondary and tertiary health facilities in Indonesia and can be adapted to other high-TB prevalence countries.

 

The Science

The SMART-TB app will be developed in Bahasa with five main functions, called SIM-CAR functions, as follow: Screening (to identify medication adherence problems in TB patients), Intervening (to intervene in TB patients’ individual problems of medication adherence), Monitoring (to monitor TB patients in taking their medication), Communicating (to communicate about medication adherence among TB officers (pharmacist/ TB programmer), TB patients, and TB experts), and Administrating (to register patient information related to medication adherence until the TB treatment outcomes are measured). In the first year, we will develop a prototype of the SMART-TB. Its content development will be performed through a literature review and qualitative study. In the second year, pilot testing will be conducted to validate the content and implementation of the prototype in a small-scale population representing rural and urban area. In the third year, the content and system of the SMART-TB will be validated based on the results of the pilot testing.

 

The Team

The SMART-TB partners are:

  • Coordinator: Rizky Abdulah, PhD, Universitas Padjadjaran, Indonesia
  • Prof. Jutti Levita, Universitas Padjadjaran, Indonesia
  • Ivan S. Pradipta, PhD, Universitas Padjadjaran, Indonesia
  • Sofa D. Alfian, M.PH, PharmD, Universitas Padjadjaran, Indonesia
  • Prof. dr. Eelko Hak, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
  • Prof. Katja Taxis, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
  • Prof. Jan-Willem Alffenaar, University of Groningen, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
  • Job F. M. van Boven, PhD, University of Groningen, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
  • Prof. Esin Aki Yalcin, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey
  • Prof. Federico Gago, University of Alcala, Madrid, Spain
  • Ly Le, PhD, Ho Chi Minh City International University, Vietnam

Contact: Rizky Abdulah, PhD; Email: r.abdulah@unpad.ac.id

MOISTURE
PROJECT

3rd Joint Call: MOISTURE

Energy storage and conversion devices are necessary for the utilization of renewable energy sources viz. solar and wind. The challenge however is how to make these devices safe, affordable and stable in performance.
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Background

Metal oxide nanoparticles (MONs) have attracted significant attention to energy storage and conversion applications. The substantial benefits of MONs consist of: (1) structural changes allowing for the attraction of lattice criteria (2) changes in electrochemical attributes due to the quantum confinement effect and (3) changes in surface properties leading to drastic modification of their conductivity and chemical activity. Different types of MON e.g. MnO2 and Zn2SnO4 (ZTO) have been thoroughly investigated for photovoltaic and battery applications. Nevertheless, MONs exhibit uncommon adsorptive properties and fast diffusivities, and they are not stable in critical conditions. There is great interest in using a barrier layer made of very thin layers of stable metal oxides coatings e.g. Al2O3, ZnO, and SnO2. In the synthesis and application of the protective coatings of MONs, real challenges arise which have high potential whether for industrial applications or academic research.

 

The Project

 

The primary objective of this joint project is to generate a stable energy storage i.e. a zinc-ion battery (ZIB) as well as energy conversion (Perovskite solar cell) devices. This will be achieved by optimizing particle sizes, morphologies, structure, and phases of Metal Oxide Nanoparticles (MONs) via an inexpensive and eco-friendly hydrothermal process and depositing a protective Metal Oxide (MO) coating on its surface via Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) process.

 

The Science

 

Metal oxide (MO) layers are well-known candidates for barrier layers in a variety of energy devices. Among the metal oxides, aluminum oxide, titanium oxide, zirconium oxide, tin oxide, and various nanolaminates of these materials, grown from atomic layer deposition (ALD), have been proven to provide promising thin-film barriers. ALD deposited MO layers provide substantial protection from water, oxygen, and other corrosive species and can be employed to enhance the long-term stability of sensitive devices such as organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) or organic / perovskite solar cells.

 

The concept of ALD coating has also been widely employed to improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries (LiBs). For instance, the ALD of Al2O3 film on LiCoO2 minimizes Co dissolution and reduces surface electrolyte reactions. In addition, ALD of Al2O3 on LiMn2O4/carbon electrodes was found not only to serve as a physical barrier between the electrolyte and the electrode, but also to exhibit relatively good ionic conductivity which prevents a significant increase in polarization resistance. Moreover, Al2O3 coating significantly mitigates side reactions of active materials without restricting the uptake and release of lithium ions. Later on, the concept of barrier coating was applied in ZIBs wherein it was found that self-discharge of the battery was considerably suppressed without sacrificing battery performance by coating a thin layer coating of Al2O3 onto the surface of the zinc particles. 

 

Even though the technique of spatial atmospheric pressure atomic layer deposition (SAP-ALD) enables roll to roll (R2R) implementation of ALD, it is a slow technique with growth rates ranging in some few nm / s. This is mainly due to the necessity for a layer-by-layer buildup of the volume. Hence, a reduction of the necessary ALD cycles, while simultaneously maintaining the unique layer properties, is highly desirable, due to the direct impact in lowering production costs. A promising approach to improve this position is to grow the ALD layer on top of the nanoparticle scaffold. This is believed to improve the effective barrier volume without the need for additional ALD cycles. 

 

Among metal oxide electron-transporting materials, zinc tin oxide (ZTO) is one of the promising semiconductors due to its chemical stability towards acid/base and ambient environments, its high electron mobility of 10-25 cm2 V-1 s-1, wide optical bandgap (3.8 eV), and compatible conduction band edge (3.8-4.0 eV) with that of perovskite materials. In addition, it was reported that the perovskite solar cell with the ZTO nanoparticle (NP) layer showed the enhanced ambient stability under 30 ± 5 %relative humidity in comparison with the one without ZTO. Particle size and crystallinity also have a strong effect on electron collection ability owing to the interconnection between individual nanoparticles. Highly crystalline having a relatively large particle size is required for efficient electron collection. At the same time, the particle size (due to concomitant interspace) is expected to influence the diffusion of ALD precursor into a NP scaffold. Consequently, a deeper understanding of the interplay between NP size/shape and the ALD growth properties (most prominently temperature to promote precursor diffusion) and their impact on the resulting layer barrier properties is highly desirable.

 

The Team

 

Project Coordinator:

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Soorathep Kheawhom

Faculty of Engineering

Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

 

Asst. Prof. Dr. Pipat Ruankham

Faculty of Science

Chiang Mai University, Thailand

 

Dr. Rongrong Cheacharoen

Metallurgy and Materials Science Research Institute,

Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

 

Dr. Ryan D. Corpuz

CEO, Nanolabs LRC Co. Ltd.

Team lead, iNano Research Facility

De La Salle University-Manila, The Philipines

 

Dr. Lyn Marie DJ. Corpuz

CTO, Nanolabs LRC Co. Ltd.

Resident Scientist, Research Center for Natural and Applied Sciences

University of San Tomas

 

Prof. Dr. Thomas Riedl

Chair of Electronic Devices

University of Wuppertal, Germany

 

 

DIRECTION
PROJECT

3rd Joint Call: DIRECTION

Cassava yields can be significantly increased through irrigation, but there farmers lack guidance on when and how to irrigate. DIRECTION project will study irrigation practices using a participatory approach and develop a mobile phone based decision support app.
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Background

Southeast Asia, especially Thailand, will face major water scarcity problems in the future. Agriculture uses more than 70% of the consumed water in Thailand, and changing climate patterns have led to droughts and irregular rainfall in cassava growing regions. The challenge for Southeast Asia is to remain an important producer of agricultural crops while optimizing yields, manage water use efficiently, and guarantee a livelihood for farmers. Therefore an effective water management needs to be implemented. Especially, cassava growers are small-scale farmers with a low-income need to implement a sustainable use of resources including water. Cassava production can be significantly increased through irrigation, but solutions to optimize cassava yields need to be affordable and make effective use of limited water available.

 

The Project

The project brings together plant eco-physiologists, engineers, agronomists, extension workers and cassava farmers in a set of three participatory workshops in which we exchange knowledge, identify challenges and design solutions. We will test solutions and monitor results with recently developed on-farm sensor technology. One such solution will be model based irrigation. The model will use on-farm sensory data and weather data to make yield predictions and deliver information through a mobile app. Necessary plant physiological data will be collected in managed trials on experimental farms and in targeted greenhouse experiments. 

 

The Science

Plant Physiology: Cassava root systems are sensitive to soil water conditions affecting yield directly through storage root formation and loss (rot). Irrigation thus not only supplies the crop with water, but also steers its development. The project aims to get a more fundamental understanding of this interaction, and to develop relationships that can be used to improve model-based cassava yield predictions. 

Agronomy: The project explores better irrigation practices for cassava, and the applicability of such practices on real farms. 

Engineering: The project tests exploitation of low-cost sensors in real-world conditions and integration of sensor data into an easy mobile phone base app. 

Mathematical crop modeling: The project will develop a novel cassava crop model, with stronger foundations in root eco-physiology. 

 

The Team

The DIRECTION partners are:

  • Coordinator : Dr. Ir. Johannes A. Postma, Plant Sciences, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Juelich, Germany
  • Asst. Prof. Dr Treenut Saithong, 2) Asst. Prof. Dr Saowalak Kalapanulak, 3) Dr. Warakorn Rattanaareekul & 4) Dr. Tanyarat  Khongkhuntian. King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT), Bangkok, Thailand.
  • Dr. Teera Phatrapornnant, National Electronics and Computer Technology Center, National Science and Technology Development Agency, Bangkok, Thailand (NECTEC / NSTDA).
  • Assoc. Prof. Dr. Poramate Banterng, Agronomy Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand
  • Prof. Le Huy Ham, Agricultural Genetics Institute (AGI / VNU), Vietnam Academy of Agriculture Science, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Dr. Wojciechowski. Forschungszentrum Jülich, Institute for Bio- and Geosciences (Plant Sciences, IBG-2), Jülich, Germany

 

Contact: Dr. Ir. J.A.Postma j.postma@fz-juelich.de 

DAADTHEMAC
PROJECT

4th Joint Call: DAADTHEMAC

Neural angiostrongyliasis, the cause of eosinophilic meningitis, is a consequence of the migration of larvae of the nematode parasite (rat lungworm) Angiostrongylus cantonensis in humans and animals. Resulting disease, termed also Angiostrongylus Eosinophilic Meningitis (AEM) is considered a prominent Emerging Infectious Disease.
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Background

Angiostrongylus cantonensis is a unique pathogen that is predominantly dependent on invasive rodent and mollusc hosts. Continuing spread of these organisms has led to wide distribution of AEM throughout the tropics. The majority of clinical cases are reported from SE Asia (the highest incidence in Thailand), however, the disease is broadly distributed in Pacific regions (French Polynesia, Hawaii, Australia) with recent invasions into continental USA. Recently, the pathogen was discovered in rats in the Canary Islands and two year ago, clinical human AEM cases were reported in France. Most recently, in 2019, the parasite was detected in Mallorca, Spain, demonstrating immediate risk of spread in southern parts of EU territories.

 

The Project

This project aims to develop a novel diagnostic tool for human eosinophilic meningitis caused by Angiostrongylus cantonensis, namely a LAMP assay for AC detection in clinical cases, in various organism that serve as infection sources and in environmental samples. Our project consortium combines teams with expertise in various fields of human and veterinary medicine, ecology and infection biology. Project benefits from experience of EU and Thailand teams with development of molecular-based diagnostic tools including the LAMP technology, equipment and experimental work with AC, combined with partnerships/collaboration with research teams from countries with high incidences of AEM clinical cases in SE Asia (Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia). With synergic involvement of adjunct research partners from Australia, Spain, Italy and UK, the project team aims at (i) technological progress in AEM clinical diagnostics, (ii) detection of AC in food chains and (iii) understanding of local as well as global epidemiology of this emerging disease.

 

The Science

As the epidemiology of AEM involves humans, various mammals and birds, invertebrates, as well as environmental components, the One Health approach represents an ultimate avenue in diagnostics and prevention of this emerging disease.  As a result, composition of the consortium, the project involves experimental activities associated with development, optimization and experimental testing of developed assays, alongside clinical evaluation in medical facilities in SEA and detection of AC in the food chain and environment. Proposed LAMP diagnostics offer a range of advantages over other diagnostic approaches as it is applicable in field and clinical conditions as does not require time consuming and technologically demanding steps. The results of this project can be immediately disseminated and translated into sensitization of local populations and public awareness, respecting given cultural context and stage of development of partnering ASEAN countries.  

 

The Team

  • Prof. David Modry, Dr. Vojto Baláž and Barbora Fecková, DVM / Biology Center of Czech Academy of Sciences v.v.i., Branišovská 1160/31, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic

 

  • Muhammad Hambal, DVM, Ph.D. / Syiah Kuala University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Banda Aceh

 

  • Prof. Jan Slapeta / University of Sydney, School of Veterinary Science, Sydney, Australia

 

  • Prof. Domenico Otranto / University of Bari, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Bari, Italy

 

  • Prof. Pilar Foronda Rodríguez / Universidad de La Laguna, Instituto Universitario de Enfermedades Tropicales y Salud Pública de Canarias, Spain;

 

  • Dr. Nicholas Morant, OptiGene Limited, Horsham, UK

 

Contact

Prof. MVDr. David Modry, Ph.D. / Biology Center of Czech Academy of Sciences v.v.i., Branišovská 1160/31, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic, email: modrydav@gmail.com