16 Feb 2011   |   News

DFG puts in €19.3M fund nine new research units

DFG has agreed to set up nine new research units in topics ranging from engineering to social sciences. Five of the new groups will be involved in international projects.

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is to establish nine new Research Units covering all the DFG’s major research areas, from life sciences to natural and engineering sciences right through to humanities and social sciences. Topics covered will include multiscale 3D modelling for planning subway and tram routes, the creation of new algorithms and communication strategies for electricity transmission networks and how changes in rice cultivation in Southeast Asia affect climate change. During the first three-year funding period, the nine new units will receive Euro19.3 million in total funding. The formation of these new Research Units brings the total number of DFG-funded Research Units to 220.

Five of the new groups involve international projects in which researchers will collaborate with colleagues in Denmark, Israel, the Netherlands, the Philippines and Switzerland.

Some highlights of the new research units

The further development of microsystems into smart systems is the aim of the Sensorische Mikro- und Nanosysteme (Sensory Micro- and Nanosystems) Research Unit. The researchers intend to move on from current microtechnologies based on silicon, further miniaturising the components, incorporating nanotechnologies in manufacturing and using new materials. This will enable more functions to be integrated into a single component, which will in turn provide new and considerably improved functionality. The coordinating is the Chemnitz University of Technology, under Thomas Gessner.

Another new Research Unit will develop new protection and control systems for maximum-voltage electricity transmission networks, which span multiple continents. This process involves performing research into new protection and control algorithms designed, for example, to optimise system monitoring, improve reactions to short-term overloads, and make major outages easier to prevent. The unit will also carry out research into communication networks and strategies with the aim of developing real-time-capable information and communications technology. The combination of these two focus areas is intended to make electrical energy transmission systems even more reliable and secure.The coordinating institution for the project is The Technical University of Dortmund, under Christian Rehtanz

In a third project, “Introducing Non-Flooded Crops in Rice-Dominated Landscapes“ researchers will use modern molecular and plant physiology methods to study the environmental consequences of current and future changes in rice cultivation in large areas of Southeast Asia. In doing so, the group will pay particular attention to the effects modified rice cultivation systems have on the biogeochemical carbon and nitrogen cycles, on the emission of greenhouse gases and on the water balance. The team will cooperate with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines, where rice varieties and cultivation techniques are developed.

The Justus Liebig University of Giessen will lead the project under the direction of Volkmar Wolters 

More details at: http://www.dfg.de/for

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