Awarded Projects of Fifth ANR-NRF Joint Grant Call

The fifth ANR-NRF Joint Grant Call was launched in November 2018.  The call focused on nanomaterials and information communication science and technologies, and their relevant applications in supporting sustainable cities. 45 full proposals were received when the call closed in April 2019.

Following evaluation by a joint panel from ANR and NRF, the following projects were awarded.

1. Adaptive Learning for Interactive Agents and Systems (ALIAS) by Assistant Professor Georgios Piliouras from Singapore University of Technology and Design

A critical challenge in the digital era is the need to make decisions in complex systems in real time, often based on data that arrive at very high volumes. The goal of the ALIAS proposal is to understand under what conditions does multi-agent learning converge to a stable state in such systems, and in the other direction what type of behavior should be expected when it does not equilibrate. This project aims to address these issues by combining techniques from game theory, machine learning, and dynamical systems. 

2. Highly Efficient Electrochemical Kinetic Energy Harvesting using Nanomaterials (KineHarvest) by Assistant Professor Lee Seok Woo from Nanyang Technological University

Kinetic energy harvesting system has a large potential to supply power to various applications, such as wearable device, bio-implantable device, Internet of Things (IoTs), and remote power for sensors. Recently, the team developed a new electrochemical system for kinetic energy harvesting using a selective ion sweeping phenomenon by the hydrodynamic flow of electrolyte. In the proposed study, the team will utilise nanomaterials to enhance the output current and voltage from the kinetic energy and to understand the relationship between the ion sweeping behavior and the shear stress of the flow. The proposed electrochemical system has never been reported and the preliminary study has proven the concept. This is a great opportunity to lead the field of kinetic energy harvesting using electrochemistry with various applications. Furthermore, the team will acquire the intellectual property for the future commercialisation. In addition to the engineering matter, this study will bring many scientific interests of electrochemistry, surface chemistry, and even fluidic dynamics.  

3. Nanostructured Materials for Advanced Na SolidsTate battERies (Na-MASTER) by Assistant Professor Pieremanuele Canepa from National University of Singapore

Limiting global warming requires major discoveries in energy storage technologies (e.g. via rechargeable batteries.) Na-MASTER aims to discover new and optimised existing materials for long-lasting and inexpensive all-solid-state sodium-ion batteries. This will be done by combining advanced synthesis and characterisation capabilities of Na-MASTER French partner and the team’s modelling expertise. Na-MASTER targets to expand the operation temperature range of high temperature all-solid-state batteries, pioneered by the French team, down to ambient temperature.  

4. Provable Mitigation of Side Channel through Parametric Verification (ProMiS) by Associate Professor Sun Jun from Singapore Management University

The Spectre vulnerability has recently been reported to affect most modern processors. Attackers can extract information about the private data using a timing attack. This is an example of side channel attacks, where secure information flow through side channels unintentionally. How to systematically mitigate such attacks is an important and challenging research problem. This project proposes to automatically synthesise mitigation of side channel attacks using well-developed verification techniques. Given a system with design parameters which can be tuned to mitigate side channel attacks, this approach will automatically generate provable “secure” valuations of the parameters.

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