Awarded Projects of Fourth ANR-NRF Joint Grant Call

The fourth ANR-NRF Joint Grant Call was launched in November 2017, focusing on basic research into materials, nanotechnologies and nanosystems with relevance to addressing societal challenges including clean, secure and efficient energy; industrial renewal; sustainable mobility and urban systems; and information and communication society.  38 full proposals were received when the call closed in April 2018. 

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

1. A Luminogenic Real-time Detection System for Monitoring Enzymatic Manufacturing of Oligonucleotides (LuminoManufactureOligo) by Dr Richard Jean-Alexandre from Agency for Science, Technology and Research's Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences

The LuminoManufactureOligo project aims to develop a "Process Analytical Technology" (PAT) tool for the monitoring of the enzymatic synthesis of oligonucleotides. It takes advantage of the sensitivity of optical techniques to perform reaction monitoring using molecular probes (i.e. probes emitting light as a result of the enzyme activity) which are convenient, cost-effective and should be amenable to implementation in the manufacturing plant. This project aims to explore different strategies to improve the sensitivity of these probes, and will be the first time that such a photoactive chemical tool is used as a help for drug manufacturing. An enzymatic approach combined with the monitoring device will play apart to provide oligonucleotide drugs at an affordable cost.

2. A Strategy for the Popularisation of Si and C based Nanochemistry (Si-POP) by Associate Professor So Cheuk Wai from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

The Si-POP project aims to develop thermally labile and low-valent silicon and carbon precursors for the synthesis of various silicon and carbon nanomaterials in a normal flask using ordinary chemical synthetic techniques at ambient conditions, as well as investigating their application toward battery. The success of this project will result in providing a novel, easy and simple strategy to the physics and chemistry community to easily access, investigate and/or explore silicon and carbon nanomaterials at ambient conditions, which will accelerate their development in both France and Singapore.
 
3. Enabling Stretchable Metallic Conductors through Atomic Reconfigurations in FCC/BCC Nanolayers (Street ARt Nano) by Assistant Professor Arief Suriadi Budiman from Singapore University of Technology and Design

The Street ARt Nano project aims to harness the unique capacity for atomic reconfigurations in FCC/BCC nanolayers to enable stretchable metallic conductors. This approach of using atomic reconfigurations (instead of the structural reconfigurations in existing metallic stretchable technologies) is novel and, due to the associated diffusional and displacive mechanisms strictly in the interface, could lead to potentially new, breakthrough metallic stretchable materials – stretchable (and recoverable) without compromising the electrical conductivity upon significant mechanical deformation, as well as upon long operational duration (durability). Stretchable conductors are important part of stretchable electronics, which could lead to many important technologies such as artificial skin, muscle, limb as well as soft robotics and human-machine interfaces.
 
4. Enhancing POlymer Crystallinity in MixEd Matrix Membranes by Incorporating Metal-Organic Framework Nanosheets for an Efficient CO2 Capture (POCEMON) by Assistant Professor Zhao Dan from National University of Singapore 

The POCEMON project aims to fabricate a type of membrane named mixed matrix membrane (MMM) by combining two materials, including continuous polymer phase and dispersed two dimensional porous filler phase. Effective polymer-filler interactions can lead to the generation of size-selective channels in the polymer phase, largely promoting the membrane separation efficiency. Meanwhile, the pores in fillers can provide ultrafast gas transport paths, leading to improved membrane productivity. This proposed approach represents a general concept for fabricating novel membranes with excellent gas separation performance for CO2 capture. 
 
5. THz Optomechanical CMOS-Compatible Detector with Integrated Germanium Nanolasers (TIGER) by Assistant Professor Nam Donguk from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

The TIGER project aims to create a Terahertz (THz) detector that may enable a revolutionary THz system that can be as small as your fingertip and be produced at a dramatically reduced manufacturing cost. The THz frequency domain has a myriad of anticipated applications such as wireless THz communications, security screening, and bio-chemical sensing.

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