NWO: Technology Area (TA) projects in the Chemicals, Agri&Food, and Energy sectors scheduled to start in 2020

NWO: Technology Area (TA) projects in the Chemicals, Agri&Food, and Energy sectors scheduled to start in 2020

(PRESS RELEASE) THE HAGUE, 2-Apr-2020 — /EuropaWire/ — Three Technology Area (TA) projects are scheduled to start in 2020. A consortium led by Geert-Jan Boons (Utrecht University) will link allergenic proteins to complex sugars to open new avenues for preventing and treating food allergies. Erik van der Kolk (Delft University of Technology) will lead a consortium that will develop luminescent coatings for greenhouses, to convert ultraviolet light into visible light. A consortium led by Albertinka Murk (Wageningen University & Research) plans to investigate the responses of rays and sharks to electromagnetic fields generated by North Sea power cables. These three projects have been approved within the Science PPP (public-private partnership) fund. They are in line with the top sectors of Chemicals, Agri&Food, and Energy. A total of approximately €3 million has been made available for these collaborative ventures between the worlds of research and business.

The summaries of the approved TA projects are listed below:

Preventing and treating food allergies with immunomodulatory carbohydrates
Lead applicant: Prof. Geert-Jan Boons (Utrecht University)
Consortium: Utrecht University, University Medical Center Utrecht, Danone Nutricia Research, EnzyTag B.V.
Food allergy is a serious health problem that affects about 4-8% of children and 3-4% of adults. As yet, there is no preventative or therapeutic treatment for this problem. Anyone affected by this is advised to avoid the protein that triggers their allergy. However, they do need to be exposed to that protein in order to develop oral tolerance – the point at which they no longer develop an adverse immune response to that substance. Researchers working on this project will link allergenic proteins from cow’s milk and peanuts to complex sugars, to assess their tolerance-inducing capacity. This will open up various avenues for preventing and treating food allergies.

Managing light in greenhouses
Lead applicant: Dr Erik van der Kolk (Delft University of Technology)
Consortium: Delft University of Technology, Physee Group B.V. Bom holding B.V., Saint-Gobain, DSM, Wageningen University and Research
This consortium will develop luminescent coatings for greenhouses, to convert ultraviolet light into visible light that plants can use to grow (known as PAR light). These luminescent SiAlON coatings are doped with Eu2+. They will be integrated into the existing anti-reflection coating by means of magnetron sputtering, a technique that is widely used in the glass industry. The UV-PAR conversion will be enhanced by integrating novel luminescent nanocrystalline and microcrystalline particles into screen agents. The resultant diffuse light has a range of benefits, such as the ability to penetrate deep into the greenhouse.

Exploring the effects of electromagnetic fields on rays and sharks
Lead applicant: Prof. Albertinka Murk (Wageningen University & Research)
Consortium: Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen Marine Research, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, TenneT, Witteveen+Bos, Rijkswaterstaat, Stichting de Noordzee (North Sea Foundation)
Rays and sharks are important top predators that use electromagnetic fields (EMF) to hunt for prey and for navigation. There is clear evidence that the EMF around the power cables of offshore structures can affect the behaviour of these fish. By excluding bottom fishing, offshore wind farms can help populations of rays and sharks to recover. However, this beneficial effect could be negated by the EMF around their power cables. This project will use non-invasive techniques to investigate the effects of EMF on these animals. It will also identify ways of mitigating these effects, if necessary.

About Technology Area (TA)
Technology Area is one of the public-private partnerships within the Science PPP fund. TA is designed to stimulate public-private partnership between at least two companies and two knowledge institutions. The business community covers 30% of the project costs, while the Dutch Research Council (NWO) pays the remaining 70%. The scale of these projects ranges from €750,000 to €1,500,000. TA was a funding programme available within the Science PPP fund for new initiatives that further the roadmaps of a number of top sectors – Chemicals, Energy, and Agri&Food – as part of the 2018-2019 Knowledge and Innovation Contract. This was the last round of the Science PPP fund: it has already been agreed that the programme will not return as part of the 2020-2023 Knowledge and Innovation Contract.

Further details about the Science PPP fund can be found at https://www.nwo.nl/en/research-and-results/programmes/ENW+PPS+Fund. To find out more about the public-private partnership opportunities within the 2020-2023 Knowledge and Innovation Contract, go to https://www.nwo.nl/en/research-and-results/programmes/nwo/knowledge-and-innovation-covenant/index.html

For more information, please contact:

Spokespersons NWO
Olivier Morot o.morot@nwo.nl
t.: +31 (0)6 53 17 53 77
Poppy Savenije p.savenije@nwo.nl
t. +31 (0)6 83 89 37 13

Outside hours, the spokespersons can be reached via
t. +31 (0)70 344 07 29

Source: NWO


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