Trinity duo win ERC Proof of Concept grants

Posted on: 24 January 2023

Drs Sarah McCormack and David Finlay have won highly competitive Proof of Concept grants and will now use the funds to take their ground-breaking research ideas towards exciting, impactful innovations.

ERC Proof of Concept grants, which are worth €150,000, maximise the value of the research funded by the ERC to support further work to verify the innovation potential of ideas arising from previously funded projects. They are awarded on the basis of excellence assessed through breakthrough potential, the approach proposed, and the capacity and commitment of the applicant. 

Dr McCormack, from Trinity’s School of Engineering, will create advanced luminescent technology software while Dr Finlay, from the School of Biochemistry and Immunology, will develop a technique for resolving immune cells based on someone’s metabolic profile.

When creating the luminescent technology software, Dr McCormack will use a model developed in her ERC-funded PEDAL project, which focused on the development of plasmonic luminescent solar devices specifically for building integration and led to significant enhancement of solar cell efficiencies in diffuse solar radiation.  

This grant will enable the development of software to explore the commercial applications of this new advanced plasmonic luminescent technology and help upscale these devices for building integration as well as broadening the applicability and impact of luminescent devices for light management in areas such as agrivoltaics and in bioreactors. 

Dr McCormack said: “The new project EVOLUTE will enable us to develop advanced software to determine the commercial potential not only of building integrated luminescent solar components but also the potential of luminescent devices for other light management applications beyond solar energy. The significant potential of these devices in broader applications gives us exciting research directions and this funding enables us to explore and develop them in our team.”

Congratulating the awardees and their wider teams, Provost Linda Doyle said: “The ERC Proof of Concept scheme highlights the real-world benefits of supporting fundamental research in every discipline. Sarah and David’s projects have enormous potential to provide exciting new solutions for the future of healthcare and sustainable infrastructure.”