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Research Stratingh

NWO Vici grants for 2 Stratingh researchers

29 February 2024

The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has awarded Vici grants, worth up to €1.5 million each, to Nathalie Katsonis and Edwin Otten. This will enable them to develop an innovative line of research for five years.

Vici is one of the largest scientific grants for individuals in the Netherlands and targets advanced researchers. The funding instrument enables researchers to pursue research of their own choice. This gives innovative research a boost and encourages the promotion of talent at scientific research institutes.

Nathalie Katsonis

The research for which Prof. Nathalie Katsonis has been awarded a Vici grant concerns the origins of primitive cells in the first ocean. The origin of life on Earth stands as one of the great mysteries of science. Researchers have long concluded that the chemical reactions that allowed life to emerge took place in microscopic compartments, called protocells. However, it is still not known how these protocells were formed. With this grant, Katsonis and her group will explore the possibility that protocells were made of lipids, formed by solar irradiation of a primordial oil layer that covered the ocean. The results of this research will also apply to an important contemporary issue: the mitigation of environmental damage by treatment and removal of polluting oil spills.

Edwin Otten

The grant awarded research project of Prof. Otten investigates how to build better batteries with organic molecules. In this project the researchers will develop flow batteries based on abundant elements to replace the scarce metals that are currently used. Bipolar organic molecules will be developed as the charge-storage material for symmetrical batteries, in which the + and – pole have identical chemical composition. This results in increased lifetime and lower cost, and thus represents a major step towards more sustainable batteries for the efficient storage of renewable energy.

Last modified:29 February 2024 12.16 p.m.

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