The Frontier Interdisciplinary Projects (FIPs) are an internal call of proposals for researchers of the Institute for the developement of high-risk exploratory projects of interdisciplinary character to generate cutting-edge research in the application areas of clean & secure energy, smart & sustainable electronics and smart nanomedicine.
FIP projects aim to reinforce the internal links and scientific critical mass of ICMAB researchers, and to contribute strengthening the international leadership of the Institute in the area of functional materials.
Continuing the Strategic Vision for the Severo Ochoa programme FUNMAT ("Smart FUNctional MATerials for social grand challenges"), the ICMAB opened in 2016, 2017 and 2018 three calls for Frontier Interdisciplinary Projects (FIP), which finished by the end of the Severo Ochoa first call programme, i.e. by the end of 2019.
The researchers of the Institute were able to propose innovative and risky ideas with potential to end up in the market, "proof-of-concept" trials based on previously obtained results or novel ideas for radically new technologies.
The FIP projects could run for 1 or 2 years, and maximum until the end of the Severo Ochoa project (end of 2019), and could be individual or collaborative (between researchers of different research groups).
In 2016 we granted 6 projects with a total of 400,000 € for the Institute researchers, allowing the contracts of 3 PhD fellows and 3 postdoctoral fellows within these projects.
In 2017 we financed 9 projects with a total of 550,000 €, 1 of which was in the new-created category “proof of concept”, allowing the contracts of 1 PhD fellow and 7 postdoctoral fellows.
In 2018 we financed 9 projects with a total of 540,000 €, allowing to recruit 2 Master students, 5 PhD researchers and 3 postdoctoral fellows. From these 9 projects, 2 of them were individual, 6 collaborative and 1 proof-of-concept.
In total, during the Severo Ochoa period, we financed 24 FIP projects, distributed among the different research lines (RL) as following: 6 for RL1, 2 for RL2, 7 for RL3, 2 for RL4 and 7 for RL5.
Important outputs of the FIPs are already detected, including strong generation of internal synergy, high risk of ideas incentivized and enhanced competitiveness.
Some of the outputs include 27 publications, 56 presentations in conferences, 15 training contracts, 12 new projects, 5 dissemination activities, 2 patents, 4 contracts with the industry and 6 new established collaborations.