20. October 2021

COMET: Three Ground-Breaking Research Projects Launched

Competition in the 2nd call for grant applications for so-called COMET modules was fierce. 17 modules were submitted for funding from a budget sufficient to support six such proposals. Three, that is half, of the approved modules were submitted by research centres in the UAR Innovation Network – a remarkable success! Each module has a project budget of EUR 3.75 million and is scheduled to run for four years.

Protection of industrial know-how from hackers

More and more operationally critical knowledge is included in software and artificial intelligence applications which, in turn, are becoming part of more and more products and processes. Protecting this know-how is one of the challenges facing industry. Software Competence Center Hagenberg (SCCH) is tackling this issue with its research project DEPS – Dependable Production Environments with Software Security. The aim is to use copy-proof hardware characteristics and accompanying control mechanisms embedded in the software to significantly enhance the hardware, turning it into a “security fortress” of software applications.

Reusing valuable raw materials

For recycling management it is essential that valuable raw materials are reusable. To this end, the K1-MET research centre is running a project named FuLIBatteR (Future lithium-ion battery recycling for recovery of critical raw materials) in association with partners from Styria to research innovative processing methods with a view to increasing the recyclability of lithium-ion batteries and completing the raw materials cycle. This would make Europe less dependent on supplies of the critical metals needed for the transformation of the energy system. High-performance batteries like this are central to the new mobility and are often used for critical applications in industry or medical technology.

Laws of nature for bio-based sensors

The team members working on the i³ Sense project come from Upper Austria, Lower Austria and Carinthia. Under the leadership of Kompetenzzentrum Holz - Wood K plus, the project, full name “i³ Sense – Intelligent, integrated, and impregnated cellulose-based sensors for reliable bio-based structures”, is looking to the laws of nature for integrated intelligence and investigating the piezoelectric properties and other characteristics of wood and other bio-based materials. Subjected to mechanical stress, certain materials produce an electrical charge. In future, these effects can be exploited in vehicles to avert potential collisions without having to install sensors specifically for the purpose.

We congratulate the members and partners of the UAR Innovation Network and wish them every success with their projects.

(c) iStock / Bartek Szewczyk