The National Science Centre announced the winners of the latest edition of the OPUS 22 + LAP/Weave call. Two Jagiellonian University researchers, Prof. Kinga Aleksandra Sałat from the JU MC Faculty of Pharmacy and Dr Bipin Indurkhya from the JU Faculty of Philosophy, will carry out research projects with partners from Austria, Czechia and Slovenia.
Lead Agency Procedure (LAP) is a new standard of application assessment introduced in European institutions funding science. It is focused on making it easier for research teams to apply for joint projects and facilitating the process of assessing these applications. Projects bringing together researchers from different countries are assessed by only one leading institution in one of those countries. Other partner institutions accept the results of such an assessment and provide funding accordingly.
The projects carried out by Polish teams will be funded by the National Science Centre, while foreign partners will receive grants from the Czech Science Foundation, Austrian Science Fund and Slovenian Research Agency. The National Science Centre was the leading institution within the framework of LAP, assessing all applications as part of the OPUS 22 call.
Prof. Kinga Aleksandra Sałat from the JU MC Faculty of Pharmacy will lead a project entitled Research of multifunctional compounds targeting neuroinflammation and cholinergic deficit in Alzheimer’s disease. ‘The aim of this project is to design and develop new compounds – molecular tools, potential drug candidates for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. . . . Using structural techniques for drug design and combining two structural features in a single chemical molecule, compounds will be developed to influence various AD-related processes. MTDLs [multi-target-directed ligands] developed in this project will be a valuable contribution to the search for a preclinical candidate for a new memory-enhancing drug; the latter will form an important basis for the further development towards an active pharmaceutical substance’, read the project’s description. It will be carried out together with researchers from the University of Hradec Kralove (Czechia) and University of Ljubljana (Slovenia).
The second project, Intuitive Collaboration with Household Robots in Everyday Settings, will be supervised by Prof. Bipin Indurkhya from the JU Faculty of Philosophy. According to the abstract, the researchers ‘plan to employ a user-centric approach by conducting user studies throughout the project, to model how humans use gestures and gaze naturally to collaborate with a robot. These studies will be conducted for a set of specially prepared scenarios. . . . [They] will test the hypotheses that incorporating gesture- and gaze-based information in human-robot interaction makes the human user more comfortable and more trusting of the robot. The deliverables of the project will facilitate designing intuitive interfaces for the user to interact with robots in private spaces such as homes, semi-private areas such as educational institutes, and public spaces like malls, airports, museums, and hospitals’. The research team will feature partners from the Vienna University of Technology (Austria) and Czech Technical University in Prague.