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European Research Council (ERC) Proof of Concept Grant for AMBER PI

27 July 2023

AMBER PI and Professor of Tissue Engineering in Trinity College Dublin and Director of the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering (TCBE) Dr Daniel J Kelly has been awarded an European Research Council (ERC) Proof of Concept Grant in the second round of the 2023 competition.

The grant was awarded to project ‘Melt Electrowriting of Multi-layered Scaffolds for osteochondral defect repair (MEMS)’. Osteochondral (OC) defect is a focal area of joint damage that involves both the articular cartilage and the underlying subchondral bone. Joint damage is strongly associated with the development of premature osteoarthritis. MEMS recently developed MEW scaffolds that support superior bone regeneration compared to scaffolds produced using traditional additive manufacturing techniques. The MEMS project aims to further enhance the regenerative capacity of these MEW OC scaffolds by (i) optimising their architecture, and (ii) functionalizing their surface with extracellular matrix (ECM) components supportive of tissue-specific regeneration. The output of MEMS will be an off-the-shelf implant capable of directing endogenous OC defect regeneration without the need for delivering exogenous cells to the defect site.

The €150,000 funding of MEMS, just one of 66 projects selected by the ERC, will help to unlock the commercial and societal potential of Prof Kelly’s research. This funding is part of the EU’s research and innovation programme, Horizon Europe.

The ERC, set up by the European Union in 2007, is the premier European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. It funds creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects based across Europe. The ERC offers four main grant schemes: Starting Grants, Consolidator Grants, Advanced Grants, and Synergy Grants. The ERC is led by an independent governing body, the Scientific Council. Since 1 November 2021, Maria Leptin is the President of the ERC. The overall ERC budget from 2021 to 2027 is more than €16 billion, as part of the Horizon Europe programme.

Learn more about the awarded projects here

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