Frontier Interdisciplinary Projects (FIPs)

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.

With the new Severo Ochoa Programme FUNFUTURE ("Smart Functional Materials for a Better Future"), we opened a new round of FIP projects, and in the call of 2020, 7 projects started, in novel and risky ideas and in technologies that can go close to the market.

The FIP projects run for 1 or 2 years and can be individual or collaborative (between researchers of different research groups, or between ICMAB reserachers and reserachers from other reserach centers, hospitals or companies).


With the new FUNFUTURE Severo Ochoa, in the 2020 call we financed 7 FIP projects: 

  • One FIP project of the RL2, DATOPTICON, to improve the chances of Coated Conductors to penetrate into the market using high-throughput experimentation to make Superconductors more sustainable, effective & affordable.
  • Two FIP projects of the RL3: META-MAG, to introduce a groundbreaking approach to magnetic/superconductor metasurfaces that target technological challenges in magnetic sensors for applications in automobiles, medicine, or even space; and SPIN2DFUN, that will use spintronics to improve device performance and energy consumption on IT.
  • One FIP project of the RL4, GELLYSENS, which aims to create affordable printable electronics for point-of-care diagnosis without the need for specialized personnel, based on EGOFET bio-sensors covered with a hydrogel film with the bio-recognitor.
  • Three FIP projects of the RL5: BEAT (in collaboration with IDIBELL), to develop biomaterials with polypyrrole & bacterial cellulose to aid in the resynchronization of the cardiac pulse; VIRADEN, to create a non-invasive contrast agent based on organic radical dendrimers to substitute more toxic alternatives for MRI; and CORNEALTransMed (in collboration with Clínica Barraquer) to develop patches with bioactive bacterial cellulose with regenerative properties to treat corneal damage.

These 2020 FIP projects are explained in 2-minute videos in our Youtube channel. Take a look at them in this playlist!

FUNMAT 2016-2019 FIPs

In total, during the FUNMAT 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.

  • 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.

FIPs Outputs

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 more than 30 publications, over 70 presentations in conferences, 15 training contracts, 12 new projects, 10 dissemination activities, 2 patents, 4 contracts with the industry and 6 new established collaborations.

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