Bielefeld, Germany
Bielefeld, Germany

Bielefeld University is a university in Bielefeld, Germany. Founded in 1969, it is one of the country's newer universities, and considers itself a "reform" university, following a different style of organization and teaching than the established universities. In particular, the university aims to "re-establish the unity between research and teaching", and so all its faculty teach courses in their area of research. The university also stresses a focus on interdisciplinary research, helped by the architecture, which encloses all faculties in one great structure. It is among the first of the German universities to switch some faculties to Bachelor/Master-degrees as part of the Bologna process.Bielefeld University has started an extensive multi-phase modernisation project, which upon completion in 2025 would result in completely new university buildings to replace the 40-year old main building. A total investment of more than 1 billion euros has been planned for this undertaking. Wikipedia.


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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BIOTEC-6-2015 | Award Amount: 7.96M | Year: 2016

Biological sequence diversity in nowhere as apparent as in the vast sequence space of viral genomes. The Virus-X project will specifically explore the outer realms of this diversity by targeting the virosphere of selected microbial ecosystems and investigate the encoded functional variety of viral gene products. The project is driven by the expected large innovation value and unique properties of viral proteins, previously demonstrated by the many virally-derived DNA and RNA processing enzymes used in biotechnology. Concomitantly, the project will advance our understanding of important aspects of ecology in terms of viral diversity, ecosystem dynamics and virus-host interplay. Last but not least, due to the inherent challenges in gene annotation, functional assignments and other virus-specific technical obstacles of viral metagenomics, the Virus-X project specifically addresses these challenges using innovative measures in all parts of the discovery and analysis pipeline, from sampling difficult extreme biotopes, through sequencing and innovative bioinformatics to efficient production of enzymes for molecular biotechnology. Virus-X will advance the metagenomic tool-box significantly and our capabilities for future exploitation of viral biological diversity, the largest unexplored genetic reservoir on Earth.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-04-2015 | Award Amount: 8.00M | Year: 2016

Modular Microserver DataCentre (M2DC) will investigate, develop and demonstrate (Technology Readiness Level 7) a modular, highly-efficient, cost-optimized server architecture composed of heterogeneous microserver computing resources, being able to be tailored to meet requirements from various application domains such as image processing, cloud computing or even HPC. To achieve this objective, M2DC will be built on three main pillars: - [Pillar 1] A flexible server architecture that can be easily customised, maintained and updated so as to enable adaptation of the data centre. Open server architecture will enable integration of computing resources with constrained thermal power dissipation such as embedded CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs, manycore processors integrated using established standards such as COM Express. - [Pillar 2] Advanced management strategies [Pillar 2a] and system efficiency enhancements (SEE) [Pillar 2b] will improve the behaviour of the system during runtime. The server architecture will include built-in enhancements (e.g., for computing acceleration, energy efficiency, dependability and security, behaviour monitoring, etc.) on system level. - [Pillar 3] Well-defined interfaces to surrounding software ecosystem will allow for an easy integration into existing data centre management solutions through the use of the latest middleware software for resource management, provisioning, etc. The results of these three pillars will be combined to produce TCO (Total Cost of Ownership)-optimized appliances, deployed in a real data centre environment and seamlessly interacting with existing infrastructure to run real-life applications.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-EJD | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.86M | Year: 2017

Expectations play a crucial role in determining the behaviour of many economic decision makers. The recent financial and economic crisis has highlighted the importance of expectation dynamics for economic development, the success of firm strategies and public policies. The Innovative Training Network ExSIDE aims at improving our understanding of the role of expectation formation and social influence for economic dynamics and for the optimal design of economic policy. This agenda will be pursued by combining an interdisciplinary research agenda with an innovative European joint doctoral training programme, which provides Early Stage Researchers with a broad range of expertise and skills needed for a thorough analysis of expectation formation processes and their role in Economics. Both the research projects and the training activities will combine work in Behavioural Economics, Psychoanalysis, Opinion Formation, Network Theory, Agent-based Simulation and Economic Modelling in different areas. The academic training will be complemented by extensive Transferable Skills Training Measures, Inter-Sectoral Training Measures, provided by non-academic partners, and Career Development Training. Interaction with stakeholders, policy makers and the general public will play an important role in pursuing the ExSIDE agenda and disseminating the results. The ExSIDE consortium consists of eight leading European universities and nine non-academic partners. Each Early Stage Researcher will be hosted by two universities, has a secondment with a non-academic partner and will graduate with a joint or double degree. The research and training in ExSIDE will ensure world-wide employability of the ExSIDE graduates inside and outside academia and will also boost the ability of European institutions and companies to develop efficient policies and strategies. ExSIDE will reinforce the establishment and long term sustainability of structured European joint doctoral programmes in Economics.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: SGA-RIA | Phase: FETFLAGSHIP | Award Amount: 89.00M | Year: 2016

Understanding the human brain is one of the greatest scientific challenges of our time. Such an understanding can provide profound insights into our humanity, leading to fundamentally new computing technologies, and transforming the diagnosis and treatment of brain disorders. Modern ICT brings this prospect within reach. The HBP Flagship Initiative (HBP) thus proposes a unique strategy that uses ICT to integrate neuroscience data from around the world, to develop a unified multi-level understanding of the brain and diseases, and ultimately to emulate its computational capabilities. The goal is to catalyze a global collaborative effort. During the HBPs first Specific Grant Agreement (SGA1), the HBP Core Project will outline the basis for building and operating a tightly integrated Research Infrastructure, providing HBP researchers and the scientific Community with unique resources and capabilities. Partnering Projects will enable independent research groups to expand the capabilities of the HBP Platforms, in order to use them to address otherwise intractable problems in neuroscience, computing and medicine in the future. In addition, collaborations with other national, European and international initiatives will create synergies, maximizing returns on research investment. SGA1 covers the detailed steps that will be taken to move the HBP closer to achieving its ambitious Flagship Objectives.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: SGA-RIA | Phase: FETFLAGSHIP | Award Amount: 89.00M | Year: 2016

This project is the second in the series of EC-financed parts of the Graphene Flagship. The Graphene Flagship is a 10 year research and innovation endeavour with a total project cost of 1,000,000,000 euros, funded jointly by the European Commission and member states and associated countries. The first part of the Flagship was a 30-month Collaborative Project, Coordination and Support Action (CP-CSA) under the 7th framework program (2013-2016), while this and the following parts are implemented as Core Projects under the Horizon 2020 framework. The mission of the Graphene Flagship is to take graphene and related layered materials from a state of raw potential to a point where they can revolutionise multiple industries. This will bring a new dimension to future technology a faster, thinner, stronger, flexible, and broadband revolution. Our program will put Europe firmly at the heart of the process, with a manifold return on the EU investment, both in terms of technological innovation and economic growth. To realise this vision, we have brought together a larger European consortium with about 150 partners in 23 countries. The partners represent academia, research institutes and industries, which work closely together in 15 technical work packages and five supporting work packages covering the entire value chain from materials to components and systems. As time progresses, the centre of gravity of the Flagship moves towards applications, which is reflected in the increasing importance of the higher - system - levels of the value chain. In this first core project the main focus is on components and initial system level tasks. The first core project is divided into 4 divisions, which in turn comprise 3 to 5 work packages on related topics. A fifth, external division acts as a link to the parts of the Flagship that are funded by the member states and associated countries, or by other funding sources. This creates a collaborative framework for the entire Flagship.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-24-2015 | Award Amount: 4.00M | Year: 2016

The crowning achievement of human communication is our unique ability to share intentionality, create and execute on joint plans. Using this paradigm we model human-robot communication as a three step process: sharing attention, establishing common ground and forming shared goals. Prerequisites for successful communication are being able to decode the cognitive state of people around us (mindreading) and building trust. Our main goal is to create robots that analyze and track human behavior over time in the context of their surroundings (situational) using audio-visual monitoring in order to establish common ground and mind-reading capabilities. On BabyRobot we focus on the typically developing and autistic spectrum children user population. Children have unique communication skills, are quick and adaptive learners, eager to embrace new robotic technologies. This is especially relevant for special eduation where the development of social skills is delayed or never fully develops without intervention or therapy. Thus our second goal is to define, implement and evaluate child-robot interaction application scenarios for developing specific socio-affective, communication and collaboration skills in typically developing and autistic spectrum children. We will support not supplant the therapist or educator, working hand-in-hand to create a low risk environment for learning and cognitive development. Breakthroughs in core robotic technologies are needed to support this research mainly in the areas of motion planning and control in constrained spaces, gestural kinematics, sensorimotor learning and adaptation. Our third goal is to push beyond the state-of-the-art in core robotic technologies to support natural human-robot interaction and collaboration for edutainment and healthcare applications. Creating robots that can establish communication protocols and form collaboration plans on the fly will have impact beyond the application scenarios investigated here.


Wendisch V.F.,Bielefeld University
Current Opinion in Biotechnology | Year: 2014

Amino acids are produced at the multi-million-ton-scale with fermentative production of l-glutamate and l-lysine alone being estimated to amount to more than five million tons in the year 2013. Metabolic engineering constantly improves productivities of amino acid producing strains, mainly Corynebacterium glutamicum and Escherichia coli strains. Classical mutagenesis and screening have been accelerated by combination with intracellular metabolite sensing. Synthetic biology approaches have allowed access to new carbon sources to realize a flexible feedstock concept. Moreover, new pathways for amino acid production as well as fermentative production of non-native compounds derived from amino acids or their metabolic precursors were developed. These include dipeptides, α,ω-diamines, α,ω-diacids, keto acids, acetylated amino acids and ω-amino acids. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Dietz K.-J.,Bielefeld University
Antioxidants and Redox Signaling | Year: 2011

Peroxiredoxins (Prx) are central elements of the antioxidant defense system and the dithiol-disulfide redox regulatory network of the plant and cyanobacterial cell. They employ a thiol-based catalytic mechanism to reduce H 2O 2, alkylhydroperoxide, and peroxinitrite. In plants and cyanobacteria, there exist 2-CysPrx, 1-CysPrx, PrxQ, and type II Prx. Higher plants typically contain at least one plastid 2-CysPrx, one nucleo-cytoplasmic 1-CysPrx, one chloroplast PrxQ, and one each of cytosolic, mitochondrial, and plastidic type II Prx. Cyanobacteria express variable sets of three or more Prxs. The catalytic cycle consists of three steps: (i) peroxidative reduction, (ii) resolving step, and (iii) regeneration using diverse electron donors such as thioredoxins, glutaredoxins, cyclophilins, glutathione, and ascorbic acid. Prx proteins undergo major conformational changes in dependence of their redox state. Thus, they not only modulate cellular reactive oxygen species-and reactive nitrogen species-dependent signaling, but depending on the Prx type they sense the redox state, transmit redox information to binding partners, and function as chaperone. They serve in context of photosynthesis and respiration, but also in metabolism and development of all tissues, for example, in nodules as well as during seed and fruit development. The article surveys the current literature and attempts a mostly comprehensive coverage of present day knowledge and concepts on Prx mechanism, regulation, and function and thus on the whole Prx systems in plants. © 2011 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: FETOPEN-01-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 3.90M | Year: 2017

ONE-FLOW translates vertical hierarchy of chemical multistep synthesis with its complex machinery into self-organising horizontal hierarchy of a compartmentalized flow reactor system a biomimetic digital flow cascade machinery with just one reactor passage. To keep horizontal hierarchy manageable, orthogonality among the consecutive reactions needs to be increased. The winning point of nature is to have invented catalytic cascades. ONE-FLOW will uplift that by enabling the best bio- and chemocatalysts working hand in hand. 4 synthetic flow cascades (metabolic pathways) and 1 flow cascade driven by automated intelligence (signaling pathway) will produce 4 Top-list 2020 drugs. The Compartmentalized Smart Factory will develop organic, inorganic, and mechanical compartmentalization. The Green-Solvent Spaciant Factory will fluidically allow the use of interim reaction spaces (spaciants). The Systemic Operations Factory will aim at full orthogonality using data-base guided ultimate process harmonization. The Digital Machine-to-Machine Factory will alter the landscape of chemical synthesis by virtue of the Internet of Chemical Things. Automated machine-to-machine data transfer enables relegation of process monitoring to central computer systems under the oversight of chemists. The Fully Continuous Integrated Factory will develop a commercial platform technology under the auspices of sustainability-driven process-design evaluation, making amenable the new kind of processing to all chemists. ONE-FLOW has massive impact potential: i) 38 billion Euro production cost saving; ii) 300 million EUR cost saving per drug; iii) address diseases with 500 billion Euro medication costs; iv) increase market share of emerging high-tech SME players by 10% in 10 years; v) open new windows of opportunity (personalized medicine) with 200-500 million Euro per disease; and vi) achieve 40% female share on a senior scientist level (ONE-FLOW: 34% senior, 57% junior).


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-03-2016 | Award Amount: 3.89M | Year: 2017

MADIA aims at realizing a versatile and cheap diagnostic device based on magnetoresistive sensors, microfluidic device, ultrasmall Magnetic Nanoparticles (MNPs) and advanced bio-chemical functionalization methods for the early and ultrasensitive in vitro detection of biomarkers trustfully associated with 2 incurable neurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimers Disease (AD) and Parkinson Disease (PD). We plan to achieve sensitivities at least three orders of magnitude higher than best state-of-the-art values flexibility to operate for a wide range of concentrations. WHY: Neurodegenerative diseases (ND) are debilitating and largely untreatable conditions that are strongly linked with age. Amongst these disorders, the dementias are responsible for the greatest burden of disease, with Alzheimers disease and related disorders affecting some 7 million people in Europe. The current costs of the order of 130 billion per annum to care for people with dementia across Europe highlight age-related neurodegenerative disease as one of the largest medical and societal challenges faced by our society. PD is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder worldwide after AD. WHAT: The operation principle behind the proposed tool embodies a Magnetic Sensor Assay approach and consists of recognizing the targeted core and downstream biomarkers obtained from body fluids (such as cerebrospinal fluid - CSF and blood) through their complexation with nano-magnetic labels (MNPs) followed by a highly sensitive magnetic detection at micro-scales. The specific recognition of the protein by the magnetic nanoparticles will be achieved and ensured via protein bonding to functionalizing groups grafted on the surface of the MNP. The complexes MNP-BM will be injected into microfluidics channels flowing in the close vicinity of magnetic sensors, bringing thus the MNP-BM to distances where the magnetic field of the MNP will trigger a quantitatively detectable sensor response.

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