The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is funding new instrumentation for various fields of knowledge-driven research through two calls. The Joint Committee of the largest research funding organisation and central self-governing organisation of the research community in Germany took the relevant funding decisions at its December session in Bonn.
The first decision relates to the call for "New Instrumentation for Research", issued for the first time, which is designed to enable the development of new instrumentation technologies for research questions which cannot be answered with currently available equipment. The newly developed instrumentation should be made available to as many researchers as possible for the purposes of basic research.
After the very strong response to the call issued in January 2016 - which attracted a total of 79 proposals - the DFG Joint Committee has now decided to fund twelve projects for an initial three years with a total funding volume of €8 million. The projects relate to natural sciences (including geosciences), life sciences, medical technology, and engineering sciences and are based at the following universities and non-university research institutions:
Aalen University; Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin (university hospital); University of Bonn; Technical University of Darmstadt; Erlangen University Hospital, University Medical Center Freiburg and Radiological Institute, German Cancer Research Centre, Heidelberg; Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics, Hanover, and Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology, Jena; Heidelberg University; University of Jena; University of Cologne, Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics, Potsdam, and Landessternwarte Königstuhl (state observatory), Heidelberg; Technical University of Munich, University of Greifswald and Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics, Greifswald; University Hospital Münster; University of Würzburg and University of Mainz.
3D X-rays of reinforced concrete components
The second decision relates to a major instrumentation initiative. Through this initiative, the DFG will make €8 million available for the construction and commissioning of a new type of system at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern that will be able to X-ray components made of reinforced concrete and other materials using computed tomography (CT). The system will use X-rays of 9 mega-electronvolts, much more powerful than medical X-ray systems, allowing it to probe reinforced concrete components up to 30 centimetres in diameter and 6 metres in length. It will even be possible to X-ray components while they are experiencing stress or destruction; the three-dimensional images of these processes will provide researchers with valuable information.
The research carried out with the new equipment is intended to provide information about the durability and properties of established construction materials and also facilitate the development of improved materials and composites. For 20 percent of its usage time, the new X-ray system will also be available to other scientific working groups in Germany.
DFG Press and Public Relations, Tel. +49 228 885-2109, firstname.lastname@example.org
DFG programme contacts:
For "New Instrumentation for Research": Dr Achim Tieftrunk, Scientific Instrumentation and Information Technology Division, tel. +49 228 885-2816, Achim.Tieftrunk@dfg.de
For the major instrumentation initiative: Dr Michael Royeck, Scientific Instrumentation and Information Technology Division, tel. +49 228 885-2976, Michael.Royeck@dfg.de