Research in the spotlight
is a podcast for scientists and passionate science people having as protagonists the principal investigators (PI) of the Collaborative Research Projects
funded in 2018 & 2019 calls under the Romanian Research Programme - EEA & Norway Grants
This podcast is designed by the Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development, and Innovation Funding (UEFISCDI), as Programme Operator of the Research Programme funded under the EEA & Norway Grants.
The first series of the podcast was launched in December 2021 and included 11 episodes. The discussions within the PI's of the EEA Grants were focused on the main challenge that the projects addresses, if research is able to find solutions, in the next decades, for different problem that the current society is facing and how the partnership between researchers from different countries is working for an green, competitive and inclusive Europe.
The discussions were focused on:
- why research is essential to improve the well-being of Roma children from Romania and how this research can impact Romanian and European society;
- how the novel HBV&HCV antigens with improved immunogenic properties in plants and mammalian cells, following computer modelling and complex molecular and functional analysis, for vaccine development, contribute towards the elimination of viral hepatitis;
- how computers can learn new things, how they can do that being unsupervised by a human being, and what is the social impact of such a performance;
- which primary industries would work better on hydrogen than on fossil fuel and the social impact of such a change of paradigm;
- how the living conditions in rural communities that are not connected to the drinking water network can be improved by ensuring the conditions for the chemical and microbiological protection of the spring waters;
- how immersive social experiences can help mentally disordered people feel better;
- why forefront photonics and nanoscience research require novel sensor to gain a competitive advantage for the plastic detection industry towards developing smaller and more-cost effective sensors without compromising on performance;
- how patients who went through upper limb amputation surgery will have the possibility to recover the lost arm functions through a revolutionary neuroprosthesis direct connected to the nervous system, that will allow the patient to maneuver daily objects again, based on the motion reflexes and the motion abilities that are already known;
- how climate and environmental changes during the recent past (less than 500,000 years) by using a wide array of cave deposits that preserved relevant information;
- what extent the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is considered to be relevant in democratic assemblies and legal regulations, if it corresponds to the nature of trust people have in child protection services;
- why preventive medical and social strategies are the key-point in improving quality of life for children, teens and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
of the podcast has, as guest, prof. Dacian Dolean,
the principal investigator of the EEA Grants project "Early Literacy of Roma Children from Romania: Bridging the Socioeconomic Divide (ELIRA 2.0)
", implemented by Project Promoter Babeș-Bolyai University Cluj Napoca, together with its partner University of Oslo.
The second episode
of the podcast is addressing the next generation viral #hepatitis B and C vaccine development in plants and algae using advanced biotechnological tools. Together with Dr. Nichita
we talk about how SmartVac
EEA Grants project she coordinates hope to contribute towards the elimination of viral hepatitis as a public health problem by 2030 – an ambitious target set up by WHO in 2016.
What does it mean to be intelligent? It is a tough question which Prof. Leordeanu
and his team are trying to answer through their research work developed in the Spacetime Vision
EEA Grants project. We know by now that intelligence is the property of living things to adapt and solve problems and even to change themselves to survive. What does it take to a computer to do the same thing? Watch the 3rd episode
of the podcast to find out how computers can learn new things, how they can do that being unsupervised by a human being, and what the social impact of such a performance is. The project is implemented in University Politehnica of Bucharest and has NORCE Norwegian Research Centre AS & University of Bucharest as partners.
The availability of non-fossil energy sources and energy carriers are of great concern in society today. Professor Crăciunescu and his research team are working on the Combinatorial Design of Novel Bipolar Plate Coatings for Proton Exchange Membrane Electrolyzers
project aiming to optimize the production of green hydrogen as a replacement for fossil fuels. The project is implemented in University Politehnica Timișoara and SINTEF AS Norway as partner.
Keep listening to the 4th episode
to find out which primary industries would work better on hydrogen than on fossil fuel and the social impact of such a change of paradigm.
Groundwater monitoring is a solution to improve the quality of life in rural communities that use local sources of water. Regarding this aspect, Dr. Moldovan and his team, consisting of Romanian and Norwegian researchers, aim to raise the awareness of water users on the potential health risks and the need to protect vulnerable groundwater ecosystems. The project Monitoring and risk assessment for groundwater sources in rural communities of Romania
is implemented by the Romanian Academy - Emil Racovita Institute of Speleology in Cluj along with the partners University of Bergen, Babes Bolyai University, NCDO-INOE 2000 subsidiary Research Institute for Analytical Instrumentation ICIA.
Listen the 5th episode
to find out how this research project can improve the living conditions in rural communities that are not connected to the drinking water network, by ensuring the conditions for the chemical and microbiological protection of the spring waters.
How immersive social experiences can help mentally disordered people feel better is a question which Dr. Ioana Carcea and her research team, from the Social Transmission of Cognitive and Behavioral States in the Care of Alzheimer’s Disease (STAD)
project are trying to answer. This research helps re-design the standard of care in Alzheimer’s disease, arguing for more social interactions in care facilities or at home, being implemented in The National University of Theatre and Film ”I.L. Caragiale”, Bucharest (UNATC), as project promoter & Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience in Trondheim as partner.
The 6th episode
of the podcast Research in the spotlight is addressing a health topic, pointing how social contexts could improve different types of memory (spatial, episodic, and autobiographical) and how we can use this understanding to alleviate memory disorders in early Alzheimer’s patients.
The plastic challenge now has a new ally: the plastic detector sensors using metalenses. Dr. Rasoga and her Norwegian (SINTEF) and Romaninan (National Institute for Research and Development in Microtechnologies - IMT, University of Bucharest) Partners are working in the: Elastomeric tuneable metasurfaces for efficient spectroscopic sensors for plastic detection (ElastoMETA)
project aiming to apply forefront photonics and nanoscience research towards the environmental issue of plastic waste, requiring novel sensor solutions.
The 7th episode
of the podcast is on environmental thematic pointing that the knowledge gained from the project will be a competitive advantage for the plastic detection industry towards developing smaller and more-cost effective sensors without compromising on performance.
Patients who went through upper limb amputation surgery mostly abandon their social life: work, friends, daily activities, and become either unemployed or take positions well below their initial professional training. A mixed team consisting of researchers from Romania - University Politehnica of Bucharest, as Project Promoter & Academy of Medical Sciences of Romania (AMS), Emergency Clinical Hospital of Bucharest (ECHB), National Institute for Research and Development in Microtechnologies (IMT) and Norway - AREUS TECHNOLOGY SRL (AREUS), University of South-Eastern Norway (USN), as partners wants to restore everyday life through a revolutionary neuroprosthesis. It will provide the amputee with the possibility to recover the lost arm functions. Due to the direct connection to the nervous system, the patient will be able to maneuver daily objects again, based on the motion reflexes and the motion abilities that are already known. Arm neuroprosthesis equipped with artificial skin and sensorial feedback
is the EEA Grants project that facilitate this research.
Watch the 8th episode
to find out when the patients will benefit from this revolutionary prosthesis and what are the next steps in this research.
What is in fact the climate change? Dr. Silviu Constantin and his team together with their research partners from Norway are investigating in the EEA Grants project ”Cave deposits as archives of climate and environmental changes. A Center of Excellence in speleological research
)” how climate changes during the recent past (less than 500,000 years) by using a wide array of cave deposits that preserved relevant information. The Project Promoter is Emil Racovita Institute of Speleology having as partners University of Bergen, Norway; University of Bucharest; Babes-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca.
Keep watching the 9th episode
of the podcast to discover how climate changes have influenced various geographical areas and their biota and what data we can use to create a better future.
How much do you trust in the Child Protection services? Professor Bădescu and his team is developing an empirical research in order to determine to what extent the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is considered to be relevant in democratic assemblies and legal regulations, if it corresponds to the nature of trust people have in child protection services.
Watch the 10th episode
to find out which are the professional practices that can be traced at the end of this CONSENT
project implemented by Babeș-Bolyai University Cluj -Napoca together with Oslo Metropolitan University & University of Bergen as partners.
Preventive medical and social strategies are the key-point in improving quality of life for children, teens and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). In the last episode
of the first series of the podcast we talked with Dr. Budisteanu about the project she coordinate and the strategies developed for early clinical recognition and diagnosis of ASD, with a particle focus on the protocol for genetic testing and biomedical imaging in order to recommendations for patient-centered intervention plans. The project is implemented by Clinical Hospital of Psychiatry ”Prof. Dr. Alexandru Obregia”(OHP) along with the partners University of Oslo (OU) and „Victor Babes” National Institute of Pathology (IVB).