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Research in the spotlight- second series

Research in the spotlight- second series

Research in the spotlight is a video 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 video 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 video 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 second series of the video podcast was launched on 22nd of February 2023 presenting 13 new and disruptive interviews within the PI's of the Collaborative Research Projects funded under the Norway Grants.


We conclude the second series of the Research in the Spotlight with an episode presenting a geoscientific solution for increasing the production of renewable energy (geothermal) in the northwestern part of Romania.

When using fossil fuels, electrical and thermal energy production generates a vast amount of CO2. A great alternative would be to invest in renewable energy, like the geothermal waters located in the northwestern part of Romania. Dr. Ionelia Panea from University of Bucharest and her team of brilliant researchers realized that the Baia Mare area was the least explored. So they partnered up with the University of Oslo to provide and analyze extensive geo-data.
Keep watching this episode to learn how both universities plan on using the collected data to increase the chances of a more sustainable future and start a long-lasting partnership.



The detection of pesticide pollutants with improved selectivity and analytical performance can increase the quality of life.

With the support of its Norwegian and Romanian partners, Dr. Farcău and his research team aims to develop a sensing platform. It will be based on a plasmonic chip containing a metal nanostructured surface. This solution could detect pesticide pollutants by simultaneous optical spectroscopy and electrochemistry.

Keep watching the twelfth episode Research in the Spotlight to discover how their SERS-electrochemical sensor can reduce the sources of pollution in the industrial and agricultural fields .




Roma communities in the Transylvanian rural areas face daily sanitary challenges.
The uncontrolled water and food resources bring several health risks and deepen the discrepancy between Roma and non-Roma communities.

Dr. Beldean and his research team together with Norwegian partners aim to improve the health status of the population and, thus, the quality of life.

Watch the eleventh episode to learn how real data about the quality of water and food resources can drive a better support tool for public decision-making.






Patients that suffer from cancer are often exposed to an increased level of radiation during their treatment. Moreover, the medical system struggle with the high costs for early cancer detection procedures and overall treatment. Prof. Gruionu and his team of researchers are developing an advanced prototype of a medical robotic platform to Improve cancer Diagnostics. IDEAR, as they call it, will perform both diagnostic and treatment during the same procedure using an advanced smart robotic system and customized instruments with dual electromagnetic-optical tracking.

Watch the tenth episode to discover how the use of AI and Medical Robotics can create accessible and non-invasive endoscopic procedures that will increase the success rate of cancer interventions.



It’s scientifically proven that poetry and visual arts offer aesthetic pleasure through their rhythm and symmetry.

Dr. Bălinișteanu and his research team focus on the biological universals of the aesthetic experience. Their purpose is to detect the neurophysiological mechanisms underpinning aesthetic pleasure. The project is the cornerstone of the first neuroaesthetics laboratory in Romania, while also leading efforts to integrate more women in science research.

Keep watching the night episode of Research in the Spotlight and learn how the Collaborative Research Project #PoeticA explores the universals of human expression in art.



It’s not often you discover that hearing deficiencies can be cured through medication.

Dr. Popa’s research team goal is to develop a technology capable of producing drug-delivery systems for treating hearing deficiency. These will include two new types of drug-loaded peptide-functionalized magnetic nanocarriers. They will be capable of dual active targeting: the first, under an external magnetic field, and the second, in the inner ear-specific cells, due to the peptide ligands.

The eighth episode of the video podcast show how this research can facilitate public access to proper medication at lower costs.



Several areas in Romania, such as Dobrogea, Fagaraș and Brașov, have soils with low selenium content. Because of its importance, a deficiency in selenium would result in cardiovascular and malignant diseases. Dr. Florin Oancea and the top researchers of the STIM 4+ Project aim to develop an improved farming system for field-grown vegetables.

The nano-selenium plant bio stimulant will enhance the vegetables’ tolerance to stress and determine an efficient and safe supplementation of edible yield with selenium.

Watch the seventh episode of Research in the Spotlight to learn how plant bio stimulants can compensate for the drawbacks of the high-residue cultivation system and improve people’s health globally.



Prof. Czibula and her research team aim to develop an efficient, seamless nowcasting platform that employs deep learning techniques on multiple data sources including radar, satellite, and weather station observations. The main purpose of the WeaMyL project is to attain lower decision times for issuing
nowcasting warnings, compared to current, exclusively human-based decision times.

Keep watching the sixth episode of the Research in the Spotlight to discover how a deep learning-driven platform for an early forecast of severe meteorological phenomena will improve people’s response to meteorological danger.





The LGBT community is one of the most vulnerable communities in the face of prejudices and negative attitudes.
The Collaborative Research Project conducted by Professor Sava aims to develop an internet-delivered prevention program based on acceptance and commitment principles. The program will help younger generations to cope with adverse events through self-acceptance and personal agency. At a National level, Professor Sava’s solution promises to drive the adoption of anti-discrimination policies and the reduction of stigma surrounding the LGBT community.

Keep watching the five episode of Research in the Spotlight to discover how an experimental approach plans to improve the lives and protection of the LGBT community.




Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most debilitating neural disorders, affecting millions of elderly people worldwide.

Dr. Mureșan aims to develop an optimized therapy that will employ advanced closed-loop simulation tools. For the highest efficiency, this technique will dynamically change the properties of visual and auditory stimuli to optimally engage brain activity.

Watch the fourth episode to learn how the CIRCUITGENUS therapy promises to restore normal brain function and alleviate the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease







The change of the industrial relations and the uneven territorial development contribute to the social marginalization of Roma communities in the Baia Mare area.

Together with the FAFO Institute in Norway, Prof. Vincze aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the living and working conditions of Roma people.

Keep watching the third episode of Research in the Spotlight to discover how this research will provide the groundwork for creating a collaborative network of people for the betterment of the most distressed ethnic minorities in Romania.






Emerging contaminants in drinking water deeply affect the quality of life. Dr. Socaci and her extensive team of Romanian and Norwegian researchers aim to develop a rapid and green alternative for water remediation. The goal is to develop immobilized nano-structured surfaces, which will exhibit a high deficiency of visible-light driven remediation of aquatic pollutants. 

Keep watching the second episodes of the Research In The Spotlight to learn how their experimental set-up can get us closer to better environmental solutions.






Microalgae produce more than 50% of the oxygen that we breathe and are the foundation of the aquatic food web. However, climate change is putting a serious toll on their abundance, diversity and distribution.

The ADVANCE project coordinated by PhD. Druga studies the impact of climate change on microalgae, and, ultimately, on the quality of human life. Together with the Norway Institute for Water Research, his team plans to understand the microorganisms’ response to changes in order to help them adapt. Keep watching this episode to learn how a marine analysis can drive better environmental decisions and offer the needed protection of the aquatic ecosystem.






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