Ana Rita Duarte wins the FCT NOVA's 13th ERC Grant


Ana Rita Duarte, professor and researcher from the Department of Chemistry at NOVA School of Science and Technology, has just been distinguished with the Proof of Concept grant from the European Research Council (ERC), the most reputed institution for the attribution of funds for scientific and technological research in Europe. It is the second ERC grant for the professor and the 13th for FCT NOVA.

The endowment, which will have a value of 150 thousand euros and a duration of 18 months, will allow the development of the project "CryoDES - Nature-inspired Cryopreservation Systems using Natural Deep Eutectic Systems". The project follows the work that has been developed to create new cryopreservation systems with Deep Eutectic Systems based on natural compounds, an innovative, cheaper and more sustainable method.

With this funding the team will perform technical feasibility studies of the product; evaluate the commercial value of the product; perform a market assessment study and draft the plan for commercialization.

Life Sciences and Biopharmaceuticals projects require time to become a reality due to the need of the respective pre-clinical and clinical trials. This PoC Action will have, as immediate outcome, the creation of a start-up able to commercialize CryoDES for research purposes, for which there is also a significant market. CryoDES will allow greener and safer cell therapies for all.

In 2017, the researcher had already won a Consolidator Grant, by the ERC, for the work “Des.solve - When solids become liquids: natural deep eutectic solvents for chemical process engineering".

In 2022, this is the fourth ERC Proof of Concept bestowed to a FCT NOVA researcher. With these results, the School is once again recognised for the excellence of its research and reinforces its leadership position in the number of grants awarded to its researchers, accumulating 13 in total.