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Professor Michael Hummel awarded a Proof of Concept grant from the European Research Council

The ERC grant facilitates the commercialisation of developments that evolved from ERC-funded research projects.
Professor Michael Hummel
Professor Michael Hummel. Photo:Aalto University / Jaakko Kahilaniemi)

Professor Michael Hummel has received 150 000€ to develop his bio-based carbon fibre Proof of Concept (PoC) ready for commercialisation. Every year the ERC awards grants to help in assisting with such things as developing viability and direction, clarifying intellectual property, market studies and additional research. Hummel received the ERC Starting Grant for his project -Unlocking the Entire Wood Matrix for the Next Generation of Carbon Fibers (WoCaFi)-in 2016. 

Professor Hummel’s project aims at creating and scaling bio-based carbon fibres that can be used in composite materials as modern, lightweight and cost worthy solution for replacing metal components in the automotive industry. ‘The carbon fibre reinforced composite (CFRC) elements provide significant weight reduction while maintaining the necessary strength and safety properties needed for cars’, Professor Hummel says.

The ERC evaluates each PoC proposal based on the following points:

  • Excellence in Innovation potential: Proposals will have to demonstrate that the proposed Proof of Concept activity could greatly help move the output of research towards the initial steps of pre-commercialisation or social innovation.
  • Impact: The submitted Proof of Concept proposal is expected to generate effects or benefits to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services.
  • Quality and efficiency of the implementation (Quality of the Proof of Concept plan):  The proposed Proof of Concept proposal is based on a sound approach for establishing technical and commercial feasibility of the project.

       (https://erc.europa.eu/funding/proof-concept)

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‘Cooperations that allow for a multi-disciplinary approach are very central. In addition to experts in wood chemistry and forest products technology, we have various specialists in engineering and other sciences’, says Michael Hummel.

Seven-figure grant for researcher producing carbon fibre from wood

Michael Hummel, the recipient of the much sought-after ERC Starting Grant, knows that there is a great need for more affordable carbon fibre.

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