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Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 32 | 6. Juni 2014
Materials Science and Engineering: European Network M-ERA.NET Launches Third Call for Transnational Project Proposals

Supported by the EU Commission in the 7th EU Framework Programme as “ERA-NET on Research on Materials Science and Engineering, Including International Cooperation”, the M-ERA.NET network is pleased to announce the third call for transnational project proposals in the area of materials science and engineering.

M-ERA.NET is a European network of public funding organisations and funding programmes on materials science and engineering, for the benefit of the European industry and society. This EU funded project has been established to support and increase the coordination of national and regional funding and research to develop a strong European scientific and technological community. M-ERA.NET aims to replace a number of smaller ERA-NETs with a single innovative and flexible approach, covering most of materials science and engineering across Europe. This will provide the European community with access to world leading knowledge and national and regional funding programmes across a number of EU member states. The M-ERA.NET network consists of 25 European countries and 36 funding organisations, of which 29 are national and seven are regional. Between February 2012 and January 2016, M-ERA.NET aims to support the exploitation of knowledge along the whole innovation chain, from basic research to applied research and innovation.

Materials scientists and engineers who are eligible to apply for financial support from any of the participating funding organisations are cordially invited to apply jointly within one of the six call topics. In the current call DFG participates in the topic “Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME)” and will support only those projects that exhibit a clear focus on pure basic research. In contrast to other M-ERA.NET funding organisations, DFG will not support mixed-mode proposals, comprising both, basic and applied research. The minimum size of the project consortia is three partner institutions located in two different participating countries of which at least one is European.

There will be a two-stage evaluation procedure involving pre-proposals and full proposals. All pre-proposals must be submitted via the electronic application system for this call no later than 16 September 2014 (12:00 noon Brussels time). All proposals will be subject of a joint peer-review and a joint decision process of the funding organisations involved. Successful applicants from the pre-proposal stage, based on an eligibility check and a review process, will be invited to submit their comprehensive, more detailed full proposals no later than 18 February 2015. The proposals will be evaluated in terms of the evaluation criteria “scientific and technical quality”, “implementation” and “impact”. For the topic “Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME)” the proposals should meet specific requirements, as described in detail below. Each applicant may request funding for individual grants according to national rules and national general conditions. DFG funding will be provided through the Research Grants (Sachbeihilfe) funding programme with a budget of up to €3 million (plus overhead funding). Joint projects will be funded for a minimum of two years and a maximum of three years, starting in late 2015.

Scope of the DFG-supported call topic “Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME)”
Technical content/scope

Current developments in combinatorial synthesis and multi-scale modelling together with high throughput or multi-scale experimentation allow for a faster development of materials targeted to both enhanced performance and processability. A skilful combination of these approaches in terms of Integrated Computational Materials Engineering will lead to significant improvements in our ability to design new materials or to assess materials performance already in the product development stage.

The proposals should focus on either of the following model-driven schemes:

a) design of new (compositionally defined) materials with target properties, or

b) tailoring microstructural changes of known materials (e.g. during processing) to obtain improved properties

The proposals should address each of the following items:

  • constitutive modelling and computational simulation:
    use of materials physics-based design principles in a computational environment
  • target properties:
    specification of materials properties to be reached
  • experimental validation:
    a. in case of scheme a): validation of the predicted properties, on appropriate length scales and based on the model constituents
    b. in case of scheme b): validation of the expected performance in manufacturing and processing

The proposal should clearly present the approach taken for coupling these items.

Expected impact

  • improved predictive power of Integrated Computational Materials Engineering
  • establishment of well-targeted materials design and processing concepts
  • building and strengthening a common European research community in the area of Integrated Computational Materials Engineering
  • increased competitiveness of the European industry by cost saving in materials design and processing and a shortened time-to-market for new materials with advanced properties

The proposal should address how it will contribute to the expected impact of the topic.

Target groups

This topic is targeted to two steps in the innovation chain: basic research and applied research. Project consortia focussing only on basic research or only on applied research are also eligible. The establishment of a strong collaboration between research entities and further networking is strongly encouraged.

Further Information

More information and the guidelines for applicants are available on the M-ERA.NET website:

The applicants willing to receive support from the DFG should note that the Guidelines on the Duty to Cooperate (“Hinweis Kooperationspflicht”, DFG guideline 55.01) that usually hold for DFG’s Research Grants (Sachbeihilfe) programme do not apply.

For questions relating to the topical scope of the call, please contact:

For questions relating to the online application system, please contact:

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