Awards 2014

A list of laureates together with a working title and a brief summary of the investment project is given below.

​​​​​​​DAS-5: utilising diversity in complex infrastructures 
Prof. H.E. (Henri) Bal, VU University Amsterdam - Computer Science 
Many scientific applications require a computer infrastructure with which enormous quantities of data can be processed with incredible speed. Such infrastructures are currently spread over many locations and contain a variety of complex hardware. DAS-5 is a distributed computer system with which computer scientists can investigate how that diversity can best be utilised and therefore deployed for scientific applications. Over fifty projects are waiting to use DAS-5.

Social Network Analysis of Risk Behaviour in Adolescence 
Dr J.K. (Jan Kornelis) Dijkstra - University of Groningen - Sociology 
This project aims to add genetic information to a data collection concerning the role of social networks in the development of risk behaviour among young people. This expansion to the collection will make it possible to investigate gene-environment processes with respect to risk behaviour.

A national facility for high-throughput flow cytometry of large-size particles, tissues and model organisms 
Prof. S.J.L. van den Heuvel, Utrecht University 
With considerable speed and accuracy, the BioSorter-Pro can collect, select and distribute pathogenic organisms, plants, animals, tissues and medicines attached to nanoparticles. This equipment can realise several years of work within a few hours and is vitally important for innovative research. It has potential to contribute to industrial innovation and medical applications.

Carbon telescope for gravitational waves 
Dr M. (Marc) Klein Wolt and Prof. P.J. (Paul) Groot, Radboud University Nijmegen – Astronomy 
The BlackGEM and MeerLICHT telescopes will revolutionise the study of the dynamic universe and gravitational waves through the use of a high-tech telescope array. The combination of high precision and a large field of view requires a telescope constructed from carbon fibres, which are also used in the aerospace industry.

 Happy children, happy teenagers? 
Prof. P.A.C. (Pol) van Lier- VU University Amsterdam - Developmental Psychology 
Bullying at primary school is quite commonplace and is harmful for children. However we do not really understand why bullying is harmful. We will investigate how bullying influences gene expression and changes brain responses, as a result of which the stress-regulation and self-regulation of children are impaired.

Interstellar ice – a hot topic 
Prof. H. (Harold) Linnartz and Prof. E. (Ewine) van Dishoeck, Leiden University - Astronomy 
The building blocks of life are formed on dust particles in space that are covered with a layer of ice. To gain a better understanding of the chemical processes underlying this formation, a highly specialised experimental setup will be upgraded to monitor chemical reactions under interstellar conditions, i.e. as a consequence of ultraviolet light in a vacuum and at temperatures down to minus 260oC.

Analysis of metabolic reprogramming of melanoma cells 
Prof. D.S. Peeper, Netherlands Cancer Institute 
Researchers have recently discovered that cells adapt their metabolism when cancer is developing. With new equipment they want to perform precise measurements on this system to obtain a more accurate description of the metabolic processes of cancer cells. Understanding the complex nature of cancer cells and drug resistance is a major societal issue. This research will open up opportunities for medical applications.

Detailed imaging of human brain function: the full picture 

Dr N. Petridou, University Medical Center Utrecht 
Standard MRI scanners can localise global areas of the brain that fulfil certain functions such as speech. However, they cannot see what happens inside these areas. This device, inside a high-field MRI scanner, breaks through this barrier and can investigate brain functions in detail. If this instrument performs well then it will signify a major advance in 'brain imaging', which might lead to greater insights into various brain disorders.

Vertebrate automated screening technology (VAST) 
 Prof. H.P. Spaink, Leiden University  
The progression of various human diseases such as cancer and tuberculosis can be studied well in the larvae of zebrafish. Using robots and the automatic recognition of microscopic images, the researchers will be able to test the effects of new medicines exceptionally quickly. The acquisition of the system is important for screening substances for the control of diseases in humans.

Cognition, behaviour and learning with a human robot. 
Prof. F. (Frank) van der Velde - University of Twente - Cognitive Psychology and Ergonomics 
This project will focus on the development and study of cognitive skills of a human robot. The project will also study the social interaction between people and robots and use of robots to gain a better understanding of learning behaviour.