Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR)/Research Grant Council (RGC) Joint Research Scheme - Projects Funded in 2019/20 Exercise [fr]
Since 2012, The French National Research Agency (Agence Nationale de la Recherche, ANR) and the Research Grant Council (RGC) of Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme (JRS) aims to strengthen the collaboration between French and Hong Kong research communities by funding each year groundbreaking research projects in all areas.
This article is a summary of the 3 projects selected and conducted in 2019-2020 under the ANR/RGC Joint Research Scheme.
Project 1 – “Fermi Energy Tuning in Topological Materials”
This joint project between University Grenoble Alpes and the Chinese University of Hong Kong aims at investigating the electronic states of a wide range of topological materials through a careful experimental tuning of the Fermi energy (a concept in quantum mechanics referring to the energy difference between the highest and lowest occupied single-particle states in a quantum system of non-interacting fermions at absolute zero temperature). The formation of the CUHK-Grenoble consortium will pull together first-class resources, which are already available in the laboratories in Hong Kong and Grenoble, for a concerted, ambitious, and systematic investigation of topological materials via Fermi energy tuning. These efforts offer the prospect of extracting fundamental physics and the functionalization of these exciting materials. The results of this project will be of interest to the community of condensed matter physics and device engineering.
Project 2 – “ALLOWAP: Algorithms for large-scale optimization of wave propagation problems”
The goal of this project jointly run by University Paris 13 and the Hong Kong Baptist University is to design and develop large-scale parallel algorithms for dealing with optimization problems involving wave phenomena. In the last decade, parallel-in-time methods have made enormous progress, but for wave propagation, there has been no such success. To achieve our goal, we will consider three interrelated aspects. The first aspect is the direct simulation of wave-type systems, which must be done repeatedly over the course of the optimization. The second aspect is the optimization over bounded time horizons. The third aspect concerns the assimilation of infinite streams of data. Our methods will be used to tackle two concrete problems, namely wave localization in complex geometries and data assimilation in geophysical and environmental systems.
Project 3 – “Understanding FGF signaling to treat spinal defects (FANTASIA)”
Spinal defects associated with short statures are genetic skeletal disorders that pose major socio economic burdens. Recently, we have identified defects in the structure of the intervertebral discs and vertebral bodies that relate to abnormal chondrocyte (the only cells found in healthy cartilage) proliferation and differentiation. These data are consistent with our novel findings that chondrocytes from the endplate cartilage contributes to the homeostasis of the intervertebral disc. Deciphering the molecular mechanisms of FGF (fibroblast growth factor) signaling of skeletal development, growth, and aging is critical for the design of effective therapies for children and adult patients with short stature. The team from French Institute Imagine and the University of Hong Kong has the combined synergistic expertise and resources in realizing the goal of FANTASIA.
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