MSCA Innovative Training Networks: Project overview

Call 2020

  AppQInfo: Applications and Hardware for Photonic Quantum Information Processing – supervised by Prof. Giuseppe Vallone

AppQInfo will provide a world class training in photonic Quantum Information Processing (pQIP), and prepare an excellent cohort of Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) to become the future R&D staff of Europe’s emerging markets in this area. Quantum Information Processing (QIP) is a key ingredient in Europe’s future Quantum Communication Infrastructure; it underpins quantum communications and quantum simulations, the first two pillars of the H2020 Quantum Flagship. QIP will revolutionise information technology, providing higher quality, speed and unconditional security, not possible with classical technologies. AppQInfo focusses on QIP in state-of-the-art integrated photonics, one of five Key Enabling Technologies for European Industry. Integrated photonics permits the creation, manipulation and readout of photonic quantum states in a highly controlled manner, with high speeds and low losses.

The broad objectives of AppQInfo are: To create an excellent training of ESRs in the field of pQIP that is both interdisciplinary and intersectoral; To develop innovative, entrepreneurial ESRs with great career prospects; To maximise the exploitation and dissemination of our research; To engage the public through several outreach activities; To consolidate a wide expertise in the field of pQIP; To create a long-lasting collaboration network of top-class research units and industrial entities.

Together, our 15 interdisciplinary research projects will: Work towards feasible long-distance quantum communications from urban-scale networks to satellite-based systems using various data encoding; Study quantum photonic circuits towards their quantum transport properties and quantum transforms they implement; Exploit these platforms for machine learning applications, such as building all-optical artificial neural networks, and applying them for quantum simulations; Develop enabling technologies of sources and detectors of multiphoton quantum states and polaritonic logic gates.


Ilektra Karakosta-Amarantidou comes from Greece. She graduated from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2021. Her main interest lies in the area of Quantum Satellite Communications, in which she conducted her MSc thesis “Single-Photon Orbital Angular Momentum for Downlink Satellite Communications”. She was the coordinator of the Communications Subsystem in the student nanosatellite project AcubeSAT for 2.5 years. Currently, Ilektra is working on the AppQInfo project towards extending distance in daylight free-space QKD, as a member of the research group Quantum Future at the University of Padova, supervised by Professors Paolo Villoresi, Giuseppe Vallone and Dr. Francesco Vedovato. 
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Kannan Vijayadharan is from India. He obtained his masters degree from Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (Netherlands) and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (Pisa) under the Erasmus Mundus joint masters degree programme PIXNET. He did his master thesis on the topic “Design and Simulation of a Continuous Variable Quantum Sensing Platform” jointly with TU/e and QuTech.
Kannan joined the AppQInfo project in December 2021 focussing on the experimental exploitation of entanglement in quantum networks. The main goal of this project is to exploit time-bin entanglement at 1550nm, allowing for compatibility with existing fiber optic networks. 
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  DigitAlgaesation: A knowledge-based training network for digitalisation of photosynthetic bioprocesses - supervised by Prof. Fabrizio Bezzo

Microalgae and other photosynthetic microorganisms represent a highly promising source for food, feed, chemicals, and fuels. Europe has been leading world research and industrial deployment of microalgae based technologies. However, despite the enormous potential and the impressive R&D effort, industrial use of microalgae is still at its first developmental stage.

A major step forward can derive by the development and implementation of digital technologies, capable of automatizing and optimising culture conditions at industrial scale. Europe has a tradition of leading researches in the field of automatic control for biotechnological processes.

As envisaged by DigitAlgaesation, the widespread definition and adoption of effective tools for better design and operation urgently requires skilled multidisciplinary scientists and engineers, who can develop and implement the next generation of sustainable production process with enhanced productivity, reduced environmental impact and costs, despite climate fluctuations that may strongly affect microalgae productivity. All this demands a European commitment to concerted, inter- and transdisciplinary research and innovation.

DigitAlgaesation will train 15 early-stage researchers (ESRs) in all aspects of microalgae technological innovation to pave the way towards a knowledge-based breakthrough in monitoring methods and instrumentation, biological modelling and simulation, and automatic control. By training in scientific, technical and soft skills, they will become highly sought-after scientists and engineers for the rapidly emerging microalgae-based industry and broader bioprocessing industries of Europe.


Beatriz Felices Rando comes from Zaragoza, Spain. She studied Chemical Engineering at University of Zaragoza and followed some courses at University of Padua during her Erasmus year. After that, she worked for 9 months as a chemical engineer for BSH Home Appliances at ATRIA Innovation (Zaragoza) and then followed an Erasmus Mundus Master Programme (IMETE: International Master on Environmental Technology and Engineering), obtaining a joint degree from the universities of UCT Prague (Czech Republic), IHE Delft (The Netherlands) and University of Ghent (Belgium). She also worked as a researcher on Carbon Capture and Storage technologies at University of Zaragoza and she is now under the supervision of Fabrizio Bezzo from the Department of Industrial Engineering (DII) at the research project "DigitAlgaesation". She is responsible for the development of a continuous micro-photobioreactor for rapid model identification of microalgae growth. 
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  DIRNANO: Directing the immune response through designed nanomaterials – supervised by Prof. Emanuele Papini

DIRNANO provides a highly integrated and interdisciplinary training of next-generation Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) at the interface of nanopharmaceutical bioengineering and its translation on preclinical and human immunology. 

DIRNANO will develop biocompatible nanopharmaceuticals with either “super”-stealth or immune-specific behavior for cancer immunotherapy and vaccination by mapping nanoparticle-immune interactions through two core approaches: 1) inception of novel surface engineering approaches, based on new organic polymers, zwitterionic lipids and conjugation chemistry strategies, 2) engineering of host or microbial-derived modulators of innate immunity (e.g. complement system).

DIRNANO team comprises internationally renowned scientists and industrialists at the forefront of nanoengineering, pharmaceutical sciences, molecular biosciences, commerce and business, thereby generating a unique pan-European macro-environment for interdisciplinary training of ESRs at the highest international level. Through participation of industrial partners, we will furnish ESRs with in-demand industrial and business skills, including process manufacturing, reproducibility and regulatory challenges, intellectual property and commercialization strategies. 

DIRNANO will lead to rational engineering of broader libraries of NPs with tunable immune-modulating functions. The combinatorial analysis of new nanomaterial core-coat scaffolds will improve temporal and spatial understanding of biomaterial-innate immune interactions at the molecular level, thereby filling the void in overcoming adverse reactions to nanopharmaceuticals injection. DIRNANO will drive future development of small molecules and biologics-based nanopharmaceuticals through a “low-risk-high gain” perspective and within the context of personalized therapies and precision medicine. As such, DIRNANO, will extensively contribute to European science, education and socioeconomics value, skill retention and brain-gain.

More details


Cristina Fontecha Cuenca is from Spain. After completing her BSc in Biotechnology at the University of Salamanca (Spain) she obtained a MSc in Neurosciences by Maastricht University (the Netherlands). Her Master’s thesis, performed at the University of Oxford, was focused on in vivo chemogenetic modulation of mouse neuronal activity and it’s effect on anxiety-related behaviour.
In 2021 she joined the DIRNANO project as a PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Alessandro Negro. Her role on this project is the production of recombinant plasma proteins – such as element of the innate immune response – for the functional modulation of the nanoparticles corona effects and for species-specific assays.
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Michele do Nascimento Tomaz comes from Brazil. She received her bachelor's degree in 2017 at the University of State of Santa Catarina (UDESC) in licentiate in chemistry and her Master’s degree in Applied chemistry in 2020 by the same University. Her Master thesis was about “New Zn (II) bioinspired complexes: Structural studies via 1H and 13C NMR and DNA interaction tests”.
She joined the ITN project “DIRNANO” in 2021, and she is working on the development of innovative methods for the synthesis of nanoparticles with controlled coating features. These nanoparticles will allow to obtain a full characterization of the interaction between biological systems and nanoparticles and to control their biological date on the basis of their surface functionalization.


  GREENEDGE Taming the environmental impact of mobile networks through GREEN EDGE computing platforms – supervised by Prof. Michele Rossi

Modern communication networks are rapidly evolving into sophisticated systems combining communication and computing capabilities. Computation at the network edge is key to supporting many emerging applications, from extended reality to smart health, smart cities, smart factories and autonomous driving. Multi-access edge computing (MEC) technology is being developed to deliver the required computation functionalities closer to user devices, directly at mobile access points.

GREENEDGE is motivated by the fact that the large scale adoption of MEC technology, while benefiting human productivity and efficiency, will result in a surge of data and computation in mobile networks, which, in turn, will exacerbate their energy consumption.

GREENEDGE is set out to tame the growing carbon footprint of MEC technology, devising highly energy efficient communication and computing functionalities for the network edge, combining them with ambient energy sources and with new energy storage and supply paradigms. As a result,

GREENEDGE technology will allow mobile systems to offer the much anticipated communication and computing services in a sustainable manner. Fifteen early stage researchers (ESRs) will be trained by a consortium of world-class leaders across the fields of energy harvesting, storage, edge computing, optimization, machine learning and wireless communications. Ample inter-sectoral opportunities will be offered thanks to secondments among academy/research centers, two network operators, and other prominent industrial partners operating in the domains of Internet of Things, smart cities, critical infrastructure management and data analytics.

A carefully planned and coordinated training and research program will ensure excellent employability prospects for the ESRs after the project completion.


Aria Khoshsirat comes from Iran. He studied his bachelors in Computer Engineering and his masters in Artificial Intelligence at Shiraz University. During his masters, he worked on uncertainty modelling in deep neural networks for image classification tasks. For his PhD position in Greenedge project, under the supervision of Prof. Michele Rossi at University of Padova, he's working on analysing the energy efficiency of neuromorphic machine learning algorithms on the edge, which could possibly lead to designing greener architectures that use less energy for training and inference. 
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Seyyidahmed Lahmer is from Algeria. He received a BSc degree in computer science from Chlef University, Algeria (2018). After that, he pursued a second BSc (2019) and MSc (2021) degrees in computer science at Strasbourg University, France. He is currently a PhD student at the Department of Information Engineering at the University of Padova, and within the GREENEDGE project (ESR2), he is focusing on energy-efficient machine learning for computing & networking systems. 
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Neda Shalavi is from Iran. She received a BSc degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Bu-Ali Sina University, Iran (2014). After that, she pursued her MSc degree in
Communication systems at Azarbaijan University, Iran (2018). She is currently a Ph.D. student at the Department of Information Engineering at the University of Padua and within
the GREENEDGE project (ESR01). She focuses on elastic resource allocation at Energy Harvesting Multiaccess Edge Computing (EH-MEC) networks.
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  MINDSHIFT: Mechanistic Integration of vascular aND endocrine pathways for Subtyping Hypertension: an Innovative network approach for Future generation research Training – supervised by Prof. Gian-Paolo Rossi

Hypertension is the key determinant of cardiovascular disease and the No.1 ‘silent killer’ of humans worldwide. Despite progress in understanding the causes of hypertension and improvements in clinical management, >85 million people in Europe suffer from cardiovascular disease, costing the EU €210 billion/year.

Currently, there is a crucial gap in understanding the dynamic interactions between vascular and endocrine pathways in hypertension. Such knowledge would facilitate redefinition of hypertension subtypes to improve current prevention and treatment.

MINDSHIFT will offer a top-level interdisciplinary research programme to bridge this gap, using an integrative framework approach fed by new data and insights from cutting-edge experimental and clinical studies. To enable this advance, MINDSHIFT will implement and run an innovative EJD-programme, combining first-class scientific research with in-depth professional and transferable competence-skills trainings. ESRs will develop the integrative and entrepreneurial capacities that hypertension research demands by nature.

Above and beyond, the programme will challenge the ESRs to build their capacity for self-directed learning, career development and personal-professional leadership. The highly capable academic and non-academic partners in MINDSHIFT have co-designed an extraordinary high-quality programme of research projects and network-wide training elements, to achieve the required and sustainable impacts on the ESR careers, scientific results and ITN-wide learning and innovation.

Based on the excellent synergies and shared commitments, the MINDSHIFT consortium seeks to establish a European School for Hypertension Research, to propel future health science and industry towards more effective prevention of and cure for this silent killer.

  SIMPPER_MedDev: Surface Integrity for Micro/Nano Processing of Polymers: A European Research Training Network for High-Performance Medical Devices – supervised by Prof. Giovanni Lucchetta

Increased demand for high-quality healthcare for our aging population means that medical device design must satisfy multiple requirements for enhanced biocompatibility, anti-bacterial resistance, manipulation of proteins and improved physical properties.

The use of micro/nano structures integral to the surface of a device is a novel way to uniformly tune and control these properties. Polymer materials are ubiquitous in medical devices: in Europe alone, this sector includes 27,000 companies employing 675,000 people with an annual turnover of €110 billion.

Precision processing of polymers with micro/nano structures is critical to developing high value-added medical devices. Our ETN focuses on surface integrity issues when micro/nano processing polymers for high performance medical devices. We will develop micro/nano-scale precision manufacturing processes, specifically moulding and forming, and additive and subtractive manufacturing, aimed at 6 classes of medical devices that have particular industry-defined requirements.

A strategy to design surface micro/nano structures that provide required functionality for these devices will be established. The surface integrity of these materials and devices will be studied at a fundamental level and correlated with functionality, allowing for optimising the efficacy and performance of the medical devices. Our training will ensure that 12 outstanding ESRs become experts in design and the precision micro/nano processing of polymers for medical devices, thereby improving their career prospects.

Our ESRs will undertake interdisciplinary and intersectoral research on polymer micro/nano processing for medical applications and obtain work experience with international industry. They will receive specialised technical training and transferable skills structured around state-of-the-art individual research projects that will provide them with pathways to engineering and manufacturing careers in Europe’s world-leading industry.

  Skill-For.Action: Skill-For.Action – supervised by Prof. Stefano Grigolato

Global environmental and climate changes compromise forest resources in different ways, intensities and at various levels. Drought related losses in growth performance, the increase in intensity and frequency of wild fires and storms, and of biological risks are just a few of the most

perceptible effects across the forests in Europe as well worldwide. Global change weakens the efficiency of forest carbon sequestration capacity and thus forestry sector ability to mitigate climate changes in the medium to long-term perspective. An innovative adaptive and integrative

forest management plays a key role in driving forests to face the environmental changes and to meet both maintaining high forest carbon sequestration potential and guaranteeing economic efficient and more ecological sound forest operations. ETN Skill-For.Action integrates the

fundamental research in forest ecology and applied science of forest engineering. This integration is crucial and innovative to comprehensibly understand carbon dynamics in forests in terms of feedback between carbon sequestrations and release. Overarching objective of ETN Skill-

For.Action is to provide high-level training and education in adaptive and integrative forest management under global changes to a new generation of early stage researchers for a successful career in the forest-sector and natural resource management. The education follows an

innovative, interdisciplinary and intersectoral approach by a specific and unique combination of applied research and training activities delivered by academic and non-academic partners to strengthen complementary soft skills. ETN Skill-For.Action will support each ESR to successfully

implement their individual project through a well defined supervising strategy by merging the educational experience of the academic supervisors with the practical knowledge of the non-academic supervisors.


Narcis-Mihail Bacescu comes from Spain. He is an Environmental and Forest Engineer from the Polytechnical University of Madrid (ETSI Montes, Forestal y del Medio Natural) and
worked for a year and a half in the Forest Management and Defence Department of the same school. During this period, he collaborated and supported field activities and trials, data analysis and scientific publications writing. His research project, supervised by prof. Stefano Grigolato at the Department of Land, Environmental, Agriculture and Forestry (TESAF) of the University of Padua, will investigate the necessary data for setting up and testing of a robust standardized protocol in nomenclature and data acquisition methodology to create more comparable fuel consumption and CO2 emission datasets in harvesting operations.
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  xCTing: Enabling X-ray CT based Industry 4.0 process chains by training Next Generation research experts - supervised by Prof. Simone Carmignato

First-time-right and zero-defect manufacturing of customized lot-size-one products are essential elements of the Industry 4.0 paradigm shift to reinforce Europe’s global leadership in manufacturing. X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) metrology has a key role to play in this transition, since it is the only known technology that can certify non-destructively the quality of internal complex structures, such as those produced by additive manufacturing or found in assemblies.

However, CT largely remains an off-line technology, due to the unsolved trade-off between scan speed and scan quality, and the need for extensive expert user input. xCTing will therefore focus on significantly increasing autonomy, robustness and speed in CT metrology in order to support its transition towards a fully in-line quality assurance technology as required in Industry 4.0 environments.

Meeting these challenges requires the integration of a broad range of interdisciplinary expertise, including physics, manufacturing, dimensional metrology, machine learning, as well as efficient and reliable big data analytics and visualization. In order to achieve the envisaged innovation breakthrough in the European industry, Europe is in dire need of young innovators who can combine this variety of competences with entrepreneurial skills.

The xCTing project is a pan-European industrial-academic initiative committed to provide the unique and encompassing training environment required to foster this new generation of innovation-minded research engineers, that will act as catalysts in the further transformation of Europe’s manufacturing industry towards global technological leadership. The overall aim of the xCTing project is to train 15 young and promising researchers (ESRs) that will take the lead in conceiving the next generation of European Industry 4.0- ready CT technology.

The xCTing consortium consists of 9 beneficiaries and 6 partner organisations.


Thiago Linhares Fernandes is from Brazil. He obtained a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC, Brazil) in 2018, and completed his master’s degree in 2021, also in Mechanical Engineering (UFSC, Brazil). He has experience with Laboratorial Metrology, Industrial Metrology and Laboratory Quality Management, primarily in calibrations of measuring instruments and standards, measurement, and evaluation of dimensional and geometrical quantities in Coordinate Metrology and maintenance of the Laboratory Quality Management System. In recent years, has been dedicated to research involving 3D metrology, and more directly, industrial computed tomography (CT) measurement technology.
Currently, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early-Stage Researcher Fellow at University of Padua in the framework of the xCTing network. His research project is focused on enabling Industry 4.0 by fast and accurate CT metrology.
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Call 2019

  euSNN European School of Network Neuroscience – Supervised by Prof. Maurizio Corbetta

Taking neuroscience from the study of individual brain regions to a network-based approach is essential for unravelling the mechanisms of cognition and behaviour and their breakdown in disorders. Network neuroscience is only at its incipient stages. Therefore, we propose an ETN for training ESRs on this emerging field and its application domains.

euSNN will integrate leading European groups in network neuroscience and deliver training on knowledge and skills that enable students to pursue a successful career in this emerging field. euSNN will combine and train all approaches relevant for investigation of brain networks, including (f)MRI, M/EEG, in-vivo recordings, analysis, modelling, network modulation with optogenetics or non-invasive neurostimulation and studies on network changes in neurological disorders.

The novelty of euSNN's training results from the unique combination of experimental, analysis and modelling approaches, which is amplified in a highly integrated programme that cuts across disciplines and sectors. This is in stark contrast with traditional concepts on graduate training in neuroscience, which often have been confined to a single research approach. All euSNN thesis projects focus on the key goal of identifying, analysing, and manipulating network interactions underlying cognitive and sensorimotor functions or their disturbances. Each project will operate across both academic and industrial partners in the network, giving a unique translational and application-geared orientation to the training.

Exploiting intense collaborations between experimental, theoretical and clinical groups, we link basic research on large-scale brain dynamics with new pathophysiological approaches and clinical applications. Overall, euSNN will contribute to assuring Europe’s leading position in the field of network neuroscience, while giving ESRs state-of-the-art multi-disciplinary research and entrepreneurial skills.

  INTENSE: particle physics experiments at the intensity frontier. A cooperative Europe - United States effort – Supervised by Prof. Daniele Gibin

INTENSE  is a new European training network between universities, research centres and industries that will carry out an interdisciplinary research and training program for a cohort of 11 fellows.

INTENSE promotes the collaboration among European and US researchers involved in the most important particle physics research projects at the high intensity frontier. The observation of neutrino oscillations established a picture consistent with the mixing of three neutrino flavours with three mass eigenstates and small mass differences. Experimental anomalies point to the presence of sterile neutrino states partecipating in the mixing and not coupling to fermions. Lepton mixings and massive neutrinos offer a gateway to deviations from the Standard Model in the lepton sector including Charged Lepton Flavour Violation (CLFV).

The FNAL Short-Baseline Neutrino (SBN) program based on three almost identical liquid argon Time Project Chambers located along the Booster Neutrino Beam offers a compelling opportunity to resolve the anomalies and perform the most sensitive search of sterile neutrinos at the eV mass scale through appearance and disappearance oscillation searches. MicroBooNE, SBND, and Icarus will search for the oscillation signal by comparing the neutrino event spectra measured at different distances from the source.

The FNAL SBN program and the CERN ProtoDUNE are a major step towards the global effort in realising the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). Mu2e at FNAL will improve the sensitivity on the search for the CLFV neutrinoless, coherent conversion of muons into electrons in the field of a nucleus by for orders of magnitude. MEG-II and Mu3e at PSI will improve the sensitivity on other CLFV muon decays.

INTENSE researchers have provided leading contributions and will take leading roles in detectors commissioning, data taking and analysis. These endeavours foster the development of cutting-edge technologies with spin-offs outside particle physics.


Maria Artero Pons is from Spain. She started her education in physics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, where she became deeply passionate about particle physics. To deepen her knowledge in this field, she did a Master's degree in theoretical physics at the University Complutense of Madrid. She had then the opportunity to do her master's thesis on the "Analysis of light detection with the ProtoDUNE double-phase liquid argon experiment at CERN", introducing her to the world of neutrino physics.

Maria joined the MSCA-ITN INTENSE project at the University of Padova in 2021 and her project is part of the collaboration of ICARUS (Imaging Cosmic and Rare Underground Signals) Experiment. She deals with the commissioning activities and the analysis of the ICARUS detector within the framework of the SBN project at Fermilab. The project will focus on the development of the calibration procedures of the detectors, the study of the background signal and the analysis and search for heavy sterile neutrinos with the ICARUS data.
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  MINTS Millimeter-wave Networking and Sensing for Beyond 5G – Supervised by Prof. Michele Rossi

e global telecommunications market has become tremendously competitive due to the emergence of new Asian players and saturation of traditional products (e.g., mobile broadband), which has decelerated the growth of the EU's telecommunications market. Thus, without dramatic innovation to open up new markets, EU's telecommunications industry is at risk. However, new markets such as industry 4.0 and autonomous driving demands extremely high data rates which can only be provided at mmWave frequencies.

To successfully overcome mmWave challenges, a closely integrated, skilled and multi-disciplinary team is needed to co-create innovative technology and applications. The ETN for MIllimeter-wave NeTworking and Sensing for Beyond 5G (MINTS) offers the first training program on mmWave networks that covers the full stack from physical layer to application. MINTS is an inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary cluster of excellence formed by electrical engineers and computer scientists aiming at innovative solutions for future mmWave networks and has pooled leading members of large EU initiatives (5G PPP), EU projects (ERC, H2020), and major telecommunications manufacturers (NOKIA, Sony, NEC), operators (e.g., Italtel, Proximus) and prototype providers (NI).

MINTS lays the foundation for resilient mmWave networks by enhancing physical-layer robustness via dynamic multi-beamforming techniques (WP1) and leveraging the directionality and broad communication bandwidth of mmWave systems for accurate environmental sensing (WP2).

MINTS addresses the networking issues of dense mmWave systems through advanced interference control and secure algorithms (WP3) and devises application-specific solutions for emerging application of mmWave communications, including industry 4.0, V2X and augmented reality (WP4).

The 15 ESRs in MINTS benefits from a comprehensive soft-skills training (WP5) and a tailored dissemination and exploitation strategy (WP6) which will boost their careers.


Enver Bashirov is from Azerbaijan. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from Bilkent University in 2017 and his Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from Eastern Mediterranean University in 2019. During his MSc. period, he worked on analyses of Person-dependent and Person-independent Emotion Recognition using Facial Expressions.
Within the scope of MINTS, he is working on his doctoral career in Information Engineering. His project topic is “Exploiting mmWave radios for indoor and outdoor environmental sensing”. Particularly, the aim of his work evolves around person detection, tracking and identification using mmWave radar devices and finding solutions to this challenging task in an innovative approach.

Amir Ashtari Gargari is from Iran. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Electronic Engineering at the University of Tabriz in 2017 and his master’s degree in Digital Electronic systems at the University of Tehran in 2019. He has awarded the best master thesis by INSF (Iran National Science Foundation) and partially granted.
Amir joined MINTS ITN project in 2020. His objective is to investigate algorithms that rely on machine learning and Real-Time CSI feedback to select the most suitable base stations for each user.

  RIBES - RIver flow regulation, fish BEhaviour and StatuS – Supervised by Prof. Andrea Marion

In 2016 serious concerns on the achievement of the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2020 targets, due to the continuing loss of biodiversity and degradation of aquatic habitats, led to the urgent adoption of a new Resolution for implementing ecosystem restoration measures. Moreover, on December 2018 the EU raised to 32% the binding renewable energy target for 2030, bringing further input to hydropower development. Meeting these targets sets challenging issues for mitigating the impacts of man-made structures in rivers that fragment habitats and prevent movement and migration of aquatic organisms.

The proposed ETN will train 15 ESRs in the interdisciplinary field of Ecohydraulics to find innovative solutions for freshwater fish protection and river continuity restoration in anthropogenically altered rivers.

The 15 ESRs will carry out an innovative and integrated research programme within a multidisciplinary and intersectoral Network, including 8 leading European Universities, consultancy companies, public agencies and hydropower industry, encompassing experts in fish biology, river ecology, environmental fluid mechanics and hydraulic engineering.

The 15 ESRs will have access to a number of laboratory and field facilities, modelling techniques, experimental practices and instrumental technologies, to expand current understanding of key fundamental fish bio-mechanical, behavioural and physiological processes, and to promote development of novel tools and management solutions in the area of freshwater fish protection.

ESRs will be enrolled in specific PhD training programmes according to the rules of 6 host countries and will undertake a Network-wide training programme inclusive of research activities in at least 2 EU countries, short courses at 5 Network Schools, and a series of dissemination and public outreach actions, with the fundamental goal of forming a group of young scientists and practitioners who will play a key role in the water sector at the European scale.


Sophia Schumann is from Germany. She did her bachelors in Biology at the University of Düsseldorf in Germany. Since she was always interested in protecting the environment. she did a Masters in Landscape Ecology and Nature Conservation at the University of Greifswald.
Sophia joined RIBES project in 2020. Together with 14 other PhD student from the transdisciplinary field, she tries to find innovative solutions for fish protection and river community restoration in anthropogenically-altered rivers. In particular, her PhD research project aims to study anthropogenic stress in riverine environments on fish physiology.

Marcelo Xavier Ruiz Coello is from Ecuador. He studied Civil Engineering with concentrations in Hydraulics at the Escuela Politecnica Nacional (EPN), Ecuador, and obtained his MSc degree in Hydroinformatics and Water Management within the Erasmus+ joint Master course EuroAquae+. He worked on his master thesis as an intern at Deltares, NL.
He worked as technical researcher within the Project TEEB Ecuador River Coca Watershed at EPN under the United Nations Environment Programme, and as assistant lecturer and researcher at EPN.
He joined the RIBES project in November 2020. Within his subproject “Hydrodynamics of Fish at Hydraulic structures”, he will study the hydrodynamics of fish and its behaviour in real controlled turbulent flows from both, numerical and experimental perspective.
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Call 2018

  HealthAge: Joint Training and Research Program on Lifespan Regulation Mechanisms in Health and Disease – supervised by Prof.Luca Scorrano

Aging is an inexorable homeostatic failure of complex but largely unknown aetiology that leads to increased vulnerability to disease with enormous consequences on the quality of individual lives and the overall cost to society. Although, aging is driven by limitations in somatic maintenance, it is also subject to regulation by evolutionarily highly conserved molecular pathways. Indeed, macromolecular damage may drive the functional decline with aging; however, a battery of conserved, longevity assurance mechanisms may set the pace on how rapidly damage builds up and function is lost over time. Human efforts over the last centuries have succeeded in substantially lengthening lifespan, allowing aging to become a common feature of western societies. However, The discouraging complexity of the aging process, the noticeable lack of tools to study it, and a shortage of experimentally tractable model systems have made it significantly challenging to unravel the molecular basis of the processes that cause loss of bodily functions and degeneration of cells and tissues with advancing age. HealthAge was carefully designed to create a joint European program of excellence in training and research with a core intellectual focus on the functional role of “Lifespan Regulation Mechanisms in Health and Disease”. To tackle this, HealthAge combines top-level, state-of-the-art and interdisciplinary research skills that range from basic molecular mechanisms and ‘omics’ level understanding to translational research and clinical applications. This interdisciplinary strategy will allow us to gain functional insight into the fundamental mechanisms regulating longevity as well as to develop a series of rationalized intervention strategies aimed at counteracting age-related diseases.


Erwan Rivière is from France. He graduated his M.Sc. in University of Paris-Sud 11 (Paris Saclay) in Cell Biology. During the first year of master he worked in Institute for Integrative Biology of the Cell (I2BC), where he studied mitochondrial DNA stability in the yeast S. cerevisiae. Then for his Master’s thesis, he worked in Institut Curie where he studied the role of vesicular trafficking in metastatic dissemination of the Uveal Melanoma. Now he is working with Prof. L. Scorrano at Unipd on Opa1-dependent cristae remodelling in age-related diseases.


  WINDMILL: Integrating wireless communication engineering and machine learning – supervised by Prof. Andrea Zanella

With their evolution towards 5G and beyond, wireless communication networks are entering an era of massive connectivity, massive data, and extreme service demands. A promising approach to successfully handle such a magnitude of complexity and data volume is to develop new network management and optimization tools based on machine learning. This is a major shift in the way wireless networks are designed and operated, posing demands for a new type of expertise that requires the combination of engineering, mathematics and computer science disciplines. The ITN project WindMill addresses this need by providing Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) with an expertise integrating wireless communications and machine learning. The project will train 15 ESRs within a consortium of leading international research institutes and companies comprising experts in wireless communications and machine learning. This a very timely project, providing relevant inter-disciplinary training in an area where machine learning represents a meaningful extension of the current methodology used in wireless communication systems. Accordingly, the project will produce a new generation of experts, extremely competitive on the job market, considering the scale by which machine learning will impact the future and empower the individuals that are versed in it. The project will also nurture the sense of responsibility of the ESRs and the other participants through personal engagement in the training program and by promoting teamwork through collaborative joint projects.


Anay Ajit Deshpande comes from India. He graduated with Masters in Information and Communication Engineering from TU Darmstadt, Germany in 2019. He joined Masters in Germany after immediately completing Bachelors in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Vellore Institute of Technology, India in 2016. 
Since 2019 he has been working within the WINDMILL project. His role in the Project is to analyse and design Anticipatory Techniques for Wireless Network Optimization. In few words, she is going to use machine learning algorithms to analyse different wireless network parameters and find optimal network configuration for different types of applications to be serviced by 5G networks.
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Salman Mohebi Ganjabadiis from Iran.He received his BSc and MSc in Information Technology from Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences (IASBS), Zanjan, and University of Tehran in 2013 and 2017, respectively. His main research interesets are next-generation mobile networks (5G and beyond), wireless sensor networks (WSN), Internet of Things (IoT),  machine learning (ML) and ML applications. His role within the WINDMILL project is to investigate the advanced ML and specifically unsupervised learning techniques based on deep neural networks and probabilistic generative models for resource management in 5G sliced networks.

Call 2017

  CINCHRON- Comparative INsect CHRONobiology – supervised by Rodolfo Costa

Chronobiology is the study of biological rhythms. The best understood cycles are those with circadian 24 hour periods that modulate the temporal dynamics of physiology and behaviour of all higher organisms. Four model organisms have been widely used to study the underlying molecular biology of endogenous circadian clocks, Cyanobacteria, the fungus Neurospora, the fruitfly Drosophila, and the mouse. Insect clocks, both circadian and seasonal, are vital for adaptation to the environment and recent global patterns of climate change mean that insect pests and vectors of disease are expanding their ranges into Europe. Consequently there is an urgent need to study the circadian clocks of these insects and how they synchronise to the environment. CINCHRON will create an integrated European centre of excellence for the research training of ESRs in the emerging multidisciplinary field of Comparative INsect CHRONobiology. CINCHRON will bring together molecular neurogeneticists working predominantly with Drosophila, and comparative biologists who study circadian and seasonal clocks of non-model insects of economic importance. These researchers have different approaches so we will harness their different skills for mutual benefit via the integrated training of their ESRs in association with industrial partners. This will be done by high level interactions between university and industry, as well as interactions among laboratories with different areas of expertise, thereby connecting the different sectors (academic and commercial) as well as different disciplines. The goal is to seed-corn the next generation of researchers with highly trained, flexible workers in cutting edge technological methods and complementary generic skills that will support European academic, academicrelated and industrial institutions. CINCHRON will therefore contribute to the integration and cohesion of future European research efforts in solving pure and applied biological problem.


Joanna Maria SZRAMEL comes from Poland. She has two bachelor’s degrees: in Biology (2016) and Neurobiology (2017) and a master’s degree in Biology with a specialisation in Cell biology obtained at Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland. Her Master’s thesis was focused on the effect of locomotor stimulation on circadian synaptic plasticity in the brain and neuro-muscular junctions of Drosophila melanogaster. In 2018 she joined the lab of prof. Costa at the Department of Biology – UNIPD as a PhD student within the CINCHRON project; she is currently working on mitochondrial metabolism and seasonality in Drosophila.

Daniel BRADY is from Ireland. He completed an MSc. at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (Molecular Ecology) focusing on population genetics and protein biochemistry. During his MSc at the University of Glasgow (Infection Biology), he focused on Molecular Parasitology completing his dissertation on genetic engineering of Plasmodium sp. Daniel also has several years’ experience working as a field ecologist and within molecular biology labs. In 2018 he started his PhD within the CINCHRON project; he is currently working on connections between the circadian clock and rearing conditions of silkworms, aiming to minimise silk crop losses due to infectious diseases while maintaining high-quality silk.

  QuSCo - Quantum-enhanced Sensing via Quantum Control – supervised by Simone Montangero

Quantum technologies aim to exploit quantum coherence and entanglement, the two essential elements of quantum physics. Successful implementation of quantum technologies faces the challenge to preserve the relevant nonclassical features at the level of device operation. It is thus deeply linked to the ability to control open quantum systems. The currently closest to market quantum technologies are quantum communication and quantum sensing. The latter holds the promise of reaching unprecedented sensitivity, with the potential to revolutionize medical imaging or structure determination in biology or the controlled construction of novel quantum materials. Quantum control manipulates dynamical processes at the atomic or molecular scale by means of specially tailored external electromagnetic fields. The purpose of QuSCo is to demonstrate the enabling capability of quantum control for quantum sensing and quantum measurement, advancing this field by systematic use of quantum control methods. QuSCo will establish quantum control as a vital part for progress in quantum technologies. QuSCo will expose its students, at the same time, to fundamental questions of quantum mechanics and practical issues of specific applications. Albeit challenging, this reflects our view of the best possible training that the field of quantum technologies can offer. Training in scientific skills is based on the demonstrated tradition of excellence in research of the consortium. It will be complemented by training in communication and commercialization. The latter builds on strong industry participation whereas the former existing expertise on visualization and gamification and combines it with more traditional means of outreach to realize target audience specific public engagement strategies.

Call 2016

  MMBio: Molecular Tools for Nucleic Acid Manipulation for Biological Intervention – supervised by Prof. Paolo Scrimin

MMbio will bridge the classically separate disciplines of Chemistry and Biology by assembling leading experts from academia and non-academic partners (industry, technology transfer & science communication) to bring about systems designed to interfere therapeutically with gene expression in living cells. Expertise in nucleic acid synthesis, its molecular recognition and chemical reactivity is combined with drug delivery, cellular biology and experimental medicine. This project represents a concerted effort to make use of a basic and quantitative understanding of chemical interactions to develop and deliver oligonucleotide molecules of utility for therapy. Our chemical biology approach to this field is ambitious in its breadth and represents a unqiues opportunity to educate young scientists across sectorial and disciplinary barriers. Training will naturally encompass a wide range of skills, requiring a joint effort of chemists and biologists to introduce young researchers in a structured way to and array of research methodologies that no single research grouping could provide. The incorporation of early-stage and later stag ebiotechnology enterprises ensures that commercialisation of methodologies as well as the drug development process is covered in this ITN. We hope that MMBio will train scientists able to understand both the biological problem and the chemistry that holds the possible solution and develop original experimental approaches to stimulate European academic and commercial success in this area.

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Lucia Morillas Becerril comes from Spain. She obtained a Bsc in Chemistry from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (Spain) in 2014 and a Msc in Molecular Nanoscience from Friedrich Alexander Universität in Erlangen, Nürnberg (Germany) in 2015. Her master thesis concerned the building blocks towards mechanically interlocked synthetic carbon allotropes. She is currently pursuing her PhD at University of Padova in the framework of the Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions and her project within the MMBIO network will focus on the application of nanoparticles for gene delivery.

Joanna Częścik is from Poland. She obtained a Msc in Chemistry from the University of Warsaw in 2016. During her Master’s studies, she worked on Stereocontrolled Organic Chemistry field, and specifically on enantioselective reactions of furans with trifluoromethyl ketones in presence of cinchona alkaloids and trans-1,2-diaminocyclohexane derivatives as a catalysts. She also did several internships in Poland (Institute of Organic Chemistry Department of Sugars, Cosmetic Institute, Biological and Chemical Research Centre Department of Supramolecular Laboratory) and abroad (University of Parma, Italy; Åbo Akademi University, Finland ). In MMBio network, for her PhD project, she focuses in programming the interaction of self-organized functional nanoparticles with biological entities such as targeting proteins, enzymes and nucleic acids.

  NEW-MINE: EU Training Network for Resource Recovery through Enhanced Landfill Mining – supervised by Prof. Enrico Bernardo

Europe has somewhere between 150,000 and 500,000 landfill sites, with an estimated 90% of them being “non-sanitary” landfills, predating the EU Landfill Directive of 1999. These older landfills tend to be filled with municipal solid waste and often lack any environmental protection technology. In order to avoid future environmental and health problems, many of these landfills will soon require expensive remediation measures. This situation might appear bleak, but it does present us with an exciting opportunity for a combined resource-recovery and remediation strategy, which will drastically reduce future remediation costs, reclaim valuable land, while at the same time unlocking billions of tonnes of valuable resources contained within these landfills. However, the widespread adoption of Enhanced Landfill Mining (ELFM) in the EU, as envisaged by NEW-MINE, urgently requires skilled scientists, engineers, economists and policy makers who can develop cost-effective, environmentally friendly ELFM practices and regulatory frameworks. All this demands a European commitment to concerted, inter- and transdisciplinary research and innovation. The NEW-MINE project trains 15 early-stage researchers (ESRs) in all the aspects of landfill mining, in terms of both technological innovation and multi-criteria assessments for ELFM. The technological innovation follows a value-chain approach, from advanced landfill exploration, mechanical processing, plasma/solar/hybrid thermochemical conversion and upcycling, while the multi-criteria assessment methods allow the ESRs to compare combined resource-recovery/remediation ELFM methods with the “Do-Nothing”, “Classic remediation” and “Classic landfill mining with (co-)incineration” scenarios. By training the ESRs in scientific, technical and a range of soft skills, all based on a collaboration involving EU-leading institutes, they become highly sought-after scientists and engineers for the rapidly emerging ELFM and recycling industries.

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New ELFM animation video: not just another brick



Patricia Rabelo Monich comes from Brazil. She graduated in 2013 in Materials Engineering at Federal University of Santa Catarina. Her final thesis was in the field of hydrogen embrittlement. After completing her bachelor, she started her master in Materials Science and Engineering at the same university. Her master thesis was focused on the development of PEEK composites for biomedical applications.
She is currently pursuing her PhD at University of Padova in the framework of the Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions. Her PhD project has the purpose to develop glass-ceramic building materials with novel functionalities made from materials originated from the processing and conversion of the landfill waste, under the supervision of Professor Enrico Bernardo.

  OcuTher: Educational Network in Ocular Drug Delivery and Therapeutics – supervised by Prof. Paolo Caliceti

Ocular drug development has transformed from niche area to a major field in drug development in which many companies, including European big pharma has entered recently. Ocular drug development is a unique field in terms of drug targets and end-points of activity, local drug administration routes, tissue barriers and pharmacokinetics, drug delivery and formulation challenges and local toxicity issues. These issues are slowing down the development of drugs for the unmet needs in ophthalmology. The main objective of the proposal is to educate experts of preclinical ocular R&D to facilitate the success of European pharmaceutical industry and research community. This objective will be reached by joining forces of the leading European academic and industrial researchers in ophthalmology, materials science and nanomedicine, drug delivery and targeting, and systems pharmacology. We shall educate 15 Early Stage Researchers in a network where they will receive tailored, multi-disciplinary and inter-sectoral education in preclinical ocular drug development. The thesis projects are directed to the drug treatment of retinal diseases, the major challenge in the field. The proposal combines new drug candidates from the experts of ophthalmology, innovative drug delivery technologies from pharmaceutical scientists and companies, and modern in vitro, in silico and in vivo methods from various partners. The thesis projects include secondments in academic and industrial partner laboratories and course programme that encompasses the relevant fields in ocular drug development. Therefore, this proposal presents unique combination of innovation and education in the field with obvious need for such education. The ESRs and other outcomes of this project will greatly benefit the future competitiveness of European science and industry in this field of expanding importance.


Eva Kickova comes from Slovakia. She graduated in Organic Chemistry in 2016 at Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice in Slovakia. During her master study she spent 6 months in 2015 as an exchange student at University of Groningen in the Netherlands. In 2017 she has been selected as a PhD candidate in Molecular Sciences at University of Padova in Italy within the Ocuther project. She likes to bring her knowledge, skills and experience from synthesis into generating novel therapheutic strategies and nanocarriers for treatment of various ocular diseases.

MD Al-Amin is from Bangladesh. He has completed Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh and masters in manufacturing pharmacy from Pusan National Univesity, South Korea. His master thesis was related with tyrosinase inhibitor  loaded solid lipid nano particles formualtion for skin delivery in the treatment of hyper pigmentation. He is now a doctoral student at department of pharmacological and pharmaceutical sciences in University of Padova. He is working in an ITN project "OcuTher- Educational Network in Ocular Delivery and Therapeutics". His project is about multifunctional colloidal formulations in the treatment of posterior segment ocular diseases.

  PAM^2: Precision Additive Metal Manufacturing – supervised by Prof. Simone Carmignato

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a fast−growing sector with the ability to evoke a revolution in manufacturing due to its almost unlimited design freedom and its capability to produce personalised parts locally and with efficient material use. AM companies however still face technological challenges such as limited precision due to shrinkage and build−in stresses and limited process stability and robustness. Moreover often post−processing is needed due to the high roughness and remaining porosity. In addition qualified, trained personnel is hard to find. This ITN project will address both the technological and people challenges.
To quality assure the parts produced, PAM² will, through a close collaboration between industry and academia, address each of the various process stages of AM with a view to implementing good precision engineering practice.
To ensure the availability of trained personnel, ESRs will, next to their individual research and complementary skills training, be immersed in the whole AM production chain through hands−on workshops where they will design, model, fabricate, measure and assess a specific product.
The expected impact of PAM² thus is:
1. The availability of intersectoral and interdisciplinary trained professionals in an industrial field that's very important for the future of Europe, both enhancing the ESR future career perspectives and advancing European industry.
2. The availability of high precision AM processes through improved layout rules with better use of AM possibilities, better modelling tools for first−time right processing, possibility for in−situ quality control ensuring process stability and, if still needed, optimised post−processing routes
3. As a result of 1: an increased market acceptance and penetration of AM.
4. Through the early involvement of European industry: a growing importance of the European industrial players in this fast−growing field. This will help Europe reach its target of 20% manufacturing share of GDP.

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Markus Baier has born in Germany. He obtained his Bachelor (2014) in Physic and his Master (2015) in Applied and Engineering Physics at TU Munich (Germany). His Master thesis focused on the characterisation and optimisation of a high-resolution X-ray Talbot-Lau grating interferometer tomography system. After his Internship in 2016 at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST, SA), conducting research on organic solar cells, he started his PhD at the University of Padua as a Marie Curie Fellow within the European Horizon 2020 Project Precision Additive Metal Manufacturing (PAM2). The main goal of his research within the project is to develop feedback methods of Computed Tomography (CT) for AM part design and process improvement.

  QUARTZ: Quantum Information Access and Retrieval Theory – supervised by Prof. Massimo Melucci

We aim to establish an European Training Network (ETN) on QUantum information Access and Retrieval Theory (QUARTZ). Towards a new approach to Information Access and Retrieval (IAR) addressing the challenges of the dynamic and multimodal nature of the data and user interaction context, QUARTZ aims to educate its Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) to adopt a novel theoretically and empirically motivated approach to IAR based on the quantum mechanical framework that gives up the notions of unimodal features and classical ranking models disconnected from context. Each ESR will be aware that the current state of the art of IAR is not sufficient to address the challenges of a dynamic, adaptive and context-aware user-machine interaction and to make a major breakthrough in the overall effectiveness of retrieval systems, and that a genuine theoretical breakthrough is on the contrary necessary. We believe that this breakthrough can be provided by quantum theory which can integrate abstract vector spaces, probability spaces and logic in a single theoretical framework which extend and generalize the classical vector, probability and logic spaces utilised in IAR. QUARTZ will consist of training activities and ESR research projects which investigate theoretical issues and evaluate methods and prototypes for adaptive IAR systems managing large data collections and meeting the end user's information needs in a dynamic context.

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Qiuchi Li is from China. He received his B.E. from the department of Electronic Engineering, Tsinghua University, China in 2015. He was engaged as a research student in the department of Computing and Communications, Open University, UK in 2015-2017.
Within the QUARTZ Project, his research targets at building a quantum-inspired theoretical framework to extract, represent and merge features of multi-modal data on a uniform abstract vector space, and developing a set of computational methods to handle multi-modal tasks.

Prayag Tiwari comes from India. He has obtained a Master in Computer Science from NUST MISIS, Moscow, Russia. His main focus was to use machine learning models in road and traffic accident. He also worked as a Teaching Assistant at NUST MISIS before joining the QUARTZ project at UNIPD in 2017. He is currently working as a PhD student within this project and his research focuses are into quantum inspired classification task where he needs to use quantum formalism to replace classical model to quantum inspired model.

Benyou Wang comes from China. Before joining the University of Padova, he got his master degree from Tianjin University (first modern Chinese university) with the similar topic of the current MSCA ITN project — leveraging quantum framework in information retrieval and access. He also had some industrial experience in big IT companies like Tencent (the 6th biggest IT companies in the world). In his early-stage research, he has already gotten many respected awards in related fields, like SIGIR 2017 best paper honorable mention award and NAACL 2019 best explainable NLP paper.

Call 2015

  AMVA4NewPhysics: Advanced Multi-Variate Analysis for New Physics Searches at the LHC – supervised by Prof. Giovanna Menardi

With the 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider, LHC, the Standard Model of particle physics has been completed, emerging as a most successful description of matter at the smallest distance scales. But as is always the case, the observation of this particle has also heralded the dawn of a new era in the field: particle physics is now turning to the mysteries posed by the presence of dark matter in the universe, as well as the very existence of the Higgs. The upcoming run of the LHC at 13 TeV will probe possible answers to both issues, providing detailed measurements of the properties of the Higgs and extending significantly the sensitivity to new phenomena.
Since the LHC is the only accelerator currently exploring the energy frontier, it is imperative that the analyses of the collected data use the most powerful possible techniques. In recent years several analyses have utilized multi-variate analysis techniques, obtaining higher sensitivity; yet there is ample room for further improvement. With our programme we will import and specialize the most powerful advanced statistical learning techniques to data analyses at the LHC, with the objective of maximizing the chance of new physics discoveries.
We aim at creating a network of European institutions to foster the development and exploitation of Advanced Multi-Variate Analysis (AMVA) for New Physics searches. The network will offer extensive training in both physics and advanced analysis techniques to graduate students, focusing on providing them with the know-how and the experience to boost their career prospects in and outside academia. The network will develop ties with non-academic partners for the creation of interdisciplinary software tools, allowing a successful knowledge transfer in both directions. The network will study innovative techniques and identify their suitability to problems encountered in searches for new physics at the LHC and detailed studies of the Higgs boson sector.

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Grzegorz Michal Kotkowski is from Poland. He has a Bachelor both in Mathematics (2013) and in Physics (2015), and a Master Degree in Mathematical Statistics (2015) from the Wrocław University of Technology. He was then employed by Datarino, where he acquired hands-on experience in data mining on very large datasets. He is currently a PhD student at the Department of Statistics of the University of Padova, and he is working on the AMV4NewPhysics project. In 2016, he did a 2-month-secondement period at CERN (Geneva, Switzerland) in the International Physics Research Center, where he performed multivariate statistical analysis for the new physical algorithm.

  QCALL: Quantum Communications for ALL – supervised by Prof. Paolo Villoresi

Quantum Communications for ALL (QCALL) endeavors to take the next necessary steps to bring the developing quantum technologies closer to the doorsteps of end users. Quantum communications (QC) is well-known for its offering ultra-secure cryptographic key-exchange schemes—resilient to any future technological advancement. QCALL will empower a nucleus of researchers in this area to provide secure communications in our continent and, in the long run, to our connections worldwide. With the large scale violations of privacy in the EU exchange of information, this is a crucial moment to pursue this objective. By covering a range of projects, with short, mid, and long-term visions, and using a balanced and multifaceted training programme, QCALL trains a cadre of highly qualified interdisciplinary workforce capable of shaping the R&D section of the field, hence accelerating its widespread adoption. This will ensure that EU will remain at the frontier of research on secure communications and advanced QC systems and devices. In QCALL, we explore the challenges of integrating quantum and classical communication networks; this will be essential in providing cost-efficient services. We experimentally examine and theoretically study new protocols by which network users can exchange secure keys with each other. We investigate disruptive technologies that enable wireless access to such quantum networks, and develop new devices and protocols that enable multi-party QC. Our meticulously planned training programme includes components from shared taught courses through to scientific schools and complementary-skill workshops, supplemented by secondment opportunities and innovative outreach and dissemination activities. This will create a structured model for doctoral training in EU that will last beyond the life of the project, so will the industry-academic collaborations that are essential to the development of the disruptive technologies that will make QC available to ALL.


Mujtaba Zahidy

Hamid Tebyanian comes from Iran. He got his Master in Physics (quantum field theory) in 2017, with a thesis on "Calculation of Casimir Energy Density for a Scalar Field Constrained with Boundary Conditions." He is currently a PhD student and a Marie Curie early stage researcher (ESR) at the Department of Information Engineering under the supervision of Prof. Vallone. The main objective of this research is generation secure, private, and unpredictable random numbers for cryptographic applications, notably quantum key distribution (QKD). During his Ph.D. he will  focus on the generation of quantum random numbers based on quantum optics, in the semi-device independent scenario, which means the experiment device is partially trusted, because of it's fairly fast (high rate in terms of generation rate) and secure. 

  SCAVENGE: Sustainable CellulAr networks harVEstiNG ambient Energy - supervised by Prof. Michele Rossi

Energy sustainability is key to future mobile networks due to their foreseen capacity upsurge. The objective of the ETN SCAVENGE (Sustainable CellulAr networks harVEstiNG ambient Energy) is to create a training network for early-stage researchers (ESRs) who will contribute to the design and implementation of eco-friendly and sustainable next-generation (5G) networks and become leaders in the related scientific, technological, and industrial initiatives. Sustainable networks are based on the premise that environmental energy can be scavenged through dedicated harvesting hardware so as to power 5G base stations (BSs) and the end devices (mobile terminals, sensors and machines). To realise this vision, the project will take a complete approach, encompassing the characterisation of intermittent and/or erratic energy sources, the development of theoretical models, and the design, optimisation and proof-of-concept implementation of core network, BS and mobile elements as well as their integration with the smart electrical grid.
The consortium is composed of world-class research centres and companies that are in the forefront of mobile communication and renewable energy research and technology development. The attitude of the industrial partners towards the strong investment in R&D and their strategic vision are fully aligned with the mission of this project, making them perfectly fit for this consortium. This grants a well-balanced project with genuine and strong technical interactions. The ESRs will have a unique opportunity towards professional growth in light of dedicated cross-partner training activities and through the interaction with the Partner Organisations, which also include relevant stakeholders in the envisioned market. All of this will ensure that the trained researchers will be successfully employed at the end of the research program.

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Angel Fernandez Gambin comes from Spain. He received the Bachelor and Master degrees in Telecommunications engineering from the Technical University of Cartagena (Spain) in 2014 and 2016, respectively. For his final thesis, she developed and evaluated a new control mechanism for saving energy in Heterogeneous Cellular Networks providing control and self-organization. She did several scholarships, both at the University of Cartagena and in private companies, including a Talent Startups Scholarship. She is currently a PhD student at the Department of Information Engineering at the University of Padova, and within the SCAVENGE project he is focusing on the study of the interaction between future cellular networks and the smart electrical grid, in the presence of renewable energy sources.

Elvina Gindullina is from Russia. She first studied Economics and management in enterprises at the Ufa State Petroleum Technological University (2008-2013) and then obtained a Msc in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science at the Ufa Sa Aviation at the Technical University (2013-2015). For her final thesis, she worked on Vehicle Routing Problems and specifically on the development of exact and heuristic algorithms for One-to-One pickup and delivery. In 2016 she did an internship at the University of Trento, where she developed heuristic algorithms for VRP. She is currently a PhD student at the Department of Information Engineering at the University of Padova, and within the SCAVENGE project she is focusing on the development of battery management system for energy harvesting devices.

Dlamini Thembelihle is from Swaziland. He received his Bachelor of Engineering (Electronics) at the University of Swaziland, in 2011. In 2014, he completed his Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan, with a thesis on Clustering and Resource Allocation Schemes for Hybrid Femtocell Networks. He is currently pursuing high PhD at the University of Padova, Italy and a reseacher at Athonet under the EU Scavenge project. His research interests are in Wireless communication system design, Core Network management procedures in 5G using NFV and SDN.

Call 2014

  BIOPOL: Biochemical and mechanochemical mechanisms in polarized cells – supervised by Prof. Stefano Piccolo

BIOPOL is an interdisciplinary European training network at the interface of cell biology, physics and engineering. BIOPOL aims specifically at the understanding of fundamental mechanochemical principles guiding cellular behaviour and function and their relevance to human disease. A new supra-disciplinary research field is emerging bringing together the fields of molecular cell biology, physics and engineering aiming at an in depth understanding of fundamental cellular mechanochemical principles. BIOPOL combines exactly this required expertise in one joint training program for young researchers. BIOPOL has assembled a unique multidisciplinary consortium bringing together top scientists from the fields of molecular/developmental cell biology, membrane physics, engineering as well as specialists from the private sector. The scientific objectives focus on understanding of fundamental mechanisms of cellular mechanosensing in health and disease, the role of external forces in cell division and mechanochemical regulation of cell polarity including tissue formation. Finally, part of BIOPOL´s research program is the further development of cutting edge technologies like advanced atomic force microscopy, novel photonic tools like optical stretcher or innovative organ on a chip technology, exploiting physical cellular properties. BIOPOL´s collaborative cutting edge research program is integral part of its training program provided to early stage researcher and is further translated into seven state of the art experimental training stations representing the consortiums expertise. In addition, BIOPOL has developed a 3 years modular curriculum including workshops, summerschools, Business plan competitions and conferences with a specific agenda of transferable skill training elements highly relevant for scientific communication, translational research and in particular entrepreneurship.

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Qiuyu Zhuang is from China. She graduated in 2015 with a M.Sc. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Xianeb University. Her project included the study of the function of two necroptosis related proteins in the innate immunity; the early step of hepatitis B virus infection and the identification of effectors of the type I interferon antiviral. In her doctoral project within the BIOPOL network she examines the biochemical and mechanochemical mechanisms through YAP/TAZ regulation and assesses YAP/TAZ and their direct targets as cancer's regulating genes.

  CoACH: Advanced glasses, Composites And Ceramics for High growth Industries – supervised by Prof. Enrico Bernardo

The aim of CoACH (Advanced glasses, Composites And Ceramics for High growth Industries) is to offer a multidisciplinary training in the field of high-tech GLASSES, CERAMICS and COMPOSITES based on effective and proven industry-academia cooperation. Our scientific goals are to develop advanced knowledge on glass and ceramic based materials and to develop innovative, cost-competitive, and environmentally acceptable materials and processing technologies.
The inter/multi-disciplinary and -sectorial characteristic is guaranteed by the presence of 5 academic partners and 10 companies having top class expertise in glass, ceramic and composite science and technology, modelling, design, characterization and commercialization. Advanced materials fall within the KEY ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES (KETs) and are themselves an emerging supra-disciplinary field; expertise on these new materials brings competitiveness in the strategic thematic areas of: HEALTH-innovative glass and composite for biomedical applications, ENERGY-innovative glass, ceramic and composite materials for energy harvesting/scavenging, solid oxide electrolysis cells and oil, gas and petrochemical industries, ICT-new glass fibre sensors embedded in smart coatings for harsh environment, ENVIRONMENT-new and low cost glass, ceramic and composite materials from waste.
The originality of the research programme is to be seen in the supra-disciplinary approach to new glass- and ceramic- based materials and their applications: recruited researchers will benefit from a complete set of equipment and expertise enabling them to develop advanced knowledge in KETs and strategic thematic areas for the EU and to convert it into products for economic and social benefit. The effective research methodology used by the partners and the mutual exploitation of their complementary competences have been successfully experienced in the past in long term common research cooperation and in on-going common projects, including a Marie Curie ITN.

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Acacio Rincon Romero comes from Spain. He graduated from the Complutense University of Madrid in Chemistry. During his Master´s thesis, he worked in the colloidal processing of ceramic oxides containing carbon nanodispersoids. Nowadays he is involved as a PhD researcher in the CoACH project (Advanced glasses, Composites And Ceramics for High growth Industries), a European Training Network (ETN) studying the development of low cost waste-derived sintered glass and glass-ceramics for energy saving and recovery at the University of Padova, under the supervision of Professor Enrico Bernardo.

  MULTI-APP: Multivalent Molecular Systems for Innovative Applications – supervised by Prof. Leonard Jan Prins

This network brings together the major academic players active in Europe on the fundamentals and application of multivalency and cooperativity. The network is complemented by industrial partners ranging in scale from a small spin-off to a large multinational. The main objective of this consortium is to raise a new generation of researchers able to develop complex chemical systems that harness cooperativity for enhanced functional properties.
Multivalency is one of Nature’s governing principles for achieving strong and selective biomolecular recognition. Many biological processes rely on the cooperative effects associated with the occurrence of multivalent interactions. Consequently, there is an enormous interest in the development of chemical multivalent systems that display similar features for innovative applications in fields as various as diagnostics, drug discovery, materials science and nanotechnology.
The central theme of multivalency and cooperativity is used to connect partners from academia and industry with a common interest in understanding how multivalency works, but for very different scopes and using very different approaches. This network is thus uniquely positioned to train the next generation of European researchers in all multidisciplinary aspects related to multivalency. A broad training program has been developed that comprises top-level individual research projects, both general and specific network-wide dedicated courses, secondments, personalized scientific training and a broad package of complementary skill training. The industrial partners contribute in the form of training, supervision, technical contributions, and perspectives on the commercialisation of multivalent systems.
After completion of the program, the ESRs will be the first generation of researchers able to fully exploit the potential of multivalent chemical systems. Their unrivalled career profiles will enable them to compete successfully for positions in academia or industry.

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Maria Cardona is from Malta. She obtained a MSc in Chemistry from the University of Malta in the field of Physical-Organic and Supramolecular Chemistry, where she synthesized and studied water-soluble azobenzene and anthracene-based chemosensors for cations. For her PhD she is studying how chemical reactions can be controlled inside transient self-assembled vesicles in aqueous solution.

Carlos Manuel León Prieto is from Spain. He studied Chemistry at the University of Barcelona and graduated in 2013. In 2014, he completed a MSc (Master in Advanced Organic Chemistry) including courses and 6 months of experimental work. During that time, he was working on the synthesis of 1,2-amino alcohols using organocatalytic chemistry. Currently, he is doing his PhD at the University of Padova and for the MULTI-APP project he is examining on Carbohydrate recognition by monolayer protected gold nanoparticles.


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