The University of Mons (UMons) has received funding to the tune of 4.2 million euros for seven ‘Excellence of Science’ (EOS) research projects. As a result, 20 new researchers can be employed there. The funding came in response to an appeal launched in early 2017 by the Scientific Research Fund and the Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Research Foundation – Flanders for financing for the EOS programme. UMons is a partner in six of the beneficiary projects, while it is the coordinator of the seventh.
The 20 new researchers, pre- and post-doctoral scientists, will work within UMons for four years in fields such as material chemistry, software ecosystems, the properties of materials and the environment.
Research will also be conducted in areas related to the effects of global warming on wild bee colonies, the development of new polymers with a high degree of organization, and finding a clean, effective alternative to the production of nitrogen-bearing molecules for manufacturing fertilisers.
The EOS programme has the replaced former ‘Inter-university poles of attraction’, PAI, programme financed by the Federal Government with a focus on collaborative fundamental projects between the country’s two communities rather than networks.
Under the previous PAI appeal four years ago, UMons had obtained 5.6% of the total available budget as against 8% in 2017. This increase by almost half has been made possible by the absence of funding quotas per university,