February 3, 2017

ERC Proof of Concept Grant for Björn Hof

Project grant eliminates turbulence to make oil pipelines more efficient

The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded a Proof of Concept grant to IST Austria Professor Björn Hof. He is one of 133 ERC grant holders who have been selected in three rounds of competition in 2016 to bring the results of their frontier research closer to the market. As such, he will receive top-up funding to explore the innovation potential of his ERC-funded discoveries.

Pipelines are the most economical way to transport large quantities of oil. Even so, the annual pumping costs amount to tens of billions of Euros. The faster pumps go, the more turbulence there is and the higher the frictional losses in the pipeline. In the course of his initial ERC project, Hof designed a method to convert fully turbulent flows in pipes back to laminar, cutting friction losses by as much as 80%. Now, thanks to his Proof of Concept project, he will push this technology from the laboratory to practical real-world situations.

With its Proof of Concept grant scheme, the ERC helps grantees to bridge the gap between their pioneering research and early phases of its commercialization. Proof of Concept grants, worth 150,000 Euros each, can be used to establish intellectual property rights, investigate business opportunities or conduct technical validation.


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