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Selected Projects

Fran Borovečki (University of Zagreb, Zagreb Medical School) shall do research on Parkinson’s disease. The project should open up new ways for the development of medicines by identifying new markers and target mechanisms. The Fund invests EUR 48,000 in the project while EUR 12,000 have been provided from other sources, such as the EU 7th Framework Programme. This project shall also cooperate with the Portuguese Institute for Molecular Medicine, which should also give rise to new European projects.

The Kristian Horvath (Meteorological and Hydrological Service, Croatia) project, financed by the Fund in the amount of EUR 36,929, and co-financed by the Meteorological and Hydrological Service, Croatian Electric Company d.d and Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar in the amount of EUR 98,872, shall deal with the evaluation of wind resources in Croatian and the decrease of meteorological uncertainties related to wind power harnessing. The goals of this project shall be met by using intensively the state-of-the-art numeric models and advanced measurement techniques, in cooperation with leading researchers from Diaspora, Europe and Croatia.

Igor Jerković (University of Split, Faculty of Chemistry and Technology), in cooperation with the University of Cagliari in Italy and “Marko Marulić” Polytechnic of Knin, shall investigate botanical origin and nutritional properties of unifloral honeys. This project promotes organic unifloral honeys as an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable food, especially suitable for production in clean and less developed parts of Croatia. The Fund shall invest EUR 27,000 in this project. Other partners, including “Api Herba d.o.o” from Knin, shall invest half of that amount.

At the Ruđer Bošković Institute Tin Klanjšček shall develop a model for fish feeding optimization. The model shall be able to predict how, apart from fish weight, also the size and the availability of food in the environment influence fish growth. The expected result is a feeding scenario which will substantially reduce the amounts of necessary food. Apart from the co-financing in the amount of EUR 25,568, the Fund finances the project with EUR 93,063, and the final goal is the transferral of know-how and technology to Croatian fish farmers.

Anita Kriško of the Mediterranean Institute for Life Sciences in Split shall investigate whether the environment of an organism is written down in the proteome (protein cluster) of an individual organism, and whether a link between the proteome sequence and the environment can be described. The project will try to answer the question of whether we can foresee an organism environmental niche only on the
basis of its proteome sequence and what properties of the proteome sequence are connected with the life style of an organism. Machine learning computer techniques shall be used on the project. The Fund shall invest EUR 24,260 in the project development and other partners EUR 20,000.

A project testing the impact of external loading on motoric performance of different fast movements shall be carried out at the Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Zagreb. The project shall obtain an understanding of the conditions in which human muscular system achieves its maximum mechanical output. Goran Mrković shall lead the project in cooperation with Slobodan Jarić (University of Delaware). The expected results should contribute by allowing for human muscular performances (for example, strength, impulse) to be successfully foreseen through a maximum motoric performance of simple fast movements. The Fund finances this project in the amount of EUR 42,000 and the faculty of Kinesiology in the amount of EUR 25,000. In the course of the project additional funds shall be ensured from the industry.

The goal of the Ivona Mladineo project (Institute of Oceanography & Fisheries, Split) is to develop a non-invasive tool for the captive bluefin tuna, based on the genetic microchip technology. This tool would detect the vacillation of the expression of immunological genes already at the beginning of stress impact on captive tuna. The project is co-financed in the amount of EUR 17,000, and the Fund finances it with EUR 50,000. Apart from the development of new technologies, the project shall also result in an enhanced cooperation between tuna farmers and researchers.

At the Mediterranean Institute for Life Sciences in Split, a returnee from the U.S., Vanja Nagy, shall investigate how binding one ubiquitin protein and growth nerve factors influences their biological function and nerve cells development. The project is co-financed in the amount of EUR 16,000, and the Fund finances it with EUR 61,000. One of the project outcomes is also the preparation of a new European project between the Split-based MedILS and the “Johann Wolgang Goethe” University in Frankfurt.

A project of a returnee from Germany Nils Paar (University of Zagreb, Faculty of Science), financed by the Fund in the amount of EUR 84,417 and by foreign partners and the University of Zagreb in the amount of EUR 23,800, develops modern microscopic theories for numeric resolving of the mass particles problem in nuclear physics based on relativistic energy density functionals. One of the project goals is also the establishment of a computing centre for theoretical physics and astrophysics.

Petra Šimić (University of Zagreb, School of Medicine) shall explain the anabolic effect of bone morphogenetic protein in the treatment of osteoporosis. This project shall develop a strategy for the treatment of osteoporosis and osteoporosis-related fractures based on the biology of that protein. The results of the project shall serve as a basis for the search for commercial partners. The Fund shall invest EUR 47,209 in the project. EUR 26,000 have been collected from other sources.

The goal of the Robert Vianello (Ruđer Bošković Institute) project is the computational prediction of the structure of extremely acidic molecules, the so called superacids. The catalytic activity of new supeacids shall be examined in reactions with hydrocarbon, which is the basic step for their transformation from oil into important and usable substances. Therefore, led by practical needs and fundamental challenges, the goals of this project are necessary for Croatian industry because they should enable its’ penetration to new markets by introducing modern, fast and cheap technologies. The industrial partner invests EUR 7,000 in this project while the Fund support amounts to EUR 28,000.

The Tomislav Vuletić (Institute of Physics, Zagreb) project shall deal with the creation of a DNA sensor composed of a layer on which a completely elongated DNA molecule is laid and which thus becomes completely accessible for interaction. This would allow for certain up to now familiar limitations of DNA sensors’ concepts to be avoided. One of the key steps in the proposed project is the set up of an optical instrument for fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, based on a 2-foton absorption, with the help of which the modification in the concentration of probe and target DNA molecules could be measured in a very precise manner.

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