Funded Projects

Title: Paramagnetic Species in Catalysis Research. A Unified Approach Towards Heterogeneous, Homogeneous and Enzyme Catalysis
Acronym: PARACAT
Leader: George Mitrikas
Start Date: 01/01/2019
End Date: 31/12/2022
Category: HORIZON 2020, Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement – European Joint Doctorate Grant number 813209


The PARACAT project aims to educate and train a group of 10 Early-Stage-Researchers on implementing advanced spectroscopic methods (Electron Paramagnetic Resonance) for cutting edge research in the field of catalysis. For the first time, this project will comprehensively explore the role of open-shell species in catalysis and at the interface between chemistry, physics, and biology. The program places a strong emphasis on ethical considerations and social reflections to research by combining the scientific expertise of (bio)chemists, (bio)physicists and industrial partners with the input of an ethicist, to support a new generation of scientists capable of tackling the many societal responsibilities as experts in their field.

The overall PARACAT program focuses on the role of open-shell species in catalysis, commencing with a knowledge-based bottom-up approach that integrates homogeneous, heterogeneous and bio-catalysis. The primary goals of the project include

  1. designing new catalysts based on earth-abundant and sustainable elements
  2. taking a bioinspired approach to discovering new and more sustainable reaction pathways for the activation of small molecules and selective oxidations
  3. enabling new routes for polymerization and de-polymerization reactions

The training program will overcome barriers between traditional disciplines by providing comprehensive tuition on topics ranging from advanced spectroscopic methods, synthesis and property characterization, to quantum chemical modeling, whilst also including a full set of complementary skills. The objectives are therefore to build a chain of knowledge whereby fundamental scientific understanding is translated into practical applications by the synergistic interactions between academic and industrial partners, within an ethical and social context.