NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials

2014 series

Home institution: University of Fribourg

The NCCR "Bio-Inspired Materials – Using Concepts from Nature to Create ‘Smart’ Materials" aims to pool the expertise of its members in the fields of chemistry, physics, materials science, biology and medicine in order to study and find applications for new smart materials inspired by living things. This involves devising new design strategies and rules to create and assemble macromolecules and nanoparticles into ordered structures to produce smart materials with the desired properties. The NCCR plans to conduct the relevant research in three interdisciplinary modules: adaptive materials responding to mechanical stimuli, adaptive materials created through self-assembly and interactions of adaptive materials with living cells.

Further information on the NCCR:

  • Contact details

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    NCCR Management

    NCCR Director

    Prof. Ullrich Steiner
    NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials
    Adolphe Merkle Institute
    Université de Fribourg
    Chemin des Verdiers 4
    CH-1700 Fribourg
    Phone: +41 (0) 26 300 95 03
    ullrich.steiner@unifr.chExternal Link Icon

    Management / Coordination

    Dr. Lucas Montero
    NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials
    Adolphe Merkle Institute
    Université de Fribourg
    Chemin des Verdiers 4
    CH-1700 Fribourg
    Phone: +41 (0) 26 300 91 72
    lucas.montero@unifr.chExternal Link Icon / info@bioinspired-materials.chExternal Link Icon

  • Funding

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    NCCRs are financed through grants awarded by the SNSF, but also from other sources. The home institution involved in the NCCR also contributes a substantial amount of money. The available overall budget of the NCCR is further increased by monetary contributions from the project participants and third-party funds, which are generally invested by industrial companies.

    The SNSF is financing the NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials in its second funding period.

    Financing 2014 – 2021 (Swiss francs)

    Funding source




    SNSF grant



    Funds of University of Fribourg



    Group funds of the project participants



    External funds



  • Evaluation / Review Panel

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    For each NCCR, the SNSF appoints a Review Panel composed of renowned experts whose task it is to evaluate scientific quality and the progress made in NCCR projects. The Review Panel of the NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials consists of the following experts:

    Contact person at the SNSF:

    Thomas Griessen
    NCCR Team
    Swiss National Science Foundation
    Wildhainweg 3
    CH-3001 Bern
    Phone: +41 (0) 31 308 23 51
    Email:​External Link Icon

  • Research structures

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    National Centres of Competence in Research leave their mark on the research landscape well beyond the SNSF funding period. They help to define key topics and sustainably change Swiss research structures. Thus NCCRs can lead to the creation of new professorships and courses of study as well as new infrastructures or platforms at the universities involved.

    NCCRs operate as a network in which a large number of scientific partners are active. Working within these networks has borne fruit in the form of new research approaches and excellent scientific contributions.

    Structures created by this NCCR until now:

  • Contributions to society and the economy

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    The National Centres of Competence in Research not only engage in cutting-edge research, they also play an important role in transferring knowledge and new technologies to the economy and to society at large. They lead to the formation of start-ups, and the new insights have the potential to awaken the interest of politicians, globally active companies and the public at large.

    Communication and knowledge transfer of the NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials:

  • Promotion of academic careers and equal opportunities

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    The National Centres of Competence in Research consciously promote promising young researchers and are committed to equal opportunities for men and women in research.

    Measures taken by the NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials to promote young researchers and gender equality: