Nobel Prize laureates in Future and Emerging Technologies (FET)

This year's Nobel Prize laureate Prof. E. Moser is leading the FET GRIDMAP project which aims to better understand the processes used by the mammalian brain to generate and read spatial information. Prof. E. Moser is joining the prestigious list of 9 Nobel Prize laureates that chose the FET programme to collaborate with the best scientists in Europe on ambitious scientific endeavours.

This year, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to John O´Keefe (American-British) and to May‐Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser (NO), for their discoveries of the "Grid" cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain. Prof. E. Moser is coordinating the GRIDMAP project, with the participation of Prof. M-B. Moser, funded within the FET-Proactive Neuro-Bio Inspired Systems initiative. The GRIDMAP project aims to better understand the processes used by the mammalian brain to generate and read spatial information. This would help develop similar processes that could, for example, be used to help robots navigate.

May-Britt and Edvard Moser, Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience/Centre for Neural Computation (© Geir Mogen, NTNU)


In the last decade, several other Nobel Prize laureates choose FET to collaborate with the best scientists in Europe on most ambitious scientific endeavors.

In 2012, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Professors Serge Haroche (FR) and David J. Wineland (USA) for "ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems". At that time, Prof. S. Haroche participated in the project AQUTE funded within the "Quantum Information Foundations and Technologies" (QIFT) initiative. AQUTE aimed to understand and exploit the quantum nature of information using atomic, molecular and optical (AMO) systems. In FP5, Prof. S. Haroche additionally participated in 3 projects within the QIPC initiative: QGATES, QUBITS and QUIPROCONE, also in the field of development of quantum based information systems as a main path to outperform classical and the overcome of the current limits of semiconductor-based (CMOS) ICT technologies. Currently, within the recent FET-Proactive Quantum ICT initiative (QICT), Prof. S. Haroche is involved as a partner of SIQS project (ending in 2016). SIQS purposes to develop systems based on direct and deterministic interactions between individual quantum entities involving large-scale entanglement.

The recently launched FET Flagships involve prominent Nobel laureates, either as partners or as advisory board members.

The Graphene Flagship gathers 4 Nobel laureates, all of them in the category of Physics. The 2010 Nobel Prize laureates for their discovery of graphene material Prof. Andre Geim (Dutch-British) and Prof. Konstantin Novoselov (British-Russian), contribute both as partners and as members of the Strategic Advisory Council. The Graphene Strategic Advisory Council includes 2 other Nobel Prize laureates: Prof Klaus von Klitzing and Prof Albert Fert. Prof K. von Klitzing (DE) was awarded the full Prize in 1985 "for the discovery of the quantized Hall effect". Prof A. Fert (FR) and Prof Peter Grünberg (CZ) were awarded jointly "for the discovery of Giant Magnetoresistance" in 2007. In the past, Prof A. Fert also participated as a partner in the FET project NANOSPIN, aimed to study complex magnetic nanostructures with applications in classical and quantum ultra-high density information storage, funded by the FET-Open scheme (FP6).

Professor Torsten N. Wiesel (SE), who in 1981 obtained the Nobel Prize in Medicine, along with Professor David H. Hubel (CA), "for their discoveries concerning information processing in the visual system", is currently involved within Human Brain Project (HBP) Flagship as chair of the External Advisory Body.

Among past FET-funded projects, in 2005 Professor Theodor W. Hansch (DE), at that time, a partner in the project ACQP was awarded together with Prof L. Hall (USA) the Nobel Prize in Physics for "their contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique". ACQP project, funded under the FET-Proactive initiative Quantum Information Processing and Communication (QIPC) (FP5) aimed to develop a simple quantum information processor using neutral atoms on an atom chip.