The NTC Research Center has been awarded a prestigious ERC grant.

Cooperation Press Release Science

A Czech-French team will collaborate on the TWISTnSHINE project. The project aims to explore quantum technologies and the utilization of light's special properties that can influence the state of electrons in specific materials.

The New Technologies - Research Center (NTC) has reason to celebrate as it becomes the first unit of the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen to receive a prestigious grant from the ERC CZ program of the European Research Council. The center has been successful with its TWISTnSHINE project, which will delve into quantum technologies and investigate the impact of light's special properties on the state of electrons in specific materials. Mauro Fanciulli from the French CY Cergy Paris University will be involved in the project as part of Prof Ján Minár's team.

The acronym TWISTnSHINE stands for "New quantum properties using structured light in the interaction between radiation and matter," describing the project's full name. Within their material examination, the Czech-French research team will particularly focus on chirality, which manifests in physical objects that are not identical to their mirror image. In simpler terms, chirality can be understood as the distinction between left and right hands.

"When implementing this project, I would like to take the opportunity to collaborate with major research infrastructures in the Czech Republic, such as ELI Beamlines or CEITEC. Specifically, I aim to engage with workplaces dedicated to laser technology and the development of powerful laser systems, as there is currently a lack of such collaboration in the Czech Republic in the field of light-matter interaction within materials science," says Mauro Fanciulli. In addition to his affiliation with CY Cergy Paris University, he also works at the CEA ATTOLAB platform of the French National Research Agency.

The project will be executed under the leadership of Prof Minár within the NTC research infrastructure and under the auspices of the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen. The NTC has a longstanding collaboration with CY Cergy Paris University, and receiving this grant represents an elevated level of a successful partnership.

"In 2020, we initiated the establishment of a joint laboratory between the two institutions, which encompasses both practical and theoretical research aspects and allows us to participate in European projects. Obtaining this grant is a tangible outcome of the cooperation between Attolab CY Cergy and NTC UWB," adds Prof Ján Minár, head of the Research of Advance Materials team at NTC.

The objective of the ERC CZ program is to support projects that push the boundaries of knowledge, disregarding traditional divisions, and have been deemed successful by expert panels of the European Research Council. The results of the 7th public competition in research, experimental development, and innovation were announced last week by representatives of the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports. The TWISTnSHINE project received support from ERC CZ in the form of a Starting grant for young and promising scientists, regardless of their nationality, who possess two to seven years of experience following the completion of their doctoral studies.


TWISnSHINE - picture from the ERC grant application

New Technologies - Research Centre

New Technologies - Research Centre (NTC)

Dita Sládková

03. 07. 2023