Key grants

At CEF, we are committed to achieving excellence in research, and to ensuring that our research contributes to the well-being of society. Below are a few of our current research grants.

Royal Academy of Engineering – Chair in Emerging Technologies – Memristive Technologies for Lifelong Learning Embedded AI Hardware

The Academy’s Chair in Emerging Technologies scheme aims to identify global research visionaries and provide them with long term support to lead on developing emerging technology areas with high potential to deliver economic and social benefit to the UK.

In 2020 Professor Themis Prodromakis was awarded a Chair in Emergingin Technologies for hi work on Memristive Technologies for Lifelong Learning Embedded AI Hardware, using innovations in nanotechnology to create a new electronic fabric that merges memory with computing power while maintaining extreme power efficiency – like the human brain.

The research, using memristors or memory chips based on transition metal-oxides, will focus on enabling electronic systems to sense, recognise, learn and reason, with the goal of embedding artificial intelligence.

Professor Prodromakis said, “As evidenced by the government’s recent, £1bn deal with industry for the development of cutting-edge AI within the UK, this programme comes at a very timely moment. “Artificial Intelligence (AI) is destined to transform our society, affecting every aspect of our lives. However, a key bottleneck towards the proliferation of the technology is the lack of efficient hardware that will allow us to embed AI everywhere – well beyond the cloud’s reach.

“The specific needs of embedded AI solutions place traditional systems under excessive strain. At the same time, the need for intelligent assistants, connected sensor networks and smart surveillance are pushing the boundaries for more powerful and more efficient hardware for AI that can deal with modern society’s needs for real-time data processing and the ability to adapt continuously (life long learning) under resource-constraint environments.


The International Consortium of Nanotechnologies (ICoN), a global network led by the University of Southampton, is building capacity and knowledge in the application of nanotechnologies to support safety of life and property. 

Societies and communities around the world face major challenges linked to climate change, population growth, energy security and the availability of food and water. In response, innovative technology, in areas such as smart materials, energy storage and generation and big data, is being developed to ensure the critical infrastructure on which modern society relies is able to satisfy growing demands. 

With ICON’s support over 50 new international nanotechnology experts are spending their training considering safety issues and advancing knowledge across a range of themes, from sensors,  smart materials, energy & storage and computing and communications, as identified in the Foundation’s Foresight Review of Nanotechnology (2014). 


A £7M EPSRC Programme grant led by the University of Southampton, whose aim is to bring about a change in modern electronics underpinning the virtues of functional materials. 

Introducing novel nanoelectronic components never before used in the technology we all carry around in our phones will introduce new capabilities that have thus far been unattainable due to the limitations of current hardware technology. The resulting improved capability of engineers to squeeze more computational power in ever smaller areas at ever lower power costs will unlock possibilities such as: a) truly pervasive Internet-of-Things computing where minute sensors consuming nearly zero power monitor the world around us and inform our choices, b) truly smart implants that within extremely limited power and size budgets can not only interface with the brain, but also process that data in a meaningful way and send the results either onwards to e.g. a doctor, or even feed it back into the brain for further processing, c) radiation-resistant electronics to be deployed in satellites and aeroplanes, civilian and military and improve communication reliability while driving down maintenance costs. 


A SYnaptically connected brain-silicon Neural Closed-Loop Hybrid system 

More information on the website below.


Monitoring of temperature, strain and corrosion on the cover of LNG tanks with passive wireless surface acoustic wave sensors.  

– H2020 NeMESIS