What has the ATTRACT seed funding enabled you to do so far?
ATTRACT made possible for us first to create a very useful network between application-experts and detector-experts. Collaboration in activities like this is very important and two or three partners are often the best number for a project like this one. Moreover, ATTRACT made possible for our collaboration to explore interesting new approaches. Based on the experience of the two collaborators, on the specific application requirements and the experience on the sate-of-the-are detector manufacturing, we built a new detection module which will be probably allow new time-domain spectroscopy techniques for non-invasive testing of the human body with much higher depth, reaching important organs, using just pulse light.
What challenges have you faced so far?
When trying to advance the state-of-the-art, the risk of failure is high and we faced some challenges already in the first months. Applications requirements turned out to be more challenging on some aspects and less on other key features, for what concern the detector design. We started immediately an investigation campaign to deeply understand the new issues and to solve them, trying to stay within the tight schedules of ATTRACT project. However, ATTRACT flexibility encouraged us to try new solutions.
Where does your ATTRACT journey go from here?
We hope that the kind of profitable and useful approach that ATTRACT project created and the useful collaborations between the partners will go forward and far away. We think that the results in term of modules, electronics, and results obtained are just the beginning and further exploitation in other filed will be possible, enabling new kind of investigation techniques.
Sum up in two sentences the advantages of the ATTRACT Programme over other research funding schemes.
ATTRACT, though been very limited in time, gave the possibility to setup collaboration and to try very innovative approaches. It pushed the researcher to try innovative ideas that perhaps in other ways would have been more complex to try.
ATTRACT was a very interesting and flexible platform, thanks to the simplicity of the submission and the bureaucracy behind it.