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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/H024905/1
Title: The Logistics of Small Things - A Crossdisciplinary Feasibility Account
Principal Investigator: Krasnogor, Professor N
Other Investigators:
Burke, Professor EK Camara, Professor M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: School of Computer Science
Organisation: University of Nottingham
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 November 2009 Ends: 30 April 2011 Value (£): 202,014
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Fundamentals of Computing Mathematical Aspects of OR
System on Chip
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Environment Healthcare
Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
11 Sep 2009 Cross-Disciplinary Feasibility Account Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Nottingham's leading edge research at the interface of Computer Science and Operational Research (OR) is concerned with developing decision support systems for the optimal handling of large numbers (~ millions) of macroscopic objects, e.g., truck delivery, personnel rostering, space allocation, runway scheduling, etc. Nano and Bio sciences, on the other hand, deal with billions (or more) of micro/nano-scale objects. Very little research has been done on trying to bridge the gap between OR and NanoBio technologies for which scale reductions bring an explotion in objects' quantities. The Logistics of Small Things will be the conceptual umbrella under which the following research themes (and others) will be investigated:* Accelerating Nanoscience: Scanning Probe Microscopy is used to image and manipulate atom-sized objects. This process, a key-enabling technology for the nanosciences, is extremely laborious and time consuming. Can OR & decision support methodologies be brought to bear at the atom level? Can state-of-the-art planning and scheduling technologies be altered and developed to optimally build, atom-by-atom, complex matter? * Smart Drugs Automated Programming: Future smart drugs will be, at their core, distributed (nano-bio) information processing devices. Splitting up complex decision-making tasks (e.g. a given nano-capsule attaches to a specific cell, delivers its drug payload, monitors and reports progress) into myriads of simpler molecular processes is a critical bottleneck in patient-specific nanomedicine. Can decision support systems derived from, e.g., Genetic Programming, be used to automatically and optimally program Smart Drugs? * Optimising the life-cycle of Synthetic Biology Projects: Synthetic Biology aims at operating within an Engineering-like ethos. However, current practice lacks a rigorous and formal decision making process. That is, questions such as what is the most cost-effective path from design to implementation for a synthetic biology project? have no framework from where they could be systematically studied and answered. Can one define a Synthetic Biology project's life-cycle to minimise its costs?The Logistics of Small Things Cross-Disciplinary Feasibility account will seek to probe the interface between OR and the NanoBio Sciences. If the latter are to deliver practical applications soon, several logistics bottlenecks will need to be removed. This project will seek to identify where those bottlenecks reside and prototype their solutions
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk