David Fernandez Rivas has received a Vidi grant from NWO, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. This funding will allow David, who is a professor at the University of Twente, to take his research into needle-free injection a step further.
David Fernandez Rivas has made great strides in refining the technology since he began his research into needleless injection in 2016. The method has exciting potential not only to reduce the number of needles used - 44 million needles are used every day worldwide - but also to minimise the damage an injection does to the skin.
It is the latter that David focuses on in his latest research, for which he is now thus receiving a Vidi grant. Because every skin type is different, achieving this is quite a challenge. This requires both fundamental and practical research. Limiting skin damage through needleless injection requires greater accuracy, which can be achieved by being able to precisely determine the properties of the skin.
For the research, David is working closely with the other project partners in the Future Under Our Skin (FUOS) network. This an international network that started in 2019, and has since grown into a comprehensive platform including, for example, scientists, dermatologists, cosmetologists, tattooists and patient organisations.
David Fernandez Rivas (1981) came from Cuba to the Netherlands in 2007, to do his PhD in the research group Mesoscale Chemical Systems of the TNW faculty. After his post-doc, he became an assistant professor (tenure track) and since 2021, he is a professor in Twente. He is also a research affiliate of the Mechanical Engineering Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and visiting professor at the Dermatology Department, ErasmusMC, Rotterdam.
Fernandez Rivas is a member of both the Young Academy of Europe and the Global Young Academy, two international network organizations for outstanding young scientists. “It gives me the opportunity to discuss with motivated colleagues all over the world and contribute to solutions to problems affecting society on a global scale.”
Vidi is aimed at experienced researchers who have already conducted successful research for several years after obtaining their PhD. Researchers awarded a Vidi grant of (maximum) EUR 800,000 can use it to develop their own innovative line of research and set up a research group over the next five years.
Together with the Veni and Vici grants, Vidi is part of the NWO Talent Programme (formerly: the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme). Within the Talent Programme, researchers are free to submit their own topic for funding. In this way, NWO encourages curiosity-driven and innovative research. NWO selects researchers based on the quality of the researcher, the innovative nature of the research, the expected scientific impact of the research proposal and opportunities for knowledge exploitation.