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António Cunha
31/10/2014 - 10:30

Ageing as an opportunity: Coimbra shows how it's done

 

In Coimbra a vibrant community of small and medium sized technology companies focus on health. They are closely connected to the University of Coimbra and its Faculty of Medicine, the oldest in Portugal and one of the first in Europe. The city is also internationally renowned for the research and innovation incubators.

Despite three strong assets (providing healthcare services, research and innovation) there is still a significant development potential. This requires establishing an innovation chain that can maximize the results from these three areas and translate them in economic growth for the region, especially through international commercialisation of new

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Pedro Maló
25/10/2014 - 18:53

Acoustic technologies: A niche of future European research and innovation

This is a guest blog post written by Prof. Pedro Maló, EAR-IT Project Coordinator

Researchers all over Europe are performing world-class research on advanced acoustic systems and intelligent acoustic processing, giving birth to new technologies with tremendous exploitation potential. These acoustic solutions can be applied in several domains to help in our daily life and industrial operations. The question that remains is if we can turn this research excellence into actual innovation that then creates real jobs and growth for Europe. In fact, in the field of audio and acoustics, we have great European success stories to inspire us, e.g. the MP3. You know the MP3: one of the first audio compression formats with quality losses unnoticeable for the human ear and that is routinely used today to store and transmit audio (

Andrus Ansip
21/10/2014 - 16:55

A few words on my #AskAnsip Twitter chat

I come from Estonia, a country which is certainly no stranger to the digital world. This small country on the edge of Europe is one of the most wired and hooked-up on the planet. I am immensely proud to have been at the forefront of the digital transformation of my country.

I look forward to using that experience as a way to lead Europe to focus on all things digital. I also believe that openness and a willingness to engage are a ‘must’ for the 21st century: the digital age. That's why I was very happy to take up MEP Julia Reda's invitation during the hearing to hold an interactive online session with anyone who wanted to ask me questions or suggest ideas for the way forward.

To do this, since I am not – yet - an expert in this kind of thing, I asked my team to help organise this event. Time

Ilaria Lener
21/10/2014 - 16:08

Try the first prototype released by MARKOS project

You now have the opportunity to try the first MARKOS Prototype, test it and contribute to the development of MARKOS by providing your feedback.

To start testing MARKOS, it's very simple, you just need a web browser. Go to the Demo page at http://demo.markosproject.eu/ and give it a try!

MARKOS is an open source tool with a Web-based interface to inspect the code structure and possible license issues of Open Source Software available on public forges. MARKOS provides information about the relationships between software components released by different Open Source Software (OSS) projects, giving an integrated view of the available OSS at a global scale.

It is expected to facilitate the global development and adoption of OSS by allowing users to:
- search for open-source projects and software components,

Andrew Houghton
15/10/2014 - 10:48

The Future of Europe is Science; the future of science is Europe.

The message we brought back from Lisbon is that Europe has to recognise the vital role that Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) will play in determining our future, both for the European economy and culture.

And this is a two-way message; our societal and cultural strengths and diversity will help Europe to take a leading role in shaping new scientific fields:  "The future of science is Europe".

A stellar line-up of speakers and panellists underlined this message repeatedly , in speeches - from President Barroso and the President of Portugal, Aníbal Cavaco Silva, and keynotes - from two Commissioners, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and Connie Hedegaard, and two Nobel prize-winners,  Ada Yonath and Serge Laroche.  The Portugal Prime Minister, Pedro Passos Coelho gave the closing address.

Vice-President Neelie Kroes, in her

Jesus Villasante
14/10/2014 - 11:03

FIWARE technology crosses the Atlantic, at an event in Mexico

I am happy I had the opportunity to attend the FIWARE event in Mexico City on 13th October. The FIWARE platform, part of the EU Public-Private Partnership on the Future Internet, and the Startup Europe initiative, will enable Mexican organisations to develop advanced Internet applications and services on top of innovative technologies, supported by local digital infrastructures. FIWARE aims at developing a huge range of applications, from Smart Cities to eHealth, and from transport to disaster management. Many applications have already been built using FIWARE – earthquake warning system, food waste prevention, and

Lorena Boix Alonso
09/10/2014 - 17:37

Who is behind media? Some thoughts after #EUMT14

While many Member States are reluctant towards EU action on media pluralism, this seminar was in fact a request by the Council of Ministers. In its conclusions, the Council noted that transparency of media ownership and of funding sources are essential to guarantee media freedom and pluralism.

Transparency of media ownership empowers citizens and allows consumers to be better informed, not only about the message, but also about who the messenger is. This can be ensured by providing sufficient information about media owners, including the final beneficiaries.  So the question of the seminar was not about “whether” but about “how” to achieve transparency.

The seminar

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Adam Watson Brown
08/10/2014 - 12:22

A journey into 2050 visions and policy challenges – Digital Futures takes its final bow

 

The most collectable and exclusive briefing document in Brussels during the transition to the new Commission is not the multi-volume briefing folders prepared by DGs for the confirmation hearings but a brightly coloured slip case emblazoned with the legend, The Futures Folio – Emerging themes for Europe's future. Remove the folio from the slip case, unfold it to reveal highlights from the findings and processes of DG Connect's first ever foresight project. Over two years, Digital Futures crowd-sourced aspirational visions of the future from more than 3500 stakeholders ranging through society, economy, governance and the environment. And the whole exercise was accompanied by OnLife, a scholarly enquiry that probed how European values would be affected by new technologies, ranging from trans-humanism and

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Francisco Medeiros
08/10/2014 - 10:57

How will you store your photos and documents online in 5, 10, or even 20 years?

 

Before the Web started in 1998, everyone stored their photos and documents in albums and folders at home. You could only watch films at the cinema or if you rented them from a shop to watch at home. Now it is easy to store them online anywhere in the world thanks to cloud computing and advanced software.

A lot of research effort was needed to make it possible for data storage to exist in the cloud. Even more research was needed to produce software that could enable everyone to easily access their own cloud storage securely. It has transformed the way companies do business. Now it is possible to stream entire films online and watch them on any of your devices: TVs, tablets, and smartphones.

As technology moves quickly, new challenges need to be overcome, so we need to

Barbara Mazzolai
06/10/2014 - 16:20

Plants as robots or robots as plants?

I’m the coordinator of the PLANTOID project, the first European project aimed to design, prototype, and validate a new generation of robotic systems, as well as ICT inspired by plants.

There was a lot of skepticism in the research community when I first started to think and propose robots inspired by plants. Thanks to the first results obtained, plants have finally started to be considered as a model of inspiration for designing and developing new technologies.

In particular, roots are the main source of observation as they need to accomplish numerous tasks in a very efficient way. Their role is to look for nutrients and ensure the survival of the plant, and, during billions of years of evolution, they had to develop smart and efficient strategies in order to reduce energy during motion. Besides the

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