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Ecological technology – how to reduce or eliminate the environmental impact of technologies?

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The aim is to explore new ways of avoiding overall environmental impact of technologies (and of ubiquitous ICT in particular), going beyond incrementally reducing impacts along a single dimension (like energy consumption) but rather seeking holistic paradigms for future zero-impact mass-consumed IT. The scope includes current and future hand-held and personal devices, but the vision appears most valuable for ubiquitous environmental sensors (land, oceans), various embedded technologies, implants as well as future injectable or digestible devices.

What are we looking for?
•    What should be the orientation of research on this topic? As stated, do you feel it is too broad or, on the contrary, too narrow?
•    Have any recent scientific results been obtained relevant to this topic? Is there already a well-established community on this?
•    Do you know of related initiatives, for instance at national level, or in other continents?
•    What is needed at this point to advance this? More exploration of different ideas? More coordination among groups or related initiatives? A strong push for a precise technological target and, if so, which one? Anything else?

Background: Following the last FET consultation during 2012-13, 9 topics were identified as candidates for a FET Proactive. This topic has not been selected for inclusion in the FET Work Programme for 2014-15. Comments are invited on whether this topic is still relevant, or if any changes would be necessary to take account of recent research results. We are also trying to understand better how to advance these areas.

To participate to the consultation:
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You can also participate by commenting on submitted ideas and/or voting for them.

If you wish to share with us additional documents or have any questions about the process, please send them to our FET mailbox.

 

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 's picture

Dear colleagues,

With respect to the topic of -- Ecological technology – how to reduce or eliminate the environmental impact of technologies? -- I would like to add the following:

Almost every technology include device with an IT driven component. Such IT driven components consist of hardware that is controlled by software. Reducing the energy consumption of such devices should be an important aspect of this topic. It is hardware that consumes energy so the focus of research is often on reducing the energy consumption by just studying the hardware in isolation. This is indeed an important aspect. Just as important however is studying the software since it is the software that controls how many energy the hardware consumes. Studying the energy consumption of software in combination with the hardware (the IT driven component) is therefore a topic that can make an important contribution to this topic.

Concrete examples of IT driven component energy reduction research topics could be
- generic, hardware parametric, static system analysis techniques that take both hardware and software into account (e.g. static analysis techniques such as typing systems and abstract interpretations)
- creating a library of energy models of often used hardware such that researchers can use these model in studying IT driven components that are based on that hardware
- dynamic energy measurement tools for figuring out which parts of an IT driven component are using up the most energy (only few tools are available and no generic approach for effective user feedback has been developed)
- developing generic methods to provide feedback based on static and dynamic IT driven component analysis in such a way that effective feedback is given in order to reduce the energy consumption of the devices. These techniques may have to be different when the average user is targeted or the programmer or the device designer.

Kind regards,

Prof.dr.Marko van Eekelen
Professor Software Technology
Radboud University and Open University
The Netherlands

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 's picture

The problems of drinking water are closely related to the problems of the treatment of purification of domestic waste waters.
To date all the systems of treatment of waste waters on the market, reject water at exit in the environment with a rate of pollution of 100%.
The biological cleansing with its process “Pit Biological " lyseconcept has a performance épuratoire of more than 98% and differently do not reject any more any water in the environment than on a vegetalized discharge system which comes to supplement the work of the process by purifying the ground of the diffuse pollution contained in waste waters: urea, ammonia, nitrogenize, cogitate, mug up, nitrate, phosphate, etc
This biological water in rejection of the process sprinkles the vegetable garden, the pleasure garden, a farm.
Thus it reduces the drinking water consumption and preserves a rare resource water

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 's picture

Dear Marko,

Many thanks for your additional contribution regarding the "ecological technology" topic.
I don't understand very well your email "you wrote…" because it seems that the text below is not posted online… please feel free to post it online, and thanks for the attached publications (that you can't attach to comments online).

Kind regards,
Béatrice

From: Marko van Eekelen [mailto:markophone@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 2:46 PM
To: CNECT FET
Subject: FET consultation

Dear FET -support,

Please consider my inlined comments below:

You wrote:

Greetings, neekelma.
|
| Your subscription on Digital Agenda for Europe
| notifies you of new comments on:
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| Author: marqube
| Title: Ecological technology – how to reduce or eliminate the
environmental impact of technologies?

The aim is to explore new ways of avoiding overall environmental impact of
technologies (and of ubiquitous ICT in particular), going beyond
incrementally reducing impacts along a single dimension (like energy
consumption) but rather seeking holistic paradigms for future zero-impact
mass-consumed IT. The scope includes current and future hand-held and
personal devices, but the vision appears most valuable for ubiquitous
environmental sensors (land, oceans), various embedded technologies, implants
as well as future injectable or digestible devices.
*What are we looking for?*
• What should be the orientation of research on this topic? As
stated, do you feel it is too broad or, on the contrary, too narrow?

The aim should be to reduce the environmental impact by both reducing the footprint of the hardware components, including the production process, and by reducing the energy usage that is caused by how the software is defined. This can make a big difference as you can have noticed e.g. when a big smart phone company announces a quick update of its os since it drains the batteries of the system.
• Have any recent scientific results been obtained relevant to this
topic? Is there already a well-established community on this?
With respect to software induced energy consumption analysis we have recently achieved results that can be considered a breakthrough since they are hardware parametric which makes it a lot easier to apply. See e.g.

http://resourceanalysis.cs.ru.nl/energy/ and the publications:
Marc Schoolderman, Jascha Neutelings,Rody Kersten and Marko van Eekelen. ECAlogic: Hardware-Parametric Energy-Consumption Analysis of Algorithms. In Proceedings of the Foundations of Aspect-Oriented Languages Workshop, FOAL2014, ACM Digital Library 2014.

Rody Kersten, Paolo Parisen Toldin, Bernard van Gastel, Marko van Eekelen. A Hoare Logic for Energy Consumption Analysis, In Proceedings of the 2013 International Workshop on Foundational and Practical Aspects of Resource Analysis (FOPARA2013). In colocation with WCET2013. Bertinoro. Italy. LNCS. Springer Verlag. To appear.

Paolo Parisen Toldin, Rody Kersten, Bernard van Gastel, Marko van Eekelen. Soundness Proof for a Hoare Logic for Energy Consumption Analysis, Institute for Computing and Information Sciences, Radboud University Nijmegen, Technical Report ICIS-R13009, October 2013, Radboud University Nijmegen.

• Do you know of related initiatives, for instance at national level, or in other continents?

The ICT COST action TACLe (IC1202) has energy consumption analysis of IT systems as the subject of one of its working packages.

• What is needed at this point to advance this? More exploration of
different ideas? More coordination among groups or related initiatives? A
strong push for a precise technological target and, if so, which one?
Anything else?

A joint research and development effort geared specifically towards this subject advancing and maturing the state-of-the-art in energy consumption analysis to such a level that it can be used in everyday practice by the systems designers and software developers.

*Background*: Following the last FET consultation [1] during 2012-13, 9
topics [2] were identified as candidates for a FET Proactive. This topic has
not been selected for inclusion in the FET Work Programme for 2014-15.
Comments are invited on whether this topic is still relevant, or if any
changes would be necessary to take account of recent research results. We are
also trying to understand better how to advance these areas.

If you wish to share with us additional documents or have any questions about
the process, please send them to our FET mailbox [3].

Kind regards,

Marko van Eekelen
Check out our new Cyber Security Bachelor programme: http://www.ru.nl/cybersecurity

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 's picture

I would like to agree with Prof. van Eekelen's comments about the ecological footprint of our technologies. Technological devices and solutions are ubiquitous, and the ecological impact of the hardware involved (from materials production, to construction and finally, waste) should be measured in a principled manner, while software (e.g. algorithms) needs to be as efficient as possible (e.g. with a low power consumption).

Additionally it should be noted that technologies of all kinds, such as automations, smart buildings, the internet of things, are becoming more and more ubiquitous, aiming, among others, to promote health and well-being in society. This principle is in contrast with a high cost, both economic and ecological. Therefore, coordinated efforts should be made to ensure the simultaneous deployment of technologies for supporting various applications related to daily life, while at the same time reducing their ecological impact. The production of materials and the construction of devices with low emissions will ultimately entail a low cost as well, leading to competitive solutions, both on a European, but also worldwide level. Software solutions involved should also be developed having in mind the goal of a low computational burden, which can make them both more attractive on a practical level, and also less power consuming.

A coordinated effort in all these directions can greatly help technologies become relevant to, not only first world countries, but on a worldwide level. Applications that are gaining great importance, also due to the worldwide aging population and economic crises, involve health-related issues, which can be addressed in a more cost effective manner, also remotely, using technologies. Similarly, agricultural, and in general food production, is already reaping the benefits of the deployment of technologies in these fields. However, both these applications, as well as numerous others, will benefit significantly from the development and deployment of low input/low emission technologies, which will have a further impact on the EU's economy and competitiveness.

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 's picture

Dear Colleagues,

My main research fields are Antifouling technologies and ecotoxicology and in the last years I've been actively working in the study of antifouling technologies for marine and riverine sensors. This is a "hot topic" in the field of environmental monitoring as available methods to prevent the settlement of organisms (biofouling community)on sensors, currently, are not satisfying the needs of end users. Furthermore the commonly used commercial technologies release toxic products in the environment and they are likely to be banned in a not too distant future. There’s a well-established and worldwide scientific community working on this topic and several research groups are testing new/optimized antifouling protection methods for sensors. Since the new FET calls are not limited to ICT I think that antifouling technologies should be somehow included in the impact of technologies on water bodies as every device immersed in water (fresh water and sea water) has to cope with biofouling issues.
Our Institution (Institute of Marine Science – National Research Council) is partner in a EU project dealing, among the other things, with this aspect (http://www.jerico-fp7.eu/). Find below details of a couple of comprehensive reviews on antifouling technologies in sensors.
A. Whelan and F. Regan (2006)- Antifouling strategies for marine and riverine sensors J. Environ. Monit.8, 880-886
L. Delauney, C. Compere and M. Lehaitre (2010)- Biofouling protection for marine environmental sensors. Ocean Sci. 6, 503–511
All the best,
Giuliano Greco
CNR ISMAR Genoa, Italy

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 's picture

Dear Sir,

From our point of view the main key points are linked (footprint, raw materials, products, uses, re-use, waste...). We think if we are encourage to promove greener products starting from the sources, we will start to decrease the enviromental impact of technologies. It's a key point to include all just the production, if we don't start to study how we can decrease part the uses of the feedstock for a greener sources (re-use, waste and natural raw materials or raw materials from natural sources) we can not decrease in a reasonable time.

We hope to help to you with our point of view.

Best regards

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 's picture

Among Key Enabling Technologies, Photonics can give a great contribution to ecological technologies concerning pollution detection, environmental sensing, food quality and safety, etc.

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 's picture

Environmental impact of technologies is interrelated to their socio-economic context and impacts. Future mass-consumed IT technologies that will be integrated in the daily life such as in clothes and buildings (smart clothes, smart homes, etc) will not only generate new waste management and environmental issues but also new cultural issues for citizens in different countries that could lead e.g. to new rebound effects and a higher environmental impact of the new technology.
Research on this topic should be oriented on international inter- and transdisciplinary forward-looking studies on integrated technical, social and organisational innovations for the "zero-impact mass-consumed IT" vision.

Best regards

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 's picture

Dear colleagues,

With respect to the topic of “Ecological technology – how to reduce or eliminate the environmental impact of technologies?” I believe that the use of renewable technologies is directly linked to this issue. Moreover, the popularity of these kind of technologies is increasing due to the low environmental impact and cost.

I work with a group of researches from the University Complutense of Madrid. Our research is mainly focused on smart grids and the designing of algorithms in charge of their automatic management and control.

We think that the designing of smart buildings which combine the use of renewable suppliers and storage system could reduce the energy demanded to the utility, and so the environmental impact. For this reason we suggest to develop an advanced metering and control infrastructure to make a current building in to an energy efficient one. The building would count with any renewable supplier (such as solar panels) and/or batteries that would be utilised to keep the energy and use it when it would be necessary. Furthermore, some Smart Meters (SM) could be installed in different consuming and supplying points and several sensors would be placed all around the building. The data collected from the SMs and the sensors could be useful to monitor the building, detect different activities or behaviours and study their relation with the energy consumption. The real measures would be used as inputs for a 3D building simulator (with an energy simulator working under it) where the management system would be in charge to control any situation and respond in real-time.

Best regards,

Sandra Garcia
Facultad de Informática
Universidad Complutense de Madrid

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DE TOUZALIN Aymard European Commission Future and Emerging Technology Unit Deputy Head of Unit
VAN DE VELDE Walter European Commission Future and Emerging Technologies Scientific Officer and FET Strategy
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