From UN peacekeeping operations to managing crowds at the World Cup, the G-NEXT project has demonstrated how the EU's Earth observation programme can assist in emergency and crisis situations around the world.
One spacecraft, five years or more, and over a billion stars - ESA's Gaia mission set out in 2013 to produce a three-dimensional map of the Milky Way. It will discover many new celestial objects in the process and provide astronomers with clues as to how our galaxy formed. An EU-funded training network involved 17 early stage researchers in this mission.
Coal-based power stations and industrial facilities are largely powered by harmful fossil fuels. If we replaced fossil fuels with solid biofuels, Europe would dramatically reduce its CO2 emissions. The EU-funded SECTOR project has optimised the production of new solid biofuels - so-called torrefied pellets. Standards to characterise the new properties are now being negotiated, and the product is ready for broad use.
New technologies are progressively changing the face of airport and border security. To contribute to this development, the EU-funded SNIFFER project took a page out of nature's book, using biomimicry to make detecting and analysing odours of persons, illegal substances and in particular explosives more efficient.
Waste residues from powerful anti-cancer drugs used in chemotherapy could cause genetic changes even though levels in the environment are considered to be safe, say EU researchers. Environmental monitoring is the first step towards reducing the potential risk.
An international team has developed a system that can exploit the widespread use of mobile electronic devices and social media to improve the official response to emergencies and other crises. An initial prototype has already proved very effective.
More energy efficient, less polluting, and not too different from current designs: an innovative aircraft concept developed by an EU-funded project could help reduce the environmental impact of aviation. The main aim of the research was to study the practical implementation of distributed propulsion and the implications of using hybrid power architectures, i.e. architectures that combine different power sources such as gas turbines, advanced batteries or fuel cells.
High unemployment rates, increasingly precarious jobs and industry restructuring are just some of the elements characterising today's labour markets. A network of EU-funded researchers is studying socio-economic and social trends to better understand current developments.
A chance conversation with a marine archaeologist friend led to Charalambos Poullis joining a dive in Cyprus. The experience revealed the difficulties faced by underwater archaeologists, and set in motion a thought process that would lead him to apply for EU research funding and subsequently develop software enabling archaeologists to reproduce underwater artefacts.
A more advanced computer model and measurement approach enable manufacturers to more accurately predict tyre performance on the road. Developed by an EU-funded project, the model and approach could aid in the design of higher-performing, safer and quieter tyres and boost the industry's competitiveness.