Making a splash for a brighter future
It is known simply as 'The Penguin'. The intriguing name belongs to a platform floating on the Atlantic Ocean off the Orkney Islands, which is at the forefront of exciting moves to harness the power of water.
'The Penguin' can produce energy thanks to the movement of the waves, as 'Futuris' reporter Julián López Gómez discovered when he visited the islands off the north of Scotland.
With 75% of the earth's surface covered by water, wave energy has huge potential.
Restoring sensory feedback in lower-limb amputees
After successful completion of the FET-Open project NEBIAS, that managed to develop a ground-breaking technology enabling upper limb amputees to intuitively control and feel artificial prosthesis as they were natural parts of their body, the SensAgain project takes a further step forward.
Now, the aim is to verify whether the innovation generated during NEBIAS could be exploited to provide clinically effective devices for lower-limb amputees as well.
Powerful graphene batteries
Skeleton Technologies is an Estonian start-up that has patented and commercialised ultracapacitors - very powerful batteries made from graphene. Ultracapacitors are especially useful in the automotive and aerospace industry. Since 2015 the company has raised €38 million to build Europe’s largest ultracapacitor factory in Germany.
Affordable solar power
HELIOtube is a product of the combined efforts of two companies – Heliovis a small Austrian smart-tech company founded in 2009 and toughTrough a German company founded in 2011 and specialised in the production of light-weight solar applications. Together they developed a huge solar power plant with a new technology that is cheaper than the current silicium-based panels. HELIOtube is the world's largest inflatable plastic film solar collector.
Feeling without touching
The UK small company Ultrahaptics has developed a unique technology that enables users to receive tactile feedback without needing to wear or touch anything. The ability to control your oven with a wave of the hand or heat up your car seat without taking your eyes off the road is now within reach. Ultrahaptics has also raised private investment.
Solar cell booster
The Swedish small company Sol Voltaics develops new technology to boost poly-silicon solar cell efficiency. The company works with three major producers of photovoltaic cells. In 2016-2017, it raised close to €40 million of private investment to start pilot production.
Worldsensing is a global 'internet of things' pioneer. Their tools help users to make right operational decisions based on real-time intelligence gathered through wireless sensor technology and real-time software. With European innovation funding support, Worldsensing developed a smart parking system that regulates parking spots and helps reduce traffic, time spent for parking and CO2 emissions. The company is present in 50 countries across 5 continents.
Svenska Aerogel is an in-depth research and high-end technology company. Founded in 2000, it patented and comercialised Quartzene - a cost efficient nano-insulation material. European innovation funding supported Quartzene's verification as a viable insulation material in an operational environment by various European and other international companies. Today the company has a strong intellectual property portfolio and cooperates closely with leading European researchers.
Starlab a high-tech Spanish company decided, funded by EU innovation funding, to advance its products by collaborating with various research institutions from across Europe. The overall mission of the Luminous project is to model, quantify, and alter observable aspects of 'consciousness' using information processing, algorithms and machine learning. The consortium will pursue computational neuroscience models and human studies, and will design and test more powerful, controllable and safe non-invasive consciousness-probing and brain stimulation technologies.
Stand up and walk
A Spanish small company and a consortium of partners are developing an exoskeleton: support for the legs (hips, knees and ankles) that will enable wheelchair-bound people to stand and walk again. The user will be able to command movements by thinking – the exoskeleton will pick up the brainwaves. GOGOA Mobility Robots will be the first EU company to enter this market.