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Affordable High-Tech for Humanitarian Aid
What was new in December 2013

Week 5

Thursday, 31 January 2013

  • Research Headlines
    • Diamonds - A cancer patient's best friend
      Diamonds have long been recognised as a girl’s best friend. But now a European Union (EU)-funded research project has demonstrated that the unique properties of diamonds extend far beyond that legendary sparkle. They also offer a radical new way to detect the onset of cancer far earlier than has previously been possible – opening up the possibility of more effective treatment and potentially saving the lives of countless cancer patients.

  • Success Stories
    • Promising future for tiny epilepsy defibrillator
      Antal Berényi combined a boyhood passion for electronics and years of medical training to build a device that, once implanted under the skin, can detect and stop epileptic attacks just as a defibrillator corrects heart arrhythmia. Like its inventor, the prototype device, which is being readied for trials in the US, has all the makings of a big future.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

  • Horizon 2020 - video testimonials
    • Wim Verhoeve (BE): How do you see research and innovation making a difference for a better future?
      I think research and innovation is really the basic strength of Europe. In the past, it has already been shown that everything that is related to mass production is not really strong in Europe, we can live for a while from it, but in the end it disappears and the main reason for that is that we don't have real natural resources in Europe. So that means that we have to live from knowledge and competencies and this is exactly what research and innovation is giving. In many different industries, Europe has been leading and when it comes to technologies and real innovations: pharmaceutical and also the automotive industry, where I'm active, I think research and innovation is what's going to make the mobility, for instance, sustainable in the future.

  • Success Stories
    • Reaching for distant career stars
      Young French astronomer Johan Richard was able to fulfil many young boys' dreams to explore the Universe… through the eye of a telescope, and discovered that the first galaxies may have formed much earlier than thought – just 200 million years or so after the Universe's explosive birth. And his bold journey continues...

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

  • Success Stories
    • EPITARGENE - Tackling epilepsy by examining genetics of the brain
      An EU-funded study has uncovered data that suggests a change in the behaviour of certain genes - the unit of heredity in a living organism - could be involved in precipitating epilepsy. By gaining a better understanding of exactly how the brain works, the EpiTarGene project aims to open the door to potential new therapies and novel drugs.

Monday, 28 January 2013

  • Events
    • Smart Cities Annual Conference 2013 - 5-6 June 2013, Budapest

      This year's Smart Cities Annual Conference will be a unique occasion for cities and solutions providers to meet and discuss the future shape of the European urban landscape.

      The programme of the Smart Cities Annual Conference is rich and diversified: it alternates keynote speeches with workshops and networking sessions. The first day is fully devoted to discussing Key Innovations among the relevant stakeholders: technology providers on one side and cities as users on the other, with particular attention to matchmaking possibilities. The second day focuses instead on discussing achievements and developments of the Platform itself.

  • Horizon 2020 - video testimonials
    • Peter Hummenhofer (AT): What is needed to exit the crisis and help Europe's economy to grow?
      I think, due to the economic crisis and the diversity in Europe, of countries like Greece, compared to Germany, Scandinavian countries compared to the southern countries, we have a lack of confidence in the original idea of bringing the countries together and have a safe environment for everybody and no wars since I don't know how many decades. That's something we should stress again and let the people know that this is a real benefit for everybody in the European Union even if there are some economic problems right now, that's something we have to overcome and we can overcome, it will take some time, but the big goals should be visionalized and stressed again. What is the rational behind the European Union? Bringing everybody together, live in a safe and open environement and society.

  • Press Centre
    • Nominations for next ERC president now open; application deadline: 22 March 2013
      The independent search committee set up by the European Commission for the selection of the future President of the European Research Council (ERC) is consulting the scientific community on potential candidates. The ERC President will chair the ERC Scientific Council and will be the voice and public face of the ERC.  As such, s/he is expected to be a prominent advocate of frontier research and ambassador of European science within and beyond Europe, with the aim of strengthening further the ERC's performance and prestige and Europe's science base in frontier research.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Week 4

Saturday, 26 January 2013

  • Horizon 2020 - video testimonials
    • Matthias Zacharnik (AT): What are your main concerns for the future?
      My main concern for the future is that I have the feeling that responsibility in the society nowadays, is not the size of awareness that it has to be. Society has to be more aware of the fact that they can change something and each single person can change something. So, my concern is that people are not learning fast enough that they are going to change something.I think it's a question of formation, of education and learning self-responsibility.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Thursday, 24 January 2013

  • Horizon 2020 - video testimonials
    • Jessica Levin (SE): What is needed to exit the crisis and help Europe's economy to grow?
      That is a really hard question. I would say like...I think it's a lot of combination. It's like... kind of old fashioned, in many ways how we are doing things in Europe I think, and when it comes to innovation. I think Asia and now also, I think, the US -again- are sort of picking up a lot around these new possibilities, this new technology. And I think Europe needs to look into education and how we can create there... inspiring, for our kids and the youngsters around, so we could pick up a bit on other countries and other parts of the world.

  • Success Stories
    • Targeted cancer treatment shows real promise
      An EU-funded research project is working to overcome current chemotherapy-related challenges, developing a new method which directs drug delivery exclusively to tumours, increasing effectiveness while avoiding side effects. Trials of the new treatment are planned for 2013 and industrial partners are keen to commercialise the biotechnologies resulting from the project.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

  • Horizon 2020 - video testimonials
    • Justin Bean (US): What is needed to exit the crisis and help Europe's economy to grow?
      I don't it is my place as an American to tell Europe what to do about the crisis. From what I do know, it sounds like there's some big decisions to be made about the austerity, that's being done, and how to maintain social support for people that are having trouble being integrated into the global economy. And so, the best thing I can think of is to have an inclusive dialog with as many stakeholders as possible and to not have isolated silos of decision-making or responsibility, to include the prospectives of all people possible, to reach mutually advantageous solution.

  • Research Headlines
    • New bioeconomy initiative in Finland to support SMEs
      The bioeconomy is growing at an unprecedented rate, and the demand for new services and more efficient tools to boost business in this industry is ever increasing. Because of this growth, the need for management of biological information is proving to be vital in keeping up with demand and new concepts. This is evident with the latest figures, which reveal that the global market for bioinformatics is expected to reach more than EUR 4.5 billion next year. In order to home in on this demand, Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, has devised a concept aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Its focus is on developing new business from the management of biological information.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

  • Press Centre
    • Extra €150 million to help small businesses get loans for research, development and innovation
      The European Commission is contributing a further €150 million from the seventh research framework programme to an initiative with the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group to encourage lending to innovative businesses. The Risk Sharing Instrument (RSI), managed by the European Investment Fund (EIF), combines EU budget money and EIF resources to guarantee a share of a financial-intermediary's lending to small and medium-sized enterprises and mid-cap companies that perform research and innovation. As well as an increase in resources, the Commission and EIB Group have also agreed to extend the scope of the initiative with a new counter-guarantee scheme

  • Research Headlines
    • Advances in renewable energy
      In recent years, the scope of renewable energy has gone beyond solar and wind power to encompass a myriad of sub-topics. To reflect this diversity, 23 innovative renewable energy demonstration projects in 16 EU Member States have been awarded EUR 1.2 billion. The projects cover areas such as bioenergy (including advanced biofuels), concentrated solar power and geothermal power, wind power, ocean energy and distributed renewable management (smart grids). With 50 % of funding coming from one of the world’s largest funding programmes, NER300, it is hoped these projects will support the EU’s aims of generating 20 % of energy from renewable sources by 2020.

Monday, 21 January 2013

  • Horizon 2020 - video testimonials
    • Hauke Jürgensen (DE): How do you see research and innovation making a difference for a better future?
      I think that research & development is really really important to improve the future, to get a smarter and sustainable future. I'm coming from the transportation industry, as an example, if you look at all the research projects that we have in the area of mobility, this really helps making people's lives better: we will be able to get smarter cities, sustainable mobility... Of course this can only be done if everybody works together in research projects. Research is a very important, a key element of improving and developing our cities and our lives in the cities.

  • Research Headlines
    • Inspiring the next generation of food scientists
      Europe’s food industry is constantly evolving and adapting – so much so, that it has become one of the most important and dynamic industrial sectors. EU research plays a key role too, with a focus on consumer perceptions and attitudes towards food and nutrition, as well as innovation through advanced technologies in traditional food production, food quality and better understanding of the environmental impact of food. It is estimated that food, together with drinks, has created an industry with a combined annual turnover in excess of EUR 900 billion – this is the single largest manufacturing sector in the EU in terms of turnover, value addition and employment. Indeed, in times of serious unemployment growth in the EU, the food industry is able to maintain jobs, and this adds to the social dimension of the industry. But it’s an area that calls for further research and development, which is why emphasis has been placed on inspiring the next generation of scientists and technologists to explore a career in food.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

  • Horizon 2020 - video testimonials
    • Fethi Filali (QA): How do you see research and innovation making a difference for a better future?
      Europe was always leading, for hundreds of years, research and development and this, I think, will continue. I think for research and development now what we need is harmonization. Having ... and making progress in Europe without really working with other countries, in Asia or in America, this will increase the time and resources spent in harmonization and working together. You know there are lots of platforms that can be used: standardization organisms etc, at European Commission level, or between the EU and the US, so they can work together in order to invest less or every country will spend less money, but at the end of the day we'll have a global solution that can be deployed or can be marketed over the world.

Week 3

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Friday, 18 January 2013

  • Research Headlines
    • Still a huge gap between the sexes
      It is common knowledge that despite significant efforts to reduce the education and employment gap between the sexes, the issue remains unresolved. Women still earn less than men, and are still a minority in political decision-making and senior management positions. Women also form the majority of the unemployed, and perform most of the part-time and unpaid jobs. In the latest data published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, a four-year Structure of Earnings Survey produced detailed information on the distribution of earnings in the EU. Perhaps one of the most startling facts to come to light is the news that one out of every six employees in the EU-27 was a low-wage earner in 2010.

  • Success Stories
    • ASTHMA AND ORMDL3 - A breath of fresh air for young asthma sufferers
      Asthma is an increasing chronic health issue in Europe, affecting the quality of life of millions and placing an unbearable strain on national health systems. Understanding how this respiratory disease may be caused could lead to new innovative treatments. An EU-funded study has uncovered strong evidence that a specific gene is involved in the development of asthma in children.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

  • Research Headlines
    • Science at the forefront of food safety
      Health and diet are important factors for many Europeans when doing their weekly shopping: safe, nutritious and affordable food is top of their list. Food labels have become a pivotal part of the consumer shopping experience, and there is heightened interest in the process from farm to fork, in all aspects of the food chain. Indeed, significant changes have taken place in food safety within the last 10 years since the arrival of the General Food Law, which laid down the fundamental principles for food safety in Europe. It also illustrated a defining moment in food safety where the European Union used a science-based approach as the way forward.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

  • Research Headlines
    • Blowing the winds of change into European air policy
      The EU has been tackling air pollution since the 1970s. Steps like controlling emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere and improving fuel quality have contributed to progress in this area, but the problem still remains. This is mainly as a result of human activities: the burning of fossil fuels and the dramatic rise in traffic on the roads, for instance. As a consequence, air pollution is cited as the main cause of lung conditions such as asthma (there are twice as many sufferers today compared to 30 years ago), and as the cause of over 350 000 premature deaths in the EU every year. Now the European Commission is adopting a new strategy with new proposals on improving air quality across Europe.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

  • Environment
    • New thematic brochures
      Brochures on the thematic areas of Natural Hazards, Environment and Health, Biodiversity, Soil and Sustainable Land Use, Marine Environment, International Cooperation, Social Innovation for Sustainability, and Waste as a Resource have been published. They provide an overview of why these areas are a challenge and what EU funded research is doing to address them.

  • Events
    • RegioStars 2013 - Award Ceremony - 31 January 2013, Brussels

      The objective of the RegioStars Awards is to identify good practices in regional development and to highlight original and innovative projects which could be attractive and inspiring to other regions. The RegioStars awards form part of the Commission's Regions for Economic Change initiative, which aims to highlight good practice in urban and regional development....

  • Research Headlines
    • The power of information
      Remember the days when gathering information required a visit to the library? Now we have access to a deluge of information at our fingertips without ever leaving the house. With the Internet, which is increasingly a big part of many people's lives (using search engines like Google and the Wikipedia encyclopaedia, for instance), we have access to an unprecedented amount of information. And while it may seem overwhelming at times, it does have the power to change our lives. This is the premise of a forthcoming international conference which explores the power of information, and how science and technology can make a difference. The conference, organised by the European Commission, aims to address the successes and problems of the use of information and technologies. It will also focus on how 'active information' could increase the quality of human experience, and whether this can make a difference for science and technology.

Monday, 14 January 2013

  • Research Headlines
    • Unlocking the entrepreneurial spirit
      Being your own boss is an aspiration for many Europeans – almost 4 out of 10 people in fact. The prospect of a potentially better income, independence and the freedom to work wherever and whenever suits is a highly attractive prospect for millions of would-be entrepreneurs. Yet fears of failure and bankruptcy, and the risk of an irregular income mean many people keep their aspirations as a pipe dream. This fear factor is responsible for the drop in those becoming self-employed by 20 % within the last 3 years, mainly due to the current economic climate. However, the European Commission hope to change this: the European Entrepreneurship Action Plan aims at bringing growth and employment back to Europe.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Week 2

Saturday, 12 January 2013

  • Horizon 2020 - video testimonials
    • Martin Böhm (DE): How do you see research and innovation making a difference for a better future?
      The point is that we see that a lot of production is leaving Europe because of the prices. We see that the production is going to the Far East, some parts are coming back, to former Eastern Europe,But still, Europe is not a production continent. What is really our benefit, is Research and Innovation.This is what makes the difference this is why Europe is well seen in all the world, including America, Asia, the Pacific etc... And therefore, it's really necessary that we don't lose here the momentum and that we show that we are the innovative part of the world.

Friday, 11 January 2013

  • Research Headlines
    • Action to improve soil for global food security
      As a society, we are becoming more aware of the many ways we can help support sustainable development and preserve the environment. Governments, scientists and international organisations are calling attention to soil: the basis for more than 90 % of world food production. With one in eight inhabitants of the world suffering from hunger, ensuring soil is managed and restored for global food security is vital. Soil is also important for sustainable development, and supports ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation and mitigation.

  • Success Stories
    • SOWAEUMED - Cleaner water for a safer future
      Population growth among Europe's North African neighbours, Morocco and Tunisia in particular, is putting increasing pressure on the demand for clean water. As supplies slowly dwindle, there is a growing need for efficient technologies to improve water quality and treatment in a bid to cut down on waste water.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

  • Events
    • EU Science: Global Challenges, Global Collaboration (ES:GC2) - 4-8 March 2013, Brussels

      The European Parliament will host a five-day conference on “EU Science: Global Challenges, Global Collaboration” (ES:GC2), starting on March 4th, 2013, in Brussels. The conference will bring together science policymakers, scientists and industry representatives from 100 different countries and will place EU research at the centre of the international response to global challenges. It will be convened by ISC - Intelligence in Science, under the auspices of the Irish Council Presidency, in conjunction with Mr Sean Kelly MEP and other Members of the European Parliament....

  • Research Headlines
    • Developing global links in research
      Europe has no shortage of potential when it comes to world-leading research, entrepreneurs and companies. But the number of researchers in Europe as a share of the population is well below that of the United States, Japan and other countries. If the EU wants to reach its target of spending 3 % of GDP on research and development it will need to create at least 1 million new research jobs. As global competition for the best research talent continues to grow, a significant number of European researchers are choosing to work outside Europe. Together they represent an untapped asset to further develop European research, which is why the European Commission has initiated the EURAXESS Links project.

  • Success Stories
    • I-Sense - New hazard-detection technology promotes research careers and enterprises
      In today's world, there has never been a greater need for quick and accurate ways to detect explosives, toxic chemicals, illegal drugs and other potential hazards to public safety and health. Contributing to this effort is a European Union (EU)-funded project that has united a Russian-born physicist working at a Dutch university with a private company in the UK.

    • HEEAL - Team of researchers deepen our understanding of ecological development in Africa
      For Dr Paul Lane of the University of York in the UK, the co-ordinator of the four-year HEEAL (Historical Ecology of East African Landscapes) project, the significance of the Marie Curie Action (MCA) which made the project possible was immense. 'It allowed me, for the first time, to run my own research group,' he says, 'with post-doctoral and early-stage researchers working under my direct management with a focused set of research questions.'

    • EURECON - Ground-breaking research redefines economic analysis
      What economic and non-economic factors determine an individual's well-being? And how can these be applied when assessing the convergence of Europe's regions in terms of performance? These were the key questions addressed by Professor Luisa Corrado under the EURECON project - 'Regional convergence clusters across Europe: methodological issues and empirical evidence'.

    • NM4TB - TB an enemy that dies hard
      With tuberculosis (TB) making an unwelcome comeback in many developed countries – TB never really left the developing world – the news that EU-funded researchers are on the verge of a drug breakthrough is timely to say the least.

    • ESOA - The European Antenna School: bridging a technology gap
      Over the last few decades the use of wireless devices such as cell phones, car keys, and GPS systems has increased enormously. All these devices transmit and receive data at high speed through antennas. "Antennas are where the bottle neck is in all these communication technologies, and with a better antenna you can transmit more data," says Stefano Maci of the Department of Information Engineering at the University of Siena in Italy. This is why students at technical universities and engineering departments of universities need courses in the theory and application of antennas.

    • ELSA - How researchers prepared for the Gaia space mission's scientific harvest
      August 2013 will see the launch of Gaia, a five-year space mission packed with scientific ambition that is quite literally astronomical. The European Space Agency (ESA) aims to chart about one billion stars, or roughly 1% of the Milky Way. It is expected to discover thousands of new celestial objects, from extra-solar planets to failed stars called brown dwarfs. It is an extraordinary endeavour, taking astrometry to a new level of complexity and precision, but it will mean little if Europe's science community cannot handle the volume of data that Gaia space mission is expected to send back to Earth. And this is where ELSA comes in.

Wednesday, 09 January 2013

  • Events
    • World e-ID Congress 2013 - 25-27 September 2013, Nice, France

      World e-ID Congress has become in eight years a key event gathering over 350 e-ID programs managers, government officials and technology experts around world’s major e-ID projects, policies trends and latest innovations. In 2013 the conference will strengthen its key features to help the participants to succeed in their e-ID plans: exploring further the most significant e-ID projects worldwide (20 countries scanned in 2012), highlighting best practices and concrete solutions, discussing worldwide policies, technology and market dynamics....

    • EuroNanoForum 2013 - 18-20 June 2013, Dublin

      EuroNanoForum 2013 focuses on the commercialisation of nanotechnologies, exploiting its potential for new applications and taking them further from enabling technologies to end products. It will also introduce the industry to new innovations for growth opportunities.

  • Research Headlines
    • The rising threat of antibiotic resistance
      A major European and global health issue is resistance to or inappropriate use of antibiotics. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) estimates that each year, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) results in 25 000 deaths and related costs of over EUR 1.5 billion in healthcare expenses and productivity losses. Over the last four years, there has been a significant increasing trend of combined resistance to multiple antibiotics in both Klebsiella pneumoniae and E. coli in more than one-third of the EU/EEA countries. In addition, in several Member States, between 25 % and up to more than 60 % of Klebsiella pneumoniae from bloodstream infections show combined resistance to multiple antibiotics.

Tuesday, 08 January 2013

  • Horizon 2020 - video testimonials
    • Jason Chang (TW): What is needed to exit the crisis and help Europe's economy to grow?
      First of all, I would say they have to work together- it is not easy, you know, to come out to this stage - and work together to solve the problem although there are various issues in different countries...I fully support that the EU is heading as acting role to help solve those problems in different countries. And definitely, as one member particularly in the area of telecommunications and transportation area, I think the last infrastructure development is one of the driven forces for the economy. So I would say: the government should put more investment in all those infrastructures, particularly for those infrastructures that can help the sustainability in the future.That will create more jobs, more investment, particularly for those infrastructures invested in or initiated by the government, that can guarantee the future benefit for the whole society.

  • Research Headlines
    • Raising awareness of the bioeconomy
      The bioeconomy concept is rapidly growing in importance on a global scale. It embraces the sustainable use of biological resources from the land and sea, as well as waste, as inputs to food and feed, industrial and energy production, and also covers the use of bio-based processes inindustry. This is vital as we continue to consume the Earth's resources, many of which are not renewable, at an accelerating rate.. The bioeconomy is already a reality. For example, bio-fuels (ethanol and diesel), are being made directly from agricultural crops, and even bio-waste has the potential to become an alternative to chemical fertilizers or to generate bio-energy, which could meet 2 % of the EU renewable energy target. Indeed Europe is leading the way in various fields of biosciences and technologies but international competitors are catching up.

  • Success Stories
    • FEAR MEMORY TRACE - Discovering the mechanisms of memory formation
      What are the mechanisms behind human learning? Achieving a better understanding of this complex question is not just an academic pursuit, given the prevalence of neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Indeed, this line of research could bring significant benefits for Europe's ageing population, including treatments for conditions that lead to memory loss.

Monday, 07 January 2013

  • Research Headlines
    • 2013 set to be the busiest year for digital agenda
      The Digital Agenda is now entering its third year, and has already made headway towards the objectives of getting every EU citizen to use the Internet, and helping Europe's citizens and businesses get the most out of digital technologies. Since the agenda was launched, 15 million Europeans have connected for the first time, and 68 % of Europeans are now online regularly, with 170 million on social networks. In addition, broadband is available nearly everywhere in Europe, with 95 % of Europeans having access to a fixed broadband connection. Consumers and businesses also have the flexibility of mobile Internet with 217 million mobile broadband subscriptions across Europe. But there is still more to come. Now the digital 'to do' list has set out the priorities for this year and the next.

Sunday, 06 January 2013

Week 1

Saturday, 05 January 2013

Friday, 04 January 2013

  • Research Headlines
    • Lighting the way in reducing greenhouse gas emissions
      Recycling, reusing and reducing are all ways in which Europeans are assisting in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It is a far cry from the days when we threw everything away without thought. Now we know it is the simple solutions that are making the difference. One example is lighting, which accounts for 14 % of electricity consumption in the EU. As a result, incandescent bulbs are being phased out in Europe and replaced with new energy-efficient and eco-friendly lighting technologies.

Thursday, 03 January 2013

  • Horizon 2020 - video testimonials
    • Irina Silva (PT): What is needed to exit the crisis and help Europe's economy to grow?
      I'm not a specialist in this area, but I do believe that we should make more investments in people and education, I think that's a really important thing. I'm actually Portuguese and I see many of my fellow countrymen really struggling to make a living and it's really sad to see that but I don't know if these austerity measures are the way.I think maybe we should put more investment in our economy and maybe inject some more money into our economy, maybe that's a way to do, but... yeah.

Wednesday, 02 January 2013

  • Research Headlines
    • Strengthening international cooperation in research and innovation
      A new EU strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation was unveiled recently. The EU accounts for just 7 % of the world population, but it is responsible for 24 % of world expenditure on research, 32 % of high-impact publications and 32 % of patent applications. So international cooperation is seen as a vital step forward in homing in on opportunities and further development.

Tuesday, 01 January 2013

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