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

Week 14

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Week 13

Saturday, 30 March 2013

  • Horizon 2020 - video testimonials
    • Philip Weiss (DE): What is needed to exit the crisis and help Europe's economy to grow?
      I think it's because we're facing so many fundamental changes in the way our society functions, so many technological innovations, so many new things that have taken everybody by surprise: the financial crisis, the Arab spring...What we need is a new way of interpreting these changes and, basically, be much more inovative in how we actually tackle these, so what we need is to actually learn creativity, because what we need is to invent new solutions to the problems that we'll be facing tomorrow, we need to be much more open to experimentation, open to change and much more willing to take risks. And I think that's one of the fundamental problems of Europe and the culture that dominates a lot of the institutions, is that people are afraid of change and afraid to do things differently. So I think what is needed most importantly is a change of mindset.

Friday, 29 March 2013

  • Horizon 2020 - video testimonials
    • Peter Jansen (CA): How do you see research and innovation making a difference for a better future?
      Research and Innovation are absolutely at the key of making a better future in that we are constantly developping new technologies, constantly developping more research that we can from a technomic standpoint sell to people, which keeps an economy rolling, but also just it gives us a better quality of life, helps generate new technologies, better medicines, helps invent science, It's.... ball: once you've started rolling it you have to keep it rolling in order for things to roll out. If you reduce the amount of science funding, then you really slow the ball down and it has trickle effects 20 years, 30 years later where no new things have been developped and it takes forever to get that ball rolling and so it's critical to maintain a lot of scientific funding.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

  • Research Headlines
    • Long-legged lizard challenges Darwinian evolution
      Survival of the fittest, according to Darwin's theory of evolution, is a slow biological process that takes place in a species over many generations. But Spanish researcher Marta López Darias and colleagues had a different idea. Her EU-funded research contributes to the growing body of evidence pointing to "rapid evolution in action".

  • Success Stories
    • Car body parts that store electricity
      Powering a car with batteries is basically a question of numbers. The more you have, the further you can expect it to go. However, larger batteries do not necessarily bring more mileage. Their sheer weight and size can cancel out power gains and limit performance; a battery in a 1200 kg Tesla Roadster weighs in at a hefty 450 kg.

    • Building up instead of cutting out: reducing resource waste
      The production of advanced high-tech components for aircraft and other aerospace applications is an expensive and time-intensive process involving design, prototyping and then machining of parts often using costly high strength-to-weight materials such as titanium. A new production approach developed under the European Union (EU) -funded RAPOLAC project (Rapid Production of Large Aerospace Components) can bypass the prototyping stage and build a new part in a fraction of the time with production costs reduced by as much as 40%.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

  • Events
    • Course 'Decision Aid Approaches for Risk Management' - 22-26 April 2013, Stuttgart, Germany

      Decision making is a process where multiple factors interact to shape the final outcome. Those factors can be technical, informational, emotional/psychological, cultural. Nevertheless, the limited rationality of economic operators makes the decision exercise more and more difficult in a more and more complex world. Safety management requires short, mid and long term decisions that may highly influence the ability of the organization to cope with its risks.

  • Horizon 2020 - video testimonials
    • Bruno Zamborlin (IT): What are your main concerns for the future?
      Big companies gathering too much power and gathering all information and forcing us to pass through them actually, to accompish any task we want to. So we can't do anything if we don't have an Apple iPhone or another device and if we can't access to google search in every three seconds, we can't do tasks nowadays. So this is a concern: it's the fact that, what was really a wide democratic space, the Internet, is becoming now the most capitalistic space ever.

  • Innovation Union
    • State of the Innovation Union 2012
      The Europe 2020 strategy and its ʻflagshipʼ initiatives focus on investments in education, research and innovation as the key to achieving smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The Innovation Union flagship in particular is about creating a vibrant, innovation-based economy fuelled by ideas and creativity, capable of linking into global value chains, seizing opportunities, capturing new markets and creating high-quality jobs. This communication summarises progress at Member State and European levels towards achieving an Innovation Union in 2012, and concludes by outlining areas where action is still needed.

  • Research Headlines
    • Making sustainable use of Europe's marine wealth
      Health-care products, cosmetics and infant formulas are just a few everyday products that use molecules derived from marine organisms. A ground-breaking EU project has discovered several new sources of these compounds and developed a new method of sustainably manufacturing them. The benefits for Europe, from major pharmaceuticals to regional development, could be immense.

  • Success Stories
    • Robots assist human inspectors
      For huge cargo vessels that carry millions of litres of oil, thousands of shipping containers, or tens of thousands of tonnes of coal or steel, safety is paramount. These ships must comply with rising safety standards that require time-consuming inspections by surveyors, who in turn risk their own safety by climbing inside massive cargo areas and on scaffolding constructed around ships.

    • Containers get a redesign to pack more in: Tellibox
      Used all over the world to ship goods stamped with "Made in …", containers are at the very heart of global trade. They have been around since the 1950s and have literally revolutionised the way we manufacture, trade and consume goods.

    • The next generation of cockpit displays
      With its all-around touchscreens, futuristic design, and dazzling interactive displays, it looks more like a flight deck from the Star Wars or Star Trek movies than anything in use today. Yet the ODICIS concept is a vision for a very real application: a cockpit that airplane or helicopter pilots might use within a decade from now.

    • New tools to help maintain Earth's biodiversity
      Human well-being is strongly linked to the biodiversity and functioning of the Earth's ecosystems. To maintain biodiversity and enable future generations to derive the same benefits our planet now provides us with, consolidated policy and management efforts are needed. The findings of the EcoChange project could be instrumental in this endeavour.

Monday, 25 March 2013

  • Research Headlines
    • Using simpler synthesis and greener chemistry to improve medicines
      An estimated 170 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C, which kills more than 350,000 every year from related illnesses like liver cancer. There is no vaccine for it, and treatments are costly thanks to the complicated chemistry used to make the drugs. However, if a way was found to simplify and speed up the manufacture of hepatitis C drugs, it could slash the costs of treatment and at a stroke promise to wipe out the insidious killer disease.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

  • Horizon 2020 - video testimonials
    • Steve Wozniak (US): How do you see research and innovation making a difference for a better future?
      One thing I like about though: for me personally, it is still fun. It is fun to explore, to see how it works, to try this out, to show it to a friend, to use it for communication, to play games... So much of my enjoyment life comes from that. I used to take my young children to the carnival. And I would pay a hundred dollars for them to throw balls and get bigger stuffed animals and i would pay 50 dollars for ping-pong balls to win a goldfish and now I get an app for free, an app for free, an app for app for 2 dollars, an app for one dollar...And I have all the fun in the world so we are in the fun era for adult. We get to buy our little affordable smartphones and play with them, and play with them and ... Wow what a toy man! We've got something really new! And when they change it is like a new toy, cars don't seem to change as much you know but uh.. maybe in the earliest days, the cars, they did.

Week 12

Saturday, 23 March 2013

  • Horizon 2020 - video testimonials
    • Roger Pagny (FR): What is needed to exit the crisis and help Europe's economy to grow?
      I'm not a specialist at all. My understanding is that it's a financial crisis mainly and now it's an economic crisis financials are very linked to economic activities in a second step. I don't know what we have to do with the financial sector, but I think that the position that has been taken after so many meetings between presidents and ministers and officials in Europe, are going in the right direction: we have to put this banking system aligned with the economic affairs.

Friday, 22 March 2013

  • Events
    • ProMine Final Conference with Mineral Marketplace - 23-24 April 2013, Levi, Kittilä, Finland

      The major results of FP7 ProMine project (Nano-particle products from new mineral resources in Europe) achieved during 4 years of intensive research and development work will be presented in the conference and in the related Mineral Marketplace. These include developing new methods in extracting nano-materials from mining waste, creation of a fully integrated database of European mineral deposits and mining waste repositories, development of 4D models of mineralized belts and new ecoefficient mineral processing options....

  • Horizon 2020 - video testimonials
    • Tanja Kessel (DE): In your experience what are the benefits of participating in EU research projects?
      I think it helps to share resources and it helps to shere knowledge. My topic is car-to-x, car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication, and here you need joined efforts, because there's a new technology there's a new solution to improve traffic safety and traffic efficiency and to get these advantages, you need collaboration across industry and not only across car makers or suppliers, all across Europe, to have a successful implementation. So here, Europe really helps, also with these joined research activities, to get a common understanding, to get inter-operability of the system and to foster deployment. I think this is extremely helpful here.

  • Research Headlines
    • An innovative production platform for micro-products
      Micro-products have become increasingly important in the medical, biotechnology, consumer and automotive sectors. However, products in these sectors such as innovative display solutions and light emitting panels require the integration of different functionalities and demand new mass manufacturing methods and technologies.

  • Success Stories
    • Predicting the future of sea level rise
      While the global increase of temperature due to our emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere is more or less undisputed among climate researchers, the consequences of the global warming are less clear. Sea-level will rise, but whether we look at half a meter or one and a half meters at the end of the century, is not yet predictable. In terms of impacts on coast and its cities around the globe, these figures correspond to "severe" and "devastating", respectively.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

  • Success Stories
    • Uncovering ancient history in the laboratory
      The world of archaeology has changed considerably since the days when wealthy enthusiasts such as Heinrich Schliemann excavated the site he believed was ancient Troy while Arthur Evans unearthed the spectacular Minoan palace of Knossos in Crete. While the shovel and the trowel are still important tools for finding ancient structures and artefacts, many of the exciting discoveries and breakthroughs are today being made in laboratories - a long way from the ancient remains.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

  • Research Headlines
    • New safeguards foster innovation in nanomaterials
      Measuring between 1 and 100 billionth of a metre, nanomaterials may be tiny and invisible to the eye but what they lack in size, they make up for in impact. Engineered nanomaterials are already widely used in technologies and consumer products ranging from toothpaste to paints.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

  • Research Headlines
    • Footwear gets a 21st century refit
      Faced with tough competition from low-wage countries and economic strife at home, European shoemakers are interested in clever and efficient solutions to design and customise stylish shoes that meet every customer's needs. But is ‘mass customisation’ like this a contradiction in terms? Not according to EU-funded researchers.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Sunday, 17 March 2013

  • Research Headlines
    • Ireland: at the heart of European ICT
      Ireland may sit on the geographic edge of the EU, but when it comes to ICT, the country is at the very heart of Europe's digital industry. According to the industry association ICT Ireland, the ICT sector is a thriving and growing industry; 9 of the top 10 global companies maintains a presence in Ireland. Could this be the country's foundation for economic recovery?

Week 11

Saturday, 16 March 2013

  • Horizon 2020 - video testimonials
    • Eric Sampson (GB): What is needed to exit the crisis and help Europe's economy to grow?
      We need one strategy, rather than 27 the World Bank, plus the something bank, plus the something else, plus somebody else...We need to get agreement, as fast as possible, on what is A single European strategy and somehow, to get some confidence back. Again, talking simply for the UK, banks are not short of money but they're not lending it and business wants cash to invest, to expand but everyone is lacking confidence, so it's the classic stalemate, people sit and look at each other and say: well you go first no, you go first...

Friday, 15 March 2013

  • Events
    • 4th AEBIOM Bioenergy Conference - 17-19 June 2013, Brussels

      The AEBIOM Bioenergy Conference organized by the European Biomass Association is the forth edition of the growing series. The annual conference has grown ever since its first edition in 2010 and has quickly become Europe´s major occasion for discussion and networking amongst important industry leaders and policy makers. Bioenergy is the largest renewable energy source in Europe and we expect around 300 industry representatives to be present at this event which is one of the leading bioenergy conferences in Europe. ...

    • Graphene Week 2013 - 2-7 June 2013, Chemnitz, Germany

      The 7th International Conference on the Fundamental Science of Graphene and Applications of Graphene-Based Devices (Graphene Week 2013) is devoted to the science and technology of graphene (atomically thin graphitic films – monolayers, bilayers, trilayers), investigation of its physical properties, advances in its growth and chemical processing, manufacturing graphene-based devices, and emerging applications of this new material. ...

  • Research Headlines
    • High power fibre lasers with unprecedented accuracy
      Over the last ten years, high power fibre lasers have moved quickly from the research laboratory into production. In stark contrast to traditional lasers, fibre lasers now offer near perfect beam quality ensuring optimal focus even in long distances. In addition, high efficiency, low operating costs and virtually no maintenance allow for a simple integration into industrial, automated production processes.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

  • Horizon 2020 - video testimonials
    • Andrew Nash (US): In your experience what are the benefits of participating in EU research projects?
      The biggest benefit that I see in the European research programs is the ability for people from different countries to get to know each other and work together on projects, because learning what is going on in other places and being exposed to other thoughts is really important and I think here Europe has a real advantage, because the culture that's developed in these different places means people think a little bit differently from one another and if they can learn to talk together and develop products together, innovations together, there's a true added value here that I don't see in more homogenous societies.

  • Research Headlines
    • Turning the volume down in Europe's cities
      Millions of European city dwellers endure urban noise pollution every day. Apart from its nuisance value, noise in Europe has health risks with stress and cardiovascular issues being particular concerns, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). The social costs of traffic noise in Europe have been estimated to 0.4% of total economic output, mainly from road transport.

  • Success Stories
    • 15 leading European research groups explore the spin transfer effect
      The phenomenon of the spin transfer effect has received much attention due to its promise for the electronics industry. In the phenomenon, a current can give a jolt to thin magnetic layers sandwiched between non-magnetic materials. This jolt can be used to excite oscillations or even flip the orientation of the magnet.

    • New career horizons opened up by research on sustainable businesses
      Research fellow Dr Renato J. Orsato published a book entitled 'Sustainability Strategies: when does it pay to be green?' as part of a European Union (EU)-funded Marie Curie Action (MCA), specifically a research fellowship called Strategic Environmental Management at European and Australian Industries (SEMEAI). His fellowship was part of the Marie Curie programme designed to support mobility and attract talented young researchers to the EU.

    • Network of researchers helps making drivers more aware of road safety
      In Europe over 41,000 people die and 1.6 million are injured in traffic accidents every year. However, there are striking regional differences. In Southern Europe the number of traffic deaths is as much as two to three times higher for the same number of vehicles. The project SAFEAST, Towards Safer Road Traffic in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, was set up to examine the reasons behind these differences in October 2004. Universities from Sweden, the United Kingdom, Finland, and Greece participated in the four-year project.

    • The research network devising ways to diagnose powertrains
      As the group of components that generates power for a locomotive, the powertrain – which includes the transmission, drive shafts, and differentials – is the motor of the railways. It needs to be watched and maintained carefully to ensure every aspect is safe and in proper working order. But this is a tough task: there are few diagnostic tools available to check the reliability of powertrains, so maintenance is either done after a component fails (with all the associated risks to the service), or through a systematic yet indiscriminate replacement of key parts.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

  • Events
    • Stimulating Innovation in Plant Genetic Resources: A role for the EIP on Agriculture - 23 April 2013, Brussels

      Representing the whole plant breeding innovation chain from fundamental research to crop production and food processing, the European Technology Platform ‘Plants for the Future’ (Plant ETP) is a major stakeholder of the agricultural sector and is committed to stimulating research and innovation in plant genetic resources to the benefit of the grower and final consumer. As the European Commission steps up its plans to implement the EIP for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability, Plant ETP is organising a high profile event on "Stimulating Innovation in Plant Genetic Resources: A role for the EIP for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability".

  • Success Stories
    • European-Russian scientific collaboration to support environmental safeguards
      A Marie Curie Action (MCA) was a key step in attracting a talented Russian physicist to Europe and stimulating an important strand of co-operation between European and Russian scientists and research institutes whose work could play an important role in advancing environmental monitoring and safety capabilities for the direct benefit of society.

    • How European researchers are building biofuels with bacteria
      Most people associate bacteria with disease and contamination, leaving the microorganisms with few saving graces. Yet their reputation could be about to change over the next few years: researchers are engineering bacteria to provide alternative energy sources to replace fossil fuels. And if they succeed, it will be thanks to projects like MicroGen, a European Union (EU) research project looking at new ways to generate renewable fuels from microorganisms.

    • The visionary tools helping myopia researchers see further
      Professor Frank Schaeffel has spent a quarter of a century studying myopia, the phenomenon of how the eye often grows too long and becomes short-sighted. Schaeffel, who is the Head of the Section of Neurobiology of the Eye at the Institute for Ophthalmic Research in Tübingen, Germany, has scored some crucial breakthroughs, yet for much of his career he has felt like a lone explorer in myopia research.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Week 10

Saturday, 09 March 2013

Friday, 08 March 2013

  • Research Headlines
    • The impact of chemical pollution on male reproductive health
      We are encouraged to eat more fruit and vegetables as part of a healthy lifestyle but this advice could in fact be damaging our health. With ever more commercial food production, research shows that traces of pesticides used on crops can make their way into our food system and into our bodies where they can disrupt hormone function.

Thursday, 07 March 2013

Wednesday, 06 March 2013

  • Press Centre
    • Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn shocked by fire at Città della Scienza in Naples, Italy
      Following the fire that destroyed the Città della Scienza complex, in Naples, Italy on 5 March, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, sent the following message of support:

      "The Città della Scienza has played a leading role in the communication of culture, science and technology in Italy and at international level, and has been a valuable partner in EU research projects. It has also contributed to the promotion of socio-economic development in Naples. This is terrible news for the science, research and innovation community.  I send my best wishes and support to all involved in the Città della Scienza and I hope they can restart their activities very soon. We at the European Commission will offer whatever support we can."

  • Research Headlines
    • European initiative helps local communities preserve biodiversity
      When you think of species conservation, the first thing that probably enters your mind is big projects like animal breeding programmes and nature reserves. But how often do you consider the species in your garden, in your city park, or on your farm? These environments are also crucial places for preserving biodiversity according to a recent €1.8 million EU-funded research project, which examined ways to better coordinate conservation efforts between local and national governments.

  • Success Stories
    • Researchers help develop next-generation bio-plastic materials
      The Dutch company Avantium is leading the way in replacing plastic PET bottles and other oil-based products, with 'green' versions made from sugar derivatives – starch, protein and cellulose. Success in making the technology break-through has been partly achieved by the technological expertise brought to the company through the European Commission's Marie Curie Actions (MCAs) mobility support scheme.

Tuesday, 05 March 2013

Monday, 04 March 2013

  • Research Headlines
    • European nano-warriors tackle a big killer ... cancer
      European researchers are waging war on cancer, a major medical and societal challenge today. Thanks to progress in nanotechnology and strong leadership by Trinity College Dublin, teams from diverse scientific fields are developing sensitive portable devices to diagnose cancer much earlier and to better monitor treatment when and where it is needed.

Sunday, 03 March 2013

Week 9

Saturday, 02 March 2013

  • Horizon 2020 - video testimonials
    • Maxim Nohroudi (DE): In your experience what are the benefits of participating in EU research projects?
      Through this project, we get to know many other places, within Europe, that was very good. I don't think that projects that come from one country, would, without this kind of support, see what's going on in other member states. So...understanding what's going on in Italy, France, Scandinavia, was a lot easier with this kind of support than it could have been without. Yet! There is of course, through certain standard procedures for smaller companies, a big hindering to participate. So...most of these projects apply to larger corporations.

Friday, 01 March 2013

  • Horizon 2020 - video testimonials
    • Heleen Wilmink (NL): What are your main concerns for the future?
      Concerning traffic, I think my main concern is this great heart attack of all traffic and when you're looking at these evolving countries and these big megacity regions that are just growing and growing, there's just to many cars then for the infrastructure and the infrastructure is growing slower than the cars are coming up, so I think that's a challenge for a lot of big cities, yeah!

  • Social Sciences and Humanities
    • ACCEPT PLURALISM final conference, Brussels, 6-7 March 2013
      The conference is being organized within the framework of the project Tolerance, Pluralism and Social Cohesion: Responding to the Challenges of the 21st Century in Europe. The conference will discuss findings of ACCEPT Pluralism research project with policy and decision makers at EU level, as well as reflect on ways of combating intolerance and promoting practices of tolerance and/ or acceptance of cultural diversity.

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