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Affordable High-Tech for Humanitarian Aid
What was new in December 2014

Week 9

Friday, 28 February 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • Streamlining processing for bio-based products
      Photo of of fruit and vegetablesThe market for bio-products or bio-based goods has grown sharply over the past few years as consumers embrace foods, fuels, medicines and other products made from renewable biological resources. However, the emerging appetite for bio-products is being held back by bottlenecks in manufacturing, with many processing methods taking far too long and costing too much. A European research project is helping pinpoint the industrial jams, raising hopes that the supply of bio-products can match the soaring demand.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • Growth of low-wage, low-skilled jobs throughout Europe in need of solution
      Photo of people in a working environment looking anxiousAmong the social and economic shifts challenging Europe is the growth of low-wage, low-skilled jobs filled by workers who face undesirable working conditions and uncertain future prospects. This trend is raising concerns that large segments of the population particularly women, youth, older workers, migrants and minorities may not reach the career and social security they otherwise could obtain.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • Keeping underground tourist destinations safe
      Photo of the Chapel of Saint Kinga in Wieliczka Salt Mine, PolandCaves, catacombs and tunnels are becoming increasingly popular, with Europe boasting more than half of the world’s underground tourist attractions. The UnderSafe project is developing a monitoring system to deal with the safety concerns and environmental hazards as a result of the rise in below-ground destinations.

  • Success Stories
    • Novel method to produce cleaner and safer batteries
      Photo of a collection of batteries A range of safety and environmental issues are associated with lithium-ion batteries, including the potential risk of sudden explosions when used in electric vehicles and the disposal of toxic materials. To address these issues, the European Union (EU)-funded SOMABAT project developed innovative strategies for producing lithium-polymer batteries that are cleaner, safer and better performing than conventional lithium-ion batteries.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • One-stop-shop to combat coastal flooding
      Photo of wavesThere is no doubt that climate change is happening worldwide as ice caps shrink, sea and river levels rise. Coastal flooding damages not only buildings and engineering structures, but also the environment and the ecological balance in Europe.

Monday, 24 February 2014

  • Events
    • Building inclusive welfare systems - A dialogue between research and practice - 5 June 2014, Brussels

      All over Europe, formerly ‘passive’ social protection systems are undergoing substantial reform. Under the policy agendas of activation and more recently, social investment, welfare states are seeking to simultaneously increase the labour market participation of formerly excluded groups (such as women, youth, elderly people and migrants) and the efficiency of employment services. In order to achieve these goals, policy-makers have not only introduced programmatic policy changes (such as curtailing the duration or eligibility of/for benefits) but also changes to the governance systems through which social policies are administered. Especially the local governance level has come to play an important role under ‘new welfare’ because it is here where employment incentives and measures can be tailored most effectively to individual client cases as well as regional labour market characteristics.

    • SME Instrument in HORIZON 2020 - Webinar from Fit for Health 2.0 - 14 March 2014, Online

      Fit for Health 2.0 supports SMEs to successfully participate in Health-related projects in Horizon 2020. We invite you to participate in a webinar focussed on the new SME Instrument on 14 March from 10:00 to ca. 12:00. The main focus will be put on the topic PHC 12 – 2014/2015: Clinical research for the validation of biomarkers and/or diagnostic medical devices and on the requirements for a successfull proposal submission to phase 1.

    • Non-price competitiveness - 27 February 2014, Paris

      "Mapping European Competitiveness" (MAPCOMPETE) is a FP7 proposal of six European universities and research centers (from Germany, France, Italy, Belgium and Hungary) to provide an assessment of data opportunities and requirements for the analysis of comparative competitiveness in European countries.

  • Research Headlines
    • NEOShield to assess Earth defence
      Photo of the Earth in spaceThe phenomenon of collisions in the history of our solar system is very fundamental, having played the major role in forming the planets we observe today. Asteroids and comets may have contributed to the delivery of water and organic materials to the early Earth necessary for the development of life, but later impacts probably played a role in mass extinctions and they currently pose a small but significant threat to the future of our civilization. Collisions of objects with the Earth have taken place frequently over geological history and it is an undeniable fact that major collisions of asteroids and comets with the Earth will continue to occur at irregular, unpredictable intervals in the future.

  • Success Stories
    • Do the locomotion
      Photo of a small robot Could machines learn to walk? Legs have their advantages, especially on uneven terrain, but scientists have struggled for years to find a way to create in robots something we take for granted.

Week 8

Friday, 21 February 2014

  • Events
    • COEURE Executive Committee Meeting - 27 February 2014, Florence

      COEURE - COoperation for EUropean Research in Economics - is a project intended to bring together the key stakeholders in the European economic research space - scientists from the different strands of economic research in Europe, economic policy makers, and funders of economic research - and which, by a process of stocktaking, consultation and stakeholder involvement, is aimed to formulate an Agenda for Research Funding for Economics in Europe.

  • Research Headlines
    • Global network combats food contamination
      Photo of a bowl of cerealAs much as 25% of the world's agricultural production today becomes contaminated resulting in risks to human health and to a loss of crops. The main culprits are toxins and particularly those of the poisonous mycotoxin family, which can be a potential threat to both humans and animals.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • Preserving the pollinators to protect human health
      Photo of a bee on a flowerIt is a quiet, modest process which rarely grabs the headlines, but the pollination of plants, trees and crops is a function which is vital both for human wellbeing and for the environment. While some pollination occurs as a result of the wind, the vast majority - especially that which matters most to humans - is carried out by insects.

  • Success Stories
    • Saving time, saving lives
      Photo of a Mussel Farmer The very first hours after a disaster are crucial to limiting damage and containing the number of potential victims. Often, several hours can go by before the true nature of a crisis is understood. A lot can happen in this time.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • Making steel more fire-resistant
      Photo of a steel structureFire-resistant protection is essential for structures made of light steel, such as industrial buildings, warehouses, houses, garages and containers. The standard solution is intumescent paint, which swells up when heated to form a protective layer for the metal.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • Jetting towards a cleaner, greener era for aviation
      Photo of a commercial airplaneDo you live near an airport or fly regularly? Even if you don't, new research that promises to lead to improved aircraft aerodynamics will benefit us all. It will ultimately enable planes to be built that are less noisy, use less fuel and pollute less – a win-win situation for society, the environment and the aviation industry.

Monday, 17 February 2014

  • Success Stories
    • Manage your mussels
      Photo of a Mussel Farmer Mussel farming is one of Europe's major shellfish industries, with total net production averaging around 500,000 tonnes per year, and with the potential for much, much more. Despite the room for excess, some businesses have signed up to a European scheme designed to test new technologies, and methodologies, in a bid for both greater sustainability and profit.

Week 7

Friday, 14 February 2014

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • Reliable chip from 'unreliable' parts?
      Photo of an electronic chipIt sounds implausible, but European researchers are deadly serious about their aim to create reliable, low-energy microchips from what have traditionally been viewed as ‘unreliable’ components. The skill is to correct the errors to turn low-powered parts into efficient, reliable and, above-all, fault-tolerant chips. They propose to use nano-scale integration to build these next-generation chips.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • Spacecraft braking simulation marks key step towards real flight test
      Photo of earth from spaceThe discoveries of pioneers such as Columbus, da Gama, and Cook led to transportation across oceans and this paved the way for large scale human settlements on new continents. Similar to the trans-Atlantic boats of the past, advanced space transportation systems will take today’s pioneer missions into space further and allow for enhanced mobility of humans and cargo between Earth and space. The project AEROFAST supports these developments, refining aerocapture technology.

  • Success Stories
    • Down to earth energy
      Photo of La Fabrica del Sol in Barcelona Right under our feet there is a source of clean and efficient energy. La Fabrica del Sol in Barcelona is living proof. An old Catalan building dating back to the beginning of the last century, it was recently converted to become a shining example of energy efficiency. The building uses vertical geothermal energy to heat it in winter and cool it in summer. But there’s no need for volcanoes with the Mediterranean Sea right next door. Aniol Esquerra Alsius, an Industrial engineer at Ecoserveis explains the difference.

Monday, 10 February 2014

  • Events
    • 24th Annual International Society of Exposure Science Conference - 12-16 October 2014, Cincinnati, USA

      Our theme is Exposure Science Integration to Protect Ecological Systems, Human Well-Being, and Occupational Health. Our program will foster the integration of exposure science as applied to community, occupational, and ecological health as recommended by the NRC Exposure Science in the 21st Century. We plan to highlight the value that exposure science has brought to the protection of health and the environment and its growing importance in the face of such global threats of population pressure, climate change, nitrogen cycling, water and energy availability.

    • 50th Congress of the European Societies of Toxicology - 7-10 September 2014, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

      The Conference aim is to “Advance Science for Human and Environmental Health” and we have an exciting programme highlighting new and innovative science and current regulatory topics. There will be a mix of plenary and keynote lectures, symposia, workshops and a full continuing education programme. In addition, there will be interactive poster sessions and a dynamic trade exhibition. EUROTOX 2014 will be THE meeting place for toxicologists from around the world to come together to meet and discuss the key issues facing the discipline today.

    • The 11th International Congress on Noise as a Public Health Problem - 1-5 June 2014, Nara, Japan

      ICBEN 2014, the 11th International Congress on Noise as a Public Health Problem, will be held in Nara, Japan from 2014 June 1 to June 5. The Congress is co-organized by the Institute of Noise Control Engineering of Japan (INCE/J) and the Acoustical Society of Japan (ASJ) under the auspices of the International Commission on the Biological Effects of Noise (ICBEN). The organizers and the Organizing Committee of the Congress extend a warm welcome to all prospective participants worldwide and invite all to join us in Nara to discuss the latest advancements in biological effects of noise and noise policies....

    • BNCI Horizon 2020 Retreat - 24-26 March 2014, Hallstatt, Austria

      BNCI Horizon 2020 is an EU FP7 support and coordination action consisting of twelve partner institutions from the field of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) and brain/neural computer interaction (BNCI). The main aim of this project is to develop a roadmap for the BCI field with a special focus on industrial BCI applications and end users. The outcome of this project will influence the European Commission in their funding decisions for their new framework program Horizon 2020. At the BNCI Horizon 2020 Retreat, participants will discuss the future of BCIs. The BNCI Horizon 2020 consortium will present ideas and concepts for the roadmap, and participants will have the opportunity to provide input, feedback, and comments through keynote talks, targeted discussions, and workshops.

  • Research Headlines
    • A major leap forward in environmentally sound materials
      Photo of a forestAs the world focuses its efforts on the battle to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit the impact of global warming, one significant part of the solution could be the greater use of wood in the construction industry in place of other, less environmentally-friendly materials such as metal or plastic.

Week 6

Friday, 07 February 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • A cost-effective way of tackling soil pollution
      Photo of dry earthA new method for dealing with soil pollution has been developed which promises better environmental protection, reduced remediation costs and other economic benefits such as enhancing tourism prospects. Developed through the EU’s FP7 programme, the SORBENT project will also contribute to national and EU environmental policy objectives.

Thursday, 06 February 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • Helping young students help themselves
      Photo of a tired studentIn Europe, one in seven children will leave school or training early. Many subsequently struggle to find a job and end up psychologically stressed. Meanwhile, their unemployment also impacts society and carries economical costs. The European Union (EU) has set a benchmark to decrease early school leaving (ESL) rates to one in ten children by 2020 – and in February 2013, an EU-funded study was launched in nine countries to help achieve this goal.

  • Success Stories
    • UV-LEDs lower cost of water purification
      Photo of Doctors examining a patient New technology for water purification has been developed based on UV-LED and photocatalysis. The water purification device is the work of a research program which brought together a group of SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) and the Cork Institute of Technology.

Wednesday, 05 February 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • Crisis management - prevention, response and recovery
      Photo of a stormThe emergency response core service of the EU's Earth monitoring programme has been expanded, enabling better crisis management before, during and after emergencies often related to global climate change. Global climate change has far-reaching effects on land, waters and the atmosphere, increasing risk for natural disasters. Fires, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and landslides can all create humanitarian crises.

Tuesday, 04 February 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • Anti-cancer drugs customised for children
      One of the most common forms of cancer in children is acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, and the children affected have to rely on tablet-based treatments developed for adults. The European Union (EU)-funded LOULLA&PHILLA project designed a new range of anti-cancer drugs specifically aimed at children. The drugs ensure an appropriate safe dosage and are available in a flavoured oral liquid form to make it easier for parents to administer to children.

  • Success Stories
    • The gold standard for cancer treatment
      Photo of a gold nugget In the past, the best-known medical use of gold in the human body was probably limited to dental repairs, and even then considered by some to be a little ostentatious! But now, with the support of the EU, a multi-award-winning research project is demonstrating that gold can have unforeseen benefits in cancer treatment.

Monday, 03 February 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • Improving vision processing for space missions
      Photo of scientists over vehicle for planet explorationResearchers worked to improve on the robotic vision-processing tools available to explore planet surfaces. When unmanned space missions explore planets they have a limited time frame within which to collect data from surface or aerial vehicles. Improvements to their imaging capabilities can therefore maximise the information that researchers are able to collect from planetary surfaces.

  • Success Stories
    • Maps: Colouring in the Black Sea
      Photo of Doctors examining a patient What do microscopic molecules and huge computer grids have in common? They both build up giant scientific databases of ecosystems around the World. But it is a tricky process. This is the story of how researchers around the Black Sea are struggling to get the bigger picture out of tiny details. On the shores of the Danube River there is an unusual team. Romanian and Ukranian scientists are embarking on a common research trip.

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Recently Added Events
European Battery Cell R&I Workshop

11-12 January 2018, Albert Borschette Congress Center (CCAB) - Rue Froissart 36, 1040 Brussels

REWARD Final event

18 April 2018, Vienna, Austria

Tour d'Europe

29 January 2018, Sofia, Bulgaria

Measuring and Modelling Cell Migration

22-23 February 2018, Vienna, Austria

Tour d'Europe

25 January 2018, Turin, Italy

Life Sciences Baltics 2018

26-27 September 2018, Vilnius, Lithuania