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What was new in the last 3 weeks

Week 51

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

  • Environment
    • New page on nature-based solutions
      Nature-based solutions are understood as living solutions inspired by, continuously supported by and using nature, which are designed to address various societal challenges in a resource efficient and adaptable manner and to provide simultaneously economic, social and environmental benefits. This new page presents five examples.

  • Evaluation and Monitoring
    • New studies on FP contributions published
      Two new studies have been published. One is a "Study on assessing the contribution of the Framework Programmes to the development of human research capacity" and the other a "Study on Assessing the Research Management Performance of Framework Programme Projects".

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

  • Press Centre
    • Major contract to support new pan-EU pension fund
      The European Commission has made a key step on the way to establishing a new pan-European pension arrangement, designed to boost research mobility in Europe. It announced today (16 December 2014) the award of a four-year, €4 million framework contract in support of creating RESAVER (Retirement Savings Vehicle for European Research Institutions).

  • Research Headlines
    • New surgical tool minimises cross-contamination risk
      Sometimes a simple cast is not enough to fix a broken bone. Surgery may instead be necessary to insert a nail into the bone and stabilise it. An EU-funded project has developed a prototype of a surgical tool for such operations that will help prevent potential cross-contamination. Thanks to a novel welding method, the new tool does not have any crevices where bacteria can hide and is also easier to clean than traditional tools.

Monday, 15 December 2014

  • Events
    • Stress Biology and Crop Fertility Conference - 18-22 March 2015, Sorrento, Italy
      We are pleased to announce the 3rd Conference organized in the framework of the SPOT-ITN project (Marie Curie Actions, Initial Training Network, EU Grant Agreement No 289220).
      The conference will bring together approximately 20 speakers of outstanding international reputation and different background covering various scientific aspects and the young scientists of the SPOT-ITN consortium.
      Speakers will provide an overview of recent developments and approaches in the field and will share with the audience their thoughts and ideas for future avenues in their research.
      We hope this symposium will attract not only established scientists, but also international graduate students and postdocs interested in the field.
      Topics include: Global Stress Response - Hormone Signalling - Sexual Plant Reproduction - Epigenetic Regulation of Plant Reproduction - Metabolic, Proteomic and Genomic Networks in Stress and Development.
      Abstract for Poster and Oral presentations are welcome and registration for all interested participants are now open.

  • Research Headlines
    • EU research helps fish farmers become more competitive
      Aquaculture holds the promise of reducing the need to catch wild fish. Global demand for fish is increasing, putting many species in danger from overfishing. Fish farming, or aquaculture, is taking some of the pressure off these stocks - half of the fish consumed globally is now produced at fish farms.

Week 50

Friday, 12 December 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • Cutting waste and maximising output in the mussel industry
      The European Union (EU)-funded research project MusselsAlive has created better methods for handling, transporting, storing and reducing waste in the mussel industry. In particular, the team has developed new holding systems that can help keep the mussels fresher for longer on their journey to the consumer.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • New analysis aids planning for climate change
      A detailed picture of European weather patterns over the past decades is now emerging thanks to an EU-funded project to re-analyse historical records. The results will help governments plan for climate change by better understanding past trends and extreme events.

  • Success Stories
    • Faster, more accurate flood warnings through EU research
      Timely flood alerts and real-time monitoring of flood emergencies can save lives and prevent damage to property, infrastructure and the environment. Imprints, WeSenseIt and UrbanFlood are just three examples of EU-funded projects that have developed unique forecasting and alert systems to warn communities of impending floods.

    • Good vibrations
      Thoroughly analysing the vibrations made by a machine can help diagnose its mechanical state of health. In Turin, Italy, a European research project aims to understand the vibrations made by machine tools. The idea is to use the data gathered by a network of sensors to forecast and therefore prevent breakdowns.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

  • Events
    • Welfare, Wealth and Work in Europe, Joint OECD – WWWFOREUROPE workshop - 10 December 2014, Paris

      The OECD and WWWforEurope have cooperated on a workshop exploring "How to further enhance Welfare, Wealth and Work in Europe?". "New Approaches to Economic Challenges" (NAEC) and WWWforEurope have many points in common: They share a broad, multi-dimensional approach and aim to provide a basis to inform policy-making on long-term social, economic and environmental challenges. On December 10th, 2014 a joint OECD – WWWforEurope workshop, organized by the Permanent Delegation of Austria to the OECD and WIFO, took place in the OECD headquarters in Paris. Members from the WWWforEurope consortium presented findings of the work carried out so far, as well as central topics and also controversial themes from the project. The attending stake-holders and OECD representatives engaged them in lively discussions.

  • Research Headlines
    • Saving time, saving lives: monitoring cancer treatments
      Is a cancer treatment working? Often doctors won’t know for months. By developing a new technique that quickly reveals a tumour through its metabolic consumption of glucose, an EU-funded project has reduced that delay. This gives doctors precious time in which to switch to a more effective treatment if necessary – potentially saving lives.

Tuesday, 09 December 2014

Monday, 08 December 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • Researchers design a Mars rover that can choose its own paths
      In more than 15 years since the first vehicle drove on the surface of Mars, no rover has had the ability to make its own decisions about where to go and what objects to examine. This has limited rovers' capacity to explore a planet with varied landscapes that include sand dunes, steep cliffs, or valleys deeper than the Grand Canyon. The European Union (EU)-funded project PRoViScout has developed a navigation system that enables a rover to decide on its own which geological features to inspect.

Week 49

Friday, 05 December 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • EU research turning food waste into feed
      Global demand for food is expected to increase by 70% by 2050, while a steep increase in biomass use will also put pressure on agriculture. Feeding the world without damaging the environment is the focus of World Food Day 2014 - and the goal of several EU-funded research projects.

Thursday, 04 December 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • Electric cars in the driving seat
      An Italian-led European consortium is piloting an assembly line for a small electric car developed in an EU-funded project. The vehicle sets new standards for quality, efficiency and safety in the booming market for 'micro' electric vehicles.

  • Success Stories
    • Promising technologies to reduce power plant emissions
      Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology has the potential to help the European Union (EU) significantly cut its greenhouse gas emissions. However, efficient and reliable pre-combustion capture technologies that can reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel power plants at low cost are still missing.

    • Uniting experts in accelerator technology
      Physicists use particle accelerators to study the nature of matter and energy. These large machines guide charged particles through a magnetic field in a hollow evacuated tube and accelerate them by an electric field.

Wednesday, 03 December 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • Clean bill of health for electric cars
      Could electric cars cause cancer? Like all electric devices, and indeed like all motor vehicles, they do produce electromagnetic fields. However, these fields are far too weak to give cause for concern, say EU-funded scientists at the end of a comprehensive research project.

  • Success Stories
    • Improved predictions to protect Europe's coastlines
      In February 2010, Atlantic storm 'Xynthia' swept across Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, causing around 60 deaths and extensive damage to property due to flooding. As this and more devastating examples have shown, we are no longer able to rely on engineering alone to protect us from storm hazards.

    • Exploring nano-scale scaffolds for mending damaged hearts
      EU-funded researchers have used advanced nanomaterials to engineer heart tissue, and have explored the development of innovative stem cell-based therapies that could greatly improve the recovery rates of people who have suffered heart attacks. The researchers have made some preliminary tests on rats, the basis for further study. An automated microscope and software developed in the project are currently being commercialised.

Tuesday, 02 December 2014

  • Success Stories
    • Smarter and safer transport in Europe
      Composite materials have become increasingly important in improving our quality of life as they are widely used in flight vehicles, cars, boats, pipelines, buildings, roads, bridges, and dozens of other products. More and more, researchers are finding new ways to improve the numerous qualities of composites so they may be strong, lightweight, durable and cheap to produce.

    • Adapting to climate change, Mediterranean style
      Climate change is global - but affects people locally. An EU-funded project is giving Mediterranean businesses and local governments the information they need to plan ahead by taking the impact of local climate change into account. The project is also helping to build a Europe-wide climate information service.

Monday, 01 December 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • New aviation communications system ready for take-off
      Flight trials have demonstrated technology that gives aircraft fast connectivity to multiple data sources. While passengers get fast internet, pilots and flight computers can access real-time air traffic information and communicate more easily with the ground and other planes. And it is the first research project in Europe to demonstrate a new wireless protocol developed specifically for the air industry.

  • Success Stories
    • Safer cruise ships thanks to EU-funded research
      The Costa Concordia and South Korean Sewol ferry tragedies have highlighted the importance of safety in passenger shipping. Thanks to EU-funded research, evacuating large passenger ships should be smoother and safer in future. EU-funded researchers are also helping to design more stable cruise ships and ferries.

    • How research is keeping food fresh
      Around one third of all food for human consumption is lost or wasted along the supply chain according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). A European Union (EU)-funded research project, NovelQ, has developed new processing technologies to keep food fresh over a longer period of time, potentially saving the billion tonnes of meat, fish, fruit and vegetables that might end up being thrown away each year.

    • Energy-efficient factories with 'water-powered' machines
      The European Union (EU)-funded project MultiTERM has brought together highly qualified scientists to create 'smart materials', such as skin and bone substitutes, to replace and repair damaged tissues. The EU's rapidly rising elderly population stands to benefit from these materials that include gels, artificial skin and cartilage.

Week 48

Friday, 28 November 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • Harnessing 3D imagery for early tumour detection
      More than three million people in Europe are diagnosed with some form of cancer every year, and despite the advances in science, there is still much to learn about this disease. The European Union (EU)-funded research project ENTERVISION is developing a new way of harnessing radiotherapy, using 3D digital imagery, to provide earlier tumour detection and more effective treatments.

  • Success Stories
    • The artificial hand that 'feels' like a real one
      As far as medical research has come towards treating illness and injury, doctors and technicians have yet to develop an artificial hand that can give amputees the sensation of having a natural hand. This could be on the verge of changing. A team of EU-funded researchers has invented a prosthetic hand that has all the basic features of a real hand, and that amputees can actually feel.

    • Study reveals plant growth ticks to circadian rhythm
      Just like humans, plants have an internal 24-hour clock known as the circadian rhythm. This innate timer helps them regulate their different metabolic processes by synchronising them with the Earth's day and night cycle. It is also of the utmost importance for healthy plant growth, the European Union (EU)-funded project TiMet (or 'Linking the clock to metabolism') has now shown.

    • Encouraging small business innovation in aeronautics
      While the aeronautics industry tends to be dominated by major corporations, hundreds of specialised small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from across Europe provide the sector with essential applications and bespoke technologies.

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