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A fast, accurate and easy-to-use test for detecting high explosives, toxic chemicals and other small molecules is providing security services with a potentially life-saving tool in the fight against terrorism. Developed by EU-funded researchers, the innovative detection system has undergone successful field trials and is ready for widespread deployment.
Published: 27 July 2016
In war, there are rules - but sometimes countries decide that they don't apply. Colonial campaigns, for example, were often seen as exceptions. EU-funded research is studying several fought over a century ago. Ancient history? Hardly. Many aspects of this troubled past remain relevant to current debates as the world attempts to tackle terrorism.
Published: 26 July 2016
Inspired by nature, researchers and industry have teamed up to find new environmentally-friendly processes converting agricultural waste biomass into novel ingredients for industrial and consumer products such as a bio-based glue, domestic cleaners and beauty products.
Published: 25 July 2016
From insect and plant specimens to slides of fossil samples and microscopic life forms, Europe has an unparalleled wealth of natural history resources. Maintained by museums and institutes, collections are now being made accessible both physically and digitally by an EU-funded project that is helping democratise research and preserve these treasure troves of taxonomic data.
Published: 12 July 2016
New technologies are progressively changing the face of airport and border security. To contribute to this development, the EU-funded SNIFFER project took a page out of nature's book, using biomimicry to make detecting and analysing odours of persons, illegal substances and in particular explosives more efficient.
Published: 6 July 2016
The AircraftFire project is helping aircraft manufacturers and regulators better plan for and prevent fires with new aircraft designs that use composite materials. The data and integrated tool for predicting the consequences of an on-board fire are already available to manufacturers and regulators.
Published: 4 July 2016
Long journey? Electric car? Will you reach your destination before you run out of juice? Or will you have to recharge somewhere along the way? Range anxiety is one of the main bottlenecks slowing the advance of electromobility, but solutions are being found. On-road charging is a particularly promising approach, say EU-funded researchers.
Published: 1 July 2016
Coal-based power stations and industrial facilities are largely powered by harmful fossil fuels. If we replaced fossil fuels with solid biofuels, Europe would dramatically reduce its CO2 emissions. The EU-funded SECTOR project has optimised the production of new solid biofuels - so-called torrefied pellets. Standards to characterise the new properties are now being negotiated, and the product is ready for broad use.
Published: 30 June 2016
One spacecraft, five years or more, and over a billion stars - ESA's Gaia mission set out in 2013 to produce a three-dimensional map of the Milky Way. It will discover many new celestial objects in the process and provide astronomers with clues as to how our galaxy formed. An EU-funded training network involved 17 early stage researchers in this mission.
Published: 29 June 2016
An international team has developed a system that can exploit the widespread use of mobile electronic devices and social media to improve the official response to emergencies and other crises. An initial prototype has already proved very effective.
Published: 28 June 2016