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The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
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 Research Information Centre

Updated: Fri, 31 Jul 2015  

Here are some of the most recent articles to be published. Select a theme or country from the menus on the left to see more articles - or choose Headlines or Success stories from the menu above.

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Picture of the Paris metro sign
  Engineering safer cities
How can we guarantee the integrity of existing buildings while continuing to develop urban spaces? Professor Debra Laefer's ERC-funded project tackles fundamental problems at the interface between new engineering undertakings and building conservation. The research team will draw on a largely unmined data source to create a system to predict the degree of damage likely to be sustained by buildings as a result of tunnelling.

Photo of sunflower seeds
  Sowing the seeds for food security and plant conservation
Climate change is affecting plant life worldwide, with potentially disastrous effects for both wild and agricultural species. EU-funded researchers are studying the impact of higher temperatures and drought on seed quality in order to develop techniques for conserving wild plants, and for ensuring sustainable crop yields.

Picture of the radiology technician at work
  Taking pesticide contamination off the menu
Europe's smaller agri-businesses will soon be able to tell whether their products are within the EU's strict limits for pesticide residues without having to send samples to the laboratory. This is because an EU-funded project has developed a rapid, easy-to-use portable biosensor that offers testing up to 10 times cheaper than conventional means.

Photo of a child in hospital
  Advancing universal health coverage in Asia
Access to healthcare is a basic human need, but efforts to provide affordable public care in many developing nations have had mixed results. EU-funded researchers sought to find out why through a landmark evaluation of healthcare systems in six Asian countries. The conclusions highlight the influence of insurance schemes' affordability, understanding what motivates people to take out insurance policies, and how public money is spent.

Photo of a researcher
  Investing in Europe's bright future in fusion
The EU-funded FUSENET project created new learning opportunities for Europe's future fusion scientists by developing educational materials, organising internships and bringing academia and industry closer together. While the project may be officially over, the concept has been kept very much alive through the ever-expanding FUSENET Association.

Picture of the radiology technician at work
  Personalising breast cancer screening
Breast cancer is a leading cause of death for women, despite screening programmes cutting mortality rates. EU-funded researchers have developed new tools for personalised screening programmes to improve detection and prognosis - several of which are ready for use.

Picture of the blood sample in the laboratory
  Lymphocytes versus hepatitis B virus: caught in action
For the first time ever, two ERC grantees, Prof. Luca G. Guidotti and Dr Matteo Iannacone, have observed in vivo how specific white blood cells, so-called cytotoxic T lymphocytes, identify, target and attack liver cells that are infected with the hepatitis B virus. To witness these immune cells in action in real time, the two scientists developed advanced, dynamic imaging techniques. An estimated 240 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis B worldwide.

Photo of a welder at a factory
  Paints for places where a spark spells trouble
With the help of EU research funding, three small businesses have been able to take a concept for more efficient, cheaper types of paints for hazardous, explosive work areas, develop innovative products, and successfully bring them to market. The new paints also eliminate the need for the metal particles and solvents normally used in such products - removing a potential health hazard.

Photo of a car
  Silent e-cars speak up
Electric vehicles are quiet - too quiet, possibly. Pedestrians and other vulnerable road users don't always hear them coming. An EU-funded project has developed a solution. This innovative accident prevention system detects persons at risk and warns them by emitting a sound directed at them and them alone.

Photo of an industrial machine
  Intelligent approach to zero-defect manufacturing
EU-funded researchers are developing advanced technology for the manufacturing industry, aiming for zero-defect production of everything from aircraft parts to machine tools. Their work will increase efficiency, reduce waste, boost competitiveness and lower costs for European manufacturers, particularly small and medium companies.

Photo of ebola virus
  EU-funded study into virus mutations marks breakthrough in fight against Ebola
A major contribution to eradicating Ebola has been made by the EU-funded EVIDENT project. It has confirmed that the Ebola virus has mutated at a lower rate than feared during the recent outbreak in West Africa. This means that the new diagnostic methods, treatments and vaccines under development should still be effective in the fight to eradicate the disease.

Photo of big machinery in a dark mine
  A tunnel yields a whole lot of valuable materials
An EU-funded research project has developed a system to automatically analyse and sort materials from the soil and rock excavated during the boring of tunnels and other underground structures. The system will cut waste, help tunnelling companies generate additional revenues, and provide valuable materials to industry, say the researchers.


  What cosmic rays tell us about thunderstorms on Earth
When Prof. Heino Falcke obtained an ERC grant to study and identify the sources of ultra-high energy cosmic rays, back in 2008, he could not imagine that his research would provide an important clue to better understand lightning and thunderclouds much closer to us.

  How disability can pioneer architectural innovation
Disability is often associated with access legislation rather than a source of creativity for architects. With her ERC grant, Prof. Ann Heylighen wanted to reverse this perspective. Her findings suggest that disability can be a valuable source of innovative solutions in architecture by extending prevailing ways of understanding space and designing buildings.

  Automated transportation in the (driverless) seat
Advances in driverless vehicle technology could revolutionise the way we travel. An EU-funded project is working to develop a prototype automated transport system for urban areas with low passenger numbers.

  Delivering the goods
Income from e-sales in the EU in 2013 accounted for 15% of total turnover, and if estimates are correct, e-commerce will grow. However, this growth brings with it an increase in freight transport, especially in urban areas, which in turn contributes to air and noise pollution as well as traffic congestion.

  New research on the causes of heat stroke
Experts predict that, in the coming years, a higher frequency and intensity of heat waves could lead to an increase of fatalities in the elderly population. To help prevent this, a Marie Curie research fellow, Dr. Andreas D. Flouris, studied and explained the sequence of events leading to heat stroke. His research work was as part of the EU-funded project THERMOMICS.

  Biomarkers for personalised breast cancer treatment
In Europe, some 463 000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, making it the most common form of cancer in women. Depending on certain conditions, different drug combinations will be more - or less - effective. The EU-funded RESPONSIFY project has identified these conditions.

  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.

  Booster shots for historical buildings
Looking at Europe's flamboyant cathedrals, it is easy to forget that even stone does not last forever. Without effective conservation, gargoyles erode, stained glass shatters, and choir stalls eventually rot. EU-funded researchers have produced innovative compounds to protect our cultural heritage.

  Singling out sarcomas
Luckily, sarcomas are rare - but this also means that very few clinical trials have investigated better ways to tackle these malignant tumours. The fact that there are many types of sarcoma, which respond to treatment in very different ways, adds to the difficulty of organising such studies. An EU-funded cancer research project has taken up the challenge in a bid to develop targeted treatments.

  Home-grown rubber to keep tyres turning
EU-funded research has shown that natural rubber from home-grown dandelions and guayule could be used for tyres. Researchers and industry are now working together to scale up production - paving the way for Europe to reduce its dependence on rubber imports and to boost competitiveness.

  Beating the clock in diabetes prevention
If you are at risk of developing diabetes, it will come as no surprise if your doctor suggests you keep an eye on your weight and step up your physical activity. A number of lifestyle aspects are known to play a role. Other insights are only just emerging: new EU-funded research highlights the importance of living in sync with your body clock.

  A prescription for venom
Snake venom could turn out to be good for you. An EU-funded project shows how researchers can unlock the medical benefits of venom more quickly, promising breakthrough treatments for health problems such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

  Computer modelling for safer nanotechnologies
Advances in nanomaterials and nanotechnologies promise to revolutionise many aspects of modern life. The mathematical-modelling project Nanotranskinetics investigated the health hazards posed by nano-sized objects, developing paradigms to develop a computer model of a human organ.

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  Social protection in an unpredictable economy


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