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

Updated: Mon, 29 Jun 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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Photo of man watching old photographs
  A roadmap for jumping ahead of degenerative disease
Across Europe, researchers are trying to reduce the impact of neurodegenerative diseases on sufferers and society alike. An EU-funded project has set out a roadmap to better coordinate this work - helping scientists target the right research areas and access the best resources.

Photo of women during rice massage
  Extracting healthy ingredients for food and cosmetics from rice starch
EU-funded researchers are extracting small pieces of protein from rice starch by-products for 'superfoods' and new cosmetics. These 'magic' molecules could add a healthy twist to baby food, sports protein supplements and products for sufferers of coeliac disease. An engineered human skin eliminating any need for animal testing could also be on the market within two years.

Photo of boy in headphones
  Finding the link between language and perception
Language is at the heart of everyday communication. But we don't all understand language in the same way, with prior information, age and cognitive ability playing a key role. An EU-funded network is studying how people in different ability and age groups perceive language. Its projects are developing tools and training software that could help people with disorders like autism communicate better.

Illustration of a car
  A safer, cheaper, greener Li-ion for electric cars
An EU-funded project has developed innovative components, chemical technologies and manufacturing processes for cheaper, more-dependable and greener Lithium-ion batteries. These breakthroughs promise to boost competitiveness among European battery and electric vehicle manufacturers.

Photo of a group of people dining
  Conflicted consumers: anxiety and food decisions
Surveys such as the 2010 Eurobarometer show that people around Europe are worried about what they eat and where it comes from. But what causes this? And does it affect behaviour? An EU-funded project studied consumer choices about shopping, cooking and eating - offering a more accurate picture of what shapes their decisions. The results could lead to better-informed policies on health, sustainability and business.

Photo of agricultural machine while working in the field
  Less does more with smart irrigation
Farming consumes around 70% of the world's fresh water. Limiting irrigation to the actual water crops need - and no more - makes farming more sustainable and improves yields. An EU-funded project is developing a user-friendly precision irrigation decision support system for more accessible technology that saves water. A first interface will be available next year.

Picture of power plant smokestacks at sunset
  Putting health risk on a map
Asthmatics already know that certain weather conditions can leave them short of breath. If sufferers of this and other diseases had access to an alert system warning of environmental conditions that could put them at risk, lives might be saved. The EO2HEAVEN project has done the groundwork for such a system. It is already in use to some extent in Germany, South Africa and Uganda.

Photo from a fish market
  Smart labels make food safety stick
Have you ever stared at packaged meat from your fridge or freezer and wondered if it's still good to eat? Thrown out food because you just weren't sure? Smart labels could help to set your mind at rest. An EU-funded project has developed innovative stickers to do just that.

Picture of cars covered in snow
  Turning sea water into drinking water
The world needs more drinking water, without damaging ecosystems, and the sea is one possible source. EU-funded researchers are developing a self-cleaning filter membrane for desalination plants that cuts their energy use, waste and maintenance costs compared to those of existing filters.

Picture of cars covered in snow
  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.

Photo of a wine glass
  Better timing, better grapes, better wine
Ripe, but not too ripe; sweet, but still a bit tart - to make outstanding wine, grapes must be harvested when they are at their best. Choosing the right moment is one of the key decisions of the winemaking process. The WinePen, a low-cost handheld device developed by the EU-funded PREMIVM project, can help. It is based on innovative techniques that can give winegrowers the information they need much faster than conventional tools.

Picture of coal power plant
  Clean and efficient CO2 capture
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology has the potential to help the EU significantly cut its greenhouse gas emissions. However, a lack of low-cost and energy-efficient capture technologies is hampering their take-up. EU-funded researchers have developed new CCS technologies to produce efficient and cost-effective electrical power from fossil fuels with near-zero emissions. One solution has been patented, while another is being prepared for market.

Photo of a researcher explaining how the process works
  Slick operation: new device to remove oil from troubled waters
Marine oil spills can be extremely difficult to deal with, requiring a lot of time and effort by experts to remove the pollutant from the surface of the water.

Photo of a group of teens
  What happens in teenagers' brains
Adolescence is marked by significant physical, cognitive and socio-emotional changes. Despite these well-known developments, the neural mechanisms supporting this phase of growth in the life of human beings remain unknown. Prof. Eveline Crone has carried out for the first time a longitudinal study to investigate the brain processes underlying the behaviour of teenagers.


  Salamanders: unearthing the mystery of limb regeneration
Cellular regeneration allows wound healing in humans but in other vertebrates such as salamanders, it goes a step further: they can regenerate their limbs in their full complexity of bones, nerves, muscle and skin and can do it over and over again. Prof. Elly Tanaka studies these amazing capacities and, mirroring the process, has successfully grown a piece of mouse spinal cord in vitro.

  A new harvest for Africa
Where water is scarce, it makes sense to make the most of what you receive for free. An EU-funded project is studying the different ways Africa's farmers can increase the volume of rain and river water collected, to improve crop yields and bridge dry spells.

  Solar cells: on the road to a technological revolution
The Sun provides a steady source of power that could make solar energy a sustainable alternative to conventional sources of energy, provided that technological advances can actually reduce energy production costs. Prof. Michael Gratzel modified the composition of dye-sensitized solar cells to significantly increase their efficiency, including for indoor use. His result laid the ground for paradigm shifts that could revolutionise solar cells technology.

  Taking tailbacks and gridlock out of major events
From sporting events to festivals and concerts, the most successful are those that leave participants talking about the event itself - not overcrowded busses that delayed arrival or gridlock on the roads afterwards.

  What you make is important, but also how you make it
Faster, greener and more sustainable: our world is thirsty for innovative processes that meet these demanding criteria. While natural resources can offer part of the solution, the biggest challenge lies in cleaning-up chemical synthesis. Prof. Georgios Vasilikogiannakis and his team have been looking for answers.

  Lighter and cheaper aircraft parts on course for industry take-off
Lighter aircraft parts are on the runway following the development of new, cheaper and faster manufacturing methods by EU-funded researchers. The technology puts European industry on course to produce high performance, lighter parts at lower cost, and will eventually make possible increased payloads and decreased emissions.

  Our impact today on tomorrow's world
Most of our actions can have an impact on the environment, be it minor, long-lasting or simply irreversible. But how can this effect be measured, avoided, predicted? What are the specificities of long-term risks and how can collective decisions be taken effectively to tackle those threats?

  Towards (nutritious) food for all
The world produces enough food for everyone, and yet hunger and malnutrition endure. Why is this so, how will the situation evolve, and what can be done to achieve food and nutrition security for all? An EU-funded project is generating new knowledge and preparing recommendations for policy-makers.

  Propelled towards more efficient ships and boats
An EU-funded project shows that alternative propulsion systems and new hull designs could improve the efficiency of ships and barges by at least 15%. More efficient vessels will help to keep prices - and emissions - down.

  Tapping Europe's mineral potential to increase competitiveness
The development of an advanced pan-European raw material database is helping mining companies identify untapped sources, thus reducing our reliance on imports. In addition, new cleaner processing technologies promise to make Europe's mining industries more competitive, creating jobs.

  Why buy when you can 'servicize'?
In industrial societies, consumption has traditionally been an end in itself. Growth is achieved by selling more products, but often also results in unnecessary waste, resource depletion, pollution and other environmental damage. It doesn't have to be this way. Research by an EU-funded project indicates that a switch to a more service-oriented approach could be better for the environment and society as a whole, while boosting growth and competitiveness.

  Furthering knowledge sharing in policy-making
Effective, evidence-based policy-making requires contributions from various sources. So-called 'knowledge brokering instruments' can boost the sharing of the necessary information and knowledge between stakeholders, policy and science. Choosing water policy as the focal point, the EU-funded project PSI-CONNECT put knowledge brokering activities to the test.

  Cutting costs in aircraft repair and maintenance
Aircraft maintenance companies are under a great deal of financial pressure from carriers, which require consistent and low cost repairs using high quality processes and spare parts. EU-funded researchers studying future repair and maintenance say digital manufacturing technologies will put increased automation and fewer production stages within grasp. The result could be more competitive providers, cheaper flights and fewer emissions.

  More personalised approach to fighting cancer
EU-funded researchers are developing innovative tools and 'liquid biopsy' techniques to improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer by targeting the detached tumour cells that cause the vast majority of deaths. Once validated and commercialised, their approach promises to lead to more effective and personalised care for cancer patients.

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