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Horizon 2020
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
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 Research Information Centre

Updated: Fri, 28 Nov 2014  

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 airplane
  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.

Picture of plant
  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.

Picture of robot and human arm
  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.

Photo of a girl with cancer
  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.

Photo of doctors performing an operation
  Tissue engineering: smart skin and bone substitutes
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.

Photo of a girl holding carrots
  Better fridges for a healthier life
In the food industry, a cold chain is a temperature-controlled supply chain that ensures and extends product shelf life. This chain is vital as 60% of the food we eat needs to be kept in cool temperatures to stay fresh. Despite its obvious need, refrigeration uses 8% of all energy and is responsible for 2.5% of greenhouse gas emissions globally. Reducing this energy use and its resulting emissions is crucial.

Photo of the ruins of the Recoleccion church at Antigua
  Revolutionary 'seismic wallpaper' can help brittle buildings withstand earthquakes
Historically a target for earthquakes, Italy has also become an epicentre in the search for ways to reduce or prevent the loss of life and property when these sudden and unpredictable events occur.

Photo of a young girl getting in a bus
  New intelligent bus system transports Europeans to the future
Through a unique approach of defining the bus system as a whole, rather than looking just at the vehicle, EBSF project team achieved major advances in the design of not only vehicles, but also infrastructure and operations.

Photo of a man in the rain
  Helping water utilities adapt to climate change
When a deluge strikes there's a risk that a city's sewers and storm water networks are unable to handle the volume of water - leading to overflows and flooding. In response, an EU-funded project has created an early warning system that allows city authorities and water utilities to take preventative action before sewer and storm water networks overflow and flood the streets - potentially saving lives and protecting homes and infrastructure.

Picture of male and female scientists working in laboratory
  The Euro-Asian collaboration unravelling the mysteries of ageing
Much as we try to evade it, age catches us all. But are there ways to reverse or slow down the ageing process at a cellular level? An international project examining the biological changes that occur inside our bodies looked at the role of stem cells in organs and tissues, which could lead to a radical new understanding of ageing.

Picture of Container Ship
  New horizons in international goods transport
Much as we try to evade it, age catches us all. But are there ways to reverse or slow down the ageing process at a cellular level? An international project examining the biological changes that occur inside our bodies looked at the role of stem cells in organs and tissues, which could lead to a radical new understanding of ageing.

Photo of seeaweeds
  Innovative textiles to boost EU seaweed farming
Seaweed is an important but under-exploited resource for food and feed ingredients, biochemicals and the production of biofuels. But it has been difficult to harvest efficiently on a large scale. Until now. The EU-funded AT~SEA project has developed advanced textiles that give high yields from floating seaweed farms and allow easy, mechanised cultivation.

Picture of the laptop on the banks of the river
  Waste: the final industrial frontier
Industrial waste can be an asset rather than an economic and environmental cost – the key is to find someone who can use it. An EU-funded project has demonstrated that establishing regional networks for waste by-products and materials is not only possible, but can be profitable for all involved.

Picture of fire
  New tests drive better fire safety protection for travellers
EU-funded researchers have developed new tests to help protect travellers from toxic gases in case of a train fire. Their work could lead to safer trains and help develop Europe-wide fire standards for public transport.

Photo of some business people at a casual meeting
  Cracking the code of the unspoken language
A Marie Curie research fellow, Oya Aran, has paved the way for the development of computer techniques that could automatically reveal meaning from body language and other visual cues, predict people's mood and help improve, she says, 'collective decision-making'. The scientist studied 100 people interacting in small groups, using computer vision, audio processing and 'machine learning' to detect dominance and emergent leadership.

Picture of biochemistry blood tests
  Creating a single European area for clinical research
Clinical trials - the tests of medicines, medical devices and treatments - are costly and complicated to carry out, especially when they involve groups in different countries.

Photo of flood water surrounding Tewksbury Abbey
  How local action can boost Europe's flood resilience
Rail lines swept away by floods in south-west England earlier this year demonstrated that Europe's flood defences need to be strengthened. What is needed are more flood-resilient buildings and infrastructure. An EU-funded project has developed guidance on how to integrate flood resilience into urban planning - helping to protect lives, communities and infrastructure.

Photo of a mine
  New tools to manage mining's impact
ImpactMin project team developed new methods and tools for monitoring the environmental impact of mining using remote sensing.

Photo of a woman in a train with a smartphone
  A smart platform for smoother city travel
Public transport users dread confusing connections and frustrating delays in cities. An EU-funded project brings together travel and traffic data, helping travellers get from A to B on time, with less stress.

Picture of computer screen
  Innovative research to assist start-ups with their growing pains
Most start-up enterprises face growing pains in their early years as scarce resources limit their ability to scale up fast enough, forcing them to operate at the periphery of the market. The European Union (EU)-funded project OrgGrowth is currently addressing this issue by finding ways for new ventures to better manage their scarce resources in the current economy, thus helping improve their chances of success.

Picture of a woman with open arms
  Helping clean city air through local initiatives
Although Europe's air quality has improved over the last 25 years, pollution is still prominent - particularly in cities. Cleaning the air is more difficult than before, as most people can no longer smell or see the pollution. However, the European Union (EU)-funded research project CITI-SENSE is harnessing novel technologies to detect contaminated air and share the data in real- time.

Photo of the Soufriere Hills Volcano in Montserrat and Plymouth
  Predicting the eruptions of unrestful volcanos
Volcanic eruptions are notoriously difficult to predict. Ground-breaking research by EU-funded scientists on the signs of volcanic unrest aims to improve eruption forecasts. Their work on the best ways to communicate such alerts could also help save lives.

Image of a t-cells
  Simulating the body's immune defences
T-cells are white blood cells that circulate in the body, scanning for cellular abnormalities and infections. Sometimes the detecting process goes awry and the T-cells mistakenly attack the body's own cells, which occur in autoimmune diseases, or they ignore harmful cells like cancer.

Blood samples in the lab
  Stem cell mysteries unravelled
Although stem cells are only microscopic in size, they contain tremendous promise. Through them deeper understanding can be gathered on how cancers progress and persist and, in the case of embryonic stem cells, they look set to become a powerful tool for regenerative medicine.

  Advanced genomics for livestock breeding, health and welfare
Europe is home to a high proportion of the world's leading animal breeding organisations. Research being carried out by an EU-funded QUANTOMICS project is helping these breeders to remain competitive in global markets.

  Tailoring web software to boost the European textile and clothing sector
Some of the world's most stylish, high quality and desirable brands are produced by Europe’s clothing and textile sector, which has struggled in recent years with competition from low cost, labour countries.

  Medical engineering: New non-metal 'bone-preserving' hip replacement
Hip operations are one of the most common medical procedures in Europe. But a significant number of replacements fail prematurely due to poor fitting and wear-and-tear issues. New non-metallic implants developed by European researchers potentially offer a longer lasting, less invasive, more biocompatible alternative which poses a lower risk to patients.

  Improved tsunami alert system through international partnerships
Tsunamis are not very frequent events, but they can have a terrible impact on human life and on the economy of a country. They occur as a result of earthquakes, usually at the bottom of the sea. But at present such earthquakes cannot be foreseen.

  Car collision avoidance sensors inspired by locusts
Efficiently detecting possible collisions is vital for the locust - an insect that often needs to quickly overcome big obstacles and avoid what might be, otherwise, a 'fatal crash'. The research team involved in the European Union (EU)-funded project NEURAL DEVELOPMENT has studied the insect's nerve circuits. The project results are expected to help develop highly accurate collision sensors in cars, surveillance technology and video games.

  Researchers document health impact of noise
Policymakers now have tangible evidence that living, working or studying in a noisy environment is not only annoying... it could also have a serious impact on your health, productivity and learning ability, according to EU-funded researchers. They have produced new guidelines to help policymakers address the problem.

  A vision of personalising medicine for epilepsy patients
EpiPGX is a FP7-funded project that brings together clinical researchers, geneticists and computational biologists from leading centres across Europe to link genomics and treatment outcomes for patients suffering from epileptic seizures. The project, led by Prof. Sanjay Sisodiya from the University College London, UK and running over four years, aims to ultimately contribute to a personalised medicine strategy for epilepsy patients.

  A quick fix for underground carbon storage
An EU-funded project has demonstrated technology to shorten the time carbon takes to mineralise underground - from thousands of years down to a few. Storing captured CO2 underground is made safer - opening the door to its wider use in preventing global warming.

  Smarter is better for systems manufacturers
In the race for new markets, electronics manufacturers have to produce ever smarter and more streamlined devices. An EU-funded project helps companies achieve this more cheaply and with less waste – a boost to their competitiveness.

  Finding new treatments for phantom pain
The European Union (EU)-funded project PLASTICITYINAMPUTEES has provided new insights into the ability of the brain to rewire its connections following the loss of a hand. The research work is expected to pave the way towards the development of rehabilitation techniques for both residual and intact limbs.

  Imaginative solution to lifelong learning
In today's rapidly changing economy, workers need to upgrade their skills constantly. Such continuous lifelong learning is essential to ensure Europeans have the complex problem-solving skills needed to remain employable and for companies to remain competitive. Backed by some of Europe's top universities, an EU-funded project has launched a free online course to teach these skills. Registration for the first course, which starts on 8 October 2014, is underway.

  Tapping into cleaner water
Freshwater is necessary for life, but climate change is adding pressure on this vital resource. The EU-funded PolarClean project has successfully tested new types of materials to remove stubborn pollutants so that wastewater can be safely reused.

  Sanitation gets social
Teams of social scientists and engineers are studying different areas of Latin America in an EU-funded project to discover how political processes, community engagement and appropriate technologies combine to deliver clean water and sanitation. The aim is to use the research to help deliver clean water and sanitation to local communities currently without adequate access.

  Pioneering research to promote sustainable forestry
The demand for wood products and services is increasing worldwide due to economic and climate policy driving forces. It is therefore imperative for experts in forestry research to develop a common framework which could facilitate interactions between different areas of expertise and the exchange of scientific knowledge.

  From agricultural waste to green energy
By far the most heated debate surrounding biofuels is the use of food crops to produce fuel, as the practice increases the competition for land and drives up the price of food . With a decade of research behind it, the European Union (EU)-funded project KACELLE has proven that crops such as wheat and maize do not necessarily need to be used in the increasing demand for energy.

  New research to help manage migration locally
In most European countries migration is particularly managed at the national level. The European Union (EU)-funded project, MIGRATION POLICY, has challenged the way in which research on migration studies is almost exclusively focused on national models and perspectives. The Marie Curie research fellow has shown that regional and city authorities are taking more responsibility in managing migration, thus helping change the way Europeans relate to their governments.

  Expanding insight into Alzheimer's disease
Chronic neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's, are all characterised by an inflammatory reaction within the brain. Until now, some of the factors behind this reaction have been unclear; however a European research fellow has identified a molecular system that contributes to the mechanisms regulating the progression of neurodegeneration. This could potentially lead to new therapeutic treatments to effectively combat the condition.

  Using satellites to get a closer look at erupting volcanoes
A European Union (EU)-funded project has developed a new satellite-based system to collect and disseminate information on volcanoes worldwide. Monitoring and studying active volcanoes on the ground can be difficult, dangerous or even impossible, particularly during an eruption. Without these accurate, real-time measurements, scientists cannot fully assess the hazards posed by lava flows and clouds of gases and ash.

  Cleaner, natural gas engines for ships
An EU-funded research project has developed a practicable natural-gas fuelling system for current diesel-powered ship engines. The breakthrough is good for the environment and people - while helping the shipping market meet more stringent EU rules on sulphur emissions.

  Protecting cultural heritage in Europe
Ancient and historical masterpieces are often exposed to the potential harmful effects of a changing environment or inappropriate restoration and handling. Until recently, the lack of a wider perspective of the heritage conservation activities in Europe, as well as the absence of a universally accepted code as to what constitutes best practice to conserve art and artefacts, have been limiting factors to the development of European research in this field.

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Other top stories

  Building new plastics with smart software

  Connecting scientists and citizens

  New test for sexually transmitted virus could reduce cancer risks

  Building Europe's leading information source for stem cell research

  Designing precision gas flows

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