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Published: 18 June 2015
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.
Published: 16 June 2015
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?
Published: 15 June 2015
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.
Published: 11 June 2015
Sustainable rural development can only be accomplished by empowering local people to participate in the development of new techniques themselves. In understanding the importance of irrigation for smallholder farmers, the EU-funded EAU4FOOD project has integrated locals within the innovation process.
Published: 5 June 2015
Developing numerical models for analysing the stability, efficiency and feasibility of floating wind turbines, the future of offshore wind power generation, was the remit of the EU-funded ICFLOAT project. Its innovative techniques are already being used to analyse other types of wind energy devices.
Published: 3 June 2015
An EU-funded project has developed a cheaper, energy-efficient and mercury-free water purification system that could be a viable alternative to current technologies in use. The breakthrough could help cut the costs of cleaning water for a range of industries - including aquaculture.
Published: 2 June 2015
Bridges, tunnels and other civil engineering structures could become safer thanks to self-repairing being developed as part of a European research project. Engineers at Ghent University in Belgium have taken a lead role in the pioneering work.
Published: 28 May 2015
Under your feet is something very ordinary but essential to life-soil. It grows the food we eat and regulates the water, carbon and nutrient cycles that shape our environment and climate. To help keep farming sustainable, EU-funded researchers have mapped out the long-term impacts of how farmers use soil, and developed a tool and guidelines to support best practices in farms.
Published: 20 May 2015
Noise pollution is still an issue on Europe's roads. But thanks to technological advances, it's less down to the sound of the car's engine and more about how tyres touch the road surface. One solution is being tested in Denmark where part of the road has been covered with experimental surface material that dampens the tyre noise.
Published: 23 April 2015