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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cycling to the station, half an hour on the train, then five stops on the bus... it's all much easier if the transfers from one mode of urban transport to the next are seamless. An EU-funded project has produced guidance for the optimal design and management of interchanges.
The EU-funded project INSPIRATION aims to develop a European research roadmap on sustainable land management practices. The agenda would help focus Europe's research, supporting policymaking on environmentally friendly, socially acceptable and economically affordable soil and land use management.
Developing new anti-cancer treatments is expensive, and national, public funding organisations across Europe dedicate substantial resources to this task. Linking their research programmes helps to ensure these funds are used to best effect. Transcan is now continuing as the Transcan-2 network, fostering long-term transnational synergy.