Millions of Europeans undergo abdominal surgery each year to treat a range of different disorders, from cancer and heart disease to obesity. EU-funded researchers are developing innovative micro-robotics and micro-system technologies to make such surgeries less complicated, invasive and costly.
Surgical procedures have improved rapidly in recent years aided by technology that is gradually making the surgeon's scalpel a thing of the past - increasingly replaced by robotics, miniature devices and innovative procedures that have fewer health risks, speed patient recovery and leave less scarring. But there is always room for further improvement.
Remember high school physics class? Trawling through text books, grappling with complex theories and little, if any, hands-on experimentation. Many students across Europe could be forgiven for describing physics as a boring subject. But that is now set to change thanks to an EU-funded project that is bringing 'inquiry-based learning' (IBL) to the physics classroom.
The "Human Brain Project" will create the world's largest experimental facility for developing the most detailed model of the brain, for studying how the human brain works and ultimately to develop personalised treatment of neurological and related diseases. This research lays the scientific and technical foundations for medical progress that has the potential to will dramatically improve the quality of life for millions of Europeans.
You might think that such a new 'wonder material' would lie outside your everyday experience, but graphene is the exception. When you write or draw with a pencil, the graphite (the 'lead' of the pencil) slides off in thin layers to leave a trail - the line on the paper. Carbon's ability to form a thin layer of molecules is what makes graphene special - and scientists are starting to explore the possibilities for electronics and computing of carbon grids that are just one molecule thick.
This publication presents the results of a group of more than sixty experts. With concrete case studies, the report shows that gender differences, in terms of needs, behaviours and attitudes, play an important role in research design/content, and hence, the societal relevance and quality of research outcomes. It also reveals that these differences may vary over time and across different sectors of society, thus requiring gender specific analyses. The report provides tools and guidance that will be useful to researchers when preparing proposals for Horizon 2020. Further case studies from EU and international research can be found on the Gendered Innovations website, which was created in cooperation with Stanford University.
You may be good at maths, art or sport, but you are probably not great at all three. The same is probably true of the region where you live, where the strengths of local industries rely on a unique combination of resources, knowledge or expertise.
As a major provider of research funding, the European Union is seeking to build on these regional and sectoral strengths in order to drive growth and prosperity across the 28-nation bloc.