H2020-funded Hydrokemos has built a plant to purify nitrate-polluted water with clean-tech equipment in Borrassà, Spain. Once operational, the plant will produce drinkable water to the city of Borrassà, the first town to use the new technology. Hydrokemos’ technology – called electrodenitrification – destroys nitrates dissolved in water, transforming them into air. The nitrates are entirely converted into N2 gas and oxygen – the basic components of air, which are of course environmentally harmless. The process produces no waste and the energy generated is re-inserted into the system – fully “closing the loop”. Algal bloom is a result of excess nutrients in water that boosts their explosive growth and decay, which consumes all the oxygen contained in water. Excess nutrients in water are almost always induced by a discharge of detergents, fertilisers and sewage into aquatic systems. Around 20% of European groundwaters are polluted by nitrates. Nitrates are common in the industry, chemistry or processes using nitric acid and in agriculture. Hydrokemos received an SME Instrument Phase 2 grant of over €1m in 2015, which helped them develop the plant. In January 2017 the company received another €500,000 in seed funding from Victòria Venture Capital. The post Hydrokemos to clean groundwater with clean-tech appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Two new projects aimed at demonstrating commercially innovative ways of harnessing solar and bioenergy will be built thanks to loans totalling €45m from the InnovFin Energy Demo Projects (EDP) facility, funded under Horizon 2020. Successful demonstration of these two projects will pave the way for future commercialisation of the technologies. The upcoming deals were announced today (21 December) in Brussels, Belgium, by Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas, alongside Ambroise Fayolle, vice-president of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Jean-Eric Petit, CEO of CHO-TIPER, and Frank Averdung, CEO of Oxford PV. Under the agreements, the French project CHO-TIPER will receive a loan of up to €30m to help finance an innovative gasification plant which will convert wood residues and commercial industrial waste into electricity and heat. Oxford PV, will get a €15m loan to set up a pilot production line for a new and highly efficient photovoltaic (PV) technology in Germany. Moedas said: “Every investment in renewable energy takes us a step closer to fighting global climate change while creating new sustainable jobs and economic growth in Europe. I am happy to see two renewable energy pioneers getting EU support, and I hope the list of beneficiaries will continue to grow next year to bring about the much-needed energy transition. Innovative clean energy technologies are essential to overcome financing gaps and reach the market.” The two deals follow the signing of a €10m InnovFin Energy Demo Projects loan in July 2016 with the Finnish company AW-Energy to build a full-scale demonstration unit of their WaveRoller concept in Portugal. The post H2020 projects boost renewables production appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
A UK-France collaboration has won €1.68m to speed their development of a gigapixel-resolution camera suitable for aerial surveillance applications. IMAO and Resolve Optics have been funded via the EU’s Horizon 2020 SME Instrument scheme. Limoges-based IMAO, which specialises in high-quality aerial imagery captured by its fleet of eleven aircraft, is partnering with high-specification lens maker Resolve Optics on the project. They won support via the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 2 funding scheme, which provides grants to small and medium-sized enterprises for near-to-market development. Thanks to the funding for the Aerial BCP2 project, the two firms are set to improve the resolution of their current 660-megapixel camera prototype to the gigapixel level. Resolve Optics said in a company release: ‘Using ultra-large-format, low-distortion lenses custom-designed by Resolve Optics, IMAO was able to create a prototype aerial surveillance camera. Its patented design, which associates three optical chambers, a matrix of sensors, and three ultra-large-format lenses, represents a disruptive development in the field of aerial data acquisition.’ The two companies say that the prototype camera is already capable of producing images up to three times larger than the standard image size generated by other large-format cameras on the market. It is able to deliver higher-quality images for use on Google Maps, construction sites and other mapping and surveillance projects. Among the other photonics companies to win support via the SME Instrument scheme in recent months are Poland-based SDS Optics, which is developing components for cancer detection, and Spain’s Voptica, whose ‘visual adaptive optics’ simulator is said to allow patients to experience the effect of intraocular lenses or laser surgery on their vision before the actual operation. The post UK-France to develop gigapixel surveillance camera appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
A total of 262 small and medium-sized (SMEs) companies have been selected for funding under the latest Horizon 2020 SME instrument. The total amount to be distributed to the companies under both phases of the programme is €114m. With this funding, companies will be able to finance their innovation activities ranging from feasibility studies to market launch. 69 SMEs were selected for funding in the SME Instrument Phase 2. The total amount to be distributed between the SMEs is €104.5m. In this phase of the SME Instrument, each project will receive up to €2.5m (€5m for health projects) to finance innovation activities like demonstration, testing, piloting and scaling up. 193 innovative SMEs were selected for funding under SME Instrument Phase 1. The total amount to be distributed between the SMEs working on 193 projects is €9.65m. In this phase of the SME Instrument, each project will receive a lump-sum of €50,000 to carry out a feasibility study. The SME Instrument is part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot that supports top-class innovators with funding opportunities and acceleration services. The main focus of the pilot is on market-creating innovation to improve productivity and international competitiveness and to generate new jobs and higher standards of living. The post EU invests in 262 SMEs appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
European Co-operation in Science and Technology (COST) has approved a strategy for a stronger position of research networks in Framework Programme 9 – the EU’s successor to Horizon 2020. COST’s governing board, the Committee of Senior Officials, chaired by COST President Professor Dr Sierd Cloetingh, in the presence of Director General Robert-Jan Smits (DG Research and Innovation, European Commission) approved the strategy that will drive COST through to the end of Horizon 2020 and beyond. Cloetingh said: “By approving this Strategic Plan, COST demonstrates the ambition to be in the heart of the European Research Area (ERA). COST is fully committed to continue serving as the open leading networking tool in the ERA, currently engaging 50,000 researchers and innovators. “Through the priorities set in this Strategic Plan and with an increased budget, COST will bridge the innovation divide. “Our strategy will increase access to research funding schemes for all researchers, including those from less research-intensive countries” COST will focus on three priorities, promoting and spreading excellent research, fostering interdisciplinary research for breakthrough science, and empowering and retaining young researchers and innovators. COST requests a budget of €600m for FP9. This translates into 75 funded Actions per Open Call and 625 running networks a year, more than doubling the current figure. With this Strategic Plan, COST responds to the needs of the research and innovation community and harnesses on its vital role as pre-portal to other parts of the ERA. The post COST governance approves FP9 strategy appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Today (19 December) the mandate of three members of the ERC Scientific Council since 2014, has been renewed. Members of the ERC are proposed by an independent Identification Committee and appointed by the European Commission. The renewal by the European Commission means the members will serve for another two years. The three members whose mandate has been renewed are: Professor Nils Stenseth, a research professor in ecology and evolution and chair of the Centre of Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES) at the University of Oslo, Norway; Martin Stokho, professor of philosophy of language at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) and the Department of Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and Michel Wieviorka, professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris) and chair of Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme, France. The ERC Scientific Council, composed of 22 distinguished scientists and scholars representing the European scientific community, sets the ERC strategy, selects the peer review evaluators and promotes innovative research. The post Renewal of mandate for ERC council members appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
EU-funded researchers have developed new bio-processes to create high-value chemicals from the waste resulting from biodiesel production. With this addition to the circular economy, their achievements promise a better and greener chemical industry. Biodiesel production to replace fossil fuels is a major element in the decarbonisation of transport and European policies on combatting climate change. However, while there are around 200 biorefineries making biodiesel in Europe, some 100 others are not operating because they are uneconomic. Sustainable biodiesel made from biomass such as crops or waste oils is more expensive than unsustainable diesel from oil wells. An important challenge is to find ways to make biorefineries more profitable. The EU-funded GRAIL project has investigated ways to transform the waste from biodiesel production into valuable chemical products that could add value to biorefinery’s operations. Crude glycerol (glycerine) is the main waste product, and Europe’s biodiesel biorefineries are currently producing vast amounts. Project co-ordinator Carles Estévez of the IUCT in Barcelona said: “GRAIL is partly about giving new life to a widely available waste material, but it is also more. “Sources of new green chemicals with new properties that are matched to economic needs could have huge potential.” A main goal of GRAIL is to offer biodiesel refineries a series of add-on processes to produce the widest variety of useful chemicals possible – thus maximising their profitability and sustainability. The chemical industry is central to the world economy, converting raw materials into tens of thousands of useful products. Europe is a major manufacturer and exporter of chemicals and plastics, and the sector supports millions of jobs. GRAIL has shown how a wide variety of high-value chemicals can be produced in a green and cost-effective manner without needing large investments. Its manufacturing processes are safe and avoid environmental harm. The post H2020-funded research creates chemicals from waste appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Rising populations and climate change are putting pressure on the water needed for agriculture, but a European solar powered irrigation system may reduce the amount that farmers use. Through the Horizon 2020 programme the EU is funding research into how to transition towards a green economy and society through eco-innovation. The idea is to strengthen innovative green technologies, processes, services and products and help them get to market. The funding will also feed into the EU’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 and improving energy efficiency by 27% over the same period. Agriculture accounts for almost 70% of the world’s water use, but with global populations expected to increase to nine billion by 2050, the demand for this resource will increase by an expected 55%. For dry climates, this is a huge challenge for the farmers – and those they feed. Dr Luis Narvarte, an associate professor at the Technical University of Madrid, Spain, who is studying the links between water and energy, said: “These countries need to keep producing food so the efficient use of water is key for the future.” Climate change is currently causing temperatures to rise adding stress to the water available in dry regions, while irrigation activity itself is also adding to the problem as the agricultural sector burns huge amounts of fossil fuel such as diesel to pump water around farms. The post Farmers rely on solar power in water crisis appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
The CERN-MEDICIS facility has produced radioisotopes for medical research for the first time. MEDICIS (Medical Isotopes Collected from ISOLDE) aims to provide a wide range of radioisotopes, some of which can only be produced at CERN thanks to the unique ISOLDE facility. These radioisotopes are intended for applications in hospitals and research centres across Europe. Progress in the use of radioisotopes for diagnosis and treatment has been made and MEDICIS will enable researchers to devise and test unconventional radioisotopes with a view to developing new cancer treatments. Thierry Stora, MEDICIS project co-ordinator, said: “Radioisotopes are used in precision medicine to diagnose cancers, as well as other diseases such as heart irregularities, and to deliver very small radiation doses exactly where they are needed to avoid destroying the surrounding healthy tissue.” A chemical element can exist in several variants or isotopes, depending on how many neutrons its nucleus has. Radioisotopes are naturally radioactive and ubiquitous in Nature. Other radioisotopes are not naturally available, but can be produced using particle accelerators. MEDICIS uses a proton beam from ISOLDE – the Isotope Mass Separator Online facility at CERN – to produce radioisotopes for medical research. The first batch produced was Terbium 155Tb, which is considered a promising radioisotope for diagnosing prostate cancer, as early results have recently shown. Radioisotopes are already widely used by the medical community for imaging, diagnosis and radiation therapy. However, many do not combine the most appropriate physical and chemical properties and, in some cases, a different type of radiation could be better suited. CERN-MEDICIS is an effort led by CERN with contributions from its dedicated Knowledge Transfer Fund, private foundations and partner institutes. It also benefits from a European Commission Marie Skłodowska-Curie training grant, which has been helping to shape a pan-European medical and scientific collaboration since 2014. The post New CERN facility to help cancer research appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.