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45 SMEs from 19 countries have been selected in the latest round of the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument (Phase 2). The 30 chosen projects will each receive between €0.5m and €2.5m to bring their product from the pilot phase to the market. Health projects will receive up to €5m. The participating SMEs will also benefit from 12 days of business coaching. Among the successful projects are Colodetect, which aims to develop a novel blood-based diagnostic test for colorectal cancer; HTPush, which is intended to set up a universal and compatible system for plumbing and heating; and AquaSHIELD, which hopes to protect people against contaminated water via the creation of a water quality firewall. A total of 1,090 project proposals were submitted under Phase 2 of the SME Instrument by 25 November, the fourth and final cut-off date for 2015. UK SMEs proved the most successful with seven beneficiaries and €10m in funding; Italy followed with six SMEs and a €4.3m total investment. Altogether, 356 SMEs have been selected under Phase 2 of the SME Instrument since the programme’s launch on 1 January 2014. The post 45 SMEs secure SME Instrument funding appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
With a deadline of 11 March 2016 the first AQUAEXCEL2020 (AQUAculture infrastructures for EXCELlence in European fish research towards 2020) call for access is now open. The AQUAEXCEL2020 project invites proposals from European research groups and unites major aquaculture experimental facilities with the capacity to undertake trials on a selection of aquaculture species and system types. These installations are available to the research community for transnational access with the support of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The facilities cover the range of production systems including cage, pond, recirculation, flowthrough, hatchery and disease challenge; environments  including freshwater, marine, cold, temperate and warm water; scales (small, medium and industrial scale); fish species (salmonids, cold and warm water marine fish, freshwater fish and artemia); and fields of expertise (nutrition, physiology, health and welfare, genetics, engineering, monitoring and management technologies). Researchers can propose the visits of up to two people to the chosen research infrastructure for periods of up to three months. Access to the research infrastructures and associated travel and subsistence expenses will be paid for under the project. The research infrastructure project began in October 2015 and will look to conclude in September 2020. It is co-ordinated by the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), France, and currently involves 22 research partners from 12 countries. It aims to achieve sustainable growth in Europe’s aquaculture sector. The post AQUAEXCEL2020 call for access open appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
With a deadline of 11 March 2016 the first AQUAEXCEL2020 (AQUAculture infrastructures for EXCELlence in European fish research towards 2020) call for access is now open. The AQUAEXCEL2020 project invites proposals from European research groups and unites major aquaculture experimental facilities with the capacity to undertake trials on a selection of aquaculture species and system types. These installations are available to the research community for transnational access with the support of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The facilities cover the range of production systems including cage, pond, recirculation, flowthrough, hatchery and disease challenge; environments  including freshwater, marine, cold, temperate and warm water; scales (small, medium and industrial scale); fish species (salmonids, cold and warm water marine fish, freshwater fish and artemia); and fields of expertise (nutrition, physiology, health and welfare, genetics, engineering, monitoring and management technologies). Researchers can propose the visits of up to two people to the chosen research infrastructure for periods of up to three months. Access to the research infrastructures and associated travel and subsistence expenses will be paid for under the project. The research infrastructure project began in October 2015 and will look to conclude in September 2020. It is co-ordinated by the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), France, and currently involves 22 research partners from 12 countries. It aims to achieve sustainable growth in Europe’s aquaculture sector. The post AQUAEXCEL2020 call for access open appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Researchers from Tohoku University in Japan have discovered the superconductivity of graphene whilst kept in its original state. With a seemingly limitless array of uses, the ‘wonder material’ has previously been made superconductive by being coated with lithium; now graphene’s ability to conduct electricity with zero resistance has been achieved without modification. This can lead to numerous new electronic devices, power lines, and significant decreases in energy wastage as a result of excess heat from the grid. Although the discovery was made at an extremely cold temperature of -269°C, researchers believe that this superconductivity could pave the way for the development of computers and other devices capable of transporting electrons without heat or energy wastage. A spokesperson for the university said: “This is significant because electrons with no mass flowing with no resistance in graphene could lead to the realisation of an ultimately high speed nano-electronic device. The latest results pave the way for the further development of ultra-high speed superconducting nano devices, such as a quantum computing device, which utilises superconducting graphene in its integrated circuit.” Whilst there is still more work to be done to make this discovery effective, graphene – graphite with a thickness of just a single atom – continues to impress the world of scientific materials. The post Graphene used as superconductor appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
The 2016 edition of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology’s (EIT) Innovation Forum INNOVEIT is to take place in Budapest, Hungary, on 25-26 April. INNOVEIT combines the EIT Awards and the EIT Stakeholder Forum and has a specific focus on joining forces for innovation in Europe. The two-day event will explore collaboration opportunities between the EIT, KICs and other initiatives and activities in the area, and aims to showcase concrete innovations emerging from the EIT community, engage in dialogue with innovation stakeholders on synergies with other EU programmes, and present the next generation of entrepreneurs and change agents. It is expected to bring together more than 300 participants, among them entrepreneurs; representatives from higher education and research; EU, national and regional policy makers; and entrepreneurial graduates. The EIT Alumni CONNECT event, the annual forum for EIT graduates to meet and network, will take place in the lead up to INNOVEIT. Registration will open at the beginning of March. The post EIT announces INNOVEIT 2016 appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
The dRedBox consortium has been awarded €6.4m in EU funding under Horizon 2020 to develop a next-generation cloud computing server. The new dRedBox design aims to speed up memory access using fibre-optic connections while lowering electric power consumption by up to 20%. It is expected to lead to faster processing, better resource allocation and overall lower costs. Data centres in Ireland currently use 7% (414MW) of all electricity generated, a figure which is set to more than double by 2020. A 20% reduction in data centres’ electricity consumption would have an environmental benefit equal to removing 150,000 cars from Irish roads. “Kinesense is delighted to be part of shaping the future of the Cloud,” said Dr Mark Sugrue, chief technology officer at the Irish-based company, which is part of the consortium. “Our role is to develop our video investigation solutions on the new dRedBox system and prove its efficiency. [What] this means for our customers is faster servers and lower running costs. Access to the right information at the right time is paramount for police, especially in today’s world,” he added. The dRedBox consortium is led by IBM Research, Ireland, and comprises, in addition to Kinesense, a number of prominent R&D organisations, including Telefonica,  Barcelona Supercomputing Center and naudit, Spain; the University of Thessaly and Foundation for Research and Technology, Greece; the University of Bristol, UK; Sintecs, the Netherlands; and Virtual Open Systems, France. The project will run for three years. The post H2020 to support greener cloud computing appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
The European Commission has today launched a call for ideas on the setting up of a European Innovation Council (EIC) to support Europe’s most promising innovators. All interested parties are invited to respond to the call, including those innovators who do not usually participate in EU support schemes. Suggestions are welcome on how an EIC could be designed to improve Europe’s capacity to generate and scale-up breakthrough innovations. “Europe has excellent science, but we lack disruptive market-creating innovation. This is what is needed to turn our best ideas into innovative products and services that provide growth and jobs,” explains Innovation Commissioner Carlos Moedas. “I want to test the idea of creating a European Innovation Council, which could replicate for entrepreneurs what the European Research Council is doing for Europe’s best researchers. Therefore, I am launching a call for ideas so Europe’s innovation community can tell us what they think an EIC could improve.” Moedas made his announcement earlier today at the Science|Business Annual Conference in Brussels. In a Q&A, he said that Europe has a number of strengths in innovation and is home to several world-class innovation hotspots. However, although the number of start-ups created in Europe rivals competitors such as the US, Europe lags behind in disruptive innovation and in scaling up start-ups into world-leading businesses. An EIC, it is hoped, could contribute to solving this problem. The online call for ideas will remain open until 29 April. Results are expected by June. The post Moedas seeks feedback on innovation council appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and MicroBank have concluded a €22.5m agreement to provide loans to students on Master’s courses in European universities. The loans will be used to finance the studies and overheads of Spanish residents studying for a Master’s in one of the countries covered by the Erasmus+ programme, or students from other countries covered by the programme on Master’s courses in Spain. “This agreement is a clear sign of the European Investment Bank’s firm commitment to supporting education in Europe, a vital element in securing the European Union’s future as a knowledge and innovation society,” said EIB vice-president Román Escolano, who signed the finance contract alongside MicroBank CEO Antoni Vila Bertrán. Over the next three years, more than 2,000 students are expected to benefit from the loans, which will carry favourable interest rates and repayment tenors. In this way, the EIB is contributing to the initiative launched by the European Commission and European Investment Fund to support education in Europe by increasing students’ mobility. The EIB loan is designed to provide MicroBank with part of the funds necessary to develop its Erasmus+ Master’s Loan product. With this, MicroBank expects to provide loans totalling €30m to eligible students over the next three years. The post EIB and MicroBank to assist Master’s students appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Israeli SMEs are to benefit from easier access to risk capital thanks to a new EU-backed loan guarantee facility under the Horizon 2020 programme. The deal, signed today by the European Investment Fund with finance provider Bank Leumi, will allow the bank to enter into new loan agreements with SMEs and small midcaps for a total of US $100m (~€89m) over the next two years. It marks the first InnovFin SME Guarantee to be signed in Israel, which has been associated to the EU framework programmes for research for the last 20 years. “The InnovFin SME Guarantee deal signed today will open up new ways of funding for innovative companies in Israel. It is yet another example of how open innovation and being open to the world under Horizon 2020 benefits both the EU and its partners,” said Innovation Commissioner Carlos Moedas. Bank Leumi CEO Rakefet Russak-Aminoach added: “Taking part in the European bank’s flagship programme for research and innovation is another step forward in our efforts to expand the Israeli funding of the industry. It will allow better financing terms for the Israeli high-tech community. It is only natural that the leading bank that is the most supportive of the Israeli high-tech industry is also the first bank to take part in this unique programme.” The post Israel signs first InnovFin SME Guarantee appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
The European Research Council (ERC) has announced 302 winners of its 2015 Consolidator grant (CoG) competition. The mid-career scientists will together receive a total of €585m in funding as part of Horizon 2020. Individual grants are worth up to €2m each allowing the researchers to consolidate their research teams and to develop their innovative ideas. Projects being funded include developing a new method to control insects transmitting diseases, such as the Zika virus, build ultra-thin portable fuel cells, and investigate the effectiveness of political apologies across cultures. The experts are likely to employ more than 2,100 postdocs, PhD students and other research team members. The ERC president, Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, said: “The Consolidator grants support researchers at a crucial time of their careers, strengthening their independence and helping them establish themselves as leaders in their scientific fields. Europe needs to unequivocally put its trust in young and very engaged scientists.” The latest call sees the share of female grantees at 31%, a further increase from the CoG competitions in 2014 (28%) and 2013 (24%). In addition, female applicants were more successful than male applicants, as the success rate for women was 16% and for men 14.5%. Overall, 15% of applicants in this competition were successful. Researchers from 34 different nationalities are amongst the grantees, with the highest number of grants going to German scientists. The post ERC in €585m grant award appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.

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