A new multi-million euro research project is to tackle the triple challenge of dementia, age-related hearing and vision impairment. 70% of Europeans over the age of 65 live with either sight or hearing problems, and over two thirds experience depression or dementia. Combined, the cumulative impact of these conditions far exceeds the individual impairment, but little is understood about the problem. The five-year, €6.5m, Horizon 2020 project SENSE-Cog plans to change this. Led by the UK’s University of Manchester, SENSE-Cog aims to define the scale of the challenges so that authorities across the continent can benefit from the optimal allocation of resources. It also plans to develop online tests, guides and multilingual training manuals to help medical professionals diagnose and treat the combined problems more effectively, as well as trialling an intervention of at-home support for people with dual and triple impairments. This will be supported by specialist sensory therapists based at Central Manchester University Hospitals – NHS Foundation Trust and will focus around pragmatic solutions to support both the affected person and their carer. Minority groups are particularly disadvantaged with respect to the diagnosis and treatment of mental and sensory problems, so researchers will be specifically seeking people from these groups to participate in the study. Researchers are hopeful that the project will enhance mental wellbeing and even help tackle neurodegenerative disease. “Millions of people in the UK and wider EU are affected by this combination of problems, and it’s only going to get more prevalent as the population ages,” says co-lead Dr Piers Dawes, an audiologist at the University of Manchester. “That’s why we have to understand the scale of the problem and then equip the public, carers and healthcare workers with the tools they need to deal with it. If we could reduce disability due to hearing and vision impairment, there is huge potential to improve mental wellbeing and even delay the deterioration of dementia.” The post H2020 takes on dementia, hearing and vision loss appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
The European Commission is awarding €30.5m to 15 innovative projects to help speed up their access to the market. The funding has been granted under the third round of the Horizon 2020 Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) scheme. The projects involve some 68 partners in 16 countries and range from the design of intelligent sensor-enabled eyewear and the development of an immunity-based test for early diagnosis of Lyme disease to the production of eco-friendly food packaging that has outstanding barrier properties. “Through Horizon 2020, we want to give innovative businesses the support they need to fast-track their innovations to market. These latest results bring the total investment to nearly €100m in fast-access EU funding for close-to-the-market innovation activities,” said science and innovation commissioner Carlos Moedas. The FTI scheme aims to reduce the time between idea and market and to increase industry and SME participation in Horizon 2020. The third round of the scheme attracted 403 project proposals involving 1,700 participants by its cut-off date of 1 December 2015. A total of 903 proposals have been received since its launch in January 2015, 46 of which have received more than €98.7m in funding. Almost half the project participants (46%) are SMEs. The post €30.5m won under Fast Track to Innovation scheme appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has increased its €500m trade and export finance facility for Greek companies in an attempt to boost their competitiveness. The trade finance facility, launched in June 2013, guarantees credit letters and other instruments issued by Greek banks. The EIB, with this extension, can now guarantee that Greece’s overseas customers’ financial commitments can be upheld. Nicholas Jennett, head of the EIB’s newly-established investment team for Greece, said: “Supporting the international role of Greek business is a key contribution to strengthen economic activity across Greece. Extending this successful facility will help Greek companies to compete and win new business in the international marketplace.” The increase extends to small, medium and midcap firms from Greece, each eligible to receive support for trade and export transactions for a preiod of no more than three years. It also supports Greek companies operating overseas to help them compete in external internal markets. Contributers to the extension are the three major Greek banks the National Bank of Greece S.A., Piraeus Bank S.A. and Eurobank Ergasias S.A. Following a third bailout worth €84bn in July 2015, the country has also faced overwhelming financial challenges by way of the ongoing refugee crisis. The post EIB increases support for Greek companies appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Future radar imaging systems and 5G communication systems will generate improved resolution and provide higher data transmission rates when operated at higher frequencies – but at the cost of increased power consumption. Now, a new project, funded by Horizon 2020, is working to overcome this challenge by developing manufacturable III-V CMOS (complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor) technology on silicon (Si) substrates to reduce power consumption, increase performance and lower costs. INSIGHT (Integration of III-V Nanowire Semiconductors for Next Generation High Performance CMOS SOC Technologies) aims to develop complementary functionality in compound semiconductor material (III-V CMOS), supporting both analogue and digital functionality in the millimetre-wave frequency domain. III-V nanowires will be used to maintain electrostatic control as the gate length is scaled for future technology nodes. The small nanowire cross-section will further facilitate the integration onto Si substrates using nanotechnology. “The fabrication of high-performance III-V components on large Si substrates using CMOS compatible technologies opens a path for cost reduction of millimetre-wave key components with minimised usage of critical materials,” explains INSIGHT co-ordinator Lars-Erik Wernersson, professor at Lund University, Sweden, which will lead the project. It will be joined by the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF, Germany; LETI, France; University of Glasgow, UK; Tyndall National Institute, Ireland; and IBM, Switzerland. INSIGHT will receive €4.3m over 36 months from Horizon 2020. The post INSIGHT project to aid 5G transition appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
The Human Brain Project (HBP), a Horizon 2020 flagship initiative, has announced an event directed towards young researchers. To be held on 12 April 2016 in Hungarian capital city Budapest, the event will take as its theme ‘Simulations on different scales of space and time’. The event, whilst focused on increasing the participation of young researchers in the HBP community, is open to all interested participants. The event hopes to achive the goals of inspiring and training a new generation of scientists who will collaborate on the use of simulation tools. A community-building event, Budapest invites participants to share in the knowledge of young researchers already involved in HBP and led by experts and senior researchers from the educational team of the University of Innsbruck, Austria. Keynote speeches, demonstrations and interactive displays will all be available. The post Human Brain Project Budapest event appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Organisations are invited to submit commitments and become a partner of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP on AHA) with the launch of its new portal and call for commitments. The call for commitments welcomes all bodies involved in the development, promotion or deployment of innovative solutions for active and healthy ageing to come forward with projects and initiatives that they will implement in the coming three years. The commitments are organised within action groups and must be in line with the overall priorities of the EIP on AHA: to enable EU citizens to lead healthy, active and independent lives while ageing; to improve the sustainability and efficiency of social and healthcare systems; and to boost the competitiveness of the markets for innovative products and services to create new opportunities for businesses. If successful, applicants will become partners in the largest European community of stakeholders engaged in the development and deployment of innovation for Europe’s ageing society, and will join a host of leading industrial players, research institutes, innovators, start-ups, SMEs, end user organisations, and regional and national authorities. Complete an online form to submit your commitment, or see the call for commitments’ FAQs for more information. The call closes on 15 April. Alongside the call, the EIP on AHA has also launched a new portal for all those involved in active and healthy ageing throughout Europe to facilitate communication and information sharing. Visit the portal to promote news and events, meet and exchange ideas with peers, or look for potential partners on innovative projects. The post EIP on AHA launches call for commitments appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Research actors across Europe are to be supported in their efforts towards more responsible research and innovation (RRI) with the launch of a new RRI Toolkit. RRI is a key action of the ‘Science with and for Society’ objective of Horizon 2020 and is considered a cross-cutting issue throughout the framework programme. It is being pushed by the European Commission as a means of fostering and facilitating more inclusive R&I that better answers the needs and expectations of society. To this end, the FP7-funded RRI Tools project has gathered a wealth of online resources from all over Europe to help stakeholders (researchers, policy makers, business and industry, educators and civil society organisations) across the continent put RRI into practice: the RRI Toolkit. Users can search the online toolkit to find resources on such topics as open access, gender equality, ethics, science education, governance and public engagement, and can also reflect on the implementation of RRI in their own work via a self-reflection tool. A beta version of the toolkit can be found here; a complete version is expected in July 2016. The post RRI Toolkit launches today appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
The Research and Development Laboratory for Aerospace Materials specialises in researching innovative solutions based on advanced materials for industrial applications. The Research and Development Laboratory for Aerospace Materials is a research unit of Rzeszów University of Technology. It was created in 2004 in the centre of Poland which has strong aviation traditions. The facility co-operates with companies affiliated to the Aviation Valley Association (around 120 companies including 50 SMEs), with the largest manufacturer of aircraft components and gears – Pratt & Whitney Rzeszów – at the head. It is a specialist research and development laboratory equipped with research machinery and technological devices required for conducting research projects in the area of highly advanced materials and technologies for aircraft engineering and beyond. The laboratory was granted accreditation by the National Aerospace Defence Contractors Accreditation Program (Nadcap) and the Polish Centre of Accreditation (PCA) in the area of performed investigation. The Research and Development Laboratory for Aerospace Materials is equipped with suitable machinery, laboratory staff and space, enabling the organisation and application of projects in advanced material science and technology directed at the manufacture of critical turbine elements – casting hot section components of aircraft engines, tailoring thermal barrier coatings, the deposition process of corrosion-resistant coatings on the magnesium-based substrate, and the high speed machining of resistant materials. The research projects conducted in the laboratory mainly concern: The casting process of hot section elements of aircraft engines by directional crystallisation and monocrystallisation – structure perfection assessment for single crystal blade casts and stationary segments of turbines (Laue method), the manufacture of ceramic shell moulds and wax model assemblies. One of our current research projects concerns developing technology that places cores into models assembled for manufacturing blades with internal cooling channels; The deposition processes of high temperature-resistant coatings and thermal barrier coatings (metallic bond coats and external ceramic layers) on engine elements that operate in the presence of oxidising gases, under conditions inducing high temperature corrosion; High speed machining (HSM), including resistant materials (nickel superalloys, titanium alloys), machining with high pressure water cooling assistance, and also laser assisted machining; The deposition processes of protective oxide layers on the surface of magnesium alloys using glow discharge assisted oxidising. The layers are characterised by high corrosion resistance; Developing heat treatment and thermomechanical treatment processes, including vacuum carburising and high pressure gas quenching (argon, nitrogen) for gear wheels and gear unit shafts; Characterisation of structure and microstructure, and the analysis of materials in terms of chemical, physical and mechanical properties; and The laboratory is fitted with equipment essential to research in material science and performing industrial processes. The laboratory also works on the following activities and areas: Directional crystallisation and monocrystallisation – application of the Bridgman-Stockbarger method for the manufacture of precision nickel superalloy castings characterised by equiaxed microstructures and the directional orientation of grains. Also, casts with a single crystal structure, the preparation of wax models, development of ceramic materials, and the creation of model assemblies and ceramic shell moulds. The manufacture of protective coatings and thermal barrier coatings – the development and introduction of innovative technological solutions for industrial-grade protective coatings (metallic and ceramic layers) using equipment for atmospheric and low pressure plasma spraying processes (APS, MultiCoat® LPPS®), physical vapour deposition involving feedstock evaporation with electron beam (EB-PVD) and chemical vapour deposition (CVD). Corrosion and electrochemical processes – the development of electrochemical glow discharge assisted the oxidising of magnesium alloys and hard anodising of aluminium alloys. The kinetics of phase transitions in external layers, cyclic oxidation process up to the temperature of 1,100°C in a furnace with controlled atmosphere capability (air, oxygen, inert gas), corrosion and erosion resistance analysis in room and elevated temperatures (up to 1,200°C). Heat and thermochemical treatment – heat treatment processes of nickel superalloys, titanium-aluminium alloys and steels. Vacuum carburising and nitriding processes of steels, also plasma assisted nitriding by chemical vapour deposition (PA-CVD). Hardening via a modern gas method under high pressure of argon or nitrogen. Laser-assisted processes – deposition and cladding of powder feedstock by laser beam on the surface of metallic materials, drilling of small diameter holes in ceramic and metallic materials. The development of regeneration processes for turbine blades used in aircraft engines; deposition of protective coatings, resistant to corrosive factors, abrasive wear, erosion, cavitation, aggressive chemical environment and high temperature influence. High speed machining – development of machining processes for resistant materials, i.e. nickel superalloy, titanium alloys, including alloys based on intermetallic phase TiAl (γ) which are widely applied in the aviation industry. Research includes machining processes assisted by laser beams and high pressure coolant. Physical and chemical properties analysis – absolute and apparent density measurement of solid bodies, determination of surface area, mesoporosity and microporosity values, establishing particle size in the range of 20nm to 1mm, kinetics of heat diffusion processes, specific heat capacity, TG-DTA/DSC, heat conduction and expansion for metals and metallic alloys, ceramic materials, polymers, amorphous materials and composites for a wide temperature range (up to 1,600°C), analysis of thermal stability and energetics effects of reactions, thermal analysis of phase transitions, thickness measurement for adhesive and diffusion layers by eddy current and magnetic methods. Mechanical properties analysis – investigation on tribological properties, stretching and compression tests under both static and dynamic conditions, hardness measurement, low and high-cycle fatigue testing of construction material, investigation on creep and crack resistance, also fatigue crack propagation performed mainly for metallic alloys, ceramics and composites, with particular emphasis on materials applied in the aviation industry. Metallography and microscopic examination – sample preparation procedure for examination using light and electron microscopy. Analysis of the morphology of microstructure components with a use of light microscopy (LM), transmission and scanning electron microscopy (TEM, SEM), chemical composition microanalysis (SEM/EDS/WDS), and determination of crystal orientation for single and polycrystal materials (EBSD). Phase and chemical composition analysis – the quantitative and qualitative analysis of chemical composition for metals and their alloys. The laboratory is equipped with reference materials for steel, cast iron, nickel superalloy, titanium, magnesium and copper. Determination of gas content (oxygen and nitrogen) in steel. The quantitative and qualitative analysis of phase composition for solid materials (mainly steels, titanium-aluminium alloys, nickel superalloys) and powders, including ceramic powders. The research focuses on the kinetics of phase transitions proceeding in metallic alloys under isothermal and continuous cooling conditions. The assessment of the structure perfection of single crystals, establishing the distribution of crystallographic orientation on flat and curved surfaces for single crystal alloys (including large samples), i.e. high-pressure turbine blades for aircraft engines. Numerical simulations of technological processes – modelling and numerical simulation of vacuum carburising, plastic working, diffusion processes, and the crystallisation process of liquid metal during the casting process. There is also the modelling and simulation of crack propagation kinetics during load and creep tests, and the fracture process of metallic alloys. Andrzej Nowotnik Research and Development Laboratory for Aerospace Materials Rzeszów University of Technology, Poland +48 600 434 662 The post Advanced applications appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
The EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME) has authorised Italian financers Fondo di Garanzia to support 20,000 SMEs with over €1bn in Italy over the coming year. The European Commission has provided financial backing through the European Investment Fund’s (EIF) COSME counter-guarantee, which secures debt finance portfolios and helps provide loans for start-ups and smaller businesses. Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen said: “Italy is steaming ahead when it comes to SME financing agreements under the Investment Plan, with far more deals signed than in the other member states. This is very welcome since SMEs are the backbone of the Italian economy and they should not struggle to access financing for their projects. I hope the EFSI-backed deal signed today will enable those 20,000 small businesses to bring their ideas to life.” The agreement shows the EIF’s (part of the European Investment Bank (EIB)) response and commitment to calls from EU member states, the European Commission and the European Parliament. Fondo di Garanzia is an Italian guarantee fund for SMEs managed by Banca del Mezzogiorno – Mediocredito Centrale S.p.A. (BdM–MCC). EIF chief executive Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “I am pleased that we are signing this EFSI SME counter-guarantee agreement in Italy with Fondo di Garanzia under the COSME programme. This new agreement will enable 20,000 Italian SMEs to gain access to finance to create jobs and growth and develop their companies.” The COSME programme is the successor to the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) of 2007-2013, which supported over 373,000 European SMEs by investing in excess of €20bn in loans and venture capital. The post EIF and Fondo di Garanzia to support Italian SMEs appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Graphene, used as a highly sensitive light detector, is being integrated into a camera capable of producing 3D images and videos, and being developed at the University of Michigan, USA. Like graphene, 3D cameras are versatile. Currently used in movie production, researchers hope to utilise them further in virtual reality and the development of a bionic eye for either medical purposes or for the robotics industry. Associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science Zhaohui Zhong said: “When the light hits the detector inside a camera, it can come from different directions, and this spatial information can be used to reconstruct 3D images. Normally, that information is lost because the detector only measures intensity. “Ordinarily, you want the light detector to absorb as much light as possible for high sensitivity, to produce a clearer picture. Graphene detectors can offer very high sensitivity, so you don’t really sacrifice the clarity by making them transparent.” Modern one-shot 3D cameras rely on a micro-lens array that diverts light once the main lens has focused upon it. The smaller lenses disintegrate the picture, which is then reconstructed by software in the camera. Objects at different distances from the lens will likewise come into focus at different points inside the camera, according to Zhong and his team. Appearing brightest where most in focus, this principle is easier for the software to reconstruct the images. The accelerated processing also makes it possible to produce high-resolution videos. The concept is simple, Zhong says, but the challenge lies in making transparent light detectors, which need to absorb as much light as possible to give the most detailed image. Graphene, however, with its single layer of carbon atoms, is pivotal to the construction of these transparent light detectors. Zhong’s team believes it will soon be possible to integrate a 3D camera into a smartphone. The post Graphene light detectors for 3D cameras appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.