AfriCultuRes (African Agricultural Systems with the Support of Remote Sensing) is the Horizon 2020 project that won a call on using Earth observation (EO) technology for improving food security in Africa. Better prediction and management of production and supply of food in Africa is the aim of the project AfriCultuReS, which has been launched in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The project has 17 partners, seven of which are located in African countries (Tunisia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, Mozambique, South Africa), and receives about €8.5m of EU funding. It is one of the cornerstones of the strategy of the European Commission to intensify the co-operation with African partners, contributing to the European Union-African Union partnership while promoting and supporting the activities of the Group on Earth Observation and its flagships, EuroGEOSS and AfriGEOSS. The Ethiopian Minister for Water Irrigation and Electricity, Dr Seleshi Bekele, emphasised the importance of co-operating with the EU for achieving sustainable development goals, highlighting that with projects such as AfriCultuReS, this co-operation is entering a new phase. The project brings together a large variety of data from different sources such as the EU’s Copernicus programme, ground-based observations and models. It develops crop yield predictions and other services, as well as decision support tools for policymakers. The project’s strength is the strong African participation and the significant involvement of users in the development of services and tools that the project is delivering. The post AfriCultuRes project uses EO to support farmers appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Kordsa and Sabanci University, Turkey, are to lead the two-year Directional Composites Through Manufacturing Innovation (DiCoMi) project to develop composites for 3D printing. The DiCoMi project has received €3m in funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. System, software and material development are all aspects of improving the additive manufacturing process for composites and will be addressed within DiCoMi, which will involve the participation of 16 project partners from 11 countries. The work will take place at the Composite Technologies Centre of Excellence, a facility established by Kordsa and Sabanci University that has been officially qualified as an R&D centre by the Turkish authorities and is considered a pioneering establishment within the country for its university-industry collaborative business model. Established in 1973, Kordsa is the world’s leading manufacturer of industrial nylon and polyester yarn, tyre cord fabric. The company also develops intermediate products and applications in the field of composite reinforcement for customers in aviation, automotive, sports equipment, wind turbines, marine and other industries. The post DiCoMi project for 3D composites appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
A bigger budget, fair salaries for researchers and more money for countries with weaker research systems are on Hungary’s Framework Programme 9 wish list. Hungary is calling for increased participation of research organisations and SMEs from countries with weaker research and development performance under the EU’s next research framework programme, FP9 – a move it says is needed to close the innovation gap. A policy paper published this week by the Hungarian permanent representation at the EU says there should be ‘continued strengthening’ of teaming actions, which are part of a special funding line in Horizon 2020, to encourage rich and poor research groups to collaborate. Many member states in central and eastern Europe have complained about the East-West funding gap under Horizon 2020. These countries are usually at the bottom of every European league table on research and innovation, and receive a smaller share of EU funding. Until the mid-term evaluation of Horizon 2020, grant holders from five countries received 59.4% of the overall funding, with those from Germany receiving 17%, while participants from Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania and Malta received only 0.1% each. József Pálinkás, president of the Hungarian office for research, development and innovation, said that any FP9 funding policies “should contribute to strengthen the international competitiveness of Hungarian applicants and facilitate international research and innovation co-operation”. In addition, there is a call for a ‘significant increase’ in the research and innovation budget, at both EU and national levels, and better co-ordination between EU and member states’ research and innovation policies. The post Hungary calls for smaller FP9 innovation gap appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Science Europe supports some of the conclusions adopted today by the EU Competitiveness Council, but is disappointed by the lack of ambition in others. Science Europe supports the council as it reaffirms the necessity to prioritise R&I across all relevant EU policies and programmes. It shares the council’s view that “R&I collaboration at the EU level has been a very successful example of European co-operation and integration”, which is why Science Europe regrets that the council only calls for “significant funds for the next EU R&D&I Framework Programme”. More emphasis on value of research is needed, according to Science Europe, from the council and its support to broadening the notion of impact and to better recognise research’s wide-ranging contributions to knowledge and society. Stephan Kuster, acting director of Science Europe, said: “We expected a stronger emphasis on the intrinsic value of knowledge creation through research and on the wider value of science to society, in line with the Tallinn Call for Action recently released by the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU.” Science Europe raises concerns with regards to the current shift towards higher technology readiness levels in Horizon 2020. It regrets that the council has not made more balanced conclusions that recognise the importance of collaborative basic research in tackling societal challenges and developing new technologies. The EU Competitiveness Council echoes Science Europe’s call for a rationalisation of the EU R&I partnership landscape, made in its recent Policy Brief on Public to Public Partnerships (P2Ps). Science Europe, however, does not advocate the co-ordination of all national research spending. The post EU Competitiveness Council ‘fails’ to fully recognise the societal value of research appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
The EU-funded LiNaBioFluid project hopes to replicate skin systems in both organic and inorganic materials for underwater applications. Reptile and skin and the skin of some bugs have unique ways of dealing with water, and this has caught the attention of scientists. The LiNaBioFluid project is attempting to mimic the exceptional ability of lizards and bark bugs to channel water both efficiently and quickly. Certain lizards (such as the horned and spiky lizard) have networks of microscopic capillaries on their backs that can suck in water and channel it quickly and efficiently to the lizard’s mouth, maximising their uptake of water from the limited rainfall in their desert habitats. Bark bugs are also special in this respect. Their bodies are made up of numerous tiny spikes which create a thin film of water, reducing the insect’s reflectivity. So when it rains, the bug – just like the tree it inhabits – turns darker and it is concealed from predators. The LiNaBioFluid will study these different body surfaces and attempt to mimic their wetting properties in both organic and inorganic industrial materials. The project will use lasers to recreate the natural microscopic channels, ridges and spikes in their integuments. Success could lead to innovative underwater applications, including materials with better friction, which experience less wear and tear in liquids, or exhibit reduced drag. Other applications could include the separation of water and oil, high-power device cooling, or the development of more robust slide bearings. The project involves participants from Greece (co-ordinator), Spain, Austria and Germany. The post H2020-funded project mimicks skin for industrial applications appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
The European Commission has launched the first of six European Innovation Council (EIC) Horizon Prizes on Affordable High-Tech for Humanitarian Aid. The Prize on Affordable High-Tech for Humanitarian Aid will reward the best, proven, cost-effective, tech-based solutions for Humanitarian Aid and will amount to €5m, which will be divided equally into five categories: shelter and related assistance; water, hygiene and sanitation; energy; health and medical care; and an “open” category. Technologies include – but are not limited to – nanotechnologies, advanced materials or 3D printing. Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas said: “High-Tech can have an important inclusive role. Top technologies can help more people, especially the most vulnerable ones, to have affordable access to high quality, durable products, which will improve their quality of life.” Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides added: “The EU is not just the world’s biggest donor of humanitarian aid, we also have to ensure that we provide the best quality response to people in critical situations. Creative tech and innovative tools could make a huge difference in the future when it comes to crisis response, including aid delivery in remote areas.” EIC Horizon Prizes are part of the European Innovation Council pilot run under Horizon 2020, the EU’s Research and Innovation Framework Programme. The post Commission launches EIC Horizon Prize appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is launching a new call for proposals covering cancer, neurodegenerative disease and medicines safety features. The total budget of the call is €223m, around half of which comes from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, and the other half from European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) companies and IMI’s associated partners. The IMI is working to improve health by speeding up the development of, and patient access to, the next generation of medicines, particularly in areas where there is an unmet medical or social need. It does this by facilitating collaboration between the key players involved in healthcare research, including universities, pharmaceutical companies, other companies active in healthcare research, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), patient organisations, and medicines regulators. Several of the topics to be covered by the proposal will be: Diabetic Cardiomyopathy, Cancer, Medicines safety in pregnancy and during breastfeeding, Diagnostics for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and Predicting medicines safety early in drug development. Pierre Meulien, IMI executive director, said: “IMI calls for proposals represent an excellent opportunity for scientists from universities, small companies, and patient groups. Our Calls are about more than funding – they are a chance to join a global community of thousands of people from a range of sectors working together to accelerate and improve the entire drug development process, for the benefit of patients.” You can find more details, here. The post IMI calls for proposals appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
The ERC has announced its Consolidator Grants will go to 329 of Europe’s top researchers, with funding worth €630m as part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. The grants will give researchers the chance to have far-reaching impact on science. Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and innovation, said: “The Horizon 2020 programme will be funding 329 new ERC grants with €630m to boost the EU’s scientific excellence and competitiveness. “I am also pleased to see that the share of the grants attributed to women researchers is growing in ERC competitions. “We still have much to do, but it has always been my ambition to deploy all efforts possible to make gender equality a reality in the realm of research and innovation.” The grantees will carry out their projects at universities and research centres in 22 different countries across Europe, with leading locations being the UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands. In this competition, researchers of 39 nationalities receive funding. The research projects proposed by the grantees cover a range of topics in physical sciences and engineering, life sciences, and the social sciences and humanities. The ERC has evaluated 2,538 research proposals, of which 13% will be funded. The grants will create an estimated 2,000 jobs for postdocs, PhD students and other staff working in the grantees’ research teams. The post ERC grants top researchers €630m appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
The Clarity project seeks to support European member states in their pursuit for greater trust, transparency and efficiency within governments via the increased take-up of open government initiatives. The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovations programme and will mobilise a multidisciplinary network of stakeholders to conduct an interactive needs assessment and gap analysis in order to understand gaps in the market and support growth on innovative solutions for open government. The results will be developed into a blueprint for the next steps in facilitating open government initiatives in Europe. The Clarity blueprint is driven by the need to promote greater trust in public institutions, and will influence the direction and funding priorities of eGovernment initiatives at EU and national levels. The project has been supporting and interacting with the Open eGovernment community in Europe and working together to outline the innovation strategies for the next ten years. This effort has culminated in a blueprint for the Open eGovernment overall and specific strategies for four main domain areas: General Practice Health, Local Government Services, SMEs and self-employed, and Disability Partners in this project are: Trilaterial Research Ltd (co-ordinator, UK), Intrasoft International (Luxembourg), Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (Spain), Open Knowledge Sweden (Sweden), Ayuntamiento de Zaragoza (Spain), and Skelleftea Kommun (Sweden). The post Clarity project improves EU transparency appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
The RECOTRANS Project involves 13 partners from seven countries and has received funding from the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Aimplas, the Plastic Technology Centre, is co-ordinating the project which aims to develop efficient and sustainable manufacturing methods, enabling the large-series manufacturing of composite materials for application vehicles, trains and trucks. RECOTRANS focuses on lightweight, high-quality hybrid structures made of thermoplastic composite and metal with lower manufacturing costs. Two technologies are to be developed: a microwave-based pultrusion and resin transfer moulding (RTM) processes for long-fibre thermoplastic composites; and laser bonding to allow the addition of metal inserts in composite parts. Using these technologies, demonstrators will be manufactured. These will be the cabin pillar for a Mercedes Benz truck, the roof cover of a train manufactured by Stadler, and the skin of a car door manufactured by Gestamp. During the first stage of the project, work will focus on the definition of the materials’ requirements and on the manufacturing system for the three demonstrators, as well as on the selection and adaptation of materials. The post RECOTRANS Project focuses on composites for transportation appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.