Research by the University of Leicester, UK, into alternatives to conventional batteries has been boosted by funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 Framework Programme. Professor Karl Ryder and Professor Andy Abbott from the Materials Centre in the Department of Chemistry have won EU funding for a blue-skies project aimed at developing a new and revolutionary type battery based on aluminium and sulphur. The project SAlBAGE (Sulphur-Aluminium Batter with Advanced Polymeric Gel Electrolytes) is a consortium of EU universities and a battery testing company. The total value is €3m of which €545,000 will go to Leicester. The project aims to deliver a new type of battery based on more abundant, cheaper and safer aluminium (rather than lithium). The project is funded under the EU (Horizon 2020) Future Emerging Technologies scheme which is the most competitive of the EU funding mechanisms. This award is the first of its type for the University of Leicester. In the SAlBAGE Project, a new secondary Aluminium Sulfur Battery will be developed. An aluminium negative electrode will be combined with a sulfur positive electrode including the unprecedented use of redox mediators, to facilitate sulfur reaction kinetics and boost performance. The new battery is expected to have a high energy density (1000Wh/kg) and low price compared with the current Li-ion technology. Ryder, from the university’s Department of Chemistry, said: “We have been working towards this for a while now with projects in metal ion chemistry in new and novel types of ionic liquid electrolytes.  The Leicester group is well known in the academic community as well as in the materials finishing industry, as a source of expertise for ionic liquids. That is our role here.” Abbott, also from the Department of Chemistry, added: “Our recent involvement with other European projects in battery chemistry and recycling, PolyZion and CoLaBATS, has increased our profile in energy research and we are members of the Energy Research Accelerator.” The post Research into revolutionary battery technology appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
The first patient has been implanted with a drug delivery system developed by Renishaw for a study investigating it as a delivery method for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. The procedure was performed at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden, and represents the beginning of a joint clinical study between Renishaw and Herantis Pharma. Paul Skinner, general manager for Renishaw’s Neurological Products Division, said: “Renishaw’s drug delivery system could be revolutionary in improving treatment options for Parkinson’s disease. “The system enables the delivery of large drug molecules, such as cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF), directly into the brain – circumventing the blood-brain barrier. “The drug delivery system consists of four catheters which, during the procedure, are accurately implanted into the patient’s putamen, one of the key regions of the brain affected by Parkinson’s disease,” Skinner continued. “The catheters converge in a port mounted to the skull behind the ear, through which drugs will be administered on a monthly basis as part of the study. “The system can also be used with other new drug candidates that need to be delivered to precise areas of the brain, which could be crucial in the development of treatments for this and other debilitating diseases.” This clinical study, which has received funding from Horizon 2020, will involve 18 volunteers across three sites – two in Sweden and one in Finland. It will evaluate the safety and tolerability of the drug delivery system and CDNF, a large molecule that could slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease, improving the quality of life for patients and prolonging their lives. Following this study, it is hoped that Renishaw’s delivery system will be used in clinical trials for other neurological disorders. The post First patient implanted with drug delivery system appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
15 partners from six EU countries have launched a three-year long Horizon 2020 project set to transform local transport. The PoliVisu project, aimed at transforming local transport systems, will make transport more optimised, resilient and citizen-centric by working with the cities of Ghent, Belgium; Pilsen, Czech Republic; and Issy-les-Mouluneau, France. PoliVisu will promote data-driven policy making as a solution to urban mobility challenges, such as congestion, parking and the inadequacy of transport infrastructure. PoliVisu’s framework envisions agile policy making as a continuous process consisting of three cycles: Design, reconciling different stakeholders’ views and facilitating experimentation of policy scenarios through data visualisation; Implementation, going beyond policy execution by including frequent communication activities coupled with reaction monitoring on social media; and Evaluation, assessing policy impact on environment, mobility, financing and citizen welfare using a range of evaluation techniques. Geert Mareels, PoliVisu co-ordinator, said: “Clearly the project has an ambitious vision and a correspondingly high potential to realise it while delivering multiple benefits to a variety of stakeholders.” He added: “There will be financial benefits for public administrations and logistics companies; business opportunities for consultancy and IT firms; greater policy acceptance among citizens; improved quality of life and more opportunities to innovate thanks to the availability of new data, knowledge and tools. “We invite cities in Europe and beyond to join us on this exciting new journey.” The PoliVisu project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The post PoliVisu project consortium celebrates launch appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
The UK-based €1.2m MagnaPharm project, funded under the Horizon 2020 ‘Future and Emerging Technologies’ programme, aims to improve the efficiency of pharmaceutical compounds by crystallising them in high magnetic fields. The ability to do this would have a transformative effect on almost all pharmaceutical compounds, making them more effective in terms of getting into the bloodstream quicker. MagnaPharm builds on the discovery by Dr Simon Hall’s group at the University of Bristol, UK, School of Chemistry that organic crystal growth can be controlled using magnetic fields. Hall said: “The application of magnetic fields to intentionally control variations in the crystal structure of pharmaceuticals is entirely novel and opens up the possibility of producing drugs which are more effective. “One can imagine, for example, being able to take a lower dose of a drug to get the same effect, or even to enable new drugs which have stalled in development due to solubility issues, to come to market.” The new laboratory, one of only few of its kind in the UK, features four high-field electromagnets to enable crystallisation experiments. With these electromagnets, Bristol will be able to act as a high-throughput screening centre for all the pharmaceutical targets under investigation. The project initially targets 12 of the most high-profile, high-worth generic drugs with the aim of uncovering new crystal forms. The post UK project controls organic crystal growth with magnets appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
European Commissioner Tibor Navracsics met with Chinese Vice-Premier Liu Yandong on 13-14 November 2017 to discuss education, culture, youth and sport. It was on the occasion of the 4th EU-China High Level People-to-People Dialogue in Shanghai. The dialogue was launched in 2012 to build trust and understanding between the peoples of the EU and China. This year’s exchanges focused on culture, but education, gender equality, youth and, for the first time, sport were also discussed. Following the meeting, Navracsics said: “The EU and China increasingly share global responsibilities. We work together on complex issues, from fighting poverty and tackling climate change to boosting trade and security. We build on shared views but sometimes we need to bridge differences. Promoting mutual understanding and respect between our people and cultures is therefore today more important than ever if we want to succeed.” Over the past decade the EU and China have closely co-operated in the areas of education, training, culture, multilingualism and youth through sector-focused policy dialogues. The two parties took stock of progress achieved under Erasmus+ mobility actions. Since 2015, more than 4,000 students and staff have already benefitted from the programme. Additionally, with over 70 universities participating in the action, China remains the top beneficiary of capacity-building projects among partner countries, contributing to the modernisation and internationalisation of China’s higher education system. In research and innovation, following the outcome of the 3rd China-EU High Level Innovation Cooperation Dialogue held on 2 June 2017, both parties agreed to boost researchers’ mobility through Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. In the framework of the dialogue on gender equality, both sides discussed how to improve women’s economic empowerment and work-life balance. The post EU-China strengthen co-operation appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Asahi Kasei’s electrolyser technology will be one of the cornerstones for CO2 reuse and therefore the reduction of CO2 emissions. The ALIGN-CCUS Project Consortium announced the launch of the ALIGNCCUS (carbon capture, utilisation and storage) Project, a partnership project which runs from 2017 to 2020 and consists of 31 research institutes and industrial companies from five European countries. The project received €15m funding from the European ERA-NET ACT (Accelerating CCS Technologies) fund and aims at transforming six European industrial regions into low-carbon centres by 2025. ACT is a European Union initiative to accelerate the deployment of safe and cost-effective carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies. ACT receives funding support from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 instrument, the ERA NET Cofund. Hideki Tsutsumi, managing director, said: “The ALIGN-CCUS project contributes to reducing CO2 emissions in the fields of transportation and power generation. We are very happy to participate in this project by using our alkaline water electrolysis system to produce green hydrogen. By further improving our technology we will be a leading company for the realisation of a hydrogen society”. Europe, with its ambitious goals for CO2 reduction, its drop-out of nuclear energy by 2022 and its high share of electric power supply by renewable energy sources, has a high need for reliable CCUS- and power storage technologies. Hydrogen has been the focus recent years in the field of energy storage (Power-to-Gas) and to produce fuel for automobiles (Power-to-Fuel). Hydrogen produced with Asahi Kasei’s alkaline water electrolysis system and CO2 captured at power plants will be transformed into fuels such as green methanol and green dimethyl ether (DME). Together with European partner institutions and companies, Asahi Kasei Europe will be a member of Work Package 4 of the ALIGN-CCUS Project. The post Asahi Kasei Europe participates in multi-partner project appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
PicoQuant and the Humboldt University Berlin, Germany, are co-hosting an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) within the framework of the Marie-Curie Actions of the Innovative Training Networks H2020 BE-OPTICAL. The ESR is working on a thesis during his stay at PicoQuant that is entitled ‘Advanced Nanoscale Microscopy: Time-Resolved Super-Resolution Fluorescence Studies of Biological Structures’. The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme for research, technological development and demonstration. The aims of the project lie in exploring innovative strategies based on pulsed excitation coupled with nanosecond time-resolved detection to carry out multiplexed studies of complex dynamics in biological structures under optical super-resolution conditions. In the scope of this project, different pulsed interleaved excitation schemes will be combined with pattern-based fluorescence decay recognition to optimise the separation of multiple labels. Part of the project also includes the screening and full characterisation of promising dye labels as well as identifying optimal sample preparation and experimental conditions, starting from artificial model systems up to studies in real cells. This latter part will be performed in collaboration with our partners. A key aspect for this projects success is PicoQuant’s expertise in time-resolved and super-resolution microscopy via Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED). The post Projects partner on medical imaging project appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Graphene Flagship researchers are preparing to collaborate with the European Space Agency (ESA) to test graphene technologies for space applications. Two teams of researchers will explore the benefits of graphene as a light-propulsion material in solar sails, and as a smart coating in loop heat pipes for satellites. Both experiments will be performed in microgravity conditions to simulate the extreme conditions in space. The solar sails will float in microgravity in a drop tower experiment, while the team investigating heat pipes will experience weightlessness on-board the parabolic flight. The Graphene Flagship, funded by the Horizon 2020 Programme, is a pan-European research consortium committed to bringing graphene technologies through research laboratories to mature applications. Graphene, the single-atom thick carbon sheet, is promising for a range of applications thanks to its excellent electrical, mechanical and thermal properties. To test the graphene-coated wicks in microgravity conditions, the researchers will take part in low-gravity parabolic flights operated by ESA in partnership with Novespace. Dr Meganne Christian, a researcher at the National Research Council of Italy (CNR), said: “Getting to see these materials that we’ve been working on for so long, finally work in the conditions that we want them to is really exciting.” The experiment is a collaboration between Graphene Flagship partners at the Microgravity Research Centre, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium; the Cambridge Graphene Centre, University of Cambridge, UK; Institute for Organic Synthesis and Photoreactivity and Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems, CNR, Italy; and Leonardo Spa, Italy, a global leader in aerospace, operating in space systems and high-tech instrument manufacturing and in the management of launch and in-orbit services and satellite services. These two ambitious experiments are a demonstration of graphene’s diverse potential, and will lay the groundwork to expand the frontiers of graphene research. The post Graphene Flagship and ESA collaborate appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Global climate change and the human impact on marine ecosystems have led to dramatic decreases in the number of fish in the ocean, but also to an increase in jellyfish. The GoJelly project, co-ordinated by the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Germany, would like to transform problematic jellyfish into a resource that can be used to produce microplastic filters, fertilisers or fish feed. GoJelly is a consortium of 15 scientific institutions from eight countries led by the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel. The EU has approved funding of €6m over four years to support the project through its Horizon 2020 programme. Jellyfish are appearing in huge numbers that have already destroyed fish farms on European coasts and blocked the cooling systems of nearby power stations. Jamileh Javidpour of GEOMAR, said: “In Europe alone, the imported American comb jelly has a biomass of one billion tonnes. While we tend to ignore the jellyfish, there must be other solutions.” The project will first entail exploring the lifecycle of several jellyfish species. A lack of knowledge about lifecycles makes it almost impossible to predict when and why a large jellyfish bloom will occur. Jellyfish would be much more sustainable and would protect natural fish stocks if used as fertilisers for agriculture or as aquaculture feed, according to the GoJelly team. Another option uses jellyfish as food for humans. Javidpour added: “In some cultures, jellyfish are already on the menu. As long as the end product is no longer slimy, it could also gain greater general acceptance.” Jellyfish also contain collagen, a substance very much sought after in the cosmetics industry. The post Jellyfish to provide ‘useful’ products appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
European battery manufacturers’ association Eurobat has welcomed a proposal by the European Commission to decarbonise the union’s transport sector. Eurobat welcomes it as “one of a number of sectors its members will help to decarbonise”. The group predicted that vehicles from hybrids through full electric “will co-exist for the foreseeable future” and, as such, “continuous efforts on the development of all battery technologies will be a fundamental cornerstone of the transition to a decarbonised economy”. According to the group, the decarbonisation of sectors from energy storage and grid stability to warehouse, port logistics and telecommunication will be underpinned by battery technology. Given this, Eurobat said it also welcomed the commission’s launch of a Battery Alliance earlier this month. As part of the alliance, the commission will deploy more than €2bn from the Horizon 2020 work programme for 2018-2020 to support research and innovation projects in four priority areas, all relevant for batteries, the decarbonication of the EU building stock, EU leadership on renewables, energy storage solutions and electro-mobility. Eurobat said the programme was in line with its proposed 2030 EU Battery Strategy, launched in February. The post Battery manufacturers welcome EU vehicle decarbonisation plan appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.