A new three-year research project has been launched to address safety and efficiency in Arctic ship operations. SEDNA will develop a novel risk-based approach to Arctic navigation, ship design and maritime operations. The project will develop the ‘Safe Arctic Bridge’, a human-centred operational environment for ice-going vessels. Its design and layout will focus on the navigational requirements of the Arctic, namely ice, weather and a lack of chart data. The Safe Arctic Bridge will use augmented reality to improve situational awareness and to support the crew in their decision making. It will be developed and tested in a virtual bridge prototyping system. SEDNA will develop anti-icing solutions for vessels’ superstructures. The build-up of ice on a ship can pose a serious risk to safety, as it affects stability and may render important equipment unusable. To prevent this, SEDNA will mimic the water-repellent properties of penguins’ feathers with a combination of a special surface texture and an oil-based coating. In addition, energy-efficient electro-thermal systems will be used. It will also develop a risk-based design framework for ship safety, including the definition of hazard scenarios, their likelihood and their expected consequences. In particular, this will take into account ice loads and their effects on ships. This aspect of the project will be based on the work of the LRF Centre of Excellence for Arctic Shipping and Operations and is expected to contribute to future development of the International Maritime Organization’s Polar Code. The project is led by BMT Group Ltd (UK) and brings together 13 partners from six different countries. The partners are University College London (UK), Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden), Atkitektur – og designhøgskolen i Oslo (Norway), University of Southampton (UK), MET Office (UK), Cork Institute of Technology (Ireland), Aalto University (Finland), Lloyd’s Register EMEA (UK), Aker Arctic Technology Inc. (Finland), Stena Rederi AB (Sweden), Dalian University of Technology (China) and Harbin Engineering University (China). The post Project to improve safety in Arctic shipping appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Scientists at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have developed a new method to efficiently measure electron transfer in dye-sensitised transition-metal oxide photovoltaics. Sensitised solar cells consisting of a molecular or solid-state sensitiser that serves to collect light and inject an electron into a substrate that favours their migration are among the most studied photovoltaic systems. Despite its importance in determining the potential of a photovoltaic device, current methods for monitoring the interfacial electron transfer remain ambiguous. Using deep-ultraviolet continuum pulses, EPFL scientists have developed a substrate-specific method to detect electron transfer. The work was carried out by the lab of Majed Chergui at EPFL, which specialises in ultrafast spectroscopy. The group focused on two types of dye-sensitised solar conversion systems: one based on titanium dioxide, the other on zinc-oxide nanoparticles, both of which belong to the category of transition-metal oxide (TMO) substrates. These TMOs are characterised by specific absorption bands, which are fingerprints of the system and are due to neutral electron-hole pairs, called an exciton. The EPFL team aimed to overcome the limitations of current methods of measuring electron transfer, which all use light in the visible-to-terahertz frequencies. However, this approach is sensitive to carriers that remain free in the TMO substrate. They are therefore unspecific to the type of substrate and cannot be extended to the new generation of solid-state-sensitised solar cells. Instead, the researchers at EPFL used deep-ultraviolet continuum pulses to probe the TMO substrates in the region of their excitonic transitions and detect electron transfer, via their response. This opens a route to the study of solid-state sensitised cells, as there is hope that the response of the substrate will be distinguished from that of the sensitiser. The work is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society and the study was funded under the Horizon 2020 programme and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). The post Deep-UV probing method detects electron transfer appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
An Italian provincial governor has defended the killing of a rare female brown bear in the Alps, stating it was a threat to humans. The bear, called Kj2, was shot dead by foresters on 12 August, after it seriously mauled an elderly man walking his dog last month. Trentino governor Ugo Rossi said the killing would not stop a project to reintroduce bears to the region, but their habitat must be restricted. Around 50 bears live in the province. Conservation groups have protested over the shooting and demanded better management of the EU-funded bear project, called Life Ursus. Rossi said the shooting was “an absolute necessity” due to the risk to people at a peak period for tourism. “Anywhere in the world, when the danger rises above a certain level, the animal has to be killed to ensure people’s safety,” he said. Brown bears from Slovenia started to be reintroduced to Trentino in 1999, a region where they had been exterminated by hunters. Rossi said Life Ursus would continue, but the initial plan to allow the bears to roam widely would have to be revised. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Italy said ‘bears must not pay the price for human errors’ – and indicated that too many dogs had been let off the lead in the Alpine forests where the bears were roaming. The organisation urged the authorities to ‘work to eliminate the causes of such unpleasant episodes’. The post Italy official defends killing rare bear appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
A project led by Aston University, UK, to train new scientists to detect and study inflammation in common conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes has achieved early recognition.  ‘MASSTRPLAN’ is a €3.5m initiative to train 14 early stage researchers in six countries in advanced and novel research techniques to fill a current skills gap in this area. At the annual conference of the Society for Free Radical Research and the Oxygen Club of California’s world congress, jointly held in Berlin, Germany, Catarina Afonso, an early career researcher based at Aston University, achieved a Young Investigator Award for her poster presentation. Project co-ordinator Professor Corinne Spickett said: “We are all delighted with Catarina’s success, which both recognises her abilities and the importance of the MASSTRPLAN project which is training our future research leaders in biomedicine. “The award includes €800 in funding and an invitation to speak at the society’s annual conference in Lisbon, Portugal, in June 2018.” The MASSTRPLAN project has received funding under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) pillar of the Horizon 2020 programme. Spickett said: “Diabetes and obesity are the cause of major health problems in modern society, with more than a quarter of the UK population now being classed as obese. These conditions are part of something called metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that includes high blood pressure, insulin resistance and high blood LDL cholesterol levels, all of which increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and kidney diseases. “These diseases are linked to increased inflammation, which occurs when the immune system becomes activated and produces lots of damaging compounds. “In situations where there is excess fats or lipids such as cholesterol and triglycerides circulating in the blood, the lipid molecules can be attacked and oxidised. These oxidised lipids become sticky, like old cooking oil, and react with the proteins and cells in the body, changing their function.” The early stage researchers are studying the proteins most susceptible to attack by sticky lipids, how this changes the function of these proteins, and why this makes cells behave in a way that causes disease. The post Early recognition for project to train scientists appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
The International Energy Research Centre (IERC) has been selected to co-ordinate a €2m energy research contract into the development of new business models in energy efficiency and demand response programmes. Hosted at the Tyndall National Institute, Ireland, the project, known as ‘NOVICE’, will develop and demonstrate a business model that aims to unlock energy efficiency investments and achieve significant energy savings throughout building renovation. NOVICE introduces new actors (energy aggregators) in building energy upgrade projects, and fosters their collaboration with energy supply companies (ESCOs), financing institutions, facilities management companies and engineering consultants to facilitate the launch of a grid and energy efficiency services model. Professor Tony Day, executive director of IERC, said: “This energy efficiency research award recognises the importance of industry driven, collaborative energy research and its contribution to our future sustainable energy systems. It acknowledges the IERC’s international pedigree in sustainable energy systems research, and its innovation will enable both Irish ESCOs and aggregators to seamlessly collaborate in exploiting economies of scale, while providing a platform for both to share risk in the implementation of building energy renovations.” NOVICE will utilise energy performance contracting as it delivers a dual energy services scheme in building renovation. Dr Matthew Kennedy from the IERC described how NOVICE, throughout its three year duration, aims to make more than €20.8m of investments available in building renovation based on the dual energy services model. To achieve that target NOVICE brings together an experienced consortium that consists of stakeholders from the entire value chain (research institutions, technology vendors, engineering consultants and facilitators, aggregators, ESCOs, financing institutions, facilities management companies) of building renovation. The post Project to unlock energy efficiency investments appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Innovate UK has awarded the University of Huddersfield £850,000 (~€937,000) to test a new artificial intelligence (AI) system in Manchester designed to combat congestion and pollution. Able to carry out data analysis and to devise complex strategies in a fraction of the time required by human operators, the traffic management system – named ‘SimplifAI’ – will optimise timings at traffic signals in order to achieve the best possible flow, especially after unusual or unforeseen events have created congestion. Motorists queuing at the Old Trafford car parks on match days could be among the beneficiaries. There will then be scope for SimplifAI to be marketed globally, as a smart city solution to improving reliability of transport networks. A consortium has been formed to carry out the deployment of SimplifAI and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is providing the testing ground. The commercial lead is the research and development consultancy KAM Futures. Professor Lee McCluskey explained that the University of Huddersfield, KAM Futures and the other partners had earlier earned an Innovate UK feasibility study grant in order to show how AI could be used to control and manage traffic, in order to lessen congestion and improve air quality, especially in emergency or unusual conditions. “Under normal conditions, existing traffic management and traffic signals are not too bad,” said McCluskey. “Artificial Intelligence is providing a tool for transport operators so they can deal with extremely complicated situations more quickly. In just a few seconds it can produce strategies composed of hundreds of different timings at traffic signals.” The technical development of the system has been carried out by McCluskey and lecturer Dr Mauro Vallati at the University of Huddersfield’s School of Computing and Engineering. The post Al to alleviate traffic in Manchester appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Consultancy firm NEL is to lead a research programme that will enhance flow measurement standardisation across Europe between multiphase flow metrology testing facilities. The new three-year project is part of the European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR). Termed ‘MultiFlowMet II’, the project involves 17 global partners, including meter vendors, research specialists and multiphase test laboratories. Project partners include OneSubsea Processing AS, DNV GL, Cesky Metrologicky Institut, PTB, VTT, CMR, Cranfield University, Industrial Tomography Systems, Petroleum Software Ltd, Roxar Flow Measurement, Tea Sistemi, Coventry University, University of Leeds, Haimo International, Rosen, Schlumberger Oilfield and VNIIR, covering Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Singapore, UAE, and the UK. Multiphase flow measurement is an enabling capability in subsea oil and gas production. However, field measurements continue to exhibit high measurement uncertainty, which is costing the oil and gas industry billions of euros each year in financial exposure and production inefficiencies. MultiFlowMet II will develop a reference measurement capability that is consistent and comparable across the different multiphase flow measurement test laboratories, to improve industry confidence in these essential measurements. Dr David Crawford, project co-ordinator, said: “The lack of standardised facilities and procedures for testing multiphase flow meters has led to test result variances between laboratories. This project aims to harmonise multiphase flow measurements to better support efficient subsea exploration of new oil and gas reserves, by boosting confidence in both the measurement system and the meters that labs are testing. “The project is vital to the future development of oil and gas production as it will drive improvements and enhance confidence in multiphase flow measurement.” To achieve harmonisation, the research team will roll out an extended intercomparison testing programme, which will involve the design and provision of a mobile instrumentation suite that can be moved to multiple laboratories in order to enable comparison measurements to be taken. EMPIR has been developed as an integrated part of Horizon 2020. The post Project to enhance flow measurement standardisation appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Cell therapy company Pluristem Therapeutics has received funding to launch a phase three trial for the treatment of Critical limb ischaemia (CLI). CLI is an advanced stage of peripheral artery disease. Fatty deposits block arteries in the legs, severely reducing blood flow and causing pain, non-healing ulcers and gangrene. Patients with CLI are at a high risk of amputation and death, and those unsuitable for revascularisation are left with no adequate treatment options. Pluristem, based in Haifa, Israel, is a developer of placenta-based cell therapy products and is involved in a pivotal trial of its product PLX-PAD cells, which is used to treat CLI. The trial is currently enrolling participants in the US, the UK and Germany. Austria’s Agency for Health and Food Safety recently cleared the company’s CLI study so other Europeans may participate in the 250 patient trial. The company is hoping to have 40 active sites by the end of 2017. Pluristem’s PLX-PAD cell therapy is one of a few therapies in the world to have been selected to take part in the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Adaptive Pathways pilot project. The project’s goal is to streamline development for promising innovative medicines to allow for early access to patients with serious conditions who lack adequate treatment. Zami Aberman, chairman and co-CEO of Pluristem, said: “CLI is a severely debilitating and life-threatening disease that affects tens of millions of patients around the world. Approval for this trial and its innovative time-to-event endpoint by regulatory bodies worldwide reinforces our belief that our PLX-PAD cell therapy has great potential to successfully treat these patients and enable them to lead long and healthy lives.” The trial has received an $8m (~€6.8m) grant under the Horizon 2020 programme to cover a significant portion of the costs of the multinational trial. Following the completion of the study, data from all 250 participants will be submitted to the EMA to apply for full marketing approval in Europe. The post Critical limb ischaemia study funded appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Art digitisation company Madpixel has been awarded over €1m under the Horizon 2020 programme to support the deployment of its Second Canvas platform. Second Canvas will enable museums to digitalise and publish content based on high resolution art captures, enriched with storytelling exploring and interpreting the works. Second Canvas aims to help users understand art context and symbolism, demonstrate techniques and provide context to achieve full visualisation of each piece. The new solution introduces new features across media publishing options: web, native apps (iOS, Android, tvOS), digital publications – such as iBooks – interactive kiosks and digital exhibitions. The project also drives collaborations across museums, institutions to curate platforms, digital exhibitions, content generation, educational uses and activities that foster art culture across the EU. Starting in September, European museums interested in participating in MadPixel’s pilots can benefit from Second Canvas’ deployment. The initial phase will invite up to 100 institutions to participate. The solution will be available to all museums in the coming year. The post Project to deploy art digitalisation appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Brunel University London, UK, is set to lead a new £700,000 (~€775,600) project to cut energy waste in Europe’s ceramics, steel and aluminium industries. Energy-hungry industries such as metal, steel and ceramics production spend around 40% of running costs on energy and fuels and emit serious quantities of CO2. Supported by the Horizon 2020 programme, Project ETEKINA, (Heat Pipe Technology for Thermal Energy Recovery in Industrial Applications) will launch in October. Brunel will design three heat pipe-based heat exchangers, to be made by UK firm ECONOTHERM and tested in Spain, Slovenia and Italy. Led by Hussam Jouhara at the Institute of Energy Futures, the Brunel team is the project’s technical co-ordinator. They need to overcome challenges such as space, transport and integrating heat from separate processes and corrosive waste heat sources. The heat recovery systems they’ll develop will need to be safe, self-cleaning and have online monitoring and use the same mechanical design. Jouhara said: “ETEKINA could be easily used in 296 industries where it has potential applications in plastic and chemical production. The potential for heat pipes is exponentially growing with a substantial annual energy saving.” The post Brunel to cut industrial energy waste appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.