Television viewers could be offered advertisements that are a lot more relevant to their own tastes with the help of new technology. The new technology is under development by an EU-funded project called TOUCHVIE, which is working on creating a software called Dive. The software uses artificial intelligence to identify objects, music, décor and locations in video content, so tags can be added to them in real time. Dive could put an end to the old-fashioned model of television advertising, where companies buy slots during breaks in a programme as it is broadcast. The growth of online streaming services and piracy has meant fewer viewers need to use traditional broadcast television, and can instead watch their favourite shows without adverts. Sharique Husain, co-founder of Dive, based in Madrid and Munich, said most advertising on television currently lacks the context to make it relevant to viewers. Husain said: “If the advert is something that is not relevant to the content I am watching, I am likely to find it annoying, even if that advert itself is of high quality. However, if the advert is relevant to what I’m watching and perhaps comes at the right moment when I could be interested, it becomes an experience.” The project has developed a software aimed at making adverts far more contextual, intuitive and personalised. It also aims to bring back the one-screen experience, removing the use of distracting second devices. The idea is that each viewer can be presented with their own personalised, interactive adverts at the touch of a button that do not distract them from the show they are watching. The software uses AI technologies, especially computer vision and deep learning methods. The post TV advertisements to be personalised appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Scientists have discovered a pioneering technique to transform ambient heat into motion in nanoscale devices that could revolutionise future generations of data storage and sensors. The innovative study by a team of international researchers, including Professor Gino Hrkac from the University of Exeter, UK, created a magnetic system capable of extracting thermal energy using a specific type of gear known as a ratchet. The technique is also able to turn magnetic energy into the directed rotation of the magnetisation. Sebastian Gliga, the lead author of the study and Marie Curie Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow, recalls: “The system we have studied is an artificial spin ice, a class of geometrically frustrated magnetic materials. We were surprised to see that the geometry of the interactions can be tailored to achieve an active material that acts as a ratchet.” These findings establish an unexpected route to transforming magnetic energy into the directed motion of magnetisation. The effect now found in the two-dimensional magnetic structures comes with the promise that it will be of practical use in nanoscale devices such as magnetic nanomotors, actuators or sensors. The paper, titled ‘Emergent dynamic chirality in a thermally driven artificial spin ratchet’, is published in Nature Materials. The work was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Vienna Science and Technology Fund and the Royal Society. The post Scientists create magnetic motion system appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Bio-plastics are being promoted as a way of reducing the amount of plastic that does not get recycled. Professor Kevin O’Connor has a number of projects with the objective of reducing the amount of waste that goes to the incinerator. O’Connor is doing so in two separate projects, one through a company he set up, Bioplastech and P4SB. Bioplastech currently turns waste into biodegradable polymers which are now being tested with international adhesive companies. P4SB is a €7.4m European Union Horizon 2020 project through which O’Connor and his team at University College Dublin, Ireland, aims to propel the sustainable production of new polymers from waste plastic. Both of these projects are using bacteria and their enzymes to biochemically upcycle these waste materials. O’Connor is a chairperson of the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBIJU), a €4bn public private partnership between the EU and the bio-based consortium, which aims to develop sustainable bio-based industrial activity in Europe. The post EU-funded projects upcycle plastic to bio-plastic appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
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China and the EU will partner under Horizon 2020 to further innovation in science and technology with the EU committing €33bn over the next two years in a global science, technology and innovation programme. Up to €99.7m of the fund has been earmarked to specifically promote co-operation between the EU and China. China’s Ministry for Science and Technology has committed €25.8m to helping Chinese organisations who wish to take part in the programme. This will be used to help organisations co-operate with Europe in areas of science, technology and innovation. At last week’s Communist Party Congress, leader Xi Jinping emphasised innovation as a primary driving force for development in China. The European Network of Research and Innovation Centres and Hubs (ENRICH) is a platform for promoting science, innovation and technology, and it hopes to build a bridge between China and Europe by providing services relating to consultancy, soft-landing, co-working and training for European organisations. Sarah Medina, co-ordinator of ENRICH as quoted in China Daily, said: “One of the biggest problems that European companies and organisations face is that they lack a channel for co-operation with their Chinese counterparts.” Over 50 European companies have committed to furthering their involvement with China through the ENRICH scheme. The post China and Europe partner in H2020 investment appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
The Demeto project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and has now been officially launched. Demeto aims to enable chemical de-polymerisation of Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) at industrial scale based on its microwave-based process intensification, focusing as a start on coloured bottles. During its opening event at the end of September, the consortium welcomed around 60 experts from the PET packaging and polyester industry and gave an insight into the Demeto project. The core technology of Demeto has been invented gr3n to enable an effective process strengthening of the depolymerisation reaction of plastic, from bottles as much as from any other source. Maurizio Crippa, CEO of gr3n, said: “Demeto proposes the industrialisation and demonstration at full scale of a new industrial process which allows [us] to chemically recycle PET bottles, food containers and even textiles in a highly profitable and environmentally substantial way.” Franco Cavadini, CTO of Synesis, added: “Demeto’s technology, once successfully implemented, would allow [us] to close the recycling loop for PET, with a potential impact on environment and society at large that would be enormous, introducing the concept of full circular economy in the plastic domain.” The complete Demeto Consortium includes Actor, DTU, European Outdoor Group, European Plastics Converters, Fricke and Mallah GmbH, gr3n, H&M, Neogroup, Processi Innovativi, Petcia, Supsi, Synesis, and 3V Tech. The post Demeto officially launches chemical recycling project appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
The European Commission has announced how it will spend €30bn on the EU’s research and innovation funding programme Horizon 2020 during 2018-2020. Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas said: “Artificial Intelligence, genetics, blockchain: science is at the core of today’s most promising breakthrough innovations. “Europe is a world leader in science and technology and will play a major role in driving innovation. “The commission is making a concerted effort – including with the European Innovation Council, which takes its first steps today – to give Europe’s many innovators a springboard to become world-leading companies.” Over the next three years, the commission will seek greater impact of its research funding by focusing on fewer, but more critical topics such as migration, security, climate, clean energy and the digital economy. Horizon 2020 will also be more geared towards boosting breakthrough, market-creating innovation. The commission is launching the first phase of the European Innovation Council, mobilising €2.7bn from Horizon 2020 to support high-risk, high-gain innovation to create the markets of the future. The initiative complements wider efforts made by the Juncker Commission since the beginning of its mandate to give Europe’s many innovative entrepreneurs every opportunity to thrive. The post Commission to invest in societal challenges and breakthrough innovation appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Institutions from 22 countries demand clarification on whether and how the UK will be able to participate in future EU research projects. Leaders of universities from the 22 European countries have warned that uncertainty about the UK’s future involvement in European programmes after 2019 is causing problems, and demand speedier progress in Brexit talks. In a joint statement from representative organisations of universities and national rectors’ conferences, they have called for more urgency on Brexit negotiations, with less than a year and a half until the UK leaves. The group also seeks “clarification” on arrangements for UK-based researchers in Horizon 2020 and the Erasmus+ student exchange programme after March 2019. Janet Beer, president of Universities UK and vice-chancellor of the University of Liverpool, said: “We are now entering a period in which universities need to be finalising their research, collaboration and student exchange programmes for 2019. There is an urgent need for clarity on the UK’s participation in Horizon 2020 beyond Brexit.” Research is due to be discussed in the second phase of negotiations. The UK government has said it is willing to pay to access future EU research programmes. Students arriving on campus this autumn and planning a period abroad as part of their studies need clarity on whether they can participate in the EU’s Erasmus+ programme from 2019 onwards, the statement says. The UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy also issued a statement reiterating that the UK has pledged to pay British grantees directly after March 2019, so that Brexit does not interrupt their projects. The post Universities say Brexit is hindering collaboration appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
A scale-up of tidal energy projects aims to expand capacity, improve reliability and prove their worth to investors as a renewable energy source.  Nova Innovation, a tidal power company based in Edinburgh, UK, deployed the world’s first array of tidal turbines last year, which were connected to the electricity grid in Shetland. In the autumn 2016, Nova Innovation received a Horizon 2020’s SME Instrument grant of €2.25m to develop a commercial demonstrator of Nova’s innovative direct drive tidal turbine technology. The turbines work by using the ebb of the tides from high to low twice a day, which moves huge quantities of water in the world’s seas. This rush of water back and forth can be harnessed to drive turbines beneath the surface, producing electricity. Simon Forrest, chief executive of Nova Innovation, said: “The sea is one of the world’s most challenging environments. However, technical innovation and learnings from the wind sector are being used to make the dream of harnessing energy from the tide a reality.” The array of three 100-kilowatt turbines were installed in Bluemull Sound between the islands of Unst and Yell. Remote islands like these benefit from additional power sources, and are home to some of the world’s most powerful tidal forces. As water is denser than air, such turbines have the potential to generate much more energy than can be produced by wind turbines of a similar size. A major element of the project will be moving the position of individual turbines to assess which arrangements in the water capture the most power from the tidal currents. Together with an existing array of moveable turbines, the new turbines will bring a generating capacity of 12 megawatts to the area by 2020 — enough to power 7,000 homes. The post Tidal energy projects aim to improve renewables’ reliability appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
A €25m EU project, PEFerence, was officially launched on Wednesday (20 September) to establish an innovative value chain for 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) and polyethylene furanoate (PEF). The PEFerence project is based in in Geleen, the Netherlands, and began in September. The consortium consists of 11 companies from eight countries including Synvina, Avantium, BASF, Tereos Participants, Alpla Werke Alwin Lehner, OMV Machinery, Croda Nederland, Nestec, Lego System, nova-Institut für politische und ökologische Innovation, and Spinverse Innovation Management. The partners will be collaborating on the intended construction of a 50,000 tonne reference plant in Antwerp, amongst other things. As background, FDCA is the essential chemical building block to produce PEF. Compared to conventional plastics, PEF is characterised by improved barrier properties for gases like carbon dioxide and oxygen. This can lead to longer shelf life of packaged products. Due to its higher mechanical strength, thinner PEF packaging can be produced, thus a lower amount of packaging material is necessary. Therefore, PEF is particularly suitable for the production of certain food and drink packaging. After use, PEF can be recycled. PEFerence has received funding from the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The post EU project to establish supply chain for FDCA and PEF appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.