A loan supported by the InnovFin-EU finance for innovators initiative under the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme and extended by the European Investment Bank (EIB) is enabling German firm Heliatek to boost production of an organic solar energy-generating film that can be used on office blocks.
A new way to farm indoors using different wavelengths of light could boost the taste of fruits, salads and herbs, while also increasing food supply and nutritional value.
Unravelling one of the most elaborate forms of non-human communication – the honeybee’s waggle dance – could help researchers better understand insect brains and make farming more environmentally friendly.
At the request of Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, the scientific advisors examined the question: “Could the current EU dual system for approval and authorisation of plant protection products be rendered more effective, efficient and transparent, and if so, how could this be achieved?”
Cooperative marine research projects between the countries surrounding the Black Sea could reveal cultural heritage sites and unknown resources such as frozen methane, as well as enhance economic growth, bolster tourism and strengthen political bonds, according to Dr Adrian Stanica. He is Director-General of the Romanian National Institute of Marine Geology and Geoecology (GeoEcoMar) and one of the experts tasked with identifying the research gaps and opportunities in the Black Sea region.
Huge volumes of waste building materials that are discarded every year could be recycled into new products such as gas masks and sports equipment following research being conducted by scientists and recycling firms.
The pioneering solar flight foundation Solar Impulse has launched an ‘Efficient Solution’ label for clean energy start-ups and innovations that can demonstrate their profitability, in a bid to boost investment in the sector.
Aviation is one of the most environmentally harmful forms of transportation, accounting for 3% of all EU greenhouse gas emissions. But new aircraft designs inspired by the work of an early 20th-century aviation engineer and natural substances such as honeycomb and grass could help to cut the environmental footprint of flying.
Water scarcity in the Mediterranean, South America, Africa… It is a growing global problem, as climate change pressure mounts and inefficiencies in water use and treatment continue, particularly in water-intensive industries. An EU-backed team – working with international partners – has developed an innovative, low-cost inorganic wastewater treatment using agricultural and industrial leftovers.
Food fraud, where different or low-quality food is deliberately mislabelled and sold as high-quality goods, risks the health of consumers as well as the economic viability of producers and manufacturers. To combat this, researchers have figured out that analysing the past and present behaviour of criminal activity could predict what they might target in the future.
EU-funded research is ensuring that new policy tools supporting the renewable energy sector – such as auctions – deliver on their promise to provide cost-efficient, carbon-free energy for consumers, helping Europe meet its environmental and economic targets.
In March 2018, French scientists reported a steep decline in the country’s bird populations, primarily as a result of agricultural activity. Causes include the increase in monoculture, detrimental land-use policies and, perhaps most importantly, the growth in the use of powerful pesticides such as neonicotinoids, which, by killing off insects, reduces the bird population by reducing the food available to them.
Aircraft seats that temporarily shrink and a joined-up transport system that allows people to easily plan a door-to-door journey could help shift people’s first choice of travel away from cars and towards public transport by reducing the time and effort involved.
‘Clean’ and ‘soft’ are words strongly associated with washing products and fabric softeners, and soon they are set to be described as ‘green’ too with less chemical waste and longer-lasting action.
Encouraging new ideas and fresh thinking is critical for innovation in aviation in order to respond to the growing demand for air travel and to the increasing number of air vehicles taking to the skies, including drones. That is why the SESAR Joint Undertaking supports exploratory research and has created an innovation pipeline in its research programme that transforms innovative ideas into solutions to increase the performance of air traffic management (ATM). This article provides a sample of just some of these innovative projects.