Bern University of Applied Sciences
Muri, Switzerland

The Bern University of Applied science is a public vocational university with campuses in Bern, Biel, Burgdorf, Magglingen, and Zollikofen, Switzerland. It is made up of six schools: the School of Engineering and Information Technology; the School of Architecture, Civil and Wood Engineering; the School of Management, Administration and Social Work; Bern University of the Arts; Swiss College of Agriculture; and the College of Sports Magglingen. Wikipedia.

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News Article | May 25, 2017

First, diesel vehicles tainted their reputation with soot particles, then high nitric oxide emissions. So are owners of new gasoline cars environmentally friendly? Not always, says a new study led by Empa scientists: some direct-injection gasoline engines emit just as many soot particles as unfiltered diesel cars did in the past. Particle filters can remedy this. Worldwide, three new cars roll off the line every second -- that's 73 cars and 18 million utility vehicles per year. Most run on gasoline. In industrialized nations, the trend is moving towards so-called downsizing engines: smaller but with direct gasoline injection and turbocharging. This technology is kind to the environment and saves fuel, the manufacturers say. Experts estimate that by 2020, 50 million of these direct-injection gasoline engines will be running on the roads all over Europe -- high time the cocktail of exhaust emissions from these engines were examined closely. In the spring 2014, the GasOMeP project (Gasoline Vehicle Emission Control for Organic, Metallic and Particulate Non-Legislative Pollutants) got underway. The Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Bern University of Applied Sciences, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, several industrial partners and Empa were all involved. The project was funded by the ETH Domain's Competence Center for Energy and Mobility (CCEM) and coordinated by Empa chemist Norbert Heeb, who has made a name for himself in the last 25 years by analyzing diesel emissions and studying filter systems. The team selected seven direct-injection gasoline cars, including a Mitsubishi Carisma (2001 model, exhaust emission standard Euro 3). The other vehicles were all built between 2010 (VW Golf, Euro 4) and 2016 (Citroën C4, Euro 6b). By way of comparison, a current Peugeot 4008 (2013, Euro 5b) with a diesel engine and a particle filter was also included. All the vehicles were tested based on the WLTP cycle (Worldwide Light-Duty Vehicles Test Procedure), which will be mandatory for newly licensed models as of September 2017 (see p. 10). The results were sobering: every single one of the tested gasoline cars emitted ten to 100 times more fine soot particles than the diesel Peugeot. Under the microscope, the particles from the gasoline engines were similar in size to the soot particles that had given diesel a bad name: primary particles measuring ten to 20 nanometers in size, which congregate into particle agglomerates measuring 80 to 100 nanometers before leaving the exhaust. "Once inhaled, these particles remain in the body forever," explains Norbert Heeb. The evidence shows that they can penetrate the membrane of human alveoli in the lungs and thus get into the bloodstream. However, the particles are not the only problem, as Heeb is well aware: "Liquid or solid chemical toxins from the combustion process, including polycyclic aromatic compounds, accumulate on the surface of the particles, which can then smuggle these substances into the bloodstream -- like a Trojan horse." Maria Munoz, a colleague of Heeb's from Empa's Advanced Analytical Technologies lab, took a closer look at the exhaust emissions from the vehicles tested in the GasOMeP project -- and discovered the combustion product benzo(a)pyrene, a known carcinogenic substance also found in cigarette smoke. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers even the tiniest dose of benzo(a)pyrene harmful. The EU settled on an air limit of one nanogram per cubic meter. Levels in exhaust emissions were found to be as much as 1,700 times above this limit. Or to put it another way, one cubic meter of exhaust gas transforms up to 1,700 cubic meters of clean air into a mixture deemed carcinogenic according to the EU standard. Once again, the diesel vehicle with particle filter fared much better: in the test, the Peugeot emitted only 45 nanograms of carcinogenic substances -- 6 times less than the best one of the analyzed gasoline cars. The results of the GasOMeP project were presented during a conference held at the Empa Academy in late March. The conclusion of the researchers involved: particle filters are established in diesel vehicles and have offered advanced technology for years; based on the current data, they should now also be mandatory for gasoline vehicles. "At the moment, they don't incorporate the best available technology," criticizes Heeb, urging haste: "New exhaust emission technologies launched on the market usually take around 13 years to become fully effective. Only then will nine out of ten cars from the vehicle stock be replaced. So the sooner particle filters are made mandatory for gasoline vehicles, the better it will be for everyone's health."

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: EUJ-02-2016 | Award Amount: 1.79M | Year: 2016

Data has been termed to be the oil of the 21st century. Data will also be what the smart city of the future runs on. To make this a reality, cities need a platform where data from a variety of sources IoT and sensor data, open government data, social media, and other 3rd party data providers can be processed, linked, and analysed in order to extract valuable information that in turn can also be provided as linked open data, and with which new types of services are created and provisioned. Both cities as well as private service providers can build novel applications and services on top of this platform; the platform thus becomes an economically valuable driver for Smart City Innovation. The main goal of this project is to develop such a City Platform as a Service (CPaaS) that can be federated to support regional or even global applications, and that forms the basis for a smart city data infrastructure. Technical challenges that need to be addressed include data provenance, data quality, adaptive privacy levels, policies and adaptive processes for distributing and deploying processing intelligence to the cloud or to the edge. Other important aspects include data governance, data management and the empowerment of the citizen to control access and sharing of data about her using a MyData approach. In addition to the development of the platform, several use cases in the domains of event and transport management, water management, and health emergency services will be implemented and validated with cities in Europe and Japan. Blue prints both from a technical as well as from a process perspective for these domains that can easily be transferred and adapted from one region to another will be developed. This will for example allow transferring the learnings from the Asian Winter Games 2017 to the Tokyo Olympics 2020. And finally, the results from the project are used to develop standardisation proposals in the related areas to ensure impact beyond the project.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: FoF-ICT-2013.7.2 | Award Amount: 14.01M | Year: 2013

During more than 50 years of the laser existence, they have been proved as the unique tool for diverse material processing application. New application ideas, coming from universities and research institutions, are usually implemented by spin-off companies with limited resources for market penetration. Research laboratories are using universal laser tools, while effective and low-cost production requires adaptation of the processes and equipment during the technology assessment by the end-user.\nThe APPOLO project seeks to establish and coordinate connections between the end-users, which have demand on laser technologies for (micro)fabrication, knowledge accumulated in the application laboratories of the research institutes, as well as universities and the laser equipment manufacturers (preferable SMEs) of novel lasers, beam control and guiding, etc. The goal is to facilitate faster validation of the process feasibility and adaptation of the equipment for manufacturing, as well as assessment of the selected production processes. The core of the consortium comprises laser application laboratories around Europe which are connected into a virtual hub to accumulate knowledge and infrastructure and promote the easy-to-access environment for the development and validation of laser-based technologies. All the partners have chosen a few directions for the assessment of novel laser technologies: in ultra-short pulse laser scribing for monolithic interconnections in thin film CIGS solar cells - from lasers to pilot lines; use of the lasers and intelligent scanning in smart surface texturing for automotive and printing/decoration industries and for 3D flexible electronics.\nImplementation of the APPOLO project will help the partners from European photonics industry to preserve their competitiveness and penetrate new niches on the global market. The equipment builders for automotive, photovoltaics, electronics and printing industries will benefit from faster integration of innovative technologies which will provide the new-quality consumer products, including low-cost and high-efficiency solar cells, comfortable interior and functionality of cars, smart sensors for environmental monitoring and more.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: FoF.NMP.2013-5 | Award Amount: 8.59M | Year: 2013

In the past, customers invested in high cost, long service-life products. Today, they demand complex product-services capable of adapting to new customer goals and rapidly changing markets. The Use-it-wisely project will enable European manufacturers to operate successfully within this new paradigm. The project will investigate a new business model that implements continuous product-service adaptation through a sequence of small innovative steps. It will demonstrate that product-service agility and extended service life realized in this way is more viable than large and infrequent upgrades in terms of cost, duration and environmental impact. Use-it-wisely will develop and demonstrate the adaptation platform consisting of the following three elements: (1) multi-disciplinary actors-product-service system model; (2) adaptation mechanism based on the knowledge and skills of all actors involved with the system; (3) interactive collaborative distributed environment, where the actors work out the adaptation steps. The scientific breakthrough will be achieved by creating and validating a holistic systems engineering structure that combines human-machine systems, product lifecycle management, business and organizational dynamics and lifecycle assessment. The industry-led consortium is founded on complementary clusters in six key industry sectors: energy, machinery, space, office workplace, vehicles, and ship building. Use-it-wisely will enable new business for the manufacturers and their suppliers, subcontractors and open new opportunities for the customers. It will increase their competitive advantage by means of product-service agility, lower costs, shorter lead times, and reduced environmental impact. Finally, it will help to transform peoples knowledge and skills into product-service value thus strengthening Europes global competitiveness and securing domestic employment. With Use-it-wisely, the more the product-service is used, the better it gets.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: BB-04-2016 | Award Amount: 2.96M | Year: 2016

Forest biomass is currently one of the most important source of renewable energy and accounts for almost half of the EUs total renewable energy consumption. In addition to raw materials, forests also provide a wide range of vital non-wood services that should be protected during wood extraction. The innovation project Forwarder2020 has the main aim of improving sustainability of wood production and delivery as well as operational forest management and planning through the development of specific modules for more efficient forwarders (wood extraction and transportation vehicles): hydrostatic-mechanical power-split transmission hydro-pneumatic suspension of the forwarder hybrid hydraulic system for driving the crane with double recuperation of the potential energy bogie axle with three instead of two driven wheels at each side to be mounted under the timber load monitoring system for transparency and documentation of process data like machine data, static and dynamic load over time and position The combined effect of these five innovations applied to forwarders will have the following impact: lowering of the dynamic wheel load by 25% over the same forwarder without suspension at same payload and speed. reduction of rut depths by 50% lowering fuel consumption while driving over the existing hydrostatic transmissions by 30% making long hauling distances more economic by the efficiency of the power-split transmission lowering fuel consumption while loading and unloading due to the double recuperation of the potential energy of the crane mass by 30%. more precise planning of the tracks and documentation of the loads carried on the specific part of the track supplying to the market a unique and modular system of high-end solutions above the competitors, where the customer can make his choice of equipment and bear no higher costs for the modules not chosen. bring consortium partners and thus Europe to a strong position on markets

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.4.3 | Award Amount: 1.86M | Year: 2014

To make publishing and processing of linked data easy, the proposed project develops a set of integrated software components based on open-source Linked Data Platform best practices. The tightly integrated components support the multilingual data value chain from data exploration (e.g. identifying structured and unstructured data sources), extraction (e.g. using named entity recognition, RDF conversion), enrichment (e.g. interlinking, crowdsourcing), and delivery (e.g. analytics, apps for desktop and mobile devices). These components run on an open-source data platform with various enterprise-grade storage solutions.The vision is to make publishing and reuse of linked data as easy as possible for the end user thanks to a thriving market economy with data publishers, developers, and consumers along the value chain. Making data reusable and interoperable within and outside the organization requires a fundamentally different ap-proach to storing knowledge. The best name is probably a Logical Data Warehouse...because it focuses on the logic of information ...[for] giving integrated access to all forms of information assets. Only with integrated access to the data is it possible to have apps on top of that data that scale across single use cases and provide real added value.Fusepool LDAP (Linked Data Analytics Processing) derives its name from the idea of fusing and pooling linked data with analytical processing on top of it. Because linked data is multidimensional data, it lends itself to analytical processing such as consolidation (e.g. aggregation within a dimension), drill-down (e.g. navigating through the details), and slicing and dicing (e.g. viewing an aspect from different dimensions). However, an integrated publishing and processing workflow with integrated user interfaces is still missing. The lack of an integrated publishing and processing environment makes it difficult and time-consuming for data publishers and consumers to engage with linked data.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: NMP.2013.3.0-2 | Award Amount: 4.05M | Year: 2014

The forest-based value chains are one of the dominant contributors to the GDP in the rural regions of Europe. Besides the traditional value chains, novel ones are in the horizon, with significant impacts on the requirements for the raw material supply chains. A major roadblock for improving forest-based value chains is the lack of integrated control and planning mechanism. FOCUS will demonstrate how innovative sensor technologies and control methods can solve this problem, with case studies in Finland, Belgium, Switzerland,Germany,Austria, Portugal covering the main forest-based production processes in Europe biomass for bioenergy, timber and pulp wood, and cork transformation. The goal of FOCUS is to improve the individual value chain processes, and to remove the barriers for integrated planning and control for the whole value chain. The project brings together leading SMEs and organisations in the fields of environment and machine sensors, production machinery and control automation software development. The expertise is needed to address the key challenges: novel sensor development for environment, raw material and production machinery monitoring; new process specific control processes; plug-and-play composition of value chain wide control processes. The productivity and sustainability of the value chains will be enhanced by enabling the best use of the production resources, and by reducing harmful impacts like soil compaction by forest machines, and carbon footprint of the operations. Product marketability will be increased by traceability of raw material origin, and by controlling the quality of the raw material during the production process. The open source FOCUS platform will foster new business models by enabling several SMEs to jointly offer solutions. The project will be a paradigm for support of efficient and sustainable exploitation of existing and new forest-based value chains alike, and will enhance the economic development of European rural areas.

Bern University of Applied Sciences | Date: 2015-03-25

The present application relates to a device (1) for active movement of a person or object comprising a base structure (2) and a platform (3) movably supported on the base structure (2) by means of a support (4). The support (4) is arranged between said base structure (2) and said platform (3) and is configured to allow a movement of said platform (3) in at least three degrees of freedom. At least three cables (6.1, 6.2, 6.3) are fastened to an underside of said platform (3) at a first end. The at least three cables (6.1, 6.2, 6.3) are fastened at a second end to a common initial point (8), said initial point (8) being freely movable at least in one plane by actuation means.

Bern University of Applied Sciences and Daetwyler Graphics AG | Date: 2016-07-20

A method for adjusting a laser processing apparatus, whereby the laser processing apparatus comprises a laser source capable of emitting a beam of laser pulses for processing a target, and a laser scanner which is configured to move the beam of laser pulses over the target to be processed, and whereby a movement of the laser scanner is synchronized with respect to the laser pulses, wherein for synchronisation a phase of a scanner control signal which controls the movement of the laser scanner is locked to the laser pulses or a laser pulse signal, is characterized in that the phase of the scanner control signal is adjusted such that an emitted laser pulse hits the target to be processed in a desired position.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: DS-07-2015 | Award Amount: 1.57M | Year: 2016

The growing complexity of the digital ecosystem in combination with increasing global risks entail the danger that enforcing cybersecurity may bypass other fundamental values like equality, fairness or privacy, whereas downplaying cybersecurity would undermine citizens trust and confidence in the digital infrastructure. Technology developers as well as legal and philosophical scholars and empirical researchers have dealt for many years with cybersecurity issues, although from very specific angles. What is missing is community-building that unifies these perspectives from the presupposition that technology development in cybersecurity should incorporate European values and fundamental rights. Constructing this community an alliance for value-driven cybersecurity is the central aim of the CANVAS consortium. CANVAS consists of partners from different scientific traditions ethical, legal, empirical and technological with unique competences and broad contact networks such that they can serve as seed crystals for community-building. The consortium will take three domains of application with unique value-profiles and complementing cybersecurity exigencies the health system, finance, and police / national security as starting point for outlining problems related to value-driven cybersecurity. Using a three-step process, CANVAS will (1) structure existing knowledge, (2) design a network for exchanging knowledge and generating insights across domains, and (3) disseminate the insights gained through three means: A reference curriculum for value-driven cybersecurity with a focus on industry-training, briefing packages for policy stakeholders, and a MOOC (massive open online course) on value-driven cybersecurity. Furthermore, the alliance that should result from this community-building will allow for self-organization among alliance members for tackle specific research questions that emerge out of knowledge exchange in future proposals.

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