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Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: NMP-21-2014 | Award Amount: 9.18M | Year: 2015

Currently there is a lack of methodologies for the conservation of modern and contemporary artworks, many of which will not be accessible in very short time due to extremely fast degradation processes. The challenge of NANORESTART (NANOmaterials for the REStoration of works of ART) will be to address this issue within a new framework with respect to the state of the art of conservation science. NANORESTART is devoted to the development of nanomaterials to ensure long term protection and security of modern/contemporary cultural heritage, taking into account environmental and human risks, feasibility and materials costs. The market for conservation of this heritage is estimated at some 5 billion per year, and could increase by a significant factor in the next years due to the wider use of nanomaterials. The new tools and materials developed will represent a breakthrough in cultural heritage and conservation science and will focus on: (i) tools for controlled cleaning, such as highly-retentive gels for the confinement of enzymes and nanostructured fluids based on green surfactants; (ii) the strengthening and protection of surfaces by using nanocontainers, nanoparticles and supramolecular systems/assemblies; (iii) nanostructured substrates and sensors for enhanced molecules detection; (iv) evaluation of the environmental impact and the development of security measures for long lasting conservation of cultural heritage. Within the project the industrial scalability of the developed materials will be demonstrated. NANORESTART gathers centres of excellence in the field of synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials, world leading chemical Industries and SMEs operating in R&D, and International and European centres for conservation, education and museums. Such centres will assess the new materials on modern/contemporary artefacts in urgent need of conservation, and disseminate the knowledge and the new nanomaterials among conservators on a worldwide perspective.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: LCE-16-2014 | Award Amount: 3.40M | Year: 2015

Securing abundant, affordable, and clean energy remains a critical scientific challenge. Fortuitously, large shale formations occur within Europe. As the conventional gas production in Europe peaked in 2004, European shale gas could become a practical necessity for the next 50 years. However, the exploitation of shale gas remains challenging. Further, its environmental footprint is at present poorly quantified. Great care is needed to assess and pursue this energy resource in the safest possible way for the long-term future of Europe whilst protecting the European diverse natural environment. With this in mind, ShaleXenvironmenT assembled a multi-disciplinary academic team, with strong industrial connections. A comprehensive approach is proposed towards ensuring that the future development of shale gas in Europe will safeguard the public with the best environmental data suitable for governmental appraisal, and ultimately for encouraging industrial best practice. The primary objective is to assess the environmental footprint of shale gas exploitation in Europe in terms of water usage and contamination, induced seismicity, and fugitive emissions. Using synergistically experiments and modeling activities, ShaleXenvironmenT will achieve its objective via a fundamental understanding of rock-fluid interactions, fluid transport, and fracture initiation and propagation, via technological innovations obtained in collaboration with industry, and via improvements on characterization tools. ShaleXenvironmenT will maintain a transparent discussion with all stakeholders, including the public, and will suggest ideas for approaches on managing shale gas exploitation, impacts and risks in Europe, and eventually worldwide. The proposed research will bring economical benefits for consultancy companies, service industry, and oil and gas conglomerates. The realization of shale gas potential in Europe is expected to contribute clean energy for, e.g., the renaissance of the manufacturing industry.

Recent work has shown the possibility to drastically increase the reflection performance of the building envelop, using nanotechnologies. Standard metal oxides are already known for their solar reflection properties, but latest developments identified that nanotechnologies can improve Index of Reflectance from an average of 0,35 to 0,85 because of their effectiveness on Near Infrared wavelengths, even on non white surfaces. The NIR reflective COOL-Coverings Project aims to develop an easy to use and cost-effective range of coatings that can be rapidly offered in the market of retrofitting and new constructions: (1) on the external walls; (2) on faades ceramics; (3) on the roofs, for which an already existing new generation membrane will incorporate a nanotechnological-based NIR reflecting coating; (4) on the internal walls and tiles, since the NIR-Reflecting nanocrystalline oxides can be developed in such a reflection range that may also cover the radiation from indoor heating systems. Glazed envelops and windows have not been considered in the scope of the project since several players are already active with a considerable amount of scientific papers. First simulations showed that NIR reflective solutions allow interesting savings in cooling and heating bills, and pay off rapidly the initial investment. The more competitive target will be air-conditioned buildings with flat roof in hot Mediterranean coast, while there is a clear evidence that also buildings in northern continental climates will payoff the additional investment in the NIR technology, due to reflective properties of the internal walls.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV-NMP.2011.3.2.1-1;ENV-NMP.2011.2.2-5 | Award Amount: 3.76M | Year: 2011

The main objective of the NANOFORART proposal is the development and experimentation of new nano-materials and responsive systems for the conservation and preservation of movable and immovable artworks. While the progress in material science has generated sophisticated nanostructured materials, conservation of cultural heritage is still mainly based on traditional methods and conventional materials that often lack the necessary compatibility with the original artworks and a durable performance in responding to the changes of natural environment and man-made activities. The main challenge of NANOFORART is the combination of sophisticated functional materials arising from the recent developments in nano-science/technology with innovative techniques in the restoration and preventive conservation of works of art, with unprecedented efficiency. The research activity will be focused on the development of manageable methodologies, based on nanosized structures and with a low environmental impact. The main tasks include the production of dispersions of nanoparticles, micellar solutions, microemulsions and gels, in order to offer new reliable pathways to restore and preserve works of art by combining the main features and properties of soft and hard-matter systems for cultural heritage conservation and preservation. In the second part of the project great importance will be given to technology transfer to SMEs that will play an important role in the standardization of applicative protocols, in the up-scale and commercialization of technology and in the evaluation of the eco-toxicity of nano-materials. A fundamental part of the project is also related to the role of end-users. Important museums, such as the National Museum of Anthropology and History of Mexico City and the National Museum of Denmark, will validate the technology and the methods developed in the first part of the project, and provide training activities and dissemination of the developed techniques.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IAPP | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IAPP | Award Amount: 2.37M | Year: 2013

Antimicrobial agents, such as antibiotics, have dramatically reduced the number of deaths from infectious diseases over the last 70 years. However, through overuse and misuse of these agents, many micro-organisms have developed antimicrobial resistance. Oligonucleotide therapeutics have the potential to become the new class of antibacterials capable of treating a broad range of infections. By acting on novel targets, they circumvent current resistance mechanisms and with judicious use, can suppress the rise of future resistance. DNA-TRAP will build on a platform technology that uses proprietary nucleic acid-based Transcription Factor Decoys (TFDs) that act on novel genomic targets by capturing key regulatory proteins to block essential bacterial genes and defeat infection. Taking forward newly emerging insights and expertise that exists within each of the partners and through the mutual secondment of researchers, the project aims to develop a new class of nanoparticulate antibacterials capable of meeting the clinical challenge of drug-resistant infections such as Clostridium difficile and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. DNA-TRAP will establish a lasting, international partnership for transfer of knowledge between Industry and Academia in the field of nanomedicine. Exchange of knowledge and expertise between the partners is key to establishing the fundamental properties of nanostructured drug delivery systems to treat bacterial infections and through this, provide the basis for building a manufacturing platform to advance the experimental therapeutic into clinical trials. 17 researchers in the field of drug development and delivery from 2 commercial (SME) and 2 non-commercial partners across 2 member states, will have the opportunity to share and acquire new complementary and multidisciplinary knowledge, through inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary exchange, allowing for the development of new solutions and the establishment of further joint research projects.

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