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Mol, Belgium

The Flemish institute for technological research , is a research centre, located in Mol, Antwerp, Flanders, Belgium. The institute performs contract research and develops products and processes in the fields of energy, environment and materials, for both the public and the private sector. Dirk Fransaer is director of the institute. Wikipedia.

Schoeters G.,Flemish Institute for Technological Research
Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health - Part B: Critical Reviews | Year: 2010

A sustainable society and a healthy society are major goals for European policymakers. Although most Europeans live a longer healthy life than ever, there is growing concern and anxiety about unknown health risks and threats of chemicals and a strong demand for more knowledge and more control. European legislation is responding to these demands. An example is the program on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), which came into force in 2007. It is a gigantic task for industry and for administrators to evaluate safety files of thousands of chemicals in a period of 12 years and to collect new data for chemicals not yet evaluated. Costs, number of toxicity tests, and number of animals that are needed are already well documented. REACH uses strict guidelines and focuses on apical endpoints that have been covered in the past by animal tests. Animal tests are slow, use unrealistic high doses, and have been shown to not always predict human toxicity correctly. The REACH program has made a clear opening for reduction of in vivo animal tests. Sharing toxicity data is a major improvement. For low tonnage levels, no further in vivo testing is allowed. The combination of scientifically valid information from alternative tests with available animal and human data into a weight-of-evidence approach is part of the integrated test strategy under REACH. Interpretation of this integrated information requires a high degree of expertise, flexibility, and openness toward scientific advances. This will be crucial for the success of the REACH program. It means a shift of attitude and will put a heavy responsibility on scientific experts and regulators, but it is also an opportunity for meeting the safety expectations of our modern society. Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Deckers J.,Flemish Institute for Technological Research
International Journal of Earth Sciences | Year: 2015

The Roer Valley Graben is a Mesozoic continental rift basin that was reactivated during the Late Oligocene. The study area is located in the graben area of the southwestern part of the Roer Valley Graben. Rifting initiated in the study area with the development of a large number of faults in the prerift strata. Some of these faults were rooted in preexisting zones of weakness in the Mesozoic strata. Early in the Late Oligocene, several faults died out in the study area as strain became focused upon others, some of which were able to link into several-kilometer-long systems. Within the Late Oligocene to Early Miocene northwestward prograding shallow marine syn-rift deposits, the number of active faults further decreased with time. A relatively strong decrease was observed around the Oligocene/Miocene boundary and represents a further focus of strain onto the long fault systems. Miocene extensional strain was not accommodated by further growth, but predominantly by displacements along the long fault systems. Since the Oligocene/Miocene boundary coincides with a radical change in the European intraplate stress field, the latter might have contributed significantly to the simultaneous change of fault kinematics in the study area. © 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

Gobin A.,Flemish Institute for Technological Research
Climate Research | Year: 2010

In the last 2 decades, Belgium has experienced more monthly extremes than in any other decade since observations began in 1833. During the past 60 yr, yields have increased, on average, by 0.1 t ha-1 yr-1 for winter cereals, 0.4 t ha-1 yr-1 for potato and 0.6 t ha-1 yr-1 for sugar beet. A total of 60 to 74% of the variability in yields between 1960 and 2008 was explained by meteorological variables. Multivariate analysis showed significant statistical relationships between yield and vapourpressure deficit, temperature and growing season length, and water logging and drought. These variables were therefore included in a new regional dynamic crop model (REGCROP) developed to assess climate impacts on regional arable crop production. Nash-Sutcliffe model efficiencies were between 0.68 and 0.84 between simulated and observed national yields for the period 1960-2008. REGCROP was subsequently run for 3 climate change scenarios and 3 typical Belgian soils (clay, loam and loamy sand) and climate impacts were compared with historical weather impacts (1960-1989). Higher temperatures increase crop development and shorten the growing season. Strong projected changes in seasonality affect cumulative drainage for both winter and summer crops and result in a drier water balance regime with climate change. Average yield losses of 12 to 27% were simulated for sugar beet and 23 to 44% for potatoes owing to drought and heat stress. Projected losses for winter cereals are 5 to 12%, mainly owing to waterlogging, whereas yield increases up to 6 or 7% are projected as a result of temperature increases and favourable vapour-pressure deficits. © Inter-Research 2010.

de Ridder K.,Flemish Institute for Technological Research
Boundary-Layer Meteorology | Year: 2010

In the roughness sublayer (RSL), Monin-Obukhov surface layer similarity theory fails. This is problematic for atmospheric modelling applications over domains that include rough terrain such as forests or cities, since in these situations numerical models often have the lowest model level located within the RSL. Based on empirical RSL profile functions for momentum and scalar quantities, and scaling the height with the RSL height z*, we derive a simple bulk transfer relation that accounts for RSL effects. To verify the validity of our approach, these relations are employed together with wind speed and temperature profiles measured over boreal forest during the BOREAS experimental campaign to estimate momentum and heat fluxes. It is demonstrated that, when compared with observed flux values, the inclusion of RSL effects in the transfer relations yields a considerable improvement in the estimated fluxes. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009.

Iordache M.-D.,Flemish Institute for Technological Research | Bioucas-Dias J.M.,Telecommunications Institute of Portugal | Plaza A.,University of Extremadura
IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing | Year: 2014

Sparse unmixing has been recently introduced in hyperspectral imaging as a framework to characterize mixed pixels. It assumes that the observed image signatures can be expressed in the form of linear combinations of a number of pure spectral signatures known in advance (e.g., spectra collected on the ground by a field spectroradiometer). Unmixing then amounts to finding the optimal subset of signatures in a (potentially very large) spectral library that can best model each mixed pixel in the scene. In this paper, we present a refinement of the sparse unmixing methodology recently introduced which exploits the usual very low number of endmembers present in real images, out of a very large library. Specifically, we adopt the collaborative (also called 'multitask' or 'simultaneous') sparse regression framework that improves the unmixing results by solving a joint sparse regression problem, where the sparsity is simultaneously imposed to all pixels in the data set. Our experimental results with both synthetic and real hyperspectral data sets show clearly the advantages obtained using the new joint sparse regression strategy, compared with the pixelwise independent approach. © 1980-2012 IEEE.

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