Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-11b-2015 | Award Amount: 6.92M | Year: 2016
Aquaculture is one of five sectors in the EUs Blue Growth Strategy, aimed at harnessing untapped potential for food production and jobs whilst focusing on environmental sustainability. TAPAS addresses this challenge by supporting member states to establish a coherent and efficient regulatory framework aimed at sustainable growth. TAPAS will use a requirements analysis to evaluate existing regulatory and licensing frameworks across the EU, taking account of the range of production environments and specificities and emerging approaches such as offshore technologies, integrated multi-trophic aquaculture, and integration with other sectors. We will propose new, flexible approaches to open methods of coordination, working to unified, common standards. TAPAS will also evaluate existing tools for economic assessment of aquaculture sustainability affecting sectoral growth. TAPAS will critically evaluate the capabilities and verification level of existing ecosystem planning tools and will develop new approaches for evaluation of carrying capacities, environmental impact and future risk. TAPAS will improve existing and develop new models for far- and near-field environmental assessment providing better monitoring, observation, forecasting and early warning technologies. The innovative methodologies and components emerging from TAPAS will be integrated in an Aquaculture Sustainability Toolbox complemented by a decision support system to support the development and implementation of coastal and marine spatial planning enabling less costly, more transparent and more efficient licensing. TAPAS partners will collaborate with key industry regulators and certifiers through case studies to ensure the acceptability and utility of project approach and outcomes. Training, dissemination and outreach activities will specifically target improvement of the image of European aquaculture and uptake of outputs by regulators, while promoting an integrated sustainable strategy for development.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-04-2014 | Award Amount: 5.31M | Year: 2015
LANDMARK is a pan-European multi-actor consortium of leading academic and applied research institutes, chambers of agriculture and policy makers that will develop a coherent framework for soil management aimed at sustainable food production across Europe. The LANDMARK proposal builds on the concept that soils are a finite resource that provides a range of ecosystem services known as soil functions. Functions relating to agriculture include: primary productivity, water regulation & purification, carbon-sequestration & regulation, habitat for biodiversity and nutrient provision & cycling. Trade-offs between these functions may occur: for example, management aimed at maximising primary production may inadvertently affect the water purification or habitat functions. This has led to conflicting management recommendations and policy initiatives. There is now an urgent need to develop a coherent scientific and practical framework for the sustainable management of soils. LANDMARK will uniquely respond to the breadth of this challenge by delivering (through multi-actor development): 1. LOCAL SCALE: A toolkit for farmers with cost-effective, practical measures for sustainable (and context specific) soil management. 2. REGIONAL SCALE - A blueprint for a soil monitoring scheme, using harmonised indicators: this will facilitate the assessment of soil functions for different soil types and land-uses for all major EU climatic zones. 3. EU SCALE An assessment of EU policy instruments for incentivising sustainable land management. There have been many individual research initiatives that either address the management & assessment of individual soil functions, or address multiple soil functions, but only at local scales. LANDMARK will build on these existing R&D initiatives: the consortium partners bring together a wide range of significant national and EU datasets, with the ambition of developing an interdisciplinary scientific framework for sustainable soil management.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.4-02 | Award Amount: 2.61M | Year: 2014
Europe faces the challenge of responding to the mandatory implementation of the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) as called for by Directive 2009/128/EC on the sustainable use of pesticides. Most European countries are investing in research and extension to face this challenge, reduce reliance on pesticides, and reduce risks associated with their use. Added value and synergies can be created by coordinating such national research and extension efforts and by pooling existing resources. To this end, C-IPM will create a forum for exchange and identification of IPM research and development priorities, provide recommendations on national and European research, connect existing initiatives, and coordinate joint transnational research calls. With stakeholders and researchers, C-IPM will position IPM in the future European innovation landscape. It will provide an overall picture of ongoing and desired R&D efforts and of the resources available for IPM implementation. It will propose a common research agenda on IPM and on sustainable solutions in the context of minor uses. It will rapidly generate European-level added value by sharing outputs of ongoing national and regional research, and by disseminating R&D methods, experience and expertise. It will create knowledge hubs by linking R&D resources in the field of IPM and minor uses. It will develop and implement joint transnational calls. A website, newsletter and final workshop will ensure that C-IPM disseminates widely. To achieve lasting impact, C-IPM will plan its continued activity beyond the funded period. C-IPM realises that innovation and sustainability in crop protection can only come about if funders, researchers and farm advisers are closely associated, if multiple sectors are taken into account, and if all available control tactics and strategies are integrated. This approach is key to enriching the suite of IPM techniques and ensuring a high level of implementation of IPM among European farmers.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: Health | Award Amount: 2.25M | Year: 2015
The European Consortium for Communicating Stem Cell Research (EuroStemCell) unites 33 partner institutions, that collectively represent >400 stem cell research groupings across Europe. Our common goal is to provide trusted high quality information on stem cells accessible to citizens and stakeholders across Europe, through support and further development of the multi-lingual European Stem Cell Information Portal www.eurostemcell.org. To achieve our aims, EuroStemCell will adopt the highly structured system for coordinated information management established by the FP7 Coordination and Support Action (CSA) also called EuroStemCell. From this, we will implement an ambitious programme of online and direct stakeholder engagement with stem cell research and regenerative medicine, aimed at European citizens at all educational levels. This will include provision of resources tailored specifically for decision-making on stem cell-related questions and an extensive programme of dissemination and capacity building in science communications and public engagement. The proposed work centres on an information hub team, which will link to all project partners and to stakeholders in the stem cell and regenerative medicine arenas and wider society, working with these groupings to implement the project. All outputs will be delivered in 6 European languages, to ensure broad accessibility, and will be rigorously evaluated against measurable objectives throughout the project duration. The proposed consortium comprises leading stem cell labs across Europe, including new member states, together with experts in ethical and societal concerns and evaluating clinical outcomes. It thus provides unparalleled European expertise across the fields of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine and is uniquely placed to maintain and further develop www.eurostemcell.org as a world-leading stem cell information resource, thus meeting the challenge outlined in Topic HOA-6-2014.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2012.1.2-02 | Award Amount: 3.82M | Year: 2013
The project aims to identify the key semi-natural habitats (SNH), outside and within crops, providing essential ecological services (ES). Vegetation traits will be linked to potential ES provision, case studies will measure actual ES levels and inform models which will show unused opportunities and trade-offs among ES by SNH from habitat to landscape scale. This will be achieved for a range of representative cropping systems and farming intensities in regions dominated by agriculture and matched to the requirements of local and national stakeholders. Surveys will identify key SNH and existing literature will be used to link their vegetation traits to ES provision. ES provision will be measured in existing habitat types (SNH to crop) across economically important cropping systems, farming intensities and four European agro-climatic zones using simple techniques in 16 case studies. A case study is defined by a unique combination of region, crop species, and service. Each case study will concentrate on locally important cropping system and the main ES required. Pollination and pest control have been identified as main ES needed, but also soil fertility, weed control and social services will be considered. The relative socio-economic weight of the studied ecosystem services will be appraised using feedback from national experts using a semi-quantitative method. Data will parameterise spatially explicit models to determine how the vegetation composition, management, shape, area, and placement of SNH in agricultural landscapes affect the distribution of mobile-agent based ecosystem services from farm to landscape level. To investigate synergies and trade-offs in ecological services, multi-criteria analysis will be developed to combine a suite of modules in an integrative modelling framework. Outputs are designed to inform local, national and EU stakeholders on how to improve ES provision from SNH and will include a novel web-based tool.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.8.2 | Award Amount: 3.34M | Year: 2014
Continuing education at the workplace has seen increasing demand as a crucial means of acquiring the requisite professional knowledge and skills. Electronic Portfolios (e-portfolios) for workplace training provide a global view of each trainees progress but offer no dynamic feedback to exploit the rich learning assessment data that could be analysed to support responsive adaptation for more efficient and rewarding training.\n\nWATCHME effectively deploys Learning Analytics (LA) tools to deliver personalised learning; supporting learner empowerment, enhanced Quality-of-Experience, flexibility and mobility plus efficiency gains through workplace-based feedback and assessment. This is achieved by developing, implementing and evaluating a mobile, electronic portfolio-based system that utilises LA and student models to provide data-driven and model-based tailored feedback via a visualisation dashboard. The multi-sourced integrated deployment of authentic workplace data including self-reporting, narratives, qualitative and quantitative data e.g. videos and serious educational games enables the WATCHME trainees to exercise and thereby sharpen their learnt skills by responding to realistically situated judgment calls in a motivational and safe environment.\n\nA Multi-entity Bayesian Network will be used for the student models, enabling an aggregation of data and tailored Just-in-Time feedback, visualised via intuitive interfaces. The close cooperation of educational researchers and ICT developers will deliver a tool to map critical professional tasks linked to their requisite competencies and markers for feedback and assessment in the workplace integrated with an easy access electronic portfolio system for data collection and LA-driven tools to inform trainees, teachers and supervisors about the trainees progress and deliver personalised Just-in-Time feedback with intuitive visualisation tools.\n\nThe WATCHME platform will be empirically validated for its quality and contribution to trainees learning. The overall system shall be evaluated formatively and summatively in three professional environments (human medicine, veterinary medicine and teacher training) including benchmarking against control sets.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: SFS-06-2014 | Award Amount: 1.78M | Year: 2015
PROIntensAfrica intends to develop a proposal for a long term research and innovation partnership between Europe and Africa, focusing on the improvement of the food and nutrition security and the livelihoods of African farmers by exploring and exploiting the diversity of pathways to sustainable intensification of African agro-food systems. The exploration will include environmental, economic and social externalities along the whole value chains. PROIntensAfrica has the ambition to formulate a research and innovation agenda, identifying the domains in need for further research to realize the potential of African food systems. In addition, PROIntensAfrica will suggest governance mechanisms that are effective in supporting the partnership. Key is the perception that pooling resources is the best way to align existing and initiate new research. This perception follows the policy of the EC, where instruments of joint programming like ERA-NET, JPI and article 185 aim to accomplish synergy and increase the effectiveness of resources. Pooling resources goes beyond the scientific domain and reaches into the policy domain. Consequently, besides being rooted in sound and challenging research, a partnership proposal needs to meet national and international policies to fly. Therefore PROIntensAfrica pay specific attention to engage with the policy domain, as exemplified by the intended creation of a policy support group. The rationale of the project is that a variety of pathways leads to sustainable intensification of African food systems. Different pathways are advocated in literature. High-input farming systems, for example, contrast with organic farming systems, each with their own supporters and criticasters. It is the conviction of the PROIntensAfrica consortium that moving beyond that debate will open exciting new pathways, and that combining elements of different systems will yield innovative systems that are optimally adapted to specific contexts.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2012.1.4-08 | Award Amount: 2.34M | Year: 2013
ENVIEVAL will develop and integrate advanced evaluation tools into new methodological frameworks for the evaluation of environmental impacts of rural development programmes at micro- and macro-levels. In order to achieve this main aim, the proposed project has five objectives: i) to review implemented rural development programmes, existing monitoring and indicator systems, and new methodological developments in environmental policy evaluation; ii) to develop new methodological frameworks for the evaluation of net environmental effects of rural development programmes against their counterfactual; iii) to test and validate the selected evaluation tools through public good case study applications in seven partner countries and close collaboration with the European Evaluation Network, national and regional evaluators and managing authorities; iv) to assess the cost-effectiveness of the tested indicators and evaluation methods; and v) to provide a user-friendly methodological handbook for the evaluation of environmental impacts of rural development programmes. The methodological handbook will address the main challenges of environmental evaluations of rural development programmes taking into account potential changes to the CMEF post 2013. The main innovative aspects of the new methodological frameworks are that they enable the integration of micro- and macro-level evaluations (and their results) and provide guidance on the selection and application of cost-effective evaluation methods to estimate net effects of rural development programmes on the different main public goods from farming and forestry. ENVIEVAL will cover a set of EU Member States of Germany, UK, Greece, Finland, Italy, Lithuania, and Hungary, within which it will choose regional study areas to test the suitability of methods to evaluate the impacts of the rural development programmes on different environmental public goods.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.66M | Year: 2013
Scientific evidence clearly indicates that ageing and health in adult life is programmed by genetic and epigenetic mechanisms early in life. Developmental plasticity in response to the environment, including nutrient availability, of mammalian embryos indicates the capacity for newly emerging embryonic and extraembryonic cell lineages to initiate compensatory responses which may attune nutrient delivery to the needs of the developing fetus. EpiHealth will focus on these early events in several relevant models(diabetes, obesity and assisted reproductive technologies (ART)),using human samples, stem cell lines, animal models and data mining/bioinformatics tools to decipher some of the most important pathways and to offer options for early intervention to avoid adverse health effects. Main goal of the project is to improve health of the human population by understanding the mechanisms and pathways in early development, with special emphasis on epigenetic changes and developmentally relevant metabolic signalling, which create biological variation and have a long term effect on the health of individuals across the lifespan. Specific goals include: i)Identification of the main genetic pathways affecting the health of the developing embryos in a diabetic or obese maternal environment; ii) Identification of the main genetic and metabolic pathways affected and epigenomic and imprinting perturbations from mouse and human ART resulting in altered health of the progeny; iii)Discovery of the key genes and pathways affecting epigenetic and imprinting sensitivity in early stages of development in order to create intervention tools against epigenetic mis-programming; iv)Linking for the first time by bioinformatics tools the longevity related pathways and those susceptible to early epigenetic perturbations in order to explain how early events influence the health and lifespan of individuals; v)Studying the possibilities of early intervention by controlling the maternal environment.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.3.4-1 | Award Amount: 4.07M | Year: 2013
The overall aim of ASKLEPIOS is to unravel and increase our understanding of the mechanisms that govern pathogenesis of rabies virus (RABV) infection, in pursuit of the rational identification of novel therapeutic leads for rabies encephalitis. Several studies have been conducted over the past decades attempting to unravel the pathogenesis of this deadly disease, however with limited success. New knowledge on the mechanisms of the RABV life-cycle and interaction with the host is needed to identifying clinically applicable therapeutic leads, in search of rational intervention strategies. The project objectives are to: 1. Identify molecules that inhibit RABV replication 2. Identify molecules that inhibit detrimental host responses to RABV infection: 3. Show whether opening the blood-brain-barrier (BBB) improves treatment efficacy: 4. Validate the potential of the molecules identified under 1 and 2 to be used as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) when classical PEP is ineffective. In pursuit of these objectives ASKLEPIOS will perform in vitro screening of the anti-viral effect of type-I IFNs, MAP kinase inhibitors and siRNAs. Second, the therapeutic potential of inhibiting the pyroptotic pathway and inflammatory response will be investigated by using inhibitors of caspase-1, IL-1, TNF- IL-6 and MAP kinases. Third, the capacity of molecules to reach the brain will be first evaluated using an efficient in vitro BBB system and in vivo mouse studies.. The most efficient molecule to open the BBB will be co-administrated with the selected therapeutic molecules in the subsequent stages of the project. The results will be collected and synthesized and tested in mice to identify the most effective approach. The ability to clear infection and recover from rabies will be evaluated for each therapeutic scheme identified