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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: NMP-2008-4.0-7 | Award Amount: 5.30M | Year: 2009

Disabling foot and ankle pain is common; it impacts negatively on health related quality of life, and it is has major cost implications on health systems across Europe. Foot and ankle orthoses are an effective treatment for these conditions. However, the market is dominated by low cost mass produced products, craftsmanship built customised devices with delivery times >15 days, and a limited range of computer-aided design and manufactured products. The objective of the A-FOOTPRINT project is to develop novel foot and ankle orthoses which are personalised for shape and biomechanical function and can be ready for patient use within 48 hours. The goal is to achieve improved fit and comfort, functionality, aesthetic appeal and ease of use with better clinical and cost effectiveness over state-of-the-art products. Innovative CAD tools will be developed and combined with rapid manufacturing to create complete geometric design freedom. This will be coupled with step change advances in personalisation by developing individual patient data from gait analysis and medical images to inform the design process, aided by biomechanical simulation to optimise functionality such as joint stabilisation and pressure distribution. Rapid manufacturing techniques will be used to develop novel customised orthotic components such as living hinges, variable stiffness and fine resolution cushioning to enable better personalised function. Setting new industry standards, prototype devices will be evaluated by near pharmaceutical industry level controlled trials to further improve product knowledge. This highly integrated, multidisciplinary project will make a significant impact on the health-related quality of life and well-being of EU citizens. The Consortium comprises leading orthotic and enabling technology SMEs, clinical and academic research centres and large enterprise. The project will enable the SMEs to become international leaders with strong competitive advantages.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: EeB-ICT-2010.10.2 | Award Amount: 2.46M | Year: 2010

In the current European Energy Scenario, the building sector is responsible for 35-40% of the total energy consumption, and space heating is the largest component of that energy use in virtually all member states, accounting for 67% at the level of EU-15 till 2005.\nThe current project focuses on the space heating and cooling aspects, proposing a solution beyond the existing wireless based HVAC control systems, derived from the use of Self Powered Multi Magnitude Wireless Sensor Network (SP-MM-WSN) for building thermal condition monitoring. The SP-MM-WSN completely avoids the use of cables and removable batteries, thanks to the combination of extremely energy efficient wireless communication technology, ultra low power electronics, and the power harvesting concept. The wiring and battery removal is a real breakthrough, considering that:\n Wiring can represent up to 80% of the total cost for a control point in an HVAC system\n There could be hundreds of sensors in a newly deployed wireless based HVAC control system for a mid-range commercial building, generating hundreds of used batteries\n\nThe use of SP-MM-WSN therefore results in an easy-to-deploy and maintenance-free building monitoring system that makes it the ideal candidate for either new or existing HVAC installations. The advantages of the system lie in the level of automation you get and the efficiency improvement you achieve by implementing this solution, TIBUCON, in either existing or new installations.\nThe aim of the TIBUCON project is to develop SP-MM-WSN technology that will be used in building thermal condition monitoring for either new or existing HVAC installations. SP-MM-WSN along with an actuating scheme will allow optimized real time control, or at least automatic monitoring and user energy awareness for the retrofit cases. The project will result in:\n A more cost effective and less invasive tool for HVAC control system retrofitting\n More efficient HVAC structure in terms of energy consumption and thermal comfort for new installations\n\nIn both situations TIBUCON will have an important impact on the energy consumption and CO2 emission of the HVAC systems, and due to the wire and battery reduction the use of limited resources (copper, PVC, heavy metals, etc) and waste generation (used battery disposal) will be abated.\n\nThe project outcomes will be evaluated on two demo buildings through a one year period. The selected pilot test beds are a new multi-tenant office building in Poland and an existing group of apartment buildings in Spain.\n\nRegarding technological improvements proposed by TIBUCON, they are based on the Multi Magnitude and Hybrid Power harvesting approaches. The multi magnitude sensor platform will allow measuring of all relevant information with a single device; and the parallel energy harvesting will allow the correct sensor node performance even if one of the energy sources is temporarily not available (e.g. light).


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SiS-2010-2.2.3.1 | Award Amount: 1.82M | Year: 2010

The EU lags behind its global competitors when it comes to the number of MST graduates. A special effort is required to close this gap. The overall aim of the SECURE project is to make a significant contribution to a European knowledge-based society by providing relevant research data that can help policy makers to improve MST curricula and their implementation throughout the EU in order to prepare children from an early age on for future careers in MST, whilst at the same time making MST more accessible and enjoyable for all children so that they will keep a vivid interest in science and technology, and understand the importance of their societal role. SECURE will focus on the 5 13 age group, because the foundation for a revived interest in MST can best be laid at an early age, when children are most susceptible for the wonders of the world that surrounds them. A rigorous research programme conducted by the SECURE consortium will scrutinise and compare current MST curricula for pupils aged 5, 8, 11 and 13 in the member states as they are intended by the authorities, implemented by the teachers and perceived by the learners. The instruments used to this end will consist of a transnational comparative screening instrument for MST curricula, of teacher and learner questionnaires and of a lesson observation instrument. The cornerstone of the valorisation strategy of the research outcomes will be the direct and active involvement of a transnational expert group of research and curriculum development institutions that will provide feedback as well as a direct access to policy makers.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.3.2-02;KBBE.2013.3.6-01 | Award Amount: 11.91M | Year: 2013

Microalgae are a promising feedstock for sustainable supply of commodities and specialties for food and non-food products. Despite this potential the implementation is still limited which is mainly due to unfavourable economics. Major bottlenecks are the lack of available biomass at acceptable costs and the absence of appropriate biorefinery technologies. The 4-year MIRACLES project aims to resolve these hurdles by development of integrated, multiple-product biorefinery for valuable specialties from algae for application in food, aquafeeds and non-food products. The focus is on development and integration of mild cell disruption and environmentally friendly extraction and fractionation processes including functionality testing and product formulation based on established industrial strains. The project will also develop new technologies for optimization and monitoring of valuable products in the algal biomass during cultivation and innovative photobioreactor and harvesting technology that will enable substantial cost reduction. A new technology will be developed for CO2 concentration from the air for algal growth and new industrial algae strains for extreme locations will be selected via bioprospecting to expand the resource base for the algae industry and enable cultivation in areas less suitable for agriculture such as deserts. The work is supported by market assessment, integral biorefinery designs, techno-economic and sustainability assessment, and the creation of business plans for full valorisation of algal biomass. Integrated value chains will be demonstrated to deliver proof-of-concept and demonstrate economic feasibility. MIRACLES is an industry driven R&D and innovation project with a multidisciplinary approach aimed at generating robust business cases through technology development. The consortium has 26 partners with 11 prominent research organisations. Strong industrial leadership is guaranteed through the participation of 12 SMEs and 3 NMI/end users.

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