University College Dublin - formally known as University College Dublin - National University of Ireland, Dublin is Ireland's largest, and the island of Ireland's second largest, university, with over 1,300 faculty and 17,000 undergraduate students. It is located in Dublin, the Irish capital. Wikipedia.
University College Dublin and Foundation Scholars And The Other Members Of Board | Date: 2016-06-28
(E)-2-(2-Quinolin-2-yl-propenyl)-phenol, 2-Quinolin-2-yl-ylethynyl-phenol and salts thereof are useful as medicaments, especially for treatment of an angiogenesis-related disease or disorder.
University College Dublin | Date: 2016-11-11
The invention generally relates to compounds that function as TP antagonists for treating thrombosis and other cardiovascular, renal, or pulmonary diseases. In some embodiments, the invention provides a compound including a substituted nitro phenoxy phenyl, a sulfonylurea, and an alkyl group. In some embodiments, the invention provides a method of treating thrombosis by administering an antithrombotic compound that preferentially binds to a thromboxane receptor, has preferential binding for either TPalpha (TP) or TPbeta (TP) receptor subtype.
University College Dublin and Foundation Scholars And The Other Members Of Board | Date: 2017-03-29
University College Dublin | Date: 2017-03-22
A composition comprising a silica-based nanobead having its surface functionalized by a moiety selected from moieties that are reactive to and combine with a fouling layer on a material surface.
Goodman L.,University College Dublin
Proceedings of the 2016 International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia, VSMM 2016 | Year: 2016
This Keynote Paper provides overview of recent work in the areas of Augmented Cognition, Inclusive Design and Creative Technology Innovation conducted by SMARTlab and the Inclusive Design Research Centres of Ireland and Canada. Projects underway, including several Marie Curie Post-Doctoral projects in the area of Assistive Technologies for People with Intellectual Disabilities-Autism, have applied novel uses of Virtual Worlds, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Future Foresighting Models and tools, and Drones in interdisciplinary research to enhance and extend the human potential of ALL people, regardless of intellectual, cognitive, physical or other abilities.). The Keynote Presentation for VSMM included sections on Augmented Reality, The Ethics of Virtual Worlds and Assistive Technology Tools, Avatars, Drones and Health Visualisation projects, which are discussed in other papers published in these proceedings. This paper focuses on the span of visualisation and virtual worlds projects conducted by SMARTlab and the IDRC in recent years, including some novel applications created by as well as for communities of people with Autism and other medical conditions, and on the potential of 3d printing and digital materialization using novel materials to push forward the boundaries and to reframe the field of VSMM. © 2016 IEEE.
Dalton C.,University College Dublin
Proceedings of the 2016 International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia, VSMM 2016 | Year: 2016
Research in environmental psychology has sought to identify the characteristics of environments which best support human wellbeing, including those environmental attributes which help to restore fatigued attention, providing relief from cognitive stress. While the experience of natural landscapes is known to be restorative, certain types of imagery have a similar effect on the viewer : these include nature images, including landscape scenes, and fractal patterns. Previous research has demonstrated that such types of image have an immediate and measurable de-stressing effect, but there has been little or no research in relation to the possibility of extending this effect by creating suitably structured time-based visual content. AMbiARt is a mixed-reality ambient multimedia/intermedia application, designed with the specific intention of providing restorative experiences, in the spatial context of quiet rooms in Special Educational Needs Schools for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). The structure and content are based in large part on Kaplan's Attentional Restoration Theory, (ART), consciously emulating the restorative characteristics of natural environments, and creating a sense of temporarily 'being away', as an accessible alternative to other means of relaxation and attentional restoration. AMbiARt is structured so as to produce non-repeating interactive natural and fractal imagery and sound, using generative algorithms. The content affords 'soft fascination', engaging and holding the viewer's attention without drawing on already-fatigued attention. Interaction is simple and intuitive, and relates visually and aurally to the screen content. As a response to sensory-perceptual sensitivity and fluctuation, controllability of all aspects of the environment is a critical element of the design. This facilitates 'extreme personalisation', adjustable to suit each user's sensory profile, or to accommodate fluctuating sensory perception. © 2016 IEEE.
Bieszczad B.,University College Dublin |
Gilheany D.G.,University College Dublin
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2017
A simple, general and practical method is reported for highly enantioselective construction of tertiary alcohols through the direct addition of organomagnesium reagents to ketones. Discovered by rational ligand design based on a mechanistic hypothesis, it has an unprecedented broad scope. It utilizes a new type of chiral tridentate diamine/phenol ligand that is easily removed from the reaction mixture. It is exemplified by application to a formal asymmetric synthesis (>95:5 d.r.) of vitamin E. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
Kogler D.F.,University College Dublin
Regional Studies | Year: 2017
Relatedness as driver of regional diversification: a research agenda – a commentary. Regional Studies. This is a commentary to Ron Boschma’s Regional Studies Annual Lecture entitled ‘Relatedness as driver of regional diversification: a research agenda’ (2016). Its objective is primarily to highlight the suggested research priorities, as well as to point to potential avenues for further enquiry into this line of research. © 2017 Regional Studies Association
Murphy F.,University College Dublin |
McDonnell K.,University College Dublin
Energy Policy | Year: 2017
A criticism of production-based reporting and accounting of greenhouse gas emissions, as implemented under the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, is the risk of mitigation measures adoption in one country to reduce national emissions, leading consequentially to the displacement of the source activity to other jurisdictions, thus resulting in an increase in net global emissions referred to as “carbon leakage”. An important outcome of the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP) to the 1992 UNFCCC may be “plugging” of carbon leakage. This study examined the bioenergy industry in Ireland to determine the extent of existing carbon leakage due to national energy policy and to establish if measures identified within the relevant intended nationally determined contributions will result in plugging of carbon leakage. The study focused on co-firing of biomass with peat, the major use of biomass for energy generation in Ireland. The results show that significant levels of carbon leakage occur due to reliance on imported biomass feedstocks to meet co-firing targets under Irish energy policy. In the post-COP21 scenario, one of the three Intended Nationally Determined Contributions analysed contains a measure which has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from imported biomass by 32%, highlighting the potential of the Paris Agreement to reduce carbon leakage. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd
Koskin E.,University College Dublin
2016 IEEE International Conference on Electronics, Circuits and Systems, ICECS 2016 | Year: 2016
In this paper, we derive a mathematical model of an All-Digital Phase-Locked Loop (ADPLL) employing a time-to-digital phase detector. The model we suggest represents a nonlinear discrete-time map and provides significant benefits for the simulation of a single PLL, a network of PLLs or their design. In particular, the model allows us to take into account the jitter of the reference and local clocks and other noises. The mathematical model (the map) is then compared with a behavioural model implemented in MATLAB Simulink and displays identical results. The simulation of the mathematical and behavioural models are further compared with experimental measurements of a 65nm CMOS ADPLL and show a good agreement. © 2016 IEEE.
Cowley C.,University College Dublin
Journal of Medical Ethics | Year: 2017
Although some healthcare professionals have the legal right to conscientiously object to authorise or perform certain lawful medical services, they have an associated duty to provide the patient with enough information to seek out another professional willing to authorise or provide the service (the 'duty to refer'). Does the duty to refer morally undermine the professional's conscientious objection (CO)? I narrow my discussion to the National Health Service in Britain, and the case of a general practitioner (GP) being asked by a pregnant woman to authorise an abortion. I will be careful not to enter the debate about whether abortion should be legalised, or the debate about whether CO should be permitted-I will take both as given. I defend the objecting GP's duty to refer against those I call the 'conscience absolutists', who would claim that if a state is serious enough in permitting the GP's objection in the first place (as is the UK), then it has to recognise the right to withhold any information about abortion.
Milano F.,University College Dublin |
Ortega A.,University College Dublin
IEEE Transactions on Power Systems | Year: 2017
The paper proposes an approximated yet reliable formula to estimate the frequency at the buses of a transmission system. Such a formula is based on the solution of a steady-state boundary value problem where boundary conditions are given by synchronous machine rotor speeds and is intended for applications in transient stability analysis. The hypotheses and assumptions to define bus frequencies are duly discussed. The rationale behind the proposed frequency divider is first illustrated through a simple 3-bus system. Then the general formulation is duly presented and tested on two real-world networks, namely a 1,479-bus model of the all-island Irish system and a 21,177-bus model of the European transmission system. © 1969-2012 IEEE.
Moran E.M.,St Vincents University Hospital |
Foley R.,University College Dublin |
Powell F.C.,University College Dublin
Clinics in Dermatology | Year: 2017
Demodex mites are part of the vast microbiome living on and within human skin. The interaction of the various microorganisms with the skin plays a key role in the maintenance of homeostasis. The precise role and function of Demodex mites within normal and diseased human skin remains elusive. The emergence of ivermectin as a key therapy for rosacea has refocused interest in the role of Demodex mites in the pathogenesis of this skin disease and the ability of Demodex to modulate the host immune system. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.
Sun D.-W.,University College Dublin
Hyperspectral Imaging for Food Quality Analysis and Control | Year: 2010
Based on the integration of computer vision and spectrscopy techniques, hyperspectral imaging is a novel technology for obtaining both spatial and spectral information on a product. Used for nearly 20 years in the aerospace and military industries, more recently hyperspectral imaging has emerged and matured into one of the most powerful and rapidly growing methods of non-destructive food quality analysis and control. Hyperspectral Imaging for Food Quality Analysis and Control provides the core information about how this proven science can be practically applied for food quality assessment, including information on the equipment available and selection of the most appropriate of those instruments. Additionally, real-world food-industry-based examples are included, giving the reader important insights into the actual application of the science in evaluating food products. *Presentation of principles and instruments provides core understanding of how this science performs, as well as guideline on selecting the most appropriate equipment for implementation *Includes real-world, practical application to demonstrate the viability and challenges of working with this technology *Provides necessary information for making correct determination on use of hyperspectral imaging. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Li L.,University of Southern California |
Long R.,Beijing Normal University |
Long R.,University College Dublin |
Prezhdo O.V.,University of Southern California
Chemistry of Materials | Year: 2017
With applications in high performance electronics, photovoltaics and catalysis, two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) attract strong attention. Isolated TMDs, which are already remarkably complex, can stack in sequence to make even more complex heterostructures. Surprisingly, charge separation is ultrafast in layered TMD heterostructures, even though the interlayer interaction is weak. Also surprisingly, the charge separated state is long-lived, despite the close proximity of electron and hole. Using real-time time-dependent density functional theory combined with nonadiabatic (NA) molecular dynamics, we model hole and electron transfer, and electron-hole recombination at a MoS2/WS2 heterojunction. Hole transfer is ultrafast, in excellent agreement with the experiment, due to significant delocalization of the photoexcited state between the donor and acceptor materials. Electron transfer is 1 order of magnitude longer, due to weaker donor-acceptor and NA couplings, lower density of acceptor states, and shorter quantum coherence. The electron-hole recombination is 3-4 orders of magnitude slower than the charge separation, because the initial and final states are localized strongly within different materials, rationalizing the long-lived charge separation. The computed recombination time scale agrees with the experimental data on the closely related MoSe2/WSe2 system. All electronic processes are coupled to the characteristic out-of-plane 400 cm-1 motion of the MoS2 and WS2 layers. The atomistic, time-domain methodology provides theoretical insights into the photoinduced electron-phonon dynamics in two-dimensional TMD heterostructures, and can be used for in silico design of novel functional materials operating under nonequilibrium conditions. © 2016 American Chemical Society.
Fowler P.C.,University College Dublin |
O'Sullivan N.C.,University College Dublin
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2016
Hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs) are a group of neurodegenerative disorders characterized by degeneration of the longest motor neurons in the corticospinal tract, leading to muscle weakness and spasticity of the lower limbs. Pathogenic variants in genes encoding proteins that shape the endoplasmic-reticulum (ER) network are a leading cause of HSP, however, the mechanisms by which loss of ER-shaping proteins underpin degeneration of selective neurons in HSP remain poorly understood. To begin to address this, we have generated a novel in vivo model of HSP in Drosophila melanogaster by targeted knockdown of the ER-shaping protein Arl6IP1. Variants in the human homolog of this gene have recently been linked to HSP subtype SPG61. Arl6IP1 RNAi flies display progressive locomotor deficits without a marked reduction in lifespan, recapitulating key features of HSP in human patients. Loss of Arl6IP1 leads to fragmentation of the smooth ER and disrupted mitochondrial network organization within the distal ends of long motor neurons. Furthermore, genetically increasing mitochondrial fission, by overexpression of dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1), restores mitochondrial network organization and rescues locomotor deficits in two independent Drosophila models of HSP. Taken together, these results propose a role for ER-shaping proteins in mitochondrial network organization in vivo and suggest that impaired mitochondrial organization may be a common mechanism underpinning some forms of HSP. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.
Zhang N.,University College Dublin
Annual Technical Conference - ANTEC, Conference Proceedings | Year: 2015
Miniaturized parts weighing few and tens of milligrams represent a large category of microinjection moulded products. Both miniaturization and extreme processing under microinjection moulding make material experience high shear rates and high cooling rates, and have differing morphology and final properties from conventional injection moulding. This paper studied the variation of cavity thickness (from 500μm to 100μm) and process (injection velocity and mould temperature) on morphology and short-term/long-term mechanical properties of miniaturised dumbbell specimens. It was found that oriented skin layer determined molecular orientation and broadly influenced Young's modulus, elongation and yield stress. It accounted for over 60% of the cross-section when part thickness was below 200μm. Mechanical properties measured from the standard 4mm thick specimen cannot represent the properties manufactured under microinjection mouldings.
Bullock C.,University College Dublin
CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources | Year: 2016
This paper explores the limits to the economic valuation of ecosystem services. It observes that economics has an important role in the design of policy tools that can stimulate the delivery of beneficial ecosystem services, but acknowledges that the relationship between human beings and the environment is more complex than one that can be explained by a reliance on utility-based values alone. This paper reviews the nature and role of socio-cultural values and efforts by both social and natural scientists to recognize the range and diversity of values that people attach to the environment. It explores the contribution of alternative valuation approaches, specifically deliberative methods and indicates where we might choose to look for more integrated approaches while not losing sight of our dependence on fundamental ecosystem services. © 2016 CAB International.
Wusteman J.,University College Dublin
Library Hi Tech | Year: 2017
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe the process and implications of usability testing a prototype version of the Letters of 1916 Digital Edition. Design/methodology/approach: The paper presents the testing, the lessons learned and how those lessons informed the subsequent redesign of the site. Findings: Results imply that a majority of users, even digital humanists, were not looking for a unique and specialised interface, but assumed – and preferred – a user experience that reflects common search systems. Although the audience for digital humanities sites is becoming increasingly diverse, the needs of the different user groups may be more similar than had previously been assumed. Research limitations/implications: The usability test employed 11 participants, five of whom were coded as “general public”. Four of these five had previously volunteered to transcribe and upload letters. This meant that they were already familiar with the project and with the Letters of 1916 Transcription Desk. However, their prior involvement was a result of their genuine interest in the site, thus ensuring that their interactions during testing were more realistic. Practical implications: The lesson learned may be useful for the Digital Editions of future crowdsourced humanities projects. Originality/value: Letters of 1916 is the first crowdsourced humanities project in Ireland. The theme of the project is topical, emotive and socially important in Ireland and among Irish diaspora today. The project’s content has been created by the “ordinary citizens of Ireland” and they are likely to be the major users of the Digital Edition. The study explores how the Digital Edition can support these users, while also facilitating the range of traditional scholars and digital humanities researchers. © 2017, © Emerald Publishing Limited.
Wu R.,University College Dublin
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise | Year: 2017
PURPOSE: This study investigated the effect of knee joint angle and contraction intensity on the co-activation of the hamstring muscles (when acting as antagonists to the quadriceps) in young and older individuals of both sexes. METHODS: 25 young (24 ± 2.6 years) and 26 older (70 ± 2.5 years) healthy men and women participated. Maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) of the knee extensors (KE) and flexors was assessed at two knee joint angles (90° and 60°, 0° = full extension). At each angle, participants performed submaximal contractions of the KE (20%, 50% and 80% MVIC), while surface electromyography (EMG) was simultaneously acquired from the vastus lateralis and biceps femoris muscles to assess the level (EMG RMS) of agonist activation and antagonist co-activation. Subcutaneous adipose tissue in the areas corresponding to surface EMG electrode placements was measured via ultrasonography. RESULTS: The contractions performed at 90° knee flexion demonstrated higher levels of antagonist co-activation (all p < 0.01) and agonist activation (all p < 0.01) as a function of contraction intensity compared to the 60° knee flexion. Furthermore, after controlling for subcutaneous adipose tissue, older participants exhibited a higher level of antagonist co-activation at 60° knee flexion compared with young participants (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The results of the present study suggest that (1) the antagonist co-activation is dependent on knee joint angle and contraction intensity; (2) subcutaneous adipose tissue may have an impact on the measured co-activation level likely because of a cross-talk effect. Antagonist co-activation may play a protective role in stabilizing the knee joint and maintaining constant motor output. © 2017 American College of Sports Medicine
O'Shea H.,University College Dublin |
Moran A.,University College Dublin
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience | Year: 2017
Motor simulation theory (MST; Jeannerod, 2001) purports to explain how various actionrelated cognitive states relate to actual motor execution. Specifically, it proposes that motor imagery (MI; imagining an action without executing the movements involved) shares certain mental representations and mechanisms with action execution, and hence, activates similar neural pathways to those elicited during the latter process. Furthermore, MST postulates that MI works by rehearsing neural motor systems off-line via a hypothetical simulation process. In this paper, we review evidence cited in support of MST and evaluate its efficacy in understanding the cognitive mechanisms underlying MI. In doing so, we delineate the precise postulates of simulation theory and clarify relevant terminology. Based on our cognitive-level analysis, we argue firstly that the psychological mechanisms underlying MI are poorly understood and require additional conceptual and empirical analysis. In addition, we identify a number of potentially fruitful lines of inquiry for future investigators of MST and MI. © 2017 O’Shea and Moran.
O'Brien C.,University College Dublin
Journal of Medical Humanities | Year: 2017
This essay provides a critical survey of key Irish theatre productions that present queer men with HIV or AIDS as a central theme while also seeking to situate several of these productions within the controversial discourse of ‘post-AIDS’ as it plays out in Irish cultural and social discourses. Through this survey, this essay finds and critically elaborates how a discourse of AIDS as punishment is a common denominator in all of these plays; whether that be as a central metaphor in the drama or conversely as a trope that theatre makers seek to disrupt. Throughout, this essay simultaneously attends to the ways in which non-realist, non-linear dramatic structures (as opposed to social realist narratives) have proved to be better positioned to present the realities of living with HIV or dying with AIDS in Ireland since the emergence of the first Irish AIDS epidemic in 1982. By approaching ‘post-AIDS’ discourses through the lens of HIV and AIDS in Irish theatre, this essay critically analyses the insidious ways in which ‘post-AIDS’ Irish culture is bound up with neoliberal discourses of homonormative assimilation and cultural respectability, especially the figuring of HIV/AIDS as punishment for non-assimilation. © 2017 Springer Science+Business Media New York
News Article | March 28, 2017
One of the perceived benefits of breastfeeding is the possibility that it can boost the child's IQ. Findings of a new study, however, suggest breastfeeding kids won't necessarily make them more intelligent. In a study involving children between 3 and 5 years old, researchers found that while breastfed children generally scored higher on standardized tests for cognitive abilities, the difference was not big enough to be considered as statistically significant. "We weren't able to find a direct causal link between breastfeeding and children's cognitive outcomes," said study author Lisa-Christine Girard from University College Dublin. Why children who were breastfed may be associated with having better cognitive abilities can be attributed to other factors, the researchers said. Mothers who decide to breastfeed their babies, for example, tend to have higher levels of education and engage less in risky behaviors when they were pregnant. Breastfeeding babies is still linked to advantages for both child and mother though, so despite the study's findings, mothers are still urged to breastfeed their babies. Here are some of the other reasons why breast milk is still best for children, especially newborns. In a 2016 study, researchers found that in infants with a high risk for asthma, those who were breastfed have a 27 percent reduced risk of developing respiratory symptoms. The research showed for the first time how infants with 17q21 gene variants, which make them susceptible to wheezing, may experience a different severity and frequency of respiratory symptoms depending on whether or not they are breastfed. In a report, researchers from UNICEF and the World Health Organization said that breastfeeding can slash the occurrence of sudden infant death in developed countries by up to a third. Breastfeeding can also reduce cases of diarrhea and respiratory infections. Breastfeeding children does not just provide them protection from health conditions when they are young. Researchers have also found that breastfeeding children can reduce their risk of developing obesity and diabetes later in life. Breastfeeding offers an array of benefits for babies, but research has also shown that mothers can also benefit from breastfeeding their kids. In a study published in the journal Maternal & Child Nutrition, researchers found that breastfeeding protects mothers from serious diseases and premature death. Breastfeeding appears to reduce the risk for hypertension, diabetes, pre-menopausal ovarian cancer, heart attack, and breast cancer. Despite the benefits associated with breastfeeding, some noted that there is no need to criticize women who have decided not to breastfeed their babies. "Women should not feel bullied or emotionally blackmailed into breastfeeding by one over-zealous section of society any more than they should be made to feel ashamed for breastfeeding in public by another," wrote The Lancet Global Health editor Zoe Mullan. "Breast milk provided exclusively for at least six months is unequivocally the best nutrition a baby can receive; women and their families need respectful advice to make the choice wherever that is possible," Mullan added. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
News Article | April 18, 2017
I didn’t sleep well last night. I’d tried to go to bed at half nine, about two hours earlier than usual, to prepare for pre-race night where I’ll need to be up at 5AM. But I couldn’t slip into slumber because I was busy doing mental calculations and dealing with these little thought demons: ‘Well, if I run at seven minutes per mile until mile 18 and I still feel strong, then I’ll only need to run 6:45 minutes per mile to the end with a sprint finish.’ ‘I should run well until mile 13 and see where I’m at then completely redesign every pacing strategy I’ve ever run with while trying to run a marathon.’ ‘I should just run without any tech and do it all on feel. I should do a whole marathon training cycle like that - it’d be a great feature.’ I didn’t come to any good conclusions oddly - it turns out that defining the way I’m going to run for three and a bit hours isn’t really possible in the dark late at night. The problem I’ve got is the same as every runner I know doing the marathon: you don’t want to go too fast and blow up at 20 miles, run-walking to the finish. But equally, it would be uncomfortable to get to the end in good shape and realise you’ve left any time out there, especially when I’m so tantalisingly close to the sub-three hour mark. That’s partly the issue here: that all the stupid runners have a small, muscular ‘hero’ on their shoulder, whispering about glory if they’re just willing to try that little bit harder than ever before. It’s very easy to listen to that person at the start, less so when you’re weeping on the pavement at mile 18. Well, what should I do? A wise woman at my running club recently told me 'the best marathon you can run is the one where you don't care'. So the sensible answer is simple: pick a time I think is possible and stick with it. But the thing with training is that the time you can achieve is mysterious - it evolves depending on what you’ve done. Let’s begin with some bigger data. According to Strava’s data from analysing the London Marathon in years gone by, the stats don’t tell a good picture: runners in my age bracket of 25-34 are the slowest on average and least likely to achieve their goal pace. But HA! I’m nearly too old for that age range, so there’s more chance of beating the statistics. For once, I’m not grumpy about the slow fingers of death reaching towards me. OK - what about the time itself? I’ve sniffed out a few online calculators that go beyond the traditional rules of thumb (such as taking a recent half marathon race, doubling the time and adding 10 minutes) to offer more qualitative results. The best is from FiveThirtyEight, where it asks for information on two recent races, a weekly average mileage number from training and feedback on how those races were. According to that calculator, I should be aiming for a 3hr12 finish. Eep. Even if I start getting stupid and put in my personal best (PB) for the half marathon in there, it only drops to 3hr07. I would apparently need to run around 60 miles per week to get close to my target. TOO LATE FOR THAT NOW. My little hero is telling me that, clearly, I’m the exception here. My marathon PB, set last October, was 3hr09 - and that was off poor training. (We’ll gloss over the fact that with proper training earlier in the year, I only managed 3hr23). So clearly, with all the excellent training I’ve done (ignoring that it’s made me slower) I should be faster, so 3hr05 is a ‘realistic’ target. In fact, I’ll probably get to halfway and feel so good that I’ll be able to make up the few minutes needed to go under three hours. This will be great. That means the next question is: how to run this race? Well, all the decent marathon runners and scientific data tells me that the best way to run a marathon is at an even pace. There’s an excellent breakdown of pacing at the London Marathon by Barry Smyth, Professor of Computer Science at University College Dublin over on Medium, where he’s taken the pacing of the average runner, those that set a PB and elite runners who are probably quite good at this. The data shows clearly the phases most runners will experience: early excitement where they running 15-20% faster than their (eventual) average speed, the pace-dropping panic as the miles close in and then a destructive finish as the jaws of the marathon clamp down around mile 20, chewing them so hard until they’re only able to stumble across the line. But then we see the elite runners pacing, and the level of control there is what stands out. They’ll never run more than 5% faster than average pace for the first half of the marathon, have a little acceleration at halfway before slowing slightly for the rest of the race, with enough left in the tank for a fast finish. OK - that’s excellent stuff. It’s OK to run a little faster in the first half, but no more than 5% faster than my intended time. I can do that. But that doesn’t account for the most important part of my race: my mental fatigue. Every runner knows that a positive frame of mind will fill every muscle with freedom, make you feel like you’re being guided on a cloud pushed by singing angels. The key thing with any pacing plan is to make sure I feel in control of it, that every mile feels utterly possible and - dare I say it - fun. But a negative headspace, where the weight of an expected pace crushes your spirit, is horrendous. I’ve done five marathon distances, and the most positive ones have always been me holding back at the start then battering out as much speed as possible. My recent PB marathon was by far the best I’ve felt during the run: I ran two miles at 5k pace to tell my body that it needed to get into race mode. Then it was 6 miles of constantly trying to hold the speed back, dropping the pace right down and feeling like I was caged. I had a trigger song ready, and the second I heard Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Holding Out For a Hero’ I knew it was time to drop the hammer. I flew along for the next nine miles, feeling brilliant and watching the miles tick down. The last six miles weren’t pretty at all - but I can barely remember anything other than a massive hill, welling up as I passed the 25 mile marker and then cramping as I tried to sprint to the finish. But the reason that went so well was - like that smart woman said - I had no idea of my planned time. I’d trained for other races and this was an afterthought, and yet I performed far better than I could have even dreamed. This time, I’m going to be strong. I’m going to ignore the little hero that says: ‘You could just follow the three hour pacers and hold on as long as possible. No guts, no glory, eh? Can’t take effort home with you, eh? When your legs get tired, just run with your heart, eh?’ I'm going to take my PB pace (7:14 per mile) and stick to it religiously. No worrying about a fade or half distance efforts or needing to make up time at the end. Start easy, finish hard. No guts. No glory. No heroics. Just a PB (maybe). If you've got any tech questions ahead of the big day - or just about running in general - feel free to get in touch using the links below, or the email address in my author bio! It'd be great to answer some direct questions from runners over the next few days.
University College Dublin and University of Limerick | Date: 2017-03-22
A peptide having 12 to 60 amino acids and including (a) a sequence of SEQUENCE ID NO: 11, or (b) a fragment of SEQUENCE ID NO: 11 that includes the sequence of SEQUENCE ID NO: 1 or 5, is described for use in improving glycemic management in a mammal. A composition, for example a food product, that includes substantially all of the peptides of SEQUENCE ID NO:s 1 to 11, that is capable of reducing post-prandial blood glucose levels, and increasing insulin secretion in humans, is also described.
News Article | May 8, 2017
The digging, stirring and overturning of soil by conventional ploughing in tillage farming is severely damaging earthworm populations around the world, say scientists. The findings published in the scientific journal Global Change Biology show a systematic decline in earthworm populations in soils that are ploughed every year. The deeper the soil is disturbed the more harmful it is for the earthworms. The scientists from the University of Vigo, Spain, and University College Dublin, Ireland, analysed 215 field studies from across 40 countries dating back as far as 1950. Each of the studies investigated earthworm populations under conventional tillage and other forms of reduced tillage. "What we see is a systematic decline in the earthworm population in the soil after continued ploughing and a significant increase in the abundance of earthworms in less disturbed soil, although some soils would need more than 10 years to show good signs of recovery" says Associate Professor Olaf Schmidt, from the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin. According to the findings, the earthworm populations most vulnerable to tillage are larger earthworms that move between layers of soil and create permanent burrows between them (anecic earthworms). Small earthworms that live in the top layers of soil and convert debris to topsoil (epigeic earthworms) were also found to be highly susceptible. Farming practices that involve no-tillage, Conservation Agriculture and shallow non-inversion tillage were shown to significantly increase earthworm populations. The scientists note that these reduced tillage practices are increasingly being adopted world-wide due to their environmental benefits in terms of erosion control and soil protection. "Our study also identifies the conditions under which earthworms respond most to a reduction in tillage intensity. These findings can be translated into advice for farmers in different parts of the world", explains Professor Maria Briones from the University of Vigo. "For example, strong results are achieved in soils with higher clay contents (>35%) and low pH ( Earthworms are critical to the maintenance of soil functions and the ecosystem services we expect from them. The great evolutionary biologist, Charles Darwin called earthworms "nature's plough" because they continually consume and defecate soil enhancing its fertility in the process. In his experiments in England in the late 1800s, Darwin found about 54,000 earthworms inhabited each acre of land and that each of these populations turn over tens of tons of topsoil every year. Recognizing the critical ecological value of earthworms, Darwin wrote: "It may be doubted whether there are any other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world as have these lowly, organized creatures." Professor Maria Briones concludes "Switching to reduced tillage practices is a win-win situation for farmers because they save costs and in return larger earthworm populations help in soil structure maintenance and nutrient cycling."
Pata M.O.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research |
Hannun Y.A.,Medical University of South Carolina |
Ng C.K.-Y.,University College Dublin
New Phytologist | Year: 2010
Contents Summary Sphingolipids are a ubiquitous class of lipids present in a variety of organisms including eukaryotes and bacteria. In the last two decades, research has focused on characterizing the individual species of this complex family of lipids, which has led to a new field of research called 'sphingolipidomics'. There are at least 500 (and perhaps thousands of) different molecular species of sphingolipids in cells, and in Arabidopsis alone it has been reported that there are at least 168 different sphingolipids. Plant sphingolipids can be divided into four classes: glycosyl inositol phosphoceramides (GIPCs), glycosylceramides, ceramides, and free long-chain bases (LCBs). Numerous enzymes involved in plant sphingolipid metabolism have now been cloned and characterized, and, in general, there is broad conservation in the way in which sphingolipids are metabolized in animals, yeast and plants. Here, we review the diversity of sphingolipids reported in the literature, some of the recent advances in our understanding of sphingolipid metabolism in plants, and the physiological roles that sphingolipids and sphingolipid metabolites play in plant physiology. © 2009 New Phytologist.
Stanek G.,Medical University of Vienna |
Wormser G.P.,New York Medical College |
Gray J.,University College Dublin |
Strle F.,University of Ljubljana
The Lancet | Year: 2012
Lyme borreliosis (Lyme disease) is caused by spirochaetes of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato species complex, which are transmitted by ticks. The most common clinical manifestation is erythema migrans, which eventually resolves, even without antibiotic treatment. However, the infecting pathogen can spread to other tissues and organs, causing more severe manifestations that can involve a patient's skin, nervous system, joints, or heart. The incidence of this disease is increasing in many countries. Laboratory evidence of infection, mainly serology, is essential for diagnosis, except in the case of typical erythema migrans. Diagnosed cases are usually treated with antibiotics for 2-4 weeks and most patients make an uneventful recovery. No convincing evidence exists to support the use of antibiotics for longer than 4 weeks, or for the persistence of spirochaetes in adequately treated patients. Prevention is mainly accomplished by protecting against tick bites. There is no vaccine available for human beings. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Walsh C.A.,National Maternity Hospital |
McAuliffe F.M.,University College Dublin
Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology | Year: 2012
ABSTRACT Objectives Selective fetoscopic laser photocoagulation (SFLP) is now the treatment of choice for twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS). The incidence of recurrent TTTS following SFLP has been inconsistently reported across different studies.We performed a systematic review of TTTS recurrence following SFLP. Methods PubMed and MEDLINE online databases were searched for articles published between 2000 and August 2011, using combinations of the terms .twin-twin transfusion', .TTTS', .laser', .recur' and .outcome'. Citations identified in the primary search were screened for eligibility. Studies reporting outcomes from selective SFLP for TTTS in twin pregnancies, which addressed specifically the issue of TTTS recurrence, were included. The primary outcome was rate of TTTS recurrence. Secondary outcomes were therapeutic preference and fetal outcomes in cases of recurrent TTTS. Results The primary search identified 22 eligible studies that are included in this review (n=2447 twin pregnancies). Two studies included a minority of non-selective procedures. The published incidence of recurrent TTTS ranged from 0 to 16%. Clinical management was reported in 65.7% (71/108) cases, with repeat SFLP the most commonly performed secondary intervention. Only three studies provided comprehensive outcome data for cases of recurrent TTTS. The overall rate of neurologically-intact survival was 44% (23/52). The data were inadequate to determine the effects of secondary therapeutic approach, placental location or gestational age on perinatal outcome in cases of recurrent TTTS. Conclusions The published rate of TTTS recurrence following SFLP in monochorionic twin pregnancies ranges from 0 to 16%. Although limited follow-up data suggest that recurrence is associated with significant perinatalmortality and morbidity, further study is needed. Currently, there are insufficient data available to guide recommendations for clinical management of TTTS recurrence. Future studies on SFLP for TTTS must include details on recurrence rates and provide outcome data specific to the recurrent subset. Copyright ©2012 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Wood R.L.,University of Swansea |
McHugh L.,University College Dublin
Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society | Year: 2013
A temporal discounting paradigm was used to examine decision making for hypothetical monetary reward following traumatic brain injury (TBI). A case-control design compared individuals following moderate or severe TBI with a healthy control group matched for age and gender. The impact of intelligence, impulsivity, and mood on temporal discounting performance was examined. A within-subjects design for the TBI group determined the influence of a range of neuropsychological tests on temporal discounting performance. Both patients and controls demonstrated temporal discounting. However, the TBI group discounted more than controls, suggesting that their decision making was more impulsive, consistent with ratings on the impulsiveness questionnaire. Discounting performance was independent of neuropsychological measures of intelligence, memory, and executive function. There was no relationship between temporal discounting and ratings of everyday executive function made by patients' relatives. Low mood did not account for discounting performance. The results of this study suggest that temporal discounting may be a useful neuropsychological paradigm to assess decision making linked to monetary reward following TBI. Performance was relatively independent of intelligence, memory and standard tests of executive ability and may therefore assist when assessing a patient's mental capacity to manage their financial affairs. © 2012 INS. Published by Cambridge University Press.
Ippolito M.,Consorzio Interuniversitario Per Le Applicazioni Of Supercalcolo Per University cerca |
Meloni S.,University College Dublin
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2011
By means of molecular dynamics simulations based on the Billeter environment-dependent classical force field we studied the structural features of SiN x samples at various stoichiometries. Our results are in good agreement with experimental data and are able to reproduce some features which so far were not reproduced by simulations. In particular, we identified units containing N-N bonds, which are thought to be responsible for an unassigned peak in the radial distribution function obtained from neutron diffraction data and signals observed in electron spin resonance, x-ray photoemission spectroscopy, electron-energy-loss spectroscopy, and optical absorption experiments. We have identified defects which are thought to be responsible for the high concentration of charge traps that makes this material suitable for building nonvolatile memory devices. We analyzed the dependency of the concentration of these defects with the stoichiometry of the sample. © 2011 American Physical Society.
Wiengarten F.,Ramon Llull University |
Pagell M.,University College Dublin |
Ahmed M.U.,York University |
Gimenez C.,Ramon Llull University
Journal of Operations Management | Year: 2014
Companies have reacted to the opportunities and threats of globalization through numerous production practices that have increased supply chain complexity. One of the ways companies have been able to manage this increased level of complexity is by integrating their supply chains. Logistical capabilities at the company level play a key role in integrating global supply chains, but logistical capabilities need not be company specific. In this study we explore the role of a country's logistical capabilities in external supply chain integration. Our results indicate that plants situated in countries with superior levels of logistical capabilities adopt significantly lower levels of external supply chain integration. Additionally, plants situated in countries with superior logistical capabilities do not gain the same performance benefits from external integration as plants situated in countries with relatively low levels of logistical capabilities. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
Lesniak A.,University College Dublin |
Fenaroli F.,University College Dublin |
Fenaroli F.,University of Oslo |
Monopoli M.P.,University College Dublin |
And 3 more authors.
ACS Nano | Year: 2012
Nanoparticles enter cells through active processes, thanks to their capability of interacting with the cellular machinery. The protein layer (corona) that forms on their surface once nanoparticles are in contact with biological fluids, such as the cell serum, mediates the interactions with cells in situ. As a consequence of this, here we show that the same nanomaterial can lead to very different biological outcomes, when exposed to cells in the presence or absence of a preformed corona. In particular, silica nanoparticles exposed to cells in the absence of serum have a stronger adhesion to the cell membrane and higher internalization efficiency, in comparison to what is observed in medium containing serum, when a preformed corona is present on their surface. The different exposure conditions not only affect the uptake levels but also result in differences in the intracellular nanoparticle location and impact on cells. Interestingly, we also show that after only one hour of exposure, a corona of very different nature forms on the nanoparticles exposed to cells in the absence of serum. Evidence suggests that these different outcomes can all be connected to the different adhesion and surface properties in the two conditions. © 2012 American Chemical Society.
Baroutaji A.,Cork Institute of Technology |
Gilchrist M.D.,University College Dublin |
Olabi A.G.,University of West of Scotland
Thin-Walled Structures | Year: 2016
This paper presents the responses of nested tube systems under quasi-static and dynamic lateral loading. Nested systems in the form of short internally stacked tubes were proposed as energy absorbing structures for applications that have limited crush zones. Three configurations of nested tube systems were experimentally analysed in this paper. The crush behaviour and energy absorbing responses of these systems under various loading conditions were presented and discussed. It was found that the quasi-static and dynamic responses of the nested systems were comparable under an experimental velocity of v=4.5 m/sec. This is due to insignificant strain rate and inertia effects of the nested systems under the applied velocity. The performance indicators, which describe the effectiveness of energy absorbing systems, were calculated to compare the various nested systems and the best system was identified. Furthermore, the effects of geometrical and loading parameters on the responses of the best nested tube system were explored via performing parametric analysis. The parametric study was performed using validated finite element models. The outcome of this parametric study was full detailed design guidelines for such nested tube energy absorbing structures. © 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Liow L.H.,University of Oslo |
Liow L.H.,University College Dublin
Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society | Year: 2014
The ecological and evolutionary processes leading to present-day biological diversity can be inferred by reconstructing the phylogeny of living organisms, and then modelling potential processes that could have produced this genealogy. A more direct approach is to estimate past processes from the fossil record. The Carnivora (Mammalia) has both substantial extant species richness and a rich fossil record. We compiled species-level data for over 10 000 fossil occurrences of nearly 1400 carnivoran species. Using this compilation, we estimated extinction, speciation and net diversification for carnivorans through the Neogene (22-2 Ma), while simultaneously modelling sampling probability. Our analyses show that caniforms (dogs, bears and relatives) have higher speciation and extinction rates than feliforms (cats, hyenas and relatives), but lower rates of net diversification. We also find that despite continual species turnover, net carnivoran diversification through the Neogene is surprisingly stable, suggesting a saturated adaptive zone, despite restructuring of the physical environment. This result is strikingly different from analyses of carnivoran diversification estimated from extant species alone. Two intervals show elevated diversification rates (13-12 Ma and 4-3 Ma), although the precise causal factors behind the two peaks in carnivoran diversification remain open questions.
University College Cork and University College Dublin | Date: 2013-06-28
A package comprising packaging material defining an enclosed space suitable for containing an item susceptible to microbial growth or spoilage is described. An interior of the package comprises at least one antimicrobial surface bearing an ordered nanoarray of metal or metal oxide nanostructures. A packaging material in the form of a sheet or film having a first face and a second face, in which at least a portion of one of the first or second faces of the film comprises a surface bearing a nanoarray of metal or metal oxide nanostructures, is also described.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2010-ITN | Award Amount: 3.37M | Year: 2011
Nematodes are among the most serious threats to livestock. They cause disease and death but they also compromise production. Even a mild infection can cause a relative protein deficiency and reduce weight gain by 25% . In the UK sheep industry alone, nematode infection costs over 100 million Euros a year . The mainstay of current control measures is anthelmintic treatment but this is threatened by the evolution of drug resistance in parasite populations. Alternative or supplementary control measures are urgently needed. The most promising option for control of nematodes is exploitation of genetic variation which is cheap, surprisingly rapid and has proved to be successful in Australia and New Zealand. There are two obstacles to exploiting genetic variation in resistance to nematodes. Many farmers lack expertise in breeding for disease resistance; simplified breeding strategies that utilise markers for disease resistance will help here. Also, there are concerns about sustainability of breeding for resistance to nematodes. A systems biology approach is necessary in order to develop the comprehensive understanding necessary to simplify breeding to ensure that disease control is likely to be sustainable. A systems approach will also help to identify the most suitable combination of approaches under different circumstances. Systems biology combines a variety of disciplines in a quantitative way to achieve a coherent, consistent and comprehensive understanding of host-parasite relationships. This project aims to identify markers for host resistance to nematodes and to enhance our understanding of the host-parasite interaction. We will train a cadre of researchers with the necessary skills to apply quantitative approaches to parasitology and with the essential experience to apply this knowledge to the livestock sector.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2010.1.2-4 | Award Amount: 5.34M | Year: 2010
The aim of the present project is to explore the properties and possible applications of bismuth and bismuth based compounds when they are synthesized at the nanometric scale. This approach is motivated by the uncommon but advantageous properties of bismuth which, in part, have been exploited for many years. However, there are many unexplored possibilities and with the advent of nanotechnology new prospectives may be expected. We believe this approach will lead to new and high-tech applications of bismuth based materials, adding new value to one of the major mining products of Mexico (second most important world production) and boost the related economic benefits which at present are low. In the project, we have integrated complementary research groups from Mexico and Europe covering interdisciplinary fields. In the thematic work-packages, research groups working on the synthesis of the nanostructured materials will collaborate with others doing the physical-chemical materials characterization and the application development. The materials include Bi, Bi2O3 and Bi2S3 nanostructures, Bismuth metal oxide nanostructured ceramics and thin films, bismuth-based nanocomposites where Bi constitutes the nanoscale inclusion and the matrices varied from ceramics, polymers or glasses, and finally Bi superconductors. Extensive chemical and structural characterization will be required to correlate the synthesis parameters with the physical properties. Finally, the project includes the physical evaluation focused on the optical, electrical, magnetic, ferroelectric, etc. properties, according to the proposed applications. The time scale of the project is sufficient for the preparation of masters degree students and the initial years of doctorate students. These students will work in a very academic-rich environment and at the same time have contact with the industrial partners in the project, some of which are leaders in the development of Bi-based commercial products.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: ICT-2013.9.9 | Award Amount: 74.61M | Year: 2013
This Flagship aims to take graphene and related layered materials from a state of raw potential to a point where they can revolutionize multiple industries from flexible, wearable and transparent electronics, to new energy applications and novel functional composites.\nOur main scientific and technological objectives in the different tiers of the value chain are to develop material technologies for ICT and beyond, identify new device concepts enabled by graphene and other layered materials, and integrate them to systems that provide new functionalities and open new application areas.\nThese objectives are supported by operative targets to bring together a large core consortium of European academic and industrial partners and to create a highly effective technology transfer highway, allowing industry to rapidly absorb and exploit new discoveries.\nThe Flagship will be aligned with European and national priorities to guarantee its successful long term operation and maximal impact on the national industrial and research communities.\nTogether, the scientific and technological objectives and operative targets will allow us to reach our societal goals: the Flagship will contribute to sustainable development by introducing new energy efficient and environmentally friendly products based on carbon and other abundant, safe and recyclable natural resources, and boost economic growth in Europe by creating new jobs and investment opportunities.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.4.2-1 | Award Amount: 7.36M | Year: 2010
Assuming an annual birth rate of 10.25 births/1,000 population approximately 25,000 Extremely Low Gestational Age Newborns are born every year in the EU. Conservative figures estimate that approximately half of all these babies will develop low blood pressure and require treatment. However, no uniform criteria exist to define hypotension and the evidence to support our current management strategies is limited. Many of these interventions have been derived from adult literature and have not been validated in the newborn. Dopamine remains the most common inotrope used despite little evidence that it improves outcome. Hypotension is not only associated with mortality of preterm infants but is also associated with brain injury and impaired neurosensory development in ELGAN survivors. Preterm brain injury has far reaching implications for the child, parents, family, health service and society at large. It is therefore essential that we now design and perform the appropriate trials to determine whether the infusion of inotropic agents is associated with improved outcome. We have assembled a consortium with expertise in key areas of neonatal cardiology, neonatology, neurophysiology, basic science and pharmacology with the intention of answering these questions. The objectives of the group are as follows: 1. To perform a multinational, randomized controlled trial to evaluate whether a more restricted approach to the diagnosis and management of hypotension compared to a standard approach, with dopamine as a first line inotrope, affects survival without significant brain injury at 36 weeks gestational age in infants born less than 28 weeks gestation and affects survival without neurodevelopmental disability at 2 years corrected age 2. To perform pharmacokinetic and pharmcodynamic studies of dopamine 3. To develop and adapt a formulation of dopamine suitable for newborns in order to apply for a Paediatric Use Marketing Authorization
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-25-2015 | Award Amount: 1.16M | Year: 2016
Understanding properties of nanoparticles (and in general of nano-functionalized materials) and how they behave in living systems is a relatively new area of scientific study. The scientific community has not yet been able to derive harmful properties of nanomaterials from the properties of the bulk material. So a precautionary approach is required when handling and using these materials in circumstances where exposure to nanomaterials cannot be excluded. The purpose of this project is to promote good practices (i.e. by following up standards), identify gaps in methodologies and direction for further investigations in order to support risk assessment in order to protect human health. The project also aims to initiate communication with stakeholders to support informed decision making and governance of risks related to handling of nanomaterials and medical surveillance of the workforce in the semiconductor fabrication process. We will focus on several use cases. For example, the use of nanomaterials in chemical mechanical polish slurries for semiconductor manufacture is well documented; however there are also other scenarios where nanomaterials may be used or generated (e.g. wafer cleaving, cleaning of rector chambers or exhaust air ducts).
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-2.4.5-2 | Award Amount: 15.74M | Year: 2010
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects up to 10% of the population. Besides eventual progression towards end stage renal disease CKD impacts the patients quality of life by causing serious comorbidities including cardiovascular complications and bone metabolism disorders. On the everyday clinical level early stage diagnosis and tailored treatment of CKD are still inadequate. In addition, CKD seems not to have reached its appropriate emplacement in an epidemiological and healthcare perspective yet, and the pathophysiology of the disease on a molecular and cellular level is not well enough understood. Our sysKID consortium was installed for precisely addressing these issues: To unravel the molecular and cellular mechanisms of chronic kidney disease development, combine this information with clinical risk factors, and on this basis delineate chronic kidney disease biomarkers. These markers will allow us to perform preclinical studies of novel therapy approaches for halting disease progression, and will provide us with the materials for development and clinical evaluation of tools for early stage diagnosis as well as prognosis and treatment monitoring. sysKID assures a successful implementation of these goals by a truly international consortium of 27 leading research groups. We combine clinical know how, provide access to a huge chronic kidney disease sample and clinical data pool, and build a Systems Biology framework for chronic kidney disease by integrating molecular and cellular biology, computational biology, statistics and epidemiology. Our expert group is further complemented by a high level advisory board covering science, product development, and the patients perspective. sysKID implementation is structured for completing pre-clinical Proof of Concept studies of novel chronic kidney disease therapy regimes, and further for completing clinical evaluation of an epidemiological screening tool as well as of early stage chronic kidney disease diagnostic kits.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: GC-SST.2010.7-2. | Award Amount: 4.71M | Year: 2010
The electrical loads of present automobiles are related to multimedia, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), body electronics (power windows and heated backlight) and lighting (exterior and interior) and their consumption is above 3 kW. A conventional vehicle with internal combustion engine uses part of the mechanical power (about 5 kW) to drive the mentioned on-board equipments through the alternator considering its efficiency of approximately 60%; regarding cabin heating, engine waste heat assures the cabin thermal comfort that requires 5-10 kW, while a mechanically driven vapour compression cycle guarantees the cabin cooling in summer, absorbing up to 3 kW electric and generating up to 5 kW of cooling power. On a FEV electrical auxiliaries are supplied by the batteries pack resulting in increased mass installed to guarantee reasonable covered ranges from 50 to 100 km; the power consumption of any kind of auxiliary contributes to reduce this range and to decrease the battery lifetime; moreover the amount of heat available for cabin heating is very small (less than 5 kW) and the energy available to supply an air conditioning system is far low than normally required by a conventional one. The concept addressed by SMARTOP is to develop an autonomous smart roof integrating solar cells (PV), energy storage systems and auxiliaries as thermoelectric (TE) climatic control, electrochromic (EC) glazing, courtesy LEDs lighting and actuators able to increase comfort and fuel economy for both fully electrical (FEV) and internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. SMARTOP addresses the needs of vehicle electrification integrating on board power hungry devices and matching the comfort and safety customer expectations.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.3.3-1 | Award Amount: 31.38M | Year: 2014
Far from receding, the threats posed by infections with epidemic potential grow ever greater. Although Europe has amongst the best healthcare systems in the world, and also the worlds supreme researchers in this field, we lack co-ordination and linkage between networks that is required to respond fast to new threats. This consortium of consortia will streamline our response, using primary and secondary healthcare to detect cases with pandemic potential and to activate dynamic rapid investigation teams that will deploy shared resources across Europe to mitigate the impact of future pandemics on European health, infrastructure and economic integrity. If funded, PREPARE will transform Europes response to future severe epidemics or pandemics by providing infrastructure, co-ordination and integration of existing clinical research networks, both in community and hospital settings. It represents a new model of collaboration and will provide a one-stop shop for policy makers, public health agencies, regulators and funders of research into pathogens with epidemic potential. It will do this by mounting interepidemic (peace time) patient oriented clinical trials in children and in adults, investigations of the pathogenesis of relevant infectious diseases and facilitate the development of sophisticated state-of-the-art near-patient diagnostics. We will develop pre-emptive solutions to ethical, administrative, regulatory and logistical bottlenecks that prevent a rapid response in the face of new threats. We will provide education and training not only to the members of the network, but also to external opinion leaders, funders and policy makers thereby streamlining our future response. By strengthening and integrating interepidemic research networks, PREPARE will enable the rapid coordinated deployment of Europes elite clinical investigators, resulting in a highly effective response to future outbreaks based on solid scientific advances.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE-2007-2-4-01;KBBE-2007-2-4-02 | Award Amount: 8.89M | Year: 2008
Flavouring, Additive and Food Contact Material Exposure Task: FACET FACET will deliver to the European Community a sustainable surveillance system, to estimate target food chemical intake. The project will consist of three main groupings of its 20 partners. The Chemicals group will prioritise the flavourings, additives and food contact materials for investigation and the food categories applicable to them. The Food group will take those food categories and will establish food ingredient occurrence data through the primary collection of food packaging material and the recording of all food ingredients in purchased foods. It will also create tired food consumption databases linked to the target food categories. In addition, where intake data is limited, models of regional diets will be developed. A group on chemical concentration will provide data on the concentration of target chemicals in target food groups. Databases on food intake, food chemical occurrence and food chemical concentration will be linked in algorithms which will be converted into computer code for the estimation of probabilistic exposure to target food chemical intake.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.4.1-3 | Award Amount: 7.82M | Year: 2014
The eSMART programme of work will demonstrate the effects of a real-time, mobile phone based, remote patient monitoring intervention on key patient outcomes and delivery of care provided to people with cancer during and after chemotherapy. Utilising the remote patient monitoring system, the Advanced Symptom Management System (ASyMS), will reduce the symptom burden experienced by patients receiving chemotherapy, improve their quality of life (QoL) during acute treatment and survivorship, and result in changes in clinical practice and improved delivery of care for patients with cancer. eSMART involves 11 European and one American partner as well as cancer care clinicians from all partner countries. A two-group, multicentre, repeated-measures randomised controlled trial (RCT) will be conducted across 16 sites in Europe, 1108 patients will be recruited. Adult (>18 years) patients diagnosed with breast, colorectal cancer or haematological cancers, commencing first-line chemotherapy and planned to receive at least 4 cycles of chemotherapy will be invited to participate. Work will take place in four consecutive phases. Members of the European Cancer Patient Coalition have an integral role as advisors at every stage of the programme to provide advice and feedback and ensure that work is conducted in line with patients perspectives and needs. eSMART will demonstrate how delivering patient focused, anticipatory care via technology can improve outcomes for people with cancer whilst simultaneously addressing the increasing demands on acute services across Europe by; enhancing patient outcomes and quality-of-life improvement; promoting of advances in cancer care; reducing social and economic barriers in cancer care; accelerating interoperability and collaboration across Europe and enhancing the economic stimulation of the National Health markets.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: SESAR-RIA | Phase: Sesar-11-2015 | Award Amount: 829.31K | Year: 2016
This project will propose advanced metrics to assess the operational efficiency of the ATM system (challenge of the topic ER-11-2015). These new metrics will be developed with the aim of encapsulating the airspace users operational objectives, considering fuel consumption, schedule adherence and cost efficiency of the flights. User-preferred trajectories will be defined as references for performance analysis purposes. AURORA will also propose metrics to measure how fairly the inefficiencies in the system are distributed among the different airspace users. The other main research area will consist of exploring and testing techniques borrowed from the data science and information management fields for the collection and aggregation of data. These techniques will allow AURORA to propose a new framework for ATM decision-making based on real-time performance monitoring of user-centric efficiency indicators, where the airspace users could take an active role. AURORA will validate all these advanced user-centric efficiency metrics (and the proposed methods to obtain them) at European and local level by comparing them with todays Flight Efficiency indicator used by the Performance Review Commission. AURORA will also assess the benefits for the performance-oriented operational concepts (e.g. SESAR) of using the real-time ATM performance monitoring framework to identify opportunities to improve system efficiency and better cater for the users operational needs. The innovative method to assess the metrics will be based on defining a generic advanced trajectory-based airline cost model that captures, to the extent required for air traffic efficiency assessment, the impact of different aspects of the trajectory (e.g. fuel burn or departure and arrival times) on the airlines operational costs. The model will be characterized by not requiring sensitive information from the airspace users and by the fact that it will be applicable to both recorded and streaming data.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.3.1-1 | Award Amount: 7.75M | Year: 2014
Transition to adulthood is the period of onset of most of the serious mental disorders that disable or kill in adult life. Current service configuration of distinct Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) and Adult Mental Health (AMHS) Services is considered the weakest link where the care pathway should be most robust. Transition-related discontinuity of care is a major socioeconomic and societal challenge for the EU. The MILESTONE project is an EU-wide study determining care gaps in current services across diverse healthcare systems and robustly evaluating an innovative transitional care model. In ten high-quality work packages we will map current services and transitional policies across EU; develop and validate transition-specific outcomes measures; conduct a longitudinal cohort study of transition process and outcomes across eight EU countries; develop and test, in a cluster-randomised trial, the clinical and cost-effectiveness of an innovative transitional care model; create clinical, organisational, policy and ethics guidelines for improving care and outcomes for transition age youth; and develop and implement training packages for clinicians across EU. The project will provide robust evidence for the most cost-effective way to meet the as-yet-unmet need of young people who fall through the CAMHS-AMHS divide; facilitate the development of integrated models of care and function; improve health care outcomes and system efficiencies; and ensure take-up of best practice. The project has active and intensive participation of young people, carers, advocacy groups and key stakeholders and involves two SMEs, Concentris and HealthTracker. Findings from the project will transform mental health care in EU for young people. Our results will assist policy makers in making informed and evidence-based decisions for improving health systems, enhancing patient outcomes, quality of life, service satisfaction, and improving health status at individual and population levels.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: EeB-05-2015 | Award Amount: 5.73M | Year: 2015
NewTREND seeks to improve the energy efficiency of the existing European building stock and to improve the current renovation rate by developing a new participatory integrated design methodology targeted to the energy retrofit of buildings and neighbourhoods, establishing energy performance as a key component of refurbishments. The methodology will foster collaboration among stakeholders in the value chain, engaging occupants and building users and supporting all the refurbishment phases through the whole life cycle of the renovation. The methodology will be supported by an online platform to ease collaborative design, which will play the role of exchanging information and facilitating dialogue between the different stakeholders involved in the retrofit process. It will store all the information useful to the design of the retrofit intervention in a cloud based interoperable data exchange server, i.e. the District Information Model server, which has the ability to and export multiple file formats thanks to semantic web technologies. A Data Manager tool will be developed to guide the designers in the data collection phase, which might be a complex task for retrofit projects where information and drawings are scattered or even not available. The NewTREND platform will be a tool for collaborative design allowing evaluation of different design options at both building and district level through dynamic simulations via a Simulation & Design Hub. Design options, including district schemes and shared renewables will be presented to the design team, together with available financing schemes and applicable business models, in a library which will build on lessons from past and ongoing R&D projects. The NewTREND methodology and tools will be validated in three real refurbishment projects in Hungary, Finland and Spain where the involvement of all the stakeholders in the design .process, will be evaluated and specific activities will be dedicated to inhabitants and users
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMP-29-2015 | Award Amount: 8.00M | Year: 2016
A definitive conclusion about the dangers associated with human or animal exposure to a particular nanomaterial can currently be made upon complex and costly procedures including complete NM characterisation with consequent careful and well-controlled in vivo experiments. A significant progress in the ability of the robust nanotoxicity prediction can be achieved using modern approaches based on one hand on systems biology, on another hand on statistical and other computational methods of analysis. In this project, using a comprehensive self-consistent study, which includes in-vivo, in-vitro and in-silico research, we address main respiratory toxicity pathways for representative set of nanomaterials, identify the mechanistic key events of the pathways, and relate them to interactions at bionano interface via careful post-uptake nanoparticle characterisation and molecular modelling. This approach will allow us to formulate novel set of toxicological mechanism-aware end-points that can be assessed in by means of economic and straightforward tests. Using the exhaustive list of end-points and pathways for the selected nanomaterials and exposure routs, we will enable clear discrimination between different pathways and relate the toxicity pathway to the properties of the material via intelligent QSARs. If successful, this approach will allow grouping of materials based on their ability to produce the pathway-relevant key events, identification of properties of concern for new materials, and will help to reduce the need for blanket toxicity testing and animal testing in the future.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: EINFRA-5-2015 | Award Amount: 4.84M | Year: 2015
E-CAM will create, develop and sustain a European infrastructure for computational science applied to simulation and modelling of materials and of biological processes of industrial and societal importance. Building on the already significant network of 15 CECAM centres across Europe and the PRACE initiative, it will create a distributed, sustainable centre for simulation and modelling at and across the atomic, molecular and continuum scales. The ambitious goals of E-CAM will be achieved through three complementary instruments: 1. development, testing, maintenance, and dissemination of robust software modules targeted at end-user needs; 2. advanced training of current and future academic and industrial researchers able to exploit these capabilities; 3. multidisciplinary, coordinated, top-level applied consultancy to industrial end-users (both large multinationals and SMEs). The creation and development of this infrastructure will also impact academic research by creating a training opportunity for over 300 researchers in computational science as applied to their domain expertise. It will also provide a structure for the optimisation and long-term maintenance of important codes and provide a route for their exploitation. Based on the requests from its industrial end-users, E-CAM will deliver new software in a broad field by creating over 200 new, robust software modules. The modules will be written to run with maximum efficiency on hardware with different architectures, available at four PRACE centres and at the Hartree Centre for HPC in Industry. The modules will form the core of a software library (the E-CAM library) that will continue to grow and provide benefit well beyond the funding period of the project. E-CAM has a 60 month duration, involves 48 staff years of effort, has a total budget of 5,836,897 and is requesting funding from the EC of 4,836,897, commensurate with achieving its ambitious goals.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-08-2014 | Award Amount: 25.06M | Year: 2015
The TBVAC2020 proposal builds on the highly successful and long-standing collaborations in subsequent EC-FP5-, FP6- and FP7-funded TB vaccine and biomarker projects, but also brings in a large number of new key partners from excellent laboratories from Europe, USA, Asia, Africa and Australia, many of which are global leaders in the TB field. This was initiated by launching an open call for Expressions of Interest (EoI) prior to this application and to which interested parties could respond. In total, 115 EoIs were received and ranked by the TBVI Steering Committee using proposed H2020 evaluation criteria. This led to the prioritisation of 52 R&D approaches included in this proposal. TBVAC2020 aims to innovate and diversify the current TB vaccine and biomarker pipeline while at the same time applying portfolio management using gating and priority setting criteria to select as early as possible the most promising TB vaccine candidates, and accelerate their development. TBVAC2020 proposes to achieve this by combining creative bottom-up approaches for vaccine discovery (WP1), new preclinical models addressing clinical challenges (WP2) and identification and characterisation of correlates of protection (WP5) with a directive top-down portfolio management approach aiming to select the most promising TB vaccine candidates by their comparative evaluation using objective gating and priority setting criteria (WP6) and by supporting direct, head-to head or comparative preclinical and early clinical evaluation (WP3, WP4). This approach will both innovate and diversify the existing TB vaccine and biomarker pipeline as well as accelerate development of most promising TB vaccine candidates through early development stages. The proposed approach and involvement of many internationally leading groups in the TB vaccine and biomarker area in TBVAC2020 fully aligns with the Global TB Vaccine Partnerships (GTBVP).
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: LCE-06-2015 | Award Amount: 17.86M | Year: 2016
By 2020, several areas of the HVAC pan-European transmission system will be operated with extremely high penetrations of Power Electronics(PE)-interfaced generators, thus becoming the only generating units for some periods of the day or of the year due to renewable (wind, solar) electricity. This will result in i) growing dynamic stability issues for the power system (possibly a new major barrier against future renewable penetration), ii) the necessity to upgrade existing protection schemes and iii) measures to mitigate the resulting degradation of power quality due to harmonics propagation. European TSOs from Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and UK have joined to address such challenges with manufacturers (Alstom, Enercon, Schneider Electric) and universities/research centres. They propose innovative solutions to progressively adjust the HVAC system operations. Firstly, a replicable methodology is developed for appraising the distance of any EU 28 control zone to instability due to PE proliferation and for monitoring it in real time, along with a portfolio of incremental improvements of existing technologies (the tuning of controllers, a pilot test of wide-area control techniques and the upgrading of protection devices with impacts on the present grid codes). Next, innovative power system control laws are designed to cope with the lack of synchronous machines. Numerical simulations and laboratory tests deliver promising control solutions together with recommendations for new PE grid connection rules and the development of a novel protection technology and mitigation of the foreseen power quality disturbances. Technology and economic impacts of such innovations are quantified together with barriers to be overcome in order to recommend future deployment scenarios. Dissemination activities support the deployment schemes of the project outputs based on knowledge sharing among targeted stakeholders at EC level.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: FCT-01-2015 | Award Amount: 11.99M | Year: 2016
ASGARD has a singular goal, contribute to Law Enforcement Agencies Technological Autonomy and effective use of technology. Technologies will be transferred to end users under an open source scheme focusing on Forensics, Intelligence and Foresight (Intelligence led prevention and anticipation). ASGARD will drive progress in the processing of seized data, availability of massive amounts of data and big data solutions in an ever more connected world. New areas of research will also be addressed. The consortium is configured with LEA end users and practitioners pulling from the Research and Development community who will push transfer of knowledge and innovation. A Community of LEA users is the end point of ASGARD with the technology as a focal point for cooperation (a restricted open source community). In addition to traditional Use Cases and trials, in keeping with open source concepts and continuous integration approaches, ASGARD will use Hackathons to demonstrate its results. Vendor lock-in is addressed whilst also recognising their role and existing investment by LEAs. The project will follow a cyclical approach for early results. Data Set, Data Analytics (multimodal/ multimedia), Data Mining and Visual Analytics are included in the work plan. Technologies will be built under the maxim of It works over Its the best. Rapid adoption/flexible deployment strategies are included. The project includes a licensing and IPR approach coherent with LEA realities and Ethical needs. ASGARD includes a comprehensive approach to Privacy, Ethics, Societal Impact respecting fundamental rights. ASGARD leverages existing trust relationship between LEAs and the research and development industry, and experiential knowledge in FCT research. ASGARD will allow its community of users leverage the benefits of agile methodologies, technology trends and open source approaches that are currently exploited by the general ICT sector and Organised Crime and Terrorist organisations.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.70M | Year: 2015
The growth of cities, impacts of climate change and the massive cost of providing new infrastructure provide the impetus for this proposal entitled Training in Reducing Uncertainty in Structural Safety (TRUSS) which will maximize the potential of infrastructure that already exists. If flaws in a structure can be identified early, the cost of repair will be vastly reduced, and here an effective monitoring system would allow identifying the optimum time to repair as well as improving structural safety. But safety is difficult to quantify and requires a deep understanding of the uncertainty associated to measurements and models for the structure and the loads. TRUSS will gather this understanding by bringing together an intersectoral and multidisciplinary collaboration between 4 Universities, 11 Industry participants and 1 research institute from 6 European countries. The consortium will combine and share expertise to offer training at an advanced level as new concepts for monitoring, modelling and reliability analysis of structures are emerging all the time. TRUSS will make knowledge of structural safety grow by incorporating these emerging technologies (hi-tech monitoring and manufacturing, computing, etc.) into the training programme and it will support job creation by enabling a wider talent pool of skilled and accredited engineering graduates with business, entrepreneurship, communication, project management and other transferrable skills. The training programme will be structured into taught modules combined with original research supported by secondments that will expose 14 fellows to both academia and industry. While developing tools that will reduce uncertainty in structural safety and improve infrastructure management, TRUSS will lay the basis for an advanced doctoral programme that will qualify graduates for dealing with the challenges of an aging European infrastructure stock, thereby enhancing their career prospects in both industry and academia.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2012.3.4-02 | Award Amount: 9.94M | Year: 2012
SYNPOL aims to propel the sustainable production of new biopolymers from feedstock. SYNPOL will thereto establish a platform that integrates biopolymer production through modern processing technologies, with bacterial fermentation of syngas, and the pyrolysis of highly complex biowaste (e.g., municipal, commercial, sludge, agricultural). The R&D activities will focus on the integration of innovative physico-chemical, biochemical, downstream and synthetic technologies to produce a wide range of new biopolymers. The integration will engage novel and mutually synergistic production methods as well as the assessment of the environmental benefits and drawbacks. This integrative platform will be revolutionary in its implementation of novel microwave pyrolytic treatments together with systems-biology defined highly efficient and physiologically balanced recombinant bacteria. The latter will produce biopolymer building-blocks and polyhydroxyalkanoates that will serve to synthesize novel bio-based plastic prototypes by chemical and enzymatic catalysis. Thus, the SYNPOL platform will empower the treatment and recycling of complex biological and chemical wastes and raw materials in a single integrated process. The knowledge generated through this innovative biotechnological approach will not only benefit the environmental management of terrestrial wastes, but also reduce the harmful environmental impact of petrochemical plastics. This project offers a timely strategic action that will enable the EU to lead worldwide the syngas fermentation technology for waste revalorisation and sustainable biopolymer production.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST-2007-1.2-01;SST-2007-1.2-02 | Award Amount: 3.21M | Year: 2009
The majority of the European roads are paved with asphalt material. The dismantling and end of life strategies for these pavements are very divergent among the EU member states and the associated countries. In general the share of recycling the reclaimed asphalt in new asphalt courses is rather lower than it could be technically. The Re-road project aims to address these problems with a holistic approach to the technical and environmental aspects of all steps in the recycling procedures of asphalt material. The overall objectives of the project is to o be able to raise the level of re-use of asphalt concrete to 99% with a minimum of downgrading of the material and a minimal introduction of virgin material into the mixes made with reclaimed asphalt.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: BBI-IA-DEMO | Phase: BBI.VC3.D5-2015 | Award Amount: 15.54M | Year: 2016
Approximately one third of all food produced globally is wasted every year throughout the whole value chain-from farmers to consumers. To extract the significant amounts of valuable compounds contained in these wastes, AgriMax will combine affordable and flexible processing technologies (ultrasound assisted and solvent extraction, filtration, thermal and enzymatic treatments) for the valorization of side streams from the horticultural culture and food processing industry to be used in a cooperative approach by local stakeholders. Through the selection of case-scenarios previously developed to a pilot scale by the participating RTOs and their industrial transfer in new applications as food additives, packaging and agricultural materials among others, the project will disclose the holistic potential of four new agro-value chains (residues and by products from the culture and processing of tomato, cereals, olives, potato). Any by-product generated along the production cycle will be valorized in a cascade manner to reach over 40% of high value use of the waste. This will lead to additional production of active ingredients in lower concentration, but also fibres, biogas and fertilizers from the left biomass (the latter with the aim of being used in closed loop in the culture of the crops used in the project to prevent soil impoverishing). An LCA and LCC will also study the best approach to minimize the environmental impact of the new value chains without jeopardizing the cost effectiveness of the operations. The pilot multi-feedstock bio-refinery processes will be validated in two demonstration sites in Spain and Italy. Societal, ethical, safety, techno-feasibility and regulatory aspects will be studied. Last but not least, a business model and platform for communication between the potential raw materials suppliers will be set up to maximize the use of the cooperative treatment plants throughout the year.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SEC-2010.2.3-2 | Award Amount: 5.05M | Year: 2011
AFTER project addresses the challenges posed by the need for vulnerability evaluation and contin-gency planning of the energy grids and energy plants considering also the relevant ICT systems used in protection and control. Project emphasis is on cascading events that can cause catastrophic outages of the electric power systems. The main addressed problems are related to high impact wide spread multiple contingencies, the most significant wide area criticality. This kind of contingencies and the following cascading effects can be caused by deliberate acts of terrorism, sabotage, criminal activity, malicious behaviour etc or they can simply be caused by a combination of accidents, natural disasters, negli-gence. Both risk analysis and risk mitigation will be pursued. In particular, two major objectives are addressed. The first is to develop a methodology and tool for the integrated, global vulnerability analysis and risk assessment of the interconnected Electrical Power Systems considering their interdependencies. This objective meets the TSO (Transmission System Operator) need to overcome current approaches based on separate evaluations of either power system or ICT system. Further, the adoption of risk concepts allows a more in-depth, quantitative evaluation of the security of the electrical power system. The second objective is to develop algorithms and tools supporting contingency planning in a two-fold approach: preventing or limiting system disruption, by means of physical security techniques and defence plans; and re-establishing the system after a major disruption, by means of restoration plans. To this aim, AFTER propose the use of the global risk assessment methodologies as a support to defence plan design. A language to model defence plans functionalities and ICT architecture is de-veloped. New defence plan concepts are also introduced to cope with emergency situations.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2008-1.2-1 | Award Amount: 11.36M | Year: 2009
Biotechnologically derived substances for large scale feed, food and pharma applications represent one of the most important sources of new products due to their precisely controlled structural and functional properties, potential for economic and responsible production and overall broad benefits to society through biocompatibility and sustainability. The costs of producing biomaterials are in many cases dominated by separation processes, which can constitute 80% of the total cost of production. Using smart magnetic adsorbent particles to selectively separate the target product out of a complex product mixture like the fermentation broth or bio-feed stock can drastically reduce costs. By using magnetic separation and extraction technologies to separate the magnetic carrier particles, novel processing ways emerge. The main objective of the MagProLife project is to scale-up innovative nanotechnology based processes defined in the previous NanoBioMag Project, funded by the EU under the FP6 programme (NMP3-CT-2005-013469), to pilot-line-scale and demonstrate those for bio, food and pharma applications. Link to market needs is represented by a preliminary product selection of natural soy based nutraceuticals or pharmaceuticals like Bowman-Birk Inhibitor (BBI), a proteases inhibitor for MS-treatment, and Lunasin which is in discussion to have anti-carcinogenic properties as well as recombinant proteins and nucleic acids (Fragment-Antibody-Binding and Phytase). The Consortium is driven by the potential the magnetic separation technology has for improving the value-chain in industrial production for emerging biotech, food and pharma markets.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2011.9.12 | Award Amount: 935.41K | Year: 2013
Creativity is a long-cherished and widely-studied aspect of human behavior that allows us to re-invent the familiar and to imagine the new. Computational Creativity (CC) is a recent but burgeoning area of creativity research that brings together academics and practitioners from diverse disciplines, genres and modalities, to explore the potential of computers to be autonomously creative or to collaborate as co-creators with humans.\n\nAs a scientific endeavor, CC proposes that computational modeling can yield important insights into the fundamental capabilities of both humans and machines. As an engineering endeavor, CC claims that it is possible to construct autonomous software artifacts that achieve novel and useful ends that are deserving of the label creative. Overall, the CC field seeks to establish a symbiotic relationship between these scientific and engineering endeavors, wherein the software artifacts that are produced are not only useful in their own right, but also serve as empirical tests of the adequacy of scientific theories of creativity. If sufficiently nurtured, the products of CC research can have a significant impact on many aspects of modern life, with particular consequences for the worlds of entertainment, culture, science, education, design and art.\n\nSo that CC can achieve its potential as a future and emerging topic of research and technology development, a range of important coordination actions are needed to solidify and promote the field while engaging with neighboring disciplines. These include focused outreach to researchers in cognitive science, psychology, linguistics, and neuroscience, as well as to practitioners in musicology, literary theory/art theory, design theory, and pedagogy. The goal of the proposed coordinating action is to perform outreach to these related research communities, in a way that maintains the coherence of the CC field without diluting its core principles.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2011.1.2-2 | Award Amount: 10.76M | Year: 2012
Despite the increasing number of macromolecules with potential impact in the treatment of devastating systemic diseases, these therapies have failed to deliver on their expectations because they cannot be administered in the fashion which is most cost efficient and has the highest patient compliance: the oral route. The availability of an oral form of administration could lead to a great improvement of classical therapies and it would also make a high number of new therapies feasible. To make this happen, the final objective of Trans-INT is to design nanocarriers specifically adapted to deal with the gastrointestinal ecosystem and use them for the development of new oral nanomedicines for diseases with high socioeconomic impact (i.e. metabolic diseases, pain medication). The concept behind TRANS-INT is the rational design of oral nanomedicines based on safety, mechanistic, bioengineering (multifunctional nanocarriers: high payload, drug protection, efficient drug transport, controlled release) and pharmaceutical technology criteria (scalable technology and stability). The project will start with nanocarrier platforms on which the partners have IPR and freedom to operate: nanocapsules, nanoparticles, micelles made of combinations of lipids, polypeptides and polysaccharides, continue with the optimization and redefinition of selected nanocarriers. It is expected to end with (i) at least one oral nanocarrier prototype with a comprehensive GLP-tox package, which could be applied for the delivery of a high number of peptide molecules, (ii) at least one nanomedicine fulfilling target product profile criteria, with a comprehensive preclinical evaluation package, (iii) substantial integrative knowledge on the feasibility and potential of oral nanocarriers and nanopharmaceuticals. TRANS-INT is expected to have a great impact no only from the new therapies/patients perspective but also from the innovation and EU industrial development perspective.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2012.1.3-1 | Award Amount: 12.95M | Year: 2013
The NanoMILE project is conceived and led by an international elite of scientists from the EU and US with the aim to establish a fundamental understanding of the mechanisms of nanomaterial interactions with living systems and the environment, and uniquely to do so across the entire life cycle of nanomaterials and in a wide range of target species. Identification of critical properties (physico-chemical descriptors) that confer the ability to induce harm in biological systems is key to allowing these features to be avoided in nanomaterial production (safety by design). Major shortfalls in the risk analysis process for nanomaterials are the fundamental lack of data on exposure levels and the environmental fate and transformation of nanomaterials, key issues that this proposal will address, including through the development of novel modelling approaches. A major deliverable of the project will be a framework for classification of nanomaterials according to their impacts, whether biological or environmental, by linking nanomaterial-biomolecule interactions across scales (sub-cellular to ecosystem) and establishing the specific biochemical mechanisms of interference (toxicity pathway).
National Digital Research Center, University College Dublin and ClearTone Technologies | Date: 2010-09-02
The present invention provides an auditory test and compensation method for an audio system comprising an audio device coupled to an audio output means and a listener of the audio device. The method comprises the steps of: delivering a series of audio stimuli through the audio output means; capturing a listeners response to the audibility of the stimuli; calculating a compensation print from the frequency response; deriving a filter from the calculated compensation print with respect to the frequencies associated with the frequency response and applying the filter to an audio signal of the audio system.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: EE-06-2015 | Award Amount: 5.56M | Year: 2016
The growing share of variable renewable energy necessitates flexibility in the electricity system, which flexible energy generation, demand side participation and energy storage systems can provide. SIMBLOCK will develop innovative demand response (DR) services for smaller residential and commercial customers, implement and test these services in three pilot sites and transfer successful DR models to customers of Project partners in further European countries. The pilot sites are blocks of highly energy efficient buildings with a diverse range of renewable and cogeneration supply systems and requisite ICT infrastructure that allows direct testing of DR strategies. SIMBLOCKs main objectives are to specify the technical characteristics of the demand flexibility that will enable dynamic DR; to study the optimal use of the DR capability in the context of market tariffs and RES supply fluctuations; and to develop and implement market access and business models for DR models offered by blocks of buildings with a focus on shifting power to heat applications and optimization of the available energy vectors in buildings. Actions toward achieving these objectives include: quantifying the reliability of bundled flexibility of smaller buildings via pilot site monitoring schemes; combining innovative automated modelling and optimization services with big data analytics to deliver the best real time DR actions, including motivational user interfaces and activation programs; and developing new DR services that take into account the role of pricing, cost effectiveness, data policies, regulations, and market barriers to attain the critical mass needed to effectively access electricity markets. SIMBLOCKs approach supports the Work Program by maximizing the contribution of buildings and occupants and combining decentralized energy management technology at the blocks of building scale to enable DR, thereby illustrating the benefits achievable (e.g. efficiency, user engagement, cost).
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INT-03-2015 | Award Amount: 2.50M | Year: 2016
GLOBUS critically assesses the EUs impact on justice in a global system characterised by uncertainty, risk and ambiguity. GLOBUS defines a new research agenda for the study of the EUs global role. This agenda directs attention to underlying political and structural challenges to global justice that are prior to the distributive problem, as well as to the fact that what is just is contested both by theorists and policy makers. GLOBUS provides in depth knowledge of how the EU proceeds to promote justice within the specific fields of climate change, trade, development, asylum/migration and security while also speaking to the key horizontal issues of gender and human rights within each of these fields. Rather than focusing on a single dimension GLOBUS develops three different conceptions of justice. This nuanced conceptual scheme allows GLOBUS to address the multifaceted challenge of justice, and to specify the EUs real impact. GLOBUS takes heed of the reality of the foreign will through intense engagement with partners outside Europe. This provides a reality check of the limits and potential for the EUs future place in a multi-polar order. The three conceptions of justice as non-dominance, as impartiality and as mutual recognition all have limitations as they prioritise some challenges to global justice over others. These limitations are important in order to empirically discern inhibiting factors for global political justice such as power, unequal competences and the prevailing system of states as well as in order to specify how the EU contributes to justice. In order to develop a feasible model of justice promotion, we return to theory when data is collected and revise and amend the analytical model. We further factor in the viewpoints and experience of practitioners and stakeholders, GLOBUS provides policy-relevant recommendations that take into consideration ideal requirements while at the same time not losing sight of the realities of power.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2015 | Award Amount: 1.13M | Year: 2016
The challenge posed by urban vulnerability is immense and is being compounded by rapid unplanned urbanisation, climate change and resource pressures. While the realisation that there is a fundamental shift in the landscape of crises to cities is no longer contested, aid actors are nonetheless grappling with the complexities of adapting their approaches to the urban context. The Preparedness and Resilience to address Urban Vulnerability (PRUV) Consortium aims to inform the pressing need to reshape how humanitarian action and development aid is undertaken in urban areas to address the challenge posed by urban vulnerability. Assembled within the PRUV Consortium is an exciting mix of actors with considerable experience and expertise in urban contexts that will transcend disciplines and sectors to frame a new resilience and preparedness paradigm to respond to urban challenges. It seeks to combine existing best practice with innovative thinking and technology to challenge current state of the art thinking in order to arrive at a novel approach with affected urban populations at the centre. By combining legal, social, cultural, political and public health perspectives in a holistic manner, considerable purchase is added to the research around preparedness and resilience, which, while not new within the aid sector more generally, has not been focussed sufficiently on the urban context to date. The opportunities to carry out the research in test-bed sites in Africa, Asia and Latin America adds to the potentially broad utility and transferability of the findings globally.
University College Cork and University College Dublin | Date: 2014-01-01
A package comprising packaging material defining an enclosed space suitable for containing an item susceptible to microbial growth or spoilage is described. An interior of the package comprises at least one antimicrobial surface bearing an ordered nanoarray of metal or metal oxide nanostructures. A packaging material in the form of a sheet or film having a first face and a second face, in which at least a portion of one of the first or second faces of the film comprises a surface bearing a nanoarray of metal or metal oxide nanostructures, is also described.
National Digital Research Center, ClearTone Technologies and University College Dublin | Date: 2011-03-09
The present invention provides an auditory test and compensation method for an audio system comprising an audio device coupled to an audio output means and a listener of the audio device. The method comprises the steps of: delivering a series of audio stimuli through the audio output means; capturing a listeners response to the audibility of the stimuli; calculating a compensation print from the frequency response; deriving a filter from the calculated compensation print with respect to the frequencies associated with the frequency response and applying the filter to an audio signal of the audio system.
Teagasc, University College Cork and University College Dublin | Date: 2015-06-24
This invention provides an oligosaccharide-enriched composition that is derived from milk and that comprises at least 30% oligosaccharides (per 100g of composition dry weight) having a molecular weight range of 300-1200Da, and at least 20% sialyllactose (per 100g of composition dry weight). The oligosaccharide-enriched composition has been found to have a significant immunomodulatory effect (Fig. 1) and has been shown to significantly reduce adhesion of pathogenic bacteria to lung cells and activated pharynx cells, and thereby have a protective effect in humans from respiratory and gastrointestinal infections (Figs 3 and 4). The composition of the invention is derived from a dairy product stream that is substantially free of casein and retains lactose and oligosaccharides, for example demineralised whey powder, demineralised whey, whey permeate, or mother liquor. The dairy product stream is subjected to a micro filtration step to remove whey protein and bacteria, the permeate is then subjected to an ultrafiltration step to enrich for oligosaccharides, and the permeate from the ultrafiltration step is enriched in oligosaccharides having a molecular weight of300-1200Da, using a chromatographic step.
Daly M.,University of Stirling |
Delaney L.,University of Stirling |
Delaney L.,University College Dublin
Social Science and Medicine | Year: 2013
Unemployment is an established predictor of psychological distress. Despite this robust relationship, the long-term impact of unemployment on human welfare has been examined in relatively few studies. In this investigation we test the association between the life-time duration of unemployment over a 34 year period from 1974 to 2008 and psychological distress at age 50 years in a sample of 6253 British adults who took part in the National Child Development Study (NCDS). In addition to adjusting for demographic characteristics, we account for the role of childhood psychological factors, which have been shown to predict adult occupational and mental health outcomes and may determine the connection between unemployment and distress. We find that intelligence and behavioral/emotional problems at age 11 predict both unemployment and psychological distress later in life. Furthermore, as predicted, the duration of unemployment throughout adulthood was associated with elevated levels of psychological distress at age 50, after adjusting for demographic characteristics including labor force status at age 50. The emotional impact of unemployment was only marginally attenuated by the inclusion of childhood factors and early-life distress levels in the analyses. Thus, unemployment may lead to worsening distress levels that persist over time and which cannot be attributed to childhood or early-life well-being or cognitive functioning early in life. Our analysis further supports the idea of psychological scarring from unemployment and the importance of employment outcomes for adult well-being. © 2012.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-2.1.2-1 | Award Amount: 14.94M | Year: 2010
AIM: To identify the molecular mechanisms characterizing cilium function, and the discrete perturbations associated with dysfunction caused by mutations in inherited ciliopathies, applying a systems biology approach. BACKGROUND: Cilia are microtubule-based, centriole-derived projections from the cell surface. They transduce extracellular signals and regulate key processes in which signals of the extracellular environment are translated into a cellular response, such as cell cycle control, Wnt signalling, Shh signalling and planar cell polarity. Disruption of cilium-based processes by mutations can cause very severe disorders. Many of these ciliopathies have overlapping phenotypes. There is evidence, that ciliary proteins are organized in cell/context specific complexes and/or in shared regulatory circuits in cilia of affected tissues. Yet, knowledge of the composition, wiring, dynamics and associated signaling pathways of the corresponding molecular building blocks and associated protein networks remains very limited. APPROACH: We propose here that ciliopathies can be considered systemically as specific perturbations in a versatile dynamically regulated multifunctional molecular machine. Mainly based on the comprehensive description of the ciliary interactome, quantitative functional assays as well as human genetic data derived from ciliopathy patients, we will generate a comprehensive stream of content-rich quantitative data towards systemic analysis of ciliar function. These data will be used to generate and validate discrete models that describe functional modules and regulatory circuits in the ciliome as well as predicting biological context specific features of cilia as well as perturbations leading to ciliopathies. This will enable us to 1) understand the systemic features of discrete ciliary functions, 2) scrutinize the molecular disease mechanisms of different overlapping ciliopathies, and 3) develop therapeutic strategies towards improved treatment.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE.2011.2.2-03 | Award Amount: 11.56M | Year: 2012
Nutrition during early development has an important impact on later health, particularly through greater obesity risk, as demonstrated by FP6 EARNEST. EarlyNutrition explores the current key hypotheses on likely causes and pathways to prevention of early life origins of obesity (specifically adiposity) and associated disorders. We bring extraordinary expertise and study populations of 470,000 individuals to investigate: The fuel mediated in utero hypothesis The accelerated postnatal weight gain hypothesis The mismatch hypothesis. Scientific and technical expertise in placental biology, epigenetics and metabolomics will provide understanding at the cellular and molecular level, and refined strategies for intervention in pregnancy and early post natal life to prevent obesity. Using existing cohort studies, ongoing and novel intervention studies and a basic science programme, we will provide the scientific foundations for evidence based recommendations for optimal EarlyNutrition that incorporate long-term health outcomes, focusing on 4 Target Groups: women before pregnancy; pregnant women; infants (incl. breastfeeding); young children. Evidence is produced from animal and placental studies (Theme 1; T1), prospective cohort studies (T2), and randomised controlled trials in pregnant women and infants (T3). T4 covers scientific strategic integration, recommendation development and dissemination, including systematic reviews and behaviour change approaches. A strong multi-disciplinary team of international leaders in the field including collaborators from USA and Australia achieves balance and complementarity. The projects impact comprises definitive evidence on early nutrition effects on health, enhanced EU and global policies, major economic benefits through obesity prevention and value-added nutritional products, and practical recommendations on optimal nutrition in Target Groups. Wide dissemination will be achieved through active engagement with stakeholders.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-AG | Phase: ERC-AG-SH1 | Award Amount: 2.51M | Year: 2011
This proposal seeks support for a research group led by James Heckman of the Geary Institute at University College Dublin to produce an integrated developmental approach to health that studies the origins and the evolution of health inequalities over the lifecourse and across generations, and the role played by cognition, personality, genes, and environments. Major experimental and nonexperimental international datasets will be analyzed. A practical guide to implementing related policy will be produced. We will build a science of human development that draws on, extends, and unites research on the biology and epidemiology of health disparities with medical economics and the economics of skill formation. The goal is to develop an integrated framework to jointly model the economic, social and biological mechanisms that produce the evolution and the intergenerational transmission of health and of the capabilities that foster health. The following tasks will be undertaken: (1) We will quantify the importance of early-life conditions in explaining the existence of health disparities across the lifecourse. (2) We will understand how health inequalities are transmitted across generations. (3) We will assess the health benefits from early childhood interventions. (4) We will examine the role of genes and environments in the aetiology and evolution of disease. (5) We will analyze how health inequalities emerge and evolve across the lifecourse. (6) We will give biological foundations to both our models and the health measures we will use. The proposed research will investigate causal channels for promoting health. It will compare the relative effectiveness of interventions at various stages of the life cycle and the benefits and costs of later remediation if early adversity is not adequately eliminated. It will guide the design of current and prospective experimental and longitudinal studies and policy formulation, and will train young scholars in frontier methods of research
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2010.3.2-04 | Award Amount: 3.89M | Year: 2011
Monitoring the quality of drinking water is of paramount importance for public health. Water is not a commercial product but a heritage that must be protected, defended and treated as such (Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC). The threat of waterborne diseases in Europe will predictably increase in the future as the human population increases and as a result of globalization and migration from non-EU countries and of climate change. Development of efficient, sensitive, robust, rapid and inexpensive tests to monitor various aspects of water quality represents an essential milestone within the strategy for control and prevention of diseases caused by waterborne pathogens and by algal toxins. Traditional methods for the detection of waterborne pathogens, based on cultivation, biochemical characterisation and microscopic detection are laborious and time-consuming; molecular biological tools have now greatly enhanced our ability to investigate biodiversity by identifying species and to estimate gene flow and distribution of species in time and space. AQUA aims to design and develop a universal microarray chip for the high-throughput detection in water of known and emerging pathogens (bacteria, viruses, protozoa and cyanobacteria) and to assess the water quality monitoring the presence of select bioindicators (i.e. diatoms). A chip able to detect cyanobacterial toxins will also be developed. These innovative molecular tools should be amenable to automation so that they could be deployed on moorings for routine semi-continuous monitoring of water quality. AQUA also aims to identify cyanophages potentially capable of controlling and mitigating the periodical blooming of toxic cyanobacteria in drinking water reservoirs. Overall, these innovative and cost efficient technologies will reduce energy requirements and improve performance of water treatment, and allow rapid management response to new situations brought about by environmental (including climatic) changes.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 3.35M | Year: 2011
The focus of modern solid-state technology is currently shifting from the single property (electric, magnetic, and elastic) to a coupling of different fields where a coupled materials response can be either used for their characterization or as a basis of novel applications. In the last few years, it became clear that the coupled electromechanical response of the materials (i.e., mechanical deformation under applied electric bias) can be not only used as an universal tool for studying diverse materials classes at the nanoscale but is becoming indispensable for the development of next generation of multifunctional materials (piezoelectrics, ferroelectrics, multiferroics, ionic conductors, and polar biomaterials) and composites on their base. Novel nanoelectromechanical tools (Piezoresponse Force Microscopy - PFM, Electrochemical Strain Microscopy - ESM, and as well their combination with traditional Scanning Probe Microscopies - SPM) have been introduced for studying emergent materials and applications. This has recently led to the substantial progress in the development of novel multiferroics, photovoltaic, biopiezoelectrics and battery materials. The emergent field of nanoelectromechanics requires coordinated action at the European level as further progress in this field largely relies on the education and dissemination of best practices in application of PFM/ESM to a large number of functional materials NANOMOTION is intended to train the next generation of engineers and technologists in the fundamental aspects of the nanoelectromechanics, to apply advanced PFM/ESM tools to study a wide range of functional materials in collaboration with interested industrial partners and to create a European-based pool of researchers in this area.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 | Award Amount: 5.04M | Year: 2009
Storing CO2 in the subsurface to reduce global warming, finding hydrocarbon and other resources and monitoring their extraction, generating energy with Earths internal heat, and forecasting natural hazards (earthquake-induced ground motion, volcanic eruptions) requires high-resolution tomographic images of the Earths interior. The main goal of QUEST is research and training in the development of strategies for automated seismic imaging using the increasing power of 3-D simulation technology. While so far the observed information was severely reduced to determine Earths structure, the massive increase in available computational resources allows us now to make use of the complete information contained in the observations. With narrowing resources and increasing energy prizes the exploration industry is seeking highly skilled young scientists capable of driving the new computational technologies towards industrial problems. Earth Science graduating students are lacking profound theoretical and practical training in numerical methods and high-performance computing. QUEST intends to fill this gap offering the students excellent prospects in industry and academia as the combination of skills to be trained are highly in demand. We also expect substantial progress in understanding the dynamics of our planet, the quantification of natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. QUEST will link world-leading scientists in methodologies such as computational wave propagation, the theory of inverse problems and global tomography with two of the best industrial research laboratories in geophysics and computing world wide. QUEST will have a lasting impact on the practice of seismic tomography, leading to High-Performance-Computing solutions applicable to industrial and academic challenges, and a generation of young researchers capable of producing better Earth images that help us tackle the challenges of future energy-resource management and natural-hazard related research.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2012-2.2.4. | Award Amount: 6.56M | Year: 2012
The Infrastructure for Systems Biology in Europe (ISBE) programme comprises an infrastructure that is designed to meet the needs of European systems biology, in terms of development, applications and training. In order to address this requirement, we are proposing a distributed, interconnected infrastructure which primarily comprises three types of centres: Data Integration Centres (DICs), and systems biology dedicated Data Generation Centres (DGCs), and Data Stewardship Centres (DSCs). DICs are research centres that apply and develop expertise in model-driven data integration and make this expertise available to the community. DGCs are technology-based centres that make available a wide range of high, medium and low throughput technologies that are essential for the acquisition of quantitative datasets under standardised conditions. DSCs are centres that are responsible for data processing, curation and analysis they store data, models and simulations. Each type of centre will be functionally different, but organisationally similar. Within participating universities and other organisations across Europe there will be foci of expertise and facilities which fit the requirements for a DIC, DGC or DSC. Such foci will be evaluated and then designated as local centres of a particular type. Each focus will then form a component of a particular type of DIC, DGC or DSC centre. ISBE centres may be single institutions or can be distributed. Large institutions, such as leading universities, may well contribute facilities and expertise across different types of centres. A particular distributed centre may focus on an area of Systems Biology; for example, a model organism, a disease, or, alternatively an area such as biotechnology, ecology or green biology. Importantly, the ISBE will include technological expertise; for example, stochastic computation, algorithmic modelling, multi-scale modelling integration of diverse high-and low-throughput datasets.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-SG | Phase: ERC-SG-SH6 | Award Amount: 1.09M | Year: 2011
The colonisation of Europe by anatomically modern humans (AMHs) ca. 45,000 years before present (BP) and the transition to farming ca. 8,000 BP are two major events in human prehistory. Both events involved certain cultural and biological adaptations, technological innovations, and behavioural plasticity which are unique to our species. The reconstruction of these processes and the causality between them has so far remained elusive due to technological, methodological and logistical complexities. Major developments in our understanding of the anthropology of the Upper Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic, and advances in ancient DNA (aDNA) technology and chronometric methods now allow us to assess in sufficient resolution the interface between these evolutionary processes, and changes in human culture and behaviour. The proposed research will investigate the complex interface between the morphological, genetic, behavioural, and cultural factors that shaped the population history of European AMHs. The PI s interdisciplinary expertise in these areas, his access to and experience of relevant skeletal collections, and his ongoing European collaborations will allow significant progress in addressing these fundamental questions. The approach taken will include (a) the collection of bioarchaeological, aDNA, stable isotope (for the analysis of ancient diet) and radiometric data on 500 skeletons from key sites/phases in Europe and western Anatolia, and (b) the application of existing and novel aDNA, bioarchaeological and simulation methodologies. This research will yield results that transform our current understanding of major demographic and evolutionary processes and will place Europe at the forefront of anthropological biological and genetic research.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2011.1.3-04 | Award Amount: 3.91M | Year: 2012
Infections with parasitic worms (nematodes and trematodes) represent a significant economic and welfare burden to the European ruminant livestock industry. The increasing prevalence of anthelmintic resistance means that current control programmes are costly and unsustainable in the long term. Recent changes in the epidemiology, seasonality and geographic distribution of helminth infections have been attributed to climate change. However, other changes in environment (e.g. land use) and in livestock farming, such as intensification and altered management practices, will also have an impact on helminth infections. Sustainable control of helminth infections in a changing world requires detailed knowledge of these interactions. GLOWORM will devise new, sustainable strategies for the effective control of ruminant helminthoses in the face of global change. We will: (1) optimise diagnosis, by developing novel, high-throughput diagnostic tests for mixed helminth infections, sub-clinical infections and anthelmintic resistance, (2) map, monitor and predict the impact of global change on parasite epidemiology, leading to spatial risk maps and improved forecasting of disease, (3) produce predictive models to identify optimal future intervention strategies, (4) identify and mitigate the economic impacts of infections and (5) involve end-users in the production and dissemination of detailed advice for effective worm control. We will work together to develop a panel of innovative technologies and models to monitor and predict changing patterns of infection and disease, optimise the use of anthelmintics to limit the development and spread of drug resistance, and reduce the overall economic impact of helminth infections. GLOWORM will contribute to the continued productivity and profitability of European livestock farming by delivering new tools, strategies and recommendations for the monitoring, surveillance, and sustainable control of helminth infections in grazing livestock.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.01M | Year: 2012
Coding of biochemical information is commonly described to be based solely on nucleotides and amino acids, whereas carbohydrates, the most abundant type of molecule in Nature, appear sidelined in this respect. That carbohydrates, as part of cellular glycoconjugates, have exceptional talents for building biochemical signals is an emerging insight, at the heart of the concept of the Sugar Code. Intuitively, emergence of recognition partners for information transfer is expected, and this is the case. Thus, coding of bioinformation in glycans and information transfer via lectins is key to a wealth of medically relevant processes, e.g. infection, immune regulation and malignancy, now awaiting its full exploitation pharmaceutically. To do so, training in this exceptionally interdisciplinary field needs to be provided. With this aim, scientific and country/gender issues are strategically combined in this network. Its composition assures a continuous chain of research expertise, from computational and synthetic chemistry to state of the art biophysical chemistry and structural biology, then to biochemistry, molecular cell biology and pharmaceutical/biomedical sciences, generating innovative clinical approaches. Notably, academia is linked with industry, bringing in the essence of business acumen into the training programme. This activity and the research deliberately planned as interdisciplinary projects ensure an optimal training for young researchers in a dynamically developing area of conspicuous biopharmaceutical potential. Equally important, it lays the foundation to inspire novel strategies for the design of potent and selective inhibitors against lectins and the development of lectins (or suitably engineered variant(s)) as therapeuticals. As a boon for the success of the network, cooperations between several partners have already proven successful, especially increasing the core in Madrid and partners in Dublin, Munich and Prague.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-1 | Award Amount: 1.52M | Year: 2010
The EU dairy industry produces 130 billion litres of raw milk each year for consumption and for application in the production of many food, feed and pharma products. Without doubt the quality and safety of milk and milk products is of paramount importance for safeguarding the health and safety of EU consumers. While pasteurisation has resulted in a dramatic decline in milk-borne disease outbreaks, consumption of raw or inadequately pasteurised milk has been associated with several outbreaks of enteric infections with pathogens such as Listeria and Campylobacter. Furthermore, not all consumers want to drink milk that has been pasteurised, and although a niche product, consumer interest in raw milk is growing as many people believe it contains a higher proportion of beneficial microorganisms and vitamins. Raw milk continues to be consumed directly by large numbers of people in rural areas across the EU. There is a need for a technology that will improve the treatment of milk and provide an alternative to pasteurisation. Research carried out by University College Dublin revealed that the treatment of milk with thermosonication (TS) combined with pulsed electric field (PEF) achieved a degree of inactivation of L. innocua comparable with conventional pasteurisation, while substantially reducing the severity of the time/temperature exposure. This project will build on this research and will build a TS and PEF- based pre-competitive prototype system called SmartMILK. It will be tested and validated in milk production facilities. A key innovativion of the SmartMILK project will centre on optimising the combination of TS and PEF, whereby TS can assist the treatment technology in resulting in a lesser degree of thermal damage in the milk, thereby retaining more of the organoleptically and nutritionally favourable characteristics of the fresh product, while potentially achieving similar or superior shelf life to the conventional treatment.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.1.1-2 | Award Amount: 15.99M | Year: 2011
PRIMES focuses on the role of protein interactions to assemble dynamic molecular machines that receive and process information to coordinate cellular responses. PRIMES investigates the following: (i) How do protein interactions contribute to the generation of biological specificity in signalling? (ii) How do pathogenetic perturbations affect protein interaction networks? (iii) How can we exploit protein interactions as therapeutic targets? We focus on the EGFR/ERBB signalling network and its role in colorectal cancer (CRC), the third most frequent cancer. The ERBB network is frequently altered in CRC either through overexpression or mutation of the receptors or downstream components. Network components have become important drug targets. Poor response rates and resistance demonstrate we lack sufficient insight to design efficacious therapies. Using proteomics, structural biology, advanced imaging and mathematical modelling we (i) map static and dynamic protein interactions in the ERBB network (ii) unravel the design principles and emergent network properties conferred by protein interactions; and (iii) validate these findings in genetic mouse models of CRC and human tissues. PRIMES aims to (i) enhance the functional pathogenetic understanding of CRC (ii) identify mechanisms of drug resistance and drug efficacy; and (iii) identify drugs that affect protein interactions to rationally manipulate network functions related to individual genetic mutations. Outcomes include (i) a dynamic, mechanistic flowchart of how protein interactions compute biochemical and biological specificity in signalling networks (ii) a functional protein interaction network of healthy and oncogenic ERBB signalling validated in mouse models of CRC and human tissues (iii) network level insights towards personalised CRC treatment based on genotype-phenotype relationships; and (iv) chemical compounds targeting protein interactions to restore normal ERBB network function or break oncogenic circuits.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE.2013.2.4-01 | Award Amount: 11.53M | Year: 2014
Food Integrity the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished or in perfect condition. Providing assurance to consumers and other stakeholders about the safety, authenticity and quality of European food (integrity) is of prime importance in adding value to the European Agri-food economy. The integrity of European foods is under constant threat from fraudulently labelled imitations that try to exploit that added value. The FOODINTEGRITY project will directly address this issue and will be an international focal point for harmonisation and exploitation of research and technology for insuring the integrity of European food. Comprising an inner core of project participants from industry, academia, research institutes, technology providers and a global network of stakeholders, FOODINTEGRITY will rationalise and harmonise capability to provide a coherent structure and process for assuring the food supply. FOODINTEGRITY will: facilitate the sharing of information between stakeholder groups regarding European food integrity; establish processes for harmonising & exploiting existing databases; establish fit for purpose methodology to address stakeholder needs; identify and address research gaps by procuring and delivering 3M of commissioned projects; establish a self-sustaining Food-fraud early warning system for identifying emerging fraud risks; establish a self-sustaining worldwide network of stakeholders to ensure maximum uptake of the project legacy. Improved verification procedures will be developed for food control and industry stakeholders using 3 key commodities as exemplars: olive oil, spirit drinks & seafood. In addition a consumer study in China will assess their consumer attitudes in the face of substantial counterfeiting of European food. Finally it will establish expert food authenticity platforms that will supply independent expert opinion on food authenticity/food fraud to the European Commission, Codex and other national/international bodies
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: SST-2007-1.2-01;SST-2007-1.2-02 | Award Amount: 1.25M | Year: 2009
The DIREC_MAT project objective is to share, at a European scale, knowledge and practices on recycling road and road-related waste in the aim of ensuring an environmentally-friendly and sustainable end-of-life for road infrastructure. Road material recycling processes have previously been studied in national and European research projects and have led to various levels of practical implementation; unfortunately, the national experiences developed across Europe almost never benefit other European countries. This is especially true for the newer Member States. Furthermore existing knowledge and practices are presently scattered. Reliable practice-oriented data on all types of road materials and waste will be identified and compiled by skilled experts working in both research and construction capacities. Field experience and relevant research issues will be integrated into a Web database to provide the European road community with unrestricted access to updated online data on end products that have been classified, assessed and illustrated with jobsite practices for dismantling and recycling applications. This database will not only offer information to stakeholders on facilitating the correct re-use of road and road-related waste products back into roads without generating health impacts, but will also provide technical and scientific information for CEN Technical Committees. Lastly, such a tool will make it possible to better identify outstanding research needs in this area. Best practice guides on green techniques for recycling road and road-related waste back into roads will be delivered; benchmarking processes will be detailed and shared by all stakeholders in order to achieve a road material recyclability level of nearly 100%. FEHRL (Forum of European Highway Research Laboratories) will contribute by performing decisive clustering tasks and engaging in a comprehensive dissemination plan to promote the required knowledge sharing for end-users
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2007-2.2-01 | Award Amount: 3.74M | Year: 2008
The Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) has been selected by the ESFRI roadmap process as one of the 35 crucial pillars of the European Research Area. This project will prepare a major upgrade of SHARE for all 27 EU members plus associated Switzerland and Israel during the decade 2010-2020. SHARE builds an infrastructure of micro data necessary to understand individual and societal ageing as a process in time that is strongly influenced by pension, health care and labour market regimes and their reforms. It is designed by researchers for researchers and integrates economics, medicine, and social sciences. Research based on this infrastructure will also serve as a feedback mechanism to support fact-based EU policies, such as the open method of coordination and the Lisbon agenda, to help meeting the challenges of population ageing in all countries of the EU. The major upgrade of SHARE will have two dimensions. First, it will prolong SHARE over time and generate a genuine panel that follows individuals as they age and react to the changes in the social and economic environment. From a research viewpoint, the time dimension is crucial since ageing is a process that can only be understood if we observe the same individual at different points in time. Second, SHARE will expand to all EU member states. Ageing in the accession states is a particular challenge as these countries are ageing before their social and health institutions are brought to the same level of maturity as in the EU15 countries. Aim of the preparatory phase is to bring the SHARE prototype to the level of financial, legal, governance and technical maturity required to fill important knowledge gaps in individual and population ageing. It involves all stakeholders necessary for the major upgrade, among them research institutes and universities; national science ministries and foundations; two Directorates General of the European Commission; and the U.S. National Institute on Aging.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SST-2007-6.0-04 | Award Amount: 272.57K | Year: 2007
This is a proposal for an early-stage postgraduate research student competition a kind of Transport Research Olympics to complement the goals of the Transport Research Arena conference, TRA 2008, in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The goal is to stimulate interest among young researchers in the conference and contribute to establishing it as the premier Transport event in the world. This activity will directly support the TRA event and reinforce its profile as a major European and internationally important conference. The YEAR competition will be in two stages. In the first stage, up to 1000 students will submit abstracts, clearly specifying the deliverables and practical outputs of their research. There will be a network of about 100 coaches, experts in transporation research, to encourage a wide participation from all over European and neighbouring countries. The abstracts will be hosted on a website which will constitute a showcase of early stage research in Europe. There will be five categories, four for PhD research in each of the four pillar areas of the conference and a fifth future vision category in which students present their vision of the future in the context of the work of ERTRAC. The fifth category will helpt to disseminate the work of ERTRAC by encouraging many young researchers to read their future vision documents and develop their own ideas in this context. In the second stage, about 50 finalists will be brought to the TRA 2008 conference to present their work in the form of posters or audiovisual displays. There will be gold, silver and bronze medals for each of the 5 categories and winners will be featured prominently at the conference to stimulate interest among delegates, journalists and the general public. The exhibition will be in a prominent area to encourage a wide ranging discussion between students and delegates who constitute future potential employers and stakeholders in road transport.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.32M | Year: 2015
OPATHY is an innovative translational research training network that will explore the potential of omics technologies, including genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics, to study the interactions of yeasts that cause disease to humans (e.g. Candida and Cryptococcus sp.) with their host, and to develop new diagnostic tools to monitor yeast infections in the clinic. Today, these infections are poorly understood, difficult to diagnose, and are becoming increasingly frequent and serious, affecting over 300 million people worldwide. OPATHY will exploit omics technologies to investigate host-pathogen interactions during yeast infection and colonization with a primary focus on their potential to develop innovative diagnostics tools to improve health care. For this proteomics, transcriptomics and genomics measurements of strains and infections will be integrated with state of the art computational analyses to identify novel biomarkers able to determine the infection stage, the infective pathogen, and the potential resistance traits. This knowledge will drive the development of diagnostic tools based on the detection of specific DNA sequences (by PCR) or antibodies (by Elisa or proteomics). These tools will be validated in a clinical study of key patient cohorts. The participation of two clinical centers and four companies is of paramount importance for the network to provide an integrative and transversal research and training environment. Importantly, the methodologies and approaches of OPATHY can be easily extended to the study and identification of other human, animal and plant microbial pathogens, or the tracing of relevant industrial organisms. Grounded on solid individual research projects, OPATHY will train Early Stage Researchers in several scientific technologies and fields and transferable skills, to boost their careers as innovative and creative researchers.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2012.1.3-04 | Award Amount: 3.91M | Year: 2013
Good fertility is essential for the sustainability of livestock production. Of all livestock sectors, fertility of dairy cattle is raising the greatest cause for concern. Cow fertility has declined, particularly in Holstein cattle, from 80% pregnancy to first service 20 years ago to less than 40% today. Poor fertility is one of the main reasons for early culling, such that modern dairy cows complete fewer than 3 lactations, on average. The FECUND project will address the metabolic and genetic causes of low reproductive success of dairy cows in an interdisciplinary approach that will integrate in vivo and in vitro studies, biology, physiology, -omics technologies and bioinformatics. FECUND will focus on the early phases of reproduction from oocyte development to implantation of the conceptus. Starting from biological materials produced from high and low genetic merit cattle and from cows under energy stress of early lactation vs dry cows and heifers, FECUND will study, independently, the effects of genetics and metabolic stress on reproductive physiology to identify factors and early markers associated with high and low developmental potential, and with positive mother-conceptus interaction during the early stages of reproduction. These data will be mined to reveal physiological pathways and key candidate genes controlling variations of fertility. The biological knowledge created on early reproductive events in vivo will be validated in vitro, and extended to create further knowledge on the effects of the local environment on oocyte and embryo programming at the epigenetic level. Validated information will be used to improve herd management, gene assisted and genomic selection and assisted reproductive technologies, from in vitro ooctye maturation to optimised embryo culture. Information on biomarkers, indicator traits and improvements in assisted reproduction will be translated to applications that can be immediately implemented by SMEs.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BG-01-2015 | Award Amount: 9.21M | Year: 2016
ATLAS creates a dynamic new partnership between multinational industries, SMEs, governments and academia to assess the Atlantics deep-sea ecosystems and Marine Genetic Resources to create the integrated and adaptive planning products needed for sustainable Blue Growth. ATLAS will gather diverse new information on sensitive Atlantic ecosystems (incl. VMEs and EBSAs) to produce a step-change in our understanding of their connectivity, functioning and responses to future changes in human use and ocean climate. This is possible because ATLAS takes innovative approaches to its work and interweaves its objectives by placing business, policy and socioeconomic development at the forefront with science. ATLAS not only uses trans-Atlantic oceanographic arrays to understand and predict future change in living marine resources, but enhances their capacity with new sensors to make measurements directly relevant to ecosystem function. The ATLAS team has the track record needed to meet the projects ambitions and has already developed a programme of 25 deep-sea cruises, with more pending final decision. These cruises will study a network of 12 Case Studies spanning the Atlantic including sponge, cold-water coral, seamount and mid-ocean ridge ecosystems. The team has an unprecedented track record in policy development at national, European and international levels. An annual ATLAS Science-Policy Panel in Brussels will take the latest results and Blue Growth opportunities identified from the project directly to policy makers. Finally, ATLAS has a strong trans-Atlantic partnership in Canada and the USA where both government and academic partners will interact closely with ATLAS through shared cruises, staff secondments, scientific collaboration and work to inform Atlantic policy development. ATLAS has been created and designed with our N American partners to foster trans-Atlantic collaboration and the wider objectives of the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ISIB-04b-2015 | Award Amount: 4.00M | Year: 2016
European forests are expected to provide a broad range of ecosystem services (ES). This capacity is however threatened by the uncertainties of climate change, the complex dynamics of evolving global markets and the pressures for increased use of bioenergy. Such challenges cannot be effectively addressed with an uncritical regional or national commitment to traditional forest management models (FMMs), as these are unlikely to ensure the sustained long-term provisioning of desired ES, let alone their optimised delivery. ALTERFORs goal is thus to facilitate the implementation of FMMs better suited to meeting the challenges of the 21st century by: (1) Identifying and developing FMMs robust in their capacity to deliver ES and overcome projected socio-ecological risks and uncertainties; (2) Assessing the impact of different FMM combinations in terms of resultant ES baskets on the European and landscape level, and (3) Facilitating the implementation of desired FMMs and improving cross-national knowledge transfer regarding their benefits, costs, management, and utilization. The project will involve a consortium of 19 organisations from nine countries chosen due to their possession of the transdisciplinary expertise necessary to achieve these objectives, and for ensuring an encompassing representation of Europes socio-economic conditions and prevailing forest management paradigms. Based on carefully designed case studies, the consortium will make sure realistic models of forest owner behaviour are employed; guarantee the involvement of forest stakeholders throughout the project; anchor the desired FMMs to relevant forest actors; and help disseminate project findings to local, national and European stakeholders. The main long-term impact of ALTERFOR is the implementation of FMMs that secure the capacity of Europes forests to continue providing a balanced ES basket that societies will depend upon over the coming century.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: MG-8.3-2016 | Award Amount: 2.99M | Year: 2016
The Transportation sector employs over 10 million persons in the EU today. At the same time, Transport is a social sector that is rapidly developing, changing and being influenced to the maximum extent by the development of automation, electrification and greening of transport, among others, thus facing problems in staffing its several domains with appropriate and qualified personnel. This fact, makes the need for changes in training and education content, curricula, tools and methodologies absolutely imperative, incorporating lifelong learning aspects for the professionals in all transports areas. SKILLFUL vision is to identify the skills and competences needed by the Transport workforce of the future and define the training methods and tools to meet them. For all the above trends, employability will be strongly connected by SKILLFUL to future transport job requirements for all transportation modes and multimodal chains (which constitute a key transport of the future trend) and for all levels/types of workers, while all training modes will be included and integrated in a balanced way. To achieve this, SKILLFUL aims to review the existing, emerging and future knowledge and skills requirements of workers at all levels in the transportation sector, to structure the key specifications and components of the curricula and training courses that will be needed to meet these competence requirements optimally and to identify and propose new business roles in the education and training chain, such as those of knowledge aggregator, training certifier and training promoter, in order to achieve European wide competence development. Project results are verified through s wide number of Pilots with low to high skilled workers from all transportation modes Europewide.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.4.5-2 | Award Amount: 7.45M | Year: 2013
In chronic joint disease, only a subgroup of patients has classical autoantibodies, while the other variants are seronegative arthritis syndromes with a predominance of innate immune disturbances. These forms of joint diseases frequently show extra-articular manifestations of epithelial tissues like skin and gut. On the molecular level, innate immune activation and the release of damage associated molecular pattern proteins (DAMPs) of the S100 family are important mechanisms of initiation and perpetuation. Early diagnosis remains a significant problem, and prediction of disease extension and course is challenging. Despite all efforts we do not have therapies that alleviate the disease and protect from disease progression, damage and long-term disability. The identification of specific inflammatory mechanisms that correlate to patterns of disease characteristics would allow targeted therapeutic approaches. In a comprehensive research approach, MIAMI will establish relevant disease mechanisms and translate finding into novel biomarkers for individual adaptation of therapies (personalised medicine) for seronegative arthritis. Our research strategy leaves retracted ways of genetics and classical autoimmunity; instead we will focus on innate immunity and inflammation. The goals of MIAMI are ambitious and will be reached with cutting-edge research performed by the most excellent researchers in the field, who have been combined to form a multidisciplinary consortium. The choice of the scientific as well as industry partners was entirely based on excellence. Thus, MIAMI brings together the leading teams that are working on mechanisms of innate immunity in arthritis and mucosal inflammation. In summary, MIAMI will significantly contribute to progress on the key questions: Who will be affected by which disease manifestation or complication, how can we use this knowledge to identify the disease, and what will be a meaningful target to treat or even prevent deleterious outcome.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IAPP | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-IAPP-2008 | Award Amount: 1.75M | Year: 2009
Fast particles and nanoclusters are produced directly in energetic plasmas, with desirable results as in nanopowder production and undesirable results as in debris and fast particle damage in EUV light sources. The phenomena cover diverse disciplines, from plasma physics to atomic physics, from radiation transport to quantum mechanics, from magnetohydrodynamics to non-equilibrium chemistry. Modelling tools and techniques that can describe the complete process, from plasma formation to formation of energetic particles and large nanoclusters, are lacking. The FIRE project aims to bridge this gap through the collective experience and transfer of knowledge between 3 partners, all actively engaged in different aspects of the overall issue. The knowledge and techniques to be transferred between the research institutions and industrial partner will enhance the capability of modelling of discharge and laser produced plasma to study the plasma dynamics, spectral emission and the creation of nanoparticles for the semiconductor industry and in nanotechnology. A state of the art 2-D RMHD code Z* will be upgraded to include recent advances in atomic physics and evolved into a hybrid 3-D code to address key issues in industrial plasmas. In depth research experience in laser produced plasmas and discharge plasmas will be exchanged. Complex radiation understanding in unresolved transition arrays and non-stationary ionization in mutlicharge ions will be combined. Within the FIRE project, the innovative code created will be used to design the EUV sources together with debris mitigation systems for the lithographic industry on one side, and to optimize the plasma-gas interaction for a cost effective, scalable technology for size-controlled nanopowder production on the other. The theoretical work will be backed up by experimental measurements. The developed modelling tool is expected to be applied in other branches of science and technology.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.2.2-1 | Award Amount: 7.88M | Year: 2012
Alzheimers disease (AD) is an ever-increasing public health concern among the aging population and is the most common form of dementia affecting more than 15 million individuals worldwide and around 5 million Europeans. The direct and indirect costs of AD and other dementias amount to more than 440,000 million each year (www.alz.org, 2010). Even modest therapeutic advances that delay disease onset and progression could significantly reduce the global burden of the disease and the level of care required by patients. While there are symptomatic-based drug therapies available for AD, these medications do not prevent the disease process itself. There is therefore an imperative to develop new treatments for AD that have disease modifying effects. This double-blind placebo controlled study will test the efficacy and safety of nilvadipine in 500 subjects with mild to moderate AD over a treatment period of 18 months. There is a strong scientific rationale for this study: Nilvadipine, a licensed calcium channel enhances A clearance from brain and restores cortical perfusion in mouse models of AD. Nilvadipine is safe and well tolerated in AD patients and clinical studies with this medication have shown stabilization of cognitive decline and reduced incidence of AD, pointing to both symptomatic and disease modifying benefits. Male and female patients with mild to moderate AD aged between 50 and 90 with a range of medical morbidities and frailty will be included in the study. If this trial is successful, nilvadipine would represent an advance in the treatment of AD patients and would have a major impact on the health and social care costs incurred in Europe by this neurodegenerative disorder. Furthermore, the creation of the NILVAD network will support future clinical trials and research innovation in AD across Europe.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE.2013.2.2-03 | Award Amount: 7.95M | Year: 2013
Vitamin D deficiency has significant implications for human health and impacts on healthy growth and development and successful aging. Fundamental knowledge gaps are barriers to implementing a safe and effective public health strategy to prevent vitamin D deficiency and optimize status. ODIN will provide the evidence to prevent vitamin D deficiency in Europe and improve nutrition and public health through food. By establishing an internationally standardized analytical platform for 25OHD, ODIN will measure the distribution of circulating 25OHD and describe the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Europe. Using available biobanks and databases from National nutrition surveys ODIN will delineate the relative contributions of sun and dietary sources of vitamin D to circulating 25OHD. In support of planned EFSA revisions of vitamin D recommendations, ODIN will carry out three RCT in pregnant women, children and teenagers and a fourth RCT in ethnic immigrant groups to provide experimental data to specify vitamin D intake requirements. Using dietary modeling, innovative food-based solutions to increase vitamin D in the food supply through a combination of bio-fortification of meats, fish, eggs, mushrooms and yeast will be developed and ODIN will test the efficacy and safety of these products in food-based RCT varying in scale from small product-specific trials to a large total diet study in vulnerable indigenous and immigrant sub-groups. ODIN has assembled the largest critical mass of prospective adult, pregnancy and birth cohort studies to date and will conduct meta-analyses and individual subject-level meta-regression analyses to integrate standardized data on vitamin D status, a priori defined clinical endpoints and genotype to examine relationships between vitamin D and human health, including beneficial and adverse effects, on perinatal outcomes, bone growth and body composition and allergic disease in children and cardiovascular disease and mortality in adults.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.1.2 | Award Amount: 7.66M | Year: 2011
This proposal includes all tasks that are essential to maintain the European added value of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) and to keep the 16 national surveys well integrated. It complements the national financing mode of data collection as result of the ESFRI process by keeping its centrifugal forces in bounds. It will keep up our excellence in service provision as well as in science by: 1. Fostering the culture of cooperation between designers and users of SHARE by organizing user conferences, offering specialized training courses for users and interviewers, expanding web services and developing standards and procedures within the network that will make more efficient use of the research infrastructure. 2. Improving the multinational services for users in EU member countries, associated countries and third countries by a more efficient centralized data base management that will provide detailed synopses and concordances across member countries. We will coordinate this work with our sister surveys in the UK, US, China, India, Japan, Korea and Thailand, thereby providing a platform for global access to ageing data. 3. Pushing the state-of-the-art in interdisciplinary panel construction further such that SHARE will maintain its status as a leading edge research infrastructure. The project will leverage our research on response behaviour to minimize attrition; it will develop a multi-mode interviweing facility tailored to the 50\ in order to reduce survey costs; it will develop innovative questionnaire modules on biomarkers, physical health, social networks, pension claims, time use and nutrition that will keep SHARE at the forefront of empirical science; and, with the help of EUROMOD, it will harmonizes income concepts across EU-surveys, notably EU-SILC in order to facilitate the measurement of material well-being in times of rapid demographic change with its complex implications for old-age income provision.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2010.2.1.4-4 | Award Amount: 9.99M | Year: 2011
The strategic goal of EcoFINDERS is to provide the EC with tools to design and implement soil strategies aimed at ensuring sustainable use of soils, including: i) Characterisation of European soil biodiversity; ii) Determination of relations between soil biodiversity, soil functions and ecosystem services; iii) Design of policy-relevant and cost-effective indicators for monitoring soil biodiversity. The project will: i) Develop and standardise tools and procedures to measure microbial and faunal diversity; ii) Describe the diversity of soil organisms (microbes and fauna), iii) Decipher the interactions among soil organisms and with plants through foodwebs and iv) Determine the role played by soil organisms in soils ecosystem services (nutrient cycling, carbon storage, water retention, soil structure regulation, resistance to pests and diseases, and regulation of above-ground diversity); iii) Establish cost-effective bioindicators for measuring sustainability of the microbial and faunal diversity and their associated functions (using a combination of metrics and meta-analysis); iv) Evaluate the economic value of ecosystem services, the added value of these bioindicators; v) Develop and implement effective communication strategies to engage the European public around issues associated with the sustainability of soil biodiversity. The overall concept of the project is to develop and integrate the following activities: i) Decipher the links between soil biodiversity, activities, functioning and ecosystem services; ii) Combine three types of approach: observation, experimentation, and computation; iii) Assess the impact of environmental conditions; iv) Integrate information on microbes, fauna and plant communities and analyse how these compartments interact. The general hypotheses are: changes in soil biodiversity indicate the direction and rate of changes in soil functions and associated ecosystem services; application of cost-effective bioindicators brings an economic added value to sustainable soil management.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE-2009-2-1-02 | Award Amount: 3.80M | Year: 2010
FoodRisC will characterise key configurations of food risk/benefit relationships and the consequent implications for risk communicators, make recommendations about the unique potential of new social media (e.g. social networks and blogging) and provide a systematic understanding of how consumers deal with food risk/benefit information. The FoodRisC consortium is comprised of experts in key fields relevant to food risk/benefit communication from research institutes, consumer organisations and SMEs in ten Member States. This consortium is supported by an Advisory Board of representatives from seven organisations of world renown in food risk/benefit communication (including EFSA, WHO and Google).The project will identify the barriers to communicating to consumers across Europe and identify key socio-psychological and socio-demographic characteristics, including gender, that affect food risk/benefit perceptions and processes as well as consumer preferences for communication channels. These objectives will be achieved through a range of research approaches and methods and by extending the theoretical basis of how people acquire and use information in food domains. The impact of the project will be at a European level and will be facilitated through the development of the FoodRisC toolkit together with practical guidance to enable the effective communication of coherent messages across the Member States. Use of the toolkit and guides will assist policy makers, food authorities and other end users in developing common approaches to communicating coherent messages to consumers in Europe. The effective spread of food risk/benefit information will assist initiatives aimed at reducing the burden of food-related illness and disease, reducing the economic impact of food crises and ensuring that confidence in safe and nutritious food is fostered and maintained in Europe.
Hernandez P.,University College Dublin |
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2012
The potential of solar water heating systems to reduce domestic energy use is frequently acknowledged. However there are two factors that are rarely discussed when studying this technology. Firstly the real performance of the installed systems in operation, and secondly a life cycle perspective of its energy use. These two issues are reviewed in this paper, and a field study in Ireland is also presented. In the review, some studies show that measured real performance of domestic solar water heating systems can be lower than expectations. Concerning their life cycle energy performance, existing studies show that the initial energy investment for the systems (their embodied energy) is a small portion of the energy savings over their lifetime with calculation paybacks generally lower than 2 years. On the field study carried in Ireland, representative of a maritime north European climate, the 'energy payback' based on the expected energy savings is between 1.2 and 3.5 years, values comparable to previous studies considering the less favourable climate and installation characteristics. However the measured energy savings generally worsened the life cycle energy performance of this technology and thus increased the energy payback period. The study concludes that while there is a real potential for life cycle energy savings through domestic solar water heating installations, devising mechanisms to ensure proper design, installation and operation of systems is essential for this technology. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-23-2014 | Award Amount: 6.96M | Year: 2015
Childrens health affects the future of Europe children are citizens, future workers, parents and carers. Children are dependent on society to provide effective health services (UN Convention on the Rights of the Child). Models of child primary health care vary widely across Europe based on two broad alternatives (primary care paediatricians or generic family doctors), and a variety of models of school health and adolescent direct access services. There is little research to show which model(s) are best, implying that some are inefficient or ineffective, with sub-optimal outcomes. MOCHA will draw on networks, earlier child health projects and local agents to model and evaluate child primary care in all 30 EU/EEA countries. Scientific partners from 11 European countries, plus partners from Australia and USA, encompassing medicine, nursing, economics, informatics, sociology and policy management, will: Categorise the models, and school health and adolescent services Develop innovative measures of quality, outcome, cost, and workforce of each, and apply them using policy documents, routine statistics, and available electronic data sets Assess effects on equality, and on continuity of care with secondary care. Systematically obtain stakeholder views. Indicate optimal future patterns of electronic records and big data to optimise operation of the model(s). The results will demonstrate the optimal model(s) of childrens primary care with a prevention and wellness focus, with an analysis of factors (including cultural) which might facilitate adoption, and indications for policy makers of both the health and economic gains possible. The project will have a strong dissemination programme throughout to ensure dialogue with public, professionals, policy makers, and politicians. The project will take 42 months (36 of scientific work plus start up and close), and deliver major awareness and potential benefit for European childrens health and healthy society.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BIOTEC-1-2014 | Award Amount: 7.06M | Year: 2015
P4SB is about the utilization of the conceptual and material tools of contemporary Synthetic Biology to bring about the sustainable and environmentally friendly bioconversion of oil-based plastic waste into fully biodegradable counterparts by means of deeply engineered, whole-cell bacterial catalysts. These tools will be used to design tailor-made enzymes for the bio-depolymerization of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and PU (polyurethane), but also for the custom design of a Pseudomonas putida Cell Factory capable of metabolizing the resulting monomers. Pseudomonas putida will undergo deep metabolic surgery to channel these diverse substrates efficiently into the production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) and derivatives. In addition, synthetic downstream processing modules based on the programmed non-lytic secretion of PHA will facilitate the release and recovery of the bioplastic from the bacterial biomass. These industry driven objectives will help to address the market need for novel routes to valorise the gigantic plastic waste streams in the European Union and beyond, with direct opportunities for SME partners of P4SB spanning the entire value chain from plastic waste via Synthetic Biology to biodegradable plastic. As a result we anticipate a completely biobased process reducing the environmental impact of plastic waste by establishing it as a novel bulk second generation carbon source for industrial biotechnology, while at the same time opening new opportunities for the European plastic recycling industry and helping to achieve the ambitious recycling targets set by the European Union for 2020.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST.2011.5.2-6. | Award Amount: 3.82M | Year: 2011
Europe needs a safe and cost effective transport network to encourage movement of goods and people within the EU and towards major markets in the East. This is central to European transport, economic and environmental policy. Many parts of Europes rail network were constructed in the mid 19th century long before the advent of modern construction standards. Historic levels of low investment, poor maintenance strategies and the deleterious effects of climate change (for example scour of bridge foundations due to flooding and rainfall induced landslides) has resulted in critical elements of the rail network such as bridges, tunnels and earthworks being at significant risk of failure. The consequence of failures of major infrastructure elements is severe and can include loss of life, significant replacement costs (typically measured in millions of Euros) and line closures which can often last for months. The SMART Rail project brings together experts in the areas of highway and railway infrastructure research, SMEs and railway authorities who are responsible for the safety of national infrastructure, The goal of the project is to reduce replacement costs, delay and provide environmentally friendly maintenance solutions for ageing infrastructure networks. This will be achieved through the development of state of the art methods to analyse and monitor the existing infrastructure and make realistic scientific assessments of safety. These engineering assessments of current state will be used to design remediation strategies to prolong the life of existing infrastructure in a cost-effective manner with minimal environmental impact.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP-SICA | Phase: KBBE.2010.1.3-01 | Award Amount: 12.38M | Year: 2011
Livestock production efficiency is impaired by helminth infection which is ubiquitous in cattle, sheep and goats world-wide. It causes severely debilitating gastro-intestinal, respiratory and hepatic disorders, dependent on the infecting species. The treatment and prevention of helminth parasitism in livestock continues to rely almost exclusively on the use of anthelmintic drugs, an approach threatened by the global emergence of anthelmintic resistance. An alternative approach is vaccination. Members of the present consortium (from the EU and Switzerland, North and South America, North and South Africa, Australia, 2 SMEs and 1 major animal health company) have developed prototype vaccines with the predicted required efficacy to control major gastro-intestinal nematode infections of livestock, notably Ostertagia ostertagi in cattle and Haemonchus contortus in sheep, the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica in sheep and cattle with leading positions in subunit vaccine development against Cooperia onchophora, Dictyocaulus viviparus in cattle and the tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus in dogs. This proposal aims to deliver at least one prototype vaccine to the point of uptake by the commercial sector or through government/philanthropic agencies and this will be addressed by 1) Developing effective native or synthetic vaccines, the latter using novel, molecular expression systems. 2) Defining the protective immune responses induced by these vaccines to order to optimise the structure of the antigens and the method of their delivery. 3) Defining vaccine efficacy with trials in both housed and grazing livestock 4) Providing a platform for training and knowledge exchange which includes participation in training programmes, short exchanges of staff, workshops,and web site provision. 5) Interacting closely with computer modellers, the animal health industry, farmer organisations and other stakeholders to define required vaccine characteristics. 6) Knowledge exchange/dissemination to policy makers, scientists, government departments and the general public.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: PEOPLE-2007-1-1-ITN | Award Amount: 1.79M | Year: 2008
Services are currently of great interest and importance to both policy-makers and businesses in Europe, and are a major factor in maintaining European growth and competitiveness over the coming decades. Previously, data relating to the interactions between trade flows, regulatory regimes and the European political economy has been inconsistent and fragmented. Now, thanks to the efforts of the EC, OECD and World Bank, more harmonised and accessible data is available. This provides an important opportunity for the introduction and development of doctoral dissertations. The goal of the proposed network Globalization, Investment, and Services Trade - GIST is to develop a cohort of researchers in Europe focused on international trade and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the service sectors, and to integrate this network with the policy community. The service sector has traditionally been treated as a sector whose outputs are purely non-tradable. As a result, the existing body of research on international trade and trade policy is focused almost entirely on agriculture and manufacturing and research on multinationals and foreign direct investment is also focused on manufacturing firms and industries. Yet, while economists, political scientists, geographers, and institutional scholars remain focused on the set of international regulatory systems governing merchandise trade, dramatic changes have moved services from non-tradable to the realm of tradability. The geographic anchor of services has been cast loose, as the telecommunications revolution has changed the nature of activities that can be traded. The proposed network will explore these developments in the work package Theory of cross-boarder trade and FDI which will explore the growing importance of services in all OECD countries, the limited tradability of many services, the deregulation of service markets and FDI liberalization policies. Real world changes in the ownership and structure of service-sector indus
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2011.2.1.6-1 | Award Amount: 8.85M | Year: 2011
The vital environmental and socio-economic role of European forests is well documented and acknowledged in policy documents of both the European Union and its member states. However, there are critical incoherencies within and between trans-national, national and local forest-related land use policies, the central issue being mismatches between the policies and their implementation at the landscape level. Hence, there is a need to improve existing policy and management approaches capable of delivering a better balance between multiple and conflicting demands for forest goods and services. Diminishing mismatches and providing a new policy and management approach that is sensitive to ecological, socioeconomic and political issues of are the main objectives of INTEGRAL. The objectives are achieved by following a research approach with 3 phases: diagnostic analysis of the status-quo (phase 1), participatory development and evaluation of scenarios (phase 2), and problem-solving oriented back-casting for policy development and evaluation (phase 3). The research design will be applied in a total of 20 landscapes in 10 European countries that differ in key characteristics, such as ownership, the importance of forestry and forest-based industries and the priorities of allocation and management of new and existing forest lands. The involvement of national and local stakeholder groups all the way through the project plays a decisive role in the project. The most important long term impact of INTEGRAL consists of the knowledge and competence base for integrating international, national and local levels in participatory decision and planning processes. This includes the development of manuals for how to conduct such processes, methods for utilizing quantitative decision support tools in the participatory process, and the establishment of a body of knowledge among those participating in the extensive case studies. Thus, the consistency of implemented forest policies can be enhanced.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH.2013.4.3-3 | Award Amount: 3.35M | Year: 2014
The latter half of the 20th century saw a successful international effort to reduce tariffs. These achievements, however, were undone by the subsequent proliferation of non-tariff measures (NTMs) to limit international trade and investment. These measures take a variety of forms and include safety regulations, environmental standards, and corporate tax incentives, all of which influence both trade and investment. This proposal brings together a team of world-class researchers from academia, policy organizations, and the private sector to offer a comprehensive and unified approach to describing and measuring these NTMs and their impact on a variety of social outcomes. The first goal of the project is to extend the state of the art of NTM measurement by collecting existing NTM measures, identifying key NTMs not yet measured, and filling those gaps. A key aspect of this is recognition of the ways in which NTMs interact with one another. The second goal is to use these improved measures to estimate the effects of NTMs on a variety of social and economic outcomes, including their impact on income and inequality in the EU, their role in promoting sustainable growth in developing countries, the effects they have on technological growth, and the frictions they create in the global supply chain. This phase also includes an impact analysis of the likely effects of NTM liberalization. Thus, the project will produce both improved understanding of NTMs and their effects, allow for more meaningful policy recommendations, and provide an innovative data set ideal for continued work on international trade and investment policy. The proposed medium-scale focused research project Productivity, Non-Tariff Measures and Openness (PRONTO) promises new and better data, better methodologies, and better understanding of the impact of NTMs on international investment and trade. Emphasis is placed on policy relevance and data availability.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: HEALTH.2010.1.2-3 | Award Amount: 2.25M | Year: 2011
EuroGentest is an FP6 European network for the harmonization of genetic testing and for the further improvement of quality in genetic services across Europe. This proposal is to support EuroGentest2, a Coordination Action that will cover the different aspects of quality assurance of genetic practice and has all the ingredients to fulfil the needs. EuroGentest2 will be concerned with setting the targets for laboratory and health professional accreditation, by contributing to guidelines and standards, and actively interacting with the professional organizations and the policy makers. EuroGentest2 will also assist the diagnostic and clinical community and the individual laboratories and counselling units in reaching those aims by providing tools for quality management and by coordinating training activities. EuroGentest2 will extend its activities from postnatal diagnostic and predictive testing to prenatal testing, thereby building on the achievements of the FP6 SAFE network, and to direct to consumer testing. A major aim of the Coordination Action will be the creation of a European association of genetic diagnostic centres that will guarantee the future of the network. The Coordination Action will lead to the further harmonization and quality assurance of genetic practice. The patients will benefit by the improvement of the analytical and clinical quality and validity of the testing, and from improved trans-border services and information. The European diagnostics industry will benefit through a faster access of innovations to the market through the validation for diagnostic use. It will enable countries and regions with less developed health care infrastructure to develop standards for best practice of provision of clinical genetic service. The Coordination Action will also identify research needs and have the capacity to set a research agenda that corresponds to the needs of the human genetics community
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: NMP-2007-1.3-5 | Award Amount: 3.22M | Year: 2008
Recent technological advances allow the targeted production of objects and materials in the nanoscale (smaller than 100 nm). Nanomaterials have chemical, physical and bioactive characteristics, which are different from those of larger entities of the same materials. Nanoparticles can pass through body barriers. This is interesting for medical applications, but it raises concerns about their health and environmental impact. The objective of the NanoImpactNet is to create a scientific basis to ensure the safe and responsible development of engineered nanoparticles and nanotechnology-based materials and products, and to support the definition of regulatory measures and implementation of legislation in Europe. It includes a strong two-way communication to ensure efficient dissemination of information to stakeholders and the European Commission, while at the same time obtaining input from the stakeholders about their needs and concerns. The work plan shows six work packages (WPs: Human hazards and exposures, Hazards and fate of nanomaterials in the environment, Impact assessment, Communication, Integration and nomenclature, and Coordination and management). The work plan will be implemented over four years. Discussions about strategies and methodologies will be initiated through well-prepared workshops covering the WP topics. External researchers and stakeholders will be invited to participate. After these workshops, the researchers will collaborate to produce thorough reports and sets of guidelines reflecting the consensus reached. All of the leading European research groups with activities in nanosafety, nanorisk assessment, and nanotoxicology are represented in NanoImpactNet. All exposure routes, major disease classes and impact assessment approaches are represented within the network. It will coordinate activities within Europe. It will help implement the EU Actionplan for Nanotechnology and support a responsible and safe development of nanotechnologies in Europe.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.8.1 | Award Amount: 2.19M | Year: 2013
In Computational Creativity research, we study how to engineer software which can take on some of the creative responsibility in arts and science projects. There has been much progress towards the creative generation of artefacts of cultural value such as poems, music and paintings. Often, when produced by people, such artefacts embed a fictional idea invented by the creator. For instance, an artist might have the fictional idea: [What if there was a quiz show, where each week someone was shot dead?] and express this through a painting, poem or film. While such ideation is clearly central to creativity, with obvious applications to the creative industries, there have only been a few small, ad-hoc studies of how to automate fictional ideation. The time is therefore ripe to see whether we can derive, implement and test novel formalisms and processes which enable software to not only invent, but assess, explore and present such ideas. We propose to investigate the following model for creative idea generation: (a) collect and analyse some information about a domain, to form a shallow world view of that domain (b) form a set of what-if style ideas from the analysis using notions of surprise, semantic tension and incongruity (c) assess, rank and select ideas based on the quality and quantity of narratives that can be generated using each idea, and (d) use the world view, idea and narratives in linguistic renderings, taking into account notions of relevancy, expansion, obfuscation and affect. Given that ideas are for human consumption, we will also collect crowd-sourced data about how people value, appreciate and expand these ideas, and will machine learn predictors for how people will react to automatically generated ideas. We expect this project to not only bring into being a new era of idea-centric approaches to Computational Creativity, but also to highlight to creative industry practitioners the huge potential of creative software collaborators.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: SFS-17-2014 | Award Amount: 2.24M | Year: 2015
Pulsed electric field technology (PEF) represents an innovative solution for sustainable processing in order to improve the competitiveness of the European food industry. Currently, in spite of the many advantages deriving from the introduction of the PEF technology in the food industry and the existence of different PEF manufactures at industrial-scale, applications of PEF in the food industry is still limited. FieldFOOD project is based on a preliminary analysis addressed to identify the bottlenecks that cause such limited application with the objective of providing SME companies (food producers, pulse power producers, equipment manufactures) with a clear competitive edge, as well as opportunities for growing, diversification and job creation but also of responding to consumer demand for foods with fresh characteristics or novel foods that contribute to individual health and wellbeing. This broad objective will be achieved by: a) a systematic process analysis of different specific applications (fruit juice processing, tomato product processing, winemaking, olive oil extraction and cider-making) for a successful integration of the PEF technology in order to replace or complement existing traditional food processing technologies and b) the design of modular, portable, low-cost pulse generators. The main deliverable of FieldFOOD project will be to validate and demonstrate, in co-operation with SMEs, implementation of modular, portable, low-cost pulse generators for different applications. The efforts needed to introduce this technology in the food industry for different applications are necessary to be multidisciplinary. Therefore, to be efficient and successful, strong links needs to be established between research institutions with a well-established expertise in PEF technology (4 partners), manufactures of PEF generator (1 SME partner) and food companies (5 SMEs partners) that represent the final users of the technology.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.1.2-3 | Award Amount: 3.67M | Year: 2012
The aim of CASyM is a combined large scale effort to sustainably implement Systems Medicine across Europe. For that purpose CASyM will function as a managing and coordinating platform in bringing together a critical mass of relevant European stakeholders such as Systems Biology scientists, clinicians, programme managers, industry/SMEs as well as healthcare providers and patient organizations. The goal of that initial nucleus of experts is the development of a strategy to implement the Systems Biology approach into medical practice and research within the 4 years duration of CASyM. For this purpose it is essential that the involved communities build a vision and coordinated strategy. Our joint effort gathers extensive experience in the coordination and realization of such a new, large-scale European effort, thereby providing the basis for an advanced future medicine. The output of CASyM will be a conceptual framework defining the remits, milestones, mechanisms and metrics for the implementation of Systems Medicine. The development of this framework will overcome competitive barriers and proceed to produce a European roadmap for Systems Medicine as concerted project result.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2009.2.1.3.1;ENV.2009.1.1.3.1 | Award Amount: 8.93M | Year: 2010
The GHG-Europe project aims to improve our understanding and capacity for predicting the European terrestrial carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) budget by applying a systematic, comprehensive and integrative approach. GHG-Europe quantifies the annual to decadal variability of the carbon and GHG budgets of terrestrial ecosystems in EU27 plus Switzerland and in six data-rich European regions via data-model integration, diagnostic and predictive modelling. Models are calibrated by multi-site observations. Research includes CO2, CH4 and N2O in forests, croplands, grasslands, shrublands, peatlands and soils. Via an integrated approach, GHG Europe scales up consistently from local to regional and continental scale via scale dependent error propagation and systematic quantification of uncertainties, model validation at different scales and top-down verification by atmospheric inversion models. At regional and European scale lateral C transport by land use, trade and rivers are included. Variability in C and GHG budgets is attributed to natural (climate) and anthropogenic drivers (N deposition, land use, past and present management) by synthesis of past and emerging experiments, targeted observations in hot spots and hot moments and model sensitivity analyses. For this purpose, observations are extended to under-sampled regions and ecosystems with likely high importance for the European C budget: forests and land use change in Eastern Europe and Mediterranen shrublands. The future vulnerability of carbon pools and risks of positive feedbacks in the climate-carbon system are assessed by scenario analyses with biophysical models and by integrating feedbacks with socio-economic changes and EU climate and land use policies. GHG-Europe uses a bidirectional interaction with stakeholders to provide regular and timely scientific advice targeted to the emerging needs of the UNFCCC process and for implementing post-2012 climate commitments in Europe.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE.2010.2.3-02 | Award Amount: 12.29M | Year: 2011
The present proposal sees the development of business and value creation models as central to the development of personalised nutrition and thus it is intended to engage in a series of interviews with key stakeholders, which will generate a number of scenarios to be considered by these stakeholders. Parallel to that we will run some focus groups with consumers and develop a tool to ascertain consumer attitudes to personalised nutrition in 8 EU countries (1,000 per country) representing a breadth of gastronomic traditions. Within these 8 countries, we will recruit 1,280 subjects and offer 3 levels of personalised nutrition: 1 Personalised dietary advice alone; 2: personalised dietary advice based on biochemical phenotypic data; 3: the latter to include genomic data. These will be compared with a control group, which will be offered non-personalised dietary advice. All of the data on dietary intake and all of the advice will be Internet delivered and will last 6 months. Within each of the 3 levels of personalised nutrition groups, half will receive their feedback at months 0, 3 and 6 while the other half will have continuous feedback on demand with intensive coaching. The overall outcome measurement will be changes in a healthy eating index. The data gathered in this study will feed into the development of algorithms to provide automated feedback for future services delivering personalised advice on food choice. We will bring together an international group of experts to develop best practice in the application of all aspects of nutrigenomic research to personalised nutrition. We will also scope out existing and future technologies, particularly those involving biofeedback, which will help the development of personalised nutrition. Finally we develop position papers on the ethical and legal aspects of personalised nutrition. Permeating all of this work will be a wide-ranging communications programme aimed at all stakeholders of relevance to personalised nutrition.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ISIB-04a-2014 | Award Amount: 5.00M | Year: 2015
Europes bioeconomy is expected to foster economic growth and to tackle significant societal challenges with less harmful environmental effects through innovative, sustainable and inclusive use of European forest resources. Increasing demand for biomass and other ecosystem goods and services calls for changes in forest-related policies at different levels and across different sectors. Accordingly, the recent Forest Strategy provides clear signals towards the need for harmonised information for mapping and assessing the dynamic state of forest ecosystems and their services. Building upon scientific advances in COST E4, 39, 43, USEWOOD, FORSYS, ORCHESTRA; the networks ENFIN, EFFIS, SOSIN; the FP7 EUFODOS, S2BIOM, INTEGRAL, SIMWOOD, FIRE PARADOX the project DIABOLO aims to: i) strengthen the methodological framework towards more accurate, harmonised and timely forest information, e.g. on growing stock and stock changes, biomass, carbon, NWFP; enable the analysis of sustainable biomass supply derived from multipurpose and multisource national forest inventories; and facilitate near real-time forest disturbance monitoring, e.g. on forest fires, storm, drought, insect outbreaks; ii) support EU policy processes, international reporting obligations, forest administration and forest planning entities with new methodologies and EU-wide consistent forest information; iii) make innovative use of existing field-collected data and EC space-based applications of EO and satellite positioning systems with reference to INSPIRE and GEOSS, and global monitoring systems such as REDD\, FLEGT and UNFF. To deliver high impact, beyond state-of-the-art work within the ecological and socio-economic diversity in Europe, the trans-disciplinary DIABOLO involves experts in quantitative modelling, policy science and NFIs, from 26 European countries, committed to provide new methodologies and information for various end-uses, including EFDAC (FISE) at JRC, GLOBIOM at IIASA and work at FAO/UNECE.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.4.2-2 | Award Amount: 7.70M | Year: 2014
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of death in high-income countries. Invasive coronary angiography (ICA) is the reference standard for the diagnosis of CAD and allows immediate therapy. However, only 40% of patients undergoing ICA actually have obstructive CAD and ICA has relatively rare but considerable risks. Coronary computed tomography (CT) is the most accurate diagnostic test for CAD currently available. CT may become the most effective strategy to reduce the ca. 2 million annual negative ICAs in Europe by enabling early and safe discharge of the majority of patients with an intermediate risk of CAD. To evaluate this, we propose the DISCHARGE project that will be implemented by a multinational European consortium. The core of the project is the DISCHARGE pragmatic randomised controlled trial. The primary hypothesis will be that CT is superior to ICA for major adverse cardiovascular events (cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction and stroke) after a maximum follow-up of 4 years in a selected broad population of stable chest pain patients with intermediate pretest likelihood of CAD. The trial will include 23 clinical sites from 18 European countries ensuring broad geographical representation. Comparative effectiveness research of complementing work packages include gender-related analysis, systematic review of evidence, cost-effectiveness analysis, and health-related quality of life. DISCHARGE has the capability to influence current standards and guidelines as well as coverage decisions and will raise awareness among patients, health care providers, and decision-makers in Europe about the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of coronary CT angiography.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SSH.2012.5.1-1 | Award Amount: 8.43M | Year: 2013
The European Court of Justice expects European citizenship to become the fundamental status of nationals of the Member States. It lies at the heart of the European integration process. The treaties, legislation, and case law have given Europeans an increasing number of rights. Yet the European Commission complains that these remain underused. Therefore, it has included in FP7 a call for a large-scale IP, identifying and analyzing barriers to exercising such European citizenship rights. Utrecht University is initiating a response to this call. In its project proposal it identifies research questions and several categories of potential hindrances as answers to some of them: contradictions between different rights, multilevel rights, and differences in priorities Member States accord these rights; differences in political, administrative, and legal institutions; financial restraints; lack of sufficient solidarity; administrative and bureaucratic hurdles; language problems; and other practical barriers to claiming and exercising rights - and related duties. Furthermore we distinguish citizenship rights by the types of rights - economic, social, political, and civil - and by the ascribed characteristics of the subjects of these rights: male and female, young and old, native and immigrant. We believe multidisciplinarity will help in identifying and analyzing barriers to the exercise of European citizenship. We can learn from other times and places; therefore we add a historical and comparative dimension to the analysis. And we aim to combine insights from the historical, legal, and social sciences. Overall we want to investigate the options for a multilayered citizenship true to the EUs motto In Varietate Concordia. The research questions and theoretically identified barriers will be investigated in 12 different work packages, each containing specific research objectives, tasks, roles of the participants, and deliverables
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2009.7.1.1 | Award Amount: 56.70M | Year: 2010
A group of 6 Transmission System Operators (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany The Netherlands and Spain) with 2 generator companies, 5 manufacturers and research organisations, propose 6 demonstration projects to remove, in 3 years, several barriers which prevent the electric system from welcoming more wind electricity, and wind electricity from contributing more to the electric system. The full scale demonstrations aim at proving the benefits of novel technologies (most of them available from manufacturers) coupled with innovative system management approaches. The contribution of wind energy to the system will show how aggregated wind farms can provide system services (voltage and frequency control) in Spain. The aggregation of wind farms with flexible generation and loads will be demonstrated in Denmark using a scalable IT platform developed by a generator. Increasing the flexibility of transmission networks will be tested in Belgium (existing sensors and coordinated power flow control devices avoiding possible large scale instabilities induced by wind farms in the CWE region) and in Spain (dynamic wind power evacuation capacity using real-time computations based on short-term generation forecasts and use of a mobile Overload Line Controller). Off-shore wind farms are addressed from a security viewpoint. Secure HVDC meshed networks will be validated in France using simulations and full scale experiments of two different HVDC circuit breaker technologies. Off-shore wind farm shut downs under stormy conditions will be demonstrated in Denmark using the world largest off-shore wind farm with balancing power provided by the Norwegian hydro capacities through a HVDC link. The experimental results will be integrated into European impact analyses to show the scalability of the solutions: routes for replication will be provided with benefits for the pan European transmission network and the European electricity market as soon as 2014, in line with the SET plan objectives.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE.2011.2.2-02 | Award Amount: 7.84M | Year: 2012
NutriTech will build on the foundations of traditional human nutrition research using cutting-edge analytical technologies and methods to comprehensively evaluate the diet-health relationship and critically assess their usefulness for the future of nutrition research and human well-being. Technologies include genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, laser scanning cytometry, NMR based lipoprotein profiling and advanced imaging by MRI/MRS. All methods will be applied in an integrated manner to quantify the effect of diet on phenotypic flexibility, based on metabolic flexibility (the capacity for the organism to adapt fuel oxidation to fuel availability). However, NutriTech will move beyond the state-of-the-art by applying these integrated methods to assess the underlying and related cell biological and genetic mechanisms and multiple physiological processes of adaptation when homeostasis is challenged. Methods will in the first instance be evaluated within a human intervention study, and the resulting optimal methods will be validated in a number of existing cohorts against established endpoints. NutriTech will disseminate the harmonised and integrated technologies on a global scale by a large academic network including 6 non-EU partners and by providing an integrated and standardised data storage and evaluation platform. The impact of NutriTech will be multifold and exploitation is crucial as major breakthroughs from our technology and research are expected. This will be achieved by collaboration with a consortium of 8 major food industries and by exploitation of specific technologies by our 6 SME partners. Overall, NutriTech will lay the foundations for successful integration of emerging technologies intro nutrition research.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.2-4 | Award Amount: 15.96M | Year: 2011
More than 50% of heart failure (HF) patients present without a major deficit of left ventricular (LV) systolic function and are presumed to suffer from diastolic HF (DHF) because diastolic LV distensibility is usually impaired in these patients. The vast majority (~80%) of DHF patients is exposed to metabolic risk factors. The MEDIA consortium therefore investigates:1) how metabolic derangements contribute to DHF; 2) how diagnostic algorithms for DHF can be improved by assessing metabolic risk; 3) how correction of metabolic risk can open new therapeutic perspectives for DHF.Hereto MEDIA will: 1) Expose animal models of DHF to intense metabolic risk in order to accelerate DHF development. 2) Perform mechanistic studies in cardiomyocytes derived from DHF animal models or from DHF patients. Because of the acquired nature of metabolic risk, these studies will focus on posttranslational modifications of proteins and on epigenetic control of hypertrophy development. Their relevance for global LV function will also be appraised; 3) Perform mechanistic studies on myocardial collagen synthesis, which is enhanced by metabolic risk, and execute a phase II trial in DHF with cardiac specific antifibrotic therapy; 4) Explore the use of biomarkers as premorbid identifiers of DHF in existing cohorts of patients exposed to metabolic risk; 5) Prospectively test biomarkers and arterial stiffening, which is accelerated by metabolic risk, for their diagnostic potential in a large DHF cohort; 6) Assess myocardial metabolic substrate preference with modern imaging techniques and improve diastolic LV dysfunction through modified substrate utilization in a phase II trial. Expected results of MEDIA are: 1) Identification of metabolic risk-related mechanisms as therapeutic targets; 2) Improved diagnostic algorithms through inclusion of biomarkers and arterial stiffness tests. 3) Novel treatments consisting of modified myocardial substrate utilization and myocardial antifibrotic therapy.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: Ocean.2010-2 | Award Amount: 16.58M | Year: 2011
Marine life makes a substantial contribution to the economy and society of Europe. VECTORS will elucidate the drivers, pressures and vectors that cause change in marine life, the mechanisms by which they do so, the impacts that they have on ecosystem structures and functioning, and on the economics of associated marine sectors and society. VECTORS will particularly focus on causes and consequences of invasive alien species, outbreak forming species, and changes in fish distribution and productivity. New and existing knowledge and insight will be synthesised and integrated to project changes in marine life, ecosystems and economies under future scenarios for adaptation and mitigation in the light of new technologies, fishing strategies and policy needs. VECTORS will evaluate current forms and mechanisms of marine governance in relation to the vectors of change. Based on its findings, VECTORS will provide solutions and tools for relevant stakeholders and policymakers, to be available for use during the lifetime of the project. The project will address a complex array of interests comprising areas of concern for marine life, biodiversity, sectoral interests, regional seas, and academic disciplines as well as the interests of stakeholders. VECTORS will ensure that the links and interactions between all these areas of interest are explored, explained, modelled and communicated effectively to the relevant stakeholders. The VECTORS consortium is extremely experienced and genuinely multidisciplinary. It includes a mixture of natural scientists with knowledge of socio-economic aspects, and social scientists (environmental economists, policy and governance analysts and environmental law specialists) with interests in natural system functioning. VECTORS is therefore fully equipped to deliver the integrated interdisciplinary research required to achieve its objectives with maximal impact in the arenas of science, policy, management and society.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.1.31 | Award Amount: 8.95M | Year: 2011
Nanoscale objects interact with living organisms in a fundamentally new manner, ensuring that a fruitful marriage of nanotechnology and biology will long outlast short term imperatives. Therefore, investment in an infrastructure to drive scientific knowledge of the highest quality will have both immediate benefits of supporting the safety assessment of legacy nanomaterials, as well as pointing towards future (safe) applications with the lasting benefits to society. There are immediate priorities, for few doubt that serious damage to confidence in nanotechnology, unless averted, could result in missed opportunities to benefit society for a generation, or more. QNano will materially affect the outcome, at this pivotal moment of nanotechnology implementation. The overall vision of QNano is the creation of a neutral scientific & technical space in which all stakeholder groups can engage, develop, and share scientific best practice in the field. Initially it will harness resources from across Europe and develop efficient, transparent and effective processes. Thereby it will enable provision of services to its Users, and the broader community, all in the context of a best-practice ethos. This will encourage evidence-based dialogue to prosper between all stakeholders. However, QNano will also pro-actively seek to drive, develop and promote the highest quality research and practices via its JRA, NA and TA functions, with a global perspective and mode of implementation. QNano will also look to the future, beyond the current issues, and promote the growth and development of the science of nanoscale interactions with living organisms. By working with new and emerging scientific research communities from medicine, biology, energy, materials and others, it will seek to forge new directions leading to new (safe, responsible, economically viable) technologies for the benefit of European society.
NEURONANO - Do nanoparticles induce neurodegenerative diseases? Understanding the origin of reactive oxidative species and protein aggregation and mis-folding phenomena in the presence of nanoparticles
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP-2007-1.3-2 | Award Amount: 4.82M | Year: 2009
As the use of nanoparticles becomes more prevalent, it is clear that human exposure will inevitably increase. Considering the rapidly ageing European population and the resulting increase in the incidence of neurodegenerative diseases, there is an urgent need to address the risk presented by nanoparticles towards neurodegenerative diseases. It is believed that nanoparticles can pass through the blood-brain barrier. Once in the brain, nanoparticles have two potential major effects. They can induce oxidative activity (production of Reactive Oxygen Species), and can induce anomalous protein aggregation behaviour (fibrillation). There are multiple disease targets for the nanoparticles, including all of the known fibrillation diseases (e.g. Alzheimers and Parkinsons diseases). The factors that determine which nanoparticles enter the brain are not known. Nanoparticle size, shape, rigidity and composition are considered important, and under physiological conditions, the nature of the adsorbed biomolecule corona (proteins, lipids etc.) determines the biological responses. The NeuroNano project will investigate the detailed mechanisms of nanoparticle passage through the blood-brain barrier using primary cell co-cultures and animal studies. Using nanoparticles that are shown to reach the brain, we will determine the mechanisms of ROS production and protein fibrillation, using state-of-the-art approaches such as redox proteomics and isolation/characterisation of the critical pre-fibrillar species. Animal models for Alzheimers diseases will confirm the effects of the nanoparticles in vivo. At all stages the exact nature of the nanoparticle biomolecule corona will be determined. The result will be a risk-assessment framework for assessing the safety of nanoparticles towards neurodegenerative diseases, based on the connection of their biological effects to their biomolecule corona, which determines the biological response in vivo and reports on the nanoparticles history.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 | Award Amount: 3.83M | Year: 2010
The ManETEi network offers a research-led training programme to create a rigorous collaborative research agenda centred on the multifaceted phenomenon of managing emergent technologies for maximum economic and societal impact. It will have advanced capacity-building and career development that will benefit the early-career and experienced researchers needed to ensure Europe becomes a leading knowledge economy driven by its unique ERA. The network has identified arguably Europes most important opportunity for its future management researchers, managers and policy makers. The investment by Member states, EU and industry in Bio-, Nano-, Info- and cognitive (NBIC) emerging science and technology are making jointly is the largest ever seen. This creates a need for both increased capacity and new competencies in business and management for linking advances in emerging technology with business and economic exploitation. Yet demographic studies indicate Europes management training and research capacity is set to decline. ManETEI brings together 7 of Europes leading Business Schools, the Fraunhofer ISI, an European global high technology manufacturer (Bayer GmbH) supported by a diverse group of associate partners from different industries, sectors, technologies and countries. They will provide a stimulating and active learning environment to enhance trans-national mobility, inter-institutional experience and exposure to a range of scholarly perspectives from the disciplines of management, economics and technology. It will create a platform for researchers to investigate the multifaceted phenomenon of managing the emergent technologies that promise the greatest competitiveness and growth of the European economies. The network members are highly experienced in participating in EU funded research and its implementation at all levels. They all share commitment for future research and training collaboration based on the principles created by this network.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2008-1.1.1 | Award Amount: 4.14M | Year: 2009
Population ageing is among the most pressing challenges of the 21st century in Europe. Addressing this challenge scientifically demands an infrastructure of micro data of the changing health, economic and social living conditions of individuals as they go through the ageing process. SHARE, the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, is an infrastructure of multidisciplinary, longitudinal, and cross-nationally harmonized micro data that has been created in response to these demands. Currently, SHARE contains two waves of data for about 32,000 respondents aged 50\ in 17 European countries. SHARE became a great success: More than 2300 researchers are working with the data, and SHARE has been elected to be one of the future ESFRI infrastructures. This project is the essential device to enhance the longitudinal stability of the SHARE panel and to improve access and consulting services to users in the years 2009 and 2010. It will: -enhance the longitudinal stability of the panel by keeping in touch with the panel members, monitoring moves, re-interviewing lost panel members, and ascertaining last year of life events of deceased panel members. The scientific value of SHARE critically depends on continuous panel care. -improve the research potential from the SHARE infrastructure by adding imputed values for missing variables, calibrated weights, geo-coded and environmental variables, and meta/para-statistics derived from IT-driven survey methods. -enhance the SHARE survey instrument in response to user feedback, to changes in the institutional environment, and to new survey technologies recently developed, making the interview more effective and less burdensome for the respondents. Such enhancements need to be implemented in 2009/early 2010 to be in time for the ESFRI-financed fourth wave of data collection. -improve and maintain the much applauded user-friendly access for SHARE data users through services provided by central and national support points.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.07M | Year: 2013
The YEASTCELL ITN will train 11 Early Stage Researchers for productive careers as research scientists and leaders in the public or private yeast biotechnology sectors. Yeast biotechnology spans fundamental and applied research and is an area with an immediate need for highly trained researchers to advance knowledge and to develop new applications. The training consortium comprises 9 Public Sector (6 Universities, 3 Research Institutes) and 4 Private Sector (2 large companies and 2 SME) partners. A research training programme embracing the philosophy of use-inspired fundamental research has been designed to provide all 11 ESRs with interdisciplinary research training in both the public and private sectors. The research themes include yeast physiology and metabolism, metabolic engineering, mathematical modeling, genomics and bioinformatics, fermentation, synthetic biology and systems biology. In addition to training via collaborative research projects, ESRs will participate in courses at local and network levels to enhance their technical and academic skills. All ESRs will register for PhD degrees and will also take a separate postgraduate certificate course in commercialisation and entrepreneurship. Industry-led workshops, research secondments and site visits will provide specific training that prepares ESRs for research in the private sector. A comprehensive programme of advanced training in complementary topics and skills of relevance to both the public and private sectors is provided at the network level. As well as directly training 11 ESRs, the network training activities will provide opportunities for ~40 additional researchers and will promote long-term interactions between research groups at the partner Institutions. The major impact of YEASTCELL will be a cohort of highly-trained ESRs with excellent career prospects in the yeast biotechnology sector and a lasting European training and research collaboration between public and private sector partners.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SSH.2012.4.2-1 | Award Amount: 8.27M | Year: 2013
FRAME, a 4-year multidisciplinary project, represents a consortium of 19 internationally recognized and globally networked human rights institutes from across Europe and strategic regions around the world. Through FRAME, more than 100 leading researchers and practitioners - with a strong gender balance - aim to provide the necessary building blocks for a coherent EU human rights policy comprised of: (i) a sound knowledge base taking account of the factors, concepts, institutions and instruments underlying human rights protection; (ii) appraisal of the EUs full potential to contribute to global human rights governance through its relationship with multiple actors and its manifold policies; and (iii) a set of indicators, tools and policy proposals geared to strengthen human rights implementation in EU policy-making. Through 4 research clusters, FRAME offers creative solutions to enhance the coherence and effectiveness of EU human rights policy. Cluster 1: Factors examines the key factors facilitating or hindering human rights protection, the concepts of human rights, democracy and the rule of law and the human rights protection institutions and instruments at global, regional and national level. Cluster 2: Actors addresses the EUs human rights engagement with the UN, regional multilateral organizations, regional and strategic partnerships with third countries and non-state actors, as well as the relationship between EU institutions and the Member States. Cluster 3: Policies hones the fostering of human rights in EU policies on development and trade, human rights violations in conflicts, freedom, security and justice and external human rights and democratization action. Cluster 4: Tools develops indicators, tools and policy proposals, including policy benchmarking, to monitor and improve the effectiveness of EU human rights policy. FRAMEs vital impact on human rights research, education and policy innovation will continue beyond the projects lifetime.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.3.7 | Award Amount: 3.55M | Year: 2010
Point-of-care testing is essential to provide better patient care by aiding physicians in making informed decision during patient visits. This will enable the start of immediate treatment for many conditions and reduce the strain on resources in secondary care, resulting in reduced outpatient clinic time. A key challenge in the development of point-of-care diagnostic devices is the requirement for robust, rapid and simple assay formats with direct readout, coupled with small sensing areas (~10 x 10 m) and low sample volumes (25 l) that exhibit the same sensitivity as laboratory based tests. The RAPID project will address this challenge by developing an integrated multichannel 2D photonic crystal based disposable biosensor and bench top reader, for point-of-care disease diagnostic applications. The RAPID disposable sensor will demonstrate enhanced performance beyond the state of the art in key proteomic diagnostic systems by delivering direct robust label-free detection of four pancreatic cancer serum biomarkers at less than 100 fM (5 pg/ml) concentrations. Objective genetic algorithms will be developed for infometric and chemometric pattern recognition to allow unequivocal identification of protein cancer biomarkers following collection of the data from the sensor platform. In this manner, the project will support the development of future device innovation in proteomics and disease diagnostics that could yield revolutionary advances in healthcare and nanomedicine. A successful RAPID project will provide a number of clear benefits over the current label-free commercial offerings: speed, cost and ease of use and make the outputs of the RAPID project very attractive commercially in the PoC diagnostic markets.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.3.6-02 | Award Amount: 9.41M | Year: 2013
Cellular signaling systems are crucially important for a broad range of critical health and disease areas and high value industrial applications. Signaling systems are the target for more than half of the medicines marketed by the pharmaceutical industry, and form the main R&D area for the nutrition, flavour and fragrance industries. SynSignal is a multidisciplinary high-tech consortium working in synthetic biologys area of greatest untapped potential, delivering a synthetic biology toolbox and finished products custom designed for major present and future industrial applications of cellular signaling. Based on the leading expertise and innovative drive of the partners, SynSignal will address this urgent and imposing bottleneck, by providing new and sophisticated synthetic biology tools and technologies to overcome the challenges currently facing signaling-based product development. Putting in place the technological innovations, toolboxes, and application-focused materials created during SynSignal will have a dramatic impact on the accessibility of drug discovery technologies, particularly for cancer and diabetes, and for enabling technologies to create the next generation of flavours, fragrances, and nutritional ingredients. Our innovations will provide immediate benefits to the health and well-being of Europes citizens and to the competitiveness of key European industries alike, and catalyze their transition towards sustainable production principles. In addition, all partners in SynSignal themselves will draw great benefit from the activities proposed. Private sector partners will considerably enhance their discovery and technology platforms, thereby increasing their efficiency, output and valuation. Academic partners in SynSignal will decisively advance fundamental life science research in their laboratories and in the larger scientific community by creating enabling tools to tackle biological questions of unprecedented complexity in cellular signaling.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.1.2-1 | Award Amount: 16.16M | Year: 2010
Cancer is hallmarked by multiple genetic aberrations that lead to a functional derangement of cellular signalling networks. Embryonal tumours (ETs) comprising neuroblastoma, medulloblastoma and Ewing sarcoma, occur early in life, and thus may reveal pathogenetically relevant lesions clearer than adulthood tumours which carry passenger mutations accumulated during life. ASSET will exploit this fact by focussing on unravelling the signalling networks and their alterations in ETs. The basic hypothesis is that ETs share common pathogenetic principles that can be captured and made accessible to rational analysis by combining high-throughput and high content analysis of the genome, transcriptome and proteome with mathematical modelling. ASSET builds on a previous FP6 consortium, the European Embryonal Tumour Pipeline (EEPT), which generated high-throughput genomic and transcriptomic data on ETs. ASSET is the next logical step to add crucial functional information that will allow us to generate (i) defined in vitro and in vivo tumour systems; (ii) combined analysis of genomic mutations, transcriptome, miRNA expression and dynamic proteome changes; (iii) systematic perturbations; (iv) mathematical modelling to elucidate pathogenetic networks and their emergent behaviour; (v) the virtuous cycle of model validation in relevant biological model systems and clinical samples towards a major goal. This goal is to identify mechanistically understood network vulnerabilities that can be exploited for new approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of major paediatric tumours. Elucidating such core mechanisms will (i) improve understanding of and therapeutic options for these devastating childhood malignancies and (ii) enable a rational approach to deal with the complexity of the pathogenesis of adulthood cancers.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE.2011.2.4-02 | Award Amount: 7.58M | Year: 2012
Total Diet Studies (TDS) allow getting information on real dietary exposure to food contaminants consumption (heavy metals, mycotoxins, POPs...) and estimating chronic exposure to pesticide residues in food and food additives intake. TDS consider total exposure from whole diets and are based on food contamination as consumed rather than contamination from raw commodities, thus ensuring a realistic exposure measure. TDS facilitate risk assessment (RA) and health monitoring (HM). Some EU Member States (MS) and Candidate Countries (CC) have no TDS programme or use various methods to collect data, which were not examined yet to tell whether they are comparable or not. This is of interest for EFSA or WHO-FAO. Similarly it is important to harmonise methods to assess dietary exposure risks in MS, CC and at the European level compared with other world regions. The methods proposed will aim for food sampling, standard analytical procedures, exposure assessment modelling, priority foods and selected chemical contaminants consistency across MS and CC. Various approaches and methods to identify sampling and analyses will be assessed and best practice defined. Contaminants and foods which contribute most to total exposure in European populations will be defined. Priority will be given to training and support in EU MS and CC currently without TDS. It will demonstrate best practice in creating a TDS programme using harmonised methods in regions previously lacking TDS, and ensure consistency of data collected. A database will be set up describing existing EU studies and collating harmonised exposure measures and designed to allow risk assessors and managers handling dietary exposure more accurately and more specifically. TDSEXPOSURE will spread excellence in TDS throughout stakeholders and establish a legacy of harmonised methods for sampling and analysis, and science-based recommendations for future global studies.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 | Award Amount: 3.25M | Year: 2009
Transport demand, both for passengers and freight, is growing strongly. To meet the economic growth targets of the Lisbon Agenda and to facilitate the economic integration of the European Union, European transportation needs to cater for a continuing medium term growth in demand. However, transport growth using the technologies of today is unsustainable. New technologies and processes need to be developed which deliver cheap transport which is sustainable. In the past two decades there has been a revolution in electronic sensor and processing technologies. Sensors and the associated multiplexing electronics and software tools are now cheap and reliable which creates potential for new innovative uses in all kinds of ways. The TEAM proposal will exploit the benefits of new sensor and processing technologies, methodologies, models and algorithms to monitor the condition and safety of transport infrastructure. These new sources of asset health data, combined with new computer models and algorithms, will achieve a step change gain in the accuracy of condition and safety assessments. Knowing exactly the processes, parameters, implications and state of health of transport infrastructure assets, will extend their safe working lives and reduce costs. It will prevent premature and sub-optimal repair, rehabilitation and replacement of assets without compromising safety. The TEAM project will not just achieve these technological advances but will also develop training structures for a new generation of PhD students with the specialist and complementary skills necessary to develop the transport infrastructure of tomorrow.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2013.1.3-3 | Award Amount: 8.92M | Year: 2014
Rapidly developing markets such as green construction, energy harvesting and storage, advanced materials for aerospace, electronics, medical implants and environmental remediation are potential key application targets for nanomaterials. There, nanotechnology has the potential to make qualitative improvements or indeed even to enable the technology. Impacts range from increased efficiency of energy harvesting or storage batteries, to radical improvements in mechanical properties for construction materials. In addition, concerns of these markets such as scarcity of materials, cost, security of supply, and negative environmental impact of older products could also be addressed by new nano-enabled materials (e.g. lighter aircraft use less fuel). FutureNanoNeeds will develop a novel framework to enable naming, classification, hazard and environmental impact assessment of the next generation nanomaterials prior to their widespread industrial use. It will uniquely achieve this by integrating concepts and approaches from several well established contiguous domains, such as phylontology and crystallography to develop a robust, versatile and adaptable naming approach, coupled with a full assessment of all known biological protective responses as the basis for a decision tree for screening potential impacts of nanomaterials at all stages of their lifecycle. Together, these tools will form the basis of a value chain regulatory process which allows a each nanomaterial to be assessed for different applications on the basis of available data and the specific exposure and life cycle concerns for that application. Exemplar materials from emerging nano-industry sectors, such as energy, construction and agriculture will be evaluated via this process as demonstrators. The FutureNanoNeeds consortium is uniquely placed to achieve this, on the basis of expertise, positioning, open mindedness and a belief that new approaches are required.
News Article | November 15, 2016
Using Risk-Based Clinical Trials Monitoring to Lower Data Errors **An FDAnews Webinar** Nov. 30, 2016 — 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET http://www.fdanews.com/risk-basedctmonitoring Is risk-based monitoring the way to go for the next trial? These statistics may help: Join Alan Frederickson and Crona O’Conallain — both of QuintilesIMS — on Nov. 30 when they’ll share recent research showing how RBM can increase study quality and patient safety. By attending this 90-minute webinar attendees will find out how to design and implement a risk-based clinical trial monitoring program, starting with key concepts including: This session will give attendees a roadmap for establishing a risk-based monitoring plan that can help prevent data "surprises" in monitoring that could be revealed during an inspection … 2) help manufacturers be fully compliant … and 3) satisfy the FDA. As Sr. Director, Technology and Automation Solutions for Quintiles, Alan focuses on enhancing the quality and efficiency of technology solutions to support Risk-based Monitoring, Clinical Data Management, Biostatistics, Medical Writing, Regulatory and Pharmacovigilance, with workflow management and data accessibility, aggregation and analytics. Crona O’Conallain holds a B.Sc. and Ph.D. in Biochemistry from University College Dublin (UCD). Crona has held numerous leadership positions with her 14 years in the QuintilesIMS Global Data Management organization, and is now on the QuintilesIMS’s leadership team for Risk Based Monitoring, leveraging her Data Management experience in supporting the development of a Centralized Data and Operational Surveillance (CDOS) organization that drives the RBM model. Webinar Details: Using Risk-Based Clinical Trials Monitoring to Lower Data Errors **An FDAnews Webinar** Nov. 30, 2016 — 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET http://www.fdanews.com/risk-basedctmonitoring About FDAnews: FDAnews is the premier provider of domestic and international regulatory, legislative, and business news and information for executives in industries regulated by the US FDA and the European Medicines Agency. Pharmaceutical and medical device professionals rely on FDAnews' print and electronic newsletters, books and conferences to stay in compliance with international standards and the FDA's complex and ever-changing regulations.
News Article | November 24, 2016
Dublin and London - November 24, 2016 - Providence Resources P.l.c. (PVR LN, PRP ID), the Irish based Oil and Gas Exploration Company, today provides an update on the Frontier Exploration Licence ("FEL") 2/14 drilling project, which lies in c. 2,250 metre water depth in the southern Porcupine Basin and is located c. 220 kilometres off the south west coast of Ireland. The licence is operated by Providence Resources P.l.c. ("Providence") (80%) on behalf of its partner Sosina Exploration Limited ("Sosina") (20%), (collectively referred to the "JV Partners"). FEL 2/14 contains the Paleocene "Druid" and the Lower Cretaceous "Drombeg" exploration prospects. On behalf of the JV Partners, Providence has signed a contract for the provision of a Harsh Environment Deepwater Mobile Drilling Unit (the "Contract") with Stena Drillmax Ice Limited ("Stena"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Stena International S.A., for the Stena IceMAX drill-ship. The Stena IceMAX is a modern harsh environment dual derrick drill-ship designed to operate in water depths of up to c. 3 km. The Contract provides for one firm well, plus an additional option, which is electable at the discretion of the JV Partners for the drilling of a second follow-on well. The operational rig rate is $185,000 per day. In addition to the finalisation of the Contract, other key service contracts are now being prepared for the planned drilling operations. Based on the latest project timeline and, subject to standard regulatory approvals and consents, the 53/6-A exploration well is currently planned to spud in June 2017. "We are delighted to have signed this rig contract with Stena. Our previous exploration collaboration project with Schlumberger highlighted the significant hydrocarbon potential of FEL 2/14 which we will now be evaluating using the high specification Stena IceMAX drill-ship. The signing of this rig contract is a major milestone in the project plan to enable the drilling of this high impact exploration well during summer 2017." Providence Resources is an Irish based Oil and Gas Exploration Company with a portfolio of appraisal and exploration assets located offshore Ireland. Providence's shares are quoted on AIM in London and the ESM in Dublin. Stena Drilling is one of the world's leading companies in the development, construction and operation of offshore drilling rigs and drill-ships. Stena's fleet consists of four ultra-deep-water drill-ships and three semi-submersible rigs. Stena IceMAX is the world's first dynamically positioned, dual mast ice-class drillship. The Stena IceMAX is a Harsh Environment DP Class 3 drillship capable of drilling in water depths up to 10,000ft. The IceMAX has on-board 2 x BOP's, each 18 3/4" x 15,000psi Cameron "TL" BOP c/w ST Locks, and uses Cameron Load King riser. The vessel was delivered in April 2012. During the initial pre-FEL 2/14 authorisation phase (Licensing Option 11/9 - 2011 through 2013), Providence and Sosina identified two large vertically stacked Paleocene ('Druid') and Lower Cretaceous ('Drombeg') fan systems with notable Class II amplitude versus offset ("AVO") anomalies primarily from 2D seismic data acquired in 2008. Providence and Sosina subsequently agreed to underwrite a multi-client 3D seismic survey over the area. This 3D survey was acquired by Polarcus in the summer of 2014 and subsequently processed by ION Geophysical in 2014/15. In September 2015, Providence and Sosina entered into a Strategic Exploration Collaboration Project with Schlumberger. In April 2016, the main results of this Project were announced: · Two fans located c. 1,750 m BML and structurally up-dip from a potential significant fluid escape feature from the underlying pre-Cretaceous Diablo Ridge · Cumulative in-place un-risked prospective resources of 3.180 BBO (PMean) o Fan 1 - 984 MMBO (PMean) o Fan 2 - 2,196 MMBO (PMean) · Pre-stack seismic inversion and regional rock physics analysis shows Druid is consistent with a highly porous (30%) and high net-gross, light oil-filled sandstone reservoir system up to 85 metres thick ·A depth conformant Class II AVO anomaly is present and synthetic forward modelling of an oil-water contact correlates with the observed seismic response ·Spectral decomposition, seismic compactional drape and mounding are reflective of a large sand-rich submarine fan system with no significant internal faulting and clear demonstration of an up-dip trap mechanism ·Geomechanical analysis using regional well and high resolution seismic velocity data indicates that Druid is normally pressured and the top seal is intact ·Located c. 2,750 m BML and structurally up-dip from a potential significant fluid escape feature from the underlying pre-Cretaceous Diablo Ridge ·In-place un-risked prospective resource of 1.915 BBO (PMean) · Pre-stack seismic inversion and regional rock physics analysis shows Drombeg is consistent with a highly porous (20%), light oil-filled sandstone reservoir system up to 45 metres thick ·A depth conformant Class II AVO anomaly is present and spectral decomposition is reflective of a large sand-rich submarine fan system with no significant internal faulting, and supports an up-dip trap mechanism ·Geomechanical analysis using regional well and high resolution seismic velocity data indicates that Drombeg is over-pressured with an intact top seal This announcement has been reviewed by Dr John O'Sullivan, Technical Director, Providence Resources P.l.c. John is a geology graduate of University College, Cork and holds a Masters in Applied Geophysics from the National University of Ireland, Galway. He also holds a Masters in Technology Management from the Smurfit Graduate School of Business at University College Dublin and a doctorate in Geology from Trinity College Dublin. John is a Chartered Geologist and a Fellow of the Geological Society of London. He is also a member of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain, the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Geophysical Association of Ireland. John has more than 25 years of experience in the oil and gas exploration and production industry having previously worked with both Mobil and Marathon Oil. John is a qualified person as defined in the guidance note for Mining Oil & Gas Companies, March 2006 of the London Stock Exchange. Definitions in this press release are consistent with SPE guidelines. SPE/WPC/AAPG/SPEE Petroleum Resource Management System 2007 has been used in preparing this announcement.
News Article | November 10, 2016
It should be obvious that those with greater self-control live a healthier lifestyle. After all, it takes self-control to exercise before work, or forego fried food for kale. But new research suggests living a healthier lifestyle could also increase executive function, which is the ability to exert self-control, set and meet goals, resist temptation and solve problems. In effect, the study suggests a feedback loop exists where greater executive function enables people to lead a healthier lifestyle, which in turn, improves their executive function. "It seems that physical activity and EF are synergistic -- they improve one another," according to the study, titled "A Bidirectional Relationship between Executive Function and Health Behaviors." The study, published by researchers at the University of Aberdeen, the University of Stirling and the University College Dublin, used data collected from 4,555 adults through the English Longitudinal Study of Aging. Researchers analyzed the relationship between physical activity and executive function, adjusting for other variables such as age, gender, education, wealth and illness and found evidence that the relationship between the two is bidirectional. It is the first study of its kind to look at whether the effects are bidirectional and has expanded the understanding of such relationships. Specifically, individuals with poor executive function showed subsequent decreases in their rates of participation in physical activity and older adults who engaged in sports and other physical activities tended to retain high levels of executive function over time. Researchers noted that while the study focused on physical activity and its relationship to executive function, it's likely a positive feedback loop also exists between executive function and eating nutritious foods. Similarly, it is likely that negative feedback loops also exist, in that unhealthy behaviors such as smoking or drinking too much alcohol will be both a result of and a predictor of declining executive function. This has implications, according to the study, for aging. The older one gets, the more likely executive function is to decline, the study notes. Older people, then, may become more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors like remaining sedentary and less likely to maintain healthy but effortful behaviors like taking prescribed medication regularly. Conversely, the longer one can maintain high executive function, the longer and more easily that person can stave off behavior that will be detrimental to their health. Dr. Julia Allan suggests that "people who make a change to their health behavior, like participating in physical activity, eating less processed food, or consuming more fruits and vegetables, can see an improvement in their brain function over time and increase their chances of remaining healthy as they age." That may be why, researchers opined, those with higher executive function tend to avoid chronic illnesses and live longer after a chronic diagnosis than those who have weaker executive function. With the world's population of elderly folks to hit 1.5 billion by 2050, as the study notes, the research could have major implications for the future of health care.
News Article | November 10, 2016
It should be obvious that those with greater self-control live a healthier lifestyle. After all, it takes self-control to exercise before work, or forego fried food for kale. But new research suggests living a healthier lifestyle could also increase executive function, which is the ability to exert self-control, set and meet goals, resist temptation and solve problems. In effect, the study suggests a feedback loop exists where greater executive function enables people to lead a healthier lifestyle, which in turn, improves their executive function. "It seems that physical activity and EF are synergistic -- they improve one another," according to the study, titled "A Bidirectional Relationship between Executive Function and Health Behaviors." The study, published by researchers at the University of Aberdeen, the University of Stirling and the University College Dublin, used data collected from 4,555 adults through the English Longitudinal Study of Aging. Researchers analyzed the relationship between physical activity and executive function, adjusting for other variables such as age, gender, education, wealth and illness and found evidence that the relationship between the two is bidirectional. It is the first study of its kind to look at whether the effects are bidirectional and has expanded the understanding of such relationships. Specifically, individuals with poor executive function showed subsequent decreases in their rates of participation in physical activity and older adults who engaged in sports and other physical activities tended to retain high levels of executive function over time. Researchers noted that while the study focused on physical activity and its relationship to executive function, it's likely a positive feedback loop also exists between executive function and eating nutritious foods. Similarly, it is likely that negative feedback loops also exist, in that unhealthy behaviors such as smoking or drinking too much alcohol will be both a result of and a predictor of declining executive function. This has implications, according to the study, for aging. The older one gets, the more likely executive function is to decline, the study notes. Older people, then, may become more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors like remaining sedentary and less likely to maintain healthy but effortful behaviors like taking prescribed medication regularly. Conversely, the longer one can maintain high executive function, the longer and more easily that person can stave off behavior that will be detrimental to their health. Dr. Julia Allan suggests that "people who make a change to their health behavior, like participating in physical activity, eating less processed food, or consuming more fruits and vegetables, can see an improvement in their brain function over time and increase their chances of remaining healthy as they age." That may be why, researchers opined, those with higher executive function tend to avoid chronic illnesses and live longer after a chronic diagnosis than those who have weaker executive function. With the world's population of elderly folks to hit 1.5 billion by 2050, as the study notes, the research could have major implications for the future of health care.
News Article | December 12, 2016
In 2015, the All Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN) detected an event, named ASASSN-15lh, that was recorded as the brightest supernova ever -- and categorised as a superluminous supernova, the explosion of an extremely massive star at the end of its life. It was twice as bright as the previous record holder, and at its peak was 20 times brighter than the total light output of the entire Milky Way. An international team, led by Giorgos Leloudas at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, and the Dark Cosmology Centre, Denmark, has now made additional observations of the distant galaxy, about 4 billion light-years from Earth, where the explosion took place and they have proposed a new explanation for this extraordinary event. "We observed the source for 10 months following the event and have concluded that the explanation is unlikely to lie with an extraordinarily bright supernova. Our results indicate that the event was probably caused by a rapidly spinning supermassive black hole as it destroyed a low-mass star," explains Leloudas. In this scenario, the extreme gravitational forces of a supermassive black hole, located in the centre of the host galaxy, ripped apart a Sun-like star that wandered too close -- a so-called tidal disruption event, something so far only observed about 10 times. In the process, the star was "spaghettified" and shocks in the colliding debris as well as heat generated in accretion led to a burst of light. This gave the event the appearance of a very bright supernova explosion, even though the star would not have become a supernova on its own as it did not have enough mass. The team based their new conclusions on observations from a selection of telescopes, both on the ground and in space. Among them was the Very Large Telescope at ESO's Paranal Observatory, the New Technology Telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory and the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope . The observations with the NTT were made as part of the Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey of Transient Objects (PESSTO). "There are several independent aspects to the observations that suggest that this event was indeed a tidal disruption and not a superluminous supernova," explains coauthor Morgan Fraser from the University of Cambridge, UK (now at University College Dublin, Ireland). In particular, the data revealed that the event went through three distinct phases over the 10 months of follow-up observations. These data overall more closely resemble what is expected for a tidal disruption than a superluminous supernova. An observed re-brightening in ultraviolet light as well as a temperature increase further reduce the likelihood of a supernova event. Furthermore, the location of the event -- a red, massive and passive galaxy -- is not the usual home for a superluminous supernova explosion, which normally occur in blue, star-forming dwarf galaxies. Although the team say a supernova source is therefore very unlikely, they accept that a classical tidal disruption event would not be an adequate explanation for the event either. Team member Nicholas Stone from Columbia University, USA, elaborates: "The tidal disruption event we propose cannot be explained with a non-spinning supermassive black hole. We argue that ASASSN-15lh was a tidal disruption event arising from a very particular kind of black hole." The mass of the host galaxy implies that the supermassive black hole at its centre has a mass of at least 100 million times that of the Sun. A black hole of this mass would normally be unable to disrupt stars outside of its event horizon -- the boundary within which nothing is able to escape its gravitational pull. However, if the black hole is a particular kind that happens to be rapidly spinning -- a so-called Kerr black hole -- the situation changes and this limit no longer applies. "Even with all the collected data we cannot say with 100% certainty that the ASASSN-15lh event was a tidal disruption event," concludes Leloudas. "But it is by far the most likely explanation."  As well as the data from ESO's Very Large Telescope, the New Technology Telescope and the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope the team used observations from NASA's Swift telescope, the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope (LCOGT), the Australia Telescope Compact Array, ESA's XMM-Newton, the Wide-Field Spectrograph (WiFeS and the Magellan Telescope. This research was presented in a paper entitled "The Superluminous Transient ASASSN-15lh as a Tidal Disruption Event from a Kerr Black Hole", by G. Leloudas et al. to appear in the new Nature Astronomy magazine. The team is composed of G. Leloudas (Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel; Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark), M. Fraser (University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK), N. C. Stone (Columbia University, New York, USA), S. van Velzen (The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA), P. G. Jonker (Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Utrecht, the Netherlands; Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, the Netherlands), I. Arcavi (Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, Goleta, USA; University of California, Santa Barbara, USA), C. Fremling (Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden), J. R. Maund (University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK), S. J. Smartt (Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK), T. Krühler (Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Garching b. München, Germany), J. C. A. Miller-Jones (ICRAR - Curtin University, Perth, Australia), P. M. Vreeswijk (Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel), A. Gal-Yam (Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel), P. A. Mazzali (Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK; Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Garching b. München, Germany), A. De Cia (European Southern Observatory, Garching b. München, Germany), D. A. Howell (Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, Goleta, USA; University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, USA), C. Inserra (Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK), F. Patat (European Southern Observatory, Garching b. München, Germany), A. de Ugarte Postigo (Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia, Granada, Spain; Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark), O. Yaron (Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel), C. Ashall (Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK), I. Bar (Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel), H. Campbell (University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK; University of Surrey, Guildford, UK), T.-W. Chen (Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Garching b. München, Germany), M. Childress (University of Southampton, Southampton, UK), N. Elias-Rosa (Osservatoria Astronomico di Padova, Padova, Italy), J. Harmanen (University of Turku, Piikkiö, Finland), G. Hosseinzadeh (Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, Goleta, USA; University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, USA), J. Johansson (Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel), T. Kangas (University of Turku, Piikkiö, Finland), E. Kankare (Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK), S. Kim (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile), H. Kuncarayakti (Millennium Institute of Astrophysics, Santiago, Chile; Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile), J. Lyman (University of Warwick, Coventry, UK), M. R. Magee (Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK), K. Maguire (Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK), D. Malesani (University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark; DTU Space, Denmark), S. Mattila (University of Turku, Piikkiö, Finland; Finnish Centre for Astronomy with ESO (FINCA), University of Turku, Piikkiö, Finland; University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK), C. V. McCully (Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, Goleta, USA; University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, USA), M. Nicholl (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA), S. Prentice (Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK), C. Romero-Ca[ñ] - https:/ izales (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile; Millennium Institute of Astrophysics, Santiago, Chile), S. Schulze (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile; Millennium Institute of Astrophysics, Santiago, Chile), K. W. Smith (Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK), J. Sollerman (Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden), M. Sullivan (University of Southampton, Southampton, UK), B. E. Tucker (Australian National University, Canberra, Australia; ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), Australia), S. Valenti (University of California, Davis, USA), J. C. Wheeler (University of Texas at Austin, Austin, USA), and D. R. Young (Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK). ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It is supported by 16 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, along with the host state of Chile. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world's largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-metre European Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky".
News Article | November 23, 2015
Until recently, scientists could try to understand the way humans adapted genetically to changes that occurred thousands of years ago only by looking at DNA variation in today's populations. But our modern genomes contain mere echoes of the past that can't be connected to specific events. Now, an international team reports in Nature that researchers can see how natural selection happened by analyzing ancient human DNA. "It allows us to put a time and date on selection and to directly associate selection with specific environmental changes, in this case the development of agriculture and the expansion of the first farmers into Europe," said Iain Mathieson, a research fellow in genetics at Harvard Medical School and first author of the study. By taking advantage of better DNA extraction techniques and amassing what is to date the largest collection of genome-wide datasets from ancient human remains, the team was able to identify specific genes that changed during and after the transition from hunting and gathering to farming. Many of the variants occurred on or near genes that have been associated with height, the ability to digest lactose in adulthood, fatty acid metabolism, vitamin D levels, light skin pigmentation and blue eye color. Two variants appear on genes that have been linked to higher risk of celiac disease but that may have been important in adapting to an early agricultural diet. Other variants were located on immune-associated genes, which made sense because "the Neolithic period involved an increase in population density, with people living close to one another and to domesticated animals," said Wolfgang Haak, one of three senior authors of the study, a research fellow at the University of Adelaide and group leader in molecular anthropology at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. "Although that finding did not come fully as a surprise," he added, "it was great to see the selection happening in 'real time.'" The work also supports the idea that Europe's first farmers came from ancient Anatolia, in what is now Turkey, and fills in more details about how ancient groups mixed and migrated. "It's a great mystery how present-day populations got to be the way we are today, both in terms of how our ancestors moved around and intermingled and how populations developed the adaptations that help us survive a bit better in the different environments in which we live," said co-senior author David Reich, professor of genetics at HMS. "Now that ancient DNA is available at the genome-wide scale and in large sample sizes, we have an extraordinary new instrument for studying these questions." "From an archaeological perspective, it's quite amazing," said co-senior author Ron Pinhasi, associate professor of archaeology at University College Dublin. "The Neolithic revolution is perhaps the most important transition in human prehistory. We now have proof that people did actually go from Anatolia into Europe and brought farming with them. For more than 40 years, people thought it was impossible to answer that question." "Second," he continued, "we now have evidence that genetic selection occurred along with the changes in lifestyle and demography, and that selection continued to happen following the transition." Prying more from the past Members of the current team and others have used ancient DNA in the past few years to learn about Neanderthals and the genes they passed to humans, identify ancestors of present-day Europeans, trace migrations into the Americas and probe the roots of Indo-European languages. Studying natural selection, however, remained out of reach because it required more ancient genomes than were available. "In the past year, we've had a super-exponential rise in the number of ancient samples we can study on a genome scale," said Reich, who is also an associate member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT and a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator. "In September 2014, we had 10 individuals. In this study, we have 230." The DNA came from the remains of people who lived between 3,000 and 8,500 years ago at different sites across what is now Europe, Siberia and Turkey. That time span provided snapshots of genetic variation before, during and after the agricultural revolution in Europe. Among the 230 ancient individuals were 83 who hadn't been sequenced before, including the first 26 to be gathered from the eastern Mediterranean, where warm conditions usually cause DNA to degrade. Members of the team used several technological advances to obtain and analyze the new genetic material. For example, they exploited a method pioneered by Pinhasi's laboratory to extract DNA from a remarkably rich source: a portion of the dense, pyramid-shaped petrous bone that houses the internal auditory organs. In some cases, the bone yielded 700 times more human DNA than could be obtained from other bones, including teeth. "That changed everything," said Pinhasi. "Higher-quality DNA meant we could analyze many more positions on the genome, perform more complex tests and simulations, and start systematically studying allele frequency across populations." Although the authors caution that sample size remains the biggest limitation of the study, comparing the ancient genomes to one another and to those of present-day people of European ancestry revealed 12 positions on the genome where natural selection related to the introduction of farming in northern latitudes appears to have happened. "Some of those specific traits have been studied before," said Reich. "This work with ancient DNA enriches our understanding of those traits and when they appeared." Besides the adaptations that appear to be related to diet, pigmentation, immunity and height, the possible selective pressure on other variants was less clear. "We can guess by looking at the function of the gene, but our power is limited," said Mathieson. "It's quite frustrating." It's too early to tell whether some of the variants were themselves selected for or whether they hitched a ride with a nearby beneficial gene. The question pertains especially to variants that seem to be disadvantageous, like increased disease risk. Being able to look at numerous positions across the genome also allowed the team to examine complex traits for the first time in ancient DNA. "We can see the evolution of height across time," said Mathieson. Researchers had noticed that people from southern Europe tend to be shorter than those from northern Europe. The new study suggests that the height differential arises both from people in the north having more ancestry from Eurasian steppe populations, who seem to have been taller, and people in the south having more ancestry from Neolithic and Chalcolithic groups from the Iberian peninsula, who seem to have been shorter. The team wasn't able to draw conclusions about the other complex traits it investigated: body mass index, waist-hip ratio, type 2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and lipid levels. Reich, for one, hopes researchers will one day have thousands of ancient genomes to analyze. He would also like to see this type of study applied to non-European populations and even to other species. "It will be interesting to study selection in domesticated animals and to see if there is coevolution between them and the people who were domesticating them," said Mathieson. Explore further: New branch added to European family tree
News Article | November 7, 2016
Kevin M. McMullen to step down as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of OMNOVA Solutions William R. Seelbach named Chairman of the Board of Directors BEACHWOOD, Ohio, Nov. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- OMNOVA Solutions Inc. (NYSE: OMN) today announced that it is moving forward with its CEO succession process, and Kevin M. McMullen is stepping down as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, and as a member of the Board of Directors, effective December 1, 2016, to pursue other interests. In over 16 years leading the Company, McMullen succeeded in repositioning OMNOVA as a leader in specialty chemicals and engineered surfaces including aggressive portfolio actions highlighted by the acquisition of Eliokem International. OMNOVA has experienced significant positive momentum with adjusted earnings per share up nearly 60% year-to-date through the third quarter, following 29% growth for the full year 2015. He is enthused about his future and proud of the Company's progress under his leadership. McMullen will be succeeded by Anne P. Noonan as OMNOVA's President and Chief Executive Officer, effective December 1, 2016. Ms. Noonan will also be appointed to the Company's Board of Directors. In connection with this leadership transition, the Board of Directors has determined to separate the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer roles, electing William R. Seelbach as the Company's independent, non-executive Chairman, also effective December 1, 2016. Michael J. Merriman, the Presiding Director of the OMNOVA Board of Directors, commented, "Kevin is a high-integrity leader with strong strategic and business acumen. We are thankful for Kevin's many years of leadership and his dedicated service to OMNOVA, both as Chief Executive Officer and as Chairman. He has consistently been aggressive in assessing the market and competitive environment, and taking the necessary actions to make the Company better. He leaves an organization with a well-designed growth strategy and strong leadership team in place. On behalf of the entire OMNOVA Board and the Company, I want to express our gratitude for a job well done and wish Kevin only the best. He will be missed." McMullen's initiatives over the years ensured OMNOVA's prominence and profitability despite many market-based challenges. A predominately U.S.-based company when he took charge, McMullen led OMNOVA's transformation into a global enterprise. Today, OMNOVA products are sold in over 90 countries around the world, supported by manufacturing and technology centers on three continents. He drove initiatives to dramatically expand the breadth of OMNOVA's technology to significantly enhance its position as a value-added solutions provider. McMullen, 56, joined the Company in 1996 as President of its Decorative and Building Products unit. He took over as Chief Executive Officer of the Company in 2000 and became Chairman of the Board in 2001. Prior to OMNOVA, McMullen worked for GE and McKinsey & Co. "I feel really good about where OMNOVA is today as a company," McMullen said. "Our specialty businesses are poised for above-market growth, our balance sheet has improved significantly, and we just completed a far-reaching strategic planning process that highlighted many exciting long-term opportunities. The Company is well-positioned to deliver significant long-term shareholder value." He added, "We have a strong and committed team – I will truly miss the people. But I'm relatively young and I want to pursue other interests. I think now is the time to pursue them." Noonan, 53, is currently the President of OMNOVA's Performance Chemicals business. Under her leadership, the segment has significantly improved financial results. These results were accomplished through aggressive implementation of a manufacturing footprint alignment and business model restructuring, delivering cost reductions in excess of $10 million per year while establishing a cost competitive "blueprint" for future specialty growth. Additionally, through a focus on innovation and commercial excellence, a foundation has been established to accelerate specialty growth with accomplished market-specialized talent and a reinvigorated innovation pipeline. "We are confident Anne will continue to drive enhanced value for shareholders. Anne is an accomplished executive with deep knowledge of the chemicals industry and OMNOVA," Merriman said. "She has a proven record of transformational change and improving performance through her leadership, customer focus, and emphasis on value creation. We are pleased she has agreed to lead OMNOVA, and we look forward to the contributions she will make to the Company and the Board." Noonan brings nearly 30 years of experience in the chemicals industry. Prior to joining OMNOVA in 2014, Noonan served as Senior Vice President and President of Chemtura Corporation's Industrial Engineered Products business segment with over $1 billion in revenues. During her 27 years with Chemtura and its predecessor, Great Lakes Chemical Corporation, Noonan served in roles of increasing responsibility in mergers & acquisitions, strategic business development, marketing, sales, and technology. She began her career as an Analytical Research Chemist with McNeil Specialty Chemicals Company and Squibb-Linson, Co. She earned her M.S. in organometallic chemistry and her B.S. Honors degree in chemistry from University College Dublin, Ireland. Since 2015, Noonan has been a member of the Board of Directors of CF Industries (NYSE: CF), as well as the Board of Directors of the American Chemistry Council. Noonan said, "I am excited to have the opportunity to lead OMNOVA and look forward to working with this dedicated, talented team to position the Company as a premier global, innovative specialty solutions provider. Kevin has provided a solid foundation to build upon, developing and leading an organization that is committed to its customers, employees, communities and shareholders." William R. Seelbach, 68, will succeed McMullen as OMNOVA's Chairman. Seelbach has been a non-executive member of OMNOVA's Board of Directors since 2002. Seelbach is a Senior Advisor with the Riverside Company, the world's largest private equity firm focused on investing in companies at the smaller end of the middle market, and a Senior Managing Director of Headwaters SC, a consulting firm for privately owned businesses. Previously, he was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ohio Aerospace Institute, a technology-focused research organization, from 2003 to 2006. Prior to that, he was the President of Brush Engineered Materials, Inc., now known as Materion Corporation, a manufacturer of high performance engineered materials, and held various executive roles with Brush Wellman, Inc. from 1998 to 2002. Seelbach was also the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Inverness Partners, a limited liability company engaged in acquiring and operating Midwestern manufacturing companies, and a Partner with McKinsey & Co. OMNOVA Solutions is a global innovator of performance-enhancing chemistries and surfaces used in products for a variety of commercial, industrial, and residential applications. As a strategic business-to-business supplier, OMNOVA provides The Science in Better Brands, with emulsion polymers, specialty chemicals, and functional and decorative surfaces that deliver critical performance attributes to top brand-name, end-use products sold around the world. OMNOVA's sales for the last twelve months ended August 31, 2016 were $773 million. The Company has a global workforce of approximately 1,950. Visit OMNOVA Solutions on the internet at . Statements included in this Press Release that are not historical facts are forward looking statements. These statements involve risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to the operations of the Company and other related items that are detailed in risk factors and elsewhere in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended November 30, 2015, subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize (or the consequences of such a development worsen), or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual outcomes may vary materially from those forecasted or expected. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update publicly or revise such statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
News Article | November 7, 2016
BEACHWOOD, Ohio, Nov. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- OMNOVA Solutions Inc. (NYSE: OMN) today announced that it is moving forward with its CEO succession process, and Kevin M. McMullen is stepping down as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, and as a member of the Board of Directors, effective December 1, 2016, to pursue other interests. In over 16 years leading the Company, McMullen succeeded in repositioning OMNOVA as a leader in specialty chemicals and engineered surfaces including aggressive portfolio actions highlighted by the acquisition of Eliokem International. OMNOVA has experienced significant positive momentum with adjusted earnings per share up nearly 60% year-to-date through the third quarter, following 29% growth for the full year 2015. He is enthused about his future and proud of the Company's progress under his leadership. McMullen will be succeeded by Anne P. Noonan as OMNOVA's President and Chief Executive Officer, effective December 1, 2016. Ms. Noonan will also be appointed to the Company's Board of Directors. In connection with this leadership transition, the Board of Directors has determined to separate the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer roles, electing William R. Seelbach as the Company's independent, non-executive Chairman, also effective December 1, 2016. Michael J. Merriman, the Presiding Director of the OMNOVA Board of Directors, commented, "Kevin is a high-integrity leader with strong strategic and business acumen. We are thankful for Kevin's many years of leadership and his dedicated service to OMNOVA, both as Chief Executive Officer and as Chairman. He has consistently been aggressive in assessing the market and competitive environment, and taking the necessary actions to make the Company better. He leaves an organization with a well-designed growth strategy and strong leadership team in place. On behalf of the entire OMNOVA Board and the Company, I want to express our gratitude for a job well done and wish Kevin only the best. He will be missed." McMullen's initiatives over the years ensured OMNOVA's prominence and profitability despite many market-based challenges. A predominately U.S.-based company when he took charge, McMullen led OMNOVA's transformation into a global enterprise. Today, OMNOVA products are sold in over 90 countries around the world, supported by manufacturing and technology centers on three continents. He drove initiatives to dramatically expand the breadth of OMNOVA's technology to significantly enhance its position as a value-added solutions provider. McMullen, 56, joined the Company in 1996 as President of its Decorative and Building Products unit. He took over as Chief Executive Officer of the Company in 2000 and became Chairman of the Board in 2001. Prior to OMNOVA, McMullen worked for GE and McKinsey & Co. "I feel really good about where OMNOVA is today as a company," McMullen said. "Our specialty businesses are poised for above-market growth, our balance sheet has improved significantly, and we just completed a far-reaching strategic planning process that highlighted many exciting long-term opportunities. The Company is well-positioned to deliver significant long-term shareholder value." He added, "We have a strong and committed team – I will truly miss the people. But I'm relatively young and I want to pursue other interests. I think now is the time to pursue them." Noonan, 53, is currently the President of OMNOVA's Performance Chemicals business. Under her leadership, the segment has significantly improved financial results. These results were accomplished through aggressive implementation of a manufacturing footprint alignment and business model restructuring, delivering cost reductions in excess of $10 million per year while establishing a cost competitive "blueprint" for future specialty growth. Additionally, through a focus on innovation and commercial excellence, a foundation has been established to accelerate specialty growth with accomplished market-specialized talent and a reinvigorated innovation pipeline. "We are confident Anne will continue to drive enhanced value for shareholders. Anne is an accomplished executive with deep knowledge of the chemicals industry and OMNOVA," Merriman said. "She has a proven record of transformational change and improving performance through her leadership, customer focus, and emphasis on value creation. We are pleased she has agreed to lead OMNOVA, and we look forward to the contributions she will make to the Company and the Board." Noonan brings nearly 30 years of experience in the chemicals industry. Prior to joining OMNOVA in 2014, Noonan served as Senior Vice President and President of Chemtura Corporation's Industrial Engineered Products business segment with over $1 billion in revenues. During her 27 years with Chemtura and its predecessor, Great Lakes Chemical Corporation, Noonan served in roles of increasing responsibility in mergers & acquisitions, strategic business development, marketing, sales, and technology. She began her career as an Analytical Research Chemist with McNeil Specialty Chemicals Company and Squibb-Linson, Co. She earned her M.S. in organometallic chemistry and her B.S. Honors degree in chemistry from University College Dublin, Ireland. Since 2015, Noonan has been a member of the Board of Directors of CF Industries (NYSE: CF), as well as the Board of Directors of the American Chemistry Council. Noonan said, "I am excited to have the opportunity to lead OMNOVA and look forward to working with this dedicated, talented team to position the Company as a premier global, innovative specialty solutions provider. Kevin has provided a solid foundation to build upon, developing and leading an organization that is committed to its customers, employees, communities and shareholders." William R. Seelbach, 68, will succeed McMullen as OMNOVA's Chairman. Seelbach has been a non-executive member of OMNOVA's Board of Directors since 2002. Seelbach is a Senior Advisor with the Riverside Company, the world's largest private equity firm focused on investing in companies at the smaller end of the middle market, and a Senior Managing Director of Headwaters SC, a consulting firm for privately owned businesses. Previously, he was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ohio Aerospace Institute, a technology-focused research organization, from 2003 to 2006. Prior to that, he was the President of Brush Engineered Materials, Inc., now known as Materion Corporation, a manufacturer of high performance engineered materials, and held various executive roles with Brush Wellman, Inc. from 1998 to 2002. Seelbach was also the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Inverness Partners, a limited liability company engaged in acquiring and operating Midwestern manufacturing companies, and a Partner with McKinsey & Co. OMNOVA Solutions is a global innovator of performance-enhancing chemistries and surfaces used in products for a variety of commercial, industrial, and residential applications. As a strategic business-to-business supplier, OMNOVA provides The Science in Better Brands, with emulsion polymers, specialty chemicals, and functional and decorative surfaces that deliver critical performance attributes to top brand-name, end-use products sold around the world. OMNOVA's sales for the last twelve months ended August 31, 2016 were $773 million. The Company has a global workforce of approximately 1,950. Visit OMNOVA Solutions on the internet at . Statements included in this Press Release that are not historical facts are forward looking statements. These statements involve risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to the operations of the Company and other related items that are detailed in risk factors and elsewhere in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended November 30, 2015, subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize (or the consequences of such a development worsen), or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual outcomes may vary materially from those forecasted or expected. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update publicly or revise such statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
News Article | November 8, 2016
Kevin M. McMullen quitte ses fonctions de président du Conseil, de président-directeur général et de président de OMNOVA Solutions BEACHWOOD, Ohio, 8 novembre 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- OMNOVA Solutions Inc. (NYSE : OMN) a annoncé aujourd'hui aller de l'avant avec le processus de succession de son PDG, et que Kevin M. McMullen quitte ses fonctions de président du Conseil, de président-directeur général et président et en tant que membre du Conseil d'administration, à compter du 1er décembre 2016, pour poursuivre d'autres centres d'intérêts. Pendant plus de 16 ans à la direction de la société, McMullen a réussi à repositionner OMNOVA comme chef de file de produits chimiques spécialisés et de surfaces mises au point, y compris les actions de portefeuille agressif mis en évidence par l'acquisition d'Eliokem International. OMNOVA a connu un élan positif et significatif avec le bénéfice net ajusté par action en hausse de près de 60 % depuis le début de l'exercice jusqu'au troisième trimestre inclus, après une croissance de 29 % pour l'exercice complet 2015. Il est enthousiasmé par son avenir et fier des progrès de la société sous sa direction. Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161107/436649 Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161107/436648 Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161107/436647 McMullen sera remplacé par Anne P. Noonan en qualité de présidente et présidente-directrice générale de OMNOVA, à compter du 1er décembre 2016. Mme Noonan sera également nommé au Conseil d'administration de la société. Dans le cadre de cette transition de leadership, le Conseil d'administration a décidé de séparer les rôles de président du Conseil et de président-directeur général, par l'élection de William R. Seelbach en qualité de président indépendant, non-exécutif du Conseil de la société, aussi à compter du 1er décembre 2016. Michael J. Merriman, l'administrateur président du Conseil d'administration de OMNOVA, a commenté : « Kevin est un leader de haute intégrité avec une forte perspicacité stratégique et un sens aigu des affaires. Nous sommes reconnaissants des nombreuses années de leadership de Kevin et de ses services dévoués à OMNOVA, à la fois en qualité de président-directeur général ainsi que président du Conseil. Il a toujours été agressif sur l'évaluation du marché et l'environnement concurrentiel et la prise des mesures nécessaires pour améliorer la société. Il quitte une organisation avec une stratégie de croissance bien conçue et une équipe de direction solide en place. Au nom de l'ensemble du Conseil OMNOVA et la société, je tiens à exprimer notre gratitude pour un travail bien fait et souhaite à Kevin plein succès. Il va nous manquer ». Les initiatives de McMullen au fil des années ont assuré la proéminence et la rentabilité de OMNOVA malgré les nombreux défis fondés sur le marché. Une société basée principalement aux États-Unis lorsqu'il a pris la direction, McMullen a mené la transformation de OMNOVA vers une entreprise mondiale. Aujourd'hui, les produits OMNOVA sont vendues dans plus de 90 pays dans le monde entier, soutenus par des centres de fabrication et de technologie sur trois continents. Il a poussé les initiatives pour augmenter considérablement la largeur de la technologie de OMNOVA afin d'accroître sensiblement sa position comme fournisseur de solutions à valeur ajoutée. McMullen, 56 ans, a rejoint la société en 1996 en qualité de président de son unité de produits de décoration et de construction. Il a repris en qualité de président-directeur général de la société en 2000 et devenu président du Conseil d'administration en 2001. Avant OMNOVA, McMullen a travaillé pour GE et McKinsey & Co. « Je me sens vraiment bien à la situation dans laquelle se trouve OMNOVA aujourd'hui en tant que société », a déclaré McMullen. Nos entreprises spécialisées sont positionnées pour une croissance supérieure à celle du marché, notre bilan s'est considérablement améliorée et nous venons de terminer un processus de planification stratégique ambitieux qui a mis en évidence de nombreuses opportunités à long terme. La société est bien placée pour assurer une valeur importante à long terme pour les actionnaires ». Il a ajouté : « nous avons une équipe solide et engagée – les personnes vont vraiment me manquer. Mais je suis relativement jeune et je veux poursuivre d'autres centres d'intérêts. Je crois que le moment est venu pour les poursuivre ». Noonan, 53 ans, est actuellement la présidente du secteur d'activité des produits chimiques haute performance de OMNOVA. Sous sa direction, le secteur a considérablement amélioré les résultats financiers. Ces résultats ont été réalisées par la mise en œuvre agressive d'un alignement de l'empreinte de fabrication et de la restructuration du modèle d'entreprise, en assurant des réductions de coût dépassant 10 millions USD par an tout en établissant un « schéma directeur » de coûts concurrentiels pour une future croissance spécialisée. En outre, en mettant l'accent sur l'innovation et l'excellence commerciale, une fondation a été créée pour accélérer la croissance spécialisée grâce à du talent accompli et spécialisé sur le marché et un pipeline d'innovation revigoré. « Nous sommes confiants que Anne continuera à pousser la valeur accrue pour les actionnaires. Anne est une dirigeante accomplie avec des profondes connaissances de l'industrie des produits chimiques et de OMNOVA », Merriman a déclaré. « Elle possède une réputation fondée sur le changement transformationnel et l'amélioration des performances par le biais de son leadership, son orientation sur le client et son accent sur la création de valeur. Nous sommes heureux qu'elle ait accepté de diriger OMNOVA et nous attendons avec impatience les contributions qu'elle va apporter à la société et au Conseil ». Noonan apporte près de 30 ans d'expérience dans l'industrie des produits chimiques. Avant de rejoindre OMNOVA en 2014, Noonan a occupé le poste de premier vice-président et de président du secteur d'activité des produits industriels mis au point de Chemtura Corporation avec plus de 1 milliard USD de recettes. Au cours de ses 27 ans chez Chemtura et son prédécesseur, Great Lakes Chemical Corporation, Noonan a occupé des postes à responsabilité croissante dans les domaines de la fusion-acquisition, le développement stratégique des affaires, le marketing, les ventes et la technologie. Elle a débuté sa carrière comme chimiste de recherche analytique chez McNeil Specialty Chemicals Company et Squibb-Linson, Co. Elle a obtenu sa maîtrise en chimie organométallique et sa licence ès sciences avec distinction en chimie de la University College Dublin, en Irlande. Depuis 2015, Noonan est un membre du Conseil d'administration de CF Industries (NYSE : CF) ainsi que du Conseil d'administration de l'American Chemistry Council. Noonan a déclaré : « je suis heureuse d'avoir l'occasion de diriger OMNOVA et j'attends avec impatience de travailler avec cette équipe dévouée et talentueuse pour positionner la société comme principal fournisseur mondial de solutions spécialisées innovantes. Kevin a fourni une base solide pour construire, développer et diriger une organisation qui est dévouée envers ses clients, ses employés, ses collectivités et ses actionnaires ». William R. Seelbach, 68 ans, succèdera à McMullen en qualité de président du Conseil de OMNOVA. Seelbach est un membre non-exécutif du Conseil d'administration de OMNOVA depuis 2002. Seelbach est un conseiller principal chez Riverside Company, la plus grande agence mondiale de capital-investissement axée sur l'investissement dans des sociétés à la plus petite extrémité du marché intermédiaire et un premier directeur général chez Headwaters SC, un cabinet d'experts-conseils pour les entreprises privées. Auparavant, il était le président et président-directeur général de l'Ohio Aerospace Institute, un organisme de recherche axé sur la technologie, de 2003 à 2006. Avant cela, il était le président de Brush Engineered Materials, Inc., aujourd'hui appelée Materion Corporation, un fabricant de matériel façonné à haute performance et il a occupé divers postes exécutifs chez Brush Wellman, Inc. de 1998 à 2002. Seelbach était également le président du Conseil et président-directeur général de Inverness Partners, une société à responsabilité limitée engagée dans l'acquisition et l'exploitation de sociétés de fabrication du Midwest, et un associé chez McKinsey & Co. OMNOVA Solutions est un innovateur mondial de compositions chimiques et surfaces susceptibles d'améliorer les performances qui sont utilisées dans des produits pour une variété d'applications commerciales, industrielles et résidentielles. En qualité de fournisseur stratégique interentreprises, OMNOVA fournit The Science in Better Brands (la Science dans les meilleures marques), avec des émulsions de polymère, des produits chimiques spécialisés et des surfaces fonctionnelles et décoratives qui assurent des caractéristiques de performance essentielles à des produits d'utilisation finale de marque de qualité vendus dans le monde entier. Les ventes de OMNOVA au cours des douze derniers mois clos le 31 août 2016 ont atteint 773 millions USD. La société a un effectif mondial d'environ 1 950 personnes. Consultez le site de OMNOVA Solutions sur Internet à . Les énoncés renfermés dans le présent communiqué de presse, qui ne sont pas des faits historiques, sont des énoncés prospectifs. Ces énoncés impliquent des risques et des incertitudes, y compris mais sans s'y limiter, les opérations de la société et d'autres éléments connexes qui sont détaillées dans les facteurs de risque et ailleurs dans le rapport annuel de la société sur formulaire 10-K pour l'exercice clos le 30 novembre 2015, les prochains rapports trimestriels sur formulaire 10-Q et les autres dépôts auprès de la U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Si l'un quelconque ou plusieurs de ces risques ou incertitudes se réalisaient (ou les conséquences d'une telle évolution s'aggravaient) ou si les hypothèses sous-jacentes s'avéraient incorrectes, les résultats réels pourraient différer matériellement de ceux prévus ou attendus. La société décline toute intention ou toute obligation de mettre à jour publiquement ou de réviser de tels énoncés, que ce soit par suite de nouvelles informations, d'événements futurs ou tout autre raison.
News Article | November 8, 2016
Kevin M. McMullen tritt als Vorsitzender, Chief Executive Officer und President von OMNOVA Solutions zurück Anne P. Noonan wird zum President und Chief Executive Officer ernannt William R. Seelbach wird zum Vorsitzenden des Verwaltungsrates ernannt BEACHWOOD, Ohio, 8. November 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- OMNOVA Solutions Inc. (NYSE: OMN) gab heute bekannt, dass man den Nachfolgeprozess für den CEO vorzieht und dass Kevin M. McMullen mit Wirkung vom 1. Dezember 2016 als Vorsitzender, Chief Executive Officer und President sowie als Mitglied des Verwaltungsrates zurücktritt, um andere Interessen zu verfolgen. In den 16 Jahren, in denen McMullen OMNOVA leitete, hat er es als führendes Unternehmen bei Spezialchemikalien und behandelten Oberflächen neu positioniert, einschließlich aggressiver Portfolioaktivitäten, unter denen die Akquisition von Eliokem International besonders zu erwähnen ist. OMNOVA entwickelte mit dem im dritten Quartal im Jahresvergleich um fast 60 % gestiegenen, bereinigten Ergebnis je Aktie nach einem Wachstum von 29 % im gesamten Jahr 2015 eine beachtliche, positive Dynamik. Er freut sich auf seine Zukunft und ist auf den Fortschritt des Unternehmens unter seiner Leitung stolz. Foto - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161107/436649 Foto - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161107/436648 Foto - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161107/436647 McMullen wird mit Wirkung vom 1. Dezember 2016 von Anne P. Noonan als President und Chief Executive Officer von OMNOVA abgelöst. Fr. Noonan wird ebenfalls Mitglied des Verwaltungsrates des Unternehmens. In Zusammenhang mit den Veränderungen in der Firmenleitung hat der Verwaltungsrat entschieden, die Rollen des Vorsitzenden und Chief Executive Officers zu trennen und William R. Seelbach ebenfalls mit Wirkung vom 1. Dezember 2016 zum unabhängigen, nicht exekutiven Vorsitzenden zu ernennen. Michael J. Merriman, der Presiding Director des Verwaltungsrates von OMNOVA, kommentierte: „Kevin ist ein hoch integrer Manager mit starker strategischer und unternehmerischer Ausrichtung. Wir danken Kevin für die vielen Jahre als Manager und sein Engagement für OMNOVA, sowohl als Chief Executive Officer als auch als Vorsitzender. Er war bei seiner Beurteilung des Markt- und Konkurrenzumfeldes unermüdlich aggressiv und hat die zum Erfolg des Unternehmens erforderlichen Schritte eingeleitet. Er hinterlässt ein Unternehmen mit einer gut konzipierten Strategie und einem starken Führungsteam. Im Namen des gesamten Verwaltungsrates von OMNOVA möchte ich ihm unseren Dank für seine hervorragende Arbeit aussprechen und ihm viel Erfolg wünschen. Er wird uns fehlen." Die von McMullen in den Jahren eingeleiteten Initiativen stellten die Präsenz und Ertragskraft von OMNOVA trotz zahlreicher marktwirtschaftlicher Herausforderungen sicher. Als McMullen das Unternehmen übernahm, war es vorwiegend in den USA tätig und er verwandelte OMNOVA in einen Weltkonzern. Heute vertreibt OMNOVA, unterstützt von Produktions- und Technologiezentren auf drei Kontinenten, seine Produkte in mehr als 90 Ländern. Er startete Initiativen zur dramatischen Ausweitung der Technologie von OMNOVA, um die Position des Unternehmens als wertsteigender Lösungsanbieter nennenswert zu verbessern. McMullen, 56, kam im Jahr 1996 als President des Geschäftsfeldes Decorative and Building Products zum Unternehmen. Im Jahr 2000 wurde er Chief Executive Officer des Unternehmens und im Jahr 2001 Vorsitzender des Verwaltungsrates. Vor seiner Tätigkeit bei OMNOVA arbeitete McMullen für GE und McKinsey & Co. „Ich bin stolz darauf, wo OMNOVA heute als Unternehmen positioniert ist", sagte McMullen. „Unser Spezialgeschäft ist auf Marktwachstum vorbereitet, unsere Bilanz ist erheblich gestärkt und wir haben soeben einen weitreichenden strategischen Planungsprozess abgeschlossen, der zahlreiche interessante und langfristige Chancen aufzeigt. Das Unternehmen ist hervorragend für die langfristige Schaffung von nennenswertem Shareholder Value positioniert." Er fügte hinzu: „Wir haben ein starkes und engagiertes Team, das mir sicher fehlen wird. Aber ich bin noch relativ jung und möchte andere Interessen verfolgen. Die Zeit ist jetzt reif, genau das zu tun." Noonan, 53, ist derzeit President des Geschäftsfeldes Performance Chemicals von OMNOVA. Unter ihrer Leitung konnte das Geschäftsfeld sein Finanzergebnis erheblich steigern. Das Ergebnis wurde durch die aggressive Umsetzung der Anpassung der Produktionspräsenz und die Neugestaltung des Geschäftsmodells erzielt, die zu Kosteneinsparungen von $ 10 Millionen pro Jahr führten und gleichzeitig eine wettbewerbsfähige „Blaupause" für künftiges Wachstum bei Spezialprodukten schufen. Des Weiteren konnte Sie durch die Konzentration auf Innovation und Commercial Excellence mit erfolgreichen Marktspezialisten und einer wiederbelebten Innovationspipeline die Grundlage für beschleunigtes Wachstum bei Spezialprodukten schaffen. „Wir sind überzeugt, dass Anne weiterhin Mehrwert für unsere Aktionäre erzielen wird. Anne ist eine erfolgreiche Managerin mit umfassenden Kenntnissen über die Chemiebranche und OMNOVA", sagte Merriman. „Sie kann aufgrund ihres Managementstils, ihrer Kundenorientierung und ihrer Konzentration auf Wertschöpfung nennenswerte Erfolge bei umwälzenden Veränderungen und Leistungssteigerung vorweisen. Wir sind froh, dass sie zugstimmt hat, OMNOVA zu leiten und freuen uns auf ihre Beiträge zum Wohle des Unternehmens und des Verwaltungsrates." Noonan verfügt über fast 30 Jahre Erfahrung in der Chemiebranche. Bevor sie 2014 zu OMNOVA kam, war Noonan als Senior Vice President und President des Geschäftsfeldes Industrial Engineered Products von Chemtura Corporation und einen Umsatz von mehr als $ 1 Milliarde verantwortlich. Während ihrer 27-jährigen Tätigkeit bei Chemtura und dessen Vorgängerunternehmen Great Lakes Chemical Corporation übernahm Noonan Aufgaben mit ständig steigender Verantwortung in den Bereichen Übernahmen und Fusionen, strategische Geschäftsentwicklung, Marketing, Vertrieb und Technologie. Sie begann ihre Karriere als Analytical Research Chemist bei McNeil Specialty Chemicals Company und Squibb-Linson, Co. Sie erwarb ihren M.Sc. in metallorganischer Chemie und ihren B.Sc. Honors in Chemie am University College Dublin, Irland. Noonan ist seit 2015 Mitglied des Verwaltungsrates von CF Industries (NYSE: CF) sowie des Verwaltungsrates des American Chemistry Council. Noonan sagte: „Ich bin über die Möglichkeit stolz, OMNOVA zu leiten und freue mich auf die Zusammenarbeit mit dem engagierten, talentierten Team bei der Positionierung des Unternehmens als weltweit führenden, innovativen Anbieter von Speziallösungen. Kevin hat eine solide Basis für den weiteren Aufbau geschaffen und ein Unternehmen entwickelt und geleitet, das sich für seine Kunden, Mitarbeitenden, Gemeinschaften und Aktionäre engagiert." William R. Seelbach, 68, folgt McMullen als Vorsitzender von OMNOVA nach. Seelbach ist seit 2002 nicht exekutives Mitglied des Verwaltungsrates von OMNOVA. Seelbach ist Senior Advisor von Riverside Company, des größten Privat Equity-Unternehmens der Welt, das sich auf Investition in Unternehmen im unteren Bereich des mittleren Marktsegments spezialisiert, und Senior Managing Director von Headwaters SC, eines Beratungsunternehmens für Privatunternehmen. Von 2003 bis 2006 war er President und Chief Executive Officer des Ohio Aerospace Institute, einer Forschungsorganisation mit dem Schwerpunkt auf Technologie. Zuvor war er President von Brush Engineered Materials, Inc., jetzt Materion Corporation, eines Herstellers von technischen Hochleistungswerkstoffen, und von 1998 bis 2002 hatte er verschiedene Managementpositionen bei Brush Wellman, Inc. inne. Seelbach war ebenfalls Vorsitzender und Chief Executive Officer von Inverness Partners, einer Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung, die auf die Übernahme und den Betrieb von Produktionsunternehmen im mittleren Westen spezialisiert ist sowie ein Partner bei McKinsey & Co. OMNOVA ist ein weltweiter Innovator von leistungssteigernden Chemieprodukten und Oberflächen, die in einer Vielfalt von kommerziellen, industriellen und Wohnbauanwendungen eingesetzt werden. Als strategischer Business-to-Business-Anbieter von Emulsionspolymeren bietet OMNOVA Spezialchemikalien sowie funktionale und dekorative Oberflächen an, die in der ganzen Welt verkauften Endprodukten führender Marken kritische Leistungseigenschaften unter dem Motto The Science in Better Brands liefern. OMNOVA erwirtschaftete in den zwölf Monaten vor dem 31. August 2016 einen Umsatz von $ 773 Millionen. Das Unternehmen beschäftigt weltweit ca. 1.950 Mitarbeitende. Besuchen Sie OMNOVA Solutions im Internet unter www.omnova.com. Aussagen in dieser Pressemitteilung, die sich nicht auf die Vergangenheit beziehen, sind zukunftsgerichtete Aussagen. Diese Aussagen beinhalten Risiken und Ungewissheiten, darunter, ohne sich darauf zu beschränken, jene hinsichtlich der betrieblichen Tätigkeit des Unternehmens sowie anderer Punkte, die unter Risikofaktoren und an anderen Stellen des Jahresberichtes des Unternehmens auf Formular 10-K für das am 30. November 2015 geendete Geschäftsjahr sowie in danach bei der U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission auf Formular 10-Q eingereichten Quartalsberichten genauer aufgeführt sind. Falls eines oder mehrere dieser Risiken und Ungewissheiten eintreten (oder sich die Auswirkungen solcher Entwicklungen als schlechter erweisen) oder sich die zugrunde liegenden Annahmen als falsch herausstellen sollten, könnten die tatsächlichen Ergebnisse erheblich von den vorhergesagten oder erwarteten abweichen. Das Unternehmen beabsichtigt und verpflichtet sich nicht, zukunftsweisende Aussagen aufgrund neuer Informationen, zukünftiger Ereignisse oder anderer Umstände zu aktualisieren oder anzupassen.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2011.2.1.5-1 | Award Amount: 8.94M | Year: 2011
The TURaS project aims to bring together urban communities, researchers, local authorities and SMEs to research, develop, demonstrate and disseminate transition strategies and scenarios to enable European cities and their rural interfaces to build vitally-needed resilience in the face of significant sustainability challenges. To ensure maximum impact, the TURaS project has developed an innovative twinning approach bringing together decision makers in local authorities with SMEs and academics to ensure meaningful results and real change are implemented over the duration of the project. 11 local authorities or local development agencies are involved as partners in the project and they will orient research and development from the outset towards the priority sustainability and resilience challenges facing their cities. 9 leading academic research institutions and 6 SMEs will work with these cities helping them to reduce their urban ecological footprint through proposing new visions, feasiblity strategies, spatial scenarios and guidance tools to help cities address these challenges. The specific challenges addressed in TURaS include: climate change adaptation and mitigation; natural resource shortage and unprecedented urban growth. Over the five year duration of the project, the feasibility of these new approaches will be tested in selected case study neighbourhoods and new measures to enable adaptive governance, collaborative decision-making, and behavioural change towards resilient and sustainable European cities will be tested. The impact of these new approaches will be measured and results compared between participating cities before a final set of strategies and tools will be developed for demonstration, dissemination and exploitation in other European cities. SMEs are highly involved in all work packages of the project and specific measures have been put in place to ensure the optimal economic impact of the project is achieved.
News Article | February 13, 2017
SCOR Global Life announces the following promotions, with immediate effect: Paolo De Martin, Chief Executive Officer of SCOR Global Life, comments: "With today's promotions we continue to optimally position SCOR Global Life for the execution of the "Vision in Action" strategic plan. The newly created role of Chief Actuary will ensure strong coordination across our actuarial and risk management teams as we grow and develop in new business areas. These promotions in the Americas confirm that our clients can count on a strong management team in this important region, where we have key market leadership positions." Denis Kessler, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of SCOR, comments: "The promotions we have announced today once again demonstrate the strength, depth and diversity of our management team and our ability to retain and promote the best talent within our organization." Brona Magee, an Irish citizen, holds a Bachelor of Actuarial and Financial Studies degree from University College Dublin. Brona moved to Charlotte USA to take the positon of CFO - Americas at SCOR Global Life in 2013 and in 2015 was promoted to Deputy CEO - Americas. Prior to that Brona was the CFO for SCOR Global Life Reinsurance Ireland from 2011 to 2013. From 2006 to 2011 she worked for Transamerica International Reinsurance Ireland, which was acquired by SCOR in 2011. Brona is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries in Ireland. Brock Robbins, a Canadian citizen, holds an Actuarial Science degree from the University of Waterloo, Canada. Brock joined SCOR in 2011 with the acquisition of Transamerica Reinsurance and took the role of Chief Pricing Officer - Americas at SCOR Global Life. In 2015 Brock was promoted to EVP Head of US Markets. Brock is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries. Tammy Kapeller, a United States Citizen, holds a degree in Actuarial Science from the University of Nebraska and a Master's Degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Tammy joined SCOR Global Life in 2013 with the acquisition of Generali USA and has been Chief Operating Officer for the Americas since then. Tammy is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries. Sean Hartley, a United States Citizen born in South Africa, holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics and Finance from the University of South Carolina. Sean joined SCOR Global Life in 2014 as Vice President of Human Resources for the Americas. Prior to joining SCOR Global Life, Sean gained extensive Human Resources experience working with AEGON. Sean is a Hogan-certified, LVI and Executive Coach. Prior to this role Sean was SVP of Human Resources. Nicole Baird, a United States citizen, holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Pfeiffer University and a Master's degree in Business Administration from East Carolina University. Nicole joined SCOR Global Life in 2013 as an HR Generalist and most recently held the position of HR Business Partner in the Americas. SCOR does not communicate "profit forecasts" in the sense of Article 2 of (EC) Regulation n°809/2004 of the European Commission. Thus, any forward-.looking statements contained in this communication should not be held as corresponding to such profit forecasts. Information in this communication may include "forward-looking statements", including but not limited to statements that are predictions of or indicate future events, trends, plans or objectives, based on certain assumptions and include any statement which does not directly relate to a historical fact or current fact. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words or phrases such as, without limitation, "anticipate", "assume", "believe", "continue", "estimate", "expect", "foresee", "intend", "may increase" and "may fluctuate" and similar expressions or by future or conditional verbs such as, without limitations, "will", "should", "would" and "could." Undue reliance should not be placed on such statements, because, by their nature, they are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause actual results, on the one hand, to differ from any results expressed or implied by the present communication, on the other hand. Please refer to the 2015 reference document filed on 4 March 2016 under number D.16-0108 with the French Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) posted on SCOR's website www.scor.com (the "Document de Référence"), for a description of certain important factors, risks and uncertainties that may affect the business of the SCOR Group. As a result of the extreme and unprecedented volatility and disruption of the current global financial crisis, SCOR is exposed to significant financial, capital market and other risks, including movements in interest rates, credit spreads, equity prices, and currency movements, changes in rating agency policies or practices, and the lowering or loss of financial strength or other ratings. The Group's financial information is prepared on the basis of IFRS and interpretations issued and approved by the European Union. This financial information does not constitute a set of financial statements for an interim period as defined by IAS 34 "Interim Financial Reporting". The Group's financial information is prepared on the basis of IFRS and interpretations issued and approved by the European Union. This financial information does not constitute a set of financial statements for an interim period as defined by IAS 34 "Interim Financial Reporting".
News Article | November 15, 2016
Wilmington Trust hired Caroline Magee as a senior trust sales representative for its European business development team within the Global Capital Markets division. Based in the Dublin office, she will sell a full complement of trust and agency services in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and select jurisdictions in Europe. Magee has over 25 years in business development and joins Wilmington Trust from Deutsche Bank, where she was a director of sales in the Corporate Trust group for EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa). Prior to working at Deutsche Bank, she held senior positions at ING and ABN Amro. “We’re pleased to have Caroline join our European business development team,” said Christophe Schroeder, senior vice president with Wilmington Trust’s Global Capital Markets international team. “With many years of experience selling trust and agency products across Ireland, the U.K., and other European markets, Caroline is hitting the ground running.” She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Politics from University College Dublin. Magee is based in Wilmington Trust’s office at 3 George’s Dock, International Financial Services Centre, 4th floor, Dublin 1, Ireland. She can be contacted at +353 1 7920711. ABOUT WILMINGTON TRUST Wilmington Trust, N.A. provides Corporate and Institution Services including institutional trustee, agency, asset management, retirement plan services, and administrative services for clients worldwide who use capital markets financing structures. The corporate and institutional division is distinguished from many competitors by its status as a core business of Wilmington Trust, as well as the experience and expertise of its global staff and its multi-jurisdictional presence. Wilmington Trust also provides Wealth Advisory services with a wide array of personal trust, financial planning, fiduciary, asset management, and family office solutions designed to help high-net-worth individuals and families grow, preserve, and transfer wealth. Wilmington Trust has clients in all 50 states and in more than 90 countries, with offices throughout the United States and internationally in London, Dublin, Amsterdam, Luxembourg, and Frankfurt. For more information, visit http://www.WilmingtonTrust.com. Wilmington Trust is a registered service mark. Wilmington Trust Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of M&T Bank Corporation. Wilmington Trust Company, operating in Delaware only, Wilmington Trust, N.A., M&T Bank and certain other affiliates, provide various fiduciary and non-fiduciary services, including trustee, custodial, agency, investment management and other services. International corporate and institutional services are offered through Wilmington Trust Corporation's international affiliates. Loans, credit cards, retail and business deposits, and other business and personal banking services and products are offered by M&T Bank, member FDIC.
News Article | November 23, 2016
Try, for a moment, to envisage a world without countries. Imagine a map not divided into neat, coloured patches, each with clear borders, governments, laws. Try to describe anything our society does – trade, travel, science, sport, maintaining peace and security – without mentioning countries. Try to describe yourself: you have a right to at least one nationality, and the right to change it, but not the right to have none. Those coloured patches on the map may be democracies, dictatorships or too chaotic to be either, but virtually all claim to be one thing: a nation state, the sovereign territory of a “people” or nation who are entitled to self-determination within a self-governing state. So says the United Nations, which now numbers 193 of them. And more and more peoples want their own state, from Scots voting for independence to jihadis declaring a new state in the Middle East. Many of the big news stories of the day, from conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine to rows over immigration and membership of the European Union, are linked to nation states in some way. Even as our economies globalise, nation states remain the planet’s premier political institution. Large votes for nationalist parties in this year’s EU elections prove nationalism remains alive – even as the EU tries to transcend it. Yet there is a growing feeling among economists, political scientists and even national governments that the nation state is not necessarily the best scale on which to run our affairs. We must manage vital matters like food supply and climate on a global scale, yet national agendas repeatedly trump the global good. At a smaller scale, city and regional administrations often seem to serve people better than national governments. How, then, should we organise ourselves? Is the nation state a natural, inevitable institution? Or is it a dangerous anachronism in a globalised world? These are not normally scientific questions – but that is changing. Complexity theorists, social scientists and historians are addressing them using new techniques, and the answers are not always what you might expect. Far from timeless, the nation state is a recent phenomenon. And as complexity keeps rising, it is already mutating into novel political structures. Get set for neo-medievalism. Before the late 18th century there were no real nation states, says John Breuilly of the London School of Economics. If you travelled across Europe, no one asked for your passport at borders; neither passports nor borders as we know them existed. People had ethnic and cultural identities, but these didn’t really define the political entity they lived in. That goes back to the anthropology, and psychology, of humanity’s earliest politics. We started as wandering, extended families, then formed larger bands of hunter-gatherers, and then, around 10,000 years ago, settled in farming villages. Such alliances had adaptive advantages, as people cooperated to feed and defend themselves. But they also had limits. Robin Dunbar of the University of Oxford has shown that one individual can keep track of social interactions linking no more than around 150 people. Evidence for that includes studies of villages and army units through history, and the average tally of Facebook friends. But there was one important reason to have more friends than that: war. “In small-scale societies, between 10 and 60 per cent of male deaths are attributable to warfare,” says Peter Turchin of the University of Connecticut at Storrs. More allies meant a higher chance of survival. Turchin has found that ancient Eurasian empires grew largest where fighting was fiercest, suggesting war was a major factor in political enlargement. Archaeologist Ian Morris of Stanford University in California reasons that as populations grew, people could no longer find empty lands where they could escape foes. The losers of battles were simply absorbed into the enemy’s domain – so domains grew bigger. How did they get past Dunbar’s number? Humanity’s universal answer was the invention of hierarchy. Several villages allied themselves under a chief; several chiefdoms banded together under a higher chief. To grow, these alliances added more villages, and if necessary more layers of hierarchy. Hierarchies meant leaders could coordinate large groups without anyone having to keep personal track of more than 150 people. In addition to their immediate circle, an individual interacted with one person from a higher level in the hierarchy, and typically eight people from lower levels, says Turchin. These alliances continued to enlarge and increase in complexity in order to perform more kinds of collective actions, says Yaneer Bar-Yam of the New England Complex Systems Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For a society to survive, its collective behaviour must be as complex as the challenges it faces – including competition from neighbours. If one group adopted a hierarchical society, its competitors also had to. Hierarchies spread and social complexity grew. Larger hierarchies not only won more wars but also fed more people through economies of scale, which enabled technical and social innovations such as irrigation, food storage, record-keeping and a unifying religion. Cities, kingdoms and empires followed. But these were not nation states. A conquered city or region could be subsumed into an empire regardless of its inhabitants’ “national” identity. “The view of the state as a necessary framework for politics, as old as civilisation itself, does not stand up to scrutiny,” says historian Andreas Osiander of the University of Leipzig in Germany. “The view of the state as a necessary framework for politics does not stand up” One key point is that agrarian societies required little actual governing. Nine people in 10 were peasants who had to farm or starve, so were largely self-organising. Government intervened to take its cut, enforce basic criminal law and keep the peace within its undisputed territories. Otherwise its main role was to fight to keep those territories, or acquire more. Even quite late on, rulers spent little time governing, says Osiander. In the 17th century Louis XIV of France had half a million troops fighting foreign wars but only 2000 keeping order at home. In the 18th century, the Dutch and Swiss needed no central government at all. Many eastern European immigrants arriving in the US in the 19th century could say what village they came from, but not what country: it didn’t matter to them. Before the modern era, says Breuilly, people defined themselves “vertically” by who their rulers were. There was little horizontal interaction between peasants beyond local markets. Whoever else the king ruled over, and whether those people were anything like oneself, was largely irrelevant. Such systems are very different from today’s states, which have well-defined boundaries filled with citizens. In a system of vertical loyalties, says Breuilly, power peaks where the overlord lives and peters out in frontier territories that shade into neighbouring regions. Ancient empires are coloured on modern maps as if they had firm borders, but they didn’t. Moreover, people and territories often came under different jurisdictions for different purposes. Such loose control, says Bar-Yam, meant pre-modern political units were only capable of scaling up a few simple actions such as growing food, fighting battles, collecting tribute and keeping order. Some, like the Roman Empire, did this on a very large scale. But complexity – the different actions society could collectively perform – was relatively low. Complexity was limited by the energy a society could harness. For most of history that essentially meant human and animal labour. In the late Middle Ages, Europe harnessed more, especially water power. This boosted social complexity – trade increased, for example– requiring more government. A decentralised feudal system gave way to centralised monarchies with more power. But these were still not nation states. Monarchies were defined by who ruled them, and rulers were defined by mutual recognition – or its converse, near-constant warfare. In Europe, however, as trade grew, monarchs discovered they could get more power from wealth than war. In 1648, Europe’s Peace of Westphalia ended centuries of war by declaring existing kingdoms, empires and other polities “sovereign”: none was to interfere in the internal affairs of others. This was a step towards modern states – but these sovereign entities were still not defined by their peoples’ national identities. International law is said to date from the Westphalia treaty, yet the word “international” was not coined until 132 years later. By then Europe had hit the tipping point of the industrial revolution. Harnessing vastly more energy from coal meant that complex behaviours performed by individuals, such as weaving, could be amplified, says Bar-Yam, producing much more complex collective behaviours. This demanded a different kind of government. In 1776 and 1789, revolutions in the US and France created the first nation states, defined by the national identity of their citizens rather than the bloodlines of their rulers. According to one landmark history of the period, says Breuilly, “in 1800 almost nobody in France thought of themselves as French. By 1900 they all did.” For various reasons, people in England had an earlier sense of “Englishness”, he says, but it was not expressed as a nationalist ideology. By 1918, with the dismemberment of Europe’s last multinational empires such as the Habsburgs in the first world war, European state boundaries had been redrawn largely along cultural and linguistic lines. In Europe at least, the nation state was the new norm. Part of the reason was a pragmatic adaptation of the scale of political control required to run an industrial economy. Unlike farming, industry needs steel, coal and other resources which are not uniformly distributed, so many micro-states were no longer viable. Meanwhile, empires became unwieldy as they industrialised and needed more actual governing. So in 19th-century Europe, micro-states fused and empires split. These new nation states were justified not merely as economically efficient, but as the fulfilment of their inhabitants’ national destiny. A succession of historians has nonetheless concluded that it was the states that defined their respective nations, and not the other way around. France, for example, was not the natural expression of a pre-existing French nation. At the revolution in 1789, half its residents did not speak French. In 1860, when Italy unified, only 2.5 per cent of residents regularly spoke standard Italian. Its leaders spoke French to each other. One famously said that, having created Italy, they now had to create Italians – a process many feel is still taking place. “At the revolution in 1789, half of France’s residents did not speak French” Sociologist Siniša Maleševic of University College Dublin in Ireland believes that this “nation building” was a key step in the evolution of modern nation states. It required the creation of an ideology of nationalism that emotionally equated the nation with people’s Dunbar circle of family and friends. That in turn relied heavily on mass communication technologies. In an influential analysis, Benedict Anderson of Cornell University in New York described nations as “imagined” communities: they far outnumber our immediate circle and we will never meet them all, yet people will die for their nation as they would for their family. Such nationalist feelings, he argued, arose after mass-market books standardised vernaculars and created linguistic communities. Newspapers allowed people to learn about events of common concern, creating a large “horizontal” community that was previously impossible. National identity was also deliberately fostered by state-funded mass education. The key factor driving this ideological process, Maleševic says, was an underlying structural one: the development of far-reaching bureaucracies needed to run complex industrialised societies. For example, says Breuilly, in the 1880s Prussia became the first government to pay unemployment benefits. At first they were paid only in a worker’s native village, where identification was not a problem. As people migrated for work, benefits were made available anywhere in Prussia. “It wasn’t until then that they had to establish who a Prussian was,” he says, and they needed bureaucracy to do it. Citizenship papers, censuses and policed borders followed. That meant hierarchical control structures ballooned, with more layers of middle management. Such bureaucracy was what really brought people together in nation-sized units, argues Maleševic. But not by design: it emerged out of the behaviour of complex hierarchical systems. As people do more kinds of activities, says Bar-Yam, the control structure of their society inevitably becomes denser. In the emerging nation state, that translates into more bureaucrats per head of population. Being tied into such close bureaucratic control also encouraged people to feel personal ties with the state, especially as ties to church and village declined. As governments exerted greater control, people got more rights, such as voting, in return. For the first time, people felt the state was theirs. Once Europe had established the nation state model and prospered, says Breuilly, everyone wanted to follow suit. In fact it’s hard now to imagine that there could be another way. But is a structure that grew spontaneously out of the complexity of the industrial revolution really the best way to manage our affairs? According to Brian Slattery of York University in Toronto, Canada, nation states still thrive on a widely held belief that “the world is naturally made of distinct, homogeneous national or tribal groups which occupy separate portions of the globe, and claim most people’s primary allegiance”. But anthropological research does not bear that out, he says. Even in tribal societies, ethnic and cultural pluralism has always been widespread. Multilingualism is common, cultures shade into each other, and language and cultural groups are not congruent. Moreover, people always have a sense of belonging to numerous different groups based on region, culture, background and more. “The claim that a person’s identity and well-being is tied in a central way to the well-being of the national group is wrong as a simple matter of historical fact,” says Slattery. Perhaps it is no wonder, then, that the nation-state model fails so often: since 1960 there have been more than 180 civil wars worldwide. Such conflicts are often blamed on ethnic or sectarian tensions. Failed states, such as Syria right now, are typically riven by violence along such lines. According to the idea that nation states should contain only one nation, such failures have often been blamed on the colonial legacy of bundling together many peoples within unnatural boundaries. But for every Syria or Iraq there is a Singapore, Malaysia or Tanzania, getting along okay despite having several “national” groups. Immigrant states in Australia and the Americas, meanwhile, forged single nations out of massive initial diversity. What makes the difference? It turns out that while ethnicity and language are important, what really matters is bureaucracy. This is clear in the varying fates of the independent states that emerged as Europe’s overseas empires fell apart after the second world war. According to the mythology of nationalism, all they needed was a territory, a flag, a national government and UN recognition. In fact what they really needed was complex bureaucracy. Some former colonies that had one became stable democracies, notably India. Others did not, especially those such as the former Belgian Congo, whose colonial rulers had merely extracted resources. Many of these became dictatorships, which require a much simpler bureaucracy than democracies. Dictatorships exacerbate ethnic strife because their institutions do not promote citizens’ identification with the nation. In such situations, people fall back on trusted alliances based on kinship, which readily elicit Dunbar-like loyalties. Insecure governments allied to ethnic groups favour their own, while grievances among the disfavoured groups grow – and the resulting conflict can be fierce. Recent research confirms that the problem is not ethnic diversity itself, but not enough official inclusiveness. Countries with little historic ethnic diversity are now having to learn that on the fly, as people migrate to find jobs within a globalised economy. How that pans out may depend on whether people self-segregate. Humans like being around people like themselves, and ethnic enclaves can be the result. Jennifer Neal of Michigan State University in East Lansing has used agent-based modelling to look at the effect of this in city neighbourhoods. Her work suggests that enclaves promote social cohesion, but at the cost of decreasing tolerance between groups. Small enclaves in close proximity may be the solution. But at what scale? Bar-Yam says communities where people are well mixed – such as in peaceable Singapore, where enclaves are actively discouraged – tend not to have ethnic strife. Larger enclaves can also foster stability. Using mathematical models to correlate the size of enclaves with the incidences of ethnic strife in India, Switzerland and the former Yugoslavia, he found that enclaves 56 kilometres or more wide make for peaceful coexistence – especially if they are separated by natural geographical barriers, Switzerland’s 26 cantons, for example, which have different languages and religions, meet Bar-Yam’s spatial stability test – except one. A French-speaking enclave in German-speaking Berne experienced the only major unrest in recent Swiss history. It was resolved by making it a separate canton, Jura, which meets the criteria. Again, though, ethnicity and language are only part of the story. Lars-Erik Cederman of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich argues that Swiss cantons have achieved peace not by geographical adjustment of frontiers, but by political arrangements giving cantons considerable autonomy and a part in collective decisions. Similarly, using a recently compiled database to analyse civil wars since 1960, Cederman finds that strife is indeed more likely in countries that are more ethnically diverse. But careful analysis confirms that trouble arises not from diversity alone, but when certain groups are systematically excluded from power. Governments with ethnicity-based politics were especially vulnerable. The US set up just such a government in Iraq after the 2003 invasion. Exclusion of Sunni by Shiites led to insurgents declaring a Sunni state in occupied territory in Iraq and Syria. True to nation-state mythology, it rejects the colonial boundaries of Iraq and Syria, as they force dissimilar “nations” together. Yet the solution cannot be imposing ethnic uniformity. Historically, so-called ethnic cleansing has been uniquely bloody, and “national” uniformity is no guarantee of harmony. In any case, there is no good definition of an ethnic group. Many people’s ethnicities are mixed and change with the political weather: the numbers who claimed to be German in the Czech Sudetenland territory annexed by Hitler changed dramatically before and after the war. Russian claims to Russian-speakers in eastern Ukraine now may be equally flimsy. Both Bar-Yam’s and Cederman’s research suggests one answer to diversity within nation states: devolve power to local communities, as multicultural states such as Belgium and Canada have done. “We need a conception of the state as a place where multiple affiliations and languages and religions may be safe and flourish,” says Slattery. “That is the ideal Tanzania has embraced and it seems to be working reasonably well.” Tanzania has more than 120 ethnic groups and about 100 languages. In the end, what may matter more than ethnicity, language or religion is economic scale. The scale needed to prosper may have changed with technology – tiny Estonia is a high-tech winner – but a small state may still not pack enough economic power to compete. That is one reason why Estonia is such an enthusiastic member of the European Union. After the devastating wars in the 20th century, European countries tried to prevent further war by integrating their basic industries. That project, which became the European Union, now primarily offers member states profitable economies of scale, through manufacturing and selling in the world’s largest single market. What the EU fails to inspire is nationalist-style allegiance – which Maleševic thinks nowadays relies on the “banal” nationalism of sport, anthems, TV news programmes, even song contests. That means Europeans’ allegiances are no longer identified with the political unit that handles much of their government. Ironically, says Jan Zielonka of the University of Oxford, the EU has saved Europe’s nation states, which are now too small to compete individually. The call by nationalist parties to “take back power from Brussels”, he argues, would lead to weaker countries, not stronger ones. He sees a different problem. Nation states grew out of the complex hierarchies of the industrial revolution. The EU adds another layer of hierarchy – but without enough underlying integration to wield decisive power. It lacks both of Maleševic’s necessary conditions: nationalist ideology and pervasive integrating bureaucracy. Even so, the EU may point the way to what a post-nation-state world will look like. Zielonka agrees that further integration of Europe’s governing systems is needed as economies become more interdependent. But he says Europe’s often-paralysed hierarchy cannot achieve this. Instead he sees the replacement of hierarchy by networks of cities, regions and even non-governmental organisations. Sound familiar? Proponents call it neo-medievalism. “The future structure and exercise of political power will resemble the medieval model more than the Westphalian one,” Zielonka says. “The latter is about concentration of power, sovereignty and clear-cut identity.” Neo-medievalism, on the other hand, means overlapping authorities, divided sovereignty, multiple identities and governing institutions, and fuzzy borders. “The future exercise of power will resemble the medieval model” Anne-Marie Slaughter of Princeton University, a former US assistant secretary of state, also sees hierarchies giving way to global networks primarily of experts and bureaucrats from nation states. For example, governments now work more through flexible networks such as the G7 (or 8, or 20) to manage global problems than through the UN hierarchy. Ian Goldin, head of the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford, which analyses global problems, thinks such networks must emerge. He believes existing institutions such as UN agencies and the World Bank are structurally unable to deal with problems that emerge from global interrelatedness, such as economic instability, pandemics, climate change and cybersecurity – partly because they are hierarchies of member states which themselves cannot deal with these global problems. He quotes Slaughter: “Networked problems require a networked response.” Again, the underlying behaviour of systems and the limits of the human brain explain why. Bar-Yam notes that in any hierarchy, the person at the top has to be able to get their head around the whole system. When systems are too complex for one human mind to grasp, he argues that they must evolve from hierarchies into networks where no one person is in charge. Where does this leave nation states? “They remain the main containers of power in the world,” says Breuilly. And we need their power to maintain the personal security that has permitted human violence to decline to all-time lows. Moreover, says Dani Rodrik of Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study, the very globalised economy that is allowing these networks to emerge needs something or somebody to write and enforce the rules. Nation states are currently the only entities powerful enough to do this. Yet their limitations are clear, both in solving global problems and resolving local conflicts. One solution may be to pay more attention to the scale of government. Known as subsidiarity, this is a basic principle of the EU: the idea that government should act at the level where it is most effective, with local government for local problems and higher powers at higher scales. There is empirical evidence that it works: social and ecological systems can be better governed when their users self-organise than when they are run by outside leaders. However, it is hard to see how our political system can evolve coherently in that direction. Nation states could get in the way of both devolution to local control and networking to achieve global goals. With climate change, it is arguable that they already have. There is an alternative to evolving towards a globalised world of interlocking networks, neo-medieval or not, and that is collapse. “Most hierarchical systems tend to become top-heavy, expensive and incapable of responding to change,” says Marten Scheffer of Wageningen University in the Netherlands. “The resulting tension may be released through partial collapse.” For nation states, that could mean anything from the renewed pre-eminence of cities to Iraq-style anarchy. An uncertain prospect, but there is an upside. Collapse, say some, is the creative destruction that allows new structures to emerge. Like it or not, our societies may already be undergoing this transition. We cannot yet imagine there are no countries. But recognising that they were temporary solutions to specific historical situations can only help us manage a transition to whatever we need next. Whether or not our nations endure, the structures through which we govern our affairs are due for a change. Time to start imagining. Leader: “In our world beyond nations, the future is medieval” This article appeared in print under the headline “Imagine there’s no countries…”
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: SGA-RIA | Phase: FETFLAGSHIP | Award Amount: 89.00M | Year: 2016
This project is the second in the series of EC-financed parts of the Graphene Flagship. The Graphene Flagship is a 10 year research and innovation endeavour with a total project cost of 1,000,000,000 euros, funded jointly by the European Commission and member states and associated countries. The first part of the Flagship was a 30-month Collaborative Project, Coordination and Support Action (CP-CSA) under the 7th framework program (2013-2016), while this and the following parts are implemented as Core Projects under the Horizon 2020 framework. The mission of the Graphene Flagship is to take graphene and related layered materials from a state of raw potential to a point where they can revolutionise multiple industries. This will bring a new dimension to future technology a faster, thinner, stronger, flexible, and broadband revolution. Our program will put Europe firmly at the heart of the process, with a manifold return on the EU investment, both in terms of technological innovation and economic growth. To realise this vision, we have brought together a larger European consortium with about 150 partners in 23 countries. The partners represent academia, research institutes and industries, which work closely together in 15 technical work packages and five supporting work packages covering the entire value chain from materials to components and systems. As time progresses, the centre of gravity of the Flagship moves towards applications, which is reflected in the increasing importance of the higher - system - levels of the value chain. In this first core project the main focus is on components and initial system level tasks. The first core project is divided into 4 divisions, which in turn comprise 3 to 5 work packages on related topics. A fifth, external division acts as a link to the parts of the Flagship that are funded by the member states and associated countries, or by other funding sources. This creates a collaborative framework for the entire Flagship.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ECSEL-IA | Phase: ECSEL-17-2015 | Award Amount: 64.82M | Year: 2016
ENABLE-S3 will pave the way for accelerated application of highly automated and autonomous systems in the mobility domains automotive, aerospace, rail and maritime as well as in the health care domain. Virtual testing, verification and coverage-oriented test selection methods will enable validation with reasonable efforts. The resulting validation framework will ensure Europeans Industry competitiveness in the global race of automated systems with an expected market potential of 60B in 2025. Project results will be used to propose standardized validation procedures for highly automated systems (ACPS). The technical objectives addressed are: 1. Provision of a test and validation framework that proves the functionality, safety and security of ACPS with at least 50% less test effort than required in classical testing. 2. Promotion of a new technique for testing of automated systems with physical sensor signal stimuli generators, which will be demonstrated for at least 3 physical stimuli generators. 3. Raising significantly the level of dependability of automated systems due to provision of a holistic test and validation platform and systematic coverage measures, which will reduce the probability of malfunction behavior of automated systems to 10E-9/h. 4. Provision of a validation environment for rapid re-qualification, which will allow reuse of validation scenarios in at least 3 development stages. 5. Establish open standards to speed up the adoption of the new validation tools and methods for ACPS. 6. Enabling safe, secure and functional ACPS across domains. 7. Creation of an eco-system for the validation and verification of automated systems in the European industry. ENABLE-S3 is strongly industry-driven. Realistic and relevant industrial use-cases from smart mobility and smart health will define the requirements to be addressed and assess the benefits of the technological progress.
News Article | February 23, 2017
Asian Horned frogs account for approximately half of the ancient family of frogs called Megophryidae. This group was previously estimated to have originated 100-126 million years ago (mya). Frogs of this family hopped alongside the famed Velociraptors and other dinosaurs during the Cretaceous period (145-66 mya). Despite the fact that these animals have been around for a long time, little is known about their evolutionary history. Furthermore, unlike their dinosaur contemporaries, these frogs did not leave behind any known fossils. Methods using information from DNA sequences exist for estimating the age of origin for such groups of animals but these methods rely heavily on fossils of related animal groups, which could prove unreliable for these species. New research recently published in the scientific journal, Molecular Biology and Evolution, by a team of scientists from Ireland and India resolved a 195-year old confusion regarding relationships between the species of Asian Horned Frogs, an enigmatic group of frogs often with horn-like projections over their eyes. Using DNA sequences, they discovered many potentially new species in this group previously unknown to science. They also estimated the ages of species and groups of species using a method that had previously not been tried on amphibians and inadvertently discovered that until now scientists may have been overestimating the age of many frog families. Their discovery may open a new chapter on how scientists interpret the evolutionary history of many animals that currently have no known fossil record. "While this research particularly focused on frogs, many other animal groups also lack a fossil record, and so its very difficult to decipher their evolutionary histories. Our hope is that methods used here will prove beneficial for understanding how the distant ancestors of living animals may have coexisted in prehistoric times," explains lead author Dr. Stephen Mahony. The research team was led by Ireland's leading herpetologist, Dr. Stephen Mahony (previously of University College Dublin [UCD], Ireland and University of Delhi [DU], India), and a prominent mammal molecular evolutionary biologist, Prof. Emma Teeling (UCD). A PhD student of Prof. Teeling, Nicole Foley (UCD), and the "Frogman of India", Prof. SD Biju (DU) were co-authors on this research publication. The scientists demonstrated that a recently developed method called RelTime, that does not require fossil information, provided comparatively better age estimates for frogs. Their results correlate well with current knowledge on prehistoric biogeography--distribution of animals in space and time, considering tectonic plate movements, the rise of mountain ranges and palaeoclimatic changes--that may have influenced the evolutionary history of Asian Horned Frogs. This research project was envisaged by Dr. Mahony in 2006 after he discovered that one widely distributed 'species' appeared to represent several similar but scientifically 'new' distinct species. Six of these species from Thailand, Cambodia and India, were formally described as new to science between 2009 and 2013 from his (and his colleagues) previous research. Since then, Stephen embarked on the most extensive research to have ever been carried out on this group of frogs. He did so by examining and measuring hundreds of specimens from museums in Asia, Europe and the US, and used DNA gene sequences to determine how these species are related. These new results indicate that the Asian Horned Frogs family may have originated as recently as 77 million years ago in contrast to 100-126 mya as previously estimated, and suggest that scientists might have been also overestimating the age of many other families of frogs by up to 35%. The results have completely changed our understanding of how the different Asian Horned Frog species and their species groups are related. Many of the species that look similar, and so were considered to be closely related, were found to be distant relatives of each other, and those that look different were found to be closely related. Finally, the results of this research have identified numerous species in India, Vietnam and Laos that are very likely new to science, several of which may be restricted to small distributions in vulnerable habitats. This raises concerns for their continued survival as "having a name" is the bedrock for conservation. "It is well known that Amphibians are one of the most endangered animal groups. Our research further demonstrates that many species remain undiscovered. Sadly, with climate change and continuing habitat destruction, we are losing many species before we can learn anything about them, but the use of molecular techniques is dramatically speeding up the learning process." says Mahony. The research was funded by the Irish Research Council Embark Scholarship, European Research Council, Department of Science and Technology Purse Grant from the Government of India and Research and Development grants from the University of Delhi. Mahony, S., Foley, N.M., Biju, S.D., Teeling, E.C. (2017) Evolutionary History of the Asian Horned Frogs (Megophryinae): Integrative Approaches to Timetree Dating in the Absence of a Fossil Record. Molecular Biology and Evolution. DOI: https:/
News Article | February 21, 2017
City officials worldwide are bursting blood vessels trying to figure out how to create their own version of Silicon Valley. From the Silicon Hills in Austin, Texas to Silicon Alley in NYC, the Silicon Docks in Ireland’s capital city to Silicon “Wadi” in Israel, potential new global tech hubs are popping up everywhere. Having the right ingredients for innovation to flourish on a scale similar to Silicon Valley will take more than stealing the moniker. The formal elements — an open economy, regulation that supports enterprise, a creative culture and easy access to capital — are the parts of the puzzle that could be implemented anywhere. However, the key ingredient underpinning Silicon Valley’s success, many believe, has been the steady flow of skilled engineers — with an entrepreneurial mindset — coming out of Stanford University. “SV was largely driven by Stanford University — it has become a magnet for attracting the best talent in tech,” says Dr. Damien McLoughlin, professor of marketing and associate dean at University College Dublin (UCD) Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School in Ireland. “As an educator, it does make me wonder what universities elsewhere should be doing differently. Just a few decades ago, all the smartest people worked for universities. Today they’re all in startups.” For tech hubs to thrive, a city or region needs a nearby university, with a strong research and engineering tradition, providing a constant supply of skilled graduates. However, that isn’t enough. “There must also be a culture of tech commercialization within any nearby university,” says Chuck Eesley, assistant professor at Stanford’s Department of Management Science & Engineering and affiliated faculty member at the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. “There’s no place for the Ivory Tower academic mindset, or the idea that commercialization somehow gets your hands dirty.” University incubators are already responsible for the commercialization of academic research output. But, in most cases, their influence is minor and peripheral. “Perhaps the university of tomorrow should be more like one big incubator,” suggests McLoughlin. By fostering an environment where tech startups and tech entrepreneurs can engage with university academics and students openly, and ideas can be shared more fluidly by industry and academia, one can achieve greater levels of innovation. Universities used to be where the smartest people in the world went to exchange ideas. Some spent their whole lives there as faculty and helped steer the brightest and best young students who passed through during their tenure. The role of the 21st century educational institution has changed. “In the past, the most important academic questions focused around the meaning of life and why we exist,” says McLoughlin. “Today the questions have changed, with one of the most important being: how do we engage with tech to make society better? If you ask me where the ideal place would be to try and answer fundamental questions like this in a truly independent way, the university is the obvious location. Is Stanford an already existing example of one such great, big incubator? “There’s definitely a special set of ingredients that came together here for the kind of high-tech entrepreneurship to emerge in SV,” says Eesley. “There are other institutions with great engineering programs, like Caltech and Carnegie Mellon University, but they haven’t been able to achieve the same level of commercialization. They have great breakthroughs, but something is missing.” It’s also critical that university policy makes it simple for faculty members and/or students to commercialize research. If institution authorities are overly concerned with royalties and ensuring they negotiate the biggest piece of the IP pie for the alma mater, they’re unlikely to encourage entrepreneurship from within. “I have experience in this area at both MIT and Stanford,” says Eesley. “MIT used to focus on negotiating as good a deal as possible for the university in every situation. Now their focus is on maximizing the number of deals getting done on campus. That is key to enabling true entrepreneurship in an academic setting.” Bringing in former alumni who became entrepreneurs to mentor also has an impact. “We did studies of mentorship where we randomized which students were matched with entrepreneurs or with VCs, and various other alumni who may have had successful careers but who never actually started a business,” says Eesley. “The ones with entrepreneurs for mentors were far more likely to start an early-stage startup upon graduation.” Eesley isn’t suggesting what’s happened (and continues to happen) in the southern Bay Area isn’t possible elsewhere. “Tech hubs can emerge in almost any location,” he says. “We know this because the centers of innovation of the past in the U.S. were places like Detroit and Cleveland. Just a few short decades ago, if you were a young, talented engineer, these were the cities you were drawn to.” With little to ostensibly offer in an educational system driven even more by commercial interests, the arts and humanities would presumably suffer most, and be considered to have even less value than they already do. McLoughlin disagrees. “In this context, engaging more with tech startups only appears as a prioritization of business and commerce above all else on a superficial level. The arts give us access to our cultural life and the culture of society,” he says. “If the incubator model were to be adopted in an overall university setting, the arts would thrive. The social sciences, in particular, would be put to the fore in the development of new tech and people would think more about the consequences of new innovations. Many of the negative aspects of life in the digital age could be avoided or minimized if there were more independent input during the design stages of new tech. If innovation was driven as much by universities as it is by startups, we would all benefit.”
Kibler B.,University of Burgundy |
Fatome J.,University of Burgundy |
Finot C.,University of Burgundy |
Millot G.,University of Burgundy |
And 5 more authors.
Nature Physics | Year: 2010
The Peregrine soliton is a localized nonlinear structure predicted to exist over 25 years ago, but not so far experimentally observed in any physical system. It is of fundamental significance because it is localized in both time and space, and because it defines the limit of a wide class of solutions to the nonlinear SchrÃ ¶dinger equation (NLSE). Here, we use an analytic description of NLSE breather propagation to implement experiments in optical fibre generating femtosecond pulses with strong temporal and spatial localization, and near-ideal temporal Peregrine soliton characteristics. In showing that Peregrine soliton characteristics appear with initial conditions that do not correspond to the mathematical ideal, our results may impact widely on studies of hydrodynamic wave instabilities where the Peregrine soliton is considered a freak-wave prototype. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
Rauch J.,University College Dublin |
Kolch W.,University College Dublin |
Laurent S.,University of Mons |
Mahmoudi M.,Tehran University of Medical Sciences |
Mahmoudi M.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2013
Nanoscience is recognized as an emerging science of objects that have at least one dimension ranging from a few nanometers to less than 100 nm. Through the manipulation of organic and inorganic materials at the atomic level, novel materials can be prepared with different thermal, optical, electrical, and mechanical properties, compared to the bulk state of the same materials. Nanoscale entities are abundant in biological systems and include diverse entities such as proteins, small-molecule drugs, metabolites, viruses, and antibodies. Medical applications show particular promise, where nanostructures are engineered to serve as devices for sensing, targeting, delivering, and imaging biological structures. The nanoscale offers a number of advantages. For applications in medicine and in biology, nanosystems can be designed to interact with cells and tissues at a molecular level with a high degree of functional specificity.
Reiter J.F.,University of California at San Francisco |
Blacque O.E.,University College Dublin |
Leroux M.R.,Simon Fraser University
EMBO Reports | Year: 2012
Both the basal body and the microtubule-based axoneme it nucleates have evolutionarily conserved subdomains crucial for cilium biogenesis, function and maintenance. Here, we focus on two conspicuous but underappreciated regions of these structures that make membrane connections. One is the basal body distal end, which includes transition fibres of largely undefined composition that link to the base of the ciliary membrane. Transition fibres seem to serve as docking sites for intraflagellar transport particles, which move proteins within the ciliary compartment and are required for cilium biogenesis and sustained function. The other is the proximal-most region of the axoneme, termed the transition zone, which is characterized by Y-shaped linkers that span from the axoneme to the ciliary necklace on the membrane surface. The transition zone comprises a growing number of ciliopathy proteins that function as modular components of a ciliary gate. This gate, which forms early during ciliogenesis, might function in part by regulating intraflagellar transport. Together with a recently described septin ring diffusion barrier at the ciliary base, the transition fibres and transition zone deserve attention for their varied roles in forming functional ciliary compartments. © 2012 European Molecular Biology Organization.
Dowler E.A.,University of Warwick |
O'Connor D.,University College Dublin
Social Science and Medicine | Year: 2012
Food poverty is an important contributing factor to health inequalities in industrialised countries; it refers to the inability to acquire or eat an adequate quality or sufficient quantity of food in socially acceptable ways (or the uncertainty of being able to do so). Synonymous with household food insecurity, the issue needs to be located within a social justice framework. Recognising the clear interdependence between the right to food and the right to health, this paper explores how international human rights obligations could inform approaches to addressing food poverty and insecurity with specific reference to Ireland and the UK. Little attention has been paid to how countries should meet their obligations to respect, protect and fulfil the right to food in developed countries. The paper contributes by examining the social and policy circumstances which inhibit poor households from obtaining sufficient food to eat healthily, along with strategies and interventions from State and civil society actors in the two countries. In practice, problems and potential solutions have largely been directed towards the individual rather than at social determinants, particularly as research on environmental factors such as distance to shops has produced equivocal results. Other key structural aspects such as income sufficiency for food are broadly ignored by the State, and anti-poverty strategies are often implemented without monitoring for effects on food outcomes. Thus scant evidence exists for either Ireland or the UK meeting its rights to food obligations to date, in terms of roles and responsibilities in ensuring access to affordable, available and appropriate food for all. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Tuohy A.,EPRI |
O'Malley M.,University College Dublin
Energy Policy | Year: 2011
This paper examines the operation of the Irish power system with very high levels of wind energy, with and without pumped storage. A unit commitment model which accounts for the uncertainty in wind power is used. It is shown that as wind penetration increases, the optimal operation of storage depends on wind output as well as load. The main benefit from storage is shown to be a decrease in wind curtailment. The economics of the system are examined to find the level at which storage justifies its capital costs and inefficiencies. It is shown that the uncertainty of wind makes the option of storage more attractive. The size of the energy store has an impact on results. At lower levels of installed wind (up to approximately 50% of energy from wind in Ireland), the reduction in curtailment is insufficient to justify building storage. At greater levels of wind, storage reduces curtailment sufficiently to justify the additional capital costs. It can be seen that if storage replaces OCGTs in the plant mix instead of CCGTs, then the level at which it justifies itself is lower. Storage increases the level of carbon emissions at wind penetration below 60%. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
McNicholas W.T.,University College Dublin |
Verbraecken J.,University of Antwerp |
Marin J.M.,Hospital Universitario Miguel Servet
European Respiratory Review | Year: 2013
Sleep in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is commonly associated with oxygen desaturation, which may exceed the degree of desaturation during maximum exercise, both subjectively and objectively impairing sleep quality. The mechanisms of desaturation include hypoventilation and ventilation to perfusion mismatching. The consequences of this desaturation include cardiac arrhythmias, pulmonary hypertension and nocturnal death, especially during acute exacerbations. Coexistence of COPD and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), referred to as overlap syndrome, has been estimated to occur in 1% of the general adult population. Overlap patients have worse sleep-related hypoxaemia and hypercapnia than patients with COPD or OSA alone. OSA has a similar prevalence in COPD as in a general population of similar age, but oxygen desaturation during sleep is more pronounced when the two conditions coexist. Management of sleep-related problems in COPD should particularly focus on minimising sleep disturbance via measures to limit cough and dyspnoea; nocturnal oxygen therapy is not generally indicated for isolated nocturnal hypoxaemia. Treatment with continuous positive airway pressure alleviates hypoxaemia, reduces hospitalisation and pulmonary hypertension, and improves survival. © ERS 2013.
Murphy C.D.,University College Dublin |
Sandford G.,Durham University
Expert Opinion on Drug Metabolism and Toxicology | Year: 2015
Introduction: Fluorine's unique physicochemical properties make it a key element for incorporation into pharmacologically active compounds. Its presence in a drug can alter a number of characteristics that affect ADME-Tox, which has prompted efforts at improving synthetic fluorination procedures.Areas covered: This review describes the influence of fluorine on attributes such as potency, lipophilicity, metabolic stability and bioavailablility and how the effects observed are related to the physicochemical characteristics of the element. Examples of more recently used larger scale synthetic methods for introduction of fluorine into drug leads are detailed and the potential for using biological systems for fluorinated drug production is discussed.Expert opinion: The synthetic procedures for carbon-fluorine bond formation largely still rely on decades-old technology for the manufacturing scale and new reagents and methods are required to meet the demands for the preparation of structurally more complex drugs. The improvement of in vitro and computational methods should make fluorinated drug design more efficient and place less emphasis on approaches such as fluorine scanning and animal studies. The introduction of new fluorinated drugs, and in particular those that have novel fluorinated functional groups, should be accompanied by rigorous environmental assessment to determine the nature of transformation products that may cause ecological damage. © 2015 Informa UK, Ltd.
Ryan C.J.,University College Dublin |
Cimermancic P.,University of California at San Francisco |
Szpiech Z.A.,University of California at San Francisco |
Sali A.,University of California at San Francisco |
And 3 more authors.
Nature Reviews Genetics | Year: 2013
Proteins are not monolithic entities; rather, they can contain multiple domains that mediate distinct interactions, and their functionality can be regulated through post-translational modifications at multiple distinct sites. Traditionally, network biology has ignored such properties of proteins and has instead examined either the physical interactions of whole proteins or the consequences of removing entire genes. In this Review, we discuss experimental and computational methods to increase the resolution of protein-protein, genetic and drug-gene interaction studies to the domain and residue levels. Such work will be crucial for using interaction networks to connect sequence and structural information, and to understand the biological consequences of disease-associated mutations, which will hopefully lead to more effective therapeutic strategies.
Kirby R.,Prostate Center |
Fitzpatrick J.M.,University College Dublin
BJU International | Year: 2012
What's known on the subject? and What does the study add? Due to the fear of missing clinically significant cancer, it is often uncertain whether a repeat biopsy should be performed in men with ≥1 prior negative prostate biopsies but persistent suspicion of prostate cancer. However, the repeat biopsy may again be negative and a biopsy may be associated with anxiety, discomfort and complications (resulting in hospitalisation in 4.1% of men). This review discusses strategies to optimise repeat biopsy procedures in order to better predict the biopsy outcome. Optimising repeat biopsy procedures include adjusting the location and number of cores and the use of MRI to detect suspicious areas. The use of diagnostic markers, e.g. (Prostate CAncer) gene 3, which is predictive of biopsy outcome, can aid in guiding repeat biopsy decisions and reduce the number of unnecessary and uncomfortable biopsies. To review strategies to optimise repeat biopsy procedures and to better predict the biopsy outcome. As it is often uncertain whether a repeat biopsy should be performed in men with ≥1 previous negative prostate biopsies but persistent suspicion of prostate cancer. The repeat biopsy may also be negative and a biopsy may be associated with anxiety, discomfort and occasionally (severe) complications. A search in PubMed was performed to find English language original and review articles related to repeat prostate biopsies. Strategies to optimise repeat biopsy procedures include applying the appropriate indications and adjusting the location and number of biopsy cores. The PROGENSA™ Prostate CAncer gene 3 (PCA3) Assay is a highly prostate cancer-specific test. A higher PCA3 Score corresponds with an increased probability of a positive repeat biopsy and including the PCA3 Score in multivariate models significantly increased their predictive accuracy for predicting repeat biopsy outcome. The PCA3 Score seems also to be predictive of future biopsy outcome. In clinical practice it is often uncertain whether a prostate biopsy should be repeated or not. Optimising repeat biopsy procedures and the use of diagnostic markers, such as PCA3, can increase the probability of a positive repeat biopsy and reduce the number of unnecessary and uncomfortable biopsies © 2011 BJU INTERNATIONAL.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH-2007-3.3-01 | Award Amount: 1.02M | Year: 2008
This study explores the transmission of religious beliefs and values through the education system and the family across different EU country contexts. Firstly, it examines the importance of religious denomination in school choice. Secondly, it explores how religious beliefs and values are transmitted in the course of primary education across different countries. The study will use both primary research and secondary analysis of existing data sources. The study will use existing cross-national data to assess the treatment of majority and minority religious groups along with those with secular beliefs across different European contexts. This will identify different models of how religious belief is treated in diverse educational systems. Located within this broad overview, primary research will be carried out in primary schools in Belgium (Flanders), Germany, Ireland, Malta, and Scotland, countries with very different religious compositions and educational systems. This research will involve case-studies of schools selected to capture diversity in school policy and practice. Within these schools, interviews will be carried out with school principals, teachers, members of the board of management, parents and students themselves to provide a holistic picture of the interaction between home and school in shaping the transmission of religious belief. The results of the study will be disseminated widely through seminars and publications as well as a public website. This innovative project will contribute to the conceptualisation of religious socialisation within multicultural settings and to policy development in the educational arena by highlighting the role of religion in school choice as well as potential tensions between home and school regarding religious formation and practice.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.1.1-7 | Award Amount: 15.68M | Year: 2008
Despite major efforts, identifying susceptibility genes for common human diseases - cancer, cardiovascular, inflammatory and neurological disorders - is difficult due to the complexity of the underlying causes. The dog population is composed of ~ 400 purebred breeds; each one is a genetic isolate with unique characteristics resulting from persistent selection for desired attributes or from genetic drift / inbreeding. Dogs tend to suffer from the same range of diseases than human but the genetic complexity of these diseases within a breed is reduced as a consequence of the genetic drift and due to long-range linkage disequilibrium the number of SNP markers needed to perform whole genome scans is divided by at least ten. Here, we propose a European effort gathering experts in genomics to take advantage of this extraordinary genetic model. Veterinary clinics from 12 European countries will collect DNA samples from large cohorts of dogs suffering from a range of thoroughly defined diseases of relevance to human health. Once these different cohorts will be built, DNA samples will be sent to a centralized, high-throughput SNP genotyping facility. The SNP genotypes will be stored in central database and made available to participating collaborating centres, who will analyze the data with the support of dedicated statistical genetics platforms. Following genome wide association and fine-mapping candidate genes will be followed up at the molecular level by expert animal and human genomics centers. This innovative approach using the dog model will ultimately provide insights into the pathogenesis of common human diseases its primary goal.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2012-1 | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2013
Powdered infant formula is the most widespread and established alternative to the breastfeeding of the newborn. Despite preservation steps during production illnesses caused by contaminated formula as a result of Salmonella spp., Cronobacter sakazakii have been reported, which can often lead to brain damage or death in babies and infants. The use of extremely high temperatures during sterilisation can cause a great degree of protein denaturation. Considering the naturally lower content of lysozyme and lactoferrin of cows milk, which is the base of infant formulation, these ingredients have to be added at a cost to match more closely human milk, and are severely denatured by excessive heat treatment. As such, there is a need to provide manufacturers with a reliable treatment method that is effective in the inactivation of microorganisms and does not diminish the nutritional quality of the formula. Past research has shown the effectiveness of light technologies for surface decontamination in packaging, for treatment of transparent and non-transparent beverages, and for the decontamination of vegetative microorganisms. Moreover, the combination of different light technologies can enable short exposure times. Researchers have successfully applied light technology to reduce the bacterial load in infant formula spread on a flat surface. This project will develop a novel system for the reduction of microbial contamination of infant formula by using a more gentle temperature processing based on 2 types of light in combination with a fluidised bed system. The system will be safe, effective, affordable, energy efficient, and environmentally friendly. By preventing the use of excessive temperatures, the risk of protein denaturation will be reduced. Moreover, by combining the light technology with the mixing and transport of fluidised beds, longer shelf life and a reduction in infant formula related illnesses can be achieved.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IAPP | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2009-IAPP | Award Amount: 1.76M | Year: 2010
Inhibition of angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels from pre-existing vasculature, is a well established therapeutic strategy against cancer. Inhibitors of angiogenesis have been developed to block tumour growth and metastasis, and a number of these inhibitors are now clinically approved. However, contrary to initial expectations, angiogenesis inhibitors can cause a range of toxicities in patients. AngioTox is a cross-sectoral collaboration in the field of biomedicine, responding to a pressing need to understand mechanisms of toxicity associated with angiogenesis inhibitor treatment. AngioTox is comprised of academic groups, SMEs, a global pharmaceutical leader in angiogenesis inhibitor development, and a large company concerned with monitoring drug modulation of cellular pathways. The goal of this consortium is to facilitate comprehensive histopathologic and mechanistic assessment of angiogenesis inhibitor related toxicities following treatment with the two main class of angiogenesis inhibitor; monoclonal antibodies and tyrosine kinase inhibitors. A combined in vivo modelling and digital histopathology approach will be engaged to comprehensively describe a new AngioTox Safety Panel of toxicologic markers. We will develop automated image analysis algorithms to enable quantification of morphological markers of angiogenesis inhibitor toxicity, and will undertake molecular profiling and ex-vivo studies to gain insight into mechanistic pathways. Specialized secondments proposed within AngioTox will facilitate several opportunities for high-end training of researchers across both industry and academia. Findings from the AngioTox programme may be directly utilised by academic, clinical and industry-based investigators to facilitate improved screening of angiogenesis inhibitor toxicologic parameters, inform clinical drug dosing regimens, facilitate the development of more specific and potent angiogenesis inhibitors, and significantly improve patient care.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.1.1-2 | Award Amount: 17.67M | Year: 2013
As more people survive into old age, the prevalence of heart failure (HF), one of the most common and debilitating diseases in older people, will rise still further. Delaying or preventing HF will have great benefit to those at personal risk, their families, society and the economy. HOMAGE aims to provide a biomarker (BM) approach that will a) help identify i. patients at high risk of developing HF before the onset of symptoms and ii. subsets of patients who are more likely to respond to specifically targeted therapies (personalized medicine). In available cohorts, we will identify the most promising omics-based BM profiles for the pre-symptomatic diagnosis and future prediction of HF in patients at risk. The predictive value of the BMs for other co-morbidities commonly associated with HF and ageing will also be investigated. Furthermore, in a prospective trial, we will investigate the potential for targeting preventive therapy at patients with the greatest likelihood of response and the lowest risk of adverse effects. Our selection of innovative omics-based BMs is based on knowledge of biological pathways of the disease, which may facilitate identification of Biotargets for future therapies. On the economic side, HOMAGE will act as an economic catalyst for European SMEs in the field of cardiovascular and ageing BMs, estimated to peak annual turnovers of up to 800 M.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.30M | Year: 2014
Organofluorine chemistry has played a significant role in the majority of the spectacular scientific and technological developments of the past century although this is not widely recognised even by the scientific community. Fluoroorganic molecules are key components in an ever increasing number of high-value commercially important products particularly in the life science industries. The use of fluorinated systems in drug discovery programmes has continued to grow and, at present, approximately 30% of new pharmaceutical and agrochemical systems that enter the market bear fluorine atoms or fluorinated substituents, contributing enormously to the economic wellbeing of the EU as a whole and the health of its citizens. All useful fluoroorganic systems are man-made and the key step in developing new products and applications involving fluorinated derivatives is the synthesis of carbon-fluorine bonds. We will develop new selective fluorination processes by using both innovative chemoselective methodology and the emerging field of synthetic biology to provide new technology platforms beyond the current state-of-the-art. The desire to introduce a fluorine atom into an organic system is often driven by the fact that the C-F bond imparts unique and highly tuneable control of both geometric and stereoelectronic phenomena within a molecular structure. The Networks expertise in handling and analysing fluorinated molecules will allow us to engineer the properties of organic and biological molecules through the strategic introduction of C-F bonds by molecular editing. A large number of world-leading research scientists in academia in the various fields of organofluorine chemistry have retired in the recent past and, consequently, if training of ESRs and support of youthful research groups is not continued, the EU will lose very competitive, highly valuable, high technology, research expertise that contributes significantly to all chemical, life science and materials sectors.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2010-1.3-1 | Award Amount: 12.48M | Year: 2011
While there are standard procedures for product life cycle analysis, exposure, hazard, and risk assessment for traditional chemicals, is not yet clear how these procedures need to be modified to address all the novel properties of nanomaterials. There is a need to develop specific reference methods for all the main steps in managing the potential risk of ENM. The aim of MARINA is to develop such methods. MARINA will address the four central themes in the risk management paradigm for ENM: Materials, Exposure, Hazard and Risk. The methods developed by MARINA will be (i) based on beyond-state-of-the-art understanding of the properties, interaction and fate of ENM in relation to human health and the quality of the environment and will either (ii) be newly developed or adapted from existing ones but ultimately, they will be compared/validated and harmonised/standardised as reference methods for managing the risk of ENM. MARINA will develop a strategy for Risk Management including monitoring systems and measures for minimising massive exposure via explosion or environmental spillage.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2015 | Award Amount: 328.50K | Year: 2016
Finding a CURE for 35 Million individuals living with HIV/AIDS is one of the great global health challenges of the 21st century. The major obstacle to HIV eradication is the persistence of latent HIV cellular reservoirs, where the integrated viral genome is transcriptionally silenced but replication-competent and can escape both Anti-Retroviral Therapy and Immune Responses. The development of novel strategies aimed at eliminating these reservoirs have become paramount in HIV research, if we want to achieve an HIV/AIDS CURE. To accelerate the State of the Art in HIV CURE research in Europe, our EU4HIVCURE consortium brings together an intersectoral and interdisciplinary collaboration between 3 Universities, 3 Hospitals, 1 International Research Organisation from 4 European countries and 1 University from Canada. Our aim is to dissect the intricate mechanisms controlling HIV-1 latency and identify new druggable targets to develop novel latency-reversing strategies and eradicate persistent viral reservoirs by forcing HIV-1 gene expression. To facilitate continuum for translation to the clinic, we have developed an operational framework, which maximises exchange of knowledge and expertise via secondements, networking and training activities.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SST.2008.6.0.7. | Award Amount: 300.00K | Year: 2009
This is a proposal for an early-stage research student competition a kind of Transport Research Olympics to complement the goals of the Transport Research Arena conference, TRA, in Brussels in 2010. The goal is to stimulate interest among young researchers in the conference and contribute to establishing it as the premier Transport event in the world. This activity will directly support the TRA event and reinforce its profile as a major European and internationally important conference. At the same time it will strengthen European research in surface transport by promoting collaboration and inter-disciplinarity and be recognising and rewarding excellence. The YEAR competition will be in two stages. In the first stage, up to about 600 students will submit abstracts, clearly specifying the deliverables and practical outputs of their research. There will be a network of about 80 judges, experts in surface transporation research, to encourage a wide participation from all over Europe. The abstracts will be hosted on a website which will constitute a showcase of early stage research in Europe. There will be about 6 categories, four for research which tracks, as far as possible, the core areas of the TRA conference a fifth future vision category and a sixth inter-disciplinary category which promotes the linking of pure science, socio-economics and applied science. In the second stage, about 50 finalists will be brought to the TRA-2010 conference to present their work in the form of posters and other displays. There will be gold, silver and bronze medals for each of the 6 categories and winners will be featured prominently at the conference to stimulate interest among delegates, journalists and the general public. The exhibition will be in a prominent area to encourage a wide ranging discussion between students and delegates who constitute future potential employers and stakeholders in road transport.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-1 | Award Amount: 1.46M | Year: 2009
RPET-FC will address the specific objectives of capacities research by supporting low to medium technology SMEs in response to an increasingly competitive European and international market. It will achieve this through providing SME food-processing companies a new food packaging tray that will be lighter that the current marker leader. This prototype will facilitate high-speed stacking, packing and safe transportation of a whole range of food products, with significant carbon footprint reduction, environmental impact and cost savings in materials. The new prototype food tray will utilise 25% less material and will be made from 100% recyclable rPET. This project will facilitate greater cooperation between SMEs of different nations, research institutes and other enterprises, improving the SMEs strategic partnerships and networking for innovation. These SMEs currently have limited research capacity; however, this project will enable better access to the knowledge economy, R&D institutes and exploitation of the latest technological advancements. By providing an efficient, ecologically friendly food tray and transportation system based on new state of the art technology that will need to be developed, which will contribute towards state of the art manufacturing, improved space utilisation, lower production and transportation costs, reduction in carbon footprint by the utilisation of recyclable materials. Issues surrounding loss of state of the art and increasing production costs within the European plastics industry, highlight the need to be increasingly cost effective, as many areas around the globe, including Europe come under increasing pressure due to lack of raw materials or environmental pressures in terms of landfill waste combined with decreasing oil reserves and soaring prices. It is no
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 4.07M | Year: 2013
The design, construction, maintenance, use and end-of-life management of road pavements and railways is associated with a number of important impacts on the environment; namely the consequences of energy consumption, unsustainable use of materials/resources, waste generation and release of hazardous substances into the environment. It is estimated that over 80% of all these environmental impacts are defined during the design phase of a product, including road pavements and railways. SUP&R (Sustainable Pavement & Rail) ITN,through a coherent research and training approach involving close collaboration between research institutions and industrial stakeholders across Europe, will allow this step change in the sustainability of road and rail infrastructure to be addressed by targeting the following overall aim: To setup a multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral network in order to form a new generation of engineers versed in sustainable technologies and to provide, to both academia and industry, design procedures and sustainability assessment methodologies to certify the sustainability of the studied technologies to the benefit of the European community SUP&R ITN includes an intensive four year training programme which will be international, multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral. The young researchers will be trained through individual research projects, with a strong collaborations of partners from the private sector that will allow to jointly investigated strategies to overcome the existing barriers and deliver long-term benefits in terms of: 1. Eco-designed road and rail infrastructure that maximises the recycling of waste materials and ensures best performance characteristics to suit the diverse set of European environments; 2. Reduced installation, maintenance and operating costs as well as long term sustainable solutions; 3. A bespoke sustainability assessment tool, tailored to needs of product development in the road pavement and rail infrastructure sector.
NETSIM - An integrated study on three novel regulatory hubs in megakaryocytes and platelets, discovered as risk genes for myocardial infarction by a genome-wide association and platelet systems biology study
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: PEOPLE-2007-1-1-ITN | Award Amount: 2.85M | Year: 2008
The overarching objective of the ITN is to offer an intercalated study environment for young and talented researchers in the field of coronary artery disease (CAD) research. 12 PhD fellows operating in a unique training environment will work as a multi-disciplinary team to perform research spanning the full spectrum from basic to translational to bring novel inventions to the bedside. The fellows will be mentored by world-leading experts to shape a new generation of European leaders in biomedical science and overcome current fragmentation in Europe. The research is at the forefront of biomedical science because of the UK genome-wide association study in 2000 myocardial infarction (MI) patients and our EU-FP6 integrated projects Bloodomics and Cardiogenics. We will exploit our knowledge about the genetic architecture of MI to investigate the hypothesis whether sequence variation of genes encoding network hubs poses a greater risk for network destabilisation compared to genes encoding regular nodes. Focusing on three hub genes we postulate that genetic/bio-markers associated with hubs can be integrated in algorithms for MI/CAD risk prediction. Success will critically depend on new developments in computing, machine learning, pattern recognition and advanced data mining and statistical analysis. To have a free development path from basic discovery to health care improvement young scientists must be taught to cross the classic barriers between academic disciplines. We offer a timely and necessary alternative to Europes classic PhD programmes by providing a seamlessly integrated multi-disciplinary environment in an academic-private sector partnership free of boundaries. Our aim is a targeted strategy for prevention and treatment based on a better understanding of the genetic and molecular mechanism of disease. This will deliver major advances in public health and patient care, which can only be achieved if a new scientific cadre is developed.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.88M | Year: 2012
Scanning probe microscopy(SPM) has now evolved to the point where not only is imaging and manipulation with single atom resolution achievable but the state of the art in the field involves sub-molecular and sub-atomic resolution: individual chemical bonds can be resolved, their properties measured, and their spatial symmetry exploited. SPM is, however, increasingly a victim of its own success. The wide availability of commercial instruments means that the technique is now very commonly seen as a routine imaging and characterisation tool. This unfortunately engenders a mindset amongst young researchers where they see an SPM as a black box and typically have a superficial understanding of the operating principles, theoretical principles, and current (or ultimate) limits of the technique. In turn, this black box mentality has severe implications for the health and competitiveness of the SPM - and, by extension nanoscience and nanotechnology - sectors in the ERA which rely fundamentally on creative innovation. ACRITAS directly counters this decline in the skills base and creativity of young researchers by providing an exciting and challenging environment for SPM training, spanning the public and private sectors and redefining the state of the art. A defining aspect of the network is its integration of scanning probe groups whose research is carried out under what might be termed `extreme conditions (ultrahigh vacuum, cryogenic temperatures) with teams of scientists who focus on interactions and control in biologically relevant environments. Although both communities use the same types of experimental techniques, there has traditionally been rather little communication between the two, largely because of different disciplinary biases. ACRITAS will act as a new and important bridge between the physical- and life sciences in advanced SPM and will thus be unique in the training it provides in a field which underpins a vast amount of 21st century science
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2016 | Award Amount: 945.00K | Year: 2017
Severe ocular disorders are affecting the lives of more than 100Mill people world-wide and at least 25% of the population above 70 years of age, a growing demographic group in EU. More than 8 million people lose their lives to cancer every year, making cancer a leading cause of pre-mature mortality in the world. The main hallmarks of severe eye conditions (i.e angiogenesis, inflammation and vascular permeability) play also pivotal roles in cancer, being therapeutic targets to treat both kind of diseases. The overall goal of 3D-NEONET is the improvement of available treatments for cancer and ocular disease by enhancing drug discovery-development and delivery to targeted tissues, through advanced international co-operation between academic and non-academic partners. The interdisciplinary expertise provided by 18 partners in 7 countries encompasses among others: drug screens, ADME, toxicology, preclinical models, nanotechnology, biomaterials and clinical trials. After the success with ongoing FP7-IAPP project 3D-NET (Drug Discovery and Development of Novel Eye Therapeutics; (www.ucd.ie/3dnet), we are assembling 3D-NEONET, this enlarged European interdisciplinary consortium that will join forces and exchange skills to enhance current therapies in oncology and ophthalmology. The 3 global objectives of 3D-NEONET are: 1- Enhance the discovery and development of novel drugs, targets and biomarkers for ophthalmology and oncology. 2- Improve the Delivery of Therapeutics for Oncology and Ophthalmology 3- Enhancement of Research, Commercial and Clinical Trial Project Management Practices in these fields. Through participation in the program, 3D-NEONET is the vehicle for driving synergies between academic and non-academic partners leading to increased scientific and technological excellence as well as tangible innovative outputs that will strengthen the competitiveness of both the researchers and industries of the network even beyond the lifetime of the network.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2012-1 | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2012
Heat sensitive foods and products that possess excellent quality in terms of taste, aroma, texture, and appearance, such as herbs, spices, seafood, etc., pose a major challenge to food driers. Products such as garlic, ginger, spring onions and shrimps are cellular tissues containing gas-filled pores that tend to collapse when subjected to dehydration. This collapse is more noticeable with prolonged exposure to elevated drying temperatures, such as those used in convective drying. For this reason, hot air drying results in substantial degradation in quality attributes such as colour, nutrients and flavour, sever shrinkage also reduces bulk density and dehydration capacity. Also, chemical changes causing loss of flavour and nutrients occur during convective drying so the properties of dehydrated products are poor. A number of drying techniques have been developed over the years, among them atmospheric forced-air dehydration, a very common method. The major disadvantage of the hot air convective drying of food is the low energy efficiency and lengthy drying time during the falling rate period. MILD-DRY will build on the positive results of laboratory trails using microwave-assisted vacuum drying (MAVD) for the successful dehydration of selected foods, whereby the drying time for carrots for example was reduced to 2 h compared with 4.5-8.5 h in convectional hot air drying. Moreover, dried carrots showed higher rehydration potential, higher beta-carotene and vitamin C contents, lower density, and softer texture than those prepared by air drying. Further research effort will be performed in order to optimise the approach through the intermittent as opposed to continuous application of MW in order to achieve higher energy savings and product quality enhancement. To bridge the gap between laboratory research and industrial application, a prototype system will be developed for its validation in commercial food drying facilities.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.2-07 | Award Amount: 7.47M | Year: 2013
SIMWOOD presents a novel idea for an innovative, integrated approach to multifunctional forestry and enhanced wood mobilisation across European forest regions. The project targets a multitude of forest owners and stakeholders to spread integrated, transferable solutions and viable policies to unlock immobile forest resources and ensure sustainable forest functions. A novel pan-European Information System, the MOBILISER, is a unique knowledge base of innovative practices and technologies, existing stakeholder initiatives and effective support programmes in the regions and an expert system to evaluate the impact of up-scaling solutions to the larger EU context. The MOBILISER links to Regional Learning Labs, fostering participative dialogues on enhanced forest governance to secure collaborative initiatives and build commitment for improved policies and solu-tions of sustainable development. As a proof-of-concept, SME partners jointly implement novel pilot projects showcasing targeted forest use and tangible impacts on rural economies. This European Information System incorporates a broad dissemination strategy via easily accessible, intuitive, multilingual interfaces to maximize the uptake of integrated mobilisation solutions by forest owners and stakeholders across Europe and beyond. The two major European research organisations, JRC and EFI, facilitate the wide transfer and ensure continuity of the cross-regional monitoring system beyond the projects lifetime. The project will help overcome socio-economic and technical barriers linked to ownership fragmentation and develop major opportunities in expanding wood and bioenergy markets. Focused recommendations and future RTD priorities underpin vital policy areas on multiple levels and raise awareness for wood mobilisation initiatives. Overall the project secures increased supplies of wood, enhances sustainable forest use and strengthens the forest-based sector as a key contributor to Europes growing bioeconomy.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: LCE-07-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 5.00M | Year: 2016
Future energy systems will use renewable energy sources to minimise CO2 emissions. Currently large generators powered by fossil fuel turbines maintain the stability and quality of energy supplies through their inertia. The inertia of these generator-turbine groups gives providers a significant time window in which to react to network events. We urgently need to find ways to stabilise energy systems with up to 100% RES (where inertia is often lost due to power converter mediated energy transfer) to generate RE-SERVEs so that society can relax in the knowledge that it has a stable and sustainable energy supply. RE-SERVE will address this challenge by researching new energy system concepts, implemented as new system support services enabling distributed, multi-level control of the energy system using pan-European unified network connection codes. Near real-time control of the distributed energy network will be enabled by innovative 5G based ICT. Energy system use case scenarios supplied by energy providers will form the basis of energy system models. Performance characteristics of the new control mechanisms will be investigated through integration of energy simulations and live 5G communications. We will create a pan-European multi-site simulation test-bed, bringing together the best facilities in Europe. RE-SERVE results include published models of system support services, innovative architectures for the implementation of the services, performance tests on our pan-European real-time simulation, and live, test-beds, a model for pan-European unified network connection codes and actions to promote results to standardisation organisations, all of which maintain the RE-SERVE in energy systems. Commercialisation of results will result in breakthroughs in the efficient utilisation of use of RES, a spin-off and a wide range of enhanced professional solutions and services.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2011-1.2.1. | Award Amount: 3.48M | Year: 2011
GLORIA is an innovative citizen-science network of robotic telescopes, which will give free access and research to a virtual community via the Internet. The GLORIA partners will offer access to a growing collection of robotic telescopes via a Web 2.0 environment - 17 telescopes on 4 continents by the projects end.\nThe GLORIA partners can do this because most of the telescopes are already robotized using the same free/open-source RTS2 software (maintained by GLORIA members), and the web access will be based on Ciclope Astro (also by a GLORIA member), which currently provides the worlds first free-access robotic telescope at Montegancedo Observatory (http://om.fi.upm.es). The Internet experiments will be coordinated by Galaxy Zoo (http://galaxyzoo.org).\nThe challenge will be to involve people from around the world, to maximise their collective intelligence, and to foster their participation in astronomy research both in data analysis and actual observations. The e-Infrastructure will be managed using the method of karma, proven in most successful web 2.0 sites, whereby those users who participate the most are awarded corresponding observing time.\nGLORIA will be an e-Science network for the virtual community, demonstrating how networking and open e-Infrastructures can increase the quality of research.\nDuring the project, 17 telescopes and 2 experiments will be deployed for these citizen scientists, and a foundation will be built up of documentation, free software, and a community of people will have grown, to maintain and grow GLORIA into the future. Significant dissemination efforts will be made to draw in ordinary people, as well as scholars, to use the network, to learn about astronomy, and to do real science.\nCurrently, GLORIAs telescopes are individually supported from national funds and as this should continue, the network will not bear the cost of their maintenance. GLORIA can easily survive in the future with minimal national funding or even donations.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.4-3 | Award Amount: 7.88M | Year: 2013
The NEAM (North East Atlantic, Mediterranean and Adjacent Seas) region of IOC/UNESCO is known to be exposed to tsunamis and, like other regions of the world, faces increasing levels of risk due to i) continuous development of coastal areas with critical infrastructure, and ii) year-round presence of millions of tourists. In recent years, European researchers have greatly advanced knowledge of tsunami hazards and implementation of operational infrastructure, such as creation of a regional system of candidate tsunami-watch providers (CTWP) and national tsunami warning centers (NTWC). However, significant gaps remain and more effort is needed. ASTARTE (Assessment STrategy And Risk for Tsunami in Europe) aims to develop a comprehensive strategy to mitigate tsunami impact in this region. To achieve this goal, an interdisciplinary consortium has been assembled. It includes all CTWPs of NEAM and expert institutions across Europe and worldwide. ASTARTE will improve i) basic knowledge of tsunami generation and recurrence going beyond simple catalogues, with novel empirical data and new statistical analyses for assessing long-term recurrence and hazards of large events in sensitive areas of NEAM, ii) numerical techniques for tsunami simulation, with focus on real-time codes and novel statistical emulation approaches, and iii) methods for assessment of hazard, vulnerability, and risk. ASTARTE will also provide i) guidelines for tsunami Eurocodes,ii) better tools for forecast and warning for CTWPs and NTWCs, and iii) guidelines for decision makers to increase sustainability and resilience of coastal communities. In summary, ASTARTE will develop basic scientific and technical elements allowing for a significant enhancement of the Tsunami Warning System in the NEAM region in terms of monitoring, early warning and forecast, governance and resilience. Overall, this will lead to the goal of the European/NEAM Horizon 2020 strategy: to foster tsunami resilient communities.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SST-2007-4.1-04 | Award Amount: 8.11M | Year: 2008
As the European objectives of integration and economic growth are achieved, there is a corresponding vigorous growth in road traffic volumes. This results in congestion and increased numbers of road fatalities. The objective of the ASSET project is to reverse these negative effects by developing a number of promising technologies and integrating them into a new holistic approach to road safety. The holistic approach will be at system and practical level. Integrated architectures will be developed to facilitate the exchange of secure information between road, vehicle and driver. There will be a particular focus on the Human Machine Interface developing supporting systems which pass on safety-critical information to the driver. Driver monitoring technologies such as track and trace will use computer vision to identify abnormal driver behaviour (speed, gap, load) and inform driver and authorities. - Improving drivers knowledge and behaviour - Increased automation and traffic control for safety/efficiency - Innovative measures for safe and sustainable infrastructure A number of technologies will be developed and integrated into the holistic system like a thermal imaging tool to detect dangerous heavy goods vehicles, a new weigh-in-motion sensor which can detect critical tyres as well as overloaded. The main theme is the integration of different information from different sources into a comprehensive system and the communication of the relevant information to where they are needed. Several application areas will be developed with concrete deliverables such as a safety station, crisis and dangerous goods management and an infrastructure life cycle optimisation system. Systems will be tested at a number of sites in different parts of Europe and results disseminated through seminars, workshops and demonstrations. The consortium involves 7 universities, 3 research institutes, 1 industrial company, 1 end user administration and has 7 SMEs to exploit the outputs commercially.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2012.6.5-1 | Award Amount: 8.51M | Year: 2012
COBWEB will leverage the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR). Concentrating initially on the Welsh Dyfi Biosphere Reserve, we will develop a citizens observatory framework, and then validate the work within the context of the UK National Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) and internationally, within the WNBR; specifically, within Greek and German Reserves. The infrastructure we develop will exploit technological developments in ubiquitous mobile devices, crowd-sourcing of geographic information and the operationalising of standards based SDI such as the UK Location Information Infrastructure. It will enable citizens living within Biosphere Reserves to collect environmental information on a range of parameters including species distribution, flooding and land cover/use. A main driver will be the opportunity to participate in environmental governance. Data quality issues will be addressed by using networks of people as sensors and by analysing observations and measurements in real-time combination with authoritative models and datasets. The citizens observatory framework will integrate with evolving INSPIRE compliant national SDIs and allow the fusion of citizen sourced data with reference data from public authorities in support of policy objectives. To maximise impact, COBWEB will work within the processes of the standards defining organisations. Specifically, we will aim to improve the usability of Sensor Web Enablement standards with mobile devices, develop widespread acceptance of the data quality measures we develop and maximise the commercial appeal of COBWEB outputs. The end result we are aiming for is a toolkit and a set of models that demonstrably works in different European countries and which is accepted as a core information system component of the WNBR. Implementations of COBWEB will act as models for how technology may be used to empower citizens associations in environmental decision making.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH-2009-3.3.1. | Award Amount: 3.44M | Year: 2010
In recent times, Europe has experienced increasing tensions between national majorities and ethnic or religious minorities, more particularly with marginalised Muslim communities. In some countries challenges relate more to immigrant groups while in other countries they refer to native minority claims. It is in this geopolitical context that the ACCEPT project responds to Topic 3.3.1 and notably in the quest for investigating whether European societies have become more or less tolerant during the past 20 years and in the necessity to clarify: (a) how is tolerance defined conceptually, (b) how it is codified in norms, institutional arrangements, public policies but also social practices, (c) how tolerance can be measured and how the degree of tolerance of a society across time or of several countries at the same time can be compared (whose tolerance, who is tolerated, and what if degrees of tolerance vary with reference to different minority groups). The project starts from a distinction between liberal tolerance (not interfering with practices or forms of life of a person even if one disapproves of them) and egalitarian tolerance referring to institutional arrangements and public policies that fight negative stereotyping, promote positive inclusive identities and re-organise the public space in ways that accommodate diversity. It reviews critically past empirical research and the scholarly theoretical literature on the topic. It conducts original empirical research on key events of national and European relevance that thematise different understandings and practices of tolerance. Bringing together empirical and theoretical findings, ACCEPT generates a State of the Art on Tolerance and Cultural Diversity in Europe targeting policy makers, NGOs and practitioners, a Handbook on Ideas of Tolerance and Cultural Diversity in Europe aimed to be used at upper high school level and with local/national policy makers, a Tolerance Indicators Toolkit where qualitative and quantitative indicators may be used to score each countrys performance on tolerating cultural diversity. These indicators will inform the evaluation and development of public policies in this area. Last but not least the ACCEPT project will produce a book manuscript on Tolerance, Pluralism and Cultural Diversity in Europe. The project includes direct communication and feedback mechanisms with civil society, political and media actors for the dissemination and exploitation of its findings.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2012.6.4-2 | Award Amount: 7.88M | Year: 2012
The main objectives of FUTUREVOLC are to establish an integrated volcanological monitoring procedure through European collaboration, develop new methods to evaluate volcanic crises, increase scientific understanding of magmatic processes and improve delivery of relevant information to civil protection and authorities. To reach these objectives the project combines broad European expertise in seismology, volcano deformation, volcanic gas and geochemistry, infrasound, eruption monitoring, physical volcanology, satellite studies of plumes, meteorology, ash dispersal forecasting, and civil defence. This European consortium leads the way for multi-national volcanological collaboration with the aim of mitigating the effects of major eruptions that pose cross-border hazards. Iceland is selected as a laboratory supersite area for demonstration because of (i) the relatively high rate of large eruptions with potential for long ranging effects, and (ii) Icelands capability to produce the near full spectrum of volcano processes at its many different volcano types. Based on present monitoring networks and ongoing research, the project will bridge gaps and combine efforts for a coherent close-to-real-time evaluation of the state of Icelandic volcanoes and their unrest. The project will provide timely information on magma movements from combined interpretation of earthquake sources relocated in three-dimensional velocity models, magma sources inferred from ground and space geodetic data, and measurements of volcanic volatiles. For better response during eruptions, the project will develop operational models of magma discharge rate, contributing directly to improved forecasts of ash dispersion. They will help to minimise economic disruption on a European scale during eruptions. By integrating a Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre and a civil protection unit into the project, European citizens will benefit directly from the scientific work of FUTUREVOLC.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.4.2-1 | Award Amount: 8.18M | Year: 2013
The Fibro-Targets project is a multi-disciplinary 4 years program involving 10 partners ambitioning the identification, characterisation and validation of in vitro and in vivo models of novel therapeutically relevant targets for myocardial interstitial fibrosis (MIF) in heart failure. The project is based on the hypothesis that the intervention on novel fibrosis-related targets involved in the processes of fibroblast differentiation to myofibroblasts, the predominance of collagen synthesis over degradation and/or collagen maturation may allow for interstitial repair, thus providing a new strategy for the prevention and treatment of adverse cardiac remodeling involved in the transition to and the progression of heart failure. From a large body of existing multi-omics, literature data and previous hypothesis-driven research conducted by members of the consortium, a number of specific extracellular and intracellular targets have been identified whose involvement in MIF is beginning to be understood and that may be targeted by specific therapies. The specific aims of the Fibro-Targets are: (i) To provide further evidence on the mechanisms of action of the above targets (ii) To validate experimentally that new anti-fibrotic strategies can be developed based on the above targets (iii) To approach the potential clinical scenario of the above targets for HF therapy To reach these aims the following studies will be performed: (i) Observational and interventional experimental studies in already existing and/or de novo generated appropriate in vitro and in vivo models. (ii) Clinical studies, stratifying large scale populations of patients available to the consortium, at risk to develop HF and likely to be responsive to specific novel and/or exiting anti-fibrotic therapies. The stratification will be based on specific fibrogenetic phenotypic profiles using multi-panel imaging and circulating markers descriptive of mechanisms involving the proposed novel targets.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-01b-2014 | Award Amount: 9.31M | Year: 2015
Helminth and ectoparasitic infections of ruminants and poultry have a huge impact on the biological efficiency of these vital food sources. Indiscriminate antiparasitic use has led to drug resistance across the globe. The main alternative to the dwindling supply of antiparasitics is vaccines. Here, in the PARAGONE project, findings from previous EU and other-funded projects on parasite vaccine development will be exploited to take a number of promising prototypes towards commercialisation. Partners from the Europe, China, Uruguay, SMEs and pharma, will directly move forward prototypes against the ruminant helminths Fasciola hepatica, Cooperia spp., Ostertagia ostertagi, Teladorsagia circumcincta and Haemonchus contortus and, the ectoparasitic mites, Psoroptes ovis (ruminants) and Dermanyssus gallinae (poultry). They will utilise novel adjuvants or delivery systems to maximise efficacy of some of the prototypes. Moreover, immunology studies will focus on pathogens that have previously proved problematic, often because they release immunosuppressive molecules that must be overcome for vaccines to work or because recombinant vaccines have failed to elicit protection observed with native prototypes. State-of-the-art technologies will be used to interrogate host/parasite interactions to define key signatures of protection that can be used to inform delivery systems that will enhance immunity, while other studies will define polymorphism in current vaccine candidates to ensure derived prototypes will be fit-for-purpose across geographic scales. Fundamental, is engagement of the scientists with pharma and other stakeholders (farmers, veterinarians, regulators) via many dissemination activities that will be used to obtain feedback on how the vaccines can be best deployed in the field. The output will be at least two prototypes to the point of uptake by pharma, government or philanthropic agencies, and a clear pathway to commercialisation for all prototypes studied.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE-2007-1-3-04 | Award Amount: 3.71M | Year: 2008
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. This infection affects domestic and wild animals and represents a major concern worldwide because of its high economic impact due to mortalities, condemnations, decreases in productions, and its zoonotic potential. Eradication programmes based on a test-and-slaughter policy in the EU have proved successful in some countries, however, have been unable to eradicate the infection in others despite the use of vast economical resources. A relevant problem is the existence of infected wildlife; the best known examples are the European badger (Meles meles) in UK and the Republic of Ireland, and the wild boar (Sus scrofa) in Spain. Besides this fact, there is only a limited knowledge about other potential underlying causes, such as (1) the real contribution of cattle-to-cattle transmission at the same area (neighbouring farms and communal pastures) or after movement of animals; (2) the role played in the epidemiology by other domestic animals, or (3) the effect of interferences in the diagnosis tests. The weight of these causes may also differ depending on the farming system and ecological factors. Likely there is not a single solution as likely there is not a single cause. To approach the eradication of this infection, this TB-STEP project plans a multifaceted battlefront. The consortium is made up of 12 partners from eight countries which will research on eight work-packages devoted to improved tools and to develop strategies for the eradication of bovine tuberculosis in areas where the disease is present in both domestic and wildlife populations. It will include: 1) vaccination of bovine animals and wildlife, (2) control of populations to reach numbers compatible with animal welfare and strategies to limit the contact between domestic and wild species, and (3) the development of improved diagnostic tools for detection of infected animals.
GPLUSE - Genotype and Environment contributing to the sustainability of dairy cow production systems through the optimal integration of genomic selection and novel management protocols based on the development
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.1-01 | Award Amount: 11.61M | Year: 2014
The requirement for sustainable food production is a global issue to which the EU contributes as a major livestock producer. It is critical to improve animal production efficiency while sustaining environmentally friendly milk production. More profitable dairy production requires increased milk yield, cow health, longevity and fertility; reduced environmental footprint and optimised use of inputs. These are multifactorial problems to achieve. GplusE aims to identify the genotypes controlling biological variation in the important phenotypes of dairy cows, to appreciate how these are influenced by environmental and management factors and thus allow more informed and accurate use of genomic selection. GplusE will link new genomic data in dairy cows to a comprehensive array of phenotypic information going well beyond those existing traits recorded by dairy breeding organisations. It will develop systems that will focus herd and cow management on key time points in production that have a major influence on the rest of the productive cycle including efficiency, environment, physiological status, health, fertility and welfare. This will significantly advance the science, efficiency and management practices in dairy production well beyond the current state-of-the art. The major bioinformatics element of the proposal will illuminate the bovine genome and ensure a reverse flow of information to annotate human and other mammalian genomes; it will ensure training of animal scientists (PhDs & Postdocs) to a high skill level in the use of bioinformatics. The end result of this project will be a comprehensive, integrated identification of genomic-phenotypic associations relevant to dairy production. This information will be translated into benefits for animal breeding and management that will considerably improve sustainable dairy production. It will provide basic biological information into the mechanisms by which genotype, environment and their interaction influence performance.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2009-4.0-3 | Award Amount: 16.52M | Year: 2010
NAMDIATREAM will develop a cutting edge nanotechnology-based toolkit for multi-modal detection of biomarkers of most common cancer types and cancer metastases, permitting identification of cells indicative of early disease onset in a high-specificity and throughput format in clinical, laboratory and point-of-care devices. The project is built on the innovative concepts of super-sensitive and highly specific lab-on-a-bead, lab-on-a-chip and lab-on-a-wire nano-devices utilizing photoluminescent, plasmonic, magnetic and non-linear optical properties of nanomaterials. This offers groundbreaking advantages over present technologies in terms of stability, sensitivity, time of analysis, probe multiplexing, assay miniaturisation and reproducibility. The ETP in Nanomedicine documents point out that nanotechnology has yet to deliver practical solutions for the patients and clinicians in their struggle against common, socially and economically important diseases such as cancer. Over 3.2M new cases and 1.7M cancer-related deaths are registered in Europe every year, largely because diagnostic methods have an insufficient level of sensitivity, limiting their potential for early disease identification. We will deliver Photoluminescent nanoparticle-based reagents and diagnostic chips for high throughput early diagnosis of cancer and treatment efficiency assessment Nanocrystals enabling plasmon-optical and nonlinear optical monitoring of molecular receptors within body fluids or on the surface of cancer cell Multi-Parameter screening of cancer biomarkers in diagnostic material implementing segmented magnetic nanowires Validation of nano-tools for early diagnosis and highly improved specificity in cancer research. OECD-compliant nanomaterials with improved stability, signal strength and biocompatibility Direct lead users of the results will be the diagnostic and medical imaging device companies involved in the consortium, clinical and academic partners
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.04M | Year: 2013
Nanomedicine offers capability to significantly change the course of treatment for life-threatening diseases. Many of the most significant current therapeutic targets, to be viable in practice, require the efficient crossing of at least one biological barrier. However, the efficient and controlled crossing of the undamaged barrier is difficult. The range of small molecules that can successfully do so (via diffusive or other non-specific processes) is limited in size and physiochemical properties, greatly restricting the therapeutic strategies that may be applied. In practice, after several decades of limited success, there is a broad consensus that new multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral strategies are required. Key needs include detailed design and understanding of the bionano-interafce, re-assessment of in vitro models used to assess transport across barriers, and building regulatory considerations into the design phase of nanocarriers. The overarching premises of the PathChooser ITN are that (i) significant advances can only be made by a more detailed mechanistic understanding of key fundamental endocytotic, transcytotic, and other cellular processes, especially biological barrier crossing; (ii) elucidating the Mode of Action / mechanism of successful delivery systems (beyond current level) will ensure more rapid regulatory and general acceptance of such medicines. Paramount in this is the design and characterization of the in situ interface between the carrier system and the uptake and signalling machinery. (iii) inter-disciplinary knowledge from a range of scientific disciplines is required to launch a genuine attack on the therapeutic challenge. The PathChooser ITN program of research and training will equip the next generation of translational scientists with the tools to develop therapies for a range of currently intractable (e.g. hidden in the brain) and economically unviable diseases (e.g. orphan diseases affecting a limited population).
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.72M | Year: 2013
The CI-NERGY Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) aims to train young scientists to develop urban decision making and operational optimisation software tools to minimise non-renewable energy use in cities. The training will be carried out by a close collaboration of six of the best academic research centres and four leading industrial companies from the energy and software technology sector (Siemens, WienEnergie, EDF/EIFER, and IES). The research fellows will apply their results in two case study cities (Geneva and Vienna), which were chosen for their very ambitious sustainability goals. The CI-NERGY network will be a highly multi-disciplinary coordinated PhD programme on urban energy sustainability, covering the key challenges in cities related to a low carbon future. There is a gap in high level integrated training in the urban energy research field, which is due to the wide range of fragmented disciplines from building physics and energy supply technologies with electrical and thermal engineering up to software engineering and information technology. The CI-NERGY network wide training provided by excellent academic and industry partners from all areas of smart cities will close this gap. The impact of the network training activities will be highly noticeable for energy supply utilities, IT companies, policy makers, urban planners, researchers on sustainable urban energy systems and finally the inhabitants of cities themselves. All sectors mentioned will provide excellent career opportunities for the research fellows, who will gain excellent knowledge of the sectorial requirements by a structured secondment plan.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2013.2.5-01 | Award Amount: 4.95M | Year: 2014
TRANSMANGO aims to obtain a comprehensive picture of the effects of the global drivers of change (climate, economic concentration and market structure, financial power, resource competition, marginalization, property rules, geo-political shifts, consumer preferences, consumption patterns and nutritional transition) on European and global food demand and on raw material production (and, consequently, on food flows). The research focuses on the vulnerability and resilience of European food systems in a context of socio-economic, behavioral, technological, institutional and agro-ecological change and aims to enhance understanding of the new challenges and opportunities that the food sector will face in the future. Vulnerability assessment methodologies and dynamic modeling tools will be reviewed, upgraded and developed to assess the resilience of Europes agro-food sector and food security situation and to understand the sustainability frontiers of different food production systems under the new unfolding conditions. The project will collect analytical data that will be used to design scenarios for the desired transition pathways in the food system. Based on these scenarios, TRANSMANGO will provide guidance to support the transition towards sustainability and will offer recommendations to address Europes medium- and long-term food security.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: WASTE-7-2015 | Award Amount: 7.65M | Year: 2016
Continuing population and consumption growth are driving global food demand, with agricultural activity increasing to keep pace. Europe has a major agricultural waste problem, generating some 700 million tonnes of waste annually. There is an urgent need and huge opportunity to address the efficient use of agricultural wastes, co-products and by-products (AWCB) towards delivering sustainable value chains in the farming and processing sectors. As such, AgroCycle will convert low value agricultural waste into highly valuable products, achieving a 10% increase in waste recycling and valorisation by 2020. This will be achieved by developing a detailed and holistic understanding of the waste streams and piloting a key number of waste utilisation/valorisation pathways. It will bring technologies and systems from ~TRL4 to ~TRL7 within the 3 years of the project. A post-project commercialisation plan will bring commercially promising technologies/systems to TRL8 and TRL9, ensuring AgroCycle will have an enduring impact by achieving sustainable use of AWCB both inside and outside the agricultural sector, leading to the realisation of a Circular Economy. AgroCycle addresses wastes from several agricultural sectors: wine, olive oil, horticulture, fruit, grassland, swine, dairy and poultry. The AgroCycle consortium is a large (25) multi-national group (including China) comprising the necessary and relevant multi-actors (i.e. researchers; companies in the technical, manufacturing, advisory, retail sectors (Large and SMEs); lead users; end users; and trade/producer associations) for achieving the projects ambitions goals. Farmings unique regional (rural) location means that AgroCycle will help reduce the EUs Innovation Divide and address the Regional Smart Specialisation Strategies for each partner country: impact will be Regional with National and International dimensions. The presence of three partners from China ensures international synergies and a global impact.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 3.81M | Year: 2016
CELTA: Convergence of Electronics and Photonics Technologies for Enabling Terahertz Applications aims to produce the next generation of researchers who will enable Europe to take a leading role in the multidisciplinary area of utilizing Terahertz technology for applications involving components and complete systems for sensing, instrumentation, imaging, spectroscopy, and communications. All these technologies are key to tackle important solutions in a large number of focus areas relevant for the societal challenges identified in the Horizon2020 work programme. To achieve this objective, CELTA is comprised of eleven leading research institutions and assembled a comprehensive research training programme for all the fifteen early stage researchers (ESRs). CELTA integrates multidisciplinary scientific expertise, complementary skills, and experience working in academia and industry to empower ESRs to work in interdisciplinary teams, integrate their activities, share expertise, and promote a vision of a converged co-design and common engineering language between electronics and photonics for Terahertz technologies. Therefore, CELTA will introduce the strategy of converged electronics and photonics co-design in its research program and makes a special effort on establishing a common engineering language in its training program across the electronics, photonics and applications disciplines. We believe this common engineering language and converged co-design is mandatory to make the next logical step towards efficient and innovation solutions that can reach the market. The detailed compendium of lectures on state-of-the art technology, soft skills and entrepreneurship is accompanied by a research programme that focuses on THz key technologies. CELTA ESRs will develop three demonstrators: beam steering technology for communication applications, a photonic vector analyser for spectroscopy and materials characterization, and a THz imager for sensing applications.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 3.95M | Year: 2015
Changing demographics and increasing pressure on health related resources mean that new models of care must be found. Fortunately, technology developments and increasing digital literacy mean that we can now put the correct information in the correct hands at the correct time. This is connected health and it allows patients, clinicians, and planners to make better decisions. Ultimately, these decisions can save lives, save money and ensure a better quality of life for the patient during and after treatment. Connected Health is an emerging market and an emerging science. It requires t-shaped individuals with deep disciplinary expertise allied to a broad understanding of a variety of domains including business, economics, life science, health science, computer science, social science and engineering. Current research and training programmes in Europe do not address this need and adoption of Connected Health solutions and practices is limited as a result. CHESS will develop connected health scientists and champions who have a broad understanding of multiple domains, who can communicate in an interdisciplinary world and who can operate across the education, industry, health and policy sectors. CHESS will include intersectoral secondments, interdisciplinary communication skills, public engagement and outreach with particular focus on patient, clinician and policy-maker audiences. This will build on the programme of interrelated core research projects which will address gaps in the knowledge and evidence base for Connected Health in terms of health economics, use of big data, personal sensing, business modelling, navigating markets and ecosystems, change management and user-led design.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRADEV-3-2015 | Award Amount: 2.50M | Year: 2015
After CESSDAs successful launch we must now achieve full European coverage, and strength and sustainability for the widened network. European coverage: In each country the barriers to, and the potential value and benefits from, membership will be examined, and existing relevant infrastructure mapped. Bespoke coordination, networking activities, and stakeholder forums, all designed to address the specific barriers, will be delivered. In particular, relationships between national ministries, Research Councils, and the social science research community will be built. Relevant work in other completed initiatives (eg. SERSCIDA, DASISH, DwB) would be taken up and moved to the next stage of practical and direct support for achieving membership of the CESSDA Research Infrastructure. National opportunities for using European structural funds and other sources of support will be explored. The approach is to ensure the national and European economic and social benefits, and the positive returns on investment, that are achieved through membership of CESSDA are wholly apparent to the relevant national decision-makers. Strength and sustainability: The widened membership must form a strong and sustained network, where global best practice is built in to the infrastructure of European social science and research. Membership of CESSDA should mean membership of a world class support infrastructure. Links with practical benefits will be established with equivalent infrastructures in other continents. The benefits of coordinated collaboration and consultation with trans-national European stakeholders (for example, Eurostat, European Parliament, Consilium) will bring benefits to all national CESSDA Members. The visibility of this research infrastructure and its importance to excellent evidence in policy making will be enhanced. Further, existing national infrastructures must complete their transition into a holistic service, capable of access services for all.
Wang D.,Shanghai JiaoTong University |
Zhao T.,University College Dublin |
Zhu X.,Shanghai JiaoTong University |
Yan D.,Shanghai JiaoTong University |
Wang W.,University College Dublin
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2015
Hyperbranched polymers (HBPs), an important subclass of dendritic macromolecules, are highly branched, three-dimensional globular nanopolymeric architectures. Attractive features like highly branched topological structures, adequate spatial cavities, numerous terminal functional groups and convenient synthetic procedures distinguish them from the available polymers (the linear, branched, and crosslinking polymers). Due to their unique physical/chemical properties, applications of HBPs have been explored in a large variety of fields. In particular, HBPs exhibit unique advantages in the biological and biomedical systems and devices. Firstly, the way to prepare HBPs usually only involves simple one-pot reactions and avoids the complicated synthesis and purification procedures, which makes the manufacturing process more convenient, thus reducing production costs. Secondly, the large number of end-groups of HBPs provides a platform for conjugation of the functional moieties and can also be employed to tailor-make the properties of HBPs, enhancing their versatility in biological applications. Thirdly, HBPs possess excellent biocompatibility and biodegradability, controlled responsive nature, and ability to incorporate a multiple array of guest molecules through covalent or noncovalent approaches. All of these features of HBPs are of great significance for designing and producing biomaterials. To date, significant progress has been made for the HBPs in solving some of the fundamental and technical questions toward their bioapplications. The present review highlights the contribution of HBPs to biological and biomedical fields with intent to aid the researchers in exploring HBPs for bioapplications. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry.
Cordeiro L.,Federal University of Amazonas |
Fischer B.,University of Southampton |
Marques-Silva J.,University College Dublin
IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering | Year: 2012
Propositional bounded model checking has been applied successfully to verify embedded software, but remains limited by increasing propositional formula sizes and the loss of high-level information during the translation preventing potential optimizations to reduce the state space to be explored. These limitations can be overcome by encoding high-level information in theories richer than propositional logic and using SMT solvers for the generated verification conditions. Here, we propose the application of different background theories and SMT solvers to the verification of embedded software written in ANSI-C in order to improve scalability and precision in a completely automatic way. We have modified and extended the encodings from previous SMT-based bounded model checkers to provide more accurate support for variables of finite bit width, bit-vector operations, arrays, structures, unions, and pointers. We have integrated the CVC3, Boolector, and Z3 solvers with the CBMC front-end and evaluated them using both standard software model checking benchmarks and typical embedded software applications from telecommunications, control systems, and medical devices. The experiments show that our ESBMC model checker can analyze larger problems than existing tools and substantially reduce the verification time. © 2012 IEEE.
News Article | October 26, 2016
The Vanuatu skeletal samples B30A, B10B, B17 were analysed with permission from the Vanuatu National Museum and the excavators of the Teouma site. The Tonga skeletal sample SK10 was analysed with permission from the excavators of the Talasiu site. All preparation of skeletal samples, DNA extraction, and library preparation was carried out in dedicated ancient DNA laboratories at University College Dublin, Ireland (sample preparation of the three Vanuatu individuals), at Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA (DNA extraction and library preparation of the three Vanuatu individuals), and at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany (sample preparation, DNA extraction and library preparation of the Tonga individual). Each of these facilities is spatially separated from other molecular biology laboratories, and measures are taken to protect ancient individuals from contamination including HEPA filtered air, head-to-toe suits, face masks with visors, multiple layers of gloves, bleaching of all surfaces, ultraviolet light (UVC) decontamination of (non-sensitive) consumables and chemicals, and UVC decontamination of the facility when researchers are not in the room31. The final step of the library preparation (amplification) was performed outside the ancient DNA laboratory. We prepared powder from the cochlea of petrous bones, extracted DNA12, and prepared libraries with standard protocols (ref. 13 for the Vanuatu individuals and ref. 32 for the Tonga individual). For the three Vanuatu individuals, the first library was prepared in the presence of uracil DNA glycosylase (UDG) to cut out errors due to ancient DNA damage, whereas the remaining three libraries as well as the Tonga library were prepared without UDG as this preserves more DNA for any given sample. We performed in-solution enrichment using previously reported protocols13, 14, 33, 34 for a targeted set of 1,237,207 SNPs that comprises two previously separately reported sets of 394,577 SNPs34 and 842,630 SNPs14. We sequenced the product on Illumina NextSeq500 instruments for 2 × 75 cycles. Following demultiplexing, and, for the Vanuatu samples, removal of both oligonucleotide barcodes that were used to identify the libraries and trailing adaptor sequences, we merged the forward and reverse reads of each read pair requiring a 15-base pair overlap (allowing one mismatch). We then aligned merged sequences to the human genome hg19 using BWA 0.6.1 (ref. 35). We removed sequences aligned to identical outer coordinates, choosing the highest quality sequence for each duplication cluster. We merged the data from the four libraries for each Vanuatu individual. We determined sex by comparing the number of X and Y chromosome alignments15. We estimated damage patterns using PMDtools v0.6018, separating damage patterns observed inside and outside a CpG context. Since all four individuals were female, we could not estimate contamination using X chromosome data. We investigated whether there was evidence of excess relatedness between any pair of individuals among the Vanuatu individuals, but found that the pairwise mismatch rate using panel 5 of the Affymetrix Human Origins array (see below) was 19.8% ± 0.4% for I1368/I1369, 19.7% ± 0.6% for I1368/I1370, and 20.5% ± 0.4% for I1369/I1370. This suggests no atypical pair of individuals and a similar within-population mismatch rate (heterozygosity) as some present-day Polynesian populations (Fig. 2). We genotyped 356 individuals from 38 southeast Asian and Oceanian populations on the Affymetrix Human Origins array (Extended Data Table 2). The individuals all contributed DNA samples voluntarily and provided informed consent consistent with studies of human genetic variation and history. Ethical approval of the component studies was provided by the Singapore Health IRB, the Research Ethics Committee at the Facultés de Médecine de Toulouse, the Brunei Medical and Health Research Ethics Committee, the University of Cambridge Biology Research Ethics Committee, the Government of Papua New Guinea Medical Research Advisory Committee, and the Temple University IRB. The collection of genome-wide variation data on de-identified samples was approved by the Harvard Human Research Protection Program (Protocol 11681), re-reviewed on 12 July 2016. We restricted analysis to samples that had >95% genotyping completeness and that were not visual outliers in PCA with respect to the main cluster of samples in the group. We merged with previously reported Affymetrix Human Origins SNP array data26, 36, 37, 38, 39. We also co-analysed our data with samples genotyped on the Affymetrix 6.0 platform where we removed three previously published39 Rapa Nui individuals (5s5j, XB3B, and 3p3p), and two previously published40 Samoan individuals (PLY_07 and PLY_11), all of which appeared to have recent European ancestry based on clustering analyses. We finally compared our data to high-coverage genomes from an archaic Neanderthal and an archaic Denisovan, both from Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia41, 42, 43. When overlapping with the Affymetrix Human Origins SNP array data set of present-day human populations, we have between 74,000 and 126,000 SNPs covered at least once for each of the four individuals (Extended Data Table 1). This is more than the minimum coverage required for high-resolution analysis using allele frequency correlation statistics, e.g. 10,000 SNPs per individual according to Supplementary Information section 6.2 of ref. 44, a study that had the same median coverage (0.19×) as ours (the range in the present study is 0.14–0.26×). For all analyses, we called genotypes by randomly sampling a single non-duplicate sequence read at each position45. This procedure is standard for analysis of low-coverage ancient DNA data and is also often used for higher-coverage data to minimize reference genome biases that can be introduced when determining diploid genotypes14, 17, 34, 36, 41, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50. For the qpAdm, qpWave and qpGraph analyses we excluded transition SNPs to avoid potential biases from post-mortem damage (see below). We performed PCA using smartpca51, with the option inbreed: YES in order to sample a single genotype from each individual randomly to match the pseudo-haploid nature of the ancient DNA genotypes from the ancient individuals52. We computed f -, f - and D-statistics as in ref. 26, and F using the Hudson estimator and randomly sampled a single haploid sequence to represent each individual at each SNP position, using popstats38. We estimated the date of admixture using ALDER21. We tested the consistency of a matrix of f -statistics with one or more sources of ancestry with respect to a set of outgroups (New_Guinea, Denisova, Sardinian, English, Yakut, Chukchi, Mala, Japanese, Ju_hoan_North, Mixe, Onge, Yoruba, and Mbuti) using qpWave19, 34. For the ancient individuals and all present-day populations genotyped on the Human Origins array, we used qpAdm34, which estimates ancestry proportions from two or more proxy source populations assuming that the proxies are more closely related to the real source populations than they are to a set of outgroups (qpAdm also provides a formal statistical test for whether this is the case, which passes in the context that we use it here). We estimated First Remote Oceanian and Papuan ancestry using Denisova, Sardinian, English, Yakut, Chukchi, Mala, Japanese, Ju_hoan_North, Mixe, Onge, Yoruba, and Mbuti as outgroups and New_Guinea and Ami as proxies for the Papuan and First Remote Oceanian source populations, respectively. For the ancient individuals, we excluded all transition SNPs to avoid possible biases due to post-mortem damage, resulting in 35,194 transversion SNPs for Vanuatu (covered by at least one of the individuals) and 22,030 for Tonga. For estimating qpAdm ancestry proportions in the Affymetrix 6.0 Polynesian data, we used whole-genome sequences from the same populations as outgroups53. We estimated Denisovan ancestry using the Denisovan genome and Japanese as the two sources, and chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), Ju_hoan_North, Mbuti, Yoruba, Dinka and the Altai Neanderthal genome as outgroups. We computed conditional heterozygosity using panel 5 of the Affymetrix Human Origins array, which contains SNPs ascertained as heterozygous in a single West African Yoruba individual. This provides an unbiased estimate of relative heterozygosity since the Yoruba individual is approximately symmetrically related to all Oceanians (Denisovan ancestry violates this assumption but is not expected to change the ranking of populations). We estimated heterozygosity as the average pairwise mismatch rate when sampling 2 chromosomes from two different individuals using popstats38, restricting to transversion SNPs for all populations and computing standard errors using a weighted block jack-knife. For authentication, we used PMDtools18 to extract sequences with clear evidence of post-mortem damage patterns (PMD score of at least 3), disregarding individual bases with phred-scaled base quality <30. We randomly sampled new pseudo-haploid genotypes from the resulting set of sequences and projected the ancient individuals onto the principal components inferred from the present-day populations as above. After this filtering, we retained 68,450 SNPs for I1368; 98,722 SNPs for I1369; 83,024 SNPs for I1370; and 117,023 SNPs for CP30. The ninety-nine per cent confidence intervals for qpAdm estimates of Papuan ancestry (see above) using the PMD score-restricted data were 0–21% for the ancient Vanuatu individuals and 0–24% for the ancient Tonga individual, consistent with the confidence intervals obtained from the full data. To test whether the ancient Vanuatu and the ancient Tonga individuals form a clade, we used qpWave to test whether a model of Dai, Ami, Kankanaey and a fourth population were consistent with being outgroups to the two ancient sample groups (we used Dai, Ami and Kankanaey as these span present-day Mainland East Asia, Taiwan, and the Philippines, and lack Papuan ancestry to the limits of our resolution). The analysis used the ~12,000 SNPs that remained after excluding transition SNPs and SNPs missing in one of the two ancient sample groups. We found that the model was consistent with the data for all tested Oceanian and Asian populations shown in Fig. 1, but that the lowest P value was observed for present-day Tongans (P = 0.09). We also found that f (Ami, Present day Tongan; Lapita_Vanuatu,Lapita_Tonga) = 0.006, Z = 3.2, when using all SNPs. This suggests a possible affinity between present-day Tongans and the ancient Tongan individual, consistent with the hypothesis that the ancient population of Tonga with little or no Papuan ancestry may have contributed some of the ancestry of present-day Tongans. To estimate the date of historical admixture between First Remote Oceanians and Papuans, we used ALDER21, 25 on the full Human Origins array data, with New Guinean Highlanders and Han Chinese as the two sources. We use Han Chinese for this analysis owing to their substantial sample size compared to populations more closely related to the ancestral First Remote Oceanian population such as the ancient individuals we analysed, indigenous Taiwanese, and indigenous Philippine groups. ALDER estimates are known to be robust even when using imperfect surrogates for the ancestral populations in this way26. We estimate an admixture date for a pool of Polynesian populations by combining data from Tongan, Tikopia, Russell and Bellona populations, all genotyped on the Affymetrix Human Origins SNP array. ALDER and other methods based on admixture linkage disequilibrium estimate dates in units of generations, which need to be converted to years. For this purpose, we require an estimate of the generation interval—the average age of a parent at the time their gametes were formed—weighted by the fraction of recombination events that occur in each sex (62.3% of all autosomal crossovers are estimated to occur in females, based on table 1 of ref. 54.). Using estimates from the anthropological literature, this quantity is 27.8 years for hunter–gathering societies, 28.6 years for developed nation states, and 29.6 years for less developed nation states22. These numbers are in the range of the point estimate we use of 28.1 years based on breakdown of admixture linkage disequilibrium in radiocarbon-dated ancient genomes55. To account for the substantial variability in generation intervals across human societies, we use the sample standard error of 2.15 years measured across eleven diverse hunter-gatherer groups based on Table 4 of ref. 22. The date estimates in Fig. 2 and Extended Data Fig. 4 thus use a generation interval of 28.1 years, and combine the standard error from ALDER (a) with the uncertainty in generation time, that is, , where A is the ALDER point estimate in number of generations. We do not subtract 66 years from the dates produced by ALDER to obtain bp dates (conventionally the date before 1950 ad, 66 years ago), because what ALDER is estimating is a number that is close to the bp date. To see this, note that ALDER estimates the date between when chromosomes of the two ancestries began crossing over (one generation after mixing began), and the date of the last crossover (when the germ cells that mixed to produce the present-day samples in our study were formed, likely one or two generations before 2016 ad). Accounting for these corrections means that ALDER is estimating a date of mixture that is likely to be within a generation of the true bp date. We used qpGraph26, 56 to assess the fit of admixture graph models to allele frequency correlation patterns as measured by f , f -, and f -statistics. We started with a skeleton phylogenetic tree consisting of Yoruba, New_Guinea, Dai, Atayal, Kankanaey and the pool of ancient Vanuatu individuals. We added Tongan, Mamanwa (a Philippine Negrito group), Nasioi and Kolombangara, respectively, to all possible edges in the tree, and retained only the graph solutions that provided no individual f statistics with |Z| > 3 between empirical and predicted statistics. For the extended version of the admixture graph, we also added Australians to all possible edges of the graph that included these populations. Finally, we modelled the previously documented admixture history relating Denisovans and the Altai Neanderthal genome to the outgroup chimpanzee and the anatomically modern human populations, to which we added the Andamanese Onge and the ancient Tongan individual. The final graph visualized in Fig. 3 used 10,893 SNPs after restricting to transversion SNPs to avoid complications due to ancient DNA damage and also SNPs with coverage in all groups. For more information on the admixture graph inference procedure, see Supplementary Information section 3. As an alternative inference method, we used Treemix v1.12 (ref. 27) to test models for Yoruba, Dai, Atayal, Kankanaey, Tongan, New Guinean Highlanders, the ancient Vanuatu individual and the ancient Tongan individual. The total number of SNPs after excluding transitions, SNPs with minor allele count of less than 4 in the selected data, and SNPs where one population had missing data, was 10,119, which we divided into 337 blocks of 30 consecutive SNPs each to estimate the covariance matrix. We first fitted a maximum likelihood tree of all populations, but found that several of the fitted allele frequency covariances deviated from those empirically observed by up to 16.4 standard errors. We then used the automated heuristic optimization in Treemix to infer a graph model with one admixture event using the same populations, and found that the optimal fit was for a model with an admixture event in the history of Tongans, where one portion of their ancestry diverged before the split of the ancestors of the ancient Vanuatu and Tonga individuals, and the other (25% ± 3%) derived from the New Guinean lineage. This maximum deviation between empirical and model covariances observed for the graph with one admixture edge was 1.6, indicating a good fit, consistent with our investigation of models using qpGraph. To estimate the proportion of female ancestors (F) and male ancestors (M) for a given population, we used two different methods both based on the estimates of ancestry for the X chromosome and autosomes. Both used the same underlying model, in which the observed admixture proportion estimates that and for the autosomes and X chromosome, respectively, depend on M and F such that: The first approach obtains unbounded point estimates of M and F by rearranging equations: Similarly, we obtained standard errors for M and F using the weighted block jackknife standard errors for and , SE and SE , as As an alternative to estimating M and F, we took an approximate Bayesian approach by performing 1 million simulations in which M and F were sampled from a uniform prior distribution (0, 1). We then simulated ancestry estimates specifying normal distributions with means and standard errors matching the empirical values (equations 1 and 2). We used the abc R package57 to run a rejection algorithm retaining the 1% of all simulation replicates with the closest Euclidean distances to the empirical and , and performed local linear regression on log-transformed summary statistics to obtain a posterior distribution. The results of the two methods are qualitatively similar. In Extended Data Fig. 6, we plot the posterior intervals of these distributions for selected populations. No statistical methods were used to predetermine sample size.
News Article | August 18, 2016
Since Otzi the Iceman was discovered on a glacier near the Italian-Austrian border in 1991, his mummified body has been a constant source of study, with researchers working laboriously to discover whatever they can about one of humanity's ancestors. Now, researchers have discovered yet another detail about the iceman: what he wore when he died. Researchers had a solid idea about many aspects of Otzi's life, such as how he died and what his diet consisted of prior to his end, but what he had on at the time continued to elude them. Otzi was found with various leather clothing when he was discovered all those years ago, but due to the limitations of DNA study at the time, they couldn't narrow what he wore down to the species level. Now, thanks to advancements made in that field, not only have researchers discovered what types of leather Otzi wore, but the discovery has revealed quite a bit about his lifestyle. The findings, published in Scientific Reports, revealed that Otzi's clothes were comprised of at least five five different animals when he met his end. – A coat of many fragments, incorporating both sheep and goat skin To reach this conclusion, researchers analyzed the leathers' mitochondrial DNA — the separate, smaller genome found in the tiny compartments that turn food into energy inside living cells. "We analyzed nine samples and for each one, we were able to reconstruct either a whole mitogenome or a partial mitogenome," said the paper's first author Niall O'Sullivan, a PhD student at University College Dublin based at the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman in Bolzano, Italy. "We were very happy with that." While being able to crack a 25-year-old puzzle was a momentous occasion in and of itself, the one of two implications that this discovery suggests is equally important. On one hand, the findings suggests that Copper Age people carefully chose between different wild and domesticated animals when looking for materials to make their clothes. For example, cow leather, which was found in Otzi's shoes, was the sturdiest material on his body, suggesting his boots were made for walking. Sheep leather, which made up parts of his striped coat, would have kept him warmer than other materials. On the other hand, the presence of multiple types of leather could also suggest that choosing articles of clothing was approached haphazardly, with icemen simply picking what they had readily available. Regardless of the outcome, however, it will only serve to clarify what researchers already knew. "It clarifies what we already knew — that the Iceman was an agropastoralist; that the majority [of] the food and resources that he used were of domestic origin." Of course, that "majority" component is important, as it's possible that Otzi got some of his leathers — or even finished pieces of clothing — by trading with people from other regions. Unfortunately, unless researchers happen to come across another similarly well-preserved specimen, they'll never know for sure. © 2016 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
News Article | December 20, 2016
Researchers from INRS and the FEMTO-ST Institute in France have used a novel measurement technique that magnifies time to reveal how ultrafast intense pulses of light can be generated from noise on a laser as it propagates in optical fibre. These experiments confirm theoretical predictions made decades ago, and may have implications in understanding the science of giant rogue waves on the ocean and the formation of other extreme events in nature. In optics, these waves occur as short and intense light pulses. The work is published in the journal Nature Communications on December 19, 2016. Instability and chaos are common in natural systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions -- where a small change in the input can lead to dramatic consequences. To understand chaos under controlled conditions, scientists have often used experiments with light and optics, which allow the study of even the most complex dynamics on a benchtop. A serious limitation of these existing experiments in optics, however, is that the chaotic behaviour is often seen on ultrafast picosecond timescales - a millionth of a millionth of a second that is simply too fast to measure in real time even using the fastest available experimental equipment. An international collaboration with teams in Canada, France, Finland and Ireland have now overcome this limitation, using a novel experimental technique known as a time lens. "In a similar way as a stroboscope can resolve the evolution of a bouncing ball in the dark or the movements of dancers in a night club, this time lens technique can take one million snapshots of the optical field every second, while additionally increasing the temporal resolution by a factor of 100. This approach allowed us to efficiently measure the chaotic dynamics of the light pulses and their temporal characteristics via available electronic detectors." explains Benjamin Wetzel, researcher in the group of Pr. Morandotti at INRS, Canada. The experimental results have confirmed theoretical studies dating back to the 1980s. The particular phenomenon that was studied is known as modulation instability, an optical "Butterfly Effect" that amplifies microscopic noise on a laser beam to create giant pulses of light with intensity over 1000 times that of the initial noise on the injected laser beam. These results are important because there is currently intense interest in studying noise amplifying instabilities in many different areas of physics, from trying to unravel the physics describing giant rogue waves on the ocean, to understanding plasma dynamics in the early universe. John Dudley, the lead Investigator of the work at FEMTO-ST highlights that "there are many systems in nature where it is very difficult to study rapid fluctuations associated with instabilities, but the ability to magnify ultrafast dynamics in optics now opens a new window into performing more experiments in this field." An unstable modulation instability optical field consisting of picosecond pulses that are normally too fast to be detected. The use of the technique of time magnification allows these chaotic pulses to be measured for the first time. © Benjamin Wetzel Real-time measurements of spontaneous breathers and rogue wave events in optical fibre modulation instability. M. Narhi, B. Wetzel, C. Billet, S.Toenger, T. Sylvestre, J.-M. Merolla, R. Morandotti, F. Dias, G. Genty, J. M. Dudley. Nature Communications 7, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13675 (2016). Single-shot observation of optical rogue waves in integrable turbulence using time microscopy. P. Suret, R. El Koussaifi, A. Tikan, C. Evain, S. Randoux, C. Szwaj & S. Bielawski. Nature Communications 7, Article number: 13136 (2016). http://www. The international research team is constituted by researchers from the Tampere University of Technology (Finland), Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) (Canada), University College Dublin (Ireland) and Institut FEMTO-ST, CNRS (France).
News Article | October 26, 2016
The last time Earth experienced both ice sheets and carbon dioxide levels within the range predicted for this century was a period of major sea level rise, melting ice sheets and upheaval of tropical forests. The repeated restructuring of tropical forests at the time played a major role in driving climate cycles between cooler and warmer periods, according to a study led by the University of California, Davis and published today in the journal Nature Geoscience. Using fossilized leaves and soil-formed minerals, the international team of researchers reconstructed the ancient atmospheric carbon dioxide record from 330 to 260 million years ago, when ice last covered Earth's polar regions and large rainforests expanded throughout the tropics, leaving as their signature the world's coal resources. The team's deep-time reconstruction reveals previously unknown fluctuations of atmospheric carbon dioxide at levels projected for the 21st century and highlights the potential impact the loss of tropical forests can have on climate. "We show that climate change not only impacts plants but that plants' responses to climate can in turn impact climate change itself, making for amplified and in many cases unpredictable outcomes," said lead author Isabel Montañez, a Chancellor's Leadership Professor with UC Davis Department of Earth and Planetary Science. "Most of our estimates for future carbon dioxide levels and climate do not fully take into consideration the various feedbacks involving forests, so current projections likely underestimate the magnitude of carbon dioxide flux to the atmosphere." Similarly to how oceans have served as the primary carbon sink in the recent past, tropical forests 300 million years ago stored massive amounts of carbon dioxide during these ancient glacial periods. The study indicates that repeated shifts in tropical forests in response to climate change were enough to account for the 100 to 300 parts per million changes in carbon dioxide estimated during the climate cycles of the period. While plant biologists have been studying how different trees and crops respond to increasing carbon dioxide levels, this study is one of the first to show that when plants change the way they function as CO2 rises or falls, it can have major impact, even to the point of extinction. "We see great resilience in vegetation to climatic changes, millions of years of stable composition and structure despite glacial-interglacial cycles," said co-author William DiMichele, a paleobiologist with the Smithsonian Institution. "But we've come to understand that there are thresholds that, when crossed, can be accompanied by rapid and irreversible biological change." Co-leading author Jenny McElwain, professor of paleobiology at University College in Dublin, Ireland, said the study indicates that shifts in atmospheric carbon dioxide impacted plant groups differently. "The forest giants of the period were hit particularly hard because they were the most inefficient of all the plants around at the time, likely losing water like open hose pipes" McElwain said. "Their forest competitors, like tree ferns, were able to outcompete them as the climate dried." Over the past million years, atmospheric carbon dioxide has been generally low and fluctuated predictably within a window of 200 to 300 ppm. This, the researchers explain, has sustained the current icehouse - a time marked by continental ice at the polar regions - under which humans have evolved. This trend has been abruptly interrupted by the pronounced rise of carbon dioxide over the past 100 years to the current level of 401 ppm -- one not seen on Earth for at least the past 3.5 million years. The current unprecedented rate of rising atmospheric CO2 raises concerns about melting ice sheets, rising sea level, major climate change, and biodiversity loss - all of which were evident more than 300 million years, the only other time in Earth's history when high CO2 accompanied ice at the polar regions. Additional co-authoring institutions include University College Dublin, Ireland; University of Michigan; Baylor University; Smithsonian Museum of Natural History; Haverford College; University of Connecticut.
News Article | November 16, 2016
Dublin and London - November 16 , 2016 - Providence Resources P.l.c. (PVR LN, PRP ID), the Irish based Oil and Gas Exploration Company (the "Company"), today provides an update regarding the Licence located in the Kish Bank Basin, offshore the east coast of Ireland. The Company holds and operates the Licence (100%) which contains the Lower Triassic Sherwood Sandstone Kish Prospect that is situated in c. 25 metre water depth and is c. 6 km offshore. The Minister of State for the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment has given his consent to extend the first phase of the Licence by two years until 17th August 2018 and an overall extension of one year to the licence term until 17th August 2020. Such extensions should allow for the planning, consent and drilling of an exploration well on the Kish Prospect within the first phase of the Licence. The Company has also voluntarily relinquished 55.39% of the area under the Licence considered to be unproductive. Commenting on the announcement, Tony O'Reilly, Chief Executive of the Company said: "These phase extensions to SEL 2/11 are very welcome as they should allow us to progress the Kish Prospect to drilling given the lead time in consenting for a near shore activity. We will now commence work on our foreshore licence submission, which will be a precursor to any further work leading up to the drilling of the Kish Prospect" Providence Resources Plc is an Irish based Oil and Gas Exploration Company with a portfolio of appraisal and exploration assets located offshore Ireland. The Company's shares are quoted on AIM in London and the ESM in Dublin. The Kish Prospect is located in the Kish Bank Basin, offshore Dublin, which is a Mesozoic basin bearing many geological similarities with the adjacent and prolific East Irish Sea Basin, offshore UK. This Lower Triassic Sherwood Sandstone prospect is a fault and dip-closed structure located c. 5,000' TVDSS as mapped on 2D seismic data. The prospect is considered to have been sourced from underlying Carboniferous oil-prone shales and sealed by overlying Upper Triassic halite and claystones with estimated un-risked recoverable prospective resources of c. 210 MMBO. This announcement has been reviewed by Dr John O'Sullivan, Technical Director, Providence Resources P.l.c. John is a geology graduate of University College, Cork and holds a Masters in Applied Geophysics from the National University of Ireland, Galway. He also holds a Masters in Technology Management from the Smurfit Graduate School of Business at University College Dublin and a doctorate in Geology from Trinity College Dublin. John is a Chartered Geologist and a Fellow of the Geological Society of London. He is also a member of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain, the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Geophysical Association of Ireland. John has more than 25 years of experience in the oil and gas exploration and production industry having previously worked with both Mobil and Marathon Oil. John is a qualified person as defined in the guidance note for Mining Oil & Gas Companies, March 2006 of the London Stock Exchange. Definitions in this press release are consistent with SPE guidelines. SPE/WPC/AAPG/SPEE Petroleum Resource Management System 2007 has been used in preparing this announcement.
News Article | April 20, 2016
Future health spend The provision of aid for global health has stagnated since the 2008 financial crisis, following years of increases during the early 2000s, and international health-spending inequalities will persist as a result, predicts a report (J. L. Dieleman et al. Lancet http://doi.org/bfdr; 2016). In a companion report, data extrapolated from health spending between 1995 and 2013 suggest that nearly half of low- and lower-middle-income countries are likely to miss an internationally agreed goal to spend at least US$86 per person on health by 2040 (J. L. Dieleman et al. Lancet http://doi.org/bfds; 2016). By that time, the wealthiest countries will spend an average of $9,019 per person on health, compared with $164 per person by the poorest countries. Earthquakes strike Ecuador and Japan A magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck Ecuador’s coast on 16 April, collapsing buildings and killing hundreds of people. The death toll was 413 as Nature went to press. It was the country’s most powerful quake since 1979 and it devastated towns near the coast. Separately, a series of shallow earthquakes shook Japan’s Kyushu island last week, culminating in a magnitude-7 tremor on 16 April that killed at least 42 people. Buildings including a student residence, as well as turrets on a seventeenth-century castle, collapsed in Kumamoto prefecture. Zika link declared The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared that the mosquito-borne Zika virus causes microcephaly — babies born with abnormally small heads — and other fetal brain defects. The announcement, on 13 April, is based on a review of evidence by CDC researchers (see S. A. Rasmussen et al. http://doi.org/bfc2; 2016). The mosquito season in the southern US states is looming, and the agency says that strong causal messages will reinforce advice about precautions. Some scientists caution that the proof is not yet unequivocal, but that the CDC is justified in erring on the side of caution. Antarctic cruise Swiss coordinators of the planned international Antarctic Circumpolar Expedition announced on 18 April the 22 scientific projects selected to take place on the research cruise. On 20 December, a 55-strong research crew involving scientists from 30 countries will set out from Cape Town on a three-month voyage on board the Russian research vessel Akademik Treshnikov. The scientists hope to extensively probe the Southern Ocean and map unexplored biota around Antarctica. The expedition is largely funded by the Swedish philanthropist Frederik Paulsen, founder of Ferring Pharmaceuticals. Vaccine switch Between 17 April and 1 May, 155 countries will introduce a new kind of polio vaccine as part of a global push to eradicate the disease. The switch will replace a ‘trivalent’ vaccine against the three serotypes of poliovirus with a more effective vaccine that targets the two types of virus that are still circulating. Just 10 cases of polio caused by a wild virus have been reported this year, in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Whales threat Marine-mammal experts have urged US President Barack Obama to halt permits for seismic oil and gas surveys along the mid- and southeastern US Atlantic coast. Fewer than 500 North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis, pictured) remain in the wild, 27 right-whale experts from the United States, Canada and Britain said in a 14 April letter to Obama. Noise pollution from the airgun blasts used to return information about oil and gas deposits would affect the animals on important feeding and breeding grounds, the letter says. Glyphosate rule The European Parliament has called on the European Commission to restrict its marketing authority for the widely used herbicide glyphosate to seven years, amid controversy over whether the chemical may be harmful to health. The commission had instead proposed a 15-year renewal of the authority — which expires in June — to market glyphosate in European Union member states. Parliament’s resolution on 13 April also calls for a new independent safety review and a restriction of glyphosate use in public areas. The resolution has no legal authority, but might influence a May vote by member states on the proposal. CRISPR crops The US Department of Agriculture said on 13 April that it will not regulate a mushroom genetically modified with the CRISPR–Cas9 gene-editing tool. The mushroom can now be cultivated and sold without passing through the agency’s regulatory process; it is the first CRISPR-edited organism to receive a green light from the US government (see page 293). And on 18 April, DuPont Pioneer in Johnston, Iowa, announced plans to commercialize high-starch varieties of maize (corn) that have been genetically modified with CRISPR to boost yields. The company aims to have the maize available within five years. Untested drug Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff has signed a law allowing patients to access an untested, unapproved compound that some claim is a miracle cure for cancer. The law, which went into effect on 14 April, allows those with a certificate verifying that they have cancer to obtain the drug; no prescription is required. The news came just weeks after Brazil’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation released laboratory results showing that the compound does not kill cancer cells grown in culture. See go.nature.com/gwzswx for more. Warming review The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will review the possible effects on humans and ecosystems of a rise in global temperature of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. At a meeting on 11–13 April in Nairobi, the group agreed to produce three special reports: one looking at the impacts of 1.5 °C of warming, with the other two assessing the impacts of climate change on land use and terrestrial ecosystems, and on oceans, glaciers and polar ice sheets. See go.nature.com/aq3yhf for more. Green light The European Space Agency’s ambitious plans to build a space-based gravitational-wave detector are feasible and the mission could launch sooner than planned, an expert panel reported on 12 April (see Nature 531, 30; 2016). The chair of the Gravitational Observatory Advisory Team, University College Dublin physicist Michael Perryman, told the BBC that the group will suggest a launch in 2029, which would bring forward the proposed start date of the €1-billion (US$1.1‑billion) mission by 5 years. Exxon sponsorship The board of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) has decided to continue to accept sponsorship money from the oil and gas giant ExxonMobil, despite a February letter from more than 170 AGU members and others complaining about the company’s past role in spreading climate misinformation. “We concluded that it is not possible for us to determine unequivocally whether ExxonMobil is participating in misinformation about science currently,” AGU president Margaret Leinen wrote in a blog post on 14 April describing the board’s vote. Last year, the AGU accepted US$35,000 in support from ExxonMobil. Cancer institute The Parker Foundation, a charity in San Francisco, California, has committed US$250 million to harnessing the immune system to fight cancer. The money will support more than 40 laboratories at 6 centres of medical research, which together will form the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, the foundation announced on 12 April. The institute — to be led by immunologist Jeffrey Bluestone of the University of California, San Francisco — will manage any intellectual property that emerges from the collaboration. The area planted globally with genetically modified (GM) crops declined in 2015. The 1% decline — the first in the technology’s 20-year global commercial history — was primarily due to a decrease in both GM and non-GM crops caused by low prices, says the body that tracks such crops. But the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications also said in its 13 April report that major growers of GM crops, such as the United States, are approaching saturation. 21 April The United Nations hosts a high-level debate on implementing its sustainable development goals for 2030, in New York. go.nature.com/ku8o5l 22 April Sentinel-1B, a radar observation satellite developed by the European Space Agency, will launch from Sinnamary, French Guiana. go.nature.com/9pmfp7 The Paris Agreement on climate change, adopted in December, will be signed in New York. go.nature.com/7fpxfw
Jordan E.J.,Waterford Regional Hospital |
Kelly C.M.,University College Dublin
Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy | Year: 2012
Introduction: Metastatic melanoma is an aggressive disease resistant to chemotherapy. Recent clinical trials have reported improved survival for two novel agents; ipilimumab, a humanized, IgG1 monoclonal antibody that blocks cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4) and vemurafenib, a BRAF (v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B1) inhibitor targeting an activating mutation in the serine-threonine-protein kinase BRAF gene. Areas covered: The authors reviewed preclinical and clinical data examining the safety of vemurafenib in melanoma. MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched using the medical subject heading 'vemurafenib' and the following text terms: melanoma, BRAF inhibition, vemurafenib. This review provides the reader with an overview of current data examining the efficacy and safety of vemurafenib in metastatic melanoma. Expert opinion: Vemurafenib is an oral agent licensed for patients with BRAF V600E mutation-positive inoperable and metastatic melanoma. The most common adverse effects observed in Phase III clinical trials were dermatological events, arthralgia and fatigue. Specific dermatological toxicities included development of cutaneous squamous cell cancers and keratoacanthomas. Prolongation of the QT interval was also reported. Regular dermatological assessments and electrocardiograms are recommended. Ongoing trials are examining vemurafenib in both the adjuvant setting and metastatic setting in combination with ipilimumab and MEK inhibitors (mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase). Understanding and overcoming mechanisms of resistance to BRAF inhibitors is the focus of ongoing research. © Informa UK, Ltd.
Burger J.,BurgerMetrics |
Gowen A.,University College Dublin
Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems | Year: 2011
Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) combines spectroscopy and imaging resulting in three dimensional multivariate data structures ('hypercubes'). Each pixel in a hypercube contains a spectrum representing its light absorbing and scattering properties. This spectrum can be used to estimate chemical composition and/or physical properties of the spatial region represented by that pixel. One of the advantages of HSI is the large volume of data available in each hypercube with which to create calibration and training sets. This is also known as the curse of dimensionality, due to the resultant high computational load of high dimensional data. It is desirable to decrease the computational burden implied in hyperspectral imaging; this is especially relevant in the development of real time applications. This paper gives an overview of some pertinent issues for the handling of HSI data. Computational considerations involved in acquiring and managing HSI data are discussed and an overview of the multivariate analysis methods available for reducing the considerable data load encountered in HSI data is presented. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
Janota M.,University of Lisbon |
Marques-Silva J.,University College Dublin
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2013
Over the years, proof systems for propositional satisfiability (SAT) have been extensively studied. Recently, proof systems for quantified Boolean formulas (QBFs) have also been gaining attention. Q-resolution is a calculus enabling producing proofs from DPLL-based QBF solvers. While DPLL has become a dominating technique for SAT, QBF has been tackled by other complementary and competitive approaches. One of these approaches is based on expanding variables until the formula contains only one type of quantifier; upon which a SAT solver is invoked. This approach motivates the theoretical analysis carried out in this paper. We focus on a two phase proof system, which expands the formula in the first phase and applies propositional resolution in the second. Fragments of this proof system are defined and compared to Q-resolution. © 2013 Springer-Verlag.
Hopper S.,University College Dublin |
Hopper S.,University of Lisbon |
Kavanagh C.,University College Dublin |
Ottewill A.C.,University College Dublin
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2016
We present a method for solving the first-order Einstein field equations in a post-Newtonian (PN) expansion. Our calculations generalize the work of Bini and Damour and subsequently Kavanagh et al. to consider eccentric orbits on a Schwarzschild background. We derive expressions for the retarded metric perturbation at the location of the particle for all ℓ-modes. We find that, despite first appearances, the Regge-Wheeler gauge metric perturbation is C0 at the particle for all ℓ. As a first use of our solutions, we compute the gauge-invariant quantity 〈U〉 through 4PN while simultaneously expanding in eccentricity through e10. By anticipating the e→1 singular behavior at each PN order, we greatly improve the accuracy of our results for large e. We use 〈U〉 to find 4PN contributions to the effective one body potential Q through e10 and at linear order in the mass ratio. © 2016 American Physical Society.
Walter S.,University of Aarhus |
Nicholson P.,John Innes Center |
Doohan F.M.,University College Dublin
New Phytologist | Year: 2010
TheFusarium species Fusarium graminearum and Fusarium culmorum, which are responsible for Fusarium head blight (FHB) disease, reduce world-wide cereal crop yield and, as a consequence of their mycotoxin production in cereal grain, impact on both human and animal health. Their study is greatly promoted by the availability of the genomic sequence of F. graminearum and transcriptomic resources for both F. graminearum and its cereal hosts. Functional genomic, proteomic and metabolomic studies, in combination with targeted mutagenesis or transgenic studies, are unravelling the complex mechanisms involved in Fusarium infection, penetration and colonization of host tissues, and host avoidance thereof. This review illuminates and integrates emerging knowledge regarding the molecular crosstalk between Fusarium and its small-grain cereal hosts. An understanding of the complexity of the host-pathogen interactions will be instrumental in designing new efficient strategies for the control of FHB disease. © 2009 New Phytologist.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2007.7.1 | Award Amount: 786.62K | Year: 2008
The aging of society is the single most important aspect of health care in the 21st century. Many intriguing ICT solutions are being developed within the EU, USA, and Japan for helping older people remain independent longer. However, these solutions tend to be fragmented and heterogeneous. The CAPSIL CSA team is a coalition of University and Industrial partners that already have extensive teams developing hardware/software/knowledge solutions to independent living based on established clinical requirements. All partners of CAPSIL are already members of regional and national centres on aging engaged in the process of helping to establish public policy and international standards. This support action is to launch initiatives, coordinated and disseminated by a series of workshops in the US, EU, and Japan (two per year for two years), with two fundamental goals: 1. to develop a detailed CAPSIL Roadmap for EU research to achieve effective and sustainable solutions to independent living based on an in-depth analysis of clinical requirements and the ICT scenarios developed or under development in the EU, as well as the US and Japan (societies where the aging of the population are currently on par or exceeding the challenges that will be found within the EU). 2. to support aging research by proposing procedures to incorporate all of these diverse solutions into WiKi entries (CAPSIL WiKi) which describe interoperable ICT solutions to clinical requirements for independent living that can then be deployed throughout the EU, US, and Japan for verification and testing. These CAPSILs will enable clinicians and other care-givers to get the information they need to quickly and easily test solutions for prolonging independent living within the many and various heterogeneous communities. Only with this knowledge will the relevance and efficacy of technological solutions be maintained and be empowered with the capability to be adapted for various cultures.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2012-1 | Award Amount: 1.43M | Year: 2012
Silicone if combined with appropriate cell adherent regulatory compounds offers significant advantages as a micro cell carrier, effectively a 3D microtissue device. These benefits include a capacity for defined and controlled porosity, inner chamber size, density, flexible shape, friction resistant, and low toxicity. The lead SME partner holds the IP for a silicone cell carrier device, which met some of these criteria, but exhibited poor cell adherence and requires re-engineering and exploitation of current cell molecular knowledge. There is a strong commercial need for such fully functional 3D cell culture technologies (microtissue) that can be manufactured into robust and reproducible in vitro test systems for toxicity testing, drug testing, cosmetic testing as part of a projected 1.6b cell based test market. This device may also eventually function as an active component in bioartificial livers (BAL) and other organ devices. The market growth is driven by needs in drug screening for drug discovery and toxicity screening. There are also a number of current EU directives that is driving the demand for reliable in vitro 3D cell based test system to replace in vivo test systems. The bio artificial liver market is also expected to grow rapidly due to high rates of liver disease worldwide. This project will develop novel develop new 3D cell culture technology based on proprietary cell immortalisation and the owned cell immobilisation technology. The objectives will be to deliver: 1) Immortalised hepatocyte and endothelial cells that retain characteristics of primary liver cells in 3D co-culture. 2) A porous silicone carrier for 3D culture 3) A scaleable bioreactor systems for 3D culture The following products will be developed using this technology, 1) 3D liver cell multiwell plate assay system, 2) 3D liver microbioreactor system and 3) a bioreactor component for a BAL device. Minimal SME economic return is predicted at 12m within 3 years of project completion
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC1-PM-18-2016 | Award Amount: 4.10M | Year: 2016
Childhood and adolescent obesity is a major global and European public health problem. Currently, public actions are detached from local needs, mostly including indiscriminate blanket policies and single-element strategies, limiting their efficacy and effectiveness. The need for community-targeted actions has long been obvious, but the lack of monitoring and evaluation framework and the methodological inability to objectively quantify the local community characteristics, in a reasonable timeframe, has hindered that. Fortunately, technological achievements in mobile and wearable electronics and Big Data infrastructures allow the engagement of European citizens in the data collection process, allowing us to reshape policies at a regional, national and European level. In BigO, that will be facilitated through the development of a platform, allowing the quantification of behavioural community patterns through Big Data provided by wearables and eHealth- devices. During the project, BigO will reach out to more than 25.000 school and age-matched obese children and adolescents as sources for community data. Comprehensive models of the obesity prevalence dependence matrix will be created, allowing, for the first time the data-driven effectiveness predictions about specific policies on a community and the real-time monitoring of the population response, supported by powerful real-time data visualisations. In short, BigO will provide an innovative new suite, allowing the Public Health Authorities to evaluate their communities based on their obesity prevalence risk and to take local action, based on objective evidence. BigO does not aim to redefine, from the ground-up, the existing obesity-related policy strategies targeting childhood obesity prevalence. BigO does, however, aim to redefine the way those strategies are designed and deployed in the European societies.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: INCO.2011-6.1 | Award Amount: 560.70K | Year: 2011
The central goal of EcoArm2ERA is to reinforce the international research cooperation between Armenian leading institute in environmental and ecological studies CENS and ERA in the critically important areas, specifically FP7 Themes as Environment, KBBE and Space (e.g. GIS technologies for environment)). This goal will be attained through pursuit of the following specific objectives: Objective1: To define and promote a sustainable development strategy for the Armenian CENS focusing on the overall improvement of the institutions capacities, visibility, and competitiveness. Objective 2: To develop a strategic partnership between CENS and (i) the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Policy, Earth Sciences Institute, University College Dublin (NUID UCD), and (ii) the Institute of Environmental Sciences, University of Geneva (UNIGE). To build a CENS capacity to acquire and carry out international collaborative research partnerships. Objective 3: To build the competencies needed by Armenian researchers and staff members in order to participate in the FP7/FP8 programme. EcoArm2ERA brings together top-level partners from both ERA and Armenia: CENS created with the mission to integrate the Armenian research capabilities in the field of environment and sustainable development. CENS will be main beneficiary of the project. CENS will be directly supported through its European twinning partners: NUID UCD Earth Sciences Institute of the University College Dublin and Institute of Environmental Sciences, University of Geneva, who will provide and open up their scientific and networking capabilities and serve as strategic link to the European RTD community. Last but not least, the consortium is accomplished by GIRAF (a specialist training provider and project management expert with expertise in institutional development and organisation).
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMP-10-2014 | Award Amount: 8.83M | Year: 2015
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease characterised by high blood glucose due to inadequate insulin production and/or insulin resistance which affects 382 million people worldwide. Pancreatic islet transplantation is an extremely promising cure for insulin-sensitive diabetes mellitus (ISDM), but side effects of lifelong systemic immunosuppressive therapy, short supply of donor islets and their poor survival and efficacy in the portal vein limit the application of the current clinical procedure to the most at-risk brittle Type I diabetes (T1D) sufferers. The DRIVE consortium will develop a novel suite of bio-interactive hydrogels (-Gel) and on-demand drug release systems to deliver islets in a protective macrocapsule (-Shell) to the peritoneum with targeted deposition using a specialised injection catheter (-Cath). Pancreatic islets will be microencapsulated in -Gels; biofunctionalised injectable hydrogels containing immunosuppressive agents and polymeric microparticles with tuneable degradation profiles for localised delivery of efficacy cues. These -Gels will be housed in a porous retrievable macrocapsule, -Shell, for added retention, engraftment, oxygenation, vascularisation and immunoprotection of the islets. A minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure (O-Fold) will be used to create an omental fold and at the same time deliver -Shell. An extended residence time in -Gel will enhance long-term clinical efficacy of the islets and result in improved glycemic control. The novel -Gels will also be developed as human three-dimensional in-vitro models of in-vivo behaviour. Islet harvesting and preservation technologies will be developed to facilitate their optimised yield, safe handling and transport, and ease of storage. DRIVE will also enable the future treatment of a broader range of T1 and insulin-sensitive T2 diabetics by working with induced pluripotent stem cell experts to ensure the compatibility of our system with future stem cell sources of -cells.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: EURO-1-2014 | Award Amount: 2.29M | Year: 2015
The Eurozone crisis corroborated the warnings of economists that weak economic policy coordination and loose fiscal oversight would be insufficient to stabilise the monetary union. To prevent a recurrence of the crisis, economists, political actors and the Blueprint of the European Commission are asking for the construction of a deep and genuine economic and monetary union with reinforced governance architecture beyond the recently adopted mechanisms. Many models of a fiscal union have been proposed and discussed. What is missing are not ideas and economic analysis, but the political consensus among member states governments for a specific integration path. Therefore, this political science project analyses the politics of economic and fiscal integration, that is, the conflict structure among member states. To this end, we aim to study the preferences of member states governments for different models of a fiscal union. Our theoretical framework builds on the comparative political economy literature and liberal intergovernmentalism and argues that domestic economic, fiscal and political factors are the main determinants of member states preferences. To empirically study the extent to which governments preferences are shaped by these factors, we propose to conduct 165 semi-structured interviews with decision makers in all member states. The interview data will be analysed with a mixed-method strategy including quantitative analysis as well as case studies. We fully expect that the findings of the project will provide guidance for the successful implementation of a feasible reform of the governance architecture of the EU to the effective stabilisation of the economy. In addition to the political feasibility analysis, we aim to study the legal context of potential integration scenarios. The consortium conducting this research covers all regions of the EU and consists of 8 distinguished political scientists and one legal scholar.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2011.3.1-02 | Award Amount: 3.91M | Year: 2011
OPTIMA will integrate an ambitious biology system approach for perennial grasses such as switchgrass, miscanthus and giant reed in the Mediterranean environment. Moreover the perennial species cardoon, which has been proven to be particularly adapted to the Mediterranean climate, will be used as a control species. The main objective of the OPTIMA project is to identify high-yielding perennial grasses for the Mediterranean area, within optimized production chain that will provide stable source for both biomass and new plant derived bio-products. OPTIMA will explore the potentialities of perennial grasses on underutilized or abandoned marginal lands. An interdisciplinary approach involving physiology, biotechnology, and agronomy, socio-economical and environmental analysis at different scale levels will be undertaken with the aim at tackling specific bottlenecks of perennial grasses in the Mediterranean area and to create alternative end-use chains. OPTIMA approach has been to link the research proposed here by including industrial end-users in the project. This should allow the output of this research to develop in a commercial context as rapidly as possible the new findings. The major goals of this multidisciplinary network are to evaluate the existing genotypes; to characterize and deliver novel species; to deliver sustainable crop management practices (sowing/planting strategies to reduce the use of pesticide and increase biomass on the first year establishment, cultivation under salinity conditions and/or water deficit, reducing losses during harvest); to evaluate the industrial production of bioenergy and added value bio-products; to assess the environmental impact through an integrated assessment of sustainability criteria, to disseminate the achieved findings at different level (local, regional, national, international).
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2012.6.2-1 | Award Amount: 11.46M | Year: 2012
Human use and exploitation of the biosphere is increasing at such a pace and scale that the sustainability of major ecosystems is threatened, and may not be able to continue to function in ways that are vital to the existence of humanity. Re-framing environmental resource use has led to the emergence of the concepts of ecosystem services (ES) and natural capital (NC). This discourse indicates not only a change in our understanding of planetary functions at the ecosystem scale, but also a fundamental shift in how we perceive the relationship between people and the ecosystems on which they depend. OPERAs (OPERATIONAL POTENTIAL OF ECOSYSTEMS RESEARCH APPLICATIONS) aims to improve understanding of how ES/NC contribute to human well-being in different social-ecological systems in inland and coastal zones, in rural and urban areas, related to different ecosystems including forests and fresh water resources. The OPERAs research will establish whether, how and under what conditions the ES/NC concepts can move beyond the academic domain towards practical implementation in support of sustainable ecosystem management. OPERAs will use a meta-analysis (systematic review) of existing ES/NC practice to identify knowledge gaps and requirements for new policy options and instruments. New insights, and improved or novel tools and instruments, will be tested in practice in exemplar case studies in a range of socio-ecological systems across locales, sectors, scales and time. Throughout this iterative process, available resources and tools will be brought together in a Resource Hub, a web-based portal that will be co-developed by scientists and practitioners representing different interests and perspectives on the development, communication and implementation of the ES/NC concepts. The Resource Hub will provide the main interface between OPERAs and a Community of Excellence (CoE) for continued practice that will benefit from OPERAs outcomes.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: HEALTH-2007-4.1-7 | Award Amount: 894.58K | Year: 2008
The Tiss.EU project will analyse the impact of current EU legislation and guidelines on biomedical research which is based on the procurement, storage and transfer of human tissues and cells in and across the European Union. The importance of tissue derived from the human body for biomedical research is ever increasing. In the Theme Translating research for human health of FP7, the EU actively encourages the networking of human sample biobank initiatives. National differences in the regulation of the handling of these tissues and cells, however, represent a serious barrier for biomedical research in the Member States and associated countries. EU legislation has dealt with these topics but covers mainly clinical application. A EU biobanking directive is still missing. This is a major handicap for translational research involving human samples. The project will evaluate the consequences of current EU legislation and related guidelines, as well as the way they are implemented at a national level, on translational research activities. It will identify regulation deficits and inconsistencies, and create an evidence base for the revision of legislation, if necessary.
NANOSOLUTIONS - Biological Foundation for the Safety Classification of Engineered Nanomaterials (ENM): Systems Biology Approaches to Understand Interactions of ENM with Living Organisms and the Environment
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2012.1.3-1 | Award Amount: 13.77M | Year: 2013
The main objective of this research proposal is to identify and elaborate those characteristics of ENM that determine their biological hazard potential. This potential includes the ability of ENM to induce damage at the cellular, tissue, or organism levels by interacting with cellular structures leading to impairment of key cellular functions. These adverse effects may be mediated by ENM-induced alterations in gene expression and translation, but may involve also epigenetic transformation of genetic functions. We believe that it will be possible to create a set of biomarkers of ENM toxicity that are relevant in assessing and predicting the safety and toxicity of ENM across species. The ENM-organism interaction is complex and depends, not simply on the composition of ENM core, but particularly on its physico-chemical properties. In fact, important physico-chemical properties are largely governed by their surface properties. All of these factors determine the binding of different biomolecules on the surface of the ENM, the formation of a corona around the ENM core. Thus, any positive or negative biological effect of ENM in organisms may be dynamically modulated by the bio-molecule corona associated with or substituted into the ENM surface rather than the ENM on its own. The bio-molecule corona of seemingly identical ENM cores may undergo dynamic changes during their passage through different biological compartments; in other words, their biological effects are governed by this complex surface chemistry. We propose that understanding the fundamental characteristics of ENM underpinning their biological effects will provide a sound foundation with which to classify ENM according to their safety. Therefore, the overarching objective of this research is to provide a means to develop a safety classification of ENM based on an understanding of their interactions with living organisms at the molecular, cellular, and organism levels based on their material characteristics.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IRSES | Award Amount: 174.80K | Year: 2013
MEDCHANGe focuses on the analysis of the relationships between global networks (Internet), flows (virtual and spatial mobilities of individuals, information i.e. migration also in light of gender issues such those of Moroccon female migrants; climate change migrants; tourism and heritage valorisation flows) and geographical localities in terms of local development and marginalisation/segregation. MEDCHANGe will shed lights on changing relationships at the spatial scales of some Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, Spain) due to the dialectics of global flows, borders crossing and local structural changes. Our network of scholars will work in synergy and complementarities thru joint field research, workshops and seminars by investigating both the spatial and behavioural origins and development of our topics and their contemporary changing dynamics in selected territorial cases (Tel Aviv, Algier, Lisbon, Marrakesh, Casablanca, Naples-Caserta, Zaragoza, Genoa). In order to achieve this goal, MEDCHANGe activities are structured into three main levels: 1) a theoretical-methodological level; 2) an empirical analysis of case studies in different countries; 3) an operational level. Theoretically we will contribute to the redefinition of the concepts that denote the field of investigation,Mediterranean changing relationships namely mobility, connectivity, gender, heritage,spatial justice, entrepreneurship, inclusion, climate migration, and the idea of the Mediterranean integration in a frame of uneven development. Empirically, we aims to exchange skills, knowledge, expertise, mobilities to document the different ways in which transformations of the Mediterranean cities and villages take place, and grasp the implications of the so-called virtual spatial mobilities in terms of inclusion, citizenship, security, intercultural dialogue. At the operational level we look forward for studying successful stories and practices of cooperation.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.61M | Year: 2014
Novel treatment options and associated personalised, patient-tailored therapies need to be explored and developed for highly heterogeneous and chemotherapy resistant cancers, such as malignant melanoma. This can only be achieved by industry-academia collaborations in newly emerging, innovative research disciplines such as translational cancer systems biology and systems medicine. These disciplines and the associated European training needs provide the foundation for the MEL-PLEX ETN. MEL-PLEX aims to understand the network-level and multi-scale regulation of disease-relevant signalling in melanoma through a combination of quantitative biomedical and computational research approaches that go significantly beyond the current state-of-the-art. Coordinated by the RCSI Centre for Systems Medicine, MEL-PLEX will train 15 early stage researchers through a highly interdisciplinary and intersectoral research training programme. MEL-PLEX comprises 11 beneficiaries and 7 partner organisations from 11 countries, including European and international leaders in personalised melanoma therapy, melanoma systems biology and cancer systems medicine. MEL-PLEX aims to (i) achieve an unmatched depth of molecular and mechanistic disease understanding, (ii) will exploit this knowledge to develop and validate predictive models for disease progression, prognosis and responsiveness to current and novel (co-)treatment options, and (iii) will provide superior and clinically relevant tools and biomarker signatures for personalising and optimising melanoma treatment. The MEL-PLEX ETN addresses current needs in academia and the private sector for researchers that have been trained in an environment that spans across biology, medicine and mathematics, that can navigate confidently between clinical, academic and private sector research environments, and that have developed an innovative and creative mindset to progress research findings towards applications.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-1.3-1 | Award Amount: 16.43M | Year: 2008
The overall aim of Predict-IV is to develop strategies to improve the assessment of drug safety in the early stage of development and late discovery phase, by an intelligent combination of non animal-based test systems, cell biology, mechanistic toxicology and in-silico modelling, in a rapid and cost effective manner. A better prediction of the safety of an investigational compound in early development will be delivered. Margins-of-safety will be deduced and the data generated by the proposed approach may also identify early biomarkers of human toxicity for pharmaceuticals. The results obtained in Predict-IV will enable pharmaceutical companies to create a tailored testing strategy for early drug safety. The project will integrate new developments to improve and optimize cell culture models for toxicity testing and to characterize the dynamics and kinetics of cellular responses to toxic effects in vitro. The target organs most frequently affected by drug toxicity will be taken into account, namely liver and kidney. Moreover, predictive models for neurotoxicty are scarce and will be developed. For each target organ the most appropriate cell model will be used. The approach will be evaluated using a panel of drugs with well described toxicities and kinetics in animals and partly also in humans. This approach will be highly advantageous as it will allow a direct comparison between the in vivo to the in vitro data. A parallel analysis of several dynamic and kinetic models with a broad spectrum of endpoints should allow for the identification of several relevant biomarkers of toxicity. Inter-individual susceptibilities will be taken into account by integrating the polymorphisms of the major drug metabolizing enzymes and correlating the observed effects in the human cell models with their genotype. Environmental influences on cellular toxicity to these compounds will also be evaluated using hypoxic stress as a relevant test model.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH-2009-2.2.1. | Award Amount: 3.52M | Year: 2010
The project focus are inequalities in income/wealth and education and their social/political/cultural impacts. It combines an interdisciplinary approach, improved methodologies, wide country coverage, a clear policy dimension and broad dissemination. It exploits differences between and within countries in inequality levels and trends to understand impacts and tease out implications for policy and institutions. It highlights potential effects of individual distributional positions and increasing inequality for a host of bad outcomes (societal and individual) and allows feedback from impacts to inequality in a frame of policy-oriented debate and comparison across 25 EU countries, USA, Japan, Canada and Australia. Social impacts include educational access and achievement, individual employment opportunities and labour market behaviour, household joblessness, living standards and deprivation, family and household formation/breakdown, housing and intergenerational social mobility, individual health and life expectancy, and social cohesion versus polarisation. Underlying long-term trends, the economic cycle and the current financial and economic crisis will be incorporated. Politico-cultural impacts investigated are: Do increasing income/educational inequalities widen cultural and political distances, alienating people from politics, globalisation and European integration? Do they affect individuals participation and general social trust? Is acceptance of inequality and policies of redistribution affected by inequality itself? What effects have political systems (coalitions/winner-takes-all)? Finally, it focuses on costs and benefits of limiting income inequality and its efficiency for mitigating other inequalities (health, housing, education and opportunity). A detailed flexible plan and support from an outstanding Advisory Board will allow the highly experienced research team to deliver important new answers to questions of great import to European societies.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2011.1.1-2 | Award Amount: 7.99M | Year: 2012
In recent years the treatment paradigm for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) has evolved in complexity to include newly developed targeted therapeutics. In 2004 bevacizumab (bvz) [Avastin] became the first anti-angiogenic drug to be licensed in malignant disease, based on the results of a randomised trial in advanced metastatic colorectal cancer. Nevertheless, over the past six year period emerging data now indicates that bvz fails to produce an enduring clinical response in a high proportion of patients. Delivery of the drug as part of a combination treatment regimen in mCRC elicits transitory improvements in the form of tumour stasis or shrinkage. Inevitably however, the tumours begin to re-grow and the disease progresses. It is now universally agreed that the future use of bvz in mCRC (and other cancers) is likely to be greatly influenced by the availability of predictive biomarkers to allow selection of patients who will attain the greatest benefit. The ANGIOPREDICT paradigm relies on a modular platform for the integrated discovery and validation of predictive pharmacogenomic biomarkers for combination bvz therapy in mCRC. Through initiation of a multi-centre clinical trial, early discovery findings will be validated for markers of Intrinsic Resistance to therapy. Parallel optimization of companion in vitro diagnostic tests (IVDs) through exploitation of proven SME development and validation strategies will ensure a cross-sectoral benefit to the cancer patient, prescribing physician and more broadly, across European and global public health networks. Crucially, leading SME partners will expand business portfolios into a well-defined market, progress novel intellectual property and access several in-licensing opportunities. ANGIOPREDICT uniquely unites world-class molecular diagnostic biomarker discovery SMEs with leading clinical and academic entities to identify a new generation of individualized methods for predicting response to combination bvz therapy.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2013.7.1.1 | Award Amount: 7.84M | Year: 2013
With the growing relevance of distributed renewable energy sources (DRES) in the generation mix and the increasingly pro-active demand for electricity, power systems and their mode of operation need to evolve. evolvDSO will define future roles of distribution system operators (DSOs) on the basis of scenarios which will be driven by different DRES penetration levels, various degrees of technological progress, and differing customer acceptance patterns. The evolvDSO consortium addresses the main research and technology gaps that need to be solved for DSOs to efficiently fulfil their emerging and future roles in the European electricity system. The new tools and methods will encompass a wide array of DSO activities related to planning, operational scheduling, real-time operations and maintenance. Selected methods and tools developed during the project will be validated in computer simulations and real-life testbeds to maximise their deployability, scalability and replicability. Beyond this holistic, top-down approach, evolvDSO is unique in that it brings together the key actors of the electricity value chain that are at the forefront of smart grid development, and with a clear common view on what is needed for further DRES integration in Europe. The consortium consists of 16 partners including DSOs, TSOs, renowned research institutions and new market players that provide unique expertise to achieve the stated objectives. evolvDSO will contribute to the transition to a more sustainable European energy system by maintaining and increasing the security and reliability of distribution grids facilitating the increased feed-in of DRES. The results of evolvDSO will drive the implementation of the EEGI roadmap and ultimately provide a significant impetus for reaching EU climate targets. The project will establish strong links to the realization of smart cities, thus contributing to the EC initiative Smart Cities and Communities
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.2.1-4 | Award Amount: 4.02M | Year: 2008
MEMOSAD aims at defining the molecular mechanisms of Abeta- and Tau-induced synaptotoxicity and at developing disease-modifying therapeutics for the prevention of memory loss in Alzheimer disease (AD). Insoluble aggregates of the two proteins provide the pathological hallmarks of this incurable brain disorder. Early stage AD is characterized by a remarkably pure impairment of declarative memory and several lines of evidence suggest that this memory impairment is independent of the insoluble aggregates, does not require neuronal death and is caused by subtle and transient synaptic changes. The toxic Abeta and Tau species that cause synaptic dysfunction, their mechanism of toxicity and the link between both pathologies remain largely unknown, but recent data suggest that Abeta accumulation triggers Tau pathology. Consequently, primary neuronal cultures and animal models (C.elegans,zebrafish,mouse) will be employed to define the pathologic pathways leading from Abeta through Tau to synaptotoxicity. Initial experiments will investigate the effect of well-defined Abeta species on long term potentiation, synaptic morphology, gene expression, Tau phosphorylation/aggregation, axonal transport and behaviour. Similarly, we will investigate the functional consequences of Tau misfunction, aggregation, hyperphosphorylation and missorting in various cell culture systems (retinal ganglion cells, primary hippocampal neurons, organotypical slices) and animal models, especially with regard to intraneuronal trafficking and synaptic function. Once the toxic Abeta and Tau species are known and their mechanism of toxicity are defined, we will investigate how these pathways interact. Unravelling the pathologic pathways that lead from Abeta through Tau to synaptotoxicity and memory loss should reveal novel points for therapeutic intervention. Our aim is to deliver 3 or 4 validated therapeutic targets and at least 2 compounds with demonstrated therapeutic efficacy in mouse models of AD.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY-2007-4.3-01 | Award Amount: 7.55M | Year: 2009
GROUND-MED project will demonstrate geothermal heat pump (GSHP) systems for heating and cooling of measured SPF>5,0 in 8 demonstration sites of South Europe. As the SPF is determined not only by the heat pump unit, but by its operating conditions imposed to the heat pump by the ground heat exchanger and the heating/cooling system of the building as well, integrated systems incorporating the following technological solutions will be demonstrated and evaluated: a) new water source heat pumps of improved seasonal efficiency; key technologies include use of the next generation of compressors, heat exchangers and automation; b) borehole heat exchangers and heating/cooling systems operating with minimum temperature difference between them, which also follows the corresponding heating/cooling demand from the building; design aspects, thermal storage and system controls are important; c) minimum power consumption to system components; key parts are the fan-coil and air-handling units. GROUND-MED has a duration of 5 years and a budget of around 7,3 million euros, comprising 25% research and 75% demonstration and other activities. The GROUND-MED consortium comprises 24 organizations mainly from South Europe, including a wide diversity of GSHP actors, such as research and educational institutes, heat pump manufacturers, national and European industrial associations, energy consultants and works contractors.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.4.2-1 | Award Amount: 8.33M | Year: 2014
Asymptomatic vascular damage accumulates for years before patients are identified and subjected to therapeutic measures. The limited knowledge on early vascular disease pathophysiology is reflected in the lack of therapeutic options. SysVasc aims to overcome this limitation by mounting a comprehensive systems medicine approach to elucidate pathological mechanisms, which will yield molecular targets for therapeutic intervention. The consortium is based on established multidisciplinary European research networks, including specialists in pre-clinical and clinical research, omics technologies, and systems biology from research intensive SMEs and academia; partners synergistically provide access to an extensive number of selected population-based cohorts and associated datasets, cutting edge modeling and simulation methods, and established cardiovascular disease (CVD) animal models and patient cohorts. The coordinated application of these tools and know-how will identify pathophysiological mechanisms and key molecules responsible for onset and progression of CVD and validate their potential to serve as molecular targets for therapeutic intervention. To this end, the consortium will also use unique resources to evaluate molecular homology between the available model systems and human disease, which will yield reliable essential preclinical research tools to explore proof of concepts for therapeutic intervention studies and ultimately translate relevant results into novel therapeutic approaches. Collectively, SysVasc will identify and validate novel biology-driven key molecular targets for CVD treatment. Major scientific, societal and economic impact is expected including, but not limited to, providing a valuable resource to further CVD research, and enhance competitiveness of participating SMEs and European health industry in general by translating knowledge into innovative services in therapeutic target and drug research.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: EURO-3-2014 | Award Amount: 2.50M | Year: 2015
The current crisis has indirectly contributed to questioning the efficiency of financial markets and democratic institutions at European and national levels. Recent data from the Eurobarometer (July 2013) shows a continuous decrease in the trust levels that citizens from the European Union have on national governments and parliaments, radically decreasing in more than 25 points in the last six years (European Commission, 2013). This situation is jeopardizing the European project while at the same time a lively public debate about the meaning of European identity is taking place across Europe. Several social scientists have argued that the social and economic inequalities in the new global order are contributing to civil social reactions, based on solidarity, aiming to achieve a better society for all (Touraine, 2007; Wright, 2010). This project aims to analyzing in depth the acts of solidarity which are being developed across Europe, the extent to which they respond to dialogic and inclusive processes, the related outcomes and the policy developments. The project starts from previous findings on successful actions which are combating the crisis by creating employment or improving access to health through acts of solidarity. These acts are thus contributing to construct more inclusive and prosperous societies, by influencing at the macro-level (social inequalities) and micro-level (psychological wellbeing). In this regard, the research will identify common elements among these acts in order to examine their transferability to different contexts. To cover this objective, effects of these actions in five social areas will be studied in depth: housing, education, employment, engagement and health. Simultaneously, special attention will be paid on social investment policies which are supporting these initiatives.
News Article | September 14, 2016
Astronomers the world over are about to get their first taste of a tool that will transform their working lives. Gaia, a space telescope launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) in late 2013, will release its first map of the Milky Way on 14 September. The catalogue will show the 3D positions of 2,057,050 stars and other objects, and how those positions have changed over the past two decades. Eventually, the map will contain one billion objects or more and will be 1,000 times more extensive and at least 10 times more precise than anything that came before. The release next week will also include 19 papers by Gaia astronomers who have already seen the data. But independent teams are getting ready for their first glimpse. Lennart Lindegren, an astronomer at the Lund Observatory in Sweden and a major driving force in the Gaia project since it was first proposed in 1993, expects astronomers to produce 100 or so papers just in the weeks following the draft catalogue release. Some groups have planned ‘Gaia hacking’ and ‘Gaia sprint’ events, at which researchers will collectively work out how best to exploit the sudden manna. “Gaia is going to revolutionize what we know about stars and the Galaxy,” says David Hogg, an astronomer at New York University who is leading some of these efforts. So what are some of the revelations that Gaia could make? Gaia’s 3D view of the Milky Way in motion will reveal how stars move under its combined gravitational pull. This will add to knowledge of the Galaxy’s structure, including parts that are not directly visible from Earth, such as the ‘bar’ — two arms that stick straight out of the Galactic Centre and join it to the spiral arms. Researchers will be able to identify ‘outlier’ groups of stars which stream together at high speeds, and which are thought to be remnants of mergers with smaller galaxies, says Michael Perryman, an astronomer at University College Dublin and a former senior scientist for Gaia at ESA. Combined with existing information about factors including stars’ colour, temperature and chemical composition, this detailed map will enable researchers to reconstruct the Galaxy’s archaeology: how it got to its present state over the past 13 billion years. “Over its lifetime, Gaia is going to radically impact our understanding of the structure of the Milky Way and its evolutionary history,” says Monica Valluri, an astronomer at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The details of star trajectories inside the Galaxy will reveal the distribution not only of visible matter, but also of dark matter, which constitutes the bulk of most galaxies’ mass. And that in turn could help to reveal what dark matter is. Gaia might also put some exotic theories to the test. Standard dark-matter theory predicts that the gravitational field of the Galaxy is spherically symmetrical near the Galactic Centre but then becomes elongated “like an American football” farther out, Valluri explains. But an alternative theory called MOND (modified Newtonian dynamics) implies that the field is shaped more like a pancake. By looking at the velocities of stars, which depend on the gravitational field, Gaia will be able to test which theory is right. The probe’s data might even reveal evidence for the idea that dark matter killed the dinosaurs. If dark matter is concentrated in a relatively thin ‘dark disk’ near the Galactic plane, says the audacious theory, it could trigger asteroid impacts that cause mass extinctions when the Solar System periodically crosses the disk. Precise measurements of how far individual stars lie from the Sun will enable astrophysicists to fine-tune their models of how stars evolve. That is because current theories rely heavily on estimates of distance to understand how a star’s intrinsic brightness changes during its lifetime. One of the first groups of stars that researchers will want to check is the Pleiades, a cluster in the constellation Taurus. Most observations, including one1 made with the Hubble Space Telescope, put the cluster about 135 parsecs (440 light years) away. But results based on data from Hipparcos, an ESA space mission that preceded Gaia, suggest 2 that it is only 120 parsecs away. Some have said that the discrepancy casts doubt on the accuracy of Hipparcos. Gaia uses a similar, but much more evolved, method to Hipparcos, so astronomers will be watching its observations closely. “I believe that the Hipparcos result will very likely be proved wrong by Gaia,” says David Soderblom of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, who is an author on the Hubble study. Astronomers have discovered thousands of planets orbiting other stars, in most cases by detecting tiny dips in a star’s brightness when an orbiting planet passes in front of, or ‘transits’, it. Gaia will detect planets using another method: measuring slight wobbles in the star’s position caused by a planet’s gravitational pull. “It seems like a good bet that the mission will reveal thousands of new worlds,” says Gregory Laughlin, an astronomer at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Gaia’s technique is best suited to detecting large planets in relatively wide orbits, says Alessandro Sozzetti, a Gaia researcher at the Astrophysical Observatory of Turin in Italy. And unlike the transit method, it directly measures a planet’s mass. If it works, it will be a striking comeback for a technique that has seen many false starts. But finding planets in this way will require several years of obse