Leoben, Austria
Leoben, Austria

The University of Leoben, in the town of Leoben, Austria, is the country's university for mining, metallurgy and materials. It was founded on 4 November 1840, as the Steiermärkisch-Ständische Montanlehranstalt in Styria, Austria's mining region. In 1848 Peter Tunner relocated the university to the nearby town of Leoben, where it is still located today. That year the university had a mere 48 students enrolled. Wikipedia.

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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC5-11a-2014 | Award Amount: 9.20M | Year: 2015

Estimates indicate that the value of unexploited European mineral resources at a depth of 500-1,000 metres is ca 100 billion, however, a number of physical, economic, social, environmental and human constraints have as yet limited their exploitation. VAMOS! will provide a new Safe, Clean and Low Visibility Mining Technique and will prove its Economic Viability for extracting currently unreachable mineral deposits, thus encouraging investment and helping to put the EU back on a level playing field in terms of access to strategically important minerals. Deriving from successful deep-sea mining techniques, the VAMOS! mining solution aspires to lead to: Re-opening abandoned mines; Extensions of opencut mines which are limited by stripping ratio, hydrological or geotechnical problems; and opening of new mines in the EU. VAMOS! will design and manufacture innovative automated excavation equipment and environmental impact monitoring tools that will be used to perform field tests in four mine sites across Europe with a range of rock hardness and pit morphology. VAMOS will: 1.Develop a prototype underwater, remotely controlled, mining machine with associated launch and recovery equipment 2.Enhance currently available underwater sensing, spatial awareness, navigational and positioning technology 3.Provide an integrated solution for efficient Real-time Monitoring of Environmental Impact 4.Conduct field trials with the prototype equipment in abandoned and inactive mine sites with a range of rock types and at a range of submerged depths 5.Evaluate the productivity and and cost of operation to enable mine-ability and economic reassessment of the EUs mineral resources. 6. Maximize impact and enable the Market Up-Take of the proposed solutions by defining and overcoming the practicalities of the concept, proving the operational feasibility and the economic viability. 7. Contribute to the social acceptance of the new extraction technique via public demonstrations in EU regions.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC5-13-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 6.98M | Year: 2016

The main economic, technological and environmental challenges of small mining include reducing high investment costs, reducing generation of waste and large tailings, identifying and addressing environmental impacts, and improving flexibility, automation and safety of operations. However, at the moment, there is no quick-fix available to reduce the environmental impact from mines, and it is neither realistic to expect production solutions very distant from todays technologies. Considering that the present mining technology is based on rock blasting and mobile mining equipment for loading and transportation, the major challenge is to generate a new sustainable systemic solution that affects positively the relevant mining value chain. SLIM aims to develop a cost-effective and sustainable selective low impact mining solution based on non-linear rock mass fragmentation by blasting models, airborne particulate matter, vibration affections and nitrate leaching mitigation actions for exploitation of small mineral deposits (including those with chemically complex ore-forming phases) through a new generation of explosives and an advanced automatic blast design software based on improved rock mass characterisation and fragmentation models for optimum fragmentation and minimum rock damage and far-field vibrations. SLIM consortium is led by UPM (es), with LTU (se), MUL (at) and TUG (at) as Research Insitutions, 3GSM (at - Rock fragmentation and blasting software), MAXAM (es - Explosives), ORGIVA (es - Fluorite mine) and ERZBERG (at - Iron mine) and ARNO (es - Quarry) as validators in relevant environment. BRGM (fr), INVESTORNET (dk), MINPOL (at), and ZABALA (es) complement the Environmental and Economic assessments, the Communication and Dissemination activities and Social Awareness actions. SLIM addresses the following issue: a) Sustainable selective low impact mining (2016), it has a planned duration of 48 months and a budget of 6,979,200 requesting 6,979,200 of EU funding.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: FoF-02-2014 | Award Amount: 5.73M | Year: 2015

The overall objective of the REProMag project is to develop and validate an innovative, resource-efficient manufacturing route (SDS process) for Rare Earth magnets that allows for the economically efficient production of net-shape magnetic parts with complex structures and geometries, while being 100% waste-free along the whole manufacturing chain. The new Shaping, Debinding and Sintering (SDS) process for Rare Earth magnets is an innovative automated manufacturing route to realise complex 3D- and multilayered parts; resulting in a significant increase in the material efficiency of at least 30% during manufacturing; while at the same time allowing additional geometrical features such as threads, cooling channels, small laminations/segments (e.g. to increase the efficiency of electrical motors) and structural optimisations such as lightweight-structures or the joint-free realisation. As part of the project, the possibility to produce hybrid parts such as an improved moving-coil transducer for headphones, loudspeakers and microphones will be evaluated. The SDS process allows a new level of sustainability in production, as the energy efficiency along the whole manufacturing chain can be increased by more than 30% when compared to conventional production routes. Moreover, the used raw material is 100% recycled and can be again recycled in the same way at the end of the lifetime of the products. In short, the innovative REProMag SDS process has the potential to manufacture complex structures of high quality and productivity with minimum use of material and energy, resulting in significant economic advantages compared to conventional manufacturing. The REProMag project is a highly innovative combination of applied research, technology development and integration, resulting in small-scale prototypes and a closely connected demonstration activity clearly showing the technical feasibility of the REProMag SDS processing route in a near to operational environment.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2013.1.4-2 | Award Amount: 8.62M | Year: 2014

Intrinsic (or residual) stresses, resulting from manufacturing or processing steps, mostly define the performance and limit the lifetime of nanostructured materials, thin films, coatings and MEMS devices. The established techniques for micron-scale measurement of residual stress still have strong limitations, e.g. in terms of spatial resolution, lack of depth sensing, their applicability on non-crystalline materials or accessibility to industry. In this project, a European consortium is established to develop an innovative, highly reproducible and automated measurement protocol for the analysis of residual stress on a sub-micron scale, based on incremental focused ion beam (FIB) milling, along with high-resolution in situ Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) imaging and full field strain analysis by digital image correlation (DIC). The activities will focus on the implementation and pre-standardisation of automated FIB-SEM, DIC and inverse stress calculation procedures, under official project liaisons with both CEN and VAMAS, together with the analysis and modelling of FIB induced artefacts and stress-structure-properties relationship for the selected materials and devices. The final aim of the project will be the development of innovative design rules, implemented into simulation and optimization tools under coordination of industry partners, for the production of residual stress-controlled nanostructured materials, with specific focus on (i) multi-layered nano-coatings, (ii) micro/nano-crystalline and amorphous materials, (iii) MEMS and 3D metal interconnects. The project is expected to realize a breakthrough in measurement, standardization and modelling ability of the residual stress distribution at the sub-micron scale. The measurement techniques and the simulation tools will provide SMEs in particular with enabling technologies for the design and efficient production of innovative micro-devices with improved performance and substantially reduce development costs.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: FoF-10-2015 | Award Amount: 5.12M | Year: 2015

The cerAMfacturing project will develop a completely new approach for ceramic multi material additive manufacturing which will allow series production of customised and multifunctional components for manifold applications for obtaining property combinations, like electrical conductive/electrical insulating, dense/porous or two-colored components. In five case studies demonstrators for personalized medical products micro surgical tools, implants, and remedies such as consumer products will be manufactured starting with the patient specific physical dimensions and ending with components validated under practically relevant conditions. For achieving these goals manifold tasks will be solved starting with method and device development. Especially suspension based additive manufacturing methods will be developed and qualified in cerAMfacturing, because this route promises a much better component performance in comparison to powder based methods. Multi material applications play a dominant role in the project. Beside ceramic/ceramic also ceramic/metal material combinations will be developed. For that purpose either additive manufacturing methods will be qualified or AM methods will be combined with conventional shaping routes like tape casting or ceramic injection moulding. The last mentioned combination of technologies will allow the individualisation of large series production components. Appropriate control methodologies to guarantee a high quality level of the custom made products will be implemented. The cerAMfacturing project will provide the technical equipment for combining AM steps with conventional ceramic shaping routes.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: SC5-13c-2015 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2016

MIN-GUIDE is a project addressing the need for a secure and sustainable supply of minerals in Europe by developing a Minerals Policy Guide. The key objectives of the project are (1) providing guidance for EU and MS minerals policy, (2) facilitating minerals policy decision making through knowledge co-production for transferability of best practice minerals policy, and (3) fostering community and network building for the co-management of an innovation catalysing minerals policy framework. This will be achieved through a systematic profiling and policy benchmarking of relevant policy and legislation in Europe, which includes the identification of innovation friendly best practices through quantitative indicators and a qualitative analysis country-specific framework conditions, as well as through the compilation of minerals statistics and reporting systems. These insights will form the basis for developing an interactive, tailor-made online Minerals Policy Guide. Another key feature of the MIN-GUIDE project will be knowledge co-production for minerals policy decision makers through Policy Laboratories exploring these best practice examples along the whole mineral production value chain (exploration and extraction, processing, recycling and mine closure). Furthermore, MIN-GUIDE will facilitate the building of a sustainable minerals policy stakeholder network through this knowledge co-production and utilization in Policy Laboratories as well as through three major Conferences. These Conferences will explore the minerals governance framework, work on recommendations for promoting innovation along the whole minerals production value chain, and put it into the wider context of the circular economy. The MIN-GUIDE project and in particular the dissemination of the Minerals Policy Guide to specific target audiences will have the expected impact of guiding EU MS and EU level minerals policy-making towards a more coherent, transparent and innovation-catalysing framework.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.84M | Year: 2016

Europe has somewhere between 150,000 and 500,000 landfill sites, with an estimated 90% of them being non-sanitary landfills, predating the EU Landfill Directive of 1999. These older landfills tend to be filled with municipal solid waste and often lack any environmental protection technology. In order to avoid future environmental and health problems, many of these landfills will soon require expensive remediation measures. This situation might appear bleak, but it does present us with an exciting opportunity for a combined resource-recovery and remediation strategy, which will drastically reduce future remediation costs, reclaim valuable land, while at the same time unlocking billions of tonnes of valuable resources contained within these landfills. However, the widespread adoption of Enhanced Landfill Mining (ELFM) in the EU, as envisaged by NEW-MINE, urgently requires skilled scientists, engineers, economists and policy makers who can develop cost-effective, environmentally friendly ELFM practices and regulatory frameworks. All this demands a European commitment to concerted, inter- and transdisciplinary research and innovation. The NEW-MINE project trains 15 early-stage researchers (ESRs) in all the aspects of landfill mining, in terms of both technological innovation and multi-criteria assessments for ELFM. The technological innovation follows a value-chain approach, from advanced landfill exploration, mechanical processing, plasma/solar/hybrid thermochemical conversion and upcycling, while the multi-criteria assessment methods allow the ESRs to compare combined resource-recovery/remediation ELFM methods with the Do-Nothing, Classic remediation and Classic landfill mining with (co-)incineration scenarios. By training the ESRs in scientific, technical and a range of soft skills, all based on a collaboration involving EU-leading institutes, they become highly sought-after scientists and engineers for the rapidly emerging ELFM and recycling industries.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRADEV-1-2014 | Award Amount: 1.37M | Year: 2015

Challenges like climate change, economic, social and sustainable development as well as security are closely linked to the energy supply of European societies. In 2009, the European Union adopted a climate and energy package including that at least 20% of EU gross final energy consumption have to come from renewable energy sources until 2020. The challenge of RICAS2020 is given by intermittent renewable energy sources which require increased energy storage to time shift this energy to meet daily demand. As a consequence, the demand for technologies for providing and storing energy is consequently increasing. The RICAS2020 Design Study for the European Underground Research Infrastructure related to Advanced Adiabatic Compressed Air Energy Storage (AA-CAES) will provide concepts to set-up a research infrastructure dedicated to underground storage of very high amounts of green energy. The big advantage of the new concepts will be that the underground energy storage can be performed independently from the encountered geological conditions and also at all places where high energy demand exists. AA-CAES collects the heat produced by compression and returns it to the air when the air is expanded to generate power and thus delivers higher efficiencies via a zero-carbon process. The Design Study RICAS2020 will provide concepts on the key criteria and focus on technical, legal, institutional and financial requirements of such a research facility and will be open for the whole European Research Area, especially for all research fields close to Energy Providers and Suppliers. RICAS2020 will be located as an extension to the research infrastructure Research@ZaB in Eisenerz, Austria, which is financed by the Austrian government and designed as a European Underground Research-, Training- and Test-facility focussing on underground mobility including tunnels and subways. Synergies between RICAS2020 and Research@ZaB will be given in all underground technologies.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: LCE-02-2014 | Award Amount: 5.82M | Year: 2015

Europe is confronted with significant changes arising from globalisation and the currently political challenges. This means for example based on the latest developments in Ukraine and exceptionally strong European dependency on gas from Russia, deep geothermal energy particularly based on engineered geothermal systems is becoming even more important to care for Europe`s energy security. If deep geothermal energy from EGSs becomes a significant cornerstone in future energy strategy, there is an urgent need to provide cost-efficient and novel drilling technologies and concepts in order to open up new European geothermal reservoirs for energy exploitation. Therefore the overall goal of ThermoDrill is the development of an innovative drilling system based on the combination of conventional rotary drilling with water jetting that will allow at least 50% faster drilling in hard rock, a cost reduction of more than 30% for the subsurface construction and a minimized risk of induced seismic activity. In order to achieve these goals ThermoDrill will mainly address the following research and development topics: enhanced water jet drilling technology for borehole construction and replacement of fracking; HT/HP crystalline rock jetting and drilling fluids; systematic redesign of the overall drilling process, particularly the casing design and cementing; evaluation of drilling technologies and concepts in terms of HSE (health, safety and environmental) compliance. A challenging project such as ThermoDrill can only be addressed by joint and concerted actions of outstanding experts. This means that the ThermoDrill consortium partners belong to Europe`s leading experts in the field of deep drilling technologies/designs, drilling fluids, simulation, optimal shaping of tools like rockbits, etc. The consortium is already well connected through a variety of long standing research partnerships and wont need great efforts to adjust and synchronize quickly.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2016 | Award Amount: 954.00K | Year: 2017

Industry 4.0 refers to the fourth industrial revolution and technological evolution from embedded systems to cyber-physical systems (CPS) in production. The main objectives of Industry 4.0 can be summarized as the introduction of intelligent systems in production and logistics, the development of highly adaptable and modular manufacturing and logistics systems, the integration of sustainable and advanced manufacturing technologies as well as the promotion of automation technology and human-machine interaction. In the context of Industry 4.0 new ICT and web technologies act as booster or enabler of smart, autonomous and self-learning factories facing the challenges of even more individualized and customized product portfolio. A great challenge for the future lies in the transfer of Industry 4.0 expertise and technologies in small and medium sized enterprises (SME). SMEs represent the backbone of the economy and have an enormous importance in the development programs of the European Union for strengthening the competitiveness of European enterprises. Although the high potential of Industry 4.0 in SMEs, the main limit lies in a lack of concrete models for its implementation and application in small and medium enterprises. Thus, this research project titled Industry 4.0 for SMEs - Smart Manufacturing and Logistics for SMEs in an X-to-order and Mass Customization Environment aims to close and overcome this gap through the creation of an international and interdisciplinary research network. Identifying the needs and enablers for a smart and intelligent SME-Factory, creating adapted concepts and design solutions for production and logistics systems in SMEs and developing suitable organisation and business models will be the three main objectives of this research network. The applicability of the results is ensured through a close collaboration with a European small and medium sized enterprise (non-academic partner) from mass customization industry.

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