Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC5-07-2015 | Award Amount: 6.24M | Year: 2016
Rivers rank among some of the most threatened ecosystems in the world, and are the focus of costly restoration programmes that cost billions to taxpayers. Much of Europe depends on water from rivers for drinking, food production, and the generation of hydropower, which is essential for meeting the EU renewable energy target. Yet only half the EU surface waters have met the WFDs 2015 target of good ecological status, due in part to the fragmentation of habitats caused by tens of thousands of dams and weirs which also pose a flood hazard. Some barriers are old and out of use, but may have historical value, while the life span of others will soon come to an end and may need to be removed. But barriers also provide energy, water, fishing and leisure opportunities, and may also help to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Improving stream connectivity has been flagged as one of the priorities for more efficient stream restoration but effective rehabilitation of ecosystem functioning in European rivers needs to take the complexity and trade-offs imposed by barriers into account. AMBER will deliver innovative solutions to river fragmentation in Europe by developing more efficient methods of restoring stream connectivity through adaptive barrier management. The project seeks to address the complex challenge of river fragmentation through a comprehensive barrier adaptive management process, based on the integration of programme design, management, and monitoring to systematically test assumptions about barrier mitigation, adapt and learn.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 2.08M | Year: 2015
Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are on the rise due to the synergistic effects of climate change and habitat destruction. The impacts of AIS on Biodiversity, human health, and loss of ecosystem services are well known, but their control and management has now become a worldwide priority. Successful management of AIS is challenging because it requires several steps in succession: (1) early detection, (2) identification of routes of introduction and pathways of dispersal, and (3) development of efficient control measures. However, public awareness and stakeholder involvement are also critical. The main research goal of AQUAINVAD-ED is to exploit novel molecular advances combined with the power of citizen science to develop innovative methods of early detection, control and management of AIS. This will be achieved via a multi-disciplinary network of experts in invasion biology, aquatic biotechnology, citizen science and environmental policy working from 3 different countries. The inter-sectoral dimension of the consortium consists of fundamental and applied scientists from 3 universities, 1 technological institute, 2 government agencies, 1 NGO and 5 SMEs. AQUAINVAD-ED will catalyse research and commercial activity in the detection and management of AIS, as well as in the implementation of codes of good practice for the European industry and Government agencies. This will be achieved by training the next generation of researchers on the principles of invasion biology, providing them with the skills necessary to detect and quantify the ecological and socio-economic impacts of AIS and the ability to communicate science to the general public. The training program will be delivered through individual research projects, active participation in network activities and a unique combination of specialised courses, designed to increase employability in the consultancy sector, government, academia, and the water industry.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: REV-INEQUAL-07-2016 | Award Amount: 5.00M | Year: 2017
IMAJINE aims to formulate new integrative policy mechanisms to enable European, national and regional government agencies to more effectively address territorial inequalities within the European Union. It responds to evidence that spatial inequalities within the EU are increasing, contrary to the principle of territorial cohesion embedded as a third dimension of the European Social Model in the Treaty of Lisbon, and is particularly timely in examining the geographically differentiated impacts of the post-2008 economic crisis and the adoption of austerity policies. IMAJINE uniquely proposes to address the problem of territorial inequalities through an inter-disciplinary and multi-scalar approach that integrates perspectives from economics, human geography, political science and sociology and combines macro-scale econometric analysis and the generation and analysis of new quantitative survey data with regionally-focused qualitative empirical case study research in 11 EU member states; delivered by a multi-disciplinary and multi-national consortium. As such the research builds on the conceptual and methodological state of the art in several disciplines and advances conceptual understanding and the empirical knowledge base by producing new primary data, applying new analytical tests to secondary data and integrating the results along with insights from relational geographical theory and the concept of spatial justice. In particular, the centrality of spatial justice emphasizes the political as well as economic dimensions of territorial inequalities, and IMAJINE will move beyond existing knowledge by considering relationships between measured and perceived inequalities, models of multi-level policy-making and public service delivery, and support for territorial autonomy movements. IMAJINE will further translate these scientific insights into policy applications through participatory scenario building exercises with governance and civil society stakeholders.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BG-03-2014 | Award Amount: 7.65M | Year: 2015
Microalgae are a source of secondary metabolites useful as new bioactive compounds. Activity of these compounds against bacterial pathogens and biofilm formation has not been determined yet. Biofilm formation is especially important in infections and tissue inflammation related to implants and catheters. These problems finally cause a release of the implant, which must be removed and replaced by a new one, entailing an increase in antibiotic consumption, together with a health costs of about 50,000-90,000 per infection episode. Taking both problems in account, the search of new antimicrobial agents that will be effective against the bacteria in their two ways of life, planktonic and biofilm stage, is a priority need in the clinical practice. For this reason, the overall objective of NOMORFILM project is to search for antibiofilm compounds isolated from microalgae that will be useful in the treatment of this kind of infections and could be incorporated in the manufacturing of medical prosthetic devices. For this purpose, 4,000 microalgae species will be deeply screened specifically for new antibacterial and antibiofilm molecules. Structural elucidation of bioactive compounds from these extracts will assure that only new chemical entities, therefore with anticipated new mechanisms of action, will arise to further project stages, those including toxicity tests and animal models. This project also addresses the biosynthesis of the targeted bioactive compounds in sustainable microalgae co-cultures, diminishing cultivation costs by mimicking natural aquatic ecosystems. Most industrially interesting antibiofilm molecules will be incorporated into nanoparticles in order to develop manufacturing methodologies able to incorporate these compounds into real prosthetic devices matrixes. Marketing of results are assured by the presence of diverse SMEs along the manufacture and distribution of prosthetic devices, and the corresponding consortium agreements with respect to IPRs
Feil R.,Montpellier University |
Fraga M.F.,CSIC - National Center for Biotechnology |
Fraga M.F.,University of Oviedo
Nature Reviews Genetics | Year: 2012
Epigenetic phenomena in animals and plants are mediated by DNA methylation and stable chromatin modifications. There has been considerable interest in whether environmental factors modulate the establishment and maintenance of epigenetic modifications, and could thereby influence gene expression and phenotype. Chemical pollutants, dietary components, temperature changes and other external stresses can indeed have long-lasting effects on development, metabolism and health, sometimes even in subsequent generations. Although the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown, particularly in humans, mechanistic insights are emerging from experimental model systems. These have implications for structuring future research and understanding disease and development. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2013.2.2-3 | Award Amount: 18.59M | Year: 2014
Highly efficient Power Electronics (PE) employed in power generation, transmission, and distribution is the prerequisite for the Europe-wide penetration of renewable energies; improves the energy efficiency; increases the power quality and enables continuous voltage regulation, reactive power compensation and automated distribution. It also facilitates the integration of distributed resources like local energy storages, photovoltaic generators, and plug-in electric vehicles. The development of a new generation of high power semiconductor devices, able to operate above 10kV, is crucial for reducing the cost of PE in the above-mentioned applications. The material properties of SiC, clearly superior to those of Si, will lead to enhanced power devices with much better performance than conventional Si devices. However, todays SiC PE performs rather poorly compared to the predictions and the production costs are by far too high. Pooling world-leading manufacturers and researchers, SPEED aims at a breakthrough in SiC technology along the whole supply chain: Growth of SiC substrates and epitaxial-layers. Fabrication of power devices in the 1.7/>10kV range. Packaging and reliability testing. SiC-based highly efficient power conversion cells. Real-life applications and field-tests in close cooperation with two market-leading manufacturers of high-voltage (HV) devices. Known and new methodologies will be adapted to SiC devices and optimized to make them a practical reality. The main targets are cost-savings and superior power quality using more efficient power converters that exploit the reduced power losses of SiC. To this end, suitable SiC substrates, epitaxial-layers, and HV devices shall be developed and eventually be implemented in two demonstrators: A cost-efficient solid-state transformer to support advanced grid smartness and power quality. A windmill power converter with improved capabilities for generating AC and DC power.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-EID | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-EID | Award Amount: 2.79M | Year: 2015
In BIOCASCADES, nine early-stage researchers (ESRs) will investigate the development of sustainable (chemo)enzymatic cascade reactions under the green chemistry philosophy. The proposed BIOCASCADES project combines different techniques such as compartmentalization, protein engineering and reaction engineering in order to develop commercially viable and environmentally benign one pot reactions. By avoiding intermediate downstream- and purification-steps, cascade reactions minimize production costs, energy demand and waste production and are thus expected to make a major contribution for the development of sustainable and efficient production processes. Small- and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are emerging as main drivers of European Research. They are dynamic, explore new areas and create new ideas, while large companies rely more and more on outsourcing research or involving SMEs by joint ventures. However, small companies are not strong enough as stand-alone enterprises, which requires them to form networks with other SMEs and academia. This creates a strong demand for young researchers who can move freely in an international and interdisciplinary environment. In a tailor-made training program BIOCASCADES aims to provide the nine early stage researchers with specific scientific and transferable skills for careers in the highly dynamic European biotechnology sector. Training at leading laboratories of biocatalysis will develop their scientific skills, while secondments to the industry and specific workshops will develop their entrepreneurship. The graduates of this doctorate program will be highly qualified for collaborative research between European academia and industry. The consortium is formed by leading academic laboratories from biocatalysis and protein engineering together with a network of four innovative biotech companies. By combining their versatile expertise, the consortium can achieve a success that would not be possible in isolated projects.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 3.72M | Year: 2015
The aim of the GRACE (Gender and Cultures of Equality in Europe) project is to systematically investigate the cultural production of gender equalities within Europe. Extending the success of GEMMA, the Erasmus Mundus Masters of Excellence in Womens and Gender Studies, the central objective of GRACE is to become the programme of reference for innovative interdisciplinary doctoral training for early career researchers. Previous scholarly work focuses on European gender equality policies. GRACE draws on innovative and interdisciplinary methodologies to investigate an under-examined aspect of those processes, namely the production of cultures of equality that underpin, enable and constrain those changing policy and legislative frameworks. Our methodological approach understands culture as neither normative frameworks nor ways of representing the world, but more fundamentally as the process through which people create the worlds they inhabit. The GRACE project will recruit, employ and provide advanced training for 15 ESRs who will research the production of cultures of gender equality across five specific sites where cultures of gender equalities are produced and contested by differently situated social agents. These five sites form the core of our research and training Work Packages, and are focused as follows: mediated cultures of gender equality (WP 1); urban cultures of gender equality (WP 2); intellectual and activist cultures of gender equality (WP 3); textual and artistic cultures of gender equality (WP 4); employing cultures of gender equality (WP 5). In sum, GRACE is designed to: equip the next generation of ESRs to play a leading role in developing advanced techniques for investigating the production of cultures of gender equality; translate creative and critical capacities into innovative cultural practices within and beyond academia; and enable them to take up positions as experts in producing new gender equalities cultures.