Southampton, United Kingdom
Southampton, United Kingdom

The University of Southampton is a public university located in Southampton, England. Southampton is a research intensive university and a founding member of the Russell Group of elite British universities.The origins of the university date back to the founding of the Hartley Institution in 1862 following a legacy to the Corporation of Southampton by Henry Robertson Hartley. In 1902, the Institution developed into the Hartley University College, with degrees awarded by the University of London. On 29 April 1952, the institution was granted a Royal Charter to give the University of Southampton full university status. It is a member of the European University Association, the Association of Commonwealth Universities and is an accredited institution of the Worldwide Universities Network.Besides being recognised as one of the leading research universities in the UK, Southampton has also achieved consistently high scores for its teaching and learning activities. It additionally has one of the highest proportions of income derived from research activities in Britain, and is regularly ranked in the top 100 universities in the world. As of 2014 Southampton is one of the few universities to achieve a top 20 UK position in the most established national and international rankings .The University of Southampton currently has over 16,000 undergraduate and 7,000 postgraduate students, making it the largest university by higher education students in the South East region. The university has seven teaching campuses. The main campus is located in the Highfield area of Southampton and is supplemented by four other campuses within the city: Avenue Campus housing the Faculty of Humanities, the National Oceanography Centre housing courses in Ocean and Earth science, Southampton General Hospital offering courses in Medicine and Health science, and Boldrewood Campus an engineering and maritime technology campus housing also the university's strategic ally Lloyd's Register. In addition, the university operates a School of Art based in nearby Winchester and an international branch in Malaysia offering courses in Engineering. Each campus is equipped with its own library facilities.The university has over 5000 places at university-owned halls of residence, spread over two main complexes and several other smaller halls located within a couple of miles from the university. The University of Southampton Students' Union, provides support, representation and social activities for the students ranging from involvement in the Union's four media outlets to any of the 200 affiliated societies and 80 sports. The university owns and operates a sports ground at nearby Wide Lane for use by students and also operates a sports centre on the main campus. Highfield Campus also houses three main art venues supported by the university and Arts Council England. Wikipedia.


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Patent
University of Southampton and University of Cape Town | Date: 2015-02-19

The present invention relates to Surfactant Protein D (SP-D) or nucleic acids encoding SP-D or variants thereof such as surfactant protein A or mannan binding lectin for use in the treatment and/or prevention of a parasitic infection. Methods for determining the presence of a parasitic infection by determining levels of SP-D in a sample are also disclosed. Also disclosed are helminths for treating allergy, inflammation or infection.


Patent
University of Southampton | Date: 2015-04-30

Methods and apparatus for generating droplets are disclosed. In one arrangement a peristaltic screw pump is configured to drive pulsatile flows of fluids in different conduits which are phased relative to each other such that a sequence of droplets are formed at a junction downstream from the pump.


Patent
University of Southampton | Date: 2015-04-24

The invention relates to a polymer-clay composite material comprising clay nanoparticles and a polymer, and wherein (a) the polymer comprises phosphate and/or phosphonate ligands; or (b) the polymer-clay composite further comprises linker molecules comprising a phosphate or phosphonate ligand, wherein the linker molecules are arranged to be anchored to the polymer. The invention further relates to organoclays, BMP-clay composite material. Uses, treatments, and manufacturer of the material are also provided.


Methods and apparatus for introducing a sample into a separation channel for electrophoresis are disclosed. In one arrangement sample droplets having a membrane that encapsulates a sample are formed and brought to an injection position in contact with a transport medium of a separation channel. An electric field is applied to rupture the sample droplets and cause the sample to enter the separation channel and undergo electrophoresis.


A method of designing or selecting an implantable medical device comprises the steps of: i) obtaining a plurality of measured data points of a characteristic of an anatomical feature of an individual; ii) using said data points to construct a surrogate model of said characteristic, the surrogate model being constructed by interpolating or regressing measured data points of the characteristic, and using said surrogate model to obtain predicted values of said characteristic at a plurality of locations; iii) using said predicted values to determine or select at least one value of a design parameter of the implantable medical device. There is further disclosed a method of monitoring or diagnosing a disease or disorder.


Tavassoli A.,University of Southampton
Current Opinion in Chemical Biology | Year: 2017

Cyclic peptide libraries have demonstrated significant potential when employed against challenging targets such as protein–protein interactions. While a variety of methods for library generation exist, genetically encoded libraries hold several advantages over their chemically synthesized counterparts; they are more readily accessible and allow straightforward hit deconvolution. One method for the intracellular generation of such libraries is split-intein circular ligation of peptides and proteins (SICLOPPS). Here we detail and discuss the deployment of SICLOPPS libraries for the identification of cyclic peptide inhibitors of a variety of targets. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd


Lee S.S.,University of Southampton
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2017

The grid connected renewable sources with their inherent intermittent behavior are inevitably imposing significant challenge to the controller design of the voltage source converters. Majority of the control approaches have ambiguous statements in relation to their performances under non ideal grid voltage conditions which is prevalent in renewable energy integrated weak micro-grid system. On that account, this paper provides a comprehensive overview of the existing table-based direct power control (DPC) schemes and review of their performance on the basis of power tracking and total harmonic distortion (THD) of the grid current under various grid conditions. In order to mitigate the drawback of the existing table-based DPC which result in high current THD under unbalanced or distorted voltage supply, this paper also proposed a novel concept of table-based DPC which adapted the extension pq theory into the virtual flux-based DPC. The feasibility of the proposed resilient virtual flux-based DPC (RVF-DPC) is verified by using MATLAB/Simulink and a comparative study is conducted to evaluate the superiority of the proposed controller with another three representative table-based DPC schemes. Simulation results have shown that, for an increased degree of unbalance and distortion of grid voltages, the proposed RVF-DPC is able to maintain the total harmonic distortions of the grid currents to a certain extent while keeping the constant power tracking performance. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd


Wilkinson E.,University of Southampton
Environment and Planning D: Society and Space | Year: 2017

Love has been theorized as a way to rebuild fractured communities, and a potential way to overcome differences on the political Left. However, might it be dangerous to invest so much potential in the power of love? In this paper, I reflect upon Michael Hardt’s work on the necessity of love for politics. Hardt emphasizes the radical and transformative potential of love, seeing it as a collective and generative force. Yet, I argue that Hardt’s reading of love, tied to a Spinozist theorization of joy, provides a limited understanding of the affective dimensions of love. Instead, I propose that we need to think about the ambivalence and incoherence of love: how love can be both joyful and painful, enduring and transient, expansive and territorial, revolutionary and conservative. That is, to consider how love, even in its seemingly most benevolent and unconditional form, can still be a source of exclusion, violence, and domination. Ultimately, I seek to challenge this fantasy of coherence and togetherness, asking if there is still space for aspects of politics that are not joyful, that do not feel like love, that anger us, disappoint us, and that make us desire distance rather than togetherness. © 2016, © The Author(s) 2016.


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: www.sciencemag.org

What broke the 130,000-year-old mastodon bones in California? Most archaeologists would tell you it couldn’t have been humans, who didn’t leave conclusive evidence of their presence in the Americas until about 14,000 years ago. But a small group of experts now says that the fracture patterns on the bones, found during highway construction near San Diego, California, must have been left by humans pounding them with stones found nearby. If correct, the paper, published this week in , would push back the presence of people in the Americas by more than 100,000 years—to a time when modern humans supposedly had not even expanded out of Africa to Europe or Asia. “The claims made are extraordinary and the potential implications staggering,” says Jon Erlandson, an archaeologist at the University of Oregon in Eugene who studies the peopling of the Americas. “But broken bones and stones alone do not make a credible archaeological site in my view.” He and many other archaeologists say it will take much stronger evidence to convince them that the bones were fractured by ancient people. Archaeologists first excavated the Cerutti Mastodon site in 1992, after the construction exposed bones. Over time they found more splintered bones and a smattering of large round rocks embedded in otherwise fine-grained sediment. More recently, Daniel Fisher, a respected paleontologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, took a close look at the fractures and found patterns he says are consistent with blows from a rounded stone, which leave a characteristic notch at the point of impact. Other chips of bone show what he calls unmistakable signs of being popped off by the impact. “Nobody has ever explained those [characteristic bone flakes] satisfactorily in any way not involving human activity,” Fisher says. He says humans were probably breaking the bones to reach the marrow, or to turn the bone itself into a sharper tool. The nearby stones, hefty and round, show wear patterns consistent with being smashed against bone, the authors say. In experiments, they used that method to break elephant bones and produced identical fracture patterns. The bones’ collagen, a protein that can be used for radiocarbon dating, was long gone. Instead, the team relied on a dating technique based on the radioactive decay of uranium in minerals within the bone. Several dating experts said the methods were sound and found the 130,000-year date trustworthy. “At face value, these results are about as good as you can get,” says Alistair Pike, a uranium dating expert at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. But that still leaves the question of what splintered the bones. “It is one thing to show that broken bones and modified rocks could have been produced by people, which [this paper does],” says Don Grayson, an archaeologist at the University of Washington in Seattle. “It is quite another to show that people alone could have produced those modifications.” And Gary Haynes, an archaeologist at the University of Nevada in Reno, notes that “the features of the broken bones … are also produced when heavy construction equipment crushes buried bones.” Author and site excavator Thomas Deméré, a paleontologist at the San Diego Natural History Museum, says the team carefully excavated 50 square meters beginning in 1992, and the bones described in the paper were “deeply buried. … There was no equipment damage to the heart of the site.” The lack of actual shaped stone tools, a “universal” at Old World sites, troubles archaeologist John Shea of the State University of New York in Stony Brook. Even the archaic humans that might have been present then, like Homo erectus or the mysterious Denisovans, left such flakes. “This evidence is well documented, but it’s not sufficient to close the case,” Shea says.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.newscientist.com

We are pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere so fast that it could soar to its highest level for at least 50 million years by the middle of this century. And that’s even worse news than it sounds, because the sun is hotter now than it was then. This is one of the conclusions of a study looking at how CO levels in the atmosphere have changed over the past half billion years and comparing that with future scenarios. “CO in the past was not as high as we thought,” says Gavin Foster at the University of Southampton in the UK. Thanks to bubbles of air trapped in Antarctic ice, we have a good picture of CO levels over the past 800,000 years. But going further back in time is much more challenging. Foster and his colleagues have compiled data from more than 100 different studies to produce the best estimate yet of how CO levels changed in the past 420 million years. Among other things, the researchers corrected for the fact that studies based on carbonates in fossil soils are now known to have overestimated past CO levels. Their compilation suggests that the concentration of CO in the atmosphere never rose above 3000 parts per million during this time period, whereas some earlier studies have suggested levels were as high as 5000 ppm at times. And by looking at future CO emission scenarios, they say the level will soon reach its highest for at least 50 million years – at around 600 ppm. What’s not in doubt is that when CO levels were higher than in pre-industrial times, the planet was much warmer and had no ice at the poles. The gradual rise in the sun’s warmth over the past half a billion years has been balanced by a long-term decline in CO levels, says Foster, keeping the planet’s temperature in the habitable zone – with a little help from plants. Land plants help break down volcanic rocks that react with CO and remove it from the atmosphere. This activity increases as the planet warms, and falls when it cools. “Plant-driven weathering processes are too slow to save us from global warming, but they can be accelerated by applying crushed silicates to croplands to capture CO ,” says David Beerling at the University of Sheffield, who is leading a project to explore how much difference this could make. But unless we manage to capture stupendous amounts of CO with methods like this, we’re headed into uncharted waters. Read more: Highest ever annual rise in carbon dioxide levels recorded; First yearly CO2 forecast predicts one of biggest rises ever


News Article | April 19, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

WASHINGTON, DC -- If an asteroid struck Earth, which of its effects--scorching heat, flying debris, towering tsunamis--would claim the most lives? A new study has the answer: violent winds and shock waves are the most dangerous effects produced by Earth-impacting asteroids. The study explored seven effects associated with asteroid impacts--heat, pressure shock waves, flying debris, tsunamis, wind blasts, seismic shaking and cratering--and estimated their lethality for varying sizes. The researchers then ranked the effects from most to least deadly, or how many lives were lost to each effect. Overall, wind blasts and shock waves were likely to claim the most casualties, according to the study. In experimental scenarios, these two effects accounted for more than 60 percent of lives lost. Shock waves arise from a spike in atmospheric pressure and can rupture internal organs, while wind blasts carry enough power to hurl human bodies and flatten forests. "This is the first study that looks at all seven impact effects generated by hazardous asteroids and estimates which are, in terms of human loss, most severe," said Clemens Rumpf, a senior research assistant at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, and lead author of the new study published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. Rumpf said his findings, which he plans to present at the 2017 International Academy of Astronautics Planetary Defense Conference in Tokyo, Japan, could help hazard mitigation groups better prepare for asteroid threats because it details which impact effects are most dominant, which are less severe and where resources should be allocated. Though studies like his are necessary to reduce harm, deadly asteroid impacts are still rare, Rumpf said. Earth is struck by an asteroid 60 meters (more than 190 feet) wide approximately once every 1500 years, whereas an asteroid 400 meters (more than 1,300 feet) across is likely to strike the planet every 100,000 years, according to Rumpf. "The likelihood of an asteroid impact is really low," said Rumpf. "But the consequences can be unimaginable." Rumpf and his colleagues used models to pepper the globe with 50,000 artificial asteroids ranging from 15 to 400 meters (49 to 1312 feet) across--the diameter range of asteroids that most frequently strike the Earth. The researchers then estimated how many lives would be lost to each of the seven effects. Land-based impacts were, on average, an order of magnitude more dangerous than asteroids that landed in oceans. Large, ocean-impacting asteroids could generate enough power to trigger a tsunami, but the wave's energy would likely dissipate as it traveled and eventually break when it met a continental shelf. Even if a tsunami were to reach coastal communities, far fewer people would die than if the same asteroid struck land, Rumpf said. Overall, tsunamis accounted for 20 percent of lives lost, according to the study. The heat generated by an asteroid accounted for nearly 30 percent of lives lost, according to the study. Affected populations could likely avoid harm by hiding in basements and other underground structures, Rumpf said. Seismic shaking was of least concern, as it accounted for only 0.17 percent of casualties, according to the study. Cratering and airborne debris were similarly less concerning, both garnering fewer than 1 percent of deaths. Only asteroids that spanned at least 18 meters (nearly 60 feet) in diameter were lethal. Many asteroids on the lower end of this spectrum disintegrate in Earth's atmosphere before reaching the planet's surface, but they strike more frequently than larger asteroids and generate enough heat and explosive energy to deal damage. For example, the meteor involved in the 2013 impact in Chelyabinsk, Russia, was 17 to 20 meters (roughly 55 to 65 feet) across and caused more than 1,000 injuries, inflicting burns and temporary blindness on people nearby. "This report is a reasonable step forward in trying to understand and come to grips with the hazards posed by asteroids and comet impactors," said geophysicist Jay Melosh, a distinguished professor in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana. Melosh, who wasn't involved in the study, added that the findings "lead one to appreciate the role of air blasts in asteroid impacts as we saw in Chelyabinsk." The majority of the injuries in the Chelyabinsk impact were caused by broken glass sent flying into the faces of unknowing locals peering through their windows after the meteor's bright flash, he noted. The study's findings could help mitigate loss of human life, according to Rumpf. Small towns facing the impact of an asteroid 30 meters across (about 98 feet) may fare best by evacuating. However, an asteroid 200 meters wide (more than 650 feet) headed for a densely-populated city poses a greater risk and could warrant a more involved response, he said. "If only 10 people are affected, then maybe it's better to evacuate the area," Rumpf said. "But if 1,000,000 people are affected, it may be worthwhile to mount a deflection mission and push the asteroid out of the way." The American Geophysical Union is dedicated to advancing the Earth and space sciences for the benefit of humanity through its scholarly publications, conferences, and outreach programs. AGU is a not-for-profit, professional, scientific organization representing 60,000 members in 137 countries. Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and our other social media channels.


News Article | April 21, 2017
Site: www.techtimes.com

The enormous 2014 JO25 asteroid that zoomed past Earth on April 19 has sparked discussions about what would happen if we run out of luck and a big-sized object does in fact crash into our planet in the future. Scientists have studied the chances of such dangerous and massive collisions and they paint a grizzly picture of how the end of the world would look like if an asteroid wipes us out. To estimate the possible number of casualties and investigate the top fatal effects of an asteroid strike, a team of British researchers from the University of Southampton performed a computer simulation of an asteroid apocalypse. In their experiment, the scientists sent 50,000 artificial asteroids crashing down all over the globe to analyze how cosmic rocks of different sizes would impact life on Earth. The team was also able to determine the death toll associated with an asteroid of a given size, using model asteroids with diameters between 49 feet and 1,312 feet. "The analysis is valid for asteroids up to 400 m (or about 1,312 feet) in diameter, and these asteroids collide with Earth more often than larger asteroids," state the researchers in their paper, featured April 19 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. According to the study, the most dangerous effects we could expect from an asteroid hitting Earth are: "This is the first study that looks at all seven impact effects generated by hazardous asteroids and estimates which are, in terms of human loss, most severe," states Clemens Rumpf, research lead author. As expected, the research showed larger asteroids pose more of a risk than smaller ones. For an asteroid to cause human casualties "due to wind blast and thermal radiation," it would have to be at least 59 feet wide. Likewise, the experiment revealed "the harmful effect of an overpressure shock only became lethal" in the case of asteroids with the minimum size of 131 feet. This is because asteroids smaller than 33 feet are typically destroyed in the friction with Earth's atmosphere. Of the seven potentially lethal collision effects, the first two were found to be the most substantial in terms of human casualties, accounting for more than 60 percent of lost lives. The experiment revealed wind blasts of up to 1,000 mph would be fierce enough to heave people off the ground and tear them limb from limb. The simulation also showed such violent winds can collapse buildings and bring down entire forests. Moreover, spikes in atmospheric pressure were shown to cause shock waves strong enough to rupture internal organs. "Most of the damage and injuries during that event were caused by the aerodynamic shock that knocked people to the ground and damaged structures and windows, causing indirect injuries by flying glass shards," researchers write in their paper. Real asteroid-produced tidal waves are very different from the Hollywood depiction of apocalyptic tsunamis, the study found. "A surprising result was that tsunamis are less of a threat than generally assumed in the literature," the team points out in the paper. Powerful tsunamis would only be responsible for 20 percent of human casualties, mostly affecting cities on the coast line. Inland cities might be protected from strong tsunami waves, but would still face the wrath of massive fireballs produced by a nearby asteroid impact or explosion. People unfortunate enough to be right near the impact crater won't need to worry about buildings catching on fire, as they're most likely to be incinerated by fireballs or blown into pieces by overpressure. Earthquakes and electromagnetic radiation were deemed less worrisome in the event of an asteroid strike, as the study unveiled these would cause only "minor effects." Flying debris would also pose a reduced immediate threat to mankind, but their long-term effects are potentially catastrophic for life on Earth, particularly in the case of big asteroids. If a large asteroid hit our planet's surface, it would displace a sizeable amount of the Earth's crust, bringing about "long-lasting environmental changes, such as dust deposition in the atmosphere and subsequent dimming of sunlight," added Rumpf. Debris projected into the atmosphere would block out the sunlight for a long period of time, heating up the air and triggering additional forest fires. In the absence of light, Earth's vegetation would fade, subsequently leading to the demise of animal species. This includes humanity, which would die out in a matter of a few years, due to the lack of food and the devastation of the environment. The good news is big asteroids, exceeding 1,300 feet in size — just like 2014 JO25, which hurled its impressive 2,000-foot diameter safely past our planet — have a small likelihood of crashing down on us. According to Rumpf, Earth runs the risk of collision with such enormous space rocks only once every 100,000 years. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | April 27, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

A major asteroid strike would rip havoc across the Earth, if large enough. A new assessment of the catastrophic effects of such an event finds that 60 percent of lives would be lost by violent winds and shockwaves, according to a new paper in Geophysical Research Letters. Some 60 percent of the deaths would be caused by those two phenomena, they found. Other causes of fatalities would be the debris, tsunamis, heat and other factors. “The likelihood of an asteroid impact is really low, but the consequences can be unimaginable,” said Clemens Rumpf, the lead author, from the University of Southampton. Computer simulations of 50,000 asteroid strikes across our planet were run. The asteroids in the models ranged from 15 to 400 meters. For comparison, the Chelyabinsk meteor that struck Siberia in February 2013 was roughly 20 meters across. Asteroids 60 meters wide only strike Earth every 1,500 years, on average, scientists estimate. The massive 400-meter space rocks are even rarer: one only hits approximately every 100,000 years, they hypothesize. The land-based impacts of a major strike would be much graver than ocean landings, according to the simulations. Although tsunamis would be generated by a huge strike, it would be broken up by a continental shelf. If it reached coastal communities, it would cause serious loss of life – but not as much as a land strike would. The heat would account for about 30 percent of the death toll, they added. People could escape by hiding in basements or as deep underground as they get. Seismic shaking, cratering, airborne debris would each account for less than one percent of the fatalities. If small towns are in the path of the destruction, it would be best to evacuate, they found. But if a major city is in the crosshairs, a better option would be actually trying to push the asteroid in a different direction, they added. “If only 10 people are affected, then maybe it’s better to evacuate the area,” said Rumpf. “But if 1 million people are affected, it may be worthwhile to mount a deflection mission and push the asteroid out of the way.”


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: www.sciencemag.org

What broke the 130,000-year-old mastodon bones in California? Most archaeologists would tell you it couldn’t have been humans, who didn’t leave conclusive evidence of their presence in the Americas until about 14,000 years ago. But a small group of experts now says that the fracture patterns on the bones, found during highway construction near San Diego, California, must have been left by humans pounding them with stones found nearby. If correct, the paper, published this week in , would push back the presence of people in the Americas by more than 100,000 years—to a time when modern humans supposedly had not even expanded out of Africa to Europe or Asia. “The claims made are extraordinary and the potential implications staggering,” says Jon Erlandson, an archaeologist at the University of Oregon in Eugene who studies the peopling of the Americas. “But broken bones and stones alone do not make a credible archaeological site in my view.” He and many other archaeologists say it will take much stronger evidence to convince them that the bones were fractured by ancient people. Archaeologists first excavated the Cerutti Mastodon site in 1992, after the construction exposed bones. Over time they found more splintered bones and a smattering of large round rocks embedded in otherwise fine-grained sediment. More recently, Daniel Fisher, a respected paleontologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, took a close look at the fractures and found patterns he says are consistent with blows from a rounded stone, which leave a characteristic notch at the point of impact. Other chips of bone show what he calls unmistakable signs of being popped off by the impact. “Nobody has ever explained those [characteristic bone flakes] satisfactorily in any way not involving human activity,” Fisher says. He says humans were probably breaking the bones to reach the marrow, or to turn the bone itself into a sharper tool. The nearby stones, hefty and round, show wear patterns consistent with being smashed against bone, the authors say. In experiments, they used that method to break elephant bones and produced identical fracture patterns. The bones’ collagen, a protein that can be used for radiocarbon dating, was long gone. Instead, the team relied on a dating technique based on the radioactive decay of uranium in minerals within the bone. Several dating experts said the methods were sound and found the 130,000-year date trustworthy. “At face value, these results are about as good as you can get,” says Alistair Pike, a uranium dating expert at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. But that still leaves the question of what splintered the bones. “It is one thing to show that broken bones and modified rocks could have been produced by people, which [this paper does],” says Don Grayson, an archaeologist at the University of Washington in Seattle. “It is quite another to show that people alone could have produced those modifications.” And Gary Haynes, an archaeologist at the University of Nevada in Reno, notes that “the features of the broken bones … are also produced when heavy construction equipment crushes buried bones.” Author and site excavator Thomas Deméré, a paleontologist at the San Diego Natural History Museum, says the team carefully excavated 50 square meters beginning in 1992, and the bones described in the paper were “deeply buried. … There was no equipment damage to the heart of the site.” The lack of actual shaped stone tools, a “universal” at Old World sites, troubles archaeologist John Shea of the State University of New York in Stony Brook. Even the archaic humans that might have been present then, like Homo erectus or the mysterious Denisovans, left such flakes. “This evidence is well documented, but it’s not sufficient to close the case,” Shea says.


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

These changes, known as epigenetic modifications, control the activity of our genes without changing the actual DNA sequence. One of the main epigenetic modifications is DNA methylation, which plays a key role in embryonic development and the formation of different cell types, regulating when and where genes are switched on. Although DNA methylation was originally thought to be a very stable modification, which once established in early life was then maintained throughout the life span of an individual, there is now growing evidence that the level of DNA methylation can be affected by a range of environmental factors such as parental health, diet and lifestyle. Researchers from the University of Southampton, as part of the EpiGen Global Consortium, analysed the levels of DNA methylation, in umbilical cord tissue of babies born in the Southampton Women's Survey. They compared DNA methylation levels present at birth with the amount of fat tissue in the child at four and six years of age. They found that lower DNA methylation at the CDKN2A gene, which regulates the production of fat cells, was associated with a greater risk of the child developing obesity in later life. Analysis showed that a 10 percent decrease in methylation at the CDKN2A gene was associated with an increase in fat mass of around 220g, at age 4 years. The results, published in EBio Medicine, were replicated in other groups of children and adults, notably the Singapore GUSTO study, the Australian RAINE study and the UK BIOCLAIMS cohort. Lead author Karen Lillycrop said: "This is exciting new evidence that epigenetic changes detectable at birth are linked to a child's health as they grow up. It was very promising to see our initial findings confirmed in so many other cohorts. Not only does it strengthen the body of evidence that shows a mothers health during pregnancy can affect the future health of her child, but it could also allow us to more accurately predict the future risk of obesity. If we can do this, then preventative strategies can be developed in early life to prevent the development of obesity." Professor Keith Godfrey, from the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit and the National Institute for Health Research Southampton Biomedical Research Centre and a member of the study team said: "The new findings provide the first direct evidence linking faltering of a baby's growth in the womb with epigenetic modifications that themselves may increase the risk of childhood obesity. The findings are now helping us to trial new nutritional interventions before and during pregnancy to reduce the baby's risk on obesity in childhood and later life, and strengthen the view that effective prevention of childhood obesity has to begin before the baby is born. The new findings may also lead to innovative approaches to the treatment of established obesity in later life." The EpiGen Global Consortium brings together expertise from the Human Development and Health Academic Unit, MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit and Centre for Biological Sciences, University of Southampton; Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences; National University of Singapore; Auckland UniServices Limited and the Liggins Institute, University of Auckland. The Consortium's aim is to improve human health through the life course by further understanding developmental and environmental processes. The research includes a focus on epigenetics, the biology of understanding how gene function is regulated by environmental factors, such as maternal nutrition, during the very early stages of development. This research was carried out as part of a collaboration with the Nestlé Research Centre, in Lausanne, Switzerland.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.newscientist.com

An elusive deep-sea giant has been filmed with its prey for the first time. It turns out it eats jellyfish and other gelatinous animals. The octopus, Haliphron atlanticus, was filmed swimming docked on top of a medusa jellyfish, with its beak devouring its innards, while the medusa’s sticky tentacles were still hanging out of its mouth. The researchers think it might even be using the jellyfish tentacles as a handy feeding implement. Little is known about H. atlanticus, and the researchers who filmed it using remotely operated vehicles have only seen it three times in as many decades. Most other octopuses eat more substantial prey such as fish and crustaceans, so it is a surprise to see this large species eating jellyfish. Most of what we know about the seven-armed octopus comes from specimens caught in trawl nets. It lives in deep open waters, growing up to 4 metres long and a weight of 75 kilograms. It is known to be eaten by sperm whales, swordfish and blue sharks. Males of the species have one of their eight arms permanently folded away, giving them the common name of seven-armed octopus. Steven Haddock from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California and his colleagues have now filmed three of these octopuses in the wild. The team saw them feeding on jellyfish and also analysed the stomachs of five previously caught specimens, all of which contained gelatinous zooplankton and three of them contained jellyfish. This makes sense, because the open ocean is rich in such creatures, so the octopus makes use of what’s on the menu. Haddock says that the discovery shows us just how complex the ocean food web is. It is a rare example of a marine animal that can grow large feeding primarily on gelatinous fauna, such as jellyfish, others being sea turtles and ocean sunfish, for example. The way the octopus had the jellyfish arms freely hanging out, while keeping the bell in its mouth provides evidence for the idea that the octopus uses jellyfish as living tools, says the team. The theory is that they use the jellyfish tentacles to ensnare more prey and then feed off whatever makes its way to the body of the medusa, with octopus beak docked inside it. Haddock thinks the importance of jellyfish in marine food webs has been unappreciated and underestimated. Given that top predators feed on giant octopuses, this may be an important way of channelling energy from the bottom to the top of the oceanic food chain, his team argues. A diet that relies on jellyfish might put the octopuses at risk from our plastic rubbish, says Ken Collins of the University of Southampton, UK. Plastic pollution is a massive problem on the sea surface where sea birds and turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish. “We have leatherback turtles migrating from the Caribbean to the Irish Sea to feed on massive barrel jellyfish off the Welsh coast,” he says. “One of the sad consequences of turtles’ love of jellyfish is that they mistakenly eat plastic litter – plastic bags, balloons from mass publicity releases, which quite simply block their gut and they eventually die.” When the bags eventually sink, it is supposedly the end of the story – but Collins wonders if the same could be happening to this octopus away from our sight. Mike Webster from the University of St Andrews, UK, says that this study provides information about the basic biology and ecology of an underexplored ecosystem and will hopefully allow us to monitor and perhaps slow the impacts we have on this ecosystem. “These trips have a real feeling of exploring the frontier in a way that research expeditions on land perhaps no longer provide, in part because the terrain and the animals that are encountered are so often unfamiliar and surprising,” says Webster. Read more: Jellymageddon: Can we stop the rise of the jellyfish?; The Soul of an Octopus: Getting to know an intelligent mollusc


News Article | April 22, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

Have you ever wondered if life is not exactly what it’s cracked up to be? OK, let’s take that thought a little further. Have you ever suffered from an identity crisis? Yes? One in which you suspected that you’re not a real person, but instead an extremely sophisticated computer simulation of a real person produced by an immensely more developed civilisation than that which we take to be our own? It’s just possible that I lost you on that last point, but stay with me, because the reality we take for granted is coming under increasing technological and theoretical threat. Earlier this month in an office block in Euston, I put on a virtual reality (VR) headset and began playing a prototype of a game developed by a company called Dream Reality Interactive. The company was set up by David Ranyard, the former head of Sony’s VR division. Ranyard has a PhD in artificial intelligence which he says has been “useless for 19 years”. But he believes there’s going to be a convergence in VR and artificial intelligence (AI) soon, and his company aims to be there when that happens. What’s changing is accessibility. Ten years ago VR was the preserve of wealthy “early adopters”. Now you can pick up a reasonable VR set for £600. Ranyard thinks the price will continue to fall, as will the size of the headset, until it becomes more like wearing a pair of glasses. But right now I’m wearing a large case over my eyes, and headphones. I feel instantly removed from my environment. In front of me I can see a ball, which I can move by looking at a cursor. The ball travels along a high narrow pathway in a vertiginous 3D computer simulation, and I must guide it into various targets to get to the next stages, where a series of ever more fantastic backdrops unfold. In terms of skill, it is quite simple, but the striking aspect of the game is the physical sensation of playing it. I feel and therefore believe that I am physically moving back and forth, as though I am on a chair on wheels. External reality has fallen away and I am in a strange and compelling world, anxious not to fall off the terrifying precipices. My brain sends signals to my body that create the illusion that it’s shooting around like a pinball, when in fact I am stationary. So from one perspective it’s just another video game with added thrills. But there’s also something else going on here, a radical change of narrative perspective. Computer games are a form of story, and human beings are devoted storytellers. As Yuval Noah Harari argues in his book Sapiens, the ability to create binding fictions is what enabled us to become the most dominant species on the planet. And what are stories if not representations, or simulations, of reality? “I do talks and I have this image of Harold Lloyd [the silent movie star] who’s about to fall off this clock,” says Ranyard. “And the point I make is that in order to care about it, you have to care about him. So part of the film is setting you up to like him. In VR you don’t need to do that set-up because it’s you. There are a whole range of emotions we haven’t used because we’ve always had to do it through empathy.” VR is different because it’s not like a film, in which you watch other people in an invented reality. You are instead the star of what feels like an alternative reality. Leaving aside the moral implications of this change – and whether it heralds greater self-absorption and social detachment – what is notable, for me, is the aftereffect. It is something of a relief, but also disorienting, to remove the headset and return to the real world. I experience a kind of ontological dissonance, as it takes a few minutes before the familiar returns to its reliable concrete self. And in that discomfort, that bodily sense of uncertainty, there lies a far more profound and unsettling question. What if the reality I’ve returned to isn’t real but just another, more finely realised simulation? What if the thing our senses – so easily fooled by the headset – tell us is real life are in fact an elaborate creation, every bit as illusory as that I’d experienced on the precarious pathway built out of pixels? It’s a hoary metaphysical debate that has concerned thinkers as diverse as Descartes, Zhuang Zhou and even, arguably, the godfather of philosophy, Plato. It has also been the subject of countless science-fiction stories, including, most influentially, The Matrix film series. But how can we be sure that reality is real? In The Matrix, made in 1999 by the Wachowski sisters, humans have been enslaved, paralysed and used as an energy source by advanced machines. But instead of realising their plight, humans are locked in a false reality, a giant simulation created by their machine masters to subdue them. In essence The Matrix was a reworking of the philosopher Hilary Putnam’s “brain in a vat” scenario, in which a disembodied brain is subject to computer stimulation and operates in a false reality. And in turn Putnam’s vision was an update of the 17th-century French philosopher René Descartes’s first meditation, in which he posited the idea that an evil demon had fabricated the external world. For all its philosophical heritage, The Matrix was most of all perfect cinematic fodder for alienated teenagers. But four years after it was released, the Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom wrote a paper provocatively titled Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?. The paper argued that one of three propositions is true: a) The human race is likely to become extinct before reaching a “post-human” stage. b) Any post-human civilisation is unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of its evolutionary history (or variations thereof). c) We are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. Known as the simulation argument, it is a wonderful piece of logical projection. There have, naturally, been several critiques of Bostrom’s hypothesis, some on complex logical grounds, and some arguing that creating convincing ancestor simulations will remain impossible. The hypothesis has attracted the interest and attention of many futurologists and Silicon Valley types. The New Yorker reported last year that two unnamed tech billionaires have gone so far as to employ scientists to work out how to break us out of the simulation. The appeal of the hypothesis, and its shocking third option (which I explain in more detail below), is partly that it’s a challenge to the basic foundations of our perceptions, but also, paradoxically, that it plugs into some longstanding human preoccupations. Perhaps the oldest human story is that the world and all we see and know is the product of a creator. So there’s a kind of religious element to the notion of a giant simulation, a sense that there is a higher, purer reality, if we could only but grasp it. Back in the real world, or rather back in the possible simulation I take to be the real world, technology advances apace. We are seeing rapid progress in computer science, including the development of quantum computers, whose vastly increased potential capacity would be vital for a large-scale simulation. At the same time there is continued progress in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, biotechnology and other areas that would help create more convincing simulations. And we can see that with each new breakthrough in technology, we tend to make better, more convincing representations of the world, both now and in the past. If we assume that these developments continue, and with them our interest in creating simulations of the world, then at some point in the future – 1,000 years, 100,000 years – it’s reasonable to assume that the difference between reality and simulation will become indistinguishable. At which point it will mean we will have created simulated beings with their own consciousness. But if that is the inevitable outcome of continued technological advancement, unless nuclear war or some other catastrophe intervenes, then it’s quite possible – some would say an overwhelming certainty – that it’s already happened, and we are the ancestor simulations created by an advanced post-human civilisation. That’s a mind-blowing thought, but it’s one that the tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, for example, has explored. His conclusion is that it’s a “billions to one chance that we’re not living in a simulation [my italics]”. Musk, the man behind the electric car company Tesla, and SpaceX, which aims to send manned missions to Mars, is not stupid. He’s estimated to be worth about $14bn and that money has come from the commercial exploitation of technological innovations. He is funding a massive global study of AI. He’s a man with his eye firmly fixed on the future and all its rich potential. So when he says that he believes we are already living in a simulation, it’s not quite the same as, say, David Icke claiming that we are being tyrannised by a secret brotherhood of shape-shifting reptiles. However, rather worryingly, it doesn’t sound all that different. And this is one of the problems with the simulation hypothesis. Although it is a perfectly logical argument, because it is unfalsifiable, it gives rise to all manner of possibilities, many of them as far-fetched as Icke’s villainous lizard people. Throw in the complications of multiverse theories and you’re looking at a near infinite number of simulated realities, within which there may be countless other simulations, including the one in which I stand in a Euston office block with a headset on, chasing a ball and balancing on a high-rise walkway. The simulation hypothesis has entered the culture as an explanatory meme. Writing in the New Yorker earlier this year, the critic Adam Gopnik suggested that the Oscar confusion, in which La La Land was wrongly given the best film award meant for Moonlight, the election of Donald Trump, and the improbable late comeback by the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl showed “that we are living in the matrix, and something has gone wrong with the controllers”. It was, of course, a lighthearted piece, but it raised a serious point. If we are in a simulation, then is there a possibility that, like any other computer software, it’s prone to glitches? And also could events like the second world war be explained by a programmatic failure, or is whoever is in control of the simulation an evil demon in the Cartesian sense? Bostrom estimates that there is only a 20% chance that we are living in a simulation. But that isn’t necessarily good news. As Musk likes to point out: “Either we’re going to create simulations that are indistinguishable from reality or civilisation will cease to exist. Those are the only two options.” Actually there’s a third option, which is that for some reason or other we’ll grow bored with running billions of ancestor simulations, and that virtual reality will become passé. That’s something to consider while pondering whether or not to splash out on some VR entertainment. In 10,000 years’ time, it might be completely out of fashion. The universe is a hologram In a nutshell: Everything we see and experience is an illusion. Our 3D reality is encoded on a two-dimensional surface that we cannot see. Evidence? Earlier this year, scientists from the University of Southampton claimed to have found support for this theory by studying the cosmic background radiation left over from the big bang. Multiverse theory In a nutshell: There are infinite universes, including the one we live in. There are various classifications and theories about the types of multiverse that might exist. Evidence? Although proponents include Neil deGrasse Tyson and Stephen Hawking (who two years ago suggested that there might be an alternate universe in which Zayn Malik had not left One Direction), the theory by its very nature is essentially considered impossible to prove. Ekpyrotic universe theory In a nutshell: The big bang was actually a transition from a previous period of contraction to the present period of expansion. The key events that shaped our universe happened before the big bang and the universe is in a constant cycle of expansion and contraction. Evidence? In 2001, scientists from Princeton University put forward the concept based on unproved ideas from string theory. Though it is still widely rejected, the discovery that the Higgs boson is only 98% of the mass required to keep the universe stable apparently lends the theory some credence. White holes In a nutshell: If black holes exist then their opposite must exist too: white holes are thought to be constantly emitting matter and light, letting nothing enter them. Evidence? There has yet to be any observational evidence of white holes, though a paper published in 2011 posited that the big bang was a white hole and that gamma-ray bursts might also be white holes. Quantum entanglement In a nutshell: Two particles can be linked to each other even if separated by billions of light years of space and a change induced in one will affect the other. Evidence? During the 1930s, Einstein called it “spooky action at a distance” and considered it to be impossible. However, most physicists today accept it to be true. Tara Joshi


News Article | April 18, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

Plans to launch “mega constellations” of thousands of communications satellites to allow for global wireless internet could lead to a rise in collisions and build-up of dangerous space junk in Earth’s orbit, a study warns. Google, SpaceX, Boeing and Samsung are among the companies vying to launch global broadband networks by deploying thousands of tiny satellites into low orbit. The first launches are planned for next year. Dr Hugh Lewis, a senior lecturer in aerospace engineering at the University of Southampton, ran a 200-year simulation to assess the possible consequences of such a rise in orbital traffic. He found it could create a 50% increase in the number of catastrophic collisions between satellites. Such crashes would probably lead to a further increase in the amount of space junk in orbit, he said, leading to the possibility of further collisions and potential damage to the services the satellites were intended to provide. “The constellations that are due to be deployed from next year contain an unprecedented number of satellites, and a constellation launched without much thought will see a significant impact on the space environment because of the increased rate of collisions that might occur,” he said. With about 750,000 objects larger than 1cm orbiting Earth, the junk surrounding the planet is already a major obstacle to attempts to exploit space. At average speeds of 40,000 km/h, impacts on space hardware would deliver roughly the energy equivalent to the explosion of a hand grenade, with potentially dramatic consequences for operational satellites. The European Space Agency, which funded Lewis’s research, is calling for the satellites planned for orbital mega-constellations to be able to move to low altitudes once their missions are over so they burn up in Earth’s atmosphere. They must also be able discharge all batteries, fuel tanks and pressure tanks to prevent explosions that would scatter debris. Dr Holger Krag, the head of the space debris office at the ESA, said many of the companies proposing to launch services provided by such mega constellations lacked experience of the difficulties of working in Earth’s orbit. He expressed concern at ambitions to manufacture satellites at a fraction of the cost and many times the rate of the current batch of taxpayer-funded spacecraft, while still meeting exacting guidelines for disposing of them at the end of their missions. “They are companies so they have competitors, so they have pressure,” Krag said. “Under these conditions they would have to manufacture satellites that are reliable enough after five years of operations to reliably conduct this disposal manoeuvre. “Right now, under all the taxpayer-funded space flight we are doing today is only able to achieve 60% of success rate for that manoeuvre. How can they be better under commercial pressure and with cheaper satellites? That’s the worry we have.” Lewis is presenting his research this week at the European conference on space debris at the ESA’s centre in Darmsadt, Germany. Krag said he expected some of the companies planning launches to attend. “Even with good intentions it remains an extremely high technological challenge to manage to [meet the ESA’s proposed guidelines],” he said. “Let them achieve a success rate of 90%, which would be extremely good compared with what we do now, and it still means a few hundred satellites will be lost and at that altitude it’s not good. It’s as simple as that.”


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.newscientist.com

Medieval people were trying to ward off the “living dead”, according to a study of human bones excavated from a deserted village in North Yorkshire. Analysis of the bones dating from the 11th to 14th centuries, which were excavated from a pit within the settlement at long-abandoned Wharram Percy, show they appear to have been burnt and mutilated. Theories that the strange treatment of the bodies was down to the dead people being outsiders or that the remains were cannibalised by starving villages have been discounted by experts. Instead the finds appear to represent the first good archaeological evidence of practices aimed at stopping corpses rising from their graves and menacing the living. Folklore in the Middle Ages suggested people could sometimes rise from the dead, roam their local area, spread disease and violently assault those who encountered them. The undead were commonly thought to be the result of a lingering malevolent life-force in individuals who had committed evil deeds or caused animosity when they were alive. Medieval writers described various ways of dealing with the living dead, including digging up the offending bodies, decapitating and dismembering them and burning the pieces in a fire. A team from government heritage agency Historic England and the University of Southampton studied 137 bones found in the village, representing the mixed remains of at least 10 people. They found many bones had knife marks suggesting the corpses had been decapitated and dismembered, while there was also evidence of burning body parts and deliberate breaking of bones after death. The team believes action to stop the dead rising is the explanation that best fits the evidence. Analysis of teeth, which points to the geology of the area an individual was living when their teeth formed in childhood, suggests the people grew up near to where they were buried – discounting the theory they were outsiders. “This was surprising to us as we first wondered if the unusual treatment of the bodies might relate to their being from further afield rather than local,” says Alistair Pike, professor of archaeological sciences at the University of Southampton. The experts also ruled out the theory the remains had been cannibalised by starving villages suffering from the famines which were common in medieval times. In cannibalism, knife marks on bones tend to cluster around major muscle attachments or large joints, but at Wharram Percy they were mainly in the head and neck area, researchers say. “The idea that the Wharram Percy bones are the remains of corpses burnt and dismembered to stop them walking from their graves seems to fit the evidence best,” says Simon Mays, human skeletal biologist at Historic England. “If we are right, then this is the first good archaeological evidence we have for this practice,” he says. “It shows us a dark side of medieval beliefs and provides a graphic reminder of how different the medieval view of the world was from our own.”


News Article | April 19, 2017
Site: www.rdmag.com

If an asteroid struck Earth, which of its effects--scorching heat, flying debris, towering tsunamis--would claim the most lives? A new study has the answer: violent winds and shock waves are the most dangerous effects produced by Earth-impacting asteroids. The study explored seven effects associated with asteroid impacts--heat, pressure shock waves, flying debris, tsunamis, wind blasts, seismic shaking and cratering--and estimated their lethality for varying sizes. The researchers then ranked the effects from most to least deadly, or how many lives were lost to each effect. Overall, wind blasts and shock waves were likely to claim the most casualties, according to the study. In experimental scenarios, these two effects accounted for more than 60 percent of lives lost. Shock waves arise from a spike in atmospheric pressure and can rupture internal organs, while wind blasts carry enough power to hurl human bodies and flatten forests. "This is the first study that looks at all seven impact effects generated by hazardous asteroids and estimates which are, in terms of human loss, most severe," said Clemens Rumpf, a senior research assistant at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, and lead author of the new study published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. Rumpf said his findings, which he plans to present at the 2017 International Academy of Astronautics Planetary Defense Conference in Tokyo, Japan, could help hazard mitigation groups better prepare for asteroid threats because it details which impact effects are most dominant, which are less severe and where resources should be allocated. Though studies like his are necessary to reduce harm, deadly asteroid impacts are still rare, Rumpf said. Earth is struck by an asteroid 60 meters (more than 190 feet) wide approximately once every 1500 years, whereas an asteroid 400 meters (more than 1,300 feet) across is likely to strike the planet every 100,000 years, according to Rumpf. "The likelihood of an asteroid impact is really low," said Rumpf. "But the consequences can be unimaginable." Rumpf and his colleagues used models to pepper the globe with 50,000 artificial asteroids ranging from 15 to 400 meters (49 to 1312 feet) across--the diameter range of asteroids that most frequently strike the Earth. The researchers then estimated how many lives would be lost to each of the seven effects. Land-based impacts were, on average, an order of magnitude more dangerous than asteroids that landed in oceans. Large, ocean-impacting asteroids could generate enough power to trigger a tsunami, but the wave's energy would likely dissipate as it traveled and eventually break when it met a continental shelf. Even if a tsunami were to reach coastal communities, far fewer people would die than if the same asteroid struck land, Rumpf said. Overall, tsunamis accounted for 20 percent of lives lost, according to the study. The heat generated by an asteroid accounted for nearly 30 percent of lives lost, according to the study. Affected populations could likely avoid harm by hiding in basements and other underground structures, Rumpf said. Seismic shaking was of least concern, as it accounted for only 0.17 percent of casualties, according to the study. Cratering and airborne debris were similarly less concerning, both garnering fewer than 1 percent of deaths. Only asteroids that spanned at least 18 meters (nearly 60 feet) in diameter were lethal. Many asteroids on the lower end of this spectrum disintegrate in Earth's atmosphere before reaching the planet's surface, but they strike more frequently than larger asteroids and generate enough heat and explosive energy to deal damage. For example, the meteor involved in the 2013 impact in Chelyabinsk, Russia, was 17 to 20 meters (roughly 55 to 65 feet) across and caused more than 1,000 injuries, inflicting burns and temporary blindness on people nearby. "This report is a reasonable step forward in trying to understand and come to grips with the hazards posed by asteroids and comet impactors," said geophysicist Jay Melosh, a distinguished professor in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana. Melosh, who wasn't involved in the study, added that the findings "lead one to appreciate the role of air blasts in asteroid impacts as we saw in Chelyabinsk." The majority of the injuries in the Chelyabinsk impact were caused by broken glass sent flying into the faces of unknowing locals peering through their windows after the meteor's bright flash, he noted. The study's findings could help mitigate loss of human life, according to Rumpf. Small towns facing the impact of an asteroid 30 meters across (about 98 feet) may fare best by evacuating. However, an asteroid 200 meters wide (more than 650 feet) headed for a densely-populated city poses a greater risk and could warrant a more involved response, he said. "If only 10 people are affected, then maybe it's better to evacuate the area," Rumpf said. "But if 1,000,000 people are affected, it may be worthwhile to mount a deflection mission and push the asteroid out of the way."


News Article | April 18, 2017
Site: www.newscientist.com

Swarms of cheap “CubeSats” are currently being planned by companies who want to bring wireless internet access to every corner of the globe. But there’s nothing to stop these sprawling “megaconstellations”, which would include thousands of spacecraft, from colliding with other satellites and unleashing hazardous space debris in low Earth orbit. Hugh Lewis at the University of Southampton in the UK has sounded the alarm about the risk of small satellite collision cascades before. That was in 2014, when 100 or so CubeSats were being launched per year. Since then, a number of space-flight firms have announced plans to beam internet services around the globe from vast numbers of satellites, which would be known as megaconstellations. There are only 1300 working satellites in orbit now. But OneWeb, which hopes to launch in 2018, will need 648 satellites, Boeing plans a 2900-satellite fleet, and Samsung and SpaceX both plan 4000-strong swarms. Now, Lewis and his colleagues have used a supercomputer to simulate 200 years of possible orbits for 300 different megaconstellation scenarios. Their results, revealed this week at a European Space Agency conference on space debris in Darmstadt, Germany, suggest a raft of new rules need hammering out to reduce debris risks. The supercomputer revealed that megaconstellations boost the risks of a catastrophic collision – in which a satellite is completely destroyed – by 50 per cent. Numbers are just one problem: the satellites required are usually small, mass-produced CubeSats that lack any motors or other ability to avoid collisions. One big fear is that debris fragments will collide with other spacecraft, causing a chain reaction known as Kessler syndrome, named after former NASA scientist Donald Kessler, who worked out the theory in 1978. “Megaconstellations represent a unique problem, especially when comprised of CubeSats,” Kessler says. “Any benefit from the small CubeSat size is more than offset by their numbers. But also because of their small size they are more vulnerable to small debris – debris that is smaller than can be tracked by any network.” Lewis and his colleagues call for space agencies, which regulate launches and debris mitigation measures, to bring dead satellites down sooner. Current rules order that satellites must de-orbit and burn up within 25 years after their mission ends, but that’s too long for megaconstellations, Lewis says. The team also suggest mandating onboard propulsion systems for small satellites so they can avoid collisions and steer themselves into Earth’s atmosphere to de-orbit at the end of their lives. Making satellites smaller and lighter – to reduce collision energies – would help, too. The ESA conference will discuss these proposed measures, and others, this week. Legally, the potential impact of megaconstellations on the orbital environment means their operators now need mandatory, rather than today’s non-binding and voluntary debris mitigation guidelines, says Christopher Newman, a space law specialist at Sunderland Law School in the UK. “International treaties and national legislation need to impose duties on those engaged in space operations to embed more sustainable practices,” he says. “Legislators need to act to counter this growing threat to the space environment.”


News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: www.gizmag.com

The prospect of a deadly asteroid impact on the Earth has gripped the public's imagination ever since it was realized that such a thing was possible, but, until now, no one has taken a detailed look at what type of damage one would cause. Using 50,000 simulated Earth-impacting asteroids, scientists from Southampton University have concluded that 60 percent of casualties would be caused by wind blasts and shock waves, while land impacts would be much more dangerous than asteroids that hit the sea. If you look at the Moon through a telescope, you can see just how much damage an asteroid strike can cause. Without an atmosphere, weather, or any tectonic activity, the scars of the cosmic bombardment that the solar system suffered in its early epochs are recorded on our satellite for all time. There are craters up to 2,000 mi (3,000 km) across and the basins of the great lunar maria may have been created by asteroids of titanic size. Fortunately, asteroid impacts are now relatively rare, but they do occur, including the famous Tunguska event of 1908 and the near-miss over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013, which exploded in midair. According to Clemens Rumpf, a senior research assistant at the University of Southampton, our planet is struck by an asteroid 60 m (190 ft) in diameter about every 1,500 years, and one 400 m (1,300 ft) every 100,000 years. But while scientists have made many calculations of how much energy would be released by an asteroid strike and worked out what would generally happen, no one has made a detailed study of the various dominant factors of such an impact – like wind blast, shock waves, heat blast, cratering, earthquakes, flying debris, and tsunami effects – or which would cause the most casualties for asteroids of different sizes. In this study, what the scientists discovered was that the most dangerous factors in an impact are wind blast and shock waves, which would account for 60 percent of all fatalities. This is because shock waves would cause a sudden spike in air pressure, which would rupture lungs and other internal organs, and the wind blasts would be so massive that people would be hurled with a force strong enough to flatten a forest. The next most dangerous factor would be heat, which would kill 30 percent of those lost, though, with sufficient warning, people could take shelter underground from this. Meanwhile, tsunamis would only account for 20 percent of deaths, and land-based impacts were found to be an order of magnitude more dangerous than sea strikes. This is because, though dangerous to coast lines, the wave's energy through the ocean would dissipate as it traveled and be broken up on reaching the continental shelves. Next lowest would be cratering and flying debris, which would cause one percent of casualties. The latter is also avoidable, as the Chelyabinsk event demonstrated. During this, many people were injured by flying glass because they looked out the window to see what caused the flash, only to be hit by glass shards when the shockwave hit. This goes to show that the much-derided idea of "duck and cover" from old US civil defense films is still very relevant. The least damaging factor turned out to be earthquakes, taking only 0.17 percent of the death-toll. Overall, the Southampton team says an asteroid would have to be at least 18 m (60 ft) in diameter to cause fatalities. In comparison, the Chelyabinsk meteor was about 17 to 20 m (55 to 65 ft) wide and caused more than 1,000 injuries including burns and temporary blindness. The team says that the purpose of the study isn't just an exercise in ghoulish speculation. Its intent is to help emergency services better plan how to respond to such an unlikely event by warning people to take shelter, evacuating small towns near the site of impact, or starting the more complicated actions needed to protect an urban population "If only 10 people are affected, then maybe it's better to evacuate the area," says Rumpf. "But if 1,000,000 people are affected, it may be worthwhile to mount a deflection mission and push the asteroid out of the way." The research was published in Geophysical Research Letters.


News Article | April 27, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

A puzzling find in America could change our ideas on human history – a mastodon skeleton which looks like it was smashed to pieces by ancient humans 130,000 years ago. The puzzling part is that scientists believed that humans only arrived in America around 13,000 years ago – and the skeleton dates from 100,000 years before that. Researchers found a skeleton where the bones appeared to have been broken with stone tools – which were found alongside – and a tusk was stuck upright in the ground. MORE: Man collared by Theresa May says he was ‘amazed by how nervous she was’ MORE: The charts that show who will decide the outcome of the UK Election 2017 The researchers write, ‘It appears to be impossible that a mastodon could somehow force its own tusk into the underlying deposits.’ Uranium dating show the site is around 130,000 years old – which has made the find highly controversial. Previously, researchers believed that humans crossed into America no earlier than 15,000 years ago, via a land bridge between Alaska and Siberia – probably during the last ice age. If the bones were smashed apart by early humans, it suggests that Neanderthals or another human-related species may have crossed during a previous ice age, 100,000 years earlier. ‘My first reaction on reading this paper was, “No. This is wrong. Something’s wrong,'” said John McNabb of the University of Southampton. ‘If it does turn out to be true, it changes absolutely everything.’


News Article | May 2, 2017
Site: www.sciencenews.org

It won’t be a tsunami. Nor an earthquake. Not even the crushing impact of the space rock. No, if an asteroid kills you, gusting winds and shock waves from falling and exploding space rocks will most likely be to blame. That’s one of the conclusions of a recent computer simulation effort that investigated the fatality risks of more than a million possible asteroid impacts. In one extreme scenario, a simulated 200-meter-wide space rock whizzing 20 kilometers per second whacked London, killing more than 8.7 million people. Nearly three-quarters of that doomsday scenario’s lethality came from winds and shock waves, planetary scientist Clemens Rumpf and colleagues report online March 27 in Meteoritics & Planetary Science. In a separate report, the researchers looked at 1.2 million potential impactors up to 400 meters across striking around the globe. Winds and shock waves caused about 60 percent of the total deaths from all the asteroids, the team’s simulations showed. Impact-generated tsunamis, which many previous studies suggested would be the top killer, accounted for only around one-fifth of the deaths, Rumpf and colleagues report online April 19 in Geophysical Research Letters. “These asteroids aren’t an everyday concern, but the consequences can be severe,” says Rumpf, of the University of Southampton in England. Even asteroids that explode before reaching Earth’s surface can generate high-speed wind gusts, shock waves of pressure in the atmosphere and intense heat. Those rocks big enough to survive the descent pose even more hazards, spawning earthquakes, tsunamis, flying debris and, of course, gaping craters. While previous studies typically considered each of these mechanisms individually, Rumpf and colleagues assembled the first assessment of the relative deadliness of the various effects of such impacts. The estimated hazard posed by each effect could one day help leaders make one of the hardest calls imaginable: whether to deflect an asteroid or let it hit, says Steve Chesley, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., who was not involved with either study. The 1.2 million simulated impactors each fell into one of 50,000 scenarios, which varied in location, speed and angle of strike. Each scenario was run with 24 different asteroid sizes, ranging from 15 to 400 meters across. Asteroids in nearly 36,000 of the scenarios, or around 72 percent, descended over water. The deadliness assessment began with a map of human populations and numerical simulations of the energies unleashed by falling asteroids. Those energies were then used alongside existing casualty data from studies of extreme weather and nuclear blasts to calculate the deadliness of the asteroids’ effects at different distances. Rumpf and his team focused on short-term impact effects, rather than long-term consequences such as climate change triggered by dust blown into the atmosphere. A new project simulating 1.2 million asteroid strikes estimates how many deaths could result from each effect of a falling space rock (averages for three classes of asteroid simulated are shown in the interactive below). People who could have died from two or more effects are included in multiple columns. While the most deadly impact killed around 117 million people, many asteroids posed no threat at all, the simulations revealed. More than half of asteroids smaller than 60 meters across — and all asteroids smaller than 18 meters across — caused zero deaths. Rocks smaller than 56 meters wide didn’t even make it to Earth’s surface before exploding in an airburst. Those explosions could still be deadly, though, generating intense heat that burns skin, high-speed winds that hurl debris and pressure waves that rupture internal organs, the team found. Tsunamis became the dominant killer for water impacts, accounting for around 70 to 80 percent of the total deaths from each impact. Even with the tsunamis, though, water impacts were only a fraction as deadly on average as land-hitting counterparts. That’s because impact-generated tsunamis are relatively small and quickly lose steam as they traverse the ocean, the researchers found. Land impacts, on the other hand, cause considerable fatalities through heat, wind and shock waves and are more likely to hit near large population centers. For all asteroids big enough to hit the land or water surface, heat, wind and shock waves continued to cause the most casualties overall. Land-based effects, such as earthquakes and blast debris, resulted in less than 2 percent of total deaths. Deadly asteroid impacts are rare, though, Rumpf says. Most space rocks bombarding Earth are tiny and harmlessly burn up in the atmosphere. Bigger meteors such as the 20-meter-wide rock that lit up the sky and shattered windows around the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in 2013 only frequent Earth about once a century (SN Online: 2/15/13). Impacts capable of inducing extinctions, like the at least 10-kilometer-wide impactor blamed for the end of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago (SN: 2/4/17, p. 16), are even rarer, striking Earth roughly every 100 million years. But asteroid impacts are scary enough that today’s astronomers scan the sky with automated telescopes scouting for potential impactors. So far, they’ve cataloged 27 percent of space rocks 140 meters or larger estimated to be whizzing through the solar system. Other scientists are crunching the numbers on ways to divert an earthbound asteroid. Proposals include whacking the asteroid like a billiard ball with a high-speed spacecraft or frying part of the asteroid’s surface with a nearby nuclear blast so that the vaporized material propels the asteroid away like a jet engine. The recent research could offer guidance on how people should react to an oncoming impactor: whether to evacuate or shelter in place, or to scramble to divert the asteroid. “If the asteroid’s in a size range where the damage will be from shock waves or wind, you can easily shelter in place a large population,” Chesley says. But if the heat generated as the asteroid falls, impacts or explodes “becomes a bigger threat, and you run the risk of fires, then that changes the response of emergency planners,” he says. Making those tough decisions will require more information about compositions and structures of the asteroids themselves, says Lindley Johnson, who serves as the planetary defense officer for NASA in Washington, D.C. Those properties in part determine an asteroid’s potential devastation, and the team didn’t consider how those characteristics might vary, Johnson says. Several asteroid-bound missions are planned to answer such questions, though the recent White House budget proposal would defund a NASA project to reroute an asteroid into the moon’s orbit and send astronauts to study it (SN Online: 3/16/17). In the case of a potential impact, making decisions based on the average deaths presented in the new study could be misleading, warns Gareth Collins, a planetary scientist at Imperial College London. A 60-meter-wide impactor, for instance, caused on average about 6,300 deaths in the simulations. Just a handful of high-fatality events inflated that average, though, including one scenario that resulted in more than 12 million casualties. In fact, most impactors of that size struck away from population centers and killed no one. “You have to put it in perspective,” Collins says.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.newscientist.com

Put on the brakes. A spinning neutron star that shifts between two states slows at a faster rate in one of them – and gravitational waves may be responsible. The neutron star J1023+0038 spins almost 600 times per second. But as its powerful magnetic field dissipates energy, it is slowing by about 76 rotations per second every billion years. This magnetic “spin-down” is normal, but sometimes J1023 slows at a faster rate. The different rates are associated with two states the neutron star switches back and forth between: one where it emits mostly radio waves and one where it mainly gives off X-rays. No one knows why some neutron stars behave in this way. But when the star is emitting mostly X-rays, it slows down about 30 per cent faster. In this X-ray phase, the star is stealing material from a smaller companion star that orbits it. Brynmor Haskell at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw and Alessandro Patruno at Leiden University, the Netherlands, argue that this stolen gas may be the key to J1023’s strange spin. As material snatched from its companion sticks to J1023’s surface, it builds a so-called mountain. Despite being no more than a few millimetres in height, the bump crushes the atoms beneath it, pushing them deeper into the neutron star. There the higher pressure fuses them into heavier elements, giving the mountain roots in the star’s interior. The extra surface bump and the heavier atoms below it together result in the mountain creating an asymmetry in J1023’s gravity. “Neutron stars are very compact, roughly the mass of the sun compressed in a 10-kilometre radius,” says Haskell. “This means that even very small deformations can lead to large changes in the gravitational field.” The imbalance in the neutron star’s gravitational field may cause it to radiate gravitational waves, ripples in space-time caused by the movement of massive objects. These waves would carry away some of the energy that keeps J1023 spinning. When the star switches from its X-ray phase to its radio phase, it stops munching on its stellar partner. As a result, the mountain gradually flattens out and the star emits no more spin-stunting gravitational waves. Last year, the LIGO collaboration announced that it had observed gravitational waves shaken off by black holes colliding. But nobody has yet seen gravitational waves from continuous, rather than catastrophic, events. Objects like J1023 are promising candidates for future gravitational wave searches, especially if they can grow larger mountains. “If this happens, then there might be many other neutron stars that do the same,” says Patruno. “Continuous gravitational waves might really be a widespread phenomenon.” Such a scenario could also explain the apparent cap on neutron stars’ spin. “The fastest ones we see don’t rotate as fast as we think they should be able to go,” says Nils Andersson at the University of Southampton, UK. “There’s something missing in our understanding.” If faster-spinning stars have defects such as mountains, they would emit more gravitational waves and slow down faster, setting a cosmic speed limit for neutron stars.


News Article | April 27, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

A major asteroid strike would rip havoc across the Earth, if large enough. A new assessment of the catastrophic effects of such an event finds that 60 percent of lives would be lost by violent winds and shockwaves, according to a new paper in Geophysical Research Letters. Some 60 percent of the deaths would be caused by those two phenomena, they found. Other causes of fatalities would be the debris, tsunamis, heat and other factors. “The likelihood of an asteroid impact is really low, but the consequences can be unimaginable,” said Clemens Rumpf, the lead author, from the University of Southampton. Computer simulations of 50,000 asteroid strikes across our planet were run. The asteroids in the models ranged from 15 to 400 meters. For comparison, the Chelyabinsk meteor that struck Siberia in February 2013 was roughly 20 meters across. Asteroids 60 meters wide only strike Earth every 1,500 years, on average, scientists estimate. The massive 400-meter space rocks are even rarer: one only hits approximately every 100,000 years, they hypothesize. The land-based impacts of a major strike would be much graver than ocean landings, according to the simulations. Although tsunamis would be generated by a huge strike, it would be broken up by a continental shelf. If it reached coastal communities, it would cause serious loss of life – but not as much as a land strike would. The heat would account for about 30 percent of the death toll, they added. People could escape by hiding in basements or as deep underground as they get. Seismic shaking, cratering, airborne debris would each account for less than one percent of the fatalities. If small towns are in the path of the destruction, it would be best to evacuate, they found. But if a major city is in the crosshairs, a better option would be actually trying to push the asteroid in a different direction, they added. “If only 10 people are affected, then maybe it’s better to evacuate the area,” said Rumpf. “But if 1 million people are affected, it may be worthwhile to mount a deflection mission and push the asteroid out of the way.”


News Article | April 19, 2017
Site: www.rdmag.com

If an asteroid struck Earth, which of its effects--scorching heat, flying debris, towering tsunamis--would claim the most lives? A new study has the answer: violent winds and shock waves are the most dangerous effects produced by Earth-impacting asteroids. The study explored seven effects associated with asteroid impacts--heat, pressure shock waves, flying debris, tsunamis, wind blasts, seismic shaking and cratering--and estimated their lethality for varying sizes. The researchers then ranked the effects from most to least deadly, or how many lives were lost to each effect. Overall, wind blasts and shock waves were likely to claim the most casualties, according to the study. In experimental scenarios, these two effects accounted for more than 60 percent of lives lost. Shock waves arise from a spike in atmospheric pressure and can rupture internal organs, while wind blasts carry enough power to hurl human bodies and flatten forests. "This is the first study that looks at all seven impact effects generated by hazardous asteroids and estimates which are, in terms of human loss, most severe," said Clemens Rumpf, a senior research assistant at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, and lead author of the new study published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. Rumpf said his findings, which he plans to present at the 2017 International Academy of Astronautics Planetary Defense Conference in Tokyo, Japan, could help hazard mitigation groups better prepare for asteroid threats because it details which impact effects are most dominant, which are less severe and where resources should be allocated. Though studies like his are necessary to reduce harm, deadly asteroid impacts are still rare, Rumpf said. Earth is struck by an asteroid 60 meters (more than 190 feet) wide approximately once every 1500 years, whereas an asteroid 400 meters (more than 1,300 feet) across is likely to strike the planet every 100,000 years, according to Rumpf. "The likelihood of an asteroid impact is really low," said Rumpf. "But the consequences can be unimaginable." Rumpf and his colleagues used models to pepper the globe with 50,000 artificial asteroids ranging from 15 to 400 meters (49 to 1312 feet) across--the diameter range of asteroids that most frequently strike the Earth. The researchers then estimated how many lives would be lost to each of the seven effects. Land-based impacts were, on average, an order of magnitude more dangerous than asteroids that landed in oceans. Large, ocean-impacting asteroids could generate enough power to trigger a tsunami, but the wave's energy would likely dissipate as it traveled and eventually break when it met a continental shelf. Even if a tsunami were to reach coastal communities, far fewer people would die than if the same asteroid struck land, Rumpf said. Overall, tsunamis accounted for 20 percent of lives lost, according to the study. The heat generated by an asteroid accounted for nearly 30 percent of lives lost, according to the study. Affected populations could likely avoid harm by hiding in basements and other underground structures, Rumpf said. Seismic shaking was of least concern, as it accounted for only 0.17 percent of casualties, according to the study. Cratering and airborne debris were similarly less concerning, both garnering fewer than 1 percent of deaths. Only asteroids that spanned at least 18 meters (nearly 60 feet) in diameter were lethal. Many asteroids on the lower end of this spectrum disintegrate in Earth's atmosphere before reaching the planet's surface, but they strike more frequently than larger asteroids and generate enough heat and explosive energy to deal damage. For example, the meteor involved in the 2013 impact in Chelyabinsk, Russia, was 17 to 20 meters (roughly 55 to 65 feet) across and caused more than 1,000 injuries, inflicting burns and temporary blindness on people nearby. "This report is a reasonable step forward in trying to understand and come to grips with the hazards posed by asteroids and comet impactors," said geophysicist Jay Melosh, a distinguished professor in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana. Melosh, who wasn't involved in the study, added that the findings "lead one to appreciate the role of air blasts in asteroid impacts as we saw in Chelyabinsk." The majority of the injuries in the Chelyabinsk impact were caused by broken glass sent flying into the faces of unknowing locals peering through their windows after the meteor's bright flash, he noted. The study's findings could help mitigate loss of human life, according to Rumpf. Small towns facing the impact of an asteroid 30 meters across (about 98 feet) may fare best by evacuating. However, an asteroid 200 meters wide (more than 650 feet) headed for a densely-populated city poses a greater risk and could warrant a more involved response, he said. "If only 10 people are affected, then maybe it's better to evacuate the area," Rumpf said. "But if 1,000,000 people are affected, it may be worthwhile to mount a deflection mission and push the asteroid out of the way."


News Article | May 5, 2017
Site: cleantechnica.com

Just 4 years after atmospheric carbon dioxide levels passed the 400 parts per million mark, levels have now surged past the 410 parts per million (ppm) mark — serving as a good example of the great speed at which atmospheric levels are now increasing. To be clear, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels on the Earth haven’t been that high in many million of years, since back when the planet had a very different climate than it does now. What this means is that, when the lag time required for high atmospheric carbon dioxide levels to have their full climate forcing is factored in, we are now very likely headed towards: a world without polar ice caps, with much higher sea levels, with much higher average temperatures, with greatly changed weather and oceanic circulation patterns, and with a greatly reduced capacity for high-intensity agriculture. While the passing of the 410 ppm mark doesn’t seem to mean much on its own, it does more or less show that the world is still on track for “worst case” scenarios as regards anthropogenic climate change. “Its pretty depressing that it’s only a couple of years since the 400 ppm milestone was toppled,” Gavin Foster, a paleoclimate researcher at the University of Southampton commented to Climate Central recently. “These milestones are just numbers, but they give us an opportunity to pause and take stock and act as useful yard sticks for comparisons to the geological record.” “The rate of increase will go down when emissions decrease,” commented Pieter Tans, an atmospheric scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “But carbon dioxide will still be going up, albeit more slowly. Only when emissions are cut in half will atmospheric carbon dioxide level off initially.” I’ll note here that I’m a bit skeptical of that claim — much depends on the positive feedback loops that kick in by the time emissions decrease (which I don’t think will ever happen willingly, but rather as a result of population reduction via war, agricultural failure, water scarcity, increasing drug/antibiotic resistance amongst microbes, etc.). The feedback loops that I’m talking about — permafrost melting, increasing aridity and rates of wildfires, widespread desertification, methane clathrate release, reduced Arctic and Antarctic albedo as the result of disappearing ice, etc. — already seem to be kicking in at this point, to some degree or another. With that in mind, it’s been interesting to observe the degree of sheer denial going on collectively/culturally. Not that that’s anything new — a look back at earlier civilizations show something similar. The pull of collective narratives seem to hold most people in a state of inaction even as the walls literally come down on them. People generally stick with the stories they know until the day they die. Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech daily newsletter or weekly newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.


News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: www.cnet.com

A big, peanut-shaped asteroid about 2,000 feet (610 meters) across slipped by Earth at a comfortable distance on Wednesday. But, had such a large space rock hit us, you wouldn't want to be anywhere near the impact. Shock waves strong enough to rupture internal organs and insane wind blasts that could toss people around like plastic bags and flatten forests are just a few of the worst effects we might face, according to a new study published Wednesday in Geophysical Research Letters. "The likelihood of an asteroid impact is really low," said lead author Clemens Rumpf, from the University of Southampton, in a news release. "But the consequences can be unimaginable." The grim study ranked seven effects -- heat, pressure shock waves, flying debris, tsunamis, wind blasts, seismic shaking and cratering -- for asteroids of different sizes and determined which were the most and least deadly. The biggest risk overall comes from air bursts, mostly because they can result from even the smallest asteroids included in the study model, which ranged from 15 to 400 meters (49 to 1,312 feet). Pressure shock waves are nearly as dangerous, which is consistent with the bolide that sent out a blast over Chelyabinsk, Russia. Many people were injured when shock waves shattered glass, a particular danger to those who may have been looking out their windows at the flash caused by the streaking meteor. Seismic shaking, cratering and flying debris were of least concern, the study found. Rumpf was surprised to find that impact-caused tsunamis were only responsible for 20 percent of overall deaths in the model. He explains that while an ocean impact could trigger such a wave, land impacts were found to be much more lethal overall. But Rumpf's model used artificial asteroid impacts peppered at random spots around the globe. What if the worst case scenario came to pass and a densely populated city took a direct hit? Not surprisingly, an even more grim, informal analysis was released this week by InsuranceQuotes.com. (After all, the site says part of being prepared is to have the right insurance.) It looked at what would happen if some of the US' most populous cities were hit by an asteroid. Turns out a lot of people would die. Again, though, big impacts are rare. The site found that if a 984-foot asteroid like 2015 BN509 hit San Francisco head on, over 7 million lives could be lost. Such a massive impact could cause buildings to collapse within a 69-mile radius, and, given the seismic activity Northern California is known for, it might trigger earthquakes, unleashing even more destruction. An even deadlier scenario imagines the asteroid that gave us a pass this week, 2014 JO25, making a direct hit on Chicago. The heat alone from the impact could stretch across the region to Grand Rapids, Michigan; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Milwaukee; Indianapolis; Louisville, Kentucky; and St. Louis, with a total death toll of over 9.5 million. Fortunately, and despite what any time-traveling, super-intelligent dinosaurs with vocal cords might tell you, big asteroid impacts are rare. We're struck by an asteroid over 60 meters (197 feet) every 1,500 years, and the catastrophic collision imagined for Chicago is likely to hit us no more often than every 100,000 years. Still, next time you see a fireball in the sky, you may want to step away from the window and head for the basement, just in case. At least that's the advice I got from the Time Lord pteranodon I met. CNET en Español: Get all your tech news and reviews in Spanish.


News Article | April 19, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

Tonight, a particularly large asteroid is going to cruise by Earth at its closest point in 400 years, and while we humans are going to be observing the flyby at a safe distance, there’s always a small twinge of doubt that whispers “what if…?” in the back of our minds. Scientists led by Clemens Rumpf of the University of Southampton in the UK decided to answer that question by figuring out what aspects of an asteroid collision are actually the biggest threats to human existence. The results might surprise you. The research paper, which attempted to rank seven key effects of an asteroid slamming into Earth in terms of their destructive capabilities, was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters this week. To generate the rankings, the scientists ran 50,000 asteroid impact simulations, playing out the scenario over and over on different parts of a virtual Earth. The simulations took into account asteroids that simply explode before actually reaching the ground, called airbursts, as well as space rocks of much larger sizes. Of the seven different destructive effects — which included wind, thermal, cratering, tsunami, pressure, seismic, and ejecta (debris) — the simulations showed that wind was by far the biggest threat to human life in the wake of an astroid impact, pushing down everything in its path including structures. The thermal threat and high-pressure shock wave are more pronounced on land than they are during an oceanic impact, but the tsunamis created during an asteroid strike at sea remains the biggest threat to life in those particular scenarios. In short, it’s not the actual impact of an asteroid that is most likely to kill you, but the response of Earth’s elements to the unwelcome invader that will spell your doom. See the original version of this article on BGR.com


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

Paleontologist Don Swanson points at rock fragments near a large horizontal mastodon tusk fragment at the San Diego Natural History Museum in San Diego, California, U.S., in this handout photo received April 26, 2017. San Diego Natural History Museum/Handout via REUTERS WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In what may be one of the most significant discoveries ever in archeology in the Americas, researchers on Wednesday said stone tools and broken mastodon bones unearthed in California show humans had reached the Americas by about 130,000 years ago, far earlier than previously known. The researchers called five rudimentary tools -- hammerstones and anvils -- discovered in San Diego County alongside fossil bones from the prehistoric elephant relative compelling evidence, though circumstantial, for the presence of either our species or an extinct cousin like Neanderthals. San Diego Natural History Museum paleontologist Tom Deméré said until now the oldest widely accepted date for human presence in the New World was 14,000 to 15,000 years ago, making the San Diego site nearly 10 times older. The finding would radically rewrite the understanding of when humans reached the New World, through some scientists not involved in the study voiced skepticism. "If the date of 130,000 years old is genuine, then this is one of the biggest discoveries in American archeology," University of Southampton paleolithic archeologist John McNabb, who was not involved in the research and called himself "still a little skeptical." No human skeletal remains were found. But the stone tools' wear and impact marks and the way in which mastodon limb bones and molars were broken, apparently in a deliberate manner shortly after the animal's death, convinced the researchers humans were responsible. They performed experiments using comparable tools on elephant bones and produced similar fracture patterns. "People were here breaking up the limb bones of this mastodon, removing some of the big, thick pieces of mastodon limb bones, probably to make tools out of, and they may have also been extracting some of the marrow for food," said archeologist Steven Holen of the Center for American Paleolithic Research in South Dakota. U.S. Geological Survey geologist James Paces used state-of-the-art dating methods to determine the mastodon bones, tooth enamel and tusks were 131,000 years old, plus or minus about 9,000 years. Some skeptics suggested alternative explanations about the material excavated beginning in 1992 at a freeway construction site, suggesting the bones may have been broken recently by heavy construction equipment rather than by ancient humans. The researchers defended their conclusions, published in the journal Nature. "It's hard to argue with the clear and remarkable evidence that we can see in all of this material," said archeologist Richard Fullagar of Australia's University of Wollongong, calling the conclusions "truly incontrovertible." Our species, Homo sapiens, first appeared in Africa about 200,000 years ago and later spread worldwide. Timing of the New World arrival has been contentious. Genetic data suggests it was roughly 23,000 years ago, though archeological evidence is lacking. The researchers said the humans at the site could have been Homo sapiens or an extinct species such as Neanderthals, already known to have lived in Siberia, or Denisovans, known from only scant remains. Holen said humans may have walked from Siberia to Alaska on a now-gone Bering Sea land bridge or perhaps traveled by boat along the Asian coast, then over to Alaska and down North America's western coastline to California. "It's a huge deal if it's true," McNabb said. But McNabb wondered whether there was anything in the chemistry of the soil or ground water that might have affected the way the date of the material was calculated, and whether anything else could have produced the impact and damage patterns on the material other than humans.


Shattered mastodon bones from a Southern California site bear the scars of human activity from 130,700 years ago, a team of scientists says — pushing back the generally accepted date that humans are thought to have settled North America by a whopping 115,000 or so years. If verified and corroborated by other scientists, the discovery described in the journal Nature could radically rewrite the timeline of when humans first arrived in the Americas. “This is the first time there’s been a demonstrated archaeological site with all the bells and whistles,” said Curtis Runnels, an archaeologist at Boston University who was not involved with the study, referring to the combination of several lines of evidence at the site. “This makes it absolutely first-water importance. This is up there with one of the discoveries of the century, I would say.” Without the benefit of actual human remains, however, the dramatic departure from the accepted timeline may not convince all scientists in the field. “My reaction has been skeptical,” said John McNabb, a paleolithic archeologist at the University of Southampton who was not involved in the study. “The date that they’re quoting is so fantastically older than anything that’s quoted for the earliest occupation of the Americas, up to now. It’s a really big ask.” The fragmented mastodon remains were first discovered in late 1992 by study co-author Richard Cerutti of the San Diego Natural History Museum during routine paleontological monitoring work at a Caltrans freeway expansion project in southern San Diego. Out of the ancient stream deposits came the remains of a camel, horse and other mammals — including the bones, tusks and teeth of a mastodon, a distant and long-gone relative of elephants. The mastodon fossils looked very different from the other bones nearby. The animal’s limb bones, molars and tusks had been smashed into many pieces. That struck the researchers as odd, because leg bones are strong and thick and should have been preserved over the eons — especially since more fragile ribs and vertebrae had survived in much better shape. “It was a really intriguing site,” said study co-author Tom Deméré, a vertebrate paleontologist at the San Diego Natural History Museum, pointing to the patterns that defied an explanation by natural causes. The ends of some bones had been torn off — a sign that humans may have been trying to reach the bone marrow. The mastodon bones also bore the spiral fracture patterns that are typical of breaks that happen when the bone is still fresh, rather than the straight ones that tend to mark older bone broken much longer after death. (The wolf and horse bones in nearby sediment layers did not exhibit the same patterns.) That strange, selective destruction is a sign that humans were there, targeting the thick bones and tusks that could be shaped into new tools, the study authors said. On top of that, the bones were not arranged in the way that usually happens when an animal dies from natural causes. Instead, the bones had been grouped into two clusters — and near each bunch of bones lay two or three large stone cobbles. If humans broke those mastodon bones, they probably did it using the large cobbles, the scientists said. The stones are massive — one weighed in at a hefty 32.5 pounds — and could be used as either hammers or anvils. These stones stood out at the site, particularly because the area is full of fine, silty sediment, not large rocks. The gentle river currents that brought the silt would not have been able to drag large rocks to the area — so perhaps someone brought them there. In addition, the researchers were able to piece together stone shards that appeared to have flecked off from that repeated pounding. “I just couldn’t believe this was happening, but the evidence is right there in front of you,” said lead author Steve Holen, director of research at the Center for American Paleolithic Research in South Dakota. The patterns of breakage were eerily familiar to those he’d seen at the sites he’d studied in the Great Plains. “The evidence is so strong that you can’t just walk away from it and say, ‘I don’t believe it, I’m not going to deal with this.’” To make sure, the researchers even did experiments using elephant bones, smashing them with large stones to see whether the damage patterns to both stones and bones matched the patterns they saw at the mastodon site. They soon realized that the Cerutti mastodon did not just mark a paleontological site, but an archaeological one. To see how old the bones were, study co-author James Paces of the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver subjected the specimens to radiometric techniques, analyzing the decay rate of uranium in and around the bones to determine its age. The result: 130,700 years old, give or take 9,400 years. “We’re confident that we have a very good idea of when this animal died and when bones were incorporated in the surrounding sediment,” Paces said. The commonly held theory of humans’ arrival in North America is that they came 14,500 years or so ago via a land bridge that was only intermittently open. Recently, some scientists have begun to argue that humans may have entered well before that, around 30,000 to 40,000 years ago — though who they may have been and whether they could have established a lasting population remains up for debate. This new find, however, pushes back the record of human species far beyond scientists’ expectations. If people were in California 130,000 years ago, it’s possible that they made it over the land bridge just before the last interglacial period, when a warmer, wetter climate would have flooded their passageway. It’s also possible that they took to the sea in boats, crossing the brief stretch of open water between Asia and North America and then making their way down the Pacific coastline. (This seafaring theory has been proposed for more recent human appearances as well.)


DARMSTADT, Deutschland, 20. April 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Merck, ein führendes Wissenschaft- und Technologieunternehmen, gab heute bekannt, dass BioInvent International AB, ein schwedisches Unternehmen, das neuartige immunregulatorische Antikörper zur Krebsbehandlung entwickelt, sein Arzneimittelwerk mit einer kompletten Serie von Mercks Mobius® Einweg-Bioreaktoren ausstattet. BioInvent fügt seiner vorgeschalteten Einrichtung in Lund, Schweden, 3-, 50-, 200- und 1000-Liter Bioreaktoren hinzu, was deren Kapazität erweitert und die Flexibilität und Skalierbarkeit verbessert.  Mercks Portfolio aus 3- bis 2000-Liter Mobius® Einweg-Bioreaktoren verschafft branchenführende Vorteile für mehr Flexibilität und Fortbestand beim Ausbau, was den Bedarf zur Neuschulung der Bediener beim Ausbau reduziert. „Unser komplettes Portfolio aus Einwegtechnik erfüllt den Bedarf von sowohl neuen biopharmazeutischen Unternehmen als auch etablierten Arzneimittelentwicklern wie BioInvent, die ihre Produktivität steigern möchten," sagte Udit Batra, Vorstandsmitglied bei Merck und CEO des Life Science-Geschäftszweigs bei Merck. „Wir liefern das volle Spektrum an Bioreaktoren, Service und Support, was BioInvent helfen wird, die Entwicklung seiner innovativen Therapeutik zu beschleunigen." Die Aufrüstung des BioInvent Werks auf einen 1000-Liter Einweg-Bioreaktor wird es dem Unternehmen ermöglichen, die Produktionsanforderungen seiner eigenen, neuartigen Antikörperentwicklungsprojekte wie auch die seiner Kunden weltweit zu erfüllen. „BioInvent arbeitet seit mehr als 30 Jahren an der Entwicklung und Fertigung von Antikörpern, und als wir uns zur Neuausstattung unseres Einwegproduktionswerks entschlossen hatten, stellten wir sehr hohe Ansprüche," sagte Kristoffer Rudenholm Hansson, stellvertretender Direktor der Technical Operations bei BioInvent. „Mercks Einweg-Bioreaktoren konnten unseren derzeitigen und künftigen Bedarf mit einem voll skalierbaren System am effektivsten erfüllen." Alle Pressemitteilungen von Merck werden zeitgleich mit der Veröffentlichung auf der Merck Website per E-Mail versandt. Gehen Sie zu www.merckgroup.com/subscribe, um sich online zu registrieren, Ihre Einstellungen zu ändern oder sich abzumelden. Informationen zu Merck Merck ist ein führendes Wissenschafts- und Technologieunternehmen in den Bereichen Healthcare, Life Science und Performance Materials. Rund 50.000 Mitarbeiter arbeiten daran, Technologien weiterzuentwickeln, die das Leben bereichern – von biopharmazeutischen Therapien zur Behandlung von Krebs oder Multipler Sklerose über wegweisende Systeme für die wissenschaftliche Forschung und Produktion bis hin zu Flüssigkeitskristallen für Smartphones und LCD-Fernseher. 2016 verzeichnete Merck Umsätze in Höhe von 15,0 Milliarden € aus 66 Ländern. Gegründet 1668 ist Merck das älteste pharmazeutisch-chemische Unternehmen der Welt. Die Gründerfamilie ist bis heute Mehrheitseigentümerin des börsennotierten Konzerns. Merck besitzt die globalen Rechte am Namen und der Marke Merck. Einzige Ausnahmen sind die USA und Kanada, wo das Unternehmen als EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma und EMD Performance Materials auftritt. Informationen zu BioInvent BioInvent International AB (OMXS: BINV) befasst sich mit der Entdeckung und Entwicklung von neuartigen, erstmaligen immunregulatorischen Antikörpern zur Krebsbehandlung. Die klinischen Programme des Unternehmens sind BI-1206, was derzeit in Phase I/II für Non-Hodgkin-Lymphom und chronisch lymphatische Leukämie ist, und TB-403, in Zusammenarbeit mit Oncurious und gegenwärtig in Phase I/II für Medulloblastom. BioInvent bietet ein großartiges, präklinisches Portfolio, das auf den neuartigen immunmodulatorischen Antikörpern basiert, deren Ziel regulatorische T-Zellen (T-regs) und mit der Tumorbildung verbundene myeloide Zellen sind. Im Dezember 2016 unterzeichnete das Unternehmen eine Vereinbarung zur strategischen Forschungskollaboration mit Pfizer Inc. BioInvent steht zudem in Zusammenarbeit mit führenden akademischen Einrichtungen wie der University of Southampton, dem englischen Krebsforschungsinstitut Cancer Research UK und Penn Medicine. BioInvent erzielt Umsätze aus globalen Partnerschaften, zu denen Bayer Pharma, Daiichi Sankyo und Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma zählen, sowie auf seinem Fertigungswerk zur Produktion von Antikörpern für Forschungszwecke bis hin zu klinischen Studien des Spätstadiums.


News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

A series of video frames shows the Chelyabinsk meteor passing through the skies above the Siberian city of Kamensk-Uralskiy on Feb. 15, 2013. (Aleksandr Ivanov / Popova et al. / Science / AAAS) If an asteroid strikes, don’t head for the hills, or the windows: Head for the basement. A study aimed at sorting out the effects of a catastrophic asteroid impact found that violent winds and pressure shock waves would be the biggest killers, accounting for more than 60 percent of the lives lost in simulated scenarios. “This is the first study that looks at all seven impact effects generated by hazardous asteroids and estimates which are, in terms of human loss, most severe,” Clemens Rumpf, a senior research assistant at the University of Southampton in Britain, said today in a news release from the American Geophysical Union. Rumpf is the lead author of the study, which is published in Geophysical Research Letters, an AGU journal. The seven effects on Rumpf’s list are wind blasts, shock waves, heat, flying debris, tsunami waves, cratering and seismic shaking. The researchers lumped wind blasts and shock waves together because those phenomena would tend to occur together in the wake of an asteroid strike. The winds whipped up by an impact would carry enough power to hurl human bodies and flatten forests, while the spike in atmospheric pressure would set off shock waves strong enough to rupture internal organs. To gauge the damage, the researchers ran 50,000 simulated scenarios with artificial asteroids ranging from 15 to 400 meters (49 to 1,312 feet) across. They found that land-based impacts would be roughly 10 times as dangerous as ocean impacts. Large asteroids hitting the ocean could generate huge tsunami waves; however, the waves’ energy would tend to dissipate as it traveled. Tsunamis accounted for more than 70 percent of the deaths associated with an ocean impact, but only about 20 percent of the lives lost across all scenarios. Heat effects were implicated in nearly 30 percent of the deaths in the land-based simulations, and here’s where Rumpf offered his advice. He said affected populations were likely to avoid harm by hiding in basements and other underground structures. Cratering and airborne debris each accounted for less than 1 percent of the deaths. Seismic shaking was of the least concern, causing only 0.17 percent of the casualties in the simulated scenarios. Rumpf emphasized that the risk of an asteroid strike is low, ranging from once every 1,500 years for a 190-foot-wide space rock to once every 100,000 years for a 1,300-foot-wide monster. The scenarios suggest that most asteroids on the lower end of the spectrum burn up in the atmosphere. An asteroid would have to be wider than 60 feet across to be lethal. That’s roughly the width of the asteroid involved in the 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor blast, which injured hundreds of people in the vicinity of the Siberian city but caused no known deaths. Most of the injuries in Chelyabinsk occurred when the shock wave from the blast sent broken window glass flying into the faces of spectators. Purdue geophysicist Jay Melosh, who wasn’t involved in the study, said the report represents “a reasonable step forward in trying to understand and come to grips with the hazards posed by asteroids and comet impactors.” Rumpf said the findings could help Earthlings plan for future asteroid strikes. “If only 10 people are affected, then maybe it’s better to evacuate the area,” he said. “But if a million people are affected, it may be worthwhile to mount a deflection mission and push the asteroid out of the way.” Rumpf plans to present his findings at the 2017 International Academy of Astronautics Planetary Defense Conference, set for next month in Tokyo.


DARMSTADT, Deutschland, 20. April 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Merck, ein führendes Wissenschaft- und Technologieunternehmen, gab heute bekannt, dass BioInvent International AB, ein schwedisches Unternehmen, das neuartige immunregulatorische Antikörper zur Krebsbehandlung entwickelt, sein Arzneimittelwerk mit einer kompletten Serie von Mercks Mobius® Einweg-Bioreaktoren ausstattet. BioInvent fügt seiner vorgeschalteten Einrichtung in Lund, Schweden, 3-, 50-, 200- und 1000-Liter Bioreaktoren hinzu, was deren Kapazität erweitert und die Flexibilität und Skalierbarkeit verbessert.  Mercks Portfolio aus 3- bis 2000-Liter Mobius® Einweg-Bioreaktoren verschafft branchenführende Vorteile für mehr Flexibilität und Fortbestand beim Ausbau, was den Bedarf zur Neuschulung der Bediener beim Ausbau reduziert. „Unser komplettes Portfolio aus Einwegtechnik erfüllt den Bedarf von sowohl neuen biopharmazeutischen Unternehmen als auch etablierten Arzneimittelentwicklern wie BioInvent, die ihre Produktivität steigern möchten," sagte Udit Batra, Vorstandsmitglied bei Merck und CEO des Life Science-Geschäftszweigs bei Merck. „Wir liefern das volle Spektrum an Bioreaktoren, Service und Support, was BioInvent helfen wird, die Entwicklung seiner innovativen Therapeutik zu beschleunigen." Die Aufrüstung des BioInvent Werks auf einen 1000-Liter Einweg-Bioreaktor wird es dem Unternehmen ermöglichen, die Produktionsanforderungen seiner eigenen, neuartigen Antikörperentwicklungsprojekte wie auch die seiner Kunden weltweit zu erfüllen. „BioInvent arbeitet seit mehr als 30 Jahren an der Entwicklung und Fertigung von Antikörpern, und als wir uns zur Neuausstattung unseres Einwegproduktionswerks entschlossen hatten, stellten wir sehr hohe Ansprüche," sagte Kristoffer Rudenholm Hansson, stellvertretender Direktor der Technical Operations bei BioInvent. „Mercks Einweg-Bioreaktoren konnten unseren derzeitigen und künftigen Bedarf mit einem voll skalierbaren System am effektivsten erfüllen." Alle Pressemitteilungen von Merck werden zeitgleich mit der Veröffentlichung auf der Merck Website per E-Mail versandt. Gehen Sie zu www.merckgroup.com/subscribe, um sich online zu registrieren, Ihre Einstellungen zu ändern oder sich abzumelden. Informationen zu Merck Merck ist ein führendes Wissenschafts- und Technologieunternehmen in den Bereichen Healthcare, Life Science und Performance Materials. Rund 50.000 Mitarbeiter arbeiten daran, Technologien weiterzuentwickeln, die das Leben bereichern – von biopharmazeutischen Therapien zur Behandlung von Krebs oder Multipler Sklerose über wegweisende Systeme für die wissenschaftliche Forschung und Produktion bis hin zu Flüssigkeitskristallen für Smartphones und LCD-Fernseher. 2016 verzeichnete Merck Umsätze in Höhe von 15,0 Milliarden € aus 66 Ländern. Gegründet 1668 ist Merck das älteste pharmazeutisch-chemische Unternehmen der Welt. Die Gründerfamilie ist bis heute Mehrheitseigentümerin des börsennotierten Konzerns. Merck besitzt die globalen Rechte am Namen und der Marke Merck. Einzige Ausnahmen sind die USA und Kanada, wo das Unternehmen als EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma und EMD Performance Materials auftritt. Informationen zu BioInvent BioInvent International AB (OMXS: BINV) befasst sich mit der Entdeckung und Entwicklung von neuartigen, erstmaligen immunregulatorischen Antikörpern zur Krebsbehandlung. Die klinischen Programme des Unternehmens sind BI-1206, was derzeit in Phase I/II für Non-Hodgkin-Lymphom und chronisch lymphatische Leukämie ist, und TB-403, in Zusammenarbeit mit Oncurious und gegenwärtig in Phase I/II für Medulloblastom. BioInvent bietet ein großartiges, präklinisches Portfolio, das auf den neuartigen immunmodulatorischen Antikörpern basiert, deren Ziel regulatorische T-Zellen (T-regs) und mit der Tumorbildung verbundene myeloide Zellen sind. Im Dezember 2016 unterzeichnete das Unternehmen eine Vereinbarung zur strategischen Forschungskollaboration mit Pfizer Inc. BioInvent steht zudem in Zusammenarbeit mit führenden akademischen Einrichtungen wie der University of Southampton, dem englischen Krebsforschungsinstitut Cancer Research UK und Penn Medicine. BioInvent erzielt Umsätze aus globalen Partnerschaften, zu denen Bayer Pharma, Daiichi Sankyo und Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma zählen, sowie auf seinem Fertigungswerk zur Produktion von Antikörpern für Forschungszwecke bis hin zu klinischen Studien des Spätstadiums.


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: www.nature.com

Scientists have directly dated Stone Age rock paintings in southern Africa reliably for the first time. Their work reveals that early hunter-gatherer peoples created art at three sites in the region, some 5,700 years ago (A. Bonneau et al. Antiquity 91, 322–333; 2017). And the findings open the door for archaeologists and other researchers to date thousands more rock paintings in this part of Africa — and so piece together the lives and development of ancient people there. The study focused on paintings in present-day Botswana, South Africa and Lesotho created by the San people, whose direct descendants still live in the area. The San have been much studied, but many mysteries remain about how they lived, and how they interacted with other groups — such as early farmers. “If we are able to date depictions of livestock and material goods associated with incoming groups, we may be able to start unravelling the nature of interactions between groups in this early contact,” says David Pearce, an archaeologist and director of the Rock Art Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and a co-author of the latest study. Just under 2,000 years ago, Pearce says, pastoral and farming people independently arrived in South Africa, where they came into contact with hunter-gatherer groups such as the San. “We know relatively little about these groups because of the paucity of archaeology.” Rock paintings show that these groups interacted, but, because the paintings were discovered at sites that contain no other artefacts, they have not been reliably dated. “What we’ve been doing previously existed out of time,” says Pearce. He adds that, although “we know a lot about what the paintings mean”, scientific techniques have not been widely applied to archaeological findings in the region. Many experts had assumed that the black paint used in African pictures was based on manganese compounds and that the rock art would therefore have contained too little carbon to be reliably dated, he says. As a result, techniques developed in Europe and elsewhere have not previously been applied in Africa. Yet southern African rock art is highly influential. “It was ethnographies of San bushmen art that provided many of the models for social interpretation of the art we still use today,” says Alistair Pike, an archaeologist at the University of Southampton, UK, who was not involved in the research. And pictures left by the San and others could help researchers to put dates on other significant events, including the development of early religious rituals. Dating rock pictures is itself a tricky art. Extracting useful samples damages paintings, and it is hard to distinguish original materials from modern contaminants. Over the years, compounds that contain carbon build up on top of the pictures and interfere with radiocarbon dating. And it’s not enough to know that a sample contains carbon: charcoal used in paint, for example, could pre-date a painting by centuries and so affect the result of the carbon tests. “While doing the characterization of the different paints, we realized that the San people used three different materials to make black paints: charcoal, soot and carbon-blacks, which are burnt fat or grease,” says Adelphine Bonneau, a postdoctoral researcher at Laval University in Quebec, Canada, who is lead author on the study. Soot and carbon-blacks would have had to be produced a few hours before being used — and that meant they could be tested to give an accurate date. It was this fact that formed the basis of her team’s multi-stage technique. First, Bonneau and her colleagues took tiny samples — less than one square millimetre — and determined their chemical composition. If they found testable carbon, the researchers took a larger sample. They cleaned away centuries of accumulated surface compounds such as calcium oxalate, which contaminate test results, and then carbon-dated the sample. Georges Sauvet, an archaeologist with the Emile Cartailhac Prehistoric Art Research and Study Center at the University of Toulouse-Jean Jaurès in France, questioned the efficacy of the cleaning process, saying: “They seem to be reticent to show clearly that they have totally removed the calcium oxalate, and I don’t know why.” Pike welcomed the technique and the results, but warned that it might not be suitable for older sites with more organic contaminants. “Were these paintings older, I would be more cautious in accepting these results,” he says. But young sites made from similar materials could be dated using this method. “I hope that the team are able to continue to provide dates for paintings in Africa,” Pike adds. “The earliest forms of symbolic expression are known from Africa, so perhaps there are older paints in Africa that have yet to be found, or yet to be dated.”


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.materialstoday.com

A new report published by the University of Southampton suggests that regulation in the use of composites in marine, rail, oil & gas, and construction could save the UK money. The report suggests that industry and government should work together to put an end to the constraints that currently inhibit the growth and use of composite materials in these sectors. This could bring more than £4 billion worth of benefit to the UK by the year 2030. The paper entitled ‘Modernising composite materials regulations’, was complied by a multidisciplinary team from Southampton’s Faculties of Engineering and the Environment, and Business, Law and Art (Institute of Maritime Law), supported by the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute and the University’s department for Research and Innovation Services (RIS). ‘As economic and sustainability pressures have grown, so too has pressure increased to reduce energy consumption (including fuel usage) whilst improving both ‘through-life costs’ and installation times,’ a press release said. ‘All of these factors have increased demand for stronger, lighter, more intelligent and more durable materials tailor made for purpose.’ Massive increase In 2013, the global market for composite products was US$68 billion, which is predicted to grow to US$ 105 billion by 2030 (UK Composites Market Study). The UK’s share of this market is £2 billion (around 3%) which is estimated to grow to £12 billion or more by 2030 (2016 UK Composites Strategy). This figure could rise to as high as £16 billion if the sectors that have not previously embraced the use of composites were to experience the same rate of growth as the aerospace sector, where the use of composite materials has increased massively over the last three decades, the report suggests. ‘One of the major inhibitors to the uptake of composites in new sectors is that regulations, codes and standards are often inappropriate for composites,’ added the press release. ‘This is because they are both explicitly and implicitly based on named materials, such as steel, and do not permit consideration of composites applications despite the strengths and benefits of the materials in many cases.’ Regulation in the use of composites in rail could save the UK money.‘Advanced polymer composite materials have a huge potential to shape the modern world,’ said Professor Ole Thybo Thomsen, head of the Infrastructure Research Group at Southampton and co-author of the position paper. ‘The use of composites in aerospace and automobile design is now the norm, but they have much broader potential for use in other sectors such as in building and bridge construction, railway and rail infrastructure, as well as marine and offshore. In aerospace alone, 52% by weight of the latest generation of aircraft are now composed of composite materials. ‘In the UK there is currently very limited coordination and centralisation of the codes and standards data associated with new composite materials,’ added Professor Simon Quinn, director of the University’s Research Institute for Industry (RiFi) and the lead researcher of the paper. ‘There is neither a coherent development of certified testing facilities, nor a formal process for different sectors to share information and best practice. These factors have reduced productivity, discouraged research and development and innovation, and significantly increased the time to market for new composite products.  ‘Industry and government have not shared information,’ he added. ‘In the UK there are four government departments dealing with material regulation and the minister with overall responsibility for Health and Safety (the Minister for the Disabled) has neither the mandate nor the resources to harmonise this system. There are also seven agencies involved in regulation, alongside a lack of Suitably Qualified and Experienced Personnel (SQEP), creating a labyrinth of assurance without the guarantee of certification at the end. This is a considerable disincentive to those companies wanting to innovate, and a significant barrier to new companies entering the markets.’ Performance standards The paper recommends that ‘performance’ assessment methods should be adapted to the needs of each sector to make it easier for manufacturers to prove that their materials can perform to the required operational safety and performance standards related to that sector. It also calls for one government department to have overall responsibility for regulation, with representation in other departments. The lead department would work closely with the Composites Leadership Forum (CLF) and would oversee material regulatory policy and management of the centre, would have the responsibility to develop codes and standards, and would authorise both UK and nominated overseas test centers. ‘This approach will increase the value, utility and sustainability of the UK’s composites research and by speeding up the ‘route to market’, allowing the UK to both achieve and maximise its predicted market share and prevent the more agile manufacturing nations using our research to gain a first-mover competitive advantage,’ said Rear Admiral Rob Stevens, the lead author of the paper. ‘The next step is create a task group sponsored by government and including key players from the regulatory bodies, industry and academia to take the new regulatory proposition forward in industries that are not utilising composite materials to their full potential.’ An Executive Summary of the paper is available online.   This story is reprinted from material from the University of Southampton, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.  


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: www.cnet.com

The remains of a 130,000-year-old mastodon found in southern California show signs of being bashed by humans around the time of its demise. The discovery is amazing because, until now, it was believed that the first humans to migrate over an ancient land bridge from Asia to North America showed up only about 15,000 years ago. The fossil site was discovered in San Diego County during a freeway construction project all the way back in 1992. The ancient animal's bones, tusks and teeth had been broken and buried along with large stones that appear to have been used by someone as hammers and anvils to do the breaking. "Which poses a puzzle," explains Dr. Tom Deméré from the San Diego Natural History Museum in the below video. "The remains of this mastodon were found in a silt layer and geological processes that would deposit silt are not going to be depositing or carrying rocks of this size... what makes sense to us, although it's out there, is the hypothesis suggesting that humans brought these rocks to the site." Deméré is a co-author of a paper on the discovery published in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature. If the broken Mastodon bones really are evidence of a prehistoric tool-making or marrow buffet site, it would be the oldest such archaeological site on the continent by as much as 100,000 years. Radiocarbon dating of the site has not been possible, but recent technological advances made it possible to use uranium-thorium dating on multiple bone specimens to determine their age. "This discovery is rewriting our understanding of when humans reached the New World. The evidence we found at this site indicates that some hominin species was living in North America 115,000 years earlier than previously thought," said Judy Gradwohl, president and CEO of the San Diego Natural History Museum, in a release. But the conclusion that some broken mastodon bones are a clear indication of human activity in North America millennia ahead of the more generally understood migration schedule is being met with some skepticism. "Until we actually find a skeleton at this site or at a site of a comparable age in the Americas, it's all open to speculation and we just don't know," says John McNabb of the University of Southampton. In a conference call with reporters, lead author Dr. Steve Holen from the Center for American Paleolithic Research, said he's confident that the surrounding geology of the site, the placement of the apparent tools and the way the bones were broken all point to a human presence. His team went so far as to use similar rock tools on comparable elephant bones to see if they broke in the same way. "It's understandable that it might be difficult to get your head around the nature of this evidence," added co-author Richard Fullagar from the University of Wollongong. "But Steve is absolutely right... the evidence is truly incontrovertible." If there were human ancestors in North America ten times earlier than previously thought, it brings up many more questions. Exactly who were they? Where did they come from? Why is there a 100,000 year gap in the evidence we've found for their existence? And of course, where the heck did they go? The scientists behind the discovery concede that they have no solid answers for these big questions just yet. But if the findings hold up, we may need to revise the accepted answer to the question of just how long we've been wandering around the "New World," which suddenly seems a little less new. Technically Literate: Original works of short fiction with unique perspectives on tech, exclusively on CNET.


News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In the category of “seeing is believing,” CuVerro® released a video today that pits antimicrobial copper against stainless steel in a side-by-side MRSA-fighting duel. MRSA is an antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria that the Center for Disease Control believes infects 80,000 hospital patients each year and kills more than 11,000. The video, aptly titled “Super Bugs,” is a composite of tests staged in a laboratory at the University of Southampton in England where an antimicrobial copper surface demonstrates its dominance over the super bug MRSA, virtually wiping out 10 million units of the harmful bacteria in minutes. Meanwhile, on stainless, the bug lives on to infect another day. CuVerro® antimicrobial copper alloys are natural enemies of super bugs and bacteria in general. Research conducted in government and university labs here and abroad show that copper kills 99.9 percent of harmful bacteria like MRSA within two hours of contact. CuVerro is the first copper brand to be registered as a germ-fighter by the EPA. As a result, CuVerro is gaining favor among infection control professionals eager to reduce surface bacteria in the health and fitness industries. Over 300 facilities in the U.S. are using copper sinks, incubators, bed rails, light switch covers, IV poles, dumbbells, etc. to help fight the spread of deadly germs. CuVerro (www.cuverro.com) is manufactured by GBC Metals, LLC, doing business as Olin Brass, a wholly owned subsidiary of Global Brass and Copper, Inc. which is a subsidiary of Global Brass and Copper Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:BRSS), the leading manufacturer and distributor of copper, copper‐alloy and bactericidal copper sheet, strip, plate, foil, rod, ingot and fabricated components in North America and one of the largest in the world. GBC Metals engages in the melting, casting, rolling, drawing, extruding and stamping of specialized copper and copper alloys finished products from scrap, cathode and other refined metals. (OB‐0034‐1510)


Brunton-Smith I.,University of Surrey | Sturgis P.,University of Southampton
Criminology | Year: 2011

For a long time, criminologists have contended that neighborhoods are important determinants of how individuals perceive their risk of criminal victimization. Yet, despite the theoretical importance and policy relevance of these claims, the empirical evidence base is surprisingly thin and inconsistent. Drawing on data from a national probability sample of individuals, linked to independent measures of neighborhood demographic characteristics, visual signs of physical disorder, and reported crime, we test four hypotheses about the mechanisms through which neighborhoods influence fear of crime. Our large sample size, analytical approach, and the independence of our empirical measures enable us to overcome some of the limitations that have hampered much previous research into this question. We find that neighborhood structural characteristics, visual signs of disorder, and recorded crime all have direct and independent effects on individual-level fear of crime. Additionally, we demonstrate that individual differences in fear of crime are strongly moderated by neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics; between-group differences in expressed fear of crime are both exacerbated and ameliorated by the characteristics of the areas in which people live. © 2011 American Society of Criminology.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST.2011.1.1-1. | Award Amount: 3.70M | Year: 2011

Adhesion of Microorganisms on hulls, Algae to the coated surface, is the precursor of later fixation of macro-organisms, which causes serious hydrodynamic problems. Research and innovative developments of environmental friend surface protection is the main goal of the present project. The basic idea concerns the modification of usual hulls by providing a new antifouling coating, by fixing covalently bioactive molecules, which can provide biocide activity, in order to avoid leaching and to promote a long-term effect of surface protection. This requires the binding through a molecular bridge and to study the effective concentration of the binded active compounds. The new surface coating technology will by this way minimize the surface roughness and improve hydrodynamic properties of hulls.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: ICT-21-2014 | Award Amount: 4.20M | Year: 2015

ProsocialLearn will establish a new market for digital games aiming at increasing social inclusion and academic performance. A ground-breaking digital gaming genre will be created that focuses on helping children to acquire prosocial skills necessary for positive relationships, team working, trustworthiness and emotional intelligence. ProsocialLearn will deliver a series of disruptive innovations building on a game development and distribution platform for the production of prosocial games that engages children and stimulates technology transfer from traditional game industry to the education sector. ProsocialLearn will offer games developers scientifically proven prosocial game elements for development digital games. An application programming interface (API), ProsocialAPI, will allow developers to integrate functions into games including visual sensing, identification of prosocial signals from in-game actions, personalised adaptation of game elements, player profiles, game mechanics and expressive virtual characters, and support for data collection with protection of personal data. SMEs from the traditional game industry will work together with serious games companies to produce a series of exciting digital games targeting European schools. Through a multi-disciplinary collaboration between industry, researchers, psychologists, pedagogists and teaching professionals, ProsocialLearn will address complex factors associated with child development and advanced ICT in school curricula. Two SMEs within the consortium will produce an initial set of games and additional SMEs will be incorporated in the third year of the project to foster market creation. Both short term and longitudinal studies (pilots) will be conducted at schools across Europe to build scientific evidence of the benefits of prosocial gaming in different cultural settings and scales, and to explore business models, business plans and verify financial viability of the ProsocialLearn platform.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-14-2014 | Award Amount: 7.58M | Year: 2015

5G-ENSURE will define and deliver a 5G Security Architecture, shared and agreed by the various 5G stakeholders. It will specify, develop and release an initial set of useful and usable security enablers for 5G. These enablers will be selected for their relevance in addressing some of the foremost security concerns in order to generate the trust and confidence necessary for 5G to be widely adopted and to deliver its promises through innovative business applications. The 5G-ENSURE project will also initiate a 5G Security testbed vision and initial set-up in which the security enablers will be made available. Moreover, the potential of the developed 5G Security enablers will be showcased and demonstrated in the context of carefully selected 5G security use cases (e.g. use cases related to cybersecurity and aerospace). Coupled with this, 5G-ENSURE will be closely linked to the overall 5G PPP programme through active participation in common activities and fora. Specifically, 5G-ENSURE will be the project that creates and animates a dedicated 5G PPP Security Working Group to coordinate the various security-related activities. 5G-ENSURE is led by a strong consortium bringing together the appropriate and complementary skills, including standards involvement and deep telco understanding, along with an extensive network of interested parties, and have a proven track-record in coordination. 5G-ENSURE will avail itself of the support of a group of international opinion leaders.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-11-2014 | Award Amount: 5.48M | Year: 2015

Despite the proliferation of IoT and smart cities testbeds, there is still no easy way to conduct large scale experiments that leverage data and resources from multiple geographically and administratively distributed IoT platforms. Recent advances in IoT semantic interoperability provide a sound basis for implementing novel cloud-based infrastructures that could allow testbed-agnostic access to IoT data and resources. FIESTA will open new horizons in IoT experimentation at a global scale, based on the interconnection and interoperability of diverse IoT testbeds. FIESTA will produce a first-of-a-kind blueprint experimental infrastructure (tools, techniques and best practices) enabling testbed operators to interconnect their facilities in an interoperable way, while at the same time facilitating researchers in deploying integrated experiments, which seamlessly transcend the boundaries of multiple IoT platforms. FIESTA will be validated and evaluated based on the interconnection of four testbeds (in Spain, UK, France and Korea), as well as based on the execution of novel experiments in the areas of mobile crowd-sensing, IoT applications portability, and dynamic intelligent discovery of IoT resources. In order to achieve global outreach and maximum impact, FIESTA will integrate an additional testbed and experiments from Korea, while it will also collaborate with IoT experts from USA. The participation of a Korean partner (based its own funding) will maximize FIESTAs value for EC money. Moreover, the project will take advantage of open calls processes towards attracting third-parties that will engage in the integration of their platforms within FIESTA or in the conduction of added-value experiments. As part of its sustainability strategy, FIESTA will establish a global market confidence programme for IoT interoperability, which will enable innovative platform providers and solution integrators to ensure/certify the openness and interoperability of their developments.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: DS-05-2015 | Award Amount: 7.47M | Year: 2016

Against the background of the regulation 2014/910/EU on electronic identification (eID) and trusted services for electronic transactions in the internal market (eIDAS), the FutureTrust project aims at supporting the practical implementation of the regulation in Europe and beyond. For this purpose the FutureTrust project will address the need for globally interoperable solutions through 1) basic research with respect to the foundations of trust and trustworthiness, with the aim of developing new, widely compatible trust models or improving existing models, 2) actively driving the standardisation process, and 3) providing Open Source software components and trustworthy services as a functional base for fast adoption of standards and solutions. FutureTrust will demonstrate positive business cases for the reliance on electronic signatures, sealing services, and long-term authenticity of data and documents, all with a focus on accountability, transparency and usability. For a subset of use cases, carefully selected for relevance and visibility, the FutureTrust consortium will devise real world pilot applications for the public and private sector with a focus on legally significant global electronic transactions in between EU member states and with non-EU countries. The FutureTrust project will in particular develop a comprehensive Open Source validation service as well as a scalable preservation service for electronic signatures and will provide components for the eID-based application for qualified certificates across borders, and for the trustworthy creation of remote signatures and seals in a mobile environment. Furthermore, the FutureTrust project will extend and generalize existing trust management concepts to build a Global Trust List, which allows to maintain trust anchors and metadata for trust services and eID related services around the globe.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Training Grant | Award Amount: 3.94M | Year: 2014

The achievements of modern research and their rapid progress from theory to application are increasingly underpinned by computation. Computational approaches are often hailed as a new third pillar of science - in addition to empirical and theoretical work. While its breadth makes computation almost as ubiquitous as mathematics as a key tool in science and engineering, it is a much younger discipline and stands to benefit enormously from building increased capacity and increased efforts towards integration, standardization, and professionalism. The development of new ideas and techniques in computing is extremely rapid, the progress enabled by these breakthroughs is enormous, and their impact on society is substantial: modern technologies ranging from the Airbus 380, MRI scans and smartphone CPUs could not have been developed without computer simulation; progress on major scientific questions from climate change to astronomy are driven by the results from computational models; major investment decisions are underwritten by computational modelling. Furthermore, simulation modelling is emerging as a key tool within domains experiencing a data revolution such as biomedicine and finance. This progress has been enabled through the rapid increase of computational power, and was based in the past on an increased rate at which computing instructions in the processor can be carried out. However, this clock rate cannot be increased much further and in recent computational architectures (such as GPU, Intel Phi) additional computational power is now provided through having (of the order of) hundreds of computational cores in the same unit. This opens up potential for new order of magnitude performance improvements but requires additional specialist training in parallel programming and computational methods to be able to tap into and exploit this opportunity. Computational advances are enabled by new hardware, and innovations in algorithms, numerical methods and simulation techniques, and application of best practice in scientific computational modelling. The most effective progress and highest impact can be obtained by combining, linking and simultaneously exploiting step changes in hardware, software, methods and skills. However, good computational science training is scarce, especially at post-graduate level. The Centre for Doctoral Training in Next Generation Computational Modelling will develop 55+ graduate students to address this skills gap. Trained as future leaders in Computational Modelling, they will form the core of a community of computational modellers crossing disciplinary boundaries, constantly working to transfer the latest computational advances to related fields. By tackling cutting-edge research from fields such as Computational Engineering, Advanced Materials, Autonomous Systems and Health, whilst communicating their advances and working together with a world-leading group of academic and industrial computational modellers, the students will be perfectly equipped to drive advanced computing over the coming decades.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 3.86M | Year: 2016

NEUTRINOS and DARK MATTER (DM) are the most abundant and also the most elusive building-blocks of nature because of their tenuous couplings to the ordinary matter we are made of. Each particle has a mirror image with identical mass and opposite charge: its antiparticle. What is the essential nature of particles and antiparticles? This is a most fundamental open question in science. The laws of physics are almost -but not quite- symmetric for particles and antiparticles, and this could explain why the universe is made of matter, i.e. why we are here. Tiny differences detected in visible matter are largely insufficient, while an asymmetric behaviour of neutrinos or of DM may be the seed. In turn, the unnaturally symmetric behaviour of strong interactions points to a new particle, the axion, also a superb DM candidate. For the first time, the connection between these asymmetries in the visible and invisible world will be addressed. Very timely, an ambitious experimental search of asymmetric behaviour has been launched on neutrinos, axions and other DM, and the Higgs, with imminent major breakthroughs. The path to understand the Universe and build the New Standard Model must confront this problem. The mission of Elusives ITN is to form the new generation of researchers to accomplish this task, focusing on phenomenology with the necessary link to experiment. This is the first transnational such program, exploiting the capital investment in new experiments and overcoming the fragmentation of the research effort. ELUSIVES ITN is uniquely placed for it: * World-leadership in all relevant areas; * Multidisciplinarity; * Key theorists and experimentalists; * Outstanding training record; * CERN, Fermilab, SuperKamiokande and ADMX partners; * World leading cutting-edge research-related industry; * Highest professional beneficiary dissemination; * Top-quality expertise from emerging countries; * Optimal gender balance with over 50% female international leaders as coordinators.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMP-13-2014 | Award Amount: 7.22M | Year: 2015

The overall objective of the ALION project is to develop aluminium-ion battery technology for energy storage application in decentralised electricity generation sources. ALION pursues an integral approach comprising electroactive materials based on rocking chair mechanism, robust ionic liquid-based electrolytes as well as novel cell and battery concepts, finally resulting in a technology with much lower cost, improved performance, safety and reliability with respect to current energy storage solutions (e.g. Pumped hydro storage, Compressed air energy storage, Li-ion battery, Redox Flow Battery...). The project covers the whole value chain from materials and component manufacturers, battery assembler, until the technology validation in specific electric microgrid system including renewable energy source (i.e. mini wind turbine, photovoltaic system). Thus, the final objective of this project is to obtain an Al-ion battery module validated in a relevant environment, with a specific energy of 400 W.h/kg, a voltage of 48V and a cycle life of 3000 cycles.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.8.1 | Award Amount: 4.40M | Year: 2013

CREATIF provides the CCI with a creative experience collaborative tool consisting of intuitive software design tools coupled to a digital dispenser printer allowing them to create bespoke smart fabrics by printing. The design tools consist of software to collaboratively design, layout, visualise and simulate smart fabrics which are then produced using a dispenser printer; conventional fabrics are functionalised by printing active electronic inks. Visualisation and simulation will interact in the collaborative design process with the senses of sight (through a monitor image), hearing (through Skype and by the smart fabric function of sound emission from the PC speakers) and touch (through the use of touch screens for design and the simulation of the feel of the fabric and the feeling of being touched on a haptic PC screen). CREATIF offers to the CCI the ability to transform everyday fabrics into knowledge intensive smart fabric based creations incorporating a high level of intellectual creative content, by mass customisation of basic templates, or in one off designs. The consortium consists of a design software developer (G-Soft), a university specialised in fabric machine design (ITA), a university with world leading expertise in creating smart fabrics by printing (UoS), a creative design SME (Diffus), an SME, active in design-led building\nstructures and architecture (BASE), a large company active in architecture and creative design (ZHA) and an SME specialised in advanced inkjet printers (Ardeje). We demonstrate the creative experience tools use in a real environment by producing, within CREATIF, three advanced smart fabric prototypes (for interactive light emission, interactive colour change and sound emission/touch) and apply them in two applications relevant to the CCI: an interactive, modular blind and exhibition stand. These directly target the CCI of design, advertising and architecture although the collaborative tool impacts any CCI using fabrics.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Collaborative Research & Development | Award Amount: 320.95K | Year: 2012

We plan to develop and integrate three complementary novel technologies and demonstrate their application to noise and vibration cancellation. They are: a novel highly responsive, audio bandwidth combined sensor/actuator and associated local echo canceller for both sensing the noise and simultaneously cancelling it; novel moulded composite panels with tailorable characteristics for passive noise damping; advanced digital adaptive control algorithms. The resulting smart panels have potential for further added-value functionality upgrades. We will build on a previous TSB-funded project which developed the component technologies to proof-of-principle. We will reduce the size, weight and cost of our sensor/actuator and integrate it into panels; demonstrate operation of our local echo canceller; develop and demonstrate a novel real-time adaptive digital control loop; develop the panels to maximise both passive and active noise damping and to facilitate panel jointing; and demonstrate end-user applications. The growing business opportunity for smart panels is driven by two factors: increased awareness of the adverse effects of noise on health (reflected by increasingly stringent legislation and government policy) and the growing desire for a quieter living, working and travelling environment. Applications include buildings, cars (especially the growing number of small luxury vehicles) buses, trains, trams, boats and aircraft. In addition to product sales, IP licensing, design consultancy and firmware / functionality upgrades offer ongoing high-value revenue potential.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Collaborative Research & Development | Award Amount: 643.14K | Year: 2013

A new methodology for assessing residual stresses using non-contact thermography is proposed. Residual stresses are stresses that are hidden in structures usually developed during manufacturing. The addition of the residual and service stresses can bring the material close to failure. The purpose of the research is to identify the residual stresses at welds in service components. Most portable residual stress measurement techniques are destructive. Other non-destructive residual stress measurement techniques are not portable. The thermography approach is non-destructive and portable, therefore offering a means to investigate components in service without costly plant down time. The proposed technique has been validated in a laboratory environment. There are still significant challenges to be addressed to bring the system to market, which will be dealt with in the planned research work by an expert consortium.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-07-2014 | Award Amount: 4.52M | Year: 2015

Today the European Public Sector Players lack the necessary infrastructure and technology to allow them to integrate their computing clouds. Furthermore, legislative barriers often make it difficult to use available commercial technological solutions. The SUNFISH project aims to provide a specific and new solution to face these issues. SUNFISH will enable the secure federation of private clouds based on the Public Sector needs: federated private clouds belonging to different Public Sector Entities will be able to share data and services transparently, while maintaining required security levels. The SUNFISH project will develop and integrate software enabling secure cloud federation as required by European Public Sector bodies. The project will achieve this by meeting firstly the specific challenges faced by the Maltese and Italian Ministries of Finance, as well as by the UK Regional Cyber Crime Units, the three SUNFISH selected use cases. Solutions will be developed to be usable by other European Public Organisations, and potentially also by private sector players. SUNFISH will improve security in federated cross-border clouds, boosting the development of a cloud computing market in sectors where privacy and control of information propagation are essential (e.g., e-government, e-health etc.) while encouraging a better resource utilisation of Public Administration cloud infrastructure. The secure system for federated private clouds developed through the project will guarantee a high level of safety, a continuous monitoring of inter-cloud communications, and the ability to roll out services cheaply, in a fast, flexible and secure way even between different private clouds. The SUNFISH project aims to reduce the management cost of private clouds owned by Public Administrations, and - beyond pure costs savings to accelerate the transition to 21st century interoperable and scalable public services, boosting enforcement of the European Digital Single Market.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: NERC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 583.88K | Year: 2015

Terrestrial biodiversity is declining globally because of human impacts, of which land-use change has so far been the most important. When people change how land is used, many of the species originally present decline or disappear from the area, while others previously absent become established. Although some species are affected immediately, others might only respond later as the consequences of the land-use change ripple through the ecosystem. Such delayed or protracted responses, which we term biotic lag, have largely been ignored in large-scale models so far. Another shortcoming of much previous work is that it has focused on numbers of species, rather than what they do. Because winners from the change are likely to be ecologically different from losers, the land-use change impacts how the assemblage functions, as well as how many species it contains. Understanding how - and how quickly - land-use change affects local assemblages is crucial for supporting better land-use decisions in the decades to come, as people try to strike the balance between short-term needs for products from ecosystems and the longer-term need for sustainability. The most obvious way to assess the global effects of land-use change on local ecological communities would be to have monitored how land use and the community have changed over a large, representative set of sites over many decades. The sites have to be representative to avoid a biased result, and the long time scale is needed because the responses can unfold over many years. Because there is no such set of sites, less direct approaches are needed. We are planning to scour the ecological literature for comparisons of communities before and after land-use change. We can correct for bias because we have estimates of how common different changes in land use have been; and we will model how responses change over time after a land-use change so that we can use longer-term and shorter-term studies alike. There are many hundreds of suitable studies, and we will ask the researchers who produced them to share their data with us; we will then make them available to everyone at the end of the project. We will combine data on species abundances before and after the land-use change with information about their ecological roles, to reveal how - and how quickly - changing land use affects the relative abundances of the various species and the ecological structure and function of the community. Does conversion of natural habitats to agriculture tend to favour smaller species over large ones, for instance, and if so how quickly? Is metabolism faster in more human-dominated land uses? These analyses will require new compilations of trait data for several ecologically important and highly diverse arthropod groups; to produce these, we will make use of the expertise, collections and library of the Natural History Museum. In an earlier NERC-funded project (PREDICTS: www.predicts.org.uk), we have already compiled over 500 data sets - provided by over 300 different researchers - that compared otherwise-matched sites where land use differed. The PREDICTS database has amassed over 2,000,000 records, from over 18,000 sites in 88 countries. The database contains more than 1% as many species as have been formally described. Our analyses of this unprecedentedly large and representative data set indicates that land-use change has had a marked global impact on average local diversity. However, because PREDICTS data sets are spatial rather than temporal comparisons, they are not well-suited to analysing the dynamics of how assemblages respond to land-use change. More fundamentally, PREDICTS assumption that spatial comparisons are an adequate substitute for temporal data now needs testing. This proposal will deliver the necessary tests, as well as producing the most comprehensive picture of how land-use change reshapes ecological assemblages through time.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 4.17M | Year: 2014

ABYSS is a training and career development platform for young scientists in Geodynamics, Mineralogy, Hydrodynamics, Thermodynamics and (Bio-)Geochemistry focusing on mid-ocean ridge processes and their environmental and economic impacts. It brings together 10 European research groups internationally recognized for their excellence in complementary disciplines and 4 Associated Partners from the Private Sector. ABYSS will provide training for 12 Early Stage Researchers and 3 Experienced Researchers through a structured and extensive program of collaboration, training and student exchange. ABYSS aims at developing the scientific skills and multi-disciplinary approaches to make significant advances in the understanding of the coupled tectonic, magmatic, hydrothermal and (bio-)geochemical mechanisms that control the structure and composition of the oceanic lithosphere and the microbial habitats it provides. An improved understanding of these complex processes is critical to assess the resource potential of the deep-sea. ABYSS will specifically explore processes with implications for economy and policy-making such as carbonation (CO2 storage), hydrogen production (energy generation) and the formation of ore-deposits. ABYSS will also emphasize the importance of interfacial processes between the deep Earth and its outer envelopes, including microbial ecosystems with relevance to deep carbon cycling and life growth on the Primitive Earth. The ABYSS training and outreach programme is set up to promote synergies between research and industry, general public and policy makers. The main outcome of ABYSS will be twofold (i) develop a perennial network of young scientists, sharing a common technical and scientific culture for bridging the gaps in process understanding and make possible the exploitation of far off-shore mining of marine resources; (ii) to address the need to develop pertinent policies at the European and international level for preserving these unique environments.


IoT Lab is a research project exploring the potential of crowdsourcing to extend IoT testbed infrastructure for multidisciplinary experiments with more end-user interactions. It will research and develop:\n1. Crowdsourcing mechanisms and tools enabling testbeds to use third parties resources (such as mobile phones), and to interact with distributed users (the crowd). The crowdsourcing enablers will address issues such as privacy by design, identity management, security, reputation mechanisms, and data ownership.\n2. Virtualization of crowdsourcing and testbed components by using a meta-layer with an open interface, facilitating the integration and interaction with heterogeneous components. It should ease data integration and reduce the cost of deployment in real environment.\n3. Ubiquitous Interconnection and Cloudification of the testbeds resources. It will research the potential of IPv6 and network virtualization to interconnect heterogeneous and distributed resources through a Virtual IoT Network and will integrate them into the Cloud to provide an on-line platform of crowdsourcing Testbed as a Service (TBaaS) available to the research community.\n4. End-user and societal value creation by analyzing the potential end-users and crowdsourcing participants to propose an optimized model for end-user adoption and societal value creation.\n5. Crowdsourcing-driven research as a new model in which the research can be initiated, guided and assessed by the crowd. It will compare it to other models.\n6. Economic dimension of crowdsourcing testbed, by analyzing the potential markets and business models able to monetize the provided resources with adequate incentives, in order to optimize the exploitation, costs, profitability and economic sustainability of such testbeds. It will also develop tools for future experiments.\n7. Performing multidisciplinary experiments, including end-user driven experiments through crowdsourcing, to assess the added value of such approach.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.2-8 | Award Amount: 12.42M | Year: 2013

The MIDAS project addresses fundamental environmental issues relating to the exploitation of deep-sea mineral and energy resources; specifically polymetallic sulphides, manganese nodules, cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts, methane hydrates and the potential mining of rare earth elements. These new industries will have significant impacts on deep-sea ecosystems, in some cases extending over hundreds of thousands of square kilometres. Scientific knowledge is needed urgently to develop guidelines for industry ensuring wealth creation and Best Environmental Practice. MIDAS will assess the nature and scales of the potential impacts including 1) physical destruction of the seabed by mining, the creation of mine tailings and the potential for catastrophic slope failures from methane hydrate exploitation, 2) the potential effects of particle-laden plumes in the water column, and 3) the possible toxic chemicals that might be released by the mining process. Knowledge of the impacts will be used to address the key biological unknowns, such as connectivity between populations, impacts of the loss of biological diversity on ecosystem functioning, and how quickly the ecosystems will recover. The information derived will be used to guide recommendations for best practice, iterating with MIDAS industry partners and the wider stakeholder community to ensure that solutions are practical and cost-effective. We will engage with European and international regulatory organisations to take these recommendations forward into legislation in a timely fashion. A major element of MIDAS will be to develop methods and technologies for 1) preparing baseline assessments of biodiversity, and 2) monitoring activities remotely in the deep sea during and after exploitation (including ecosystem recovery). The MIDAS partnership represents a unique combination of scientists, industry, social scientists, legal experts, NGOs and SMEs.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.5.4 | Award Amount: 3.33M | Year: 2013

Making and implementing policy at any level of government is fraught with difficulty. The impact of decisions made are not always obvious at the time the policy is formulated or enacted, and any short-comings of the policy become known too late to change it. This is not due to a lack of information, it is due to the difficulty of finding and aggregating the right data out of the sea of information which characterises our modern world. Having once formulated a policy it is then impossible to make useful predictions around its likely impact and effectiveness. Policy specialists lack the resources and the methodology to be able to access most current data and are unable to take into account the views of citizens on policy issues expressed in real time through social network discussions. SENSE4US is creating an integrated package of utilities based on cutting-edge research that meets this need for tools and techniques to support information gathering, analysing and policy modelling in real time. Through close interaction with policy makers around Europe the project will validate results in complex policy-making settings and direct the research towards the support of more timely, more effective and better understood policy creation. The SENSE4US project will tackle these challenges of policy making and implementation, integrating the benefits of both quantitative open data sources and qualitative social media data. We will provide tools enabling policy makers to find and select relevant information; link and homogenise the data; model policy in terms of constraints and intent; validate the policy; discover and incorporate views from NGOs and public; predict social impact of policy; provide decision support; provide understandable visualisation. The ultimate objective of the SENSE4US project is to advance policy modelling and simulation, data analytics and social network discussion dynamics, providing economic and social benefits at all governmental levels across Europe.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IRSES | Award Amount: 405.80K | Year: 2013

Semantic data management refers to a range of techniques for the manipulation and usage of data based on its meaning. Semantically enabled linked and open data have been published at an increasing pace in recent years, and this technology has been adopted by major industrial players, including Google, Yahoo, Oracle, Talis and IBM. But to reach their full potential of becoming a transformative technology enabling a data-driven economy, there are important research challenges related to semantic data, particularly regarding maturity, dynamicity and the ability to process efficiently huge amounts of interconnected semantic data. SemData brings together some of the internationally leading research centres in the area of managing semantic data to address these challenges.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: AAT.2013.1-3. | Award Amount: 45.04M | Year: 2013

The ENOVAL project will provide the next step of engine technologies to achieve and surpass the ACARE 2020 goals on the way towards Flightpath 2050. ENOVAL completes the European 7th Framework Programme (FP7) roadmap of Level 2 aero engine projects. ENOVAL will focus on the low pressure system of ultra-high by-pass ratio propulsion systems (12 < BPR < 20) in conjunction with ultra high overall pressure ratio (50 < OPR < 70) to provide significant reductions in CO2 emissions in terms of fuel burn (-3% to -5%) and engine noise (-1.3 ENPdB). ENOVAL will focus on ducted geared and non-geared turbofan engines, which are amongst the best candidates for the next generation of short/medium range and long range commercial aircraft applications with an entry into service date of 2025 onward. The expected fan diameter increase of 20 to 35% (vs. year 2000 reference engine) is significant and can be accommodated within the limits of a conventional aircraft configuration. It is in line with the roadmap of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for 2020 to have the technologies ready for Optimised conventional aircraft and engines using best fuel efficiency and noise control technologies, where UHBR propulsion systems are expressively named as a key technology. ENOVAL will be established in a consistent series of Level 2 projects in conjunction with LEMCOTEC for core engine technologies, E-BREAK for system technologies for enabling ultra high OPR engines, and OPENAIR for noise reduction technologies. Finally, ENOVAL will prepare the way towards maturing the technology and preparing industrialisation in coordination with past and existing aero-engine initiatives in Europe at FP7 and national levels.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-15-2014 | Award Amount: 2.98M | Year: 2015

Data explosion on the web, fuelled by social networking, micro-blogging, as well as crowdsourcing, has led to the Big Data phenomenon. This is characterized by increasing volumes of structured, semi-structured and unstructured data, originating from sources that generate them at an increasing rate. This wealth of data provides numerous new analytic and business intelligence opportunities to various industry sectors. Therefore, more and more industry sectors are in need of innovative data management services, creating a demand for Data Scientists possessing skills and detailed knowledge in this area. Ensuring the availability of such expertise will prove crucial if businesses are to reap the full benefits of these advanced data management technologies, and the know-how accumulated over the past years by researchers, technology enthusiasts and early adopters. The European Data Science Academy (EDSA) will establish a virtuous learning production cycle whereby we: a) analyse the required sector specific skillsets for data analysts across the main industrial sectors in Europe; b) develop modular and adaptable data science curricula to meet these needs; and c) deliver training supported by multiplatform and multilingual learning resources based on our curricula. The curricula and learning resources will be continuously evaluated by pedagogical and data science experts during both development and deployment.


Grant
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.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2012-1.1.1. | Award Amount: 6.45M | Year: 2013

Referring to the increasingly challenging EU2020-ambition of Inclusive Growth, the objectives of the InGRID project are to integrate and to innovate existing, but distributed European social sciences research infrastructures on poverty and living conditions and working conditions and vulnerability by improving the transnational data access, organising mutual knowledge exchange and improving methods and tools for comparative research. This integration will provide the related European scientific community with new and better opportunities to fulfil its key role in the development of evidence-based European policies for Inclusive Growth. In this regard specific attention is paid to a better measurement of related state policies, to high-performance statistical quality management, and to dissemination/outreach activities with the broader stakeholder community-of-interest, including European politics, civil society and statistical system. For this purpose key actors of the related European Research Area are coupled in the InGRID consortium, representing specific data infrastructures and cumulated know-how. Pan-European optimisation of the infrastructure is created by organising an open, harmonised high-performance on-site access with an extensive visiting grant system. Joint research activities are conducted for the innovation and optimisation of the infrastructure. Key issues tackled in this respect include: the multidimensionality as a standard for poverty research; the problem of hard-to-identify and hard-to-reach vulnerable groups in data collection; the improvement of longitudinal and regional poverty mapping; the survey technology for linking vulnerability in working conditions with economic change and employers behaviour; the harmonisation of classifying jobs and skills; improving tools to generate comparative policy indicators; optimising the micro-simulation of policy impacts; and statistical quality management.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: FoF-ICT-2011.7.1 | Award Amount: 5.71M | Year: 2012

Materials processing is by far the highest value application of lasers, and Europe is a power-base for this technology. HALO will develop the next generation of materials processing lasers, which will have adaptable beams actively optimised for specific processes. They will produce better processing results exploiting the as yet unused potential of:\nFibre guided high power CW lasers for metal sheet cutting (addressing the largest market share of laser machines)\nPico-second lasers operating at high average powers\nPulsed lasers emitting at new wavelengths for precision cutting of thin metal sheets and brittle materials like glass (addressing products of consumer markets such as high end phones or PC systems).\n\nThis will require a range of new technologies: HALO will develop the necessary elements to bring about a step change in lasers for materials processing:\n\nComponents tailored for adaptable beams and new beam shapes\nNew approaches to adaptable hollow beam sources at new wavelengths\nTechniques for beam shaping and forming\nProcess optimisation for adaptable beam processing using IT-based meta-models\nAdaptable jet-assisted laser cutting.\n\nThe project addresses these two most important markets of laser processing and will be demonstrated in specific industrial applications by important end users:\n\nSheet metal cutting (sheet thickness 1 to 25 mm)\nPrecision cutting of glass and thin metal sheets (<1 mm).\n\nThe HALO project consortium includes market leading laser component and system manufacturers, world renowned researchers, beta end users of the system manufacturers and one end user representing excellence in EU SMEs.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.9.10 | Award Amount: 6.83M | Year: 2013

Society is progressively moving towards a socio-technical ecosystem in which the physical and virtual dimensions of life are more and more intertwined and where people interaction often takes place with or mediated by machines. The scale at which this is happening and the differences in culture, language and interests makes the problem of establishing effective communication and coordinated action increasingly challenging. So far, the attention has been mainly devoted to systems that provide or impose some form of harmonization or lightweight coordination of meaning and actions where machines do most of the computation and humans are at the periphery and only act as consumers. Our goal is to move towards a hybrid system where people and machines tightly work together to build a smarter society. We envision a new generation of Collective Adaptive Systems centred on the two foundational notions of compositionality and diversity where humans and machines compose by synergically complement each other thus bridging the semantic gap between low level machine and high level human interpretation of data and where they interoperate collectively to achieve their possibly conflicting goals both at individual and societal levels. Operationally, peers in the system will implement a continuous unlimited cycle in which data is sensed, interpreted, shared, elaborated and acted upon. Actions are taken on the basis of system suggestions and the way humans react to them, while generating new data thus alimenting the cycle ad infinitum.To meet this very ambitious goal the SmartSociety project will develop foundational principles for the operations and design of hybrid and diversity-aware collective adaptive systems, paving the way to the arising of a smarter form of society.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: MG-1.2-2015 | Award Amount: 6.70M | Year: 2016

TurboNoiseBB aims to deliver reliable prediction methodologies and noise reduction technologies in order to allow European Aerospace industries: to design low-noise aircraft to meet societys needs for more environmentally friendly air transport to win global leadership for European aeronautics with a competitive supply chain. The project is focusing on fan broadband (BB) noise sources and will offer the possibility to acquire an experimental database mandatory to validate the Computational Fluid Dynamics and Aero Acoustic (CAA) simulations from the sound sources to the radiation from aircraft engines. It fully exploits the methodology successfully developed starting from FP5 programmes, TurboNoiseCFD and AROMA and also associated FP6 (SILENCE(R), PROBAND, OPENAIR) and FP7 (FLOCON, TEENI, ENOVAL) proposals. TurboNoiseBB has 3 main objectives. 1. To acquire appropriate CAA validation data on a representative test model. In addition different approaches for measuring the BB far-field noise levels in the rear arc (bypass duct contribution) will be assessed to help define future requirements for European turbofan test facilities. 2. To apply and validate CAA codes with respect to fan & turbine BB noise. 3. To design novel low BB noise fan systems by means of state-of-the-art design and prediction tools. The combination of partners from industry, research \ university combined with the excellence of the EU most versatile test facility for aero and noise forms the basis for the successful validation and exploitation of CAA methods, crucial for quicker implementation of future low noise engine concepts. TurboNoiseBB will deliver validated industry-exploitable aeroacoustic design \ prediction tools related to BB noise emissions from aircraft nacelle intakes \ exhaust nozzles, allowing EU industry to leap-frog NASA-funded technology developments in the US. It will also deliver a technical assessment on the way forward for European turbofan noise testing.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.5.3 | Award Amount: 15.53M | Year: 2011

The airways diseases asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease affect over 400 million people world-wide and cause considerable morbidity and mortality. Airways disease costs the European Union in excess of 56 billion per annum. Current therapies are inadequate and we do not have sufficient tools to predict disease progression or response to current or future therapies. Our consortium, Airway Disease PRedicting Outcomes through Patient Specific Computational Modelling (AirPROM), brings together the exisiting clinical consortia (EvA FP7, U-BIOPRED IMI and BTS Severe Asthma), and expertise in physiology, radiology, image analysis, bioengineering, data harmonization, data security and ethics, computational modeling and systems biology. We shall develop an integrated multi-scale model building upon existing models. This airway model will be comprised of an integrated micro-scale and macro-scale airway model informed and validated by omic data and ex vivo models at the genome-transcriptome-cell-tissue scale and by CT and functional MRI imaging coupled to detailed physiology at the tissue-organ scale utilising Europes largest airway disease cohort. Validation will be undertaken cross-sectionally, following interventions and after longitudinal follow-up to incorporate both spatial and temporal dimensions. AirPROM has a comprehensive data management platform and a well-developed ethico-legal framework. Critically, AirPROM has an extensive exploitation plan, involving at its inception and throughout its evolution those that will develop and use the technologies emerging from this project. AirPROM therefore will bridge the critical gaps in our clinical management of airways disease, by providing validated models to predict disease progression and response to treatment and the platform to translate these patient-specific tools, so as to pave the way to improved, personalised management of airways disease.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-26-2014 | Award Amount: 997.95K | Year: 2015

This project responds to the ICT-26-c call which is focusing on the EU-wide outreach for promoting photonics to young people, entrepreneurs and the general public. The projects acronym is Photonics4all and its duration will be two years. Within the framework of the proclaimed International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015) by the United Nations this project shall mainly improve the public image of photonics and increase the public awareness of the importance of photonics, especially regarding current societal challenges like health and well-being, safety and security etc. The uniqueness of Photonics4all is on the one hand the development of new promotional tools and on the other hand the performance of various outreach activities. The main goal of Photonics4all will be to sensitize and to arouse interest of the mentioned target groups for photonics technology in many European countries in order to achieve an EU-wide outreach. These tools will be developed and implemented into many promotional activities which will be conducted during the project as well. Strong European collaborations, based on cluster activities, shall increase the interest of young people, entrepreneurs and the general public and thereby generate more qualified workforce and young academics, more innovative applications and an increased awareness of photonics. This will be reached providing an excellent consortium of 9 photonics related partners (OND, AIDO, OV, EaPS, PhAu, TUD, UoS, ILC, CNR) from 9 different European countries. In addition, the coordinator of the project is representing an organisation which has a great expertise in managing European projects (SEZ). Thus this project will be carried out by 10 European organisations with excellent connections to relevant networks.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2010-4.0-2 | Award Amount: 6.85M | Year: 2011

The PHOTOSENS project aims to develop a low-cost, mass-manufacturable, nano-structured, large-area multi-parameter sensor array using Photonic Crystal (PC) and enhanced Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) methodologies for environmental and pharmaceutical applications. Integrating the PC and SERS based sensors with integrated optics coupling structures within a single sensor platform allows the implementation of a high-performance multi-parameter sensor. Currently, utilization of multi-parameter sensing is hindered by the lack of low-cost and, highly reproducibility fabrication methods for nano-structured surfaces. PHOTOSENS addresses these challenges by developing new roll-to-roll nanoimprinting manufacturing methods. Scientific work includes development of the multilayer nanophotonic sensor structure, nanoimprint materials for large-area fabrication, functionalized molecularly imprinted polymers (MIP) and high-volume manufacturing methods including Roll-to-Roll (R2R) nanoimprint processes for nano-texturing of large-area plastic films. PHOTOSENS will greatly increase understanding of photonic and plasmonic dispersion and field localisation effects in periodic nanostructures, such as Photonic Crystals, and their applicability to sensing purposes. PHOTOSENS demonstrates a multi-parameter large-area sensor platform for environmental and pharmaceutical sensing. The consortium is composed of 4 world-class research organisations, 2 SMEs and 3 large companies from 6 European countries representing the complete supply chain from technology developers to end users. The position of these organizations in their respective markets guarantees that the results of the project will be widely exploited providing the companies with a technological advantage over their global competitors and thus creating new high-tech jobs in Europe in this rapidly growing market.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC1-PM-04-2016 | Award Amount: 10.41M | Year: 2017

Early life is an important window of opportunity to improve health across the full lifecycle. European pregnancy and child cohort studies together offer an unique opportunity to identify a wide range of early life stressors linked with individual biological, developmental and health trajectory variations, and to the onset and evolution of non-communicable diseases. LIFECYCLE will establish the EuroCHILD Cohort Network, which brings together existing, successful pregnancy and child cohorts and biobanks, by developing a governance structure taking account of national and European ethical, legal and societal implications, a shared data-management platform and data-harmonization strategies. LIFECYCLE will enrich this EuroCHILD Cohort Network by generating new integrated data on early life stressors related to socio-economic, migration, urban environment and life-style determinants, and will capitalize on these data by performing hypothesis-driven research on early life stressors influencing cardio-metabolic, respiratory and mental health trajectories during the full lifecycle, and the underlying epigenetic mechanisms. LIFECYCLE will translate these results into recommendations for targeted strategies and personalized prediction models to improve health trajectories for current and future Europeans generations by optimizing their earliest phase of life. To strengthen this long-term collaboration, LIFECYCLE will organize yearly international meetings open to pregnancy and child cohort researchers, introduce a Fellowship Training Programme for exchange of junior researchers between European pregnancy or child cohorts, and develop e-learning modules for researchers performing life-course health studies. Ultimately, LIFECYCLE will lead to a unique sustainable EuroCHILD Cohort Network, and provide recommendations for targeted prevention strategies by identification of novel markers of early life stressors related to health trajectories throughout the lifecycle.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-13-2016 | Award Amount: 6.91M | Year: 2017

The Future Media Internet (FMI) will be driven by evolving existing over-the-top (OTT) solutions towards a stronger integration with emerging programmable communication and computing infrastructures to address consumer demand for personalised, interactive, mobile and localised media experiences. Creating a trusted platform that brings together technology, creative sectors and consumers in the development of pioneering media applications and services will be crucial to drive European innovation and competitiveness. FLAME will address this goal by establishing an FMI ecosystem based on the Experimentation-as-a-Service (EaaS) paradigm that supports large-scale experimentation of novel FMI products and services using real-life adaptive experimental infrastructures encompassing not only the compute and storage facilities but also the underlying software-enabled communication infrastructure. FLAMEs ecosystem will engage both the creative industries (broadcast, gaming, etc.) and ICT industries (telcos, services) responsible for online distribution, broadcast, communication, and distribution of digital content. Through acceleration methodologies and an advanced experimentation platform (surrogate service management, adaptive service routing, experimental media service chains and experimentation toolbox), FLAME will allow industry, SMEs and entrepreneurs to conduct experiments in real-life experimental infrastructures and gain insight into the performance, acceptance and viability of solutions. FLAMEs innovation potential will be maximised by establishing FLAME Trailblazers (Bristol, Barcelona) to show the way for FLAME Replicators across Europe using a replication process based on best practice sustainability, governance, and engagement models, and infrastructure standards and specifications. A 3rd party investment strategy will create a vibrant FMI ecosystem that adds significant value to current FIRE\ efforts, and puts in place measures for long term sustainability.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-13-2016 | Award Amount: 1.42M | Year: 2017

The main goal of the FIREHUB2020 project is to transform the current FIRE scenario into a dynamic, collaborative, and participatory Innovation ecosystem capable of more effectively supporting and coordinating activities across the whole FIRE/FIRE\ context. The main idea is to guarantee continuity by building on top of the results and major achievements previous FIRE CSAs (FIRE WORKS, FIRE STATION, AmpliFIRE, CI-FIRE and FUSION) have produced, but give a major impulse to the whole FIRE community by providing an interactive framework that will assist all FIRE stakeholders, including new comers and outside players in related domains, via a unique set of tools and mechanisms. The selected coordination and support tools and mechanisms will be at the core of the FIRE2020 collaborative platform, which will offer and online collaboration environment (the FIRE social network platform!?) to facilitate exchange and promotion of know-how, technical activities to be coordinated, strategic liaisons to be established and managed, performance and progress for the overall FIRE\ initiative to be monitored and assessed.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2015 | Award Amount: 2.32M | Year: 2016

NEUTRINOS (Ns) and DARK MATTER (DM) are the most abundant particles in the universe. Their couplings to ordinary matter are so tenuous that they remained undiscovered -invisible- until very recently. N masses and DM constitute the first evidence ever of physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. The path to build the New Standard Model must confront the fundamental nature of the particles in the invisible sector at large. Furthermore, for each particle there is a mirror image with identical mass and opposite charge(s): its antiparticle. The laws of physics are almost particle-antiparticle symmetric: an asymmetry in Ns and/or DM properties may be the required seed that explains why the universe is made of matter and not antimatter, i.e. how come we are here, a fact unexplained by standard physics. In turn, the unnaturally symmetric behavior of strong interactions points to a new particle, the axion, a superb dark matter candidate. Very timely, an ambitious international experimental search has been launched on Ns, axions, other DM and Higgs physics with major breakthroughs expected soon. InvisiblesPlus will be the first transnational program addressing the N and DM properties at large, their interfaces, and in addition the connections of their particle/antiparticle asymmetries with those of the visible universe. It will also complement, continue and specially extend to a new qualitative realm the knowledge sharing and long-term collaboration of the well-established ITN Invisibles. InvisiblesPlus is ideally suited to the task: i) World leadership in all relevant areas; ii) Multidisciplinarity; iii) Key theorists and experimentalists; iv) XENON, Fermilab, CERN, SuperKamiokande and ADMX participate; iv) Innovative virtual institute; v) Top quality expertise from emerging countries; vi) Outstanding outreach, vii) Excellent junior/senior ratio in secondments; viii) Optimal in gender balance with over 50% female scientists in charge, plus the coordinator.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-13-2016 | Award Amount: 11.65M | Year: 2017

The Fed4FIRE\ project has the objective to run and further improve Fed4FIREs best-in-town federation of experimentation facilities for the Future Internet Research and Experimentation initiative. Federating a heterogeneous set of facilities covering technologies ranging from wireless, wired, cloud services and open flow, and making them accessible through common frameworks and tools suddenly opens new possibilities, supporting a broad range of experimenter communities covering a wide variety of Internet infrastructures, services and applications. Fed4FIRE\ will continuously upgrade and improve the facilities and include technical innovations, focused towards increased user satisfaction (user-friendly tools, privacy-oriented data management, testbed SLA and reputation, experiment reproducibility, service-level experiment orchestration, federation ontologies, etc.). It will open this federation to the whole FIRE community and beyond, for experimentation by industry and research organisations, through the organization of Open Calls and Open Access mechanisms The project will also establish a flexible, demand-driven framework which allows test facilities to join during the course of its lifetime by defining a set of entry requirements for new facilities to join and to comply with the federation. FIRE Experimental Facilities generate an ever increasing amount of research data that provides the foundation for new knowledge and insight into the behaviour of FI systems. Fed4FIRE\ will participate in the Pilot on Open Research Data in Horizon 2020 to offer open access to its scientific results, to the relevant scientific data and to data generated throughout the projects lifetime. Fed4FIRE\ will finally build on the existing community of experimenters, testbeds and tool developers and bring them together regularly (two times a year) in engineering conferences to have maximal interaction between the different stakeholders involved.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-29-2016 | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2016

PHABLABS 4.0 aims to integrate photonics in a durable way into the rapidly expanding ecosystem of European Fab Labs and Makerslabs, resulting in a larger and better skilled photonics workforce with superior innovation capacity to achieve a lasting, positive impact on the next revolution in digitization. Combining the forces of top experts from 13 European photonics institutes and STEM-oriented organizations with the Fab Lab stakeholders, PHABLABS 4.0 will devise and deliver a comprehensive suite of 33 Photonics Workshops, 11 Photonics Challenger projects and Photonics Toolkits to enhance Fab Labs and Makerslab with photonics activities aimed at 3 specific target groups: young minds (age 10-14), students (age 15-18) and young professionals and technicians (age 18\). These activities will be extensively tested in 14 existing Fab Labs with the purpose of rolling them out to the entire growing network of European Fab Labs as a proven model at the end of the project. They will stimulate hands-on design, fabrication, experiments, and the building of innovative systems with photonics, and in this way nurture the 21st Century skills of the participants. In that sense the PHABLABS 4.0 project will harness the power of the growing innovation ecosystem of the Fab Labs and equip it with sufficient material to really engage, excite and educate youngsters, students, technicians and young professionals alike in the skills of working and innovating with light. The ultimate impact of PHABLABS 4.0 will be seen in the emergence of a much larger and better trained workforce with 21st Century skills capable of translating the potential of photonics as a key enabling technology into tangible products for the benefit of society.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BG-10-2016 | Award Amount: 8.10M | Year: 2016

Blue-Action will provide fundamental and empirically-grounded, executable science that quantifies and explains the role of a changing Arctic in increasing predictive capability of weather and climate of the Northern Hemisphere.To achieve this Blue-Action will take a transdisciplinary approach, bridging scientific understanding within Arctic climate, weather and risk management research, with key stakeholder knowledge of the impacts of climatic weather extremes and hazardous events; leading to the co-design of better services.This bridge will build on innovative statistical and dynamical approaches to predict weather and climate extremes. In dialogue with users, Blue-Arctic will take stock in existing knowledge about cross-sectoral impacts and vulnerabilities with respect to the occurrence of these events when associated to weather and climate predictions. Modeling and prediction capabilities will be enhanced by targeting firstly, lower latitude oceanic and atmospheric drivers of regional Arctic changes and secondly, Arctic impacts on Northern Hemisphere climate and weather extremes. Coordinated multi-model experiments will be key to test new higher resolution model configurations, innovative methods to reduce forecast error, and advanced methods to improve uptake of new Earth observations assets are planned. Blue-Action thereby demonstrates how such an uptake may assist in creating better optimized observation system for various modelling applications. The improved robust and reliable forecasting can help meteorological and climate services to better deliver tailored predictions and advice, including sub-seasonal to seasonal time scales, will take Arctic climate prediction beyond seasons and to teleconnections over the Northern Hemisphere. Blue-Action will through its concerted efforts therefore contribute to the improvement of climate models to represent Arctic warming realistically and address its impact on regional and global atmospheric and oceanic circulation.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 505.83K | Year: 2013

The human visual system has been fine-tuned over generations of evolution to operate effectively in our particular environment, allowing us to form rich 3D representations of the objects around us. The scenes that we encounter on a daily basis produce 2D retinal images that are complex and ambiguous. From this input, how does the visual system achieve the immensely difficult goal of recovering our surroundings, in such an impressively fast and robust way? To achieve this feat, humans must use two types of information about their environment. First, we must learn the probabilistic relationships between 3D natural scene properties and the 2D image cues these produce. Second, we must learn which scene structures (shapes, distances, orientations) are most common, or probable in our 3D environment. This statistical knowledge about natural 3D scenes and their projected images allows us to maximize our perceptual performance. To better understand 3D perception, therefore, we must study the environment that we have evolved to process. A key goal of our research is to catalogue and evaluate the statistical structure of the environment that guides human depth perception. We will sample the range of scenes that humans frequently encounter (indoor and outdoor environments over different seasons and lighting conditions). For each scene, state-of-the-art ground based Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology will be used to measure the physical distance to all objects (trees, ground, etc.) from a single location - a 3D map of the scene. We will also take High Dynamic Range (HDR) photographs of the same scene, from the same vantage point. By collating this paired 3D and 2D data across numerous scenes we will create a comprehensive database of our environment, and the 2D images that it produces. By making the database publicly available it will facilitate not just our own work, but research by human and computer vision scientists around the world who are interested in a range of pure and applied visual processes. There is great potential for computer vision to learn from the expert processor that is the human visual system: computer vision algorithms are easily out-performed by humans for a range of tasks, particularly when images correspond to more complex, realistic scenes. We are still far from understanding how the human visual system handles the kind of complex natural imagery that defeats computer vision algorithms. However, the robustness of the human visual system appears to hinge on: 1) exploiting the full range of available depth cues and 2) incorporating statistical priors: information about typical scene configurations. We will employ psychophysical experiments, guided by our analyses of natural scenes and their images, to develop valid and comprehensive computational models of human depth perception. We will concentrate our analysis and experimentation on key tasks in the process of recovering scene structure - estimating the location, orientation and curvature of surface segments across the environment. Our project addresses the need for more complex and ecologically valid models of human perception by studying how the brain implicitly encodes and interprets depth information to guide 3D perception. Virtual 3D environments are now used in a range of settings, such as flight simulation and training systems, rehabilitation technologies, gaming, 3D movies and special effects. Perceptual biases are particularly influential when visual input is degraded, as they are in some of these simulated environments. To evaluate and improve these technologies we require a better understanding of 3D perception. In addition, the statistical models and inferential algorithms developed in the project will facilitate the development of computer vision algorithms for automatic estimation of depth structure in natural scenes. These algorithms have many applications, such as 2D to 3D film conversion, visual surveillance and biometrics.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: FETOPEN-01-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 3.14M | Year: 2017

We propose the development of a groundbreaking technology platform that, for the first time, integrates nuclear magnetic resonance metabolomics and micro-imaging with microfluidic perfusion tissue slice culture. This will revolutionise life science research with unprecedented local insight into life processes in intact tissues under highly controlled conditions. We focus on liver tissue slice culture, with the immediate target of elucidating the mechanism of liver damage by drug-induced cholestasis. In the long term, the new technology will find wide application in other tissues, including intestinal, pancreatic, and brain slices. It will form the foundation of a new approach in the life sciences, allowing the detailed metabolic study of tissues at the system level. Liver disease is a significant and growing public health problem: 29 million people currently suffer from a serious liver condition in the EU. While the causes for some liver conditions are known, the mechanism of liver damage is generally poorly understood, largely due to the difficulty of studying live liver tissue at the systemic level. The proposed comprehensive research programme leads to a new technological platform for microfluidic tissue slice culture with direct observation of tissue metabolism and transport processes through nuclear magnetic resonance. It joins the expertise and creativity of four leading academic groups and one SME representing the disciplines of micro-engineering, physical chemistry, magnetic resonance, biochemistry, toxicology, and clinical hepatology across three institutions from three EU countries. Due to its high level of interdisciplinary integration, TISuMR is uniquely able to provide emerging researchers with a career springboard. TISuMR will have a profound impact on wider society by providing alternatives to animal testing, by increasing the efficiency and specificity of drug safety testing, and by enabling new treatments in the management of liver disease.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2011.2.2.1-2 | Award Amount: 24.91M | Year: 2012

The goal of this proposal (INMiND) is to carry out collaborative research on molecular mechanisms that link neuroinflammation with neurodegeneration in order to identify novel biological targets for activated microglia, which may serve for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, and to translate this knowledge into the clinic. The general objectives of INMiND are: (i) to identify novel mechanisms of regulation and function of microglia under various conditions (inflammatory stimuli; neurodegenerative and -regenerative model systems); (ii) to identify and implement new targets for activated microglia, which may serve for diagnostic (imaging) and therapeutic purposes; (iii) to design new molecular probes (tracers) for these novel targets and to implement and validate them in in vivo model systems and patients; (iv) to image and quantify modulated microglia activity in patients undergoing immune therapy for cognitive impairment and relate findings to clinical outcome. Within INMiND we bring together a group of excellent scientists with a proven background in efficiently accomplishing common scientific goals (FP6 project DiMI, www.dimi.eu), who belong to highly complementary fields of research (from genome-oriented to imaging scientists and clinicians), and who are dedicated to formulate novel image-guided therapeutic strategies for neuroinflammation related neurodegenerative diseases. The strength of this proposal is that, across Europe, it will coordinate research and training activities related to neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration/-regeneration and imaging with special emphasis on translating basic mechanisms into clinical applications that will provide health benefits for our aging population. With its intellectual excellence and its crucial mass the INMiND consortium will play a major role in the European Research Area and will gain European leadership in the creation of new image-guided therapy paradigms in patients with neurodegenerative diseases.


Grant
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.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SiS.2013.2.2.1-1 | Award Amount: 2.90M | Year: 2014

The overall aim of the EC call is building up a scientifically literate society, which enables its citizens to participate in the research and innovation process as part of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). This calls for democratic citizenship education, in which two educational approaches, often presented independently in schools, are integrated, viz. Inquiry-Based Science Education (IBSE) and Socio-Scientific Issues-Based Learning (SSI). We call this integrated approach Socio-Scientific Inquiry-Based Learning (SSIBL). The aim of the project is to collect and share existing best practices across Europe and develop learning tools, materials and in/pre-service training courses for science teachers based on the SSIBL approach. This educational methodology promotes democratic citizenship through the integration of social issues and related scientific knowledge. Our aim is to empower and facilitate science teachers and teacher educators, by in-service and pre-service professional development courses, based on reshaped best practices available among the partners. These shared selected best practices will be reflected on from an RRI perspective and improved by an international community of learners who incorporate RRI in their teaching and learning processes. The project will establish a multidisciplinary team and facilitate networking activities among teachers, teacher educators and educational researchers of 18 institutions in 11 countries. In addition, the project will build on recently developed IBSE insights and foster implementation of IBSE in educational practice.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: Ocean.2010-3 | Award Amount: 13.98M | Year: 2011

The ECO2 project sets out to assess the risks associated with the storage of CO2 below the seabed. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is regarded as a key technology for the reduction of CO2 emissions from power plants and other sources at the European and international level. The EU will hence support a selected portfolio of demonstration projects to promote, at industrial scale, the implementation of CCS in Europe. Several of these projects aim to store CO2 below the seabed. However, little is known about the short-term and long-term impacts of CO2 storage on marine ecosystems even though CO2 has been stored sub-seabed in the North Sea (Sleipner) for over 13 years and for one year in the Barents Sea (Snhvit). Against this background, the proposed ECO2 project will assess the likelihood of leakage and impact of leakage on marine ecosystems. In order to do so ECO2 will study a sub-seabed storage site in operation since 1996 (Sleipner, 90 m water depth), a recently opened site (Snhvit, 2008, 330 m water depth), and a potential storage site located in the Polish sector of the Baltic Sea (B3 field site, 80 m water depth) covering the major geological settings to be used for the storage of CO2. Novel monitoring techniques will be applied to detect and quantify the fluxes of formation fluids, natural gas, and CO2 from storage sites and to develop appropriate and effective monitoring strategies. Field work at storage sites will be supported by modelling and laboratory experiments and complemented by process and monitoring studies at natural CO2 seeps that serve as analogues for potential CO2 leaks at storage sites. ECO2 will also investigate the perception of marine CCS in the public and develop effective means to disseminate the project results to stakeholders and policymakers. Finally, a best practice guide for the management of sub-seabed CO2 storage sites will be developed applying the precautionary principle and valuing the costs for monitoring and remediation.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.3.2 | Award Amount: 10.08M | Year: 2013

ACTPHAST is a unique one-stop-shop European access centre for photonics innovation solutions and technology support (Access CenTre for PHotonics innovAtion Solutions and Technology support). ACTPHAST will support and accelerate the innovation capacity of European SMEs by providing them with direct access to the expertise and state-of-the-art facilities of Europes leading photonics research centres, enabling companies to exploit the tremendous commercial potential of applied photonics. Technologies available within the consortium range from fibre optics and micro optics, to highly integrated photonic platforms, with capabilities extending from design through to full system prototyping. ACTPHAST has been geographically configured to ensure all of Europes SMEs can avail of timely, cost-effective, and investment-free photonics innovation support, and that the extensive range of capabilities within the consortium will impact across a wide range of industrial sectors, from communications to consumer-related products, biotechnology to medical devices. The access of predominantly SMEs to top-level experts and leading photonics technology platforms provided by the ACTPHAST consortium will be realised through focused innovation projects executed in relatively short timeframes with a critical mass of suitably qualified companies with high potential product concepts. As a result of these projects, the programme is expected to deliver a substantial increase in the revenues and employment numbers of the supported companies by supporting the development of new product opportunities and addressing emerging markets. Furthermore, through its extensive outreach activities, the programme will ensure there is an increased level of awareness and understanding across European industries of the technological and commercial potential of photonics.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2011-1 | Award Amount: 1.51M | Year: 2011

Currently the identification and quantification of pollutants in water are mostly carried out manually through sampling and subsequent laboratory analysis (off-line analysis), with methodologies of work that involve some significant costs in terms of displacement to sampling points, reagents and specialized personnel dedicated to the operation, leading to time consuming and economically challenging approaches, causing the number of analyses performed to be kept at the bare minimum. The industry therefore is calling for novel, cost-effective solutions to meet these new challenges: we propose to develop an online water monitoring device for microbiological contamination analysis, that allows industries and environmental protection agencies to replace the routine activities of sampling and laboratory testing of pathogens. The new system, which will be produced in two versions, both for online and for offline measurements, will be able to real time monitor the quality of industrial process water and effluents basing on an opto-ultrasonic device and on a lipid-based diagnostic kit. The novelty of our approach is the use of engineered liposomes for detecting bacteria in water: these are nanoparticles formed by a lipid bilayer enclosing an aqueous compartment displaying features that can be different (pH, ionic strength, composition) with respect to the bulk. We will load liposomes with a chromophore and will engineer them in order to make them specifically react with one target bacteria; this is the simple operating system of the AQUALITY system, which is completed by an ultrasonic unit to concentrate bacteria and an optical unit for detecting the sample colour change following to the interaction between liposomes and bacteria.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IRSES | Award Amount: 831.10K | Year: 2014

The overall aim of the proposed staff exchange programme is to establish a long lasting collaboration between Moroccan, South African and European research teams involved in clinical epidemiological and public health research. This effort should ultimately lead to improved mother and child health and better control of sexual transmitted diseases. The proposal is therefore structured in seven work packages: 1. Management and coordination 2. Maternal & newborn health research 3. STI research 4. HPV research 5. Antibiotic resistance 6. Public Health and Social Health Protection 7. Clinical, epidemiological and public health research This project will brings partners together from Europe, Morocco and South Africa that have common research interests but that work in very different settings. Several partners have already been collaborating with each other but mainly on an ad hoc basis and not as a network: 1. The International Health Research Centre of Barcelona (CRESIB), Spain 2. The Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM), Antwerp, Belgium 3. University Mohamed V Soussi Rabat, Morocco 4. University Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah of Fez, Morocco 5. University of Marrakech, Morocco 6. The Ministry of Health of Morocco - National Institute of Health Administration (INAS) 7. University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa 8. University of Southampton, United Kingdom 9. The Bordeaux School of Public Health (ISPED), University Bordeaux Segalen, France For European researchers and professionals, the interaction with Moroccan and South African national health systems and research groups can contribute to a better understanding of common health challenges, including health related topics with human mobility and migrations between both continents and access to care for migrant groups in Europe. This collaboration involving several high profile groups (Europe, Morocco, South Africa) strengthens a global perspective on key maternal, newborn and reproductive health topics.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2011.9.1 | Award Amount: 486.75K | Year: 2012

We seek to bring together all major European and Israeli research centres in Optimal Control of Quantum Information Processing. This project will coordinate ongoing research activities, best practice dissemination, personnel training and public engagement as well as interaction with public stakeholders and policymakers for 17 established research groups from 15 universities in 6 countries a total of about 60 scientists and 30 PhD students, spanning a variety of nationalities, races, cultures, social backgrounds, genders and career stages.The proposed Consortium will join the forces of multiple EU and Israeli research groups to explore a radical alternative to the currently established information processing technologies quantum information processing, where bits are carried by atoms or elementary particles and dramatic acceleration is believed to be possible for several types of computational tasks. Our specific research area within Quantum Information Processing is optimal control of quantum bits a set of technologies that enable extremely accurate manipulation of quantum bits with minimal expenditure of energy.Within this Coordination Action, we aim to create a vibrant, productive and efficient European research community, to deliver value to the society and to grow a new generation of young European physicists.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: NoE | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.1-3 | Award Amount: 14.22M | Year: 2011

ENCCA aims to establish a durable, European Virtual Institute clinical and translational research in childhood and adolescent cancers that will define and implement an integrated research strategy and will facilitate the necessary investigator-driven clinical trials to introduce the new generation of biologically targeted drugs into standard of care for children and adolescents with cancer. This will lead to more efficacious and less toxic therapies that will maximise the quality of life of the increasing number of survivors of cancer at a young age in Europe and allow them to assume their proper place in society. This biologically-driven research agenda will improve training of the clinical investigators and translational scientists of the future to spread excellence, increase capacity to participate in research and monitor outcomes across Europe. Patients and their families will be full partners and will be better informed about the need for and processes of clinical research. They will be in a better situation to care from their long term health risks for children. Drug development will be accelerated in partnership with industry through improved access to young patients with cancer, to academic expertise in care, clinical and biological research. All of this will be achieved with respect for the highest ethical and patient safety standards. ENCCA will bring all stakeholders to the table in a timely and efficacious manner. It will address the needs of all the current multinational clinical trial groups for the benefit of children with cancer. It will provide them with common tools and approaches to solve the bottlenecks in testing new therapeutic strategies for those rare diseases in a vulnerable age group and in running a competitive clinical research agenda. Ongoing efforts to coordinate EU and US clinical research will be reinforced. ENCCA will be led by the most active EU institutes in the field (31), recognised as being at the forefront of excellence.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.1.1 | Award Amount: 10.05M | Year: 2014

The role of Data Centres (DCs) is vital for the Future Internet. However, DC infrastructures are already stressed by data volumes and service provisioning and consumption trends. Emerging demands cannot be addressed by todays DCs and call for a massive redesign or even transformation of DC architectures.COSIGN proposes a new DC architecture empowered by advanced optical technologies and will demonstrate novel solutions capable of sustaining the growing resource and operational demands of next generation DC Networks. COSIGN aims to move away from todays vendor specific, manually controlled, performance and scale limited DCs towards scalable DC solutions able to support future-proof dynamic, on-demand, low-latency, energy efficient and ultra-high bandwidth DC solutions. COSIGN introduces disruptive transformations in the data plane, significant advances to the control plane and major innovations in the DC virtualization and service orchestration: In the DC Data Plane, COSIGN will deliver an entirely-optical solution enabling scalable top-of-rack switches, ultra-low latency and high volume DC interconnects with high spatial dimensioning. In the DC Control Plane, COSIGN will build upon and extend the Software Defined Networks (SDN) paradigm leveraging capabilities from high-performance optical technologies while developing technology agnostic protocols for software/user defined routing and control. For the DC Management and Orchestration, COSIGN will implement a coherent framework for optical network and IT infrastructure abstraction, virtualization and end-to-end service orchestration.COSIGN brings together a unique combination of skills and expertise able to deliver, for the first time, a coordinated hardware and software architecture, which will guarantee the scale and performance required for future DCs. Results will be demonstrated in challenging industrial setting, leveraging a DC validation platform from Interoute a leading European service provider


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PROTEC-1-2015 | Award Amount: 3.23M | Year: 2016

ReDSHIFT will address barriers to compliance for spacecraft manufacturers and operators presented now and in the future by requirements and technologies for de-orbiting and disposal of space objects. This will be achieved through a holistic approach that considers from the outset opposing and challenging constraints for the safety of the human population when these objects re-enter the atmosphere, designed for demise, and for their survivability in the harsh space environment while on orbit. Ensuring robustness into the future, ReDSHIFT will take advantage of disruptive opportunities offered by 3D printing to develop highly innovative, low-cost spacecraft solutions, exploiting synergies with electric propulsion, atmospheric and solar radiation pressure drag, and astro-dynamical highways, to meet de-orbit and disposal needs, but which are also designed for demise. Inherent to these solutions will be structures to enhance spacecraft protection, by fracture along intended breakup planes, and re-entry demise characteristics. These structures will be subjected to functional tests as well as specific hypervelocity impact tests and material demise wind tunnel tests to demonstrate the capabilities of the 3D printed structures. At the same time, novel and complex technical, economic and legal issues of adapting the technologies to different vehicles, and implementing them widely across low Earth orbit will be tackled through the development of a hierarchical, web-based tool aimed at a variety of space actors. This will provide a complete debris mitigation analysis of a mission, using existing debris evolution models and lessons learned from theoretical and experimental work. It will output safe, scalable and cost-effective satellite and mission designs in response to operational constraints. Through its activities, ReDSHIFT will recommend new space debris mitigation guidelines taking into account novel spacecraft designs, materials, manufacturing and mission solutions.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: NOE | Phase: ICT-2011.1.6 | Award Amount: 5.99M | Year: 2011

The goal of EINS is coordinating and integrating European research aimed at achieving a deeper multidisciplinary understanding of the development of the Internet as a societal and technological artefact, whose evolution is increasingly interwined with that of human societies. Its main objective is to allow an open and productive dialogue between all the disciplines which study Internet systems under any technological or humanistic perspective, and which in turn are being transformed by the continuous advances in Internet functionalities and applications. EINS will bring together research institutions focusing on network engineering, computation, complexity, security, trust, mathematics, physics, sociology, game theory, economics, political sciences, humanities, law, energy, transport, artistic expression, and any other relevant social and life sciences.\nThis multidisciplinary bridging of the different disciplines may also be seen as the starting point for a new Internet Science, the theoretical and empirical foundation for an holistic understanding of the complex techno-social interactions related to the Internet. It is supposed to inform the future technological, social, political choices concerning Internet technologies, infrastructures and policies made by the various public and private stakeholders, for example as for the far-ended possible consequences of architectural choices on social, economic, environmental or political aspects, and ultimately on quality of life at large.\nThe individual contributing disciplines will themselves benefit from a more holistic understanding of the Internet principles and in particular of the network effect. The unprecedented connectivity offered by the Internet plays a role often underappreciated in most of them; whereas the Internet provides both an operational development platform and a concrete empirical and experimental model. These multi- and inter-disciplinary investigations will improve the design of elements of Future Internet, enhance the understanding of its evolving and emerging implications at societal level, and possibly identify universal principles for understanding the Internet-based world that will be fed back to the participating disciplines. EINS will:\nCoordinate the investigation, from a multi-disciplinary perspective, of specific topics at the intersection between humanistic and technological sciences, such as privacy & identity, reputation, virtual communities, security & resilience, network neutrality\nLay the foundations for an Internet Science, based i.a. on Network Science and Web Science, aiming at understanding the impact of the network effect on human societies & organisations, as for technological, economic, social & environmental aspects\nProvide concrete incentives for academic institutions and individual researchers to conduct studies across multiple disciplines, in the form of online journals, conferences, workshops, PhD courses, schools, contests, and open calls


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2011.1.1.6-1 | Award Amount: 8.45M | Year: 2011

Political discussions on the European goal to limit global warming to 2C demands that discussions are informed by the best available science on projected impacts and possible benefits. IMPACT2C enhances knowledge, quantifies climate change impacts, and adopts a clear and logical structure, with climate and impacts modelling, vulnerabilities, risks and economic costs, as well as potential responses, within a pan-European sector based analysis. IMPACT2C utilises a range of models within a multi-disciplinary international expert team and assesses effects on water, energy, infrastructure, coasts, tourism, forestry, agriculture, ecosystems services, and health and air quality-climate interactions. IMPACT2C introduces key innovations. First, harmonised socio-economic assumptions/scenarios will be used, to ensure that both individual and cross-sector assessments are aligned to the 2C (1.5C) scenario for both impacts and adaptation, e.g. in relation to land-use pressures between agriculture and forestry. Second, it has a core theme of uncertainty, and will develop a methodological framework integrating the uncertainties within and across the different sectors, in a consistent way. In so doing, analysis of adaptation responses under uncertainty will be enhanced. Finally, a cross-sectoral perspective is adopted to complement the sector analysis. A number of case studies will be developed for particularly vulnerable areas, subject to multiple impacts (e.g. the Mediterranean), with the focus being on cross-sectoral interactions (e.g. land use competition) and cross-cutting themes (e.g. cities). The project also assesses climate change impacts in some of the worlds most vulnerable regions: Bangladesh, Africa (Nile and Niger basins), and the Maldives. IMPACT2C integrates and synthesises project findings suitable for awareness raising and are readily communicable to a wide audience, and relevant for policy negotiations.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.1.3 | Award Amount: 8.69M | Year: 2011

While access to anonymised official microdata for researchers is still uneven both at national and at European level, access to highly detailed and sensitive microdata is now increasingly on the agenda. Different member states have substantially different outcomes for research access to Official data, and the issue is not just efficiency, but real harm to the contribution of the social sciences to democracy in an information society. Therefore the primary impact of this application is to prepare the essential relationships and build trust, common view and agreements on standards between the European Statistical System led by Eurostat, other stakeholders as the Central banks, the Data Archives European network (CESSDA) and the researchers who are the final users; from access as a postcode lottery, to an integrated model where the best solutions for access are available irrespective of national boundaries and are flexible enough to fit national arrangements. It aims at a) discussing frameworks and proposing pilots for a European accreditation and a distributed remote access for confidential microdata to be expanded later to other partners, both for national and European datasets; b) fostering discussions and promoting improvements and solutions for the entire communities through annual/bi-annual European data Forum, regional workshops, users conferences, training sessions, staff visits c) preparing an easy and single point of access (What data are available? How can I access them?) for the researchers, to be linked to the CESSDA portal where NSIs metadata could be harvested when not available through the CESSDA archives still providing access to official microdata; d) immediately enhancing access to official data making European datasets more useable (metadata, routines) and supporting foreign researchers transnational access both on site and through remote access system to countries official microdata. Close coordination with the European Statistical System discussions and initiatives as well as with on-going and future related projects is developed to ensure maximum synergy and incorporation of outputs.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: GC.SST.2011.7-4. | Award Amount: 4.11M | Year: 2011

Urban areas represent particular challenges for freight transport, both in terms of logistical performance and environmental impact. A range of regulatory, technological and logistical measures have been applied, most of them suffering from a lack of systematic evaluation and assessment related to their short and long term effects which impedes knowledge transfer and the adoption of best practice. As a consequence, large scale adaptations do often not come off, although many initiatives seemed successful in pilots and demonstrations. There is a clear need for a comprehensive approach to urban freight solutions, particularly linking urban to interurban freight movements. The objectives of STRAIGHTSOL are threefold: 1) Develop a new impact assessment framework for measures applied to urban-interurban freight transport interfaces. 2) Support a set of innovative field demonstrations showcasing improved urban-interurban freight operations in Europe. 3) Apply the impact assessment framework to the live demonstrations and develop specific recommendations for future freight policies and measures. The demonstrations represent cutting edge initiatives from leading stakeholders like DHL, Kuehne\Nagel and TNT, and cover Brussels, Barcelona, Thessaloniki, Lisbon, Oslo and the south of England. STRAIGHTSOL will contribute to the Commissions research agenda through 1) an implementation of sustainable urban-interurban freight transport solutions, 2) widely disseminating the experiences and effects from the demonstrations amongst the logistics community, 3) demonstrating the added value of the evaluation tool framework for assessing last mile distribution and urban-interurban freight activities. The STRAIGHTSOL demonstrations and deliverables will give policy makers and transport industry players input for future measures in the field of last mile distribution and urban-interurban freight transport interfaces at the European, country, region, city and local levels.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.2.1-3 | Award Amount: 8.21M | Year: 2013

Conduct Disorder (CD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder with symptoms of Conduct Disorder (which is included among the abbreviation CD throughout the proposal) has a highly negative impact for the affected individual as well as for families and society. Although the number of females exhibiting serious aggressive behaviours is growing, the majority of studies on aetiology and treatment of CD have focused on male subjects only, despite strong evidence for a differential neurobiological basis of female CD. The key aims of the FemNAT-CD consortium are to identify biomarkers and to study disease mechanisms from pre- to postpubertal female CD as well as new psychological and pharmacological treatment options for female adolescent CD targeting emotion processing abilities. With the present proposal, we aim at clarifying the phenomenology and neurobiology of female CD from pre-puberty to post-puberty. We will study the role of genetic and environmental risk factors on female CD, related psychopathology, brain structure and function, HPA axis and autonomic nervous system (ANS) disturbance to elicit CD specific endophenotypes and its biomarkers. We will describe the clinical, neuronal and neurocognitive phenotype of female CD from pre- to postpuberty and related neuroendocrine and ANS function as well as moderating, mediating and direct risk factors to identify distinct homogeneous subtypes to guide targeted future treatment approaches. We translate knowledge of neuropsychological and neurobiological characteristics into targeted intervention by performing a randomised controlled trial of an innovative 16-week DBT-CD-A psychological treatment program focussing on emotion processing. The effect oxytocin and serotonin on neural function underlying emotion processing and aggression will be studied in a female animal model and two proof of concept pharmaco-challenge studies. We also target several societal and education objectives. Our consortium brings together strong clinical and basic science expertise on paediatric CD, including a number of SMEs and a professional management company.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: HEALTH.2013.4.1-4 | Award Amount: 778.76K | Year: 2013

Europe has 30 million people with asthma, whose treatment costs about 20 bn annually. Productivity lost through poor asthma control in Europe is estimated to be 9.8 bn per year. By 2020 approximately 120,000 people in Europe will die from asthma attacks, and 4 million hospitalisations will be needed for the most severely affected. The Objectives of EARIP (European Asthma Research and Innovation Partnership) include to: reduce the annual level of deaths by 25% within 10 years and 50% within 20 years, and hospitalisations by 50% identify more effective mechanisms to discover, develop and prioritise biological targets to helping pharmaceutical companies reduce asthma attacks and hospital admissions in asthma of varying severity and mechanistic sub-type develop new systems, models and tools for the phenotypic stratification of asthma, and determine priority needs of sub-groups identify innovations needed in health and care systems to put individual patients at the heart of asthma management/treatment, and improve outcomes with better diagnostic and patient self-management plans review research gaps in treatment of asthma identified at national and international levels, and rank in priority order identify and internationally ratify a list of research objectives of greatest potential added value in the treatment and management of asthma and produce a Roadmap setting out priorities for the research and innovations needed address the fragmentation of research approaches and healthcare systems in the management of asthma that has resulted in European countries being 14 of the worlds worst 20 for prevalence of asthma in adults, and bring together European stakeholders who will together to address specific Objectives, and review how best to establish a European Innovation Partnership, its Vision, Strategic Priorities, Priority Actions, representative core membership, organisational and governance structure, and requirements for wider interactions


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST.2012.5.2-3. | Award Amount: 4.11M | Year: 2013

Materials and structures are called adaptive if they can change certain properties in a predictable manner due to the forces acting on them (passive) or by means of built in actuators (active). Those materials and structures are referred to as smart if they provide best performance when operation circumstances change. The project ADAM4EVE focuses on the development and assessment of applications of such materials and structures in the shipbuilding industry. The types of materials and structures are - adaptable ship hull structures for optimised hydrodynamic properties depending on varying cruise speed, - adaptive materials for noise and vibration damping of ship engines to avoid induction of vibrations into the ship hull and - adaptive outfitting materials that improve ships serviceability and safety. Technical developments in the project are structured in three groups: - Materials and structures development: Based on available research results and known applications from other industries, adaptive and smart materials and structures will be adopted and further developed in order to make them applicable in the maritime industry. - Solution development: Driven by different shipyards, several application case studies will be performed, in order to achieve customised solutions for particular vessel types and their individual requirements; classification societies will assure that the solutions comply with existing rules and regulations. - Enabling and assessment of technologies: This group of activities provides support to the other ones on the field of testing, assessment of safety as well as economical and ecological impact, and advice for production, operation and dismantling. Due to the novelty of the solutions to be pursued, further development of the required validation methods and tools is intended, as well as suggestions for standardisation.


Grant
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.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2012.2.4-04 | Award Amount: 12.16M | Year: 2013

Up to 20 million European citizens suffer from food allergy. However management of both food allergy (by patients and health practitioners) and allergens (by industry) is thwarted by lack of evidence to either prevent food allergy developing or protect adequately those who are already allergic. iFAAM will develop evidence-based approaches and tools for MANAGEMENT of ALLERGENS in FOOD and integrate knowledge derived from their application and new knowledge from intervention studies into FOOD ALLERGY MANAGEMENT plans and dietary advice. The resulting holistic strategies will reduce the burden of food allergies in Europe and beyond, whilst enabling the European food industry to compete in the global market place. Our approach will build on e-Health concepts to allow full exploitation of complex data obtained from the work in this proposal and previous and ongoing studies, maximising sharing and linkage of data, by developing an informatics platform Allerg-e-lab. This will enable us to (1) Extend and integrate existing cohorts from observation and intervention studies to provide evidence as to how maternal diet and infant feeding practices (including weaning) modulate the patterns and prevalence of allergies across Europe (2) Establish risk factors for the development of severe reactions to food and identify associated biomarkers (3) Develop a clinically-validated tiered risk assessment and evidence-based risk management approach for food allergens for allergens in the food chain (4) Develop clinically-relevant multi-analyte methods of analysis suited to allergen management across the food chain Stakeholders will be integrated into iFAAM to deliver harmonised integrated approaches, including RISK ASSESSORS AND MANAGERS managing population risk, the FOOD INDUSTRY who manage allergens to ensure consumer safety, HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONERS to provide food allergy management plans and dietary advice and ALLERGIC CONSUMERS to manage individual risk.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.3.1-3 | Award Amount: 15.65M | Year: 2011

Antibiotics are a mainstay of public health, but their use has increased exponentially leading to the emergence of antibiotic resistance. The R-GNOSIS (Resistance in Gram-Negative Organisms: Studying Intervention Strategies) project combines 5 international clinical studies, all supported by highly innovative microbiology, mathematical modelling and data-management, to determine - in the most relevant patient populations - the efficacy and effectiveness of cutting-edge interventions to reduce carriage, infection and spread of Multi-Drug Resistant Gram-negative Bacteria (MDR-GNB). All work-packages will progress science beyond the state-of-the-art in generating new and translational clinically relevant knowledge, through hypothesis-driven studies focussed on patient-centred outcomes. The 5 clinical studies will investigate the following interventions: A Point-Of-Care-Testing guided management strategy to improve appropriate antibiotic prescription for uncomplicated UTI in primary care. Gut decolonization in outpatients with intestinal carriage of MDR-GNB. A test and prescribe strategy, based on rapid diagnostic testing of faeces for MDR-GNB to optimize antibiotic prophylaxis in colo-rectal surgery. Contact Isolation of patients with ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae in general hospital wards. Three Decolonization strategies in ICUs. Seven laboratories across Europe will perform microbiological analyses, as well as unique quantitative experiments. All information will be integrated by 3 groups of mathematical modellers into highly innovative models to better understand and predict future trends and effects of interventions. The studies and analyses proposed in R-GNOSIS will generate a step-change in identifying evidence-based preventive measures and clinical guidance for primary care and hospital-based physicians and health-care authorities, to combat the spread and impact of infections caused by MDR-GNB in Europe.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH.2011.2.1-2;SSH.2011.5.2-2 | Award Amount: 3.47M | Year: 2012

Private tenancy law is existentially affecting the daily lives of European citizens, as about one third of them depend on rental housing. That notwithstanding, it constitutes a nearly blank space in comparative and European law. This is due to its national character, its political nature and its embeddedness in widely diverging national housing policies, which ultimately reflect different welfare state models. At the same time, however, different parts of EU law and policy do affect tenancy law significantly, albeit indirectly. Thus, EU social policy against poverty and social exclusion extends to selected issues of housing policy. EU non-discrimination rules extend to the provision of housing, and several consumer law directives apply to tenancy contracts, too. Moreover, if the Common Frame of Reference were one day to develop into an optional instrument, tenancy law issues now regulated by national general contract law might be covered as well - though without any legislator having co-ordinated the ensuing juxtaposition of European contract law and national tenancy regulation. Against this background, this project sets out to provide the first large-scale comparative and European law survey of tenancy law. In a first step, it analyses national tenancy laws and their embeddedness in, and effects on, national housing policies and markets. In a second step, the effect of EU legislation on national housing policy in general and national tenancy law in particular will be analysed in a comparative perspective. In a third step, a proposal for a better co-ordinating role of the EU in tenancy law and housing policy, in particular through an OMC process developing common principles of good tenancy regulation, will be designed. This research matches well several priorities of the Stockholm programme given tenancy laws intimate relation to social human rights and a system of law and justice working for the benefit of European citizens, in particular vulnerable groups.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 65.00K | Year: 2013

The aim of this proposal is to expand the capability base that solid state NMR community has at its disposal so that more materials and chemistry systems can be effectively studied with this technique. Solid state NMR usually confines itself to the study of diamagnetic materials and compounds; i.e. systems that do not possess unpaired electrons in their electronic structure. Many modern materials and chemical systems being developed possess transition metals and/or rare earth species as part of the elemental composition; these introduce unpaired electrons into these systems and thus promote paramagnetic characteristics which are incompatible with the conventional NMR methodology. Our traditional mindset of how we approach the typical NMR measurement needs to be adjusted as our typical drive to higher external magnetic field strengths is counterproductive in this case. The electron polarisation that gives rise to paramagnetic anisotropies and shifts scales linearly with magnetic field, and these effects greatly detract from conventional NMR data thus masking the information that is normally sought. Severe cases of paramagnetism can preclude the NMR measurement of some systems completely. The most direct way to address this solid state NMR challenge is to attempt measurements in a much reduced (rather than increased) magnetic field, and to spin the sample at very high MAS frequencies. This low field/fast MAS methodology maximises the chance for NMR data to be elucidated from these systems, however these types of NMR spectrometers are very rare commodities worldwide. While many thousand NMR instruments exist throughout the world at fields of 7.05 T (300 MHz for 1H) and above, only a handful of operational low field spectrometers exist to undertake these type of measurements; furthermore, the UK is not well catered for in this field of spectroscopy apart from very limited proof-of-concept pilot studies that have demonstrated this idea. This new capability will be as easy to operate as conventional solid state NMR instrumentation and no specific additional training is required to enable its usage for data acquisition. The impact of this methodology is expected to influence the fields of catalysis and energy materials (battery materials, solid oxide and H conduction fuel cells, hydrogen storage materials, supported metal nanoparticles systems, zeolites, nuclear waste glasses etc.), general organometallc and inorganic chemistry, and the emerging field of medical engineering (rare earth doped biomaterials for oncology and blood vessel growth stimulation applications). It is also expected that this methodology will bridge across to established techniques such as EPR, and emerging technologies such as DNP, both of which employ different strategies for the manipulation of the paramagnetic interaction. These relationships are expected to stimulate a more vibrant magnetic resonance community that will be capable of collaboratively tackling the challenging research issues that confront the UK. Academic collaborators at Cambridge, Birmingham, Imperial, Queen Mary, Kent, UCL and Lancaster, and industrial partners such as Johnson Matthey and Unilever are all acutely aware of these new solid state NMR possibilities and flexibility that this methodology offers, and they eagerly await the improvements to the measurement technology that a low field/fast MAS combination can offer. The specific objectives that shape this proposal are: (a) to deliver a shared low-field/fast MAS solid state NMR resource to the UK magnetic resonance community that will augment the current UK suite of solid state NMR instrumentation in existence, (b) to put in place a state-of-the-art solid state NMR console and appropriate fast MAS probe technology capable of delivering the most modern experiments, (c) to align this methodology with established characterisation technologies such as EPR and emerging experimental initiatives such as DNP.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: AAT.2010.1.1-1.;AAT.2010.1.1-3. | Award Amount: 5.10M | Year: 2012

Vision-2020, whose objectives include the reduction of emissions and a more effective transport systems, puts severe demands on aircraft velocity and weight. These require an increased load on wings and aero-engine components. The greening of air transport systems means a reduction of drag and losses, which can be obtained by keeping laminar boundary layers on external and internal airplane parts. Increased loads make supersonic flow velocities more prevalent and are inherently connected to the appearance of shock waves, which in turn may interact with a laminar boundary layer. Such an interaction can quickly cause flow separation, which is highly detrimental to aircraft performance, and poses a threat to safety. In order to diminish the shock induced separation, the boundary layer at the point of interaction should be turbulent. The main objective of the TFAST project is to study the effect of transition location on the structure of interaction. The main question is how close the induced transition may be to the shock wave while still maintaining a typical turbulent character of interaction. The main study cases - shock waves on wings/profiles, turbine and compressor blades and supersonic intake flows - will help to answer open questions posed by the aeronautics industry and to tackle more complex applications. In addition to basic flow configurations, transition control methods (stream-wise vortex generators and electro-hydrodynamic actuators) will be investigated for controlling transition location, interaction induced separation and inherent flow unsteadiness. TFAST for the first time will provide a characterization and selection of appropriate flow control methods for transition induction as well as physical models of these devices. Emphasis will be placed on closely coupled experiments and numerical investigations to overcome weaknesses in both approaches.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SEC-2012.4.2-2 | Award Amount: 13.14M | Year: 2013

The dynamic capture of situational awareness concerning crowds in specific mass gathering venues and its intelligent enablement into emergency management information systems, using smart communication devices and spaces is critical for achieving rapid, timely guidance and safe evacuation of people out of dangerous areas. Humans could be overwhelmed by fast changes of potentially dangerous incidents occurring at confined environments with mass-gathering. They could fail to make objective decisions to find their way to safety. This condition may lead to mass panic and make emergency management more challenging. In eVACUATE, the intelligent fusion of sensors, geospatial and contextual information, with advanced multi-scale crowd behaviour detection and recognition will be developed. The structured fusion of sensing information with dynamic estimated uncertainties on behaviour predictions will advance eVACUATE crowd dynamic models; and virtual reality simulations of crowds in confined environments. A service oriented Decision-Support System shall be developed to dynamically distribute on-demand evacuation information to emergency management actors as the crisis unfolds. Decision-makers at the command posts, first responders, front-line stewards and volunteers receive real-time situation aware information of updated evacuation strategies using robust and resilient eVACUATE information and communication infrastructure. Smart spaces of electronic, audio and other mobile devices shall be connected to the integrated system to provide safer evacuation routings for people. The eVACUATE system performance and scalability will be validated in five distinct scenarios involving incidents with large crowd at various venues with the requirements of evacuation time reductions and increases of safety and security. These are: 1) Underground stations in Bilbao and 2) Marseille; 3) Real Sociedad Footbal Stadium in San Sebastian, 4) Athens International Airport and 5) a STX Cruiseship.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.3.3-2 | Award Amount: 3.74M | Year: 2012

The overall aim of this project is to offer a deeper understanding of the different mechanisms involved in the management of chronic conditions with a specific focus on how initiatives are translated and embedded into the illness management practices in peoples everyday life. It is in work, domestic and community settings where these practices are shaped by the emotional, symbolic, ethical, economic, and institutional inter-dependencies that people have with intimate and distant others, and where personal health is constantly negotiated in relation to ones own well-being and the health and well-being of others. Framed this way, questions related to self-care practices and changes in health behaviours can be stated as a shift in emphasis to a broader agenda for the provision of healthcare. Such an agenda brings into view ideas dominant in academic and policy debates and discussions of self-management which has drawn attention to the limitations of deploying a one size fits all approach and the need to devise and implement workable, personally sensitive strategies for self-management and behaviour change that make full use of available technologies (e.g. eHealth, telehealth, virtual networks), personal, community and institutional resources, and which more adequately addresses the needs of socially disadvantaged people. Thus, the current focus on individuals (e.g. understanding and improving their knowledge and capabilities) requires a complementary focus on understanding capabilities, resources, and change in health related practices as an integral part of peoples social networks and as being co-shaped by wider determinants of health). There is also a need to focus on the translation of efforts within health services to explore how professionally defined priorities of chronic illness management are translated acted upon and resourced outside of the consultation.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SEC-2013-1.6-3 | Award Amount: 14.16M | Year: 2014

The advancement of 24/7 surveillance systems for the security of WideZones with multiple assets at localized scales is of extreme strategic relevance to European economies, industries, authorities and Citizens. Nevertheless, the cost for large deployments and maintenance of ground sensing networks for local surveillance across these WideZones is extremely high. Hence, large areas of high economic importance, particularly those situated at Member States cross-borders, may be exposed to undetected local illicit activities. These could lead to large systemic failures of the processes operating in wider zones, while economic stability, safety and security in Europe can be potentially compromised. Hence, the integration of affordable ground and airborne sensor observation technologies for the critical surveillance of large spatial areas of high economic values in Europe needs to be imminently prioritized. Secure and interoperable observation data and information management services using open standards shall be deployed in ZONeSEC with the aim of cost-effectively reusing them in the surveillance of many other European WideZones. These services are part of an advanced Knowledge Base (KB) and primarily focused on large scale surveillance with high performance detection of localized abnormal activities and alerts. Semantically enriched domain knowledge representations shall be stored in the KB for supporting high level data fusion and reasoning with reduced uncertainties and false alerts. Surveillance professionals will securely subscribe to the scalable KB services of the ZONeSEC system of systems with customisable visualization features. Several pilots specializing in the detection of illegal unauthorized entrances to or trespassing premises; or actions to damage to or deployment of harmful devices on installations shall be fully demonstrated. These concern Water, Oil and Transnational Gas Pipelines; Highways and Rail tracks conveyed in six European countries.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-01-2014 | Award Amount: 7.27M | Year: 2015

This programme of work will advance the understanding of the combined effects of factors that cause poor lung function, respiratory disability and the development of COPD . This will be achieved by examination of determinants of lung growth and lung function decline within existing cohorts that cover the whole life course, and which have followed, in detail, the respiratory health status of over 25000 European children and adults from the early 1990s to the present day. Following a comprehensive programme of risk factor identification we will generate a predictive risk score. The programme includes 1) identification of behavioural, environmental, occupational, nutritional, other modifiable lifestyle, genetic determinant of poor lung growth, excess lung function decline and occurrence of low lung function, respiratory disability and COPD within existing child and adult cohorts 2) generation of new data to fill gaps in knowledge on pre-conception and transgenerational determinants and risk factors 3) validation of the role of risk factors by integration of data from relevant disciplines, integration of data from the cohort-related population-based biobanks and exploitation of appropriate statistical techniques 4) generation of information on change in DNA methylation patterns to identify epigenetic changes associated with both disease development and exposure to specific risk factors 5) generation of a predictive risk score for individual risk stratification that takes account of the combined effects of factors that cause poor lung growth, lung function decline, respiratory disability, and COPD and 6) implementation of an online interactive tool for personalised risk prediction based which will be disseminated freely and widely to the population, patients and health care providers. The work will provide an evidence base for risk identification at individual and population level that can underpin future preventive and therapeutic strategies and policies.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2012.3.1-01 | Award Amount: 11.66M | Year: 2012

The goal of WATBIO is to use the power of next generation sequencing to develop an accelerated route for producing new germplasm with enhanced drought tolerance whilst maintaining biomass productivity and quality in water scarce, marginal environments unsuitable for food crops. This will be achieved for three non-food crops (Populus, Miscanthus and Arundo), suitable for growth on water scarce, marginal lands, through a 5-year translational research project. Populus and Miscanthus germplasm with increased drought tolerance will be produced within WATBIO whilst for Arundo its genetic diversity will be assessed and breeding tools developed. Twenty-two multidisciplinary partners (14 academics, and 7 SMEs) spanning the whole value chain for crop production will collectively achieve this innovation by 1) identifying key molecular, cellular and physiological traits for the maintenance of biomass production, lignocellulosic quality and water use efficiency in water-scarce environments; 2) linking these traits through modelling to underlying key genes, proteins and metabolite networks; 3) utilising a wide range of germplasm for screening in phenotyping platforms and field measurements at multiple sites to test importance of genotype x environment interactions in determining traits; 4) using sequence based gene expression data, identify 40 genes related to drought tolerance for testing proof of concept using GM approach; and 5) using sequence-based data for genome wide association and genetical genomic approaches, link physiology to traits of high heritability and to underlying genes. WATBIO will transfer knowledge of commercial significance using its industrial partners and stakeholders enabling the deployment of biotechnology to boost European competitiveness, without the necessity of GM. Through workshops, seminars and exchanges, WATBIO will train the next generation of multi-disciplinary professionals in the area of biomass crop production on marginal lands.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST.2013.4-3. | Award Amount: 3.87M | Year: 2013

In passive safety, human variability is currently difficult to account for using crash test dummies and regulatory procedures. However, vulnerable populations such as children and elderly need to be considered in the design of safety systems in order to further reduce the fatalities by protecting all users and not only so called averages. Based on the finite element method, advanced Human Body Models for injury prediction have the potential to represent the population variability and to provide more accurate injurypredictionsthan alternatives using global injury criteria. However, these advanced HBM are underutilized in industrial R&D. Reasons include difficulties to position the models which are typically only available in one posture in actual vehicle environments, and the lack of model families to represent the population variability (which reduces their interestwhen compared to dummies). The main objective of the project will be to develop new tools to position and personalize these advanced HBM. Specifications will be agreed upon with future industrial users, and an extensive evaluation in actual applications will take place during the project. The tools will be made available by using an Open Source exploitation strategy and extensive dissemination driven by the industrial partners.Proven approaches will be combined with innovative solutions transferred from computer graphics, statistical shape and ergonomicsmodeling. The consortium will be balanced between industrial users (with seven European car manufacturers represented), academic users involved ininjury biomechanics, and partners with different expertise with strong potential for transfer of knowledge. By facilitating the generation of population and subject-specific HBM and their usage in production environments, the tools will enable new applications in industrial R&D for the design of restraint systems as well as new research applications.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SSH.2012.3.1-1 | Award Amount: 7.43M | Year: 2013

The starting point for MOPACT is the ambitious goals set by Horizon 2020 and the European Innovation Partnership Pilot Project on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIPAHA). Our response is ambitious too: we aim to provide the research and practical evidence upon which Europe can make longevity an asset for social and economic development. MOPACT will create a high quality, multi-disciplinary critical mass of leading researchers and, in the closest possible partnership with stakeholders and through a carefully planned iterative process, build a compendium of essential state-of-the-art and foresight intelligence upon which to develop the policy, practice, service and product developments and innovations required to meet the goals of Horizon 2020 and, in particular, the EIPAHA. Active and healthy ageing is the primary focus of MOPACT and it will build on the momentum created by EY2012.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SST.2010.1.1-3. | Award Amount: 8.16M | Year: 2011

Ground vibration, effected by rail services, is an important environmental concern, affecting European citizens nearby any rail infrastructure. Surveys show that many Europeans are subjected to annoying levels of feelable vibration and vibration-induced noise. Although solutions are available for track in tunnels, tracks at grade are a much more extensive problem even for vibration-induced noise. However, solutions for tracks at grade are lacking: for some problems currently no feasible solutions at reasonable cost are available. A group of railway operators, infrastructure managers, infrastructure and rolling stock manufacturers, and construction companies, end users of vibration mitigation technology, have gathered, to propose a major project for Railway Induced Vibration Abatement Solutions (RIVAS). They aim at providing tools and methods to reduce vibration below the threshold of annoynace and induced noise below background levels by 2013. The group includes the expertise of research organisations and universities with specialist laboratory and theoretical modelling facilities. The issues are treated in a holistic way with the focus on reducing the annoyance to lineside residents. The project examines all vibration effects and aspects of the system: vehicle, track, propagation, freight and high-speed rail services. WP1 establishes the test procedures to monitor and control the performance of vibration mitigation measures under realistic conditions WP2 develops and evaluates mitigation measures based on reducing the excitation of vibration at the vehicletrack interface by improved maintenance WP3 develops and evaluates mitigation measures for ballasted and slab tracks WP4 will develop and evaluate mitigation measures based on sub-grade improvement and ground barriers within the railway infrastructure WP5 addresses the impact of the vehicle Each of the solutions is to be validated with field tests on the major European rail networks represented in RIVAS


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.3.5 | Award Amount: 4.54M | Year: 2011

2-micron fibre laser technology has the potential to open a whole new area of ICT & industrial applications. The well-known power scaling advantages, from increased core size & higher non-linear thresholds, offer a tenfold increase in raw power compared with current 1-micron technology. Simultaneously, a host of applications specific to this almost unexplored region of the eye-safe spectrum become possible, including: industrial processing, free-space communications & medical procedures. Undoubtedly more will arise as currently exotic wavelengths become readily available. To date, the lack of suitable components has blocked R&D in this field. However, several recent disruptive component developments have changed the landscape: 1) Ho-doped silica fibre technology has advanced, providing a solid base for development; 2) All-fibre component technology offers integrated functionality; 3) Better isolator materials and new designs offer realistic potential for effective 2-micron devices; 4) New modulator materials & designs allow Q-switches, filters & switches; 5) Carbon nanotube composites offer effective sub-ps modelockers; 6) 790nm diode technology is ripe for development, for optimum direct pumping of Tm. ISLA will seize this opportunity to develop a set of building blocks to define an integrated modular common platform for 2-micron Ho-doped fibre lasers consisting of compatible and self-consistent fibre, components and laser diodes. Not only will advances beyond the state-of-the-art in each of these component areas be achieved, but this will be attained through a coordinated program to deliver a genuinely integrated technology platform. Continuous wave, pulsed and short pulse lasers will be demonstrated through industrial applications (transparent plastic cutting and PV cell scribing). An industrial user group will identify new applications and aid exploitation routes, and the project results will be promoted within recognised standards bodies to benefit the whole of EU industry


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: REGIONS-2012-2013-1 | Award Amount: 2.07M | Year: 2012

The global maritime market is on a strong growth trajectory, and this project aims to harness that growth to create economic and employment benefits for Europe. On the one hand, growth is driven by commercial megatrends such as demand for marine/offshore renewable energy, fish products and emerging potential for blue biotech products; on the other hand, there is high demand for efficient use and management of the ocean resource, as described in the EU Integrated Maritime Strategy. Increasing Europes innovation capacity in maritime resource efficiency will underpin successful exploitation of these growth opportunities. Traditionally, the maritime industries have been slow to explore how demands for resource efficiency would impact on them. Fish stock depletion and rising fuel costs have, of course, risen quickly up the political and commercial agendas, and shipping companies as well as builders and engine manufacturers have invested in improving fuel efficiency. However, the wider needs for maritime resource efficiency are posing challenges which in many cases lack viable solutions. Emerging marine activities (for example in exploiting marine renewable energy) are presenting new opportunities for innovation, but are also highlighting areas where further improvements in resource efficiency need to be achieved. European member states contain a number of Regional Research Driven Clusters (RRDCs) which are active in the fields of maritime development and marine & coastal resource management. This project will add significant value to this existing cluster infrastructure, via three main approaches that will support their long-term development and sustainability: Facilitating interaction and knowledge exchange between RRDCs each focused on its world-class strengths (Smart Specialisation); Raising the effectiveness of RRDCs by strengthening shared approaches to innovation support Using RRDC activities to stimulate involvement of supply chain companies


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2012-1.1.24. | Award Amount: 23.40M | Year: 2013

Research accelerators are facing important challenges that must be addressed in the years to come: existing infrastructures are stretched to all performance frontiers, new world-class facilities on the ESFRI roadmap are starting or nearing completion, and strategic decisions are needed for future accelerators and major upgrades in Europe. While current projects concentrate on their specific objectives, EuCARD-2 brings a global view to accelerator research, coordinating a consortium of 40 accelerator laboratories, technology institutes, universities and industry to jointly address common challenges. By promoting complementary expertise, cross-disciplinary fertilisation and a wider sharing of knowledge and technologies throughout academia and with industry, EuCARD-2 significantly enhances multidisciplinary R&D for European accelerators. This new project will actively contribute to the development of a European Research Area in accelerator science by effectively implementing a distributed accelerator laboratory in Europe. Transnational access will be granted to state-of-the-art test facilities, and joint R&D effort will build upon and exceed that of the ongoing EuCARD project. Researchers will concentrate on a few well-focused themes with very ambitious deliverables: 20 T accelerator magnets, innovative materials for collimation of extreme beams, new high-gradient high-efficiency accelerating systems, and emerging acceleration technologies based on lasers and plasmas. EuCARD-2 will include six networks on strategic topics to reinforce synergies between communities active at all frontiers, extending the scope towards innovation and societal applications. The networks concentrate on extreme beam performance, novel accelerator concepts with outstanding potential, energy efficiency and accelerator applications in the fields of medicine, industry, environment and energy. One network will oversee the whole project to proactively catalyze links to industry and the innovation potential.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: AAT.2012.1.4-2. | Award Amount: 30.14M | Year: 2012

Future aero engines will need to be more efficient and contribute to the reduction on environmental impact of air transportation. They must reach some standards of performance by reducing emissions and creating some savings on operation costs. EIMG consortium has launched since several years some initiatives to develop future engines in the frame of the European Committee research programmes. Within different project such as DREAM, VITAL, NEWAC or LEMCOTEC, EIMG is ensuring the development of innovative technologies in order to further reduce the fuel burn, emissions and noise. In order to ensure the technological breakthrough, future aero-engines will have higher overall pressure ratios (OPR) to increase thermal efficiency and will have higher bypass ratios (BPR) to increase propulsive efficiency. These lead to smaller and hotter high pressure cores. As core engine technologies have been addressed in the previous project, E-BREAK project will ensure the mandatory evolution of sub-systems. It is indeed required for enabling integration of engine with new core technologies to develop adequate technologies for sub-systems. E-BREAK will aim to adapt sub-systems to new constraints of temperature and pressure. The overall picture of these initiatives bring all technology bricks to a TRL level ensuring the possibility to integrate them in a new aero engines generation before 2020. In its 2020 vision, ACARE aims to reduce by 50% per passenger kilometer CO2 emissions with an engine contribution targeting a decrease by 15 to 20% of the SFC. NOX emissions would have to be reduced by 80 % and efforts need to be made on other emissions. E-BREAK will be an enabler of the future UHOPR integrated engine development, completing efforts done in previous or in on-going Level 2 programs.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.1-3 | Award Amount: 5.64M | Year: 2013

Coastal areas concentrate vulnerability to climate change due to high levels of population, economic activity and ecological values. Because of that RISES-AM- addresses the economy-wide impacts of coastal systems to various types of high-end climatic scenarios (including marine and riverine variables). It encompasses analyses from global to local scales across the full range of RCPs and SSPs. It considers the still significant uncertainties in drivers (physical and socio-economic) and coastal system responses (e.g. land loss or uses, biological functions, economic productivity) within a hazard-vulnerability-risk approach. The emphasis is on the advantages of flexible management with novel types of coastal interventions (e.g. green options) within an adaptive pathway whose tipping points will be identified/quantified in the project. The assessment of impacts and adaptation deficits will be based on modelling tools that will provide a set of objective and homogeneous comparisons. The extended/improved suite of models will be applied across scales and focusing on the most vulnerable coastal archetypes such as deltas, estuaries, port cities and small islands. This will lead to a motivated analysis of the synergies and trade-offs between mitigation and adaptation, including what level and timing of climate mitigation is needed to avoid social, ecological and economic adaptation tipping points in coastal areas. We shall evaluate the direct and indirect costs of high-end scenarios (e.g. the increasing demand for safety under increasingly adverse conditions) for coasts with/without climate change and contribute to determining which policy responses are needed at the European and global levels in the context of international climate discussions. The project will finally transfer results to authorities, users and stakeholders from all economic sectors converging in coastal zones, including the climate research community dealing with more generalistic assessments.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.4.3-4 | Award Amount: 3.89M | Year: 2012

Despite a strong genetic component to diabetes and obesity, the rapidly rising prevalence of these disorders is due to adaptation to a changing environment. The epicentre of the diabetes epidemic is in South Asia and this is reflected in the migrant populations in Europe. Current prevention strategies are focused on adult life and target over-nutrition in high-risk adults. However, for many population groups across the globe, these strategies ignore many key principles that underlie the increasing global prevalence of these diseases. A substantial portion of the South Asian people, living in their home countries experience nutrition deprivation, while after migration to Europe, may encounter nutritional abundance resulting in imbalance during their lifecourse. These conditions are of particular importance during foetal and early developmental stages where environmental insults may interact with genetic risk to induce foetal programming of adult metabolic disease. Few groups have targeted early life programming as an opportunity for the prevention of diabetes/obesity in childhood and subsequent adult life and there are limited guidelines on this topic. The proposed grant will bring together a unique group of investigators in South Asia (India, Bangladesh and Pakistan) and Europe (UK, Norway, Germany and Finland) with SMEs of complementary expertise (Germany and Spain) combining prevention strategies, state-of-the-art genomics, social sciences and public health that focus on these early life predictors of disease. The major objective behind this collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach is to combine knowledge from the work packages on lifestyle, nutrition and genomics to both inform public health policy through guideline development and design a large-scale pragmatic intervention to prevent the metabolic syndrome, obesity and diabetes in South Asian populations aimed at early life taking into account multi-generational effects.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: FI.ICT-2011.1.9 | Award Amount: 17.98M | Year: 2013

XIFI will establish a sustainable marketplace for trial infrastructures and Future Internet services.XIFI will achieve this vision by integrating and federating a multiplicity of heterogeneous environments starting from the generic and specific enablers provided by the FI-WARE core platform and the FI-PPP use cases and early trials.Through this approach XIFI will demonstrate and validate the potential and capabilities of a unified market for Future Internet facilities overcoming a number of existing limitations to the current set of Future Internet experimental infrastructures available across Europe, such as fragmentation, interoperability and scalability. XIFI will also extend its efforts to include the results of other Future Internet services and R&D work.Initially the federation of infrastructures will consist of a core backbone five nodes located in five different European countries enabled with the Technology Foundation services (from the FI-PPP project FI-WARE) to be ready before the start of FI-PPP phase 3 (at month 12 of XIFI). This initial set will be enlarged during the second year with new use cases and collaborating local and regional infrastructures.XIFI will provide significant added value to Future Internet service and application developers. Specifically XIFI will: facilitate unified access to large-scale infrastructures by providing a single entry point for users provide access to generic enablers with assured QoS and reliability that go beyond best effort offer a federation service through which the infrastructures can offer their capabilities using new and existing business models enable infrastructures to be shared across different use casesXIFI will provide training, support and assistance including integration guidelines and the promotion of best practice between large-scale trials and infrastructure nodes. These activities aim at facilitating the uptake and continued use of the FI-PPP results.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: ICT-15-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 18.70M | Year: 2017

Big Data will have a profound economic and societal impact in the mobility and logistics sector, which is one of the most-used industries in the world contributing to approximately 15% of GDP. Big Data is expected to lead to 500 billion USD in value worldwide in the form of time and fuel savings, and savings of 380 megatons CO2 in mobility and logistics. With freight transport activities projected to increase by 40% in 2030, transforming the current mobility and logistics processes to become significantly more efficient, will have a profound impact. A 10% efficiency improvement may lead to EU cost savings of 100 BEUR. Despite these promises, interestingly only 19 % of EU mobility and logistics companies employ Big Data solutions as part of value creation and business processes. The TransformingTransport project will demonstrate, in a realistic, measurable, and replicable way the transformations that Big Data will bring to the mobility and logistics market. To this end, TransformingTransport, validates the technical and economic viability of Big Data to reshape transport processes and services to significantly increase operational efficiency, deliver improved customer experience, and foster new business models. TransformingTransport will address seven pilot domains of major importance for the mobility and logistics sector in Europe: (1) Smart High-ways, (2) Sustainable Vehicle Fleets, (3) Proactive Rail Infrastructures, (4) Ports as Intelligent Logistics Hubs, (5) Efficient Air Transport, (6) Multi-modal Urban Mobility, (7) Dynamic Supply Chains. The TransformingTransport consortium combines knowledge and solutions of major European ICT and Big Data technology providers together with the competence and experience of key European industry players in the mobility and logistics domain.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-10-2015 | Award Amount: 1.97M | Year: 2016

WHY: 2015 has been named by the United Nations as the International Year of Light (light2015.org). Light has had many obvious benefits for human mankind, but it also poses some relevant threats: the everyday-increasing excess of light thrown by humans to the sky seriously threatens to remove forever one of humanitys natural wonders, the view of our universe. More importantly, it has also an adverse impact on our environment and economy (energy wasted to the sky costs 2 billion US$ per year in the USA and 6,3 billion per year in Europe) and on the health of hundreds of species, including pathologies in human beings (e.g., stress, insomnia). Many professional and amateur scientists are already fighting against light pollution. However, it is necessary to increase social awareness about the importance of preserving the darkness of our cities and environment. WHAT: STARS4ALL will create an Light Pollution Initiative (LPI) incubation platform that will allow generating (and maintaining) customizable on-demand domain-focused LPIs (e.g., a light pollution working group in Brussels). The platform will be self-sustainable: it will integrate a crowdfunding tool to obtain funding for the LPIs; it will consider incentives that motivate citizens to participate in LPIs, as well as policies to handle those incentives; and it will provide innovations in data acquisition from sensors deployed by citizens and in games with a purpose. HOW: STARS4ALL will initially deploy 10 LPIs, which will be available by the end of the 1st semester of project execution, and will be operating and creating collective awareness during the rest of the project. At that moment we pave the way the creation of other LPIs by citizens, specially in other disciplines such as Energy Saving, Biodiversity, and Human Health, and will organize open competitions among them.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SiS-2010-2.2.1.1 | Award Amount: 3.19M | Year: 2011

This project is about setting up a Europe-wide network for professionals and academics in the area of Primary Science Education. The aim is to provide training and professional support to teachers to help them use Inquiry based learning in Science in schools. The platform at European level will network professionals as well as support the organisation of training courses. It also recognises teachers and researchers achievements in implementing Inquiry-based learning in science, as well as provide an opportunity for teachers and academics to share their experiences and successes. The project will concurrently also take small projects in primary science education, and promote them on a larger scale in order to provide examples of Inquiry Based teaching approaches to have an impact at European level. The project includes several previous projects, mainly: using an already developed theoretical pedagogical model for the teaching of science at primary level for developing teaching resources (developed as part of Comenius 1 and 2 projects); utilising the European network for primary school teachers to provide training and professional development to primary science teacher trainers; as well as providing in-service training opportunities based on experience of partners in implementing ERASMUS intensive courses for primary school teachers on a national and international level. Pri_Sci_Net aims to establish a European community of primary science educators working within the Inquiry Based approach.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: MG-2.1-2014 | Award Amount: 18.00M | Year: 2015

IN2RAIL is to set the foundations for a resilient, consistent, cost-efficient, high capacity European network by delivering important building blocks that unlock the innovation potential that exists in SHIFT2RAIL: innovative technologies will be explored and resulting concepts embedded in a systems framework where infrastructure, information management, maintenance techniques, energy, and engineering are integrated, optimised, shared and exploited. IN2RAIL will make advances towards SHIFT2RAIL objectives: enhancing the existing capacity fulfilling user demand; increasing the reliability delivering better and consistent quality of service; reducing the LCC increasing competitiveness of the EU rail system. To achieve the above, a holistic approach covering Smart Infrastructures, Intelligent Mobility Management (I2M)and Rail Power Supply and Energy Management will be applied. Smart Infrastructure addresses the fundamental design of critical assets - switches and crossings and tracks. It will research components capable of meeting future railway demands and will utilise modern technologies in the process. Risk and condition-based LEAN approaches to optimise RAMS and LCC in asset maintenance activities will be created to tackle the root causes of degradation. I2M researches automated, interoperable and inter-connected advanced traffic management systems; scalable and upgradable systems, utilising standardised products and interfaces, enabling easy migration from legacy systems; the wealth of data and information on assets and traffic status; information management systems adding the capability of nowcasting and forecasting of critical asset statuses. Rail Power Supply and Energy Management create solutions to improve the energy performance of the railway system. Research on new power systems characterised by reduced losses and capable of balancing energy demands, along with innovative energy management systems enabling accurate and precise estimates of energy flows.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SSH.2011.1.2-2 | Award Amount: 1.79M | Year: 2012

Our consortium will investigate innovative approaches in three fields of social services: health, education, and welfare. To do so, we will focus on two levels: (i) the status quo of research in these fields and (ii) the input from practitioners who have developed innovative social services. Special attention will be paid to the transferability of elements, the European value, effects on gender and migration issues as well as on promoting equality and building sustainability, future scenarios involving the quality of services in different perspectives (policy makers, service organizations, user groups etc.), and the accessibility and affordability of services. Thus, our proposal will combine the practical knowledge of praxis organizations with the input from research findings in order to unclose new perspectives and future trends. In a rather unique way using new media and innovative technologies, we will produce distributive material (videos, picture samples, case study brochures) to discuss innovative case studies from all over Europe with stakeholders and researchers. Our main communication tools are based on information technologies, completed by regional workshops. The involvement of many and various national and international stakeholders is the decisive feature of the proposal. We plan to use a peer recommendation approach as well as a snowball sampling method in order to collect and identify good practice examples of innovative services. The disseminating strategy will follow a twin-track approach so that all different kind of stakeholders can benefit from the process as well as from the final product of the project. The final product will be a report indicating the key trends and key elements of innovative services in the fields of health, education, and welfare. It can be used to identify further research agendas as well as to develop new models of social services or to implement existing innovative approaches.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: FI.ICT-2011.1.8 | Award Amount: 17.96M | Year: 2013

According to the 2010 EC Competitiveness Report, Manufacturing is still the driving force of Europes economy, contributing over 6553 billion in GDP and providing more than 30 million jobs. It covers more than 25 different industrial sectors, largely dominated by SMEs, and generates annually over 1535 billion (42%) worth of value added services.\nThe mission of the FITMAN (Future Internet Technologies for MANufacturing industries) project is to provide the FI PPP with a set of industry-led use case trials in the Smart, Digital and Virtual Factories of the Future domains, in order to test and assess the suitability, openness and flexibility of FI-WARE Generic Enablers, this way contributing to the social-technological-economical-environmental-political sustainability of EU Manufacturing Industries.\nIn order to accomplish the mission statement, the FITMAN project will deliver:\n One FITMAN Generic Platform for Manufacturing Industries, as a collection of several Generic Enablers Implementations belonging to most of the identified technological Chapters of FI-WARE project;\n One generic and flexible Trials Verification and Validation Framework, encompassing concepts, methods and tools for a technical and business assessment of the eleven Trials\n One open-to-all FITMAN Phase III Package, to support FI-WARE PPP Phase III objective 1.8, Expansion of Use Cases, by providing access to FITMAN Reports and Prototypes for Phase III preparation and implementation\n Three FITMAN Specific Platforms for Smart, Digital and Virtual Factories, as a collection of several Specific Enablers Implementations belonging to the background of FITMAN beneficiaries and specifically derived from previous RTD projects in the Factories of the Future and Future Internet Enterprise Systems research\n Eleven FITMAN Trials Platforms as instantiation of the selected Generic and Specific Enablers for 11 industry-driven multi-sectorial Trials\n Eleven FITMAN Trial Experimentations by deploying the FITMAN Trials Platforms in realistic Smart-Digital-Virtual Factories IT and business cases, as well as assess and evaluate the achieved results:\ni. Smart Factories Trials: TRW (LE) automotive supplier Safe & Healthy Workplace, PIACENZA (SME) textile/clothing Cloud Manufacturing, COMPLUS (SME) LED smart lighting Collaborative Production, WHIRLPOOL (LE) white goods manufacturer Mobile workforce.\nii. Digital Factories Trials: VOLKSWAGEN (LE) automotive manufacturer PLM ramp-up for reduced Time to Market , AGUSTAWESTLAND (LE) aeronautics manufacturer Training services for blue collar workers, CONSULGAL (SME) construction As-designed vs. As-built Interoperability, AIDIMA (SME) furniture Mass Customised Production.\niii. Virtual Factories Trials: APR (SME) plastic industry Collaboration valorisation, TANet (SME) manufacturing resource management Networked Business Innovation, GEOLOC (SME) Machinery for wood industry Project-based Collaboration.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.1.6 | Award Amount: 6.87M | Year: 2011

Offering collective and participative experiences to real-world and online communities is at the heart of the Future Media Internet (FMI) and will form an essential part of entertainment, education, collaborative working, product and service innovation and advertising. Communities involved potentially include hundreds of professionals, tens of thousands at live public events and millions online. Current FIRE testbeds fail to meet needs of FMI researchers in terms of testbed resources, let alone support such experimentation in the real-world where insights into the behaviour of Future Internet systems are closer to reality. Extensive research into testbeds is needed to support the R&D of large-scale social and networked media systems as well as to understand and manage complex communities and ecosystems.\nEXPERIMEDIA will develop and operate a unique facility that offers researchers what they need for large-scale FMI experiments. Testbed technologies will include user-generated high quality content management and delivery, a 3D Internet platform and tools for 3D reconstruction from live events, augmented reality platform, tools for integration of social networks, access technologies and a range of network connectivity options. Testbed management services will provision, control and monitor resources according to SLAs thus offering QoS guarantees.\nExperiments will be conducted in the real-world at live events and to diverse communities to accelerate the adoption of FMI. Testbeds include the Schladming Ski Resort, the Multi-Sport High Performance Centre of Catalonia, historical sites provided by the Foundation for the Hellenic World and the 3D Innovation Living Lab. Experiments will explore new forms of social interaction and rich media experiences considering the demands of online and real-world communities. The variety of testbeds will ensure the generality of our approach. A Future Media Internet Competence Centre will promote sustainable access to venues for FMI experiments and engagement with the wider community.


Grant
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.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SST.2012.3.1-4. | Award Amount: 15.65M | Year: 2012

European cities face four main mobility problems: congestion, land use , safety and environment. One of the main causes of such problems is the car-ownership rate. The centres of large cities address this issue combining efficient mass transits with car restriction policies but peripheral areas and smaller cities remain dominated by private cars. CityMobil has demonstrated how automating road vehicles can lead to different transport concepts, from partly automated car-share schemes through CyberCars and PRT, to BRT which can make urban mobility more sustainable. However CityMobil has also highlighted three main barriers to the deployment of automated road vehicles: the implementation framework, the legal framework and the unknown wider economic effect. The CityMobil2 goal is to address these barriers and finally to remove them. To smooth the implementation process CityMobil2 will remove the uncertainties which presently hamper procurement and implementation of automated systems. On one hand CityMobil2 features 12 cities which will revise their mobility plans and adopt wherever they will prove effective automated transport systems. Then CityMobil2 will select the best 5 cases (among the 12 cities) to organise demonstrators. The project will procure two sets of automated vehicles and deliver them to the five most motivated cities for a 6 to 8 months demonstration in each city. To change the legal framework CityMobil2 will establish a workgroup with scientists, system builders, cities, and the national certification authorities. The workgroup will to deliver a proposal for a European Directive to set a common legal framework to certify automated transport systems. Finally an industrial study will assess the industrial potential of automated systems on European economy and any eventual negative effect and make a balance of them.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: ICT-20-2015 | Award Amount: 7.09M | Year: 2016

A major obstacle to increase the efficiency, effectiveness and quality of education in Europe is the lack of widely available, accessible, multilingual, timely, engaging and high-quality educational material (i.e. OpenCourseWare). The creation of comprehensive OpenCourseWare (OCW) is tedious, time-consuming and expensive, with the effect, that often courseware employed by teachers, instructors and professors is incomplete, outdated, inaccessible to those with disabilities and dull. With the open-source SlideWiki platform (available at SlideWiki.org) the effort of the creation, translation and evolution of highly-structured remixable OCW can be widely shared (i.e. crowdsourced). Similarly to Wikipedia for encyclopaedic content, SlideWiki allows (1) to collaboratively create comprehensive OCW (curricula, slide presentations, self-assessment tests, illustrations etc.) online in a crowdsourcing manner, (2) to semi-automatically translate this content into more than 50 different languages and to improve the translations in a collaborative manner and (3) to support engagement and social networking of educators and learners around that content. SlideWiki is already used by hundreds of educators, thousands of learners. Several hundred comprehensive course materials are available in SlideWiki in dozens of languages. In this large-scale trial project, we will further mature the SlideWiki technology platform, integrate it with a state-of-the-art MOOC delivery platform and perform four large-scale trials in (1) secondary education, (2) vocational and professional training, (3) higher education and (4) community-driven open-education. Each of these large-scale trials will be performed with hundreds of educators and thousands of learners in countries all over Europe. A particular focus of the technology development and testing in the trials will be the suitability for academics, teachers and learners with disabilities.


King S.F.,University of Southampton | Luhn C.,Durham University
Reports on Progress in Physics | Year: 2013

This is a review paper about neutrino mass and mixing and flavour model building strategies based on discrete family symmetry. After a pedagogical introduction and overview of the whole of neutrino physics, we focus on the PMNS mixing matrix and the latest global fits following the Daya Bay and RENO experiments which measure the reactor angle. We then describe the simple bimaximal, tri-bimaximal and golden ratio patterns of lepton mixing and the deviations required for a non-zero reactor angle, with solar or atmospheric mixing sum rules resulting from charged lepton corrections or residual trimaximal mixing. The different types of see-saw mechanism are then reviewed as well as the sequential dominance mechanism. We then give a mini-review of finite group theory, which may be used as a discrete family symmetry broken by flavons either completely, or with different subgroups preserved in the neutrino and charged lepton sectors. These two approaches are then reviewed in detail in separate chapters including mechanisms for flavon vacuum alignment and different model building strategies that have been proposed to generate the reactor angle. We then briefly review grand unified theories (GUTs) and how they may be combined with discrete family symmetry to describe all quark and lepton masses and mixing. Finally, we discuss three model examples which combine an SU(5) GUT with the discrete family symmetries A4, S4 and Δ(96). © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.1.6 | Award Amount: 1.88M | Year: 2012

This Future Internet Research Experiment addresses an important emerging class of distributed applications known as Real-Time Online Interactive Applications (ROIA). These include multi-player online computer games, advanced simulation-based e-Learning and training platforms, and other applications dependent upon synchronised bidirectional media distribution. These applications are computationally intensive and typically cloud-hosted, and place heavy demands on the network. The loads are also highly variable, depending on the popularity of an application and the behaviour of participants.it is possible to use SLA-based management of cloud hosting across multiple data centres to scale and load balance applications dynamically and securely, while reducing start-up costs. However, network bottlenecks are introduced which limit scalability and quality of experience.\nToday there is no effective means whereby an application can manage the network over which it runs, such that business conflicts can be resolved when the application is distributed across multiple data centres and/or accessed via multiple ISPs, providing a mutually acceptable balance between the needs of ISPs, application providers, network providers and users such that users expectations of performance can be met economically and sustainably for all service providers.\nOFERTIE will extend SLA-based management and APIs, integrating with OpenFlow, the programmable networking technology under-pinning the OFELIA experimental facility. The enhanced SLA-based management system will be used to control the use of computational resources by application processes running at each OFELIA site, and use OpenFlow to control routing decisions at each network switch. We will work with the OFELIA Testbed to run experiments to establish how programmable networks can be used to support appropriate technical solutions and investigate which business models would be able to use these solutions in an economically sustainable fashion


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: FI.ICT-2011.1.8 | Award Amount: 6.43M | Year: 2011

Large European communities generate significant amounts of valuable environmental observations at local and regional scales using mobile communication devices, computers and sensors which are mostly connected to the internet. These communities environmental observations represent a wealth of information which is currently unused and therefore in need for integration with other fragmented data and information sources, traditionally managed by research and educational institutions and industries. ENVIROFI will address such important issues by specifying the requirements, and building conceptual prototypes, of the specific enablers of the environmental usage area in the Future Internet. It will bring these diverse stakeholder communities together to understand environmentally observed processes with higher spatial resolutions and contextual situation awareness at an unprecedented scale.This achievement alone could have a profound socio-economic impact in Europe and contribute towards meeting the global challenges of industrial competitiveness and smart living in this decade. ENVIROFI will explore the advances needed by the stakeholder communities for secure access to decentralized, interactive Internet-enabled geospatial and intelligent fusion services using data from authorities, researchers, people and private sector organisations. It will allow all these participants to plug in their personalised experiments and also feedback into the ENVIROFI Environmental Observation Web.ENVIROFI will consolidate the Future Internet requirements from the Environmental Usage Area perspective and provide important specifications and prototypes of interoperable geospatial Environmental Enablers. These will be deployed in the Terrestrial, Atmospheric and Marine environments in collaboration with large stakeholder communities; and set the stage for large-scale trials in the Environmental Usage Area with a perspective of achieving sustainable socio-economic progress in Europe.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.4.1-2 | Award Amount: 8.23M | Year: 2013

This concerted action aims at providing new treatment options for cancer patients through boosting innovative drug development by European academia and industry. A wealth of preclinical data shows that the therapeutic impact of cytotoxic regimens is enhanced by simultaneous application of drugs that strengthen the immune system. The recent FDA-approval of Ipilimumab demonstrated that cancer immunotherapeutics constitute a clinically effective, marketable drug concept. Ipilimumab is an antagonist immunostimulatory antibody (IS-Ab) that removes the restraint on the immune response by blocking inhibitory receptors on immune cells. Potent immunity can also be elicited by means of agonist IS-Abs that engage activatory receptors. Our program will translate the agonist IS-Ab concept into clinical treatments. This is critical, because a repertoire of complementary drugs that act at different points in the immune regulatory network will be required to counter immune failure in different cancer (sub-)types. Our initiative is supported by longstanding experience as well as by the availability of clinical lead Abs. Pivotal are two clinical trials in which cancer type and treatment regimen have been selected to approximate pre-clinical settings in which striking therapeutic impact with agonist IS-Abs has been obtained. These studies will involve extensive analysis of efficacy-related biomarkers by means of validated assays, not only in blood samples, but also in the most relevant compartment: the tumor microenvironment. While our state-of-the-art agonist IS-Abs are being tested in the clinic, a parallel SME-driven effort will aim at the development of 2nd generation agonist IS-Abs with superior therapeutic index. This innovation is supported by proprietary technology and will result in intellectual property and marketable drugs. Taken together, our interdisciplinary platform is designed to yield maximal benefit for health care, academia and health-related industries in Europe.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2010.2.3-1 | Award Amount: 14.80M | Year: 2012

The development of functional materials for tissue regeneration is today mostly based on perceived and limited design criteria often using a single point approach with lengthy animal trials. The outcome after in-vitro and in-vivo evaluation is often disappointing resulting in a tedious iteration process. The main objective of this project is to achieve radical innovations in state-of-the-art biomaterials and to design highly performing bioinspired materials learning from natural processes. By this outcome driven project comprising first class academic and industrial participants the project will create scientific and technical excellence and through links with these SMEs will strengthen the technological capacity and their ability to operate competitively on an international market. BIODESIGN will (i) perform a careful retrospective-analysis of previous outcomes from clinical studies performed with humans through animal modelling in a reverse engineering approach applied to an in-vitro to the molecular design level, (ii) develop new strategies for a more rational design of ECM mimetic materials serving both as gels and load carrying scaffolds, (iii) link novel designs to adequate and more predictive in-vitro methods allowing significant reduction in development time and use of animals and (iv) evaluate these concepts for musculoskeletal and cardiac regeneration. By the development of safe, ethically and regulatory acceptable, and clinically applicable materials this project will promote harmonization while at the same time creating awareness in society of the benefits of these innovations as one of the key points is to improve health and quality of life of the patients. BIODESIGN will stimulate technological innovation, utilization of research results, transfer of knowledge and technologies and creation of technology based business in Europe. It will also support the development of world-class human resources, making Europe a more attractive to top researchers.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CS2-IA | Phase: JTI-CS2-2015-CFP02-ENG-01-02 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2016

Conventional and Smart Bearings for Ground Test Demo The overall objective of the IBS project is to develop innovative smart bearings for an Ultra High Propulsion Efficiency (UHPE) Ground Test Demonstrator that not only meet the demo specification but also provide significant safety improvement compared to existing standards. IBS pursues an integrated approach comprising the development of sensor technologies, energy harvesting, wireless communication, data management and algorithms to monitor bearing behaviour in challenging operating conditions (e.g. high temperature, high speed and high thrust). As part of the UHPE Demonstration Project, IBS will design, develop, evaluate and test interchangeable conventional and smart bearings for the UHPE demonstrator. The bearing design will fulfil all requirements and safety standards for aerospace applications. The smart bearings will be able to deliver, in real time, information on the bearings main functional characteristics and health including temperature, axial & radial load, ball or roller or cage speed, lubrication quality, radial clearance and premise of failure on each part of the bearing.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRASUPP-4-2015 | Award Amount: 2.50M | Year: 2015

The EDISON project will focus on activities to establish the new profession of Data Scientist, following the emergence of Data Science technologies (also referred to as Data Intensive or Big Data technologies) which changes the way research is done, how scientists think and how the research data are used and shared. This includes definition of the required skills, competences framework/profile, corresponding Body Of Knowledge and model curriculum. It wil develop a sustainability/business model to ensure a sustainable increase of Data Scientists, graduated from universities and trained by other professional education and training institutions in Europe. To achieve this, EDISON will work with the major Data Science stakeholders from academic, research communities and industry, as well as with the professional community to help them to obtain proper education and training and/or formal certification for already practicing self-made Data Scientists, grown from the advanced research projects who want to build a new career in Data Science. Consistent Data Science education and professional training requires besides theoretical knowledge access to real scientific data infrastructure and real large data sets to acquire practical experience and develop data centric thinking. For this, EDISON will leverage on EGI infrastructure and community/activities, as well as products from the APARSEN project, to create a supporting infrastructure for Data Science education and training that will include both example datasets and virtual labs which will allow the students or trainees to work with real data sets, infrastructure and tools. EDISON will facilitate the establishment of a Data Science education and training infrastructure at major European universities by promoting experience of champion universities involving them into coordinated development and implementation of the model curriculum and creation of cooperative educational and training infrastructure.


Patent
Honeywell and University of Southampton | Date: 2014-04-28

Methods for producing lactams from oximes by performing a Beckmann rearrangement using a silicoaluminophosphate catalyst are provided. These catalysts may be used in gas phase or liquid phase reactions to convert oximes into lactams. High conversion of oxime and high selectivity for the desired lactams are produced using the disclosed methods, including high conversion and selectivity for -caprolactam produced from cyclohexanone oxime and high conversion and selectivity for -laurolactam produced from cyclododecanone oxime.


Patent
Honeywell and University of Southampton | Date: 2014-05-09

Methods for producing lactams from oximes by performing a Beckmann rearrangement using a silicoaluminophosphate catalyst are provided. These catalysts may be used in gas phase or liquid phase reactions to convert oximes into lactams. High conversion of oxime and high selectivity for the desired lactams are produced using the disclosed methods, including high conversion and selectivity for -caprolactam produced from cyclohexanone oxime and high conversion and selectivity for -laurolactam produced from cyclododecanone oxime.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: ICT-14-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 7.07M | Year: 2017

Information technology has driven, directly or indirectly, much of Europes economic growth during the last decades as the role of data transitioned from the support of business decisions to becoming a good in itself. An open approach towards data value creation has become critical in the new networked economy, with Europe well placed to nurture this new revolution. However, to date Europes data economy has yet to achieve the same levels of growth as those in the US and Asia. Data Pitch will seek to address this critical gap by creating a transnational, Europe-wide data innovation ecosystem that will bring together data owners and Big Data technology providers, with startups and SMEs with fresh ideas for data-driven products and services. Our project will: - explore the critical factors that impact the way organisations create value from sharing data; - organise a competition addressing economic, societal, and environmental challenges, present and future, to identify promising digital innovators and data-empowered solutions; - create a cross-sectoral, secure data experimentation facility which will offer the winners of this competition a purposeful environment to nurture their ideas; and - support them by solving common concerns through funding, technical, legal, marketing, and commercial assistance. Drawing on the experience from key players in the consortium, we will establish a European Data Innovation Lab (DIL), guided and promoted by the hugely visible engagement channels and commentators at the Guardian and an international network of hundreds of organisations that have already confirmed their intention to join forces with and support Data Pitch. Together with them we will make the European data economy stronger and help the region re-gain leadership in innovation through digital transformation.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: LCE-15-2015 | Award Amount: 15.97M | Year: 2016

STEMM-CCS is an ambitious research and innovation project on geological carbon dioxide (CO2) storage that will deliver new insights, guidelines for best practice, and tools for all phases of the CO2 storage cycle at ocean Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) sites. It brings together the main operator (Shell) of the worlds first commercial scale full-chain ocean demonstration CCS project (Peterhead Project) with the leading scientific and academic researchers in the field of ocean CCS. The work performed in STEMM-CCS will add value to this existing operational programme, and fill gaps in future capability by providing generically applicable definitive guides, technologies and techniques informing how to select a site for CCS operations, how to undertake a risk assessment, how best to monitor the operations, how to provide information on fluxes and quantification of any leakage; necessary for the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and to guide mitigation/remediation actions. All of this information will be used to better communicate the case for offshore CCS, with a particular focus on communities directly and indirectly impacted. During STEMM-CCS we will perform a simulated CO2 leak beneath the surface sediments at the site to be used for CCS as part of the Peterhead project. This experiment will be used to test CO2 leak detection, leak quantification, impact assessment, and mitigation/remediation decision support techniques currently at the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) stage 4-5 and support their development to a higher TRL. In addition, using new geophysical approaches STEMM-CCS will develop tools to assess leakage from natural geological features (e.g. chimneys) and engineered structures such as abandoned wells. The Peterhead project will commence during the life of STEMM-CCS and so a unique aspect is the focus on a real-world ocean CCS site covering its initial phases of implementation, with direct involvement of industrial partners.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-10-2015 | Award Amount: 1.19M | Year: 2016

Food waste has received global attention as a major sustainability challenge, with significant implications for the economy, society and the environment. At the same time, it represents a global paradox: whilst a large amount of the food produced each year is wasted, there are huge numbers of people suffering from hunger. SavingFood offers a novel approach to tackle food waste by turning this environmental issue into an innovative solution to fight hunger. The project builds on the collaborative power of ICT networks and creates an online community of citizens, food waste stakeholders and policy makers that through knowledge creation and sharing they are empowered to take direct action and become part of the suggested food waste solution. Through the use of advanced open source tools connected to a social networking environment SavingFood facilitates the redistribution of surplus food to those in need, ensures that no food is wasted through lack of communication, supports the participation of people in organised as well as ad hoc events around food saving and encourages wide debate. Leveraging on the collaborative power of social networks and by activating the collective intelligence of citizens SavingFood seeks to create a social movement for tackling food waste and influence lifestyles towards a more sustainable future.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 3.82M | Year: 2012

NEUTRINOS AND DARK MATTER are the most abundant particles in the universe and yet they remained unnoticed -invisible- for a long time, due to their tenuous couplings to the ordinary matter we are composed of. Neutrino masses inferred from neutrino oscillations and the existence of dark matter constitute the first evidence ever of particle physics beyond the Standard Model. A wide experimental program focused on the properties of both type of particles is imminent and major breakthroughs are expected soon. The road to build the New Standard Model of particle physics is open: the theory must encompass the nature and properties of neutrinos and dark matter, besides those of ordinary matter. The mission of INVISIBLES ITN is to form the new generation of young researchers which will accomplish this task. It will focus on neutrino and dark matter phenomenology and their connection, with the indispensable link to experiment and a deep understanding of theoretical and astroparticle issues. It will be the first transnational program on these topics, exploiting the capital investment in new experimental facilities and overcoming the fragmentation of the research effort. INVISIBLES ITN is uniquely placed to achieve its goal: i) World-leadership in all relevant scientific areas; ii) A novel multidisciplinary approach fostering the neutrino-dark matter synergy; iii) In addition to theorists, inclusion of key experimentalists; theory-experiment cross training is a unique characteristic of this ITN; iv) Outstanding training record; v) CERN, Fermilab, XENON and SuperKamiokande -the four major experimental players- as partners; vi) Partnership with the world-leader research-related industry and cutting-edge technology transfer; vii) Strong outreach and communication program, with two dedicated companies; viii) Top-quality expertise from emergent countries; ix) Optimal in gender balance and role models, with over 60% female and mostly junior international leaders as coordinators.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.1.6 | Award Amount: 11.07M | Year: 2012

A federation of experimentation facilities will significantly accelerate Future Internet research. Fed4FIRE will deliver open and easily accessible facilities to the FIRE experimentation communities, which focus on fixed and wireless infrastructures, services and applications, and combinations thereof. The project will develop a demand-driven common federation framework, based on an open architecture and specification. It will be widely adopted by facilities and promoted internationally. This framework will provide simple, efficient, and cost effective experimental processes built around experimenters and facility owners requirements. Insight into technical and socio-economic metrics, and how the introduction of new technologies into Future Internet facilities influences them, will be provided by harmonized and comprehensive measurement techniques. Tools and services supporting dynamic federated identities, access control, and SLA management will increase the trustworthiness of the federation and its facilities. A FIRE portal will offer brokering, user access management and measurements. Professional technical staff will offer first-line and second-line support to make the federation simple to use. The project will use open calls to support innovative experiments from academia and industry and to adapt additional experimentation facilities for compliance with Fed4FIRE specifications. A federation authority will be established to approve facilities and to promote desirable operational policies that simplify federation. A Federation Standardization Task Force will prepare for sustainable standardization beyond the end of the project. The adoption of the Fed4FIRE common federation framework by the FIRE facilities, the widespread usage by both academic and industrial experimenters, and the strong links with other national and international initiatives such as the FI-PPP, will pave the way to sustainability towards Horizon 2020.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2014 | Award Amount: 328.50K | Year: 2015

On July 4th CERN has announced the discovery of a scalar particle at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), later identified as the Higgs boson. This scientific breakthrough was accomplished due to the joint efforts of thousands of scientists from all around the globe. This long awaited discovery increased our understanding of the world, providing an explanation for the mechanism from which all elementary particles acquire mass. However, there are still fundamental questions awaiting a clear answer: which model better describes nature when all observed properties of this new particle are taken into consideration? Will these new models help to solve other outstanding problems in elementary particle physics? The goal of this project is to look for answers to these crucial questions regarding our understanding of nature. In order to address the problem we have gathered a group of people with complementary expertises that range from model builders to high-energy tool developers who will finally make the connection to the LHCs experimental collaborations. We expect that this interaction between the different nodes of this international collaboration will result in a database together with high-energy tools where a number of models will be readily available for testing by the experimental groups at the LHC and future colliders. The staff exchange will be planned according to the needs of the project. There have been collaborations in the past between some of the nodes. We now expect that the proposed staff exchange will enhance this Higgs physics network, with an effective skills development both for experienced and early stage researchers. Finally we foresee that the project will not only have an impact on European science but will also contribute to bring together different cultures with a very positive outcome for society as a whole.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.69M | Year: 2013

MARATONE is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network proposal that directly addresses the need for high-level training and career pathways in mental health to increase the inter-sectorial and trans-national employability of young scientists in the academic, public and private sectors to meet the enormous challenge of the 2009 EU Parliament Resolution on Mental Health. The Resolution set out recommendations for a comprehensive and integrated mental health strategy for Europe. MARATONE is designed to address the biggest challenge to implementing this ambitious strategy: the lack of training for career pathways for young scientists in multidisciplinary mental health research. MARATONE is built on the innovative theoretical premise of horizontal epidemiology, the view that psychosocial difficulties associated with mental health disorders are not exclusively determined by the diagnosis of the particular disorder in a vertical, silo-like pattern but horizontally in a manner that reflects commonalities in the lived experience of people with diverse mental health problems. Grounded in this theoretical foundation, MARATONEs multidisciplinary network of partners will collaboratively develop methodologies for measuring the individual and social impact of mental health disorders, so as to create strategies for the social and private sector responses to mental ill health in the form of health promotion and prevention programmes, and at the national level, strategies for human rights protections in policies and programming. The consortium will provide young researchers with scientific expertise in mental health, as well as basic technical and communication skills, including research development and management, international human rights commitments, and commercial exploitation and dissemination.


The clinical evidence indicates that the number of people with all levels of hearing impairment and hearing loss is rising mainly due to a growing global population and longer life expectancies. Hearing loss caused by pathology in the cochlea or the cochlear nerve is classified as sensorineural hearing loss. The study of the normal function and pathology of the inner ear has unique difficulties as it is inaccessible during life and so, conventional techniques of pathologic studies such as biopsy and surgical excision are not feasible.\nSIFEM focuses on the development of a Semantic Infostructure interlinking an open source Finite Element Tool with existing data, models and new knowledge for the multi-scale modelling of the inner-ear with regard to the sensorineural hearing loss. The experts will have access to both the data (micro-CT images, histological data) and inner ear models, while the open-source developed tools and the SIFEM Conceptual Model will be contributed to the VPH toolkit enhancing their reusability. These SIFEM open source tools and services enhance and accelerate the delivery of validated and robust multi-scale models by focusing on: (i) Finite Element Models manipulation and development, (ii) cochlea reconstruction and (iii) 3D inner ear models visualization.\nThe final outcome is the development of a functional, 3D, multi-scale and validated inner-ear model that includes details of the micromechanics, cochlea geometry, supporting structures, surrounding fluid environment and vibration patterns. In the open context that the project addresses the results can be used to better identify the mechanisms that are responsible for the highly sensitive and dynamic properties of hearing loss. These result to the description of alterations that are connected to diverse cochlear disorders and assist the experts to better assess each patients condition leading to more efficient treatment and rehabilitation planning and, in long-term, to personalized healthcare.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SEC-2010.2.3-1 | Award Amount: 4.11M | Year: 2011

The DESURBS project makes significant and novel advances with the following developments: 1) An urban space security event database that includes incidents or near misses that have (or might have) resulted in injury or loss of life, damage to urban spaces, the auxiliary infrastructures supporting those spaces, or the surrounding natural environment 2) An integrated security and resilience (ISR) design framework that engages local stakeholders for identifying vulnerabilities and improving urban spaces with respect to security threats. 3) Comprehensive and generic supporting tools and methodologies including urban resilient design guidelines and quantitative risk and vulnerability assessment models, tools and technologies to facilitate the qualitative ISR assessment process. 4) A web-based Decision Support System Portal integrating the projects outputs and including tailored visualization and mapping tools to help end users better understand the vulnerabilities and design possibilities. An objective rating scale for quantifying safety of different urban space designs is developed and used to show that DESURBS solutions result in urban spaces less prone for and less affected by security threats. Primary case studies with end users in Jerusalem in Israel, Nottingham in the UK and Barcelona in Spain inform the development process. The consortium consists of eight partners from five countries, and includes academic and research institutions as well as an SME for exploiting the projects outputs among end-users and stakeholders. The SME partner is committed to maintaining, updating and hosting the DESURBS Decision Support System Portal and associated databases and tools after the lifetime of the project. An Advisory Board with members from governmental and municipal urban planning and preparedness organizations ensures that the DESURBS advances are relevant, exploitable and will have the desired impact for end users.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: NERC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 381.35K | Year: 2014

The sensitivity of global climate to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels is one of the biggest issues currently facing humanity. Quantifying the sensitivity of the Earths climate system to changes in CO2 levels in the geologic past is one way of reducing the uncertainty in future climate predictions. If man-made (anthropogenic) CO2 emissions to the atmosphere follow projected rates, by 2100 concentrations will reach values not seen on Earth since the Oligocene epoch ~23 to 34 million years ago (Ma). Back then, geologists infer that Earth was warmer than today, featuring a genuinely green Greenland and a waxing and waning East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) that drove high amplitude sea level change (~40 m). These startling observations provide a powerful incentive to improve our understanding of the workings of that past climate system. The focus of this proposal is on an important, but understudied, interval of time (~26 to 28 Ma) for which published palaeoclimate records indicate the biggest repeated (100 thousand-year time scale) changes in Antarctic ice volume and high-latitude temperatures of the entire Oligocene epoch. Our proposed study will generate geological data to both test this interpretation of Oligocene high-latitude climate instability and further elucidate the nature of ice-sheet and temperature variability. Validation of the existence of dynamic Antarctic ice sheets, however, would present a major scientific problem because numerical analysis of ice sheet behavior suggests that, in the absence of big changes in CO2 levels, a large Antarctic ice sheet should be stable once formed because of strong hysteresis properties associated with ice sheet geometry. Several important questions are therefore raised: 1. How resilient were the early Antarctic ice sheets to CO2 change? 2. Do the numerical models give a false sense of the stability of both the Oligocene and, by extension, present day East Antarctic Ice Sheet? 3. Was Oligocene CO2 variability much greater than indicated in existing reconstructions? 4. Is it possible that ice sheets existed beyond Antarctica during the Oligocene? The main factor that has limited progress in tackling these questions has been a lack of suitable sedimentary sections on which to work. We propose to exploit new deep-sea sediment archives recovered from the Antarctic and Newfoundland margins during Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expeditions 318 and 342, respectively, on which our investigator team played significant roles (see Part 1, Case for Support). Our project will use (i) the Antarctic cores to test for the erosive products of dynamic behaviour (advance and retreat) on the East Antarctic margin, and (ii) the Newfoundland cores to test if high-latitude climatic conditions in the Northern Hemisphere were conducive to ice-sheet growth. Intriguingly, the drill cores from the Newfoundland margin contain abundant conspicuous angular sand sized lithic fragments that have been interpreted to be of ice-rafted origin-hinting at the presence of some form of nearby ice in the Oligocene. Our work will be accomplished through novel investigation of detrital isotope geochemistry on the Antarctic margin and application of organic geochemical temperature proxies in the high-latitude North Atlantic. Critical to our approach will be generation of high-resolution datasets that can be precisely dated and correlated to one another, as well as other high-resolution datasets around the globe.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-01-2014 | Award Amount: 6.14M | Year: 2015

The objective of the ATHLOS Project is to achieve a better understanding of ageing by identifying patterns of healthy ageing pathways or trajectories, the determinants of those patterns, the critical points in time when changes in trajectories are produced, and to propose timely clinical and public health interventions to optimise healthy ageing. Moreover, a new definition of old age based on many characteristics rather than just the classical chronological definition of age will be used for calculating projections in each specific population and guide policy recommendations. To do so, the Consortium will create a harmonised dataset with over 341,000 individuals collated from existing longitudinal studies of ageing and including information on physical and mental health, biomarkers, life style habits, social environment and participation, among others. A single metric of healthy ageing using Item Response Theory (IRT) methods with individual items from the surveys will be used. Diverse statistical methods will be employed to define the trajectories (Generalised Estimating Equations, Structural Equation Modelling, Growth Curve Mixture Modelling, the TRAJ method and classification algorithms). Age Period Cohort will be used in the analysis to understand age cohort effects. Specific interventions both at the clinical and population level will be designed based on projects results and will be disseminated. Additionally, the impact of those interventions on healthy ageing will be assessed with the micro-simulation method. Stakeholders will participate in the definition of outcomes, the creation of interventions and dissemination of results. ATHLOS will make available to scientists and stakeholders its resources by providing access to the methodology of harmonisation and to the mega-data set of ageing cohorts. To maximise the policy impact, target audiences will be indentified and specific materials disseminated.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SME-2011-3 | Award Amount: 1.77M | Year: 2012

Listeria mococytogenes is one of the most important food-borne pathogenic bacteria, having zero tolerance in ready-to-eat and dairy foods. Currently, a novel system for monitoring the contamination levels in industrial food producing plants in a more fast, safe and efficient manner than current tools is being developed in the framework of the BioliSME project (Project No: 232037). Although the project is still active, the individual components of the final system have been developed beyond the stage of proof-of-concept. Therefore, the Project Consortium (comprising 4 SMEs and 3 RTD performes) wishes to launch a follow-up project (BioliSME II) in order to demonstrate, validate and promote (at an exploratory commercial level) the novel assay system for L. mococytogenes. The Project will be implemented in the following Work Packages: WP1 - Subsystem integration to final demonstrator WP2 - Production of several demonstrators WP3 - Organization and execution of trial tests WP4 - IP protection WP5 - Validation and dissemination WP6 - Management


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.4.4-2 | Award Amount: 3.85M | Year: 2012

Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD) is a rare genetically heterogeneous disorder which results from dysfunction of motile hair-like organelles (cilia) that results in severe, chronic airways disease. Due to other cilia-related disease mechanisms several other organ systems like the heart can be affected. The complexity of the disease phenotype, late diagnosis, as well as lack of evidence based management guidelines contribute to a high burden of disease and cause high health care costs. Therefore, there is a great need for observational trials as well as well-designed randomised controlled trials to put evidence-based diagnostic and treatment approaches into effect. The main objective of our project is to improve diagnosis and treatment of PCD patients. To accomplish this, we propose to: 1) Establish widespread, early diagnosis by introduction of nasal Nitric Oxide measurement as screening tool, and by introduction of high-speed videomicroscopy as diagnostic tool; 2) Develop new outcome criteria, especially a PCD-specific quality of life questionnaire, as a prerequisite for controlled PCD trials; 3) Establish a PCD registry for both cross-sectional analysis of current disease status and longitudinal observational analysis of disease progression under different regimens; 4) Generate evidence-based treatment guidelines by conducting two prospective randomized trials on the inhalation of hypertonic saline and long term azithromycin therapy. To achieve these goals members of the European Respiratory Societys PCD task force will join forces with members of the NIH-funded US-PCD-network. In our multi-national project, we will for the first time establish evidence-based guidelines for diagnosis, clinical management and therapy. We expect that in a high proportion of children the diagnosis will be established before irreversible lung damage has occurred. In later diagnosed individuals the disease burden will be reduced and chronic respiratory failure retarded.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 4.23M | Year: 2013

LAPASO will provide a unique training opportunity for 15 fellows in a highly interdisciplinary and intersectorial environment with the overarching scientific objective of advancing diagnostics in a wide range of critical medical conditions using advanced microfluidics and nanobiotechnology integration. Microfluidic particle fractionation based on the inherent properties of e.g. cells, microorganisms, organelles offers significant improvements over conventional techniques in terms of ease of handling and usage, speed and reductions in cost. We will consolidate the field at the European level and create a unique comprehensive training program that rests on solid experimental and theoretical foundations. Three leading experimental groups will provide the technological development of microfluidic label-free sorting based on dielectrophoresis, deterministic lateral displacement and acoustophoresis with strong support from leading theorists. The technology will be used to address key medical questions defined by our biomedical collaborators and partners in parasitology, bacteriology and oncology. Three companies are engaged to provide an industrial perspective on our work, specifically from a technological point of view with respect to treatment of infectious disease, advanced fluidics handling and DNA analysis and mass production of devices. To ensure an efficient transfer of knowledge across disciplines and across sectors the work will take place in close collaboration through frequent ESR/ER exchange between the partners. The training of a next generation of researchers will ensure the implementation and dissemination of these powerful novel key techniques to industry and end-users. Through the strong interdisciplinary and intersectorial character of the network, the ESR and ER will receive a uniquely comprehensive training above what a traditional postgraduate training would offer that in turn gives them a strong competitive advantage in both academia and industry.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2011.4.3 | Award Amount: 2.23M | Year: 2013

The long-term preservation of digital audiovisual media presents a range of complex technological, organisational, economic and rights-related issues, which have been the subject of intensive research over the past fifteen years at national, European and international levels. Although good solutions are emerging, and there is a large body of expertise at a few specialist centres, it is very difficult for the great majority of media owners to gain access to advanced audiovisual preservation technologies. Presto4U will focus research efforts onto useful technological solutions, raise awareness and improve the adoption of audiovisual preservation research results, both by service providers and media owners, and with a particular emphasis on meeting the needs of smaller collections, private sector media owners and new stakeholders.The project will:- Create a series of Communities of Practice in the principal sub-sectors of audiovisual media preservation, which will develop a body of knowledge on the status of digital preservation practice, outstanding problems and needs for access to research results;- Identify useful results of research into digital audiovisual preservation;- Promote the take-up of promising research results by users, technology vendors and service providers, based on results of hands-on technology assessment, promotion of standards, analysis of economic and licensing models, and provision of brokering services;- Raise awareness of the need for audiovisual media preservation and disseminate information about project results;- Evaluate the impact of the project and develop plans for long-term sustainability.The resulting knowledge, tools and services to support the uptake of research, will be maintained after completion by PrestoCentre, the European Competence Centre for audiovisual preservation.The Presto4U Consortium comprises fourteen partners from seven EU countries (NL, UK, FR, IT, DK, IE, AT), covering a wide range of preservation expertise based on extensive research, multiple Communities of Practice, and centres specialising in technology transfer between research and industry.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.4.2 | Award Amount: 3.68M | Year: 2011

The recent massive growth in online media and the rise of user-authored content (e.g weblogs, Twitter, Facebook) has lead to challenges of how to access and interpret these strongly multilingual data, in a timely, efficient, and affordable manner. Scientifically, streaming online media pose new challenges, due to their shorter, noisier, and more colloquial nature. Moreover, they form a temporal stream strongly grounded in events and context. Consequently, existing language technologies fall short on accuracy, scalability and portability.The goal of this project is to deliver. innovative, portable open-source real-time methods for cross-lingual mining and summarisation of large-scale stream media.TrendMiner will achieve this through an inter-disciplinary approach, combining deep linguistic methods from text processing, knowledge-based reasoning from web science, machine learning, economics, and political science. No expensive human annotated data will be required due to our use of time-series data (e.g. financial markets, political polls) as a proxy. A key novelty will be weakly supervised machine learning algorithms for automatic discovery of new trends and correlations. Scalability and affordability will be addressed through a cloud-based infrastructure for real-time text mining from stream media.Results will be validated in two high-profile case studies: financial decision support (with analysts, traders, regulators, and economists) and political analysis and monitoring (with politicians, economists, and political journalists).The techniques will be generic with many business applications: business intelligence, customer relations management, community support. The project will also benefit society and ordinary citizens by enabling enhanced access to government data archives, summarisation of online health information , and tracking of hot societal issues.TrendMiner addresses Objective ICT-2011.4.2 Language Technologies, target outcome b) Information access and mining.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.3.5 | Award Amount: 3.74M | Year: 2011

The mid-infrared spectral region is emerging as the wavelength region of preference for a number of applications including free space communications, absorption spectroscopy, chemical and biological sensing and LIDAR applications. For all the classes of different applications, the key elements of the mid-infrared system are the optical source and the detector.\nThe optical source need is adequately served by the youngest diode laser, the well-known quantum cascade laser. Quantum cascade lasers have reached a certain degree of maturity, however they are still inferior to their near-infrared counterparts in terms of intensity noise and high speed modulation performance. The least developed area in MIR photonics though is photodetection characterized by slow responce and low detectivity performance.\nThe above fundamental technological limitations, besides high cost and complex manipulation, set a barrier in the process of realising miniaturized, high performance photonic systems for MIR applications.\nCLARITY will propose and develop a set of technologies which will radically change the current scenery of mid Infrared photonic systems in terms of performance, size and cost.\nUltimate Goals of CLARITY are to:\n1.\tDesign and implement quantum cascade laser systems with sub-shot noise performance.\n2.\tDesign and implement wide band, highly efficient mid-infrared to near-infrared converters relying on third order nonlinear effects in silicon waveguides and soft-glass fibres.\n3.\tDesign and implement mid-infrared photonic integrated circuits based on III-V and IV materials capable of bringing together the novel technological concepts of the project in a single chip.\n\nUpon its completion, the project will deliver a new class of MIR tools offering at least one order of magnitude higher sensitivity against noise compared to the state of the art solutions and the potential for on chip integration of photonic functions, paving the way for lab on a chip systems at mid-infrared.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: FI.ICT-2011.1.9 | Award Amount: 3.88M | Year: 2011

The INFINITY Support Action will have a positive impact on the success of the FI-PPP programme. Through collaboration with organisations across Europe, INFINITY will capture and communicate information about available infrastructures and any interoperability requirements and issues. INFINITY will document any usage-related operational constraints and seek to identify and foster federation opportunities that could facilitate large scale experimentation and testing.\nA dynamic innovative repository based on a set of community-driven Web tools will be realized to promote the evolving vision of available infrastructures as a living organism. This is supported by a methodology that will promote a consistent categorisation of the infrastructure resources, thereby facilitating a mapping between Use Case requirements and infrastructure offerings.\nThe efficient gathering of data about the available infrastructures is ensured by including key representatives of the important public and private infrastructure stakeholders directly in the consortium and/or as members of a Concertation Board.\nThe Web repository, the close co-operation with the FI-PPP Facilitation CSA and the specific expertise and relationships of the partners will:\n\tsupport the Core Platform by consolidating detail about existing and emerging advanced infrastructures, and help define the required Generic Enablers for seamless integration and enable new and innovative experimentation.\n\tstimulate infrastructure owners to effectively bridge the gap between their current capabilities and Use Case requirements, thereby encouraging investment in upgrades and standards to realise these opportunities, and leading to greater sustainability.\nThe project will produce an evolving series of recommendations, roadmaps, tactical actions and strategies that will enhance the potential for the identified infrastructures to participate in the trialling of FI-PPP Use Cases as the Programme progresses towards Phase 2.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: MG-5.2-2014 | Award Amount: 3.98M | Year: 2015

Goods, waste and service trips in urban areas impose negative traffic and environmental impacts, and there is a need for further roll-out of cost-effective and sustainable solutions. The CITYLAB objective is to develop knowledge and solutions that result in roll-out, up-scaling and further implementation of cost effective strategies, measures and tools for emission free city logistics in urban centres by 2030. The project focuses on four axes for intervention due to their present and future relevance and impact related to topic MG-5.2 objectives: 1) Highly fragmented last-mile deliveries in city centres; 2) Large freight attractors and public administrations; 3) Urban waste, return trips and recycling; 4) Logistics facilities and warehouses. CITYLAB will i) improve basic knowledge and understanding on areas of freight distribution and service trips in urban areas that have received too little attention; ii) test and implement 7 innovative solutions that are promising in terms of impact on traffic, externalities and business profitability and have a high potential for future growth; and iii) provide a platform for replication and spreading supported solutions. The core of CITYLAB is a set of living laboratories, where cities work as contexts for innovation and implementation processes for public and private measures contributing to increased efficiency and sustainable urban logistics. Linkages will be established between the different living labs for exchange of experiences and to develop methodologies for transfer of implementations between cities and between companies. This process will be supported by a strong research team. The outputs from the living labs will include best practice guidance on innovative approaches and how to replicate them. CITYLAB will lay the ground for roll-out, up-scaling and transfer of cost-effective policies and implementations that lead to increased load factors and reduced vehicle movements of freight and service trips in urban areas.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2013-1 | Award Amount: 1.44M | Year: 2013

Outdoor advertising can be split into two main categories, static and dynamic. The static types are much cheaper but apart from producing a lot of waste (paper, glue, ink) they are also limited as they are not capable of real time advertising. In addition, human resources are required for changing images, generating additional costs for the board owners. Dynamic (digital) advertising is becoming more popular but they consume energy constantly and limited in some applications (curved surface, glare of the sun, light pollution). SPABRINK aims to fill the gap between static and dynamic advertising by developing a tool that is capable of displaying static images that can be changed digitally through the internet. SPABRINK will only use energy during the image change and can be operated remotely, hence differentiating it from both existing static and dynamic outdoor advertising. Furthermore, the technology will allow displaying images on curved surfaces making it the only available tool for certain markets (e.g.: advertising columns) The technology will allow onsite printing of adverts and the printed image can be wiped off while the ink can be reused after separation. The end result will be a new advertising tool that can be controlled remotely to display different images periodically without creating waste and will only use energy during image change (could be operated with a battery). This new novel tool will use the innovative combination of existing and new technologies. It will be a low cost, low maintenance advertising board that will be remotely operated to display the required static images in real time. The final product is proposed to be a reusable and self-printing advertising board. This board will consist of a reusable printing surface, a printing module, an ink-remover and collector system, and a specially developed reusable ink. All components will be enclosed into the boards housing allowing the width and height of the board to be flexibly chosen. The flexible printing surface will also allow for use on non-flat surfaces, being ideal for bus stops or advertising pillars.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.2.2-2 | Award Amount: 3.98M | Year: 2012

Developmental plasticity modulated by epigenetic processes such as methylation and post-translational modifications is influenced by early life events and determines risk of age related diseases later in life We propose a multi-disciplinary approach incorporating biochemistry, genetics, epidemiology, epigenetics and bioinformatics to discover novel biomarkers of ageing and interventional pathways to reverse changes at an early stage. A consortium of 8 members including three SMEs leaders in genetics epigenetics, post-translational modifications and metabolomics will investigate plasticity in developmental changes at pre-natal, peri-natal and early life stages on ageing in three European cohorts with rich early life data and age-related health outcomes. The identical twin data which has extensive epigenetic, genetic and metabolomic data will be utilised as a discovery set and the other cohorts will be used for confirmation. This multi-disciplinary project will improve our understanding of the links between fetal or perinatal events and ageing process and by combining the latest technologies in genetics, epigenetics, metabolomics and post-translational modification technologies. It will allow to develop biomarkers of ageing that reflect the role of early development on ageing. Using the collective skills and experience of eight groups at the cutting edge of European genetic and ageing research this project will identify molecular biomarkers detectable in early life that can predict age-related health (or disease) outcomes and identify pathways for intervention that can be modified while changes are still reversible.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.5.1 | Award Amount: 4.30M | Year: 2011

Stroke is a disease with very high socio-economic impact. In average the healthcare expenditure cost for Strokes across different countries in Europe and USA is 3% of their entire healthcare expenditure. This includes inpatient treatment cost, outpatient hospital visits and long-term rehabilitation and care. Analysis showed that costs of long-term care have increased from 13% to 49% of overall costs in average in recent years. Therefore there is an urgent need for devising an effective long-term care and rehabilitation strategy for Stroke patients, which will involve the patients actively in the process while minimising costly human intervention.\nThe StrokeBack project intends to develop an automated remote rehabilitation system by blending advances of ICT and practical clinical knowledge that will empower the patients and their immediate carer for effective application of the rehabilitation protocol in home settings.\nStrokeBack will combine state-of-the-art monitoring devices forming a wireless Body Area Network that enable simultaneous measurement of multiple vital parameters and currently executed movements that are particularly of interest from a Stroke rehabilitation point of view. The measured parameters will be fused using advanced feature extraction and classification algorithms processed on-body, which will denote the accuracy of the executed exercise. The training parameters along with vital data will be stored in a patient health record to which the responsible clinicians and therapists have access so that they can dynamically update the rehabilitation program. By employing manual intervention only when actually necessary, it will eliminate costly human intervention and thereby significantly reduce the associated costs. The increased rehabilitation speed as well as the fact that the rehabilitation training can be done at home directly improves quality of life of patients. To sum up StrokeBack will increase rehabilitation speed while reducing cost.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: EO-2-2015 | Award Amount: 2.67M | Year: 2016

EO4wildlife main objective is to bring large number of multidisciplinary scientists such as biologists, ecologists and ornithologists around the world to collaborate closely together while using European Sentinel Copernicus Earth Observation more heavily and efficiently. In order to reach such important objective, an open service platform and interoperable toolbox will be designed and developed. It will offer high level services that can be accessed by scientists to perform their respective research. The platform front end will be easy-to-use, access and offer dedicated services that will enable them process their geospatial environmental stimulations using Sentinel Earth Observation data that are intelligently combined with other observation sources. Specifically, the EO4wildlife platform will enable the integration of Sentinel data, ARGOS archive databases and real time thematic databank portals, including Wildlifetracking.org, Seabirdtracking.org, and other Earth Observation and MetOcean databases; locally or remotely, and simultaneously. EO4wildlife research specialises in the intelligent management big data, processing, advanced analytics and a Knowledge Base for wildlife migratory behaviour and trends forecast. The research will lead to the development of web-enabled open services using OGC standards for sensor observation and measurements and data processing of heterogeneous geospatial observation data and uncertainties. EO4wildlife will design, implement and validate various scenarios based on real operational use case requirements in the field of wildlife migrations, habitats and behaviour. These include: (1) Management tools for regulatory authorities to achieve real-time advanced decision-making on the protection of protect seabird species; (2) Enhancing scientific knowledge of pelagic fish migrations routes, reproduction and feeding behaviours for better species management; and (3) Setting up tools to assist marine protected areas and management.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: EINFRA-9-2015 | Award Amount: 7.64M | Year: 2015

OpenDreamKit will deliver a flexible toolkit enabling research groups to set up Virtual Research Environments, customised to meet the varied needs of research projects in pure mathematics and applications and supporting the full research life-cycle from exploration, through proof and publication, to archival and sharing of data and code. OpenDreamKit will be built out of a sustainable ecosystem of community-developed open software, databases, and services, including popular tools such as LinBox, MPIR, Sage(sagemath.org), GAP, PariGP, LMFDB, and Singular. We will extend the Jupyter Notebook environment to provide a flexible UI. By improving and unifying existing building blocks, OpenDreamKit will maximise both sustainability and impact, with beneficiaries extending to scientific computing, physics, chemistry, biology and more and including researchers, teachers, and industrial practitioners. We will define a novel component-based VRE architecture and the adapt existing mathematical software, databases, and UI components to work well within it on varied platforms. Interfaces to standard HPC and grid services will be built in. Our architecture will be informed by recent research into the sociology of mathematical collaboration, so as to properly support actual research practice. The ease of set up, adaptability and global impact will be demonstrated in a variety of demonstrator VREs. We will ourselves study the social challenges associated with large-scale open source code development and of publications based on executable documents, to ensure sustainability. OpenDreamKit will be conducted by a Europe-wide demand-steered collaboration, including leading mathematicians, computational researchers, and software developers long track record of delivering innovative open source software solutions for their respective communities. All produced code and tools will be open source.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-ADG | Phase: ERC-ADG-2015 | Award Amount: 3.39M | Year: 2016

To reduce the burden of mental disorders it is a formidable aim to identify widely applicable disease markers based on neural processes, which predict psychopathology and allow for targeted interventions. We will generate a neurobehavioural framework for stratification of psychopathology by characterising links between network properties of brain function and structure and reinforcementrelated behaviours, which are fundamental components of some of the most prevalent mental disorders, major depression, alcohol use disorder and ADHD. We will assess if network configurations define subtypes within and if they correspond to comorbidity across these diagnoses. We will identify discriminative data modalities and characterize predictors of future psychopathology. To identify specific neurobehavioural clusters we will carry out precision phenotyping of 900 patients with major depression, ADHD and alcohol use disorders and 300 controls, which we will investigate with innovative deep machine learning methods derived from artifical intelligence research. Development of these methods will optimize exploitation of a wide range of assessment modalities, including functional and structural neuroimaging, cognitive, emotional as well as environmental measures. The neurobehavioural clusters resulting from this analysis will be validated in a longitudinal population-based imaging genomics cohort, the IMAGEN sample of over 2000 participants spanning the period from adolescence to adulthood and integrated with information generated from genomic and imaging-genomic meta-analyses of >300.000 individuals. By targeting specific neural processes the resulting stratification markers will serve as paradigmatic examples for a diagnostic classification, which is based upon quantifiable neurobiological measures, thus enabling targetted early intervention, identification of novel pharmaceutical targets and the establishment of neurobehaviourally informed endpoints for clinical trials.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-27-2015 | Award Amount: 3.99M | Year: 2015

The COSMICC consortium gathers key industrial and research partners with world-leading positions in the fields of Silicon photonics, CMOS electronics, Printed Circuit Board-Packaging, Optical transceivers and Data-Centers around a strong vision: mass commercialization of Si-photonics-based transceivers is possible starting in 2019 by enhancing the existing photonic integration platform of one of the partners, STMicroelectronics. COSMICC will develop optical transceivers that will be packaged on-board. Combining CMOS electronics and Si-photonics with innovative-high-throughput fiber-attachment techniques, the developed solutions are scalable to meet the future data-transmission requirements in data-centers and Super computing systems. With performances improved by an order of magnitude as compared with current VCSELs transceivers, COSMICC developed technology will answer tremendous market needs with a target cost per bit that the traditional WDM transceivers cannot meet. The early setting up of a new value chain will enable exploitation of the developed technologies. In a first high reward step-modification of the fabrication platform, COSMICC consortium will achieve mid-board optical transceivers in the [2Tbit/s -2pJ/bit- 0.2 per Gbit/s]-class with ~200Gbit/s per fiber: the introduction of one process brick (SiN layer) in the photonic process will enable low-cost packaging techniques (up to 2x12 fiber channels) and practical coarse WDM implementation (4 wavelengths with no temperature-control requirements). The built demonstrators will be tested in lab and field environments. In compliancy with the enhanced-fabrication platform, lasers will be developed by heterogeneous integration of III-V material, targeting improved temperature behavior, and doubled-bit-rate payback. A second step-modification of the fabrication platform will consist in evaluating a disruptive process that enables SiGe layers with tunable Si-composition for achieving micrometer-scale devices.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.58M | Year: 2017

With transportation noise being the second most deadly environmental pollutant in Europe, engineering for future mobility must be inspired by ecology, economy and health to enable green and silent vehicles. Legislations define maximum noise emission limits that have to be complied with during standardized pass-by noise test procedures. Given novel, often electrified, vehicle powertrain concepts, new pass-by noise evaluation approaches are required. The proposed PBNv2 project (Next generation Pass-By Noise approaches for new powertrain vehicles) brings together early stage researchers and experienced specialists from key players in academia and industry across Europe covering different scientific disciplines and industrial stakeholders form a broad range of backgrounds to optimally tackle the challenges ahead. The Fellows will be trained in innovative PhD topics as well as receiving specific theoretical and practical education in the field of pass-by noise engineering, tackling as well the pass-by noise aspects of the source, the transfer path and the receiver. PBNv2 is formed by 10 beneficiaries combining leading education institutes, top research institutions and leading companies as well as 7 partner organisations established in European automotive R&D, to assist in the dissemination and public engagement or PBNv2 results, and in providing dedicated training to enhance the entrepreneurial mind set of the ESRs. The Fellows will profit from top scientific research guidance in combination with highly relevant industrial supervision. Together these participants address the triple-I dimension of research training, being International, Interdisciplinary and Intersectoral. Furthermore, the industry will gain from the specific training of the young researchers.


Patent
Honeywell and University of Southampton | Date: 2014-04-28

Methods for producing lactams from oximes by performing a Beckmann rearrangement using a silicoaluminophosphate catalyst are provided. These catalysts may be used in gas phase or liquid phase reactions to convert oximes into lactams. High conversion of oxime and high selectivity for the desired lactams are produced using the disclosed methods, including high conversion and selectivity for -caprolactam produced from cyclohexanone oxime and high conversion and selectivity for -laurolactam produced from cyclododecanone oxime.


Patent
University of Southampton and Edelman Inc. | Date: 2013-11-11

A system for analyzing social media content and for determining the influence types of different social media members is disclosed. The system categorizes users according to their influence on the social media conversation and displays information related to this categorization in schematic form. The popularity of a particular topic can be analyzed to determine when the topic resonates and becomes more popular within the social network. In some embodiments, the categorization of the users and schematic display of information can be conducted in real-time.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.4.1 | Award Amount: 8.01M | Year: 2011

ARCOMEM is about memory institutions like archives, museums, and libraries in the age of the\nSocial Web. Memory institutions are more important now than ever: as we face greater\neconomic and environmental challenges we need our understanding of the past to help us\nnavigate to a sustainable future. This is a core function of democracies, but this function faces\nstiff new challenges in face of the Social Web, and of the radical changes in information\ncreation, communication and citizen involvement that currently characterise our information\nsociety (e.g., there are now more social network hits than Google searches). Social media are\nbecoming more and more pervasive in all areas of life. In the UK, for example, it is now not\nunknown for a government minister to answer a parliamentary question using Twitter, and this\nmaterial is both ephemeral and highly contextualised, making it increasingly difficult for a\npolitical archivist to decide what to preserve.\nThis new world challenges the relevance and power of our memory institutions. To answer these\nchallenges, ARCOMEMs aim is to:\n help transform archives into collective memories that are more tightly integrated with\ntheir community of users\n exploit Social Web and the wisdom of crowds to make Web archiving a more selective\nand meaning-based process\nTo do this we will provide innovative tools for archivists to help exploit the new media and\nmake our organisational memories richer and more relevant. We will do this in three ways:\n first we will show how social media can help archivists select material for inclusion,\nproviding content appraisal via the social web\n second we will show how social media mining can enrich archives, moving towards\nstructured preservation around semantic categories\n third we will look at social, community and user-based archive creation methods\nAs results of this activity the outcomes of the ARCOMEM project will include:\n innovative models and tools for Social Web driven content appraisal and selection, and\nintelligent content acquisition\n novel methods for Social Web analysis, Web crawling and mining, event and topic\ndetection and consolidation, and multimedia content mining\n reusable components for archive enrichment and contextualization\n two complementary example applications, the first for media-related Web archives and\nthe second for political archives\n a standards-oriented ARCOMEM demonstration system\nThe impact of these outcomes will be to a) reduce the risk of losing irreplaceable ephemeral web\ninformation, b) facilitate cost-efficient and effective archive creation, and c) support the creation\nof more valuable archives. In this way we hope to strengthen our democracies understanding of\nthe past, in order to better direct our present towards viable and sustainable modes of living, and\nthus to make a contribution to the future of Europe and beyond.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: GC.NMP.2012-1 | Award Amount: 3.07M | Year: 2012

The aim of NECOBAUT Project is to develop a new concept of battery for automotive based on a new metal/air technology that overcomes the energy density limitation of the Li-ion battery used at present for Electrical Vehicles. Some metal/air cells were developed in the past, but did not give the demanded requirements for commercial use. Two decades of improvements in materials for electrodes, electrolytes and batteries and mainly in nanomaterials have helped for developing a battery that should fulfil the requirements of the car industry. The technology that is developed in the project addresses mainly the design and manufacturing of both electrodes of the battery: the negative electrode composed by the selected metal, and the air cathode with the catalyst supported on a carbonaceous material. Air is necessary for running the battery and allows having a very light battery, which is essential for the automotive industry. Another important advantage is the low cost of the materials used for manufacturing the battery: the selected metal, carbon support electrode and potassium hydroxide as electrolyte. All these materials are recyclable. The consortium is composed of 8 partners (3 IND, 2 Universities and 3 RTD) covering the complete value chain: battery manufacturer, nanomaterials development (i.e.; nanocatalys, additives and support materials such us carbon), modelling and simulation for cells and batteries design, scaling-up, safety and risks studies for batteries. A proof-of-concept metal/air cell is manufactured and tested in the project. In addition, the battery concept is validated for automotive application. Although the main market for the battery developed by NECOBAUT is the car industry, it could be also used for stationary electricity storage (photovoltaic and wind farms, and buildings).

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