Verona, Italy

University of Verona

www.univr.it
Verona, Italy

The University of Verona is a university located in Verona, Italy. It was founded in 1982 and is organized in 15 Departments. According to the newspaper "Il Sole 24 Ore", it is ranked as the best university in Italy in 2014. Wikipedia.


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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: WATER-1b-2015 | Award Amount: 8.77M | Year: 2016

INTCATCH will instigate a paradigm shift in the monitoring and management of surface water quality that is fit for global waters in the period 2020-2050. INTCATCH will do this by developing efficient, user-friendly water monitoring strategies and systems based on innovative technologies that will provide real time data for important parameters, moving towards SMART Rivers. The business model will transform water governance by facilitating sustainable water quality management by community groups and NGOs using a clouds data linked to a decision support system and eco-innovative technologies. The INTCATCH project will use demonstration activities to showcase eco-innovative autonomous and radio controlled boats, sensors, DNA test kits and run-off treatment technologies. Actions which develop and evaluate these in a range of catchments will address the important innovation barriers to uptake, notably, a lack of knowledge of new technologies and their capabilities, identified by the European Innovation Plan (EIP) on water. By conceptually moving the laboratory to the field, the monitoring techniques that will be developed aim to supersede the inefficient, time dependent, costly and labour-intensive routine sampling and analysis procedures currently deployed to understand the quality of receiving waters. It will compliment routine monitoring that is required for baseline datasets, but also enable cost-effective impact and management investigations. INTCATCH will incentivise stakeholder innovation in monitoring and will facilitate new financing for innovation through its innovative franchise business model and empowerment of community groups and NGOs. The market ambition is that the INTCATCH business will facilitate an eco-innovative approach to deliver good quality water bodies across Europe and beyond. This will support green growth, increase resilience to climate change and capture greater market-share for Europes innovative industries.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 3.87M | Year: 2016

In the face of the increasing global consumption of fossil resources, photosynthetic organisms offer an attractive alternative that could meet our rising future needs as clean, renewable, sources of energy and for the production of fine chemicals. Key to the efficient exploitation of these organisms is to optimise the conversion of Solar Energy into Biomass (SE2B). The SE2B network deals with this optimisation in an interdisciplinary approach including molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics and biotechnology. Regulation processes at the level of the photosynthetic membranes, integrating molecular processes within individual proteins up to flexible re-arrangements of the membranes, will be analysed as a dynamic network of interacting regulations. SE2B will yield information about the similarities and differences between cyanobacteria, green algae, diatoms and higher plants, the organisms most commonly employed in biotechnological approaches exploiting photosynthetic organisms, as well as in agriculture. The knowledge gained from understanding these phenomena will be directly transferred to increase the productivity of algal mass cultures for valuable products, and for the development of sophisticated analytic devices that are used to optimise this production. In future, the knowledge created can also be applicable to the design of synthetic cell factories with efficient light harvesting and energy conversion systems. The SE2B network will train young researchers to work at the forefront of innovations that shape the bio-based economy. SE2B will develop a training program based on individual and network-wide training on key research and transferable skills, and will furthermore disseminate these results by open online courses prepared by the young researchers themselves.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC5-11d-2015 | Award Amount: 9.78M | Year: 2016

SOLSA is the first automated expert system for on-site cores analysis. With access to data on-line, great savings are expected on the number of drill holes, the accuracy of geo-models and economic evaluation of ore reserves. SOLSA responds perfectly to the need for New sustainable exploration technologies and geo-models of SC5-11d-2015. The objective is to develop new or improved highly efficient and cost-effective, sustainable exploration technologies. It includes (1) integrated drilling optimized to operate in the difficult lateritic environment with the challenge of a mixture of hard and soft rocks, extensible also to other ore types, (2) fully automated scanner and phase identification software, usable as well in other sectors. SOLSA combines for the first time the non-destructive sensors X-ray fluorescence, X-ray diffraction, vibrational spectroscopies and 3D imaging along the drill core. For that purpose, SOLSA will develop innovative, user-friendly and intelligent software, at the TRL 4-6 levels. To minimize the risk and capitalize on the newest technologies, the subsystems for the hardware, will be selected on the market of miniaturized sensors. To align SOLSA to the industrial needs and to guarantee market uptake at the end of the project, the SOLSA multidisciplinary consortium includes an end-user (ERAMET) with mining and commercial activities in laterite ores, the case study selected for the project. Industrially driven, the consortium is composed of LE, SMEs and academic experts (ERAMET (PI), F; SSD, NL; BRGM, F; INEL, F; Univ. Vilnius, Lt; CNRS-CRISMAT, F; Univ. Trento, I; Univ. Verona, I; TU Delft, NL) covering exploration, database management, instrumentation and software development, drilling rigs, analytical prototypes and marketing strategies. SOLSA is expected to revolutionize exploration and push Europe in front, by reducing the exploration time at 50%, the analysis time from 3 - 6 months to real-time and thus the environmental footprint.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-24-2015 | Award Amount: 4.34M | Year: 2016

The MURAB project has the ambition to revolutionise the way cancer screening and muscle diseases are researched for patients and has the potential to save lives by early detection and treatment. The project intends to create a new paradigm in which, the precision of great medical imaging modalities like MRI and Ultrasound are combined with the precision of robotics in order to target the right place in the body. This will be achieved by identifying a target using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and then use a robot with an ultrasound (US) probe to match the images and navigate to the right location. This will be done thanks to a new innovative technique, which will be developed in the project and called Tissue Active Slam (TAS) which will use different techniques and modalities, like elastography, in order to cope with the deformation of the tissues. Such a procedure has the potential to drastically improve the clinical workflow and save lives by ensuring an exact targeting of (small) lesions, which are visible under MRI and not under US. Technologies developed within MURAB also have the potential to improve other clinical procedures. Clinically, two applications will be targeted and validated in the project: breast cancer diagnostics (MUW and ZGT) and muscle disease diagnostics (UMCN). Considering the potential for the market, industrial partners are involved with expertise in the delivery of safe robotics components and applications (KUKA), as well as with great knowledge and ambition in pushing innovation to the medical market (SIEMENS).


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: CIRC-05-2016 | Award Amount: 3.38M | Year: 2017

RES URBIS aims at making it possible to convert several types of urban bio-waste into valuable bio-based products, in an integrated single biowaste biorefinery and by using one main technology chain. This goal will be pursued through: - collection and analysis of data on urban bio-waste production and present management systems in four territorial clusters that have been selected in different countries and have different characteristics. - well-targeted experimental activity to solve a number of open technical issues (both process- and product-related), by using the appropriate combination of innovative and catalogue-proven technologies. - market analysis whitin several economic scenarios and business models for full exploitation of bio-based products (including a path forward to fill regulatory gaps). Urban bio-waste include the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (from households, restaurants, caterers and retail premises), excess sludge from urban wastewater treatment, garden and parks waste, selected waste from food-processing (if better recycling options in the food chain are not available), other selected waste streams, i.e. baby nappies. Bio-based products include polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) and related PHA-based bioplastics as well as ancillary productions: biosolvents (to be used in PHA extraction) and fibers (to be used for PHA biocomposites). Territorial and economic analyses will be done either considering the ex-novo implementation of the biowaste biorefinery or its integration into existing wastewater treatment or anaerobic digestion plants, with reference to clusters and for different production size. The economic analysis will be based on a portfolio of PHA-based bioplastics, which will be produced at pilot scale and tested for applications: - Biodegradable commodity film - Packaging interlayer film - Speciality durables (such as electronics) - Premium slow C-release material for ground water remediation


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: WATER-1b-2015 | Award Amount: 9.77M | Year: 2016

SMART-Plant will scale-up in real environment eco-innovative and energy-efficient solutions to renovate existing wastewater treatment plants and close the circular value chain by applying low-carbon techniques to recover materials that are otherwise lost. 7\2 pilot systems will be optimized fore > 2 years in real environment in 5 municipal water treatment plants, inclunding also 2 post-processing facilities. The systems will be authomatisedwith the aim of optimizing wastewater treatment, resource recovery, energy-efficiency and reduction of greenhouse emissions. A comprehensive SMART portfolio comprising biopolymers, cellulose, fertilizersand intermediates will be recoveredand processed up to the final commercializable end-products. The integration of resource recovery assets to system-wide asset management programs will be evaluated in each site following the resource recovery paradigm for the wastewater treatment plant of the future, enabled through SMART-Plant solutions. The project will prove the feasibility of circular management of urban wastewater and environmental sustainability of the systems, to be demonstrated through Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Costing approaches to prove the global benefit of the scaled-up water solutions. Dynamic modeling and superstructure framework for decision support will be developed and validated to identify the optimum SMART-Plant system integration options for recovered resources and technologies.Global market deployment will be achieved as right fit solution for water utilities and relevant industrial stakeholders, considering the strategic implications of the resource recovery paradigm in case of both public and private water management. New public-private partnership models will be explored connecting the water sector to the chemical industry and its downstream segments such asthe contruction and agricultural sector, thus generating new opportunities for funding, as well as potential public-private competition.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-STG | Phase: ERC-StG-2015 | Award Amount: 1.44M | Year: 2016

Solar Energy is the most abundant renewable energy source available for our Planet. Light energy conversion into chemical energy by photosynthetic organisms is indeed the main conversion energy step, which originated high energy containing fossil deposits, now being depleted. By the way, plant or algae biomass may still be used to produce biofuels, as bio-ethanol, bio-diesel and bio-hydrogen. Microalgae exploitation for biofuels production have the considerable advantages of being sustainable and not in competition with food production, since not-arable lands, waste water and industrial gasses can be used for algae cultivation. Considering that only 45% of the sunlight covers the range of wavelengths that can be absorbed and used for photosynthesis, the maximum photosynthetic efficiency achievable in microalgae is 10%. On these bases, a photobioreactor carrying 600 l/m-2 would produce 294 Tons/ha/year of biomass of which 30% to 80%, depending on strain and growth conditions, being oil. However this potential has not been exploited yet, since biomass and biofuels yield on industrial scale obtained up to now were relatively low and with high costs of production. The main limitation encountered for sustained biomass production in microalgae by sunlight conversion is low light use efficiency, reduced from the theoretical value of 10% to 1-3%. This low light use efficiency is mainly due to a combined effect of reduced light penetration to deeper layers in highly pigmented cultures, where light available is almost completely absorbed by the outer layers, and an extremely high (up to 80%) thermal dissipation of the light absorbed. This project aims to investigate the molecular basis for efficient light energy conversion into chemical energy, in order to significantly increase the biomass production in microalgae combining a solid investigation of the principles of light energy conversion with biotechnological engineering of algal strains.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: YOUNG-3-2015 | Award Amount: 2.50M | Year: 2016

The ENLIVEN research models how policy interventions in adult education markets can become more effective. Integrating state-of-the-art methodologies and theorisations (e.g. Case-Based Reasoning methodology in artificial intelligence, bounded agency in adult learning), it implements and evaluates an innovative Intelligent Decision Support System to provide a new and more scientific underpinning for policy debate and decision-making on adult learning, especially for young adults. It utilizes findings from research conducted by European and international agencies and research projects, as well as from the ENLIVEN project. It will enable policy-makers at EU, national and organizational levels to enhance the provision and take-up of learning opportunities for adults, leading to a more productive and innovative workforce, and reduced social exclusion. The project comprises 11 workpackages in 4 clusters. WPs1-3 examine programmes, governance and policies in EU adult learning, looking at the multi-dimensional nature of social exclusion and disadvantage. WP4 examines system characteristics to explain country/region-level variation in lifelong learning participation rates, with particular reference to disadvantaged and at-risk groups, and to young people. WPs 5-7 examine the operation and effectiveness of young adults learning at and for work, undertaking cross-country comparative institutional analysis. WPs 8 -9 develop the knowledge base for, and develop and trials, an Intelligent Data Support System (IDSS) for evidence-based policy-making and debate. The ENLIVEN team comprises leading scholars with a full range of methodological skills in lifelong learning research and related areas, as well as advanced computer science skills. It will maintain a continuing interaction with policy makers and key research networks, make targeted interventions in policy and scientific debate, and deliver a state-of-the-art IDSS to improve lifelong learning for young adults across Europe.


Donadelli M.,University of Verona
Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS | Year: 2014

An ever-increasing number of studies highlight the role of uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) in a broad range of physiological and pathological processes. The knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of UCP2 regulation is becoming fundamental in both the comprehension of UCP2-related physiological events and the identification of novel therapeutic strategies based on UCP2 modulation. The study of UCP2 regulation is a fast-moving field. Recently, several research groups have made a great effort to thoroughly understand the various molecular mechanisms at the basis of UCP2 regulation. In this review, we describe novel findings concerning events that can occur in a concerted manner at various levels: Ucp2 gene mutation (single nucleotide polymorphisms), UCP2 mRNA and protein expression (transcriptional, translational, and protein turn-over regulation), UCP2 proton conductance (ligands and post-transcriptional modifications), and nutritional and pharmacological regulation of UCP2.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-ADG | Phase: ERC-ADG-2015 | Award Amount: 2.50M | Year: 2016

Alzheimers disease is the most common form of dementia affecting more than 35 million people worldwide and its prevalence is projected to nearly double every 20 years with tremendous social and economical impact on the society. There is no cure for Alzheimers disease and current drugs only temporarily improve disease symptoms. Alzheimers disease is characterized by a progressive deterioration of cognitive functions, and the neuropathological features include amyloid beta deposition, aggregates of hyperphosphorylated tau protein, and the loss of neurons in the central nervous system (CNS). Research efforts in the past decades have been focused on neurons and other CNS resident cells, but this neurocentric view has not resulted in disease-modifying therapies. Growing evidence suggests that inflammation mechanisms are involved in Alzheimers disease and our team has recently shown an unexpected role for neutrophils in Alzheimers disease, supporting the innovative idea that circulating leukocytes contribute to disease pathogenesis. The main goal of this project is to study the role of immune cells in animal models of Alzheimers disease focusing on neutrophils and T cells. We will first study leukocyte-endothelial interactions in CNS microcirculation in intravital microscopy experiments. Leukocyte trafficking will be then studied inside the brain parenchyma by using two-photon microscopy, which will allow us to characterize leukocyte dynamic behaviour and the crosstalk between migrating leukocytes and CNS cells. The effect of therapeutic blockade of leukocyte-dependent inflammation mechanisms will be determined in animal models of Alzheimers disease. Finally, the presence of immune cells will be studied on brain samples from Alzheimers disease patients. Overall, IMMUNOALZHEIMER will generate fundamental knowledge to the understanding of the role of immune cells in neurodegeneration and will unveil novel therapeutic strategies to address Alzheimers disease.

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