Research and innovation are essential for a successful, modern economy, and they are at the heart of the European Commission's policies to boost jobs, growth and investment. However, while Europe excels in research, we are not good enough at investing in innovation at speed and scale, which is why the EU’s Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, has set the goal of Open Innovation. The basic premise is to open up the innovation process to all active players so that new ideas can circulate more freely and be transformed into products and services that create new markets, fostering a stronger culture of entrepreneurship.
'Invasive and uncomfortable' procedures for detecting if someone has bladder cancer could be replaced by urine tests that not only screen for the presence of the disease but also help doctors choose the right course of treatment for a particular patient.
A fashion collection made from the remains of grapes from the wine industry and plastic made from chicken feathers are two new twists on the practice of making new products from waste, and a growing demand for sustainability from consumers mean there could be a ready market for this type of innovation.
Regenerative medicine should be governed, firstly, by the principle of do no harm, but a better balance between risk and regulation is required to bring innovations to market more quickly, according to Ton Rabelink, professor of internal medicine and head of nephrology at Leiden University in the Netherlands. He says that Europe is in danger of falling behind countries such as Japan and the US if there is not more flexibility in how new therapies are regulated.
Dr Gabriella Colucci, the founder of two biotechnology companies that discover new plant-based molecules for industrial use, has won the top award of €100,000 in the 2018 EU Prize for Women Innovators, which was presented at a ceremony in Brussels, Belgium on 21 June.
The pioneering solar flight foundation Solar Impulse has launched an ‘Efficient Solution’ label for clean energy start-ups and innovations that can demonstrate their profitability, in a bid to boost investment in the sector.
Since the mid-1980s, the number of bees in Europe has been in decline. Threatened by pesticides, insecticides and climate change, they are also being struck by infestations of mites and a crippling virus that deforms their wings. But new technology aims to take the sting out of the situation.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and cyber security should be priorities in future EU industrial research policy in order to reinvigorate industry and recover jobs that have been lost abroad, according to Professor Jürgen Rüttgers, a former research minister in Germany.
Missions modelled on the 1960s 'moonshot' programme to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade could help make Europe a cool place to do business and unite the public behind European science and innovation, according to Professor Mariana Mazzucato, founder and director of the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at University College London, UK, where she holds the chair in the economics of innovation and public value.
The European Union is scaling up its investment in battery technology with the announcement of a €10 million open competition to design a better battery for electric vehicles and a €50 million cash injection to develop Europe's largest green battery factory.
An audit committee that reviews deaths during childbirth and works out how to avoid them has won its founders the €1 million EU Horizon Birth Day prize for a solution that saves the lives of mothers and their babies.
Biofilters offer in-situ low-maintenance ways of treating wastewater.
Winners from Germany and Canada take home top prizes.
Electric cars with liquid batteries could be charged in minutes, says Prof. Cronin.