Research and innovation can generate the knowledge and solutions to tackle urgent international problems like the Ebola outbreak or the refugee crisis. By removing barriers to international cooperation between researchers and innovators, engaging in science diplomacy, and leading research and innovation partnerships to address global challenges, there is enormous potential for Europe to have a leading voice in global debates. Being open to the world and maintaining the EU’s presence at the highest level of international scientific endeavour is a priority for the European Commission.
Picture the humanitarian aid sector and you don’t immediately think of start-up accelerators and hackathons. But aid agencies are co-opting these tools of innovation to help solve global issues – and a new EUR 5 million prize from the EU is designed to boost this even further.
Scientists in the Middle East are putting politics aside and using the region’s new particle accelerator, SESAME, to collaborate on experiments such as distinguishing between benign and malignant cancer tissues, and analysing historical parchments from religious texts, according to Dr Gihan Kamel, the infrared beamline scientist at the facility.She will be speaking at a session on science diplomacy at the World Science Forum in Jordan on 10 November with Carlos Moedas, the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation.
Scientists from different continents are coordinating their research to provide a deeper understanding of the South Atlantic and Southern Ocean, thanks to an EU-led collaboration.
A Europe-wide research effort is ramping up efforts to understand the risk to EU food supplies from climate change, after a report revealed that common staples are under threat from water scarcity and drought in the developing world.
The first Middle East particle accelerator – officially opened on 16 May – sets an example for young researchers on how a small group of people can build bridges across the troubled region, according to one of the original founders of the project, Professor Eliezer Rabinovici from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, who also holds the Louis Michel Chair at France’s Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques.
More nutritious versions of staple crops could increase daily vitamin and mineral intake for millions of people with poor diets, helping to overcome undernourishment that can cause blindness, brittle bones, feeble muscles and brain damage.
There is an urgent need to understand what would enable the middle-class families that make up the majority of Europe’s migrants to stay in their home countries, a meeting to secure research collaborations across the Mediterranean has heard.
Science diplomacy – where scientific collaboration is used to promote broader discussions between countries – enables scientists to help tackle issues such as protectionism and government control over research findings, and could even mitigate the future threat of wars over knowledge and data, according to Professor Luk Van Langenhove, research professor at the Institute of European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium.
Extremophile bacteria have adapted to survive inhospitable niches.
A better understanding of sleep pressure could advance therapies.
Sleep expert says that around 10 % of people are at risk of insomnia and employers should invest in therapy for those affected.