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.
A new breed of emergency shelter with built-in solar power, a backpack that gives access to mobile charging and a bag that converts manure into cooking gas are among the new generation of emergency response kits that could help people survive in the wake of a disaster that knocks out their energy supply.
Mini-grids, mobile payments and smart meters are all helping to create an off-grid model of electricity provision in Africa, helped by bottom-up funding and low-cost solar power, according to Michael Gera, managing partner and co-founder of specialist venture capitalist firm Energy Access Ventures (EAV).
The sooner-than-expected discovery of gravitational waves, announced in February, has given a new impetus to scientists in the field, who are now working to make sense of what it means not only for their research but also for our understanding of Einstein’s theory of general relativity.
Research that includes input from communities and people working in areas affected by climate change should provide critical input into the sixth assessment due to be undertaken by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), climate expert Dr Debra Roberts explained on the sidelines of the Adaptation Futures 2016 conference in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on 11 May.
What happens in the Arctic will affect the whole of Europe, and the EU’s integrated Arctic strategy published on 27 April helps us understand the direction in which the global climate is moving, according to Professor Karin Lochte, director of the Alfred Wegener Institute for polar research in Germany.
With hundreds of viewports of different lengths jutting from its outer wall, the Wendelstein 7-X looks otherworldly — more like science fiction than an experimental fusion reactor dreamt up by human beings. That’s because the humans had help.
The EU has announced that it will release EUR 10 million to fund research looking at the link between the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which is sweeping South America, and severe brain malformations seen in newborn babies, known as microcephaly.
The European Commission has launched plans for the next research funding programme.