Glasses that translate images of physical objects into soundscapes and a belt that turns images into vibrations are helping blind people build up a real-time 3D picture of the world around them, and the technology could hit the market as soon as next year.
Entrepreneurship in Eastern Europe is on the rise, but more better communication about the funding available from the EU would help it to grow further, says Kristina Tsvetanova, the US-based co-founder and CEO of blind-accessible tablet start-up Blitab, and a 2017 winner of the EU Prize for Women Innovators.
The idea of creating a shared online repository that would make all data from publicly funded research available for anyone to investigate and use, sounds like a laudable and ambitious plan. But how exactly would a European open science cloud (EOSC) work in practice? On 28 and 29 November, data experts, policymakers and scientists gathered in Brussels, Belgium, to discuss the way forward. Horizon went along and here are nine things we learned.
Changing the way science is done in Europe is the first job in setting up the European open science cloud, a huge shared data repository that will enable data from all publicly-funded research to be freely accessible, according to Dr Juan Bicarregui from the Science and Technology Facilities Council, UK.
High-risk, high-reward ideas in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and synthetic biology are typical contenders for support from the EU’s new European Innovation Council (EIC), which aims to help European innovators and entrepreneurs scale up their ideas internationally, according to Dr Hermann Hauser, serial entrepreneur, who is a founding partner of Amadeus Capital and founder of ARM in the UK.He heads up the EIC advisory board, which on 20 November published their first set of recommendations for the future direction of the EIC.
Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, has called for political leaders to speak more about science and innovation to connect people with the life-changing research that is funded by their taxes and has the potential to combat urgent global problems.
Paris, France, has been named 2017's European Capital of Innovation thanks to an 'inclusive innovation strategy', which saw it scoop the EUR 1 million first prize in the EU's iCapital awards. The awards, which are designed to recognise the most innovative cities in EU countries and those associated to the Horizon 2020 funding programme, were announced on 7 November at the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal. Two runner-up prizes of EUR 100 000 were awarded to Tallin, Estonia and Tel Aviv, Israel, and the prize money will be used to scale up and further expand the cities' innovation efforts.
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.
New observations may provide alternative explanations for dark energy.
The technology could work with existing infrastructures, says Prof. Lee Cronin
We need to double-check the evidence on dark energy, as it may not exist at all, says Prof. Subir Sarkar.