If we want Europe to gain market share in developing technology for smart devices like phones and tablets, we must embrace public–private partnerships, according to Dr Andreas Wild, executive director of the EU’s new Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership (ECSEL) Joint Technology Initiative.
The idea that an athlete could change their genes to grow bigger muscles, or increase their body’s production of red blood cells, may sound like the stuff of fantasy, but halting the development of ‘gene doping’ technology is one of the main research priorities of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), according to Dr Olivier Rabin, the organisation’s science director.
European pilots will be able to fold away their maps and free up their radio frequency in favour of more advanced technologies to communicate their trajectories with air traffic control, said Florian Guillermet, the executive director of the SESAR Joint Undertaking. These are just some of the ways in which SESAR, a public-private R&D partnership, is contributing to Europe’s goal of modernising its air traffic management (ATM) system and joining up its fragmented skies.
The ability to store electricity using hydrogen could make wind and solar power a secure energy source, freeing Europe from its dependency on imported fossil fuels, according to Bert De Colvenaer, executive director of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, a public-private partnership.
Climate information should be used not only to address impacts, but also to make agriculture more resource efficient and profitable, starting from regional climate services, according to Professor Riccardo Valentini, a leading author of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report. He explained his ideas in an interview with Horizon on the sidelines of Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, an event on 6 May in Brussels to discuss the implications of the IPCC report.
If more girls are to study science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects at university, then attitudes among parents and society at large must change – that’s according to Anne-Marie Imafidon, a speaker at the EU’s Innovation Convention in March 2014. She passed an A level in computing aged 11, and at 20, she obtained a master’s degree. She is the founder of Stemettes, an organisation which encourages girls to get into STEM subjects by connecting them with women working in the field.
The challenge of tackling some diseases is too great for just one institution, company or country. The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is showing that by bringing people together, real progress can be made, according to Professor Michel Goldman, the initiative’s executive director.
Copyright law will struggle to be relevant for 3D-printed material, according to Joren De Wachter, an intellectual property strategist who advises companies and investors on the best way to use, understand and value the intellectual property of 3D-printed goods.
The freedom of running your own company can make it easier to combine work with family. That’s according to human geneticist and entrepreneur Dr Saskia Biskup, the first-prize winner of the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2014. She is the co-founder of CeGaTGmbH, a leading German biotech company that conducts diagnostic testing for genetic diseases.
Dr Phil Reeves, managing director of Econolyst, a global 3D printing consultancy, believes research needs to be coordinated across the EU to push forward 3D printing and give us mass-personalised goods made locally, on demand.
Winners from Germany and Canada take home top prizes.
New observations may provide alternative explanations for dark energy.
We need to double-check the evidence on dark energy, as it may not exist at all, says Prof. Subir Sarkar.