Precisely designed nanostructures can catch light and help improve the efficiency of solar cells by up to 70 %, according to Professor Albert Polman, the 2012 joint recipient of the prestigious ENI Renewable Energy Prize and joint winner of the 2014 Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics.
Studying an area of interest rather than chasing fashionable subjects is the best route to success, according to ERC grantee Professor Martin Hairer, winner of the 2014 Fields Medal, the world’s foremost maths prize, for his work on random systems.
The economic crisis in Europe has forced many countries to scale back financing for blue-sky research, making European Research Council (ERC) funding increasingly important, according to the ERC’s 4 000th grantee, Dr Manuel Arruebo, professor of chemical engineering at Zaragoza University in Spain.
The convoying of trains could be one way to help double railway capacity and reduce carbon emissions, according to Andy Doherty, vice-chairman of the European Rail Research Advisory Council and Director of railways system engineering at Network Rail, the UK rail network operator.
Innovations such as the Hawk-Eye line calling system, high-tech rackets, strings and smart monitoring can improve the game for tennis players, referees and spectators. However, too much innovation could change the nature of tennis, says Francesco Ricci Bitti, the president of the International Tennis Federation (ITF). Horizon Magazine spoke to him about tennis innovation at the EU’s Innovation Convention 2014.
Digital screens made from concrete could mean displays are integrated into the sides of buildings, and make advertising billboards resistant to vandalism, according to Bo Jacobsen, the chief executive of Dupont Lightstone, the driving force behind the EU-funded DIGISTONE project. The project is displaying its first prototype at the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) in Copenhagen from 21 to 26 June.
Rethinking aircraft engines and new wing designs have the potential to cut carbon emissions and noise, as well as to boost Europe’s aerospace industry, according to Eric Dautriat, chief executive of the Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative (JTI).
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.
He has advised the EU on its new European Innovation Council.
3D printed catalysts and new propellant types are making rockets more environmentally-friendly.
Species loss needs urgent international action, says Prof. Georgina Mace.