Radical closed-wing aircraft design could see greener skies take flight

An artist's view of the PrandtlPlane shows what future commercial aircrafts could look like.

Aviation is one of the most environmentally harmful forms of transportation, accounting for 3% of all EU greenhouse gas emissions. But new aircraft designs inspired by the work of an early 20th-century aviation engineer and natural substances such as honeycomb and grass could help to cut the environmental footprint of flying. With nearly 1 billion passengers … Read more

Shared data and shrinking aircraft seats to cut travel times in Europe

Seperating the traveller and luggage early on can significantly reduce waiting times during travel.

Aircraft seats that temporarily shrink and a joined-up transport system that allows people to easily plan a door-to-door journey could help shift people’s first choice of travel away from cars and towards public transport by reducing the time and effort involved. That’s the hope of scientists who are working to increase the level of multimodality … Read more

Smart beehives and heat treatments could protect bees from decline

New technologies are being developed to protect beehives from theft, parasites and illnesses without the use of chemicals.

Since the mid-1980s, the number of bees in Europe has been in decline. Threatened by pesticides, insecticides and climate change, they are also being struck by infestations of mites and a crippling virus that deforms their wings. But new technology aims to take the sting out of the situation. The number of Varroa mites, a bee parasite, … Read more

Garbage-collecting aqua drones and jellyfish filters for cleaner oceans

It is estimated that more than 150 million tonnes of plastics have already accumulated in the world's oceans.

A Roomba-like ocean trash collector modelled on a whale shark and a microplastic filter made from jellyfish slime could prevent litter from entering our oceans and help tackle a growing problem that poses threats to wildlife, deters tourists and impacts on coastal economies. The cost of sea litter in the EU has been estimated at up to … Read more

Digital innovation can enhance cultural heritage, hears conference  

The Holy Aedicule in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem was restored with the help of a high-resolution 3D model.

Digitalisation has a role to play in the conservation and promotion of modern-day cultural heritage but should enhance real-life experiences, rather than replace them, experts say. The Innovation and Cultural Heritage conference, held in Brussels on 20 March 2018, brought together a diverse range of researchers from the fields of science, technology, archaeology, social sciences … Read more

Warmer, saltier polar water could change global ocean currents

When ice shelves melt, they dump freshwater into the sea which lightens the salty water.

Melting ice shelves are changing the ocean’s chemistry at the South Pole and the result could be a change in global currents and increased glacial melt, according to scientists who are creating maps to feed into climate change models. At the North and South Poles, cold dense water sinks, powering the so-called global ocean conveyor belt, … Read more