Offshore wind farms to test business in deep water

Advocates of floating offshore wind platforms say they are cheaper to run and install, less disruptive to sea life, and have greater output than near-shore alternatives.

As wind turbines become increasingly familiar sights along shorelines, developers of offshore floating platforms, which harness the powerful winds further out to sea, are seeking to establish their technologies as a major viable source of clean energy. Bottom-fixed offshore wind turbines – with foundations in the seabed – face depth constraints and can only be … Read more

New tests identify contaminated drinking water in minutes, not weeks

Legionella cells can be detected with a home-printer-size testing machine. Image credit - CDC/ Dr. Barry S. Fields

Speedy, affordable water tests that can be used in on location and even run continuously will help scientists identify disease-causing bacteria in under an hour and potentially reduce the spread of common illnesses such as diarrhoea, which kills an estimated 842,000 people every year. Hundreds of millions of samples are tested each year to detect harmful bacteria … Read more

Not so fantastic single-use plastic to get an eco-friendly makeover

A packaging film made from the milk protein casein is water-soluble and biodegradable.

Milk-based edible food packaging and ready-meal trays made from wood could help reduce the pervasiveness of single-use plastic, a major cause of environmental pollution adversely affecting wildlife, habitats and human health. It may come as a shock to some, but around half of all the plastic products in the world are used only once. After they … Read more

We want to end the de-industrialisation of Europe – Prof. Jürgen Rüttgers

Prof. Rüttgers says that one of the great challenges in the 21st century is the transition from the industrial society to the knowledge society. Image credit - Pexels, licensed under CC0

Artificial intelligence (AI) and cyber security should be priorities in future EU industrial research policy in order to reinvigorate industry and recover jobs that have been lost abroad, according to Professor Jürgen Rüttgers, a former research minister in Germany. He leads the High Level Group on Industrial Technologies, which on 24 April releases a report called Re-Finding Industry – … Read more

Ancient farming techniques could help mitigate climate change

Geographically defined products such as Parma ham help to assess the social and cultural value of a landscape.

High technology is being deployed to uncover long-forgotten irrigation systems and other features concealed in landscapes that farmers developed hundreds of years ago to nurture their land. By studying landscapes of the past and how they’re used today, scientists can draw on Europe’s cultural heritage to help tackle challenges such as climate change and rural exodus. Professor José … Read more

How soundscapes and vibrations are helping blind people see the world

Eyesynth glasses

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. According to the World Health Organization, there are about 285 million visually impaired … Read more