Proposals for Europe’s bold 10-year R&I missions officially handed to Commissioner Gabriel

Following the mission reports handover to Commissioner Gabriel, a final decision on how they can be implemented is expected by the end of 2020. Image credit - European Commission

by Fintan Burke Five ‘mission reports’ outlining ambitious 10-year plans to tackle some of the major challenges faced by Europe were officially handed over to EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel on 22 September at the opening session of this year’s European Research and Innovation Days. The five so-called missions, which have been a year in the drafting … Read more

Focusing on cause, not effect, could unblock Alzheimer’s research, scientists hope

Genetics, such as gene called ApoE, and environment are risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. New research is trying to understand their exact effects. Image credit - under CC0

by Ian Le Guillou Over one hundred years since psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer described the hallmarks of the disease that bears his name, significant gaps in our understanding of how and why the disease develops mean that we still do not have effective treatments. Alzheimer identified deposits of protein that had accumulated in the brain of a … Read more

Five things to know about: making self-driving cars safe

One of the open issues around connected and automated vehicles is that the data shared by cars could reveal personal information about the driver. Image credit - Rudy and Peter Skitterians/Pixabay, licensed under the Pixabay licence

by Jonathan O’Callaghan Self-driving cars, or connected and automated vehicles (CAVs), are closer than ever to becoming a mainstay on our roads. Already, many modern cars have self-driving capabilities – now the next step is full automation. Before that is allowed, however, considerable testing still needs to be done. On 18 September, the European Commission published an … Read more

Pandemic freight emissions reached 2030 target in just months. How do we make the changes stick?

During the coronavirus pandemic, railways have been used more heavily to transport Europe's freight. Image credit - Liberaler Humanist/Wikimedia, licensed CC BY 4.0 International

The pandemic left a visible imprint on car, bus and bicycle use – and at its height brought about cleaner city air – but it also disrupted another, less obvious but highly polluting sector: freight transport. Coronavirus plunged millions of planes, trucks, trains and ships into a massive experiment, disrupting supply chains as national borders … Read more