Homemade energy gets boost to go mainstream

Viticulture is a good starting point for community-based energy initiatives, according to researchers, as it is both energy-intensive and vulnerable to climate effects.

By Gareth Willmer New rules and initiatives to support communities wanting to produce their own renewable energy could help ordinary people play a key role in the European Union’s transition to clean energy. These moves, which include new EU legislation and the rollout of so-called living labs around Europe, look set to bolster people’s growing … Read more

Blockchain could democratise banking, music – but at what cost?

Free blockchain-based platforms can make bank accounts accessible to those unable to afford regular banking technology.

Few technologies have the potential to disrupt old institutions as much as blockchain – a system that maintains records on huge networks of individual computers. As with any new technology, it could be used for social good – such as supporting people who are priced-out of the current bank accounts – but the big challenge … Read more

A dishwasher that keeps itself clean: how lasers are changing everyday items

Image credit - ALPhANOV

By Jonathan O’Callaghan At the smallest of scales, science can become rather weird. So weird in fact that metals and other materials can be altered to completely change their properties, such as making them resilient to water or bacteria. This is the cornerstone of new research looking into the hidden world of surfaces, with the … Read more

Creative, egalitarian, carbon-neutral – the future of industry?

Increasing digitisation will get rid of boring tasks and free people up for creativity and empathy, according to one young leader's vision of industry in 2050.

by Annette Ekin In 30 years’ time, industrial companies will have a social purpose: be completely carbon neutral and give everyone the opportunity to fill their unique potential. At least, that’s what five young industrial leaders hope. We caught up with them as they attended the EU’s Industry Days in Brussels, Belgium, on 5-6 February … Read more

Under-road heating system to keep Europe’s highways ice-free

Image credit - picture is in the public domain

Under-road heating that melts ice and snow within 15 minutes and real-time information about icy road conditions could help prevent wintertime accidents. Snow and ice can dramatically change the conditions of a road, where slippery surfaces make it harder to keep control of a vehicle, particularly when braking or turning. ‘Once you have cars driving, … Read more