Sherlock Drones – automated investigators tackle toxic crime scenes

Using drones to gather information and samples from a hazardous scene can help incident commanders make critical decisions.

Crimes that involve chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) materials pose a deadly threat not just to the target of the attack but to innocent bystanders and police investigators. Often, these crimes may involve unusual circumstances or they are terrorist-related incidents, such as an assassination attempt or the sending of poisons through the mail. In the … Read more

Turning landfill into energy

Landfill is both ugly and polluting. But a new breed of technology promises to make it a thing of the past, transforming a huge portion of landfill material into clean gas. It’s thanks to a process called gasification, which involves turning carbon-based materials into gas by heating them to a high temperature but without burning … Read more

EU puts its ‘foot on the accelerator’ of battery research

The transport sector accounts for 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The European Union is scaling up its investment in battery technology with the announcement of a €10 million open competition to design a better battery for electric vehicles and a €50 million cash injection to develop Europe’s largest green battery factory. Batteries will play a vital role in helping to achieve the EU’s goal of … Read more

Urban mining to reduce environmental footprint of consumer goods

A machine that can disassemble two mobile phones per minute could help give raw materials a second life.

Mining isn’t the only way to extract valuable metals. Soon, they could increasingly be recovered from waste, reducing the need for new raw materials and helping Europe’s transition to a low-carbon economy. In the EU, many raw materials needed in industry, from car making to medical implants, are imported from abroad as they aren’t available … Read more

Your phone may soon know when you’re stressed – and help you cope

A sleep tracker uses smartphone acceleration sensors to monitor body movement and sleep stages - good predictors for stress and wellbeing.

by Ethan Bilby European businesses lose hundreds of work hours each year to stress-related absences, but an app that monitors stress levels and a device to teach relaxation exercises could help provide an answer. Christopher Lorenz is the co-founder of Soma Analytics, a UK-based start-up company that has made a smartphone app that detects people’s … Read more

Accelerators, fab labs and hackathons – the tech tools being co-opted for social good

Using innovation tools in the humanitarian sector.

Picture the humanitarian aid sector and you don’t immediately think of start-up accelerators and hackathons. But aid agencies are co-opting these tools of innovation to help solve global issues – and a new EUR 5 million prize from the EU is designed to boost this even further. Olivier Delarue is the CEO and co-founder of … Read more