Innovation

How the knowledge and ideas produced during research can translate into applications that would ultimately have an impact on people and society

Scientists design new solar cells to capture energy from rain

Scientists from Soochow University in China are working on a solar panel design for an efficient hybrid solar panel. The purpose of their invention is to capture energy from rain as well as traditional solar energy. They hypothesized that their graphene infused solar cells will split raindrops into positive and negative ions. With continued tests, the team hopes to get the solar panels on par with traditional solar panel efficiency. Nonetheless, their current output is fairly close to reaching this milestone. In the near future, solar panels could generate energy rain or shine. Read more [...]

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Plant nutrition Innovation Awards open for applications

Two researchers or research laboratories from across the world will be awarded a total of 60,000 euros each, as part of the 2018 Groupe Roullier Innovation Awards. Previous winners have had their work from a broad range of research areas, including plant nutrition, soil science, biocontrol and plant engineering, among others. This is a unique opportunity to get financial support for work which is likely to benefit the sponsor of the competition. Read more [...]

Tackling Europe’s biggest healthcare challenges

The Wild Card initiative, launched this month by EIT Health, seeks to engage the biggest and brightest minds in implementing ground-breaking and high-risk ideas in healthcare. The two areas of focus for 2018 are: application of artificial intelligence and big data to diagnostics and finding non-pharmaceutical solutions to antibiotic resistance. In this inspired opinion piece, Jan-Philipp Beck, COO at EIT Health, who is based in Munich, Germany, tells us about the main challenges ahead to find solutions to these issues. Read more [...]

Ever so slow maturation for the Open Access sector

The adoption rate of open access is not as quick as its promoters would like it to be. Find out more about the snapshot of the latest trend in the OA sector as expert Dan Pollock, from consultancy Delta Think, explains how the market has evolved since OA was first introduced 17 years ago. The lessons learned from this field are that, it may not only be down to funders to push the OA agenda and that scientists themselves a role to play if they wish to see its wider adoption. Read more [...]

Seed Control

From 16% twenty years ago to over 70% today. Our food security may be controlled by a small group, fewer than 10 very large corporations. They decide prices, varieties, conditions of growth. They manage patents and intellectual property rights. They make agreements with governments and public institutions. And they have a strong influence on regulations, laws and treaties. In this three-part series, EuroScientist, publishes the outcome of a data and science journalism investigation, which opens the discussion about the interaction between industry and farmers in the global seeds business. This makes for fascinating reading. Read more [...]

Seeds and farmers stories

Our food security may be controlled by a small group, fewer than 10 very large corporations. They decide prices, varieties, conditions of growth. SEEDcontrol is a project born from the partnership between formicablu, an Italian science communication agency, and Oxpeckers, a South African Center for Investigative Environmental Journalism. Specifically, the project has been designed by Elisabetta Tola and Fiona Macleod. Read more [...]

Are blockchain applications guided by adequate social values?

At their simplest, blockchains are just lists of transactions - ledger books - that are recorded in a transparent and decentralised way. Currencies such as Bitcoin are the best-known application of the technology. However, other applications are emerging far beyond the financial sector. In this stimulating opinion piece, Philip Boucher, policy analyst at the European Parliament's Scientific Foresight Unit explains the opportunities and challenges that such an emerging technology offer. The biggest question is: are we ready to give up traditional financial and governmental control in favour of decentralised blockchain applications harbouring greater transparency? Some of the answers may be found in an event organised by the Scientific Foresight Unit of the European Parliament event on the 11th May 2017. Read more [...]