BRIdges the GAp for Innovations in Disaster resilience

Recent studies from the IPCC indicate that Europe is particularly prone to increased risks of river and coastal floods, droughts resulting in water restrictions and damages from extreme weather such as heat events and wildfires.

Evaluations also show a huge potential to reduce these risks with novel adaptation strategies. Researchers, innovators and incubators develop innovative products and services to reduce the increased climate change risks. Many of these innovations however hardly arrive at the markets. BRIGAID BRIdges the GAp for Innovations in Disaster resilience. BRIGAID’s approach is supported by three pillars.  (1) At first BRIGAID takes into account the geographical variability of climate-related hazards and their interaction with socio-economic changes, (2) BRIGAID establishes structural, on-going support for innovations that are ready for validation in field tests and real life demonstrations and (3) BRIGAID develops a framework that enables an independent, scientific judgement of the socio-technological effectiveness of an innovation.

BRIGAID’s objective is ambitious but achievable with strong consortium partners in EU, two Associated Countries and support from Overseas Territories. BRIGAID (a) brings actively together innovators and end-users in Communities of Innovation, resulting in increased opportunities for market-uptake; (b) contributes to the development of a technological and performance standards for adaptation options by providing a Test and Implementation Framework (TIF) and test facilities throughout Europe; (c) Improves innovation capacity and the integration of new knowledge by establishing an innovators network and (d) strengthens the competitiveness and growth of companies with the support of a dedicated business team. Finally BRIGAID develops a business models and market outreach to launch innovations to the market and secure investments in innovations beyond BRIGAID’s lifetime.

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Linking Climate and Development Policies – Leveraging International Networks and Knowledge Sharing

An important question for policy makers, in the G20 and beyond, is how to bring climate action into the broader sustainable development agenda. Objectives like energy poverty eradication, increased well-being and welfare air quality improvement, energy security enhancement, and food and water availability will continue to remain important over the next several decades.

There have been relatively few scientific analyses, however, that have explored the complex interplay between climate action and development while simultaneously taking both global and national perspectives. The CD-LINKS project will change this, filling this critical knowledge gap and providing much-needed information for designing complementary climate-development policies. CD-LINKS has four overarching goals:  (i) to gain an improved understanding of the linkages between climate change policies (mitigation/adaptation) and multiple sustainable development objectives, (ii) to broaden the evidence base in the area of policy effectiveness by exploring past and current policy experiences, (iii) to develop the next generation of globally consistent, national low-carbon development pathways, and (iv) to establish a research network and capacity building platform in order to leverage knowledge-exchange among institutions from Europe and other key players within the G20.

Through six highly integrated work packages – from empirical research to model and scenario development – CD-LINKS will advance the state-of-the-art of climate-development policy analysis and modelling in a number of areas. The project aims to have a pronounced impact on the policy dialogue, both nationally and internationally:  an important outcome of the project will be a list of country-specific policy recommendations for effectively managing the long-term transformation process. These recommendations will point out opportunities for policy synergies and at the same time respect political and institutional barriers to implementation.

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Citizen Led Air pollution Reduction in Cities

CLAiR-City will apportion air pollution emissions and concentrations, carbon footprints and health outcomes by city citizens’ behaviour and day-to-day activities in order to make these challenges relevant to how people chose to live, behave and interact within their city environment.

Through an innovative engagement and quantification toolkit, we will stimulate the public engagement necessary to allow citizens to define a range of future city scenarios for reducing their emissions to be used for supporting and informing the development of bespoke city policy packages out to 2050.

Using six pilot cities/regions (Amsterdam, NL; Bristol, UK; Aveiro, PT; Liguria, IT; Ljubljana, SI; and Sosnowiec, PO), CLAiR-City will source apportion current emissions/concentrations and carbon emissions not only by technology but by citizens’ activities, behavior and practices. CLAiR-City will explore and evaluate current local, national and international policy and governance structures to better understand the immediate policy horizon and how that may impact on citizens and their city’s future. Then, working with the new methods of source apportionment to combine both baseline citizen and policy evidence, CLAiR-City will use innovative engagement methods such as Games, an App and Citizen Days to inform and empower citizens to understand the current challenges and then subsequently define their own visions of their city’s future based on how their want to live out to 2050. The impact of these citizen-led future city scenarios will analysed, to develop city specific policy packages in which the clean-air, low-carbon, healthy future, as democratically defined by the city citizens, is described and quantified. The results of the CLAiR-City process will be evaluated to provide policy lessons at city, national and EU levels. Additionally, the toolkit structure will be developed for all EU cities with more than 50,000 citizens establishing a basis to roll out the CLAiR-City process across Europe.

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Coordinated Research in Earth Systems and Climate: Experiments, kNowledge, Dissemination and Outreach

CRESCENDO brings together seven Earth System Modelling (ESM) groups with three Integrated Assessment Modelling teams, as well as experts in ESM evaluation, ESM projection and feedback analysis, climate impacts and science communication to address the following goals;

(i) improve the process-realism and simulation-quality of European ESMs in order to increase the reliability of future Earth system projections; (ii) develop and apply a community ESM evaluation tool allowing routine ESM performance benchmarking, process-based ESM evaluation and the analysis of Earth system projections.

The resulting tool will be installed and made openly-available on the Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF); (iii) further develop the discipline of emergent constraints in order to better constrain the representation of key biogeochemical and aerosol feedbacks in ESMs and thereby reduce overall uncertainty in Earth system projections; (iv) quantify the effective radiative forcing of key biogeochemical and aerosol feedbacks in ESM projections; (v) contribute to the development of a new set of combined socio-economic and climate emission scenarios that more explicitly link future socio-economic development pathways with global radiative forcing; (vi) apply the project ESMs to these new scenario data to generate an ensemble of Earth system projections for the coming century and, in combination with the underlying socio-economic scenarios, use these projections to assess joint risks and co-benefits related to climate change, climate impacts, adaptation and mitigation; (vii) ensure data produced by CRESCENDO is available to the international community through timely archival on the ESGF and work closely with climate impact assessment and regional downscaling teams to ensure maximum uptake and use of these data in such complementary areas of science; (viii) actively disseminate knowledge generated in CRESCENDO to fellow scientists, policymakers and the general public.

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DAFNE: Use of a Decision-Analytic Framework to explore the water-energy-food NExus in complex and trans-boundary water resources systems of fast growing developing countries.

Global trends in population growth and rising economic prosperity will increase the demand for energy, food and water, with more severe impact in fast-growing economies, such as in several African countries.

The constraints on water, energy, and food could well hamper economic development, lead to social and geopolitical tensions, and cause lasting environmental damage. DAFNE advocates an integrated and adaptive water resources planning and management approach that explicitly addresses the water-energy-food (WEF) nexus from a novel participatory and multidisciplinary perspective. This includes social, economic, and ecologic dimensions, involves both public and private actors and is socially inclusive, enhances resource efficiency and prevents the loss of ecosystem services in regions where large infrastructures exist or are being built and intensive agriculture is expanding.

A decision-analytic-framework (DAF) will be developed to quantitatively assess the social, economic, and environmental impact of expanding energy and food production in complex physical and political contexts, where natural and social processes are strongly interconnected and the institutional setting involves  multiple stakeholders and decision-makers. The DAFNE approach will be demonstrated by analysing two cross-boundary case studies, the Zambezi and the Omo river basins. The WEF nexus will be quantified and analysed as the trade-off between conflicting objectives such as hydropower production vs irrigation, land exploitation vs conservation, etc. The nexus will be translated in economic values and impact on growth, ecosystems and ecosystem services. DAFNE will allow a better understanding of the WEF nexus, and generate and explore alternative planning and management solutions based on the cooperation of public and private stakeholders, which foster the profitable but equitable use of resources without transgressing environmental limits or creating societal and/or stakeholder conflicts.

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Implementation of a CirculAr economy Based on Recycled, reused and recovered Indium, Silicon and Silver materials for photovoltaic and other applications

The main vision of CABRISS project is to develop a circular economy mainly for the photovoltaic, but also for electronic and glass industry.

It will consist in the implementation of: (i) recycling technologies to recover In, Ag and Si for the sustainable PV technology and other applications; (ii) a solar cell processing roadmap, which will use Si waste for the high throughput, cost-effective manufacturing of hybrid Si based solar cells and will demonstrate the possibility for the re-usability and recyclability at the end of life of key PV materials. The developed Si solar cells will have the specificity to have a low environmental impact by the implementation of low carbon footprint technologies and as a consequence, the technology will present a low energy payback (about 1 year).

The originality of the project relates to the cross-sectorial approach associating together different sectors like the Powder Metallurgy (fabrication of Si powder based low cost substrate), the PV industry (innovative PV Cells) and the industry of recycling (hydrometallurgy and pyrometallurgy) with a common aim : make use of recycled waste materials (Si, In and Ag). CABRISS focuses mainly on a photovoltaic production value chain, thus demonstrating the cross-sectorial industrial symbiosis with closed-loop processes.

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Cost Effective Neural Technique for Alleviation of Urban Flood Risk

The project will develop a radically new market ready approach to RTC of sewer networks with the aim of reducing local flood risk in urban areas. Existing RTC pilot projects (e.g. Vienna, Dresden, Aarhus) are characterised by complex sensor networks, linked to centralised control systems governed by calibrated hydrodynamic modelling tools and fed by radar rainfall technology.

Such systems are expensive and complex to install and operate, requiring a high investment in new infrastructure, communication equipment and control systems. In contrast, this proposal will develop a novel low cost de-centralised, autonomous RTC system. It will be installed, tested and demonstrated in a number of pilot study catchments. This RTC system will utilise data driven distributed intelligence combined with local, low cost monitoring systems installed at key points within existing sewer infrastructure.

The system will utilise mechanically simple, robust devices to control flow in order to reduce flood risk at vulnerable sites. This system will be informed and governed directly by sensors distributed within the local network, without the need for an expensive hydrodynamic model or real time rainfall measurements. This system will deliver many of the benefits of RTC systems, whilst avoiding the high costs and complex nature of extensive sensor networks, centralised control systems, communications systems and infrastructure modifications. It is anticipated that such a system will be of significant benefit to operators of small to medium sized sewer networks.

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Integrated solutions for pre-processing electronic equipment, closing the loop of post-consumer high-grade plastics, and advanced recovery of critical raw materials antimony and graphite

The CloseWEEE project integrates three interlinked research and innovation areas for an improved, resource-efficient recycling of polymer materials and critical raw materials from electrical and electronics equipment (EEE):

(1) Efficient and effective disassembly of EEE is key for high quality material fractions, separation of materials but also for reuse of components and parts. An information system for dismantlers will be developed, accessing web-based dismantling instructions, to ease the dismantling process, reduce destruction of reusable parts and components and to allow for a deeper dismantling level for better economics of the Recycling process.

(2) Developing resource-efficient and innovative solutions for closing the loop of post-consumer high-grade plastics from WEEE, for new EEE through advanced recovery of valuable plastic streams which do not have a recycling system yet, and subsequent replacement of halogenated flame retardants by halogen-free flame retardants in new EEE.

(3) Improved recycling of Lithium-ion batteries through increasing the recovery rates of cobalt and researching a recovery technology for the critical raw material graphite from those batteries.

These technology innovations in the various stages of the EEE recycling value chain are complemented by research on reusing the recovered polymer fractions in new EEE, defining product design measures in favour of an optimised recycling eco-system, embedding related product design criteria in EU policy measures and global green procurement activities. These activities will support effectively the objectives of the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials.

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Integrated and portable image cytometer for rapid response to Legionella and Escherichia coli in industrial and environmental waters

The proposed project will deploy for the first time a new imaging cytometer platform capable of detecting minute quantity of micro-organisms in industrial and environmental waters.

The platform is based on the integration of proprietary technologies available to the consortium partners: an automatic water concentration cartridge combined with a microfluidic cell will provide an adequate sample to a newly designed fluorescence image cytometer whose readings will be recorded and processed using a proper software interface. It will be validated for quantifying Legionella and Escherichia coli (E. coli) population within 120 minutes from obtaining the sample, overcoming in this way the main disadvantage of traditional methods used in laboratories, i.e. long time-to results which can currently last up to 12 days in the case of Legionella and 1 day for E. coli.

The targeted detection limit will be 10-100 cells/L and 5-20 cells/100 mL for Legionella and E.coli, respectively. Also, the new imaging cytometer will have a portable form, a size similar to a smart-phone, which will increase its versatility and widen the possibilities of onsite applications. The relevance of the project is clear when one thinks about the high risk of legionellosis in some specific industrial environments, such as cooling waters, evaporative condensers and air conditioning systems and the fact that E. coli is one of the faecal pollution index commonly analyzed for monitoring the presence of waterborne pathogens and hence the quality of bathing waters. From a market perspective, more than 7 million of Legionella analyses are performed annually in Europe while E. coli level is included in all bathing water regulations in different EU countries. CYTO-WATER clearly falls into HORIZON 2020 topic WATER-1-2014/2015: Bridging the gap: from innovative water solutions to market replication and addresses Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) and in the Bathing Water Directive (2006/7/EC).

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A DECentralIzed management Scheme for Innovative Valorization of urban biowastE

The growing attractiveness of cities leads to increasing population, thus rising energetic and food demands in urban areas. This makes urban waste management increasingly challenging, both in terms of logistics and environmental or health impacts.

To decrease the cities’ environmental impacts and to contribute to a better resilience of urban areas towards energy or food supply crisis, waste management systems have to be improved to increase recycling of resources and local valorization. In this context, the DECISIVE project proposes to change the present urban metabolism for organic matter (foods, plants, etc.), energy and biowaste to a more circular economy and to assess the impacts of these changes on the whole waste management cycle.

Thus, the challenge will be to shift from a urban “grey box”, implying mainly goods importation and extra-urban waste management, to a cooperative organization of intra- and peri-urban networks enabling circular local and decentralised valorization of biowaste, through energy and bioproducts production. Such a new waste management paradigm is expected to increase the sustainability of urban development by: (1) promoting citizens awareness about waste costs and values; (2) promoting renewable energy production and use in the city; (3) developing an industrial ecology approach that can promote the integration between urban and peri-urban areas, by providing valuable agronomic by-products for urban agriculture development  and so improving the balance of organic products and waste in the city; (4) developing new business opportunities and jobs. In order to achieve these objectives, the project DECISIVE will develop and demonstrate, at real scale, eco-innovative solutions addressed to waste operators and public services, consisting in: (1) a decision support tool to plan, design and assess efficient decentralised management networks for biowaste in urban areas; (2) eco-designed solid-state fermentation processes. Moreover in parallel of real scale demonstration sites, an eco-designed new micro-anaerobic digestion process will be developed and tested.

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