ECOPOTENTIAL: IMPROVING FUTURE ECOSYSTEM BENEFITS THROUGH EARTH OBSERVATIONS

Terrestrial and marine ecosystems provide essential services to human societies. Anthropogenic pressures, however, cause serious threat to ecosystems, leading to habitat degradation, increased risk of collapse and loss of ecosystem services.

Knowledge-based conservation, management and restoration policies are needed to improve ecosystem benefits in face of increasing pressures. ECOPOTENTIAL makes significant progress beyond the state-of-the-art and creates a unified framework for ecosystem studies and management of protected areas (PA). ECOPOTENTIAL focuses on internationally recognized PAs in Europe and beyond in a wide range of biogeographic regions, and it includes UNESCO, Natura2000 and LTER sites and Large Marine Ecosystems. Best use of Earth Observation (EO) and monitoring data is enabled by new EO open-access ecosystem data services (ECOPERNICUS).

Modelling approaches including information from EO data are devised, ecosystem services in current and future conditions are assessed and the requirements of future protected areas are defined. Conceptual approaches based on Essential Variables, Macrosystem Ecology and cross-scale interactions allow for a deeper understanding of the Earth’s Critical Zone. Open and interoperable access to data and knowledge is assured by a GEO Ecosystem Virtual Laboratory Platform, fully integrated in GEOSS. Support to transparent and knowledge-based conservation and management policies, able to include information from EO data, is developed. Knowledge gained in the PAs is upscaled to pan-European conditions and used for planning and management of future PAs. A permanent stakeholder consultancy group (GEO Ecosystem Community of Practice) will be created. Capacity building is pursued at all levels. SMEs are involved to create expertise leading to new job opportunities, ensuring long-term continuation of services. In summary, ECOPOTENTIAL uses the most advanced technologies to improve future ecosystem benefits for humankind.

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ECOLORO: Reuse of Waste Water from the Textile Industry

Constant extraction of increasingly scarce fresh water puts a vital demand on increasing water-use efficiency in all sectors. The ECWRTI project will demonstrate the EColoRO concept on full industrial scale in two locations in the European textile industry.

The EColoRO concept uses electro-coagulation (EC) combined with flotation to remove pollutants, colorants and chemicals from waste water very effectively.  This unique feature enables using ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis membrane processes downstream in an optimized way. The key advantages are:

– Total reuse of waste-water in textile industry reducing fresh-water intake by at least 75%

– Low-cost and economically highly attractive

– Very flexible, containerized and modular, easy scalable, low footprint, suitable for retrofit, brownfield or greenfield application

– Low energy use, no use of chemicals or flocculants, producing concentrated waste streams with very high re-use potential

– Enabler for optimizing use of water, allowing for advanced energy and resource efficiency in the textile manufacturing processes

EC and the EColoRO concept are currently proven at TRL 6. The ECWRTI project will run for 48 months and will deliver technological proof at TRL 8, ready for commercial uptake. It will further deliver the materials, analysis and tools needed for rapid commercial roll-out.

The consortium consists of a focused and well-balanced team. The project is SME driven with EColoRO as coordinator and 6 partners from 3 EU member states with key know-how on waste water purification (VITO, EColoRO), textile technology and production (Inotex, Utexbel, Tintoria Pavese), electro-coagulation and engineering (Morselt),  process technology, open innovation and project support (ISPT) and EU wide market access in the textile sector (Euratex). An advisory board with stakeholders from textile, process industry and waste-water sectors will provide guidance, critical feedback and dissemination support.

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A panEuropean framework for strengthening Critical Infrastructure resilience to climate change

It is presently acknowledged and scientifically proven than climate related hazards have the potential to substantially affect the lifespan and effectiveness or even destroy of European Critical Infrastructures (CI), particularly the energy, transportation sectors, buildings, marine and water management infrastructure with devastating impacts in EU appraising the social and economic losses.

The main strategic objective of EU-CIRCLE is to move towards infrastructure network(s) that is resilient to today’s natural hazards and prepared for the future changing climate. Furthermore, modern infrastructures are inherently interconnected and interdependent systems; thus extreme events are liable to lead to ‘cascade failures’. EU-CIRCLE’s scope is to derive an innovative framework for supporting the interconnected European Infrastructure’s resilience to climate pressures, supported by an end-to-end modelling environment where new analyses can be added anywhere along the analysis workflow and multiple scientific disciplines can work together to understand interdependencies, validate results, and present findings in a unified manner providing an efficient “Best of Breeds” solution of integrating into a holistic resilience model existing modelling tools and data in a standardised fashion.

It, will be open & accessible to all interested parties in the infrastructure resilience business and having a confirmed interest in creating customized and innovative solutions. It will be complemented with a web-based portal. The design principles, offering transparency and greater flexibility, will allow potential users to introduce fully tailored solutions and infrastructure data, by defining and implementing customised impact assessment models, and use climate / weather data on demand.

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FOSTERING INDUSTRIAL SYMBIOSIS FOR A SUSTAINABLE RESOURCE INTENSIVE INDUSTRY ACROSS THE EXTENDED CONSTRUCTION VALUE CHAIN

The overall objective of FISSAC project is to develop and demonstrate a new paradigm built on an innovative industrial symbiosis model towards a zero waste approach in the resource intensive industries of the construction value chain, tackling harmonized technological and non technological requirements, leading to material closed-loop processes and moving to a circular economy.

A methodology and a software platform will be developed in order to implement the innovative industrial symbiosis model in a feasible scenario of industrial symbiosis synergies between industries (steel, aluminium, natural stone, chemical and demolition and construction sectors) and stakeholders in the extended construction value chain. It will guide how to overcome technical barriers and non technical barriers, as well as standardisation concerns to implement and replicate industrial symbiosis in a local/regional dimension. The ambition of the model will be to be replicated in other regions and other value chains symbiosis scenarios. The model will be applied based on the three sustainability pillars.

FISSAC will demonstrate the applicability of the model as well as the effectiveness of the innovative processes, services and products at different levels:

– Manufacturing processes: with demonstration of closed loop recycling processes to transform waste into valuable secondary raw materials, and manufacturing processes of the novel products at industrial scale.

– Product validation: with demonstration of the eco-design of eco-innovative construction products (new Eco-Cement and Green Concrete, innovative ceramic tiles and Rubber Wood Plastic Composites) in pre-industrial processes under a life cycle approach, and demonstration at real scale in different case studies of the application and the technical performance of the products.

– FISSAC model, with the demonstration of the software platform and replicability assessment of the model through living lab concept.

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de-FLuoridation technologies for imprOving quality of WatEr and agRo-animal products along the East African Rift Valley in the context of aDaptation to climate change.

FLOWERED objective is to contribute to the development of a sustainable water management system in areas affected by fluoride (F) contamination in water, soils and food in the African Rift Valley countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania), thus to improve living standards (environmental, health and food security) of its population.

FLOWERED aims to study, test and implement innovative defluoridation technologies for drinking and irrigation water that will mainly operate at small village scale and to develop an integrated, sustainable and participative water and agriculture management at a cross-boundary catchment scale.

On the basis of the complexity of the issue of water de-fluoridation, the proposed scientific approach in FLOWERED is based on a detailed knowledge of the geological and hydrogeological setting that controls contamination of water that constitute the prerequisite for the implementation of a sustainable water management and for the proposal of sustainable and suitable strategies for water sanitation and agricultural system. Innovative agricultural practices will be assessed, aiming to mitigate the impacts of F contamination of water and soil on productivity of selected food and forage crops and dairy cattle health and production. The development of an innovative and shared Geo-data system will support the integrated, sustainable and participative management system.

FLOWERED, focusing on innovative technologies and practices and taking into account local experiences, will implement an integrated water and agriculture management system and will enable local communities to manage water resources, starting from using efficient defluoridation techniques and applying sustainable agricultural practices. The integrated approaches improve knowledge for EU partners, local researchers, farmers and decision makers. The Project through the involvement of SMEs will strengthen the development co-innovative demonstration processes as well as new market opportunities.

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Low carbon footprint and eco-innovative UV water disinfection

The central objective for Eco-UV is the demonstration and characterisation of an innovative UV lamp and driving electronics technology for chemical-free water treatment and disinfection.

The newly implemented technology is a ground-breaking innovation providing up to four times increased lifetime with greatly increased efficiency, the energy consumption reduced by 80%. Thus, this technology provides a lower carbon footprint, much improved energy use and hence greatly reduced lifetime costs. Additionally, the innovative technology will be introduced with a mercury-free configuration, removing the need to handle with this hazardous substance in manufacture and disposal, hence providing a sustainable and eco-innovative technology. The project will prove the lamp technology by demonstration in real applications with full characterisation in terms of long-term stability, ageing effects and dose-response-relationship.

Furthermore, the UV lamps are integrated in reactors and the performance of the whole UV system is evaluated at a test centre for drinking water. A new testing protocol for different end-users applications will furthermore be derived, which will be the basis for a future standardised validation of industrial UV applications. The technology will be installed at three demonstration sites for an extended running period. At each, the treatment performance of the UV systems will be evaluated according to the inactivation of micro organisms and the reduction of application specific chemicals, e. g. antibiotics and pesticides. A full Life Cycle evaluation of cost and environmental benefits will be disseminated via EU ETV forums to ensure active uptake of the technology offering by comparing it to traditional UV technology in terms of energy, infrastructure and lifetime costs. The proposed UV technology is addressing the thematic priority areas as outlined in the EIP on Water, especially water reuse, water treatment, water governance and the water-energy nexus.

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A novel process for manufacturing complex shaped Fe-Al intermetallic parts resistant to extreme environments

There is a need to find solutions to replace Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) such as Chromium, Nickel, Molybdenium and Vanadium in high volume end consumer products.

Steels and superalloys with considerable amounts of these CRMs are widely used in many industrial applications, particularly under extreme conditions where corrosion and wear resistance are needed. It is generally accepted, that intermetallics in particular low cost FeAl offer outstanding material properties. Unfortunately it is difficult to translate their properties to real products, as intermetallics suffer from low ductility at ambient temperature and poor machinability. The impact of FeAl intermetallics  as a low cost Cr-free alternative for stainless steel would therefore be much higher if a cost effective industrial process would be available, that allows to manufacture complex 3-D geometries of almost unlimited shapes from small grain size (0.1-5 µm) high ductility material.

The main objective of EQUINOX is to develop a novel process that allows to substitute Cr/Ni based (stainless) steel parts used in high volume end consumer products such as in the lock industry, electronics, process industry and automotive industry with a novel near net shape production technology for a new class of highly advanced ductile Fe-Al based intermetallics. Ductility at low to medium temperatures, while maintaining good tensile strength and optimum level of residual stress will be based on a radical new production process that use abundant raw material Fe3O4 and Al2O3.

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Flexible and Mobile Economic Processing Technologies

FAME aims to increase the competitiveness of the mining of European mineral resources and to stimulate more private engagement and investment and thus business development with the potential to maintain and create high quality jobs within the EU28.

The focus and a principal aim is to enhance mineral processing and mining skills within Europe. A medium to long term aim is to reduce the reliance of European Industry and consumers on raw materials that currently have to be imported from outside EU28.

FAME will contribute to the more efficient exploitation of European domestic mineral resources including previously undeveloped resources that have the potential to contribute to the securing of raw material supply by optimising the extraction and processing of ores that include raw materials critical to the economic development of the EU (“critical raw materials”, CRM) and which occur in widespread deposits across the EU. This project specifically addresses primary ore deposits with skarn, pegmatite and greisen ores as they offer the most promising potential for this purpose. This proposal will consider the flexibility (and to an extent the mobility) of the processing concept, in particular, by ensuring the modularity of individual project components.

FAME will consider flexible and modular processing technology demonstrated in relevant operational environments (industrially relevant environments in the case of key enabling technologies (TRL). TRL6 is envisaged feasible for processing of pegmatites, whereas TRL5 is considered more realistic for other types of ore body. The consortium has 17 partners from 7 European countries and includes industry, academia and governmental institutions. The consortium has a strong industrial background and involves strategically important reference deposits operated or/and accessible to the project partners and, additionally, associated partners within the EU28 nations and Greenland.

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Next generation of superhard non-CRM materials and solutions in tooling

Flintstone2020 aims to provide a perspective for the replacement of two important CRMs – tungsten (W) and cobalt (Co) – which are the main constituents for two important classes of hard materials (cemented carbides/WC-Co, and PCD/diamond-Co), by developing innovative alternative solutions for tooling operating under extreme conditions.

Fundamental knowledge on mechanical properties and wear of different tools, gained in machining tests and dedicated experiments from WP1 is passed onto the respective WPs. WP2 will experiment on small samples with 3-9 mm Ø for testing the fundamental behavior of new B-X phases and particularly as a feedback for binder matrix improvement. In WP3 samples (12 mm Ø) will be investigated from individual HPHT runs for characterization and testing to guide high pressure sintering process optimization. The HPHT process and the samples produced are then upscaled to the industrial mass production level in WP4. In WP5, demonstrator cutting tools from full size HPHT synthesis test runs will be prepared via laser cutting and consecutive macro- and microshaping of tool geometry within WP5. In WP6 aspects of environmental benefits in the total life cycle of the superhard materials will be investigated, including health and safety aspects. WP7 will focus on exploitation and dissemination.

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Cities Cooperating for Circular Economy

The overall objective is to minimise the leakage of materials from the linear economy and work towards a circular economy. Specific objectives are to:

  • Engage cities, enterprises, citizens and academia in 16 participatory value chain based partnerships to create and develop eco-innovative solutions together.
  • Develop 10 viable end-markets by demonstrating new applications for plastic waste, metals (EEE devices), biowaste and wood waste.
  • Develop a governance model for cities based on value chain based partnerships.
  • Develop decision support tools and assess the actual impact by use of Big Data.
  • Ensure replication through the FORCE Academy aiming at enterprises, citizens and policy makers.

The eco-innovative solutions will be demonstrated across four cities (Copenhagen, Hamburg, Lisbon and Genoa) and using the four materials:

Flexible plastics: Recycling and upgrade of 5,000 tonnes of flexible plastic from enterprises and private households will enable virgin material substitution, corresponding to preventing emissions of 12,500 tonnes of CO2.

Metals: Citizens will be mobilised to reclaim an additional 2 kg/capita of WEEE (app. 3,600 tonnes). A communication campaign will reach 100,000 citizens and support at least five SME’s that repair damaged EEE devices so that 10-20% of the collected WEEE can be redistributed.

Wood waste: additional 12,000 tonnes wood waste from urban and mountain areas will be collected. 8-10,000 tonnes of brushwood will be used for compost production, and 14-16,000 tonnes will be processed into wood particles.

Biowaste: around 7,000 tonnes of biowaste from the municipal mixed waste stream will be recovered: 3,000 tonnes coming from restaurants and hotels, and 4,000 tonnes coming from households.

The partnerships will result in the creation of viable eco-innovative market solutions, exploited by the partners. Replication in other cities will be incentivised thus ensuring competitiveness of European Circular Economy and green growth.

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