Indium-Free Transparent Conductive Oxides for Glass and Plastic Substrates

INFINITY will develop an inorganic alternative to a scarce and high cost material, indium tin oxide (ITO), currently used as a Transparent Conductive Coating (TCC) for display electrodes on glass and plastic substrates.

The novel conductive materials to be developed in this project will be based on low cost sol-gel chemistry using more widely available metallic elements and will leverage recent advances in nanostructured coatings. Novel printing procedures will also be developed to enable direct writing of multi and patterned nano-layers, removing the waste associated with etch patterning.

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Towards Indium free TCOs         

The goal of INREP is to develop and deploy valid and robust alternatives to indium (In) based transparent conductive electrode materials as electrodes. In-based materials, mainly ITO, are technologically entrenched in the commercial manufacture of components like LEDs (both organic and inorganic), solar cells, touchscreens, so replacing them with In-free transparent conducting oxides (TCOs) will require holistic approach.

The INREP philosophy is to meet this challenge by addressing the whole value chain via an application focused research programme aiming at developing tailor made solutions for each targeted application.

This programme will produce a complete evaluation of the relevant properties of the proposed TCOs, including the impact of deposition technique, and by doing so, devise optimum processes for their application in selected, high value application areas.  The selected application areas are organic and inorganic light emitting diodes (LEDs), solar cells and touchscreens.  The physical properties of interest are the transparency, electrical conductivity, work function, texture, and chemical and thermal stability.

To reach its overall goal, INREP brings together industrial and academic experts in TCOs, the technology and processes for their deposition and their applications in a concerted research programme that will result in the creation of TCOs and deposition technologies with the optimum opto-electrical properties suitable for the economic and safe manufacture of the specified photonic or opto-electronic components.

The approach will include life cycle assessments of the environmental impact of the developed TCO materials and of their formation technologies over the entire period from application in manufacturing, through component operation into waste management.

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Demonstration of a Decision Support System for a Novel Integrated Solution aimed at Water Reuse in the Oil & Gas Industry

The Oil&Gas (O&G) industry is one of the 8 most water-intensive industries; indeed, it could be conceived as a water industry which delivers oil as a by-product.

Specifically, by 2020 it is expected that over 500 million barrels/day of produced water (PW) and about 15 million m³/day of refinery wastewater (RW) are generated. Despite the necessity and potential beneficial impacts of reusing the water involved in extraction and refining activities,  several significant barriers are hampering this opportunity. Firstly, the existent commercial water treatment technologies cannot be used directly in the O&G sector without an extensive adaptation, and they are not flexible and reliable enough to bear the complexity and variability of PW/RW composition. Moreover, there is no expertise or experience in the O&G sector in the design and operation of water treatment systems.

The INTEGROIL project aims to develop and demonstrate a robust but flexible integrated solution for treating O&G water flows with variable compositions to different water qualities depending on the final reuse objective. This new solution will be readily designed with different modules each comprising innovative water treatment technologies that will be operated and optimized in an integrated manner through a novel Decision Support System, in line with 3 priorities of the EIP Water. The INTEGROIL approach ensures minimal design and operational efforts involved from the O&G end-user side and that the energy and chemical costs are kept to an absolute minimum for a certain target water quality. Its feasibility and long-term application will be assessed through demo activities in 2 real operational conditions, that will provide critical information for the commercialisation actions to be undertaken.

The INTEGROIL consortium brings together 10 entities (6 SMEs) covering the full value chain, including technology developers, O&G end-users, a Sustainability Assessment firm and a professional association.

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Improving the Smart Control of Air Pollution in Europe

The iSCAPE project aims to integrate and advance the control of air quality and carbon emissions in European cities in the context of climate change through the development of sustainable and passive air pollution remediation strategies,

policy interventions and behavioural change initiatives. It will tackle the problem of reducing air pollution at target receptors with an innovative SME-led approach, focusing on the use of “Passive Control Systems” in urban spaces. Improvements in air quality, microclimate and behavioural aspects of urban dwellers will be achieved by applying real-world physical interventions on the urban tissue to alter ventilation rates and dispersion patterns in the selected cities assessed for future climate change scenarios and representative of different cultural&life styles in Europe.

Through the approach of Living Labs the team will deploy a network of air quality and meteorological sensors (both stationary and mobile) and evaluate through analysis and a suite of up-to-date numerical modelling the benefits expected from the interventions on a neighbourhood and city-wide scale for several aspects ranging from quantification of pollutant concentration to exposure. iSCAPE encapsulates the concept of “smart cities” by promoting the use of low-cost sensors, engaging citizens in the use of alternative solution processes to environmental problems. iSCAPE will support sustainable urban development by promoting the sharing of results with policy-makers and planners using local test-cases, and providing scientific evidence ready-to-use solutions potentially leading to real-time operational interventions. This integrated approach will include the development and assessment of a framework aimed at changing the mobility behaviour of people by studying processes and dynamics that lead to more resilient, healthy, and sustainable cities, by bringing together theory from urban planning, public policy, urban and environmental sociology and urban geography.

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DevelopMent AnD application of integrated technological and management solutions FOR wasteWATER treatment and efficient reuse in agriculture tailored to the needs of  Mediterranean African Countries

Climate change and population growth are expected to exacerbate the water crisis of Mediterranean African Countries (MACs), where agriculture accounts for 80-85% of freshwater consumption.

The aim of MADFORWATER is to develop a set of integrated technological and management solutions to enhance wastewater treatment, reuse for irrigation and water efficiency in agriculture in three MACs (Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt). MADFORWATER will develop and adapt to three main hydrological basins in the selected MACs technologies for the production of irrigation-quality water from drainage canals, municipal, agro-industrial and industrial wastewaters, and technologies for water efficiency and reuse in agriculture, initially validated at laboratory scale. Selected technologies will be further adapted and validated in four field pilot plants of integrated wastewater treatment/reuse.

Integrated strategies for wastewater treatment and reuse targeted to the selected basins will be developed, and guidelines for the development of integrated water management strategies in other basins of the three target MACs will be produced, considering climate change, population increase and economic growth scenarios. The social and technical suitability of the developed technologies and non-technological instruments in relation to the local context will be evaluated with the participation of MAC stakeholders and partners. Guidelines on economic instruments and policies for the effective implementation of the proposed water management solutions in the target MACs will be developed. The project will lead to a relevant long-term impact in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia in terms of increased wastewater treatment, wastewater reuse, food production and income in the agricultural and water treatment sectors, and decreased groundwater exploitation, water pollution and food contamination. The MADFORWATER consortium consists of 18 partners, 5 of which from the 3 MACs and 1 from China.

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Innovative Ecological on-site Sanitation System for Water and Resource Savings

INNOQUA will accelerate the path to market of a modular set of innovative, patent protected, award winning and scalable fully ecological sanitation solutions that address wide market needs in rural communities, for agricultural industries, for sustainable home-builders or collective housing owners and for developing countries worldwide.

The modular system is based on the purification capacity of biological organisms (worms, zooplankton and microorganism) and sorption materials bringing ecological, safe and affordable sanitation capacity where it is needed most while fully addressing the thematic and cross cutting priorities of the EIP on Water.

We will perform demonstration scale deployment and resulting exploitation of the system to include commercial development, technology integration, eco-design, controlled environment pilots (in NUI Galway facilities in Ireland and UDG facilities in Spain), real use demo sites and market uptake preparation in several EU and non-EU countries (France, Italy, Ireland, Romania, UK, Ecuador, Peru, India and Tanzania), and further preparation for post project uptake.

Such an integrated solution is innovative and has not been employed in the past. This integrated but modular solution for the final reuse of wastewater is particularly attractive for small to medium remote water stressed European communities with high water demand for either agriculture and/or the conservation of natural freshwater ecosystems. The system is aimed at being a sustainable solution for ‘zero’ wastewater production with the complete reuse of wastewater. The system is ideal for small to medium scale situations where an integrated solution for the treatment of wastewater is required to reduce the waste directed to surface freshwaters for the attainment of good quality water, as stated by the Water Framework Directive. The robust but efficient technologies are also ideal for deployment in markets where resources are limited and skilled staff unavailable.

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Development and application of Novel, Integrated Tools for monitoring and managing Catchments

INTCATCH will instigate a paradigm shift in the monitoring and management of surface water quality that is fit for global waters in the period 2020-2050.

INTCATCH will do this by developing efficient, user-friendly water monitoring strategies and systems based on innovative technologies that will  provide real time data for important parameters, moving towards SMART Rivers. The business model will transform water governance by facilitating sustainable water quality management by community groups and NGOs using a clouds data linked to a decision support system and eco-innovative technologies.

The INTCATCH project will use demonstration activities to showcase eco-innovative autonomous and radio controlled boats, sensors, DNA test kits and run-off treatment technologies. Actions which develop and evaluate these in a range of catchments will address the important innovation barriers to uptake, notably, a lack of knowledge of new technologies and their capabilities, identified by the European Innovation Plan (EIP) on water. By conceptually moving the laboratory to the ‘field’, the monitoring techniques that will be developed aim to supersede the inefficient, time dependent, costly and labour-intensive routine sampling and analysis procedures currently deployed to understand the quality of receiving waters. It will compliment routine monitoring that is required for baseline datasets, but also enable cost-effective impact and management investigations.

INTCATCH will incentivise stakeholder innovation in monitoring and will facilitate new financing for innovation through its innovative franchise business model and empowerment of community groups and NGOs. The market ambition is that the INTCATCH business will facilitate an eco-innovative approach to deliver good quality water bodies across Europe and beyond. This will support green growth, increase resilience to climate change and capture greater market-share for Europe’s innovative industries.

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Integrated innovative metallurgical system to benefit efficiently polymetallic, complex and low grade ores and concentrates

The INTMET approach represents a unique technological breakthrough to overcome the limitations related to difficult low grade and complex ores to achieve high efficient recovery of valuable metals (Cu, Zn, Pb, Ag) and CRM (Co, In, Sb).

Main objective of INTMET is applying on-site mine-to-metal hydroprocessing of the produced concentrates enhancing substantially raw materials efficiency thanks to increase Cu\Zn\Pb recovery over 60% vs. existing selective flotation. 3 innovative hydrometallurgical processes (atmospheric, pressure and bioleaching), and novel more effective metals extraction techniques (e.g. Cu/Zn-SX-EW, chloride media, MSA, etc) will be developed and tested at relevant environment aiming to maximise metal recovery yield and minimising energy consumption and environmental footprint. Additionally secondary materials like tailings and metallurgical wastes will be tested as well for metals recovery and sulphur valorisation. The technical, environmental and economic feasibility of the entire approaches will be evaluated to ensure a real business solution of the integrated INTMET process.

INTMET will be economically viable thanks to diversification of products (Cu, Zn, Pb), high-profitable solution (producing commodities not concentrates), with lower operation and environmental costs (on-site hydroprocessing will avoid transport to smelters) and allowing mine-life extension developing a new business-model concept based on high efficient recovery of complex ores that will ensure EU mining industry competitiveness and employment.

INTMET is fully aligned with EIP-RM validated in the PolymetOre Commitment where most of INTMET partners take part on and the market up-take solutions are guaranteed by an exploitation from industrially-driven consortia composed by 3 Mines, 2 SMEs (AGQ -waste&water tech provider; MINPOL -policy & exploitation expert), 2 tech providers (OUTOTEC and TR) and 5 complementary RTD´s with expertise in leaching and recovery metals processing.

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A Citizen Observatory and Innovation Marketplace for Land Use and Land Cover Monitoring

Currently within the EU’s Earth Observation (EO) monitoring framework, there is a need for low-cost methods for acquiring high quality in-situ data to create accurate and well-validated environmental monitoring products.

The aim of the LandSense project is to build a far reaching citizen observatory for Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) monitoring that will also function as a technology innovation marketplace. LandSense will deploy advanced tools, services and resources to mobilize and engage citizens to collect in-situ observations (i.e. ground-based data and visual interpretations of EO imagery). Integrating these citizen-driven in-situ data collections with established authoritative and open access data sources will help reduce costs, extend GEOSS and Copernicus capacities, and support comprehensive environmental monitoring systems. New LandSense services (LandSense Campaigner, FarmLand Support, Change Detector and Quality Assurance & Control) will be deployed in three demonstration cases that will address critical LULC issues in the areas of urbanization, agricultural land use and forest/habitat monitoring.

Policy-relevant campaigns will be implemented in close collaboration with multiple stakeholders to ensure that citizen observations contribute to EU-wide environmental governance and decision-making. There will be numerous pathways to citizen empowerment via the LandSense Engagement Platform, i.e. tools for discussion, online voting collaborative mapping, as well as events linked to various campaigns involving public consultation. Simultaneously, to improve Europe’s role in the business of in-situ monitoring, LandSense will create sustainable business models to support market uptake and innovation of its novel added-value products and services.

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Moving Towards Adaptive Governance in Complexity: Informing Nexus Security

MAGIC is a proposal coordinated by the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) in collaboration with partners which have a proven and track record in their respective fields of competence.

Our objective is to open the path towards a new way of managing the Nexus in which researchers and decision makers work together in the search for development strategies that can contribute to the smart, sustainable and inclusive economic growth required by the EU 2020 Strategy, while maintaining a leading and informed participation in international discussions about global issues, like climate change or food security.

In order to do so, MAGIC deploys a set of novel, cutting-edge and system-oriented approaches that originates from system ecology, bio-economics and Science and Technology Studies. Their combination allows MAGIC to highlights if a certain mix of EU policies results in undesirable or unforeseen outcomes. Climate, water, land energy, and food modelling are integrated into a socio- and bio-economics framework using an iterative and participatory method. Significant care is taken to embed these ideas and approaches within the advisory and decision making functions of the European Commission.

Impacts are twofold. First, MAGIC contributes a methodological framework where the needs for advice of different DG in the design of development strategies for the EU are covered using a method that can embrace the complexity of the nexus, for a better understanding of the interactions it holds. Second, the project provides ‘on the flight’ advice to the EC about the timeliness and soundness for the EU 2020 Strategy and the EU position in international agreements of EU policies -like the Water Framework Directive, the Common Agricultural Policy, or the Low-Carbon Economy Strategy- and targets of implementing technologies -such as fracking, desalination, biofuels and GMOs.

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