COOL-Coverings: a range of nanotech coatings to improve Near Infrared (NIR) reflective properties of buildings

The COOL-Coverings project addressed a range of insulation solutions based on nanotechnology coatings. These coatings aim at improving the Near Infrared (NIR) reflective properties of construction materials, thereby improving the energy efficiency in buildings. A set of new materials was developed to be implemented into several construction components. 

SOMABAT: Novel SOlid MAterials for high power Li polymer BATteries for the manufacturing and recycling of automotive batteries.

An environmental friendly and low cost Li polymer battery with high energy density was developed. Synthetic carbon and other materials coming from agricultural wastes were obtained to make up the anode. Novel nanostructured cathode materials based on lithium iron and manganese phosphate allowed maximum energy storage in minimum space. And polymeric materials made up the electrolyte, thereby avoiding safety issues (e.g. issues related to leakages, short circuits, overcharge).

Wood Hybrid Building System up to 30 stories

Building and constructing in a sustainable way is becoming more vital given a growing global population and environmental challenges. The company Cree has developed a hybrid timber construction system for reducing resources, time and money when building new public buildings, offices, hotels, restaurants etc. This is achieved by building with wood and a modular construction.


The Arctic has characteristic conditions for analyzing climate change and pollution effects. The area is relatively clean, but it receives long-range transported contaminants from long distances, primarily in the northern hemisphere. Furthermore, low temperatures alter common pollutant transportation mechanisms; for example, air pollutants can be deposited on ice through snow and retained for years until melting. The Arctic also has unique food chains; many species gather fat reserves for energy storage and insulation where pollutants are accumulated. The singular diet of autochthonous populations is based in these species and, as a consequence, Arctic populations suffer an inimitable situation: they live in relatively clean environments, but are strongly exposed to pollutants impact. 


It is now well established that climate change will deeply affect both ecosystems and hydrological systems, especially in the Himalayan region. Overall, snow and ice from the Himalayan glaciers will melt faster than it accumulates and surrounding countries (e.g. India) will be impacted socially, economically and ecologically. Climate change is expected to have both short and long term effects on the hydrological system. In the short term, discharge of mountain rivers is projected to increase due to the additional melting of snow and glaciers of the Himalayas. In the long term, with glaciers  declining, there will be a reduced amount of water flowing into rivers. Runoff variability will increase and reflect precipitation variability. Northern Indiais highly dependent on summer monsoons and glacier snowmelt for its water resources. This region needs damage-reducing techniques such as efficient and relevant adaptation measures and response strategies in order to cope with the changing patterns of water resources availability.


Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modelling tools correlate environmental contamination threats with effects on the human health in order to make complex assessments of sustainable living achievement. PBPK models are a way to mathematically transcribe the anatomical, physiological, physical, and chemical descriptions of the occurrences involved in the complex processes of absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of synthetic or natural chemical substances in humans and other animal species. This mathematical technique is conventionally used in pharmaceutical research drug development and health risk assessment. The obtained models are used for managing disparate data from experiments, abstracting and combining them. By using existing information on the anatomical and physiological structure of the body, (and to a certain extent, on biochemistry) the models give access to internal body concentrations of chemicals or their metabolites. PBPK models are used to show the effects from exposure to a substance in those cases linear dose-response models cannot be used, due to variations in absorption, distribution, metabolism etc. between individuals. 


Among the challenges related to matching the global increasing energy demand, there are resource deficiency and emissions of greenhouse gases. Two common responses to meet these challenges consist of introducing measures to decrease the energy consumption or choosing more sustainable energy sources. This dual approach can be found in the project FIEMSER (Friendly Intelligent Energy Management System for Existing Residential Buildings), where the development of a ground-breaking energy management system for buildings (BEMS) is currently taking place. The project is funded under the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission (FP7), a grant funding programme, running for three years and coming to an end in 2013. 


The CLIMSAVE project delivered a user-friendly, interactive web-based software tool that allows climate change impacts and vulnerabilities to be assessed for a number of sectors (agriculture, forestry, biodiversity, water, coasts and urban) under a wide range of climate and socio-economic scenarios. The tool also enables stakeholders to explore adaptation strategies for reducing climate change vulnerability, discovering where, when and under what circumstances such actions may help. 


NATURNET-REDIME was a research project that focused on education and training activities related to sustainable development. The project aimed to help different stakeholders (citizens, students, teachers, scientists and policy makers) to understand the factors and tools that affect sustainable development. The project was funded under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), and was coordinated by a Centre of Czech Republic (Czech Centre for Science and Society-CCSS).


Understanding the carbon cycle is a key issue for better estimating the effect of human activity on climate change. Several projects for improving the accuracy of existing models have been carried out in the last decade. Concerning the European terrestrial
greenhouse gas balance, existing assessments have only focused on one emission gas (carbon dioxide CO2, nitrous oxide N2O or methane CH4) and have been applied to only one land use.


Global warming has been proved to be related to an important alteration of the greenhouse gas balance, which in turn is linked to our big dependence on fossil fuels, the increasing industrialisation and a non-sustainable land use.


The UncertWeb project, aims at managing the propagation of uncertainty, when integrating multiple resources, mainly models or data that are exposed as web services, into complex model workflows.


The Building Energy Watcher, BEYWATCH project, developed a multidisciplinary solution to improve the overall energy efficiency of the electric value chain from the utility company to the households. The solution implies reducing energy consumption at home, managing energy demand, balancing demand and production, diversifying local energy sources, and providing economic incentives to the main actors.


Aerosols are minute particles suspended in the atmosphere which have a strong influence on air quality, since they scatter and absorb solar radiation, changing the Earth radiation balance and consequently global temperature patterns. Additionally, as they act as cloud condensation nuclei, they are also influencing precipitation trends.

SoilCAM - Geophysical software

The SoilCAM (Soil Contamination: Advanced integrated characterization and time-lapse Monitoring) project is a four-year initiative funded by the Seventh Framework Programme, FP7, a grant funding programme, which will end during 2012. It aims to develop integrated strategies and
damage-reducing techniques to detect temporal and spatial change of chemical and physical properties of the subsoil that can be related to sustainable environmental recovery of polluted sites.


Contamination of soil and ground water from diffuse and point sources is a serious problem. The most frequent local soil contaminants are mineral oil and heavy metals and for ground water, mineral oil and chlorinated hydrocarbons. However, the development of certain damage-reducing techniques can provide solutions to these challenges. The SoilCAM (Soil Contamination: Advanced integrated characterization and time-lapse Monitoring) project is a four-year initiative, part of the research cluster “Soil Technology Research” funded by the European Commission. This particular project was funded by the Seventh Framework Programme, FP7, a grant funding programme, and will end during 2012.


LUPIS (Land Use Policies and Sustainable Development in Developing countries) aimed to make use of modelling tools and qualitative approaches to perform ex-ante impact assessments of land use policies in seven developing countries.


Africa is severally affected by the consequences of climate change: floods and droughts are being more and more frequent due to global warming. However,
climate change monitoring has been poorly developed in Africa. The effect of African changes on global climate change is not known, nor is the influence of African processes for GHG source and depletion on the global carbon cycle. In addition, in the context of the Kyoto Protocol the ignorance about the composition of the total African gas emissions (gas budget) prevents from quantifying the potential carbon sequestration in Sub-Saharan Africa.


The DeSurvey Desertification Surveillance System Tool Box (DDSS) comprises a set of five software tools for modelling and geomatic monitoring in wide land zones in order to evaluate, forecast and assess the desertification effects therein.


As almost one third of the world’s wild nature resources can be found in Russia, the country is an important stakeholder for the natural sustainability provision. This is in fact more important since in the country signed the 1992 Rio Declaration.

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