Increasing the production of biomass crops has the potential to help provide Europe’s growing population with a secure and sustainable supply of food, animal feed, bioenergy and other products.
The leaf of the lotus flower is famed for its ability to shed water and keep itself clean and dry. Can we learn from biology and design materials with similar properties? That is the objective of the 14 academic and industrial partners in the EU-funded OYSTER project who are exploring the ‘wettability’ of surfaces and how they can be engineered to order.
The EU-funded X-MINE project’s solutions will enable mining companies to make better use of deposits of metals such as copper and gold, thereby helping to address Europe’s resource needs with less waste and lower environmental impact. The technologies are currently being tested at pilot sites in Sweden and Greece, with further trials planned in Bulgaria and Cyprus.
Europe is looking to increase its use of renewable energy sources as a way of reducing emissions and to tackle global warming. However, integrating the likes of solar and wind power into electricity grids remains a challenge due to fluctuations in supply and limited storage capacity. This is an issue for power system operators who need to maintain security of electricity supplies to homes and industry.