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Schools of a good climate – construction of educational green zones in primary schools no. 1 and no. 4 in Kozienice to mitigate climate change and adapt to its effects

Project

The GeenZone project aims to i) strengthen the resilience in the schools to the negative effects of climate change; ii) raise students and teachers' awareness of climate change; and iii) reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the local community level. To do so, the project will implement various nature-based solutions (NBS) in two schools and one public space in the city of Kozienice, including:

  1. Construction of permeable ground surfaces for water retention and managing rainwater
  2. Implementing green walls, planting appropriate non-invasive plants and fruit trees
  3. Building eco-educational space
  4. Developing educational paths and didactic gardens
  5. Creating eco-gardens, building houses for animals

In addition, various educational and awareness raising activities will be carried out, including:

  1. Awareness raising campaigns via various social media towards public
  2. Activation of the schools and local communities through direct engagement in the implementation of the NBS
  3. Training and educational activities towards schools’ teachers and students

Improved energy efficiency of school buildings in Zulawy Wislane

Project

Climate change is manifested through rising sea levels, heat waves, forest fires, droughts, floods and increasing temperatures. They all affect ecosystems and biodiversity, as well as economic growth, infrastructure, and quality of life. There is an urgent need to reduce emissions as reflected in the 2015 Paris Agreement and the EU’s 2030 Climate and Energy Framework.

The Green Zulawy project aims to improve energy efficiency of school buildings, reduce CO2 emissions, increase the share of energy generated from renewable energy sources, and raise the energy efficiency awareness of the inhabitants.

To do so, the following key tasks are planned:

  • Stakeholders mapping, engagement, and co-creation workshops
  • Capacity building, training and knowledge sharing on solutions including nature-bases solutions for improving energy efficiency
  • Awareness raising and education activities towards schoolchildren and teachers
  • Thermal modernisation in three Primary Schools
  • Lab and field study tours – nature-based solutions and renewable energy facilities in Norway
  • Analysis of project impact on society

Project leader:

Ms Anna Uzdowska, Head of the Development Department, Gmina Nowy Staw

EUROpean quality Controlled Harmonization Assuring Reproducible Monitoring and assessment of plastic pollution

Project

Plastic pollution has become a global environmental and societal concern in recent years. Numerous protocols have been developed to monitor plastic debris, but these are rarely comparable. This has hindered gathering of knowledge regarding pollution sources, development of monitoring programmes and risk assessments and implementation of mitigation measures.

To develop long-term solutions to reduce plastic pollution, it is essential to establish harmonised methodologies. EUROqCHARM will address this by critically reviewing state-of-the-art analytical methods and, taking harmonisation one step further, validating them through an interlaboratory comparison (ILC) study. This will bring together prominent laboratories in environmental plastics analysis and will produce certified reference materials to be marketed for at least three of the four target matrices (water, soil/sediment, biota, air), during and after project completion.

EUROqCHARM recognises that harmonisation for large scale monitoring requires flexibility, comparability and reliability. We will identify Reproducible Analytical Pipelines (RAP), resulting in a catalogue of RAP procedures for nano-, micro- and macro-plastics for the four target matrices. Each RAP will be validated in terms of Technology Readiness Level to decide if further validation is needed (by ILC).

Blueprints for standards, recommendations for policy and legislation and support for the establishment of acceptable reference levels and environmental targets will be given. This will include a roadmap for harmonised data collection and management, where policy analysis and coherence will be integral parts. To maximise impact, EUROqCHARM will also establish and consolidate an operational network for plastic monitoring, stimulating Transnational Joint Actions built on existing and future European and international initiatives.

The multi-stakeholder composition of EUROqCHARM puts the group in a unique position to achieve these ambitious goals.

Engaging citizens in food diversity in cities

Project

“Grow your own food in the corridor of your building, reduce GHG (greenhouse gas) emission, the waste of food and energy and transportation costs! Improve your physical health by changing your eating habits and engage with your neighbours!”

The main goal of SmartFood project (https://smartfood.city/) is to provide a novel evidence-based socio-technological framework of sustainable food production and consumption towards the sustainable smart city of the future by engaging micro-local communities through novel in-house food self-production and households’ behavioural change of diet, for the purpose of improving health outcomes and reducing GHG emissions, waste of energy, improved social inclusion and greater citizen awareness.

SmartFood integrates state of the art interdisciplinary research of urban food consumption and production, with a novel approach to co-creation of insect- and vege-based, nutritious foods, without using any soil or land, while exploiting the locally available rainwater and solar energy for all year long sustainable and safe food production in corridors of urban blocks of flats.

SmartFood aims to make a significant contribution towards fulfilling the long-term vision of cities of the future, where switching to sustainable food consumption and production patterns increases healthy eating habits, reduces reliance on food retailing, reduces food waste and strengthens communal connection in urban buildings.

As outcome of these activities, home food production reduces environmental footprint by lowering greenhouse gas emissions for food production and transportation. Relative to the prior work on reduction of food waste and sustainable community development that primarily rely on self-reported survey measures which have low predictive reliability, we use state of the art controlled experiment that implements actual sustainable food self-production facilities and measures real environmental, behavioral and attitudinal outcomes and therefore provides evidence-based policy recommendations.

Strategies to strengthen scientific excellence and innoVation capacIty for early diagnoSIs of gastrOintestinal caNcers

Project

Slovakia belongs to countries with the highest incidence of colorectal and pancreatic cancer in Europe. Therefore, the main goal of the VISION proposal is to strengthen the scientific excellence and innovative capacity of Biomedicinske centrum Slovenskej akademie vied (BMC SAV), in early detection of gastrointestinal cancer (GI).

Creation of a strategic partnership between the coordinator from widening county, BMC SAV and four internationally-recognized institutions, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Foerderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V. (FhG), Ramón y Cajal University Hospital Health Research Institute represented by Servicio Madrileno de Salud, (SERMAS), Ethniko Kai Kapodistriako Panepistimio Athinon (NKUA), and Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU) will enhance the credibility and recognition of BMC SAV in European research area.

Transfer of knowledge and research ideas, sharing of know-how, expertise and best practices, together with the implementation of cutting edge-technologies, will contribute to the enhancement of high-quality translational cancer research at BMC SAV, particularly GI cancer.

Collaboration and networking between VISION partners will accelerate the personal and professional development of early stage researchers and medical doctors, impact the rate of success in internationally competitive research funding and high-quality peer-reviewed publications.

Involvement of VISION partners in mentoring and co-supervision of PhD will increase the quality of education at universities, mainly medical and natural science faculties. Moreover, regional and outreach activities supported by VISION will lead to enhanced public awareness of cancer and the importance of prevention.

Towards a reliable assessment of nanomaterial health effects using advanced biological models and assays

Project

A sound scientific basis is needed to assess the risks to workers and consumers, to inform regulatory bodies and to ensure a responsible development of nanotechnology. Most of the existing laboratory (in vitro) biological models, exposure systems and doses, as well data (in silico) models do not reflect the real life exposure to nanomaterials (NMs). A significant source for unreliable results is represented by possible interactions of NMs with the reagents and detection systems for toxicity evaluation. The fast pace at which NMs enter the market requires a shift from expensive and ethically doubtful animal testing to innovative, reliable and socially acceptable in vitro and in silico test systems.

NanoBioReal aims to design and establish "real-life like" biological methods from single cell to three-dimensional reconstructed models, including "organ- on-a-chip" systems, as well as data models.

A special focus will be placed on label- and interference-free methods, including label-free microscopy and impedance-based methods. Their capacity to mimic true short and long term exposure situations will be tested by comparison with appropriate testing on animal models and with results from EU and national projects (NANoREG, NANoREG2, NorNANoREG, ProSafe). At the end of the project, reliable, efficient and relevant biological and data models and methods will be delivered to support a safe®-by-design approach to NM development answering the needs of various end-users, stakeholders and regulators.

National partners:

Dept. of Clinical Dentistry (IKO), Fac. of Medicine, Univ. of Bergen (UiB), Norwegian Inst. for Air Research (NILU), National Inst. of Occupational Health (STAMI), and Norwegian Univ. of Science and Technology (NTNU).

Subcontractors:

NorGenotech.

International partners:

Catalan Inst. of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), Univ. of Gdansk. Collaborators: Dept. of Physics and Technology (UiB), Dept. of Electrical Engineering (HVL), NIOM, TkVest and TkØst.

Circular Economy Resource Information System

Project

The rising demand and limited supply of critical raw materials (CRMs) impair the ability to rapidly adopt technological change toward green and sustainable technologies, which directly affect the resilience of EU industries seeking to achieve Green Deal objectives for an equitable, zeroemission, and digitalized Europe.

In response to these challenges, the European Commission aims to minimize the loss of secondary raw materials (SRM) and optimize their reuse across value chains.

CE-RISE will develop and pilot an integrated framework and an ensuing resource information system to identify optimal solutions for the effective reuse, recovery, and/or recycling of materials by

  1. defining a set of criteria (RE criteria) to evaluate the extent to which products and embedded components can be reused, repaired, refurbished and/or recycled;
  2. incorporating information on RE criteria and material composition of products into the Digital product passport (DPP) to enable traceability of materials in the supply chain;
  3. integrating DPP with information on the environmental footprint of products (PEF), socio-economic and environmental (SEE) impacts of RE processes;
  4. enabling confidential and anonymized information sharing among actors throughout value chains;
  5. providing open access software application to disseminate information on the assessment of RE criteria, PEF and SEE impacts of products to all stakeholders including consumers and policymakers.

The results will be piloted on four case studies. CE-RISE will contribute to bridging the digital divide in society by supplying affordable second-hand ICT devices, and supporting access to digital education and job opportunities. Ultimately, CE-RISE will foster a dynamic ecosystem geared toward prolonging the use of materials in the economy and stimulating circular business models to reduce waste generation while optimizing the reuse of SRMs.

Read more about the project in the news article at NILU web

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3030/101092281

Low Latency Air Quality Management

Project

Existing air quality (AQ) monitoring and management (AQMS) methods and evolving modelling practices across Norwegian and European cities have achieved significant improvements of AQ but further progress is needed due to some quality-driven requirements, such as low-latency AQ prediction. This can only be achieved by intelligent data processing at multiple levels of granularity.

To this end, affordable, effective and intelligent tools are needed that utilize the current advances in digitization of all spheres of society, providing radical innovation of air quality management.

The AirQMan project promises autonomous computational methods and techniques that can be used to develop such solutions, and has the potential for opening up a new era in air quality management. Our strong belief is that such a system can be realized across the Edge-Fog-Cloud continuum, extending data processing and computational intelligence from the Cloud to multiple levels of Fog nodes towards the edge of the network.

The project will develop AirQDM – a novel data processing design model that will autonomously determine the optimal data fusion processing flow, the right data sources, and the right trained deep learning (DL) model for maximizing the accuracy of a prediction related to an AQ request.

A second innovation of the project, AirQWare will determine (predict) the optimal distributed deployment for an efficient computation of the DL model while satisfying requirements on accuracy and latency, and adapt the deployment of the DL model during runtime as necessary to maintain accuracy and latency requirements.

By applying the AirQMan approach, the new generation of AQMS will provide: i) low-latency data validation and fusion to increase the accuracy of air quality evaluation, and to support intelligent services, respectively, and ii) cognitive decision making with various degrees of autonomy enabling low-latency actuations of AQ mitigations.

By i kveldslys

CitySatAir

Project

More than half of the world’s population is living in cities. According to the WHO air quality database, 80% of people living in urban areas that monitor air pollution are exposed to air quality levels that exceed WHO limits. Narrowing down to cities in low- and middle-income countries with more than 100 000 inhabitants, this number increases to 98%. To revert urban air pollution a clear understanding of the local situation is essential. Low-income cities, which are most impacted by unhealthy air, usually have less resources available for a good reference network. It is here where a combination of low-cost sensors and satellite data can make a difference.

Integration of different data sources of air quality observations is far from trivial. Observations about air quality are available from a wide variety of data sources, however they all have different sampling coverage and frequencies as well as different spatial representativities. Low-cost air quality sensors have emerged over recent years and provide a possibility for acquiring air quality observations at high spatial detail in urban areas, however they often suffer from substantial uncertainties. Satellites observe air pollution in the troposphere, and its relation with surface concentrations must first be solved for urban air quality monitoring applications. So far, only very few studies aim at joining heterogeneous data sources of urban air quality, and to our knowledge no previous work has provided practical solutions which can be implemented in cities everywhere.

The primary scientific objective of the proposed project is to investigate how Sentinel-5P/TROPOMI satellite data (especially tropospheric NO2 columns) can be better exploited for monitoring and mapping urban air quality at scales relevant for human exposure. The end goal is to deliver hourly air quality maps of NO2 for our selected test cities at 100 m resolution. The chosen cities (Oslo and Madrid) have extensive reference monitoring stations for air quality, and, in the case of Oslo, embedded low-cost sensor networks measuring NO2. This enables us to test the performance of the assimilation of TROPOMI observations under different in-situ network configurations. It will show us what the added value of satellite observations will be when these assimilation systems are applied to cities with poorer or non-existent monitoring networks.

Jente som nyser i et lommetørkle

Development of a pollen information service based on data from Sentinel satellite plattforms– Phase 2

Project

The project is a continuation of the first phase of the SEN4POL project and will evaluate the potential of using satellite data for mapping and predicting birch pollen in Norway.

The project exploits the satellite data provided by the Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 platforms, that are operated by the European Copernicus programme, in order to provide spatially more detailed information about vegetation status and surface properties.

This information is then used to developed improved predictions regarding the onset of the birch pollen season. We primarily use the Ocean and Land Color Instrument (OLCI) and the Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR) on Sentinel-3 and the Multi Spectral Instrument (MSI) onboard of the Sentinel-2-plattform.

The long-term goal of this multiple-phase project is to develop an automated satellite-based pollen service that can be operated and used internally at NAAF for contributing to the ongoing work related to the governmental mandate that this organisation has to deliver pollen predictions to the public.

The project is a collaboration between NILU, Norwegian Computing Center and the Norwegian Asthma and Allergy Association.

Intelligent Environmental Reporters

Project

The main objective of the INTER project is to develop Intelligent Environmental Reporters- green nanoparticles that can be used to measure residual oil directly in an environmentally friendly manner.

To understand how the particles can be used to estimate how much residual oil there is, and where, we will perform computer simulations in concert with physical experiments in the laboratory. We will also develop new analytical techniques that can read the particles' "memories", the oil reporters must be able to memorize how much oil they have encountered in the oil reservoir.

With time, all oil fields will experience a decline in production. To counteract this development, one may inject water into some wells and push the remaining oil towards other wells where it can be produced. Even after this, there is normally a lot of residual oil left. To determine how much, different methodes are used. One method is partitioning interwell tracer test (PITT), another is single well chemical tracer test (SWCTT). Both use the difference in flow speed of two different tracers. One tracer is a water tracer and the other is a partitioning tracer. Both are added to the injection water, and by measuring the difference in arrival time, an estimate of the residual oil can be given. This is important to know to plan continued oil production in a field. Unfortunately, today's tracer technology raises several health, safety and the environment (HSE) issues. Large volumes of highly flammable fluids may have to be stored on platforms or environmentally "red" chemicals are used.

The main objective of the INTER project is to develop Intelligent Environmental Reporters- green nanoparticles that can be used to measure residual oil directly in an environmentally friendly manner. To understand how the particles can be used to estimate how much residual oil there is, and where, we will perform computer simulations in concert with physical experiments in the laboratory. We will also develop new analytical techniques that can read the particles' "memories", the oil reporters must be able to memorize how much oil they have encountered in the oil reservoir.

So far in the project we have started the synthesis of carbon-silica hybrid nano particles, and silica particles doped with europium. These particles have further had their surface modified with a polymer. Preliminary results were presented at a conference in «Nanohybrides 16 Porquerolle June 2019» Measurement of particle stability in formation water has been started. Particles of silica with molybdate or tungstanate has also been synthesized. Molybdate and tungstanate will give increased fluorescence of europium, and thereby better sensitivity. These particles will be surface modified with polymers. Different oil soluble tracers will then be adsorbed to the polymer surface. The tracers will preferably be fluorescent dyes.

Numerical models for the aggregation of nanoparticles have been developed, and these models will be important for the quantitative interpretation of the flow experiments. The work on safer by designs has also started. Tests have been made with passive tracers like sodium iodide and known silica nanoparticles. Furthermore, XDLVO modeling with Comsol Multiphysics has been carried out considering how nanoparticles with different properties behave under varying conditions - rock, formation water, temperature, etc. The simulations consider van der Waals forces, EDL and Born repulsion as well as the velocity and Brownian motion.

Lyon has performed some tests of the first nanoparticles from NTNU. Several aspects have been revealed:

- we measured the hydrodynamic size under the two solvents and check the stability at room temperature

- we performed the excitation, emission and lifetime decay rates for both solutions and solid sample.

- the correlation curves collected by dynamic light scattering reveals aggregation of samples around 2 micrometers that decreases progressively after 12 hours to reach an average value of 500 nm.

After redispersion by sonication the particles remain on these levels independently of solvent used (a check with an intermediate polarity using isopropanol was performed)

The fluorescent spectra reveal a slight intense signal in the UV-visible zone in the range 400-500 nm with some narrow peaks that are common of powder and solution and no phosphorescence signal in the ms range. The lifetime value is estimated around 7 microseconds under excitation 340 and emission 440 nm.

NILU:

A batch of nano-sized silica particles made in the INTER project have been tested for their potential to damage the DNA and induce carcinogenic effects. The effect on DNA was tested on a human lung cell line, and on liver- and gill cell lines from Rainbow trout.

The particles did not induce a significant effect on the DNA, indicating a low genotoxic potential. Non-genotoxic substances may, however be carcinogenic. This can be tested with use of the so-called cell transformation assay, in which carcinogenic substances induce morphological changes in the appearance cells. Based on two separate experiments, there are indications that the silica nanoparticles can induce cell transformation at relatively high concentrations (> 10 µg/cm2), indicating a carcinogenic potential. Further experiments will be performed to confirm this observation, but the observation emphasize the importance of testing manufactured nanoparticles for their potential toxicity to do a proper risk assessment.