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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.

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 here

Participatory science toolkit against pollution

Project

ACTION will transform the way we do citizen science (CS) today: from a mostly scientist-led process to a more participatory, inclusive, citizen-led one, which acknowledges the diversity of the CS landscape and of the challenges CS teams have to meet as their project evolves.

We have partnered with 5 European CS initiatives tackling major forms of pollution, which pose substantial threats to human health and to the environment, and contributing to Sustainable Development Goals. These pilots will be the starting point for a ‘citizen science accelerator’, which will be expanded through an open call.

By considering the needs of multiple stakeholders throughout the lifecycle of CS, we will create methodologies, tools and guidelines to truly democratise the scientific process , allowing anyone to design and realise a CS project from the early stages of ideation to validating and publishing the results.

Our research will account for the multitude of manifestations of CS, addressing everything from from small-scale, localised social issues to international research agendas. All ACTION’s outputs - infrastructure, the citizen science platform and toolkit - will be made openly available for online and offline use. They will use accessible formats and interfaces, which appeal to audiences with diverse motivations and backgrounds and provide detailed examples, workflows, and advice tailored for a range of activities, going beyond data collection and analysis.

Our digital infrastructure will help citizen scientists use existing specialised platforms and publish results according to RRI principles, including open science.

Our toolkit will tackle common difficulties around methodological choices, quality, incentives, community building and sustainability. In addition, the 35 pilots hosted by the accelerator will result in case studies that will demonstrate the impacts of CS at social, economic, environmental and policy level.

Collective awareness platform for outdoor air pollution

Project

The overall objective of hackAIR is to develop and pilot test an open platform that will enable communities of citizens to easily set up air quality monitoring networks and engage their members in measuring and publishing outdoor air pollution levels, leveraging the power of online social networks, mobile and open hardware technologies, and engagement strategies. The hackAIR platform will enable the collection of data from:

  • measurements from existing air quality stations and open data
  • user-generated sky-depicting images (either publicly available geo-tagged and time-stamped images posted through social media platforms, or images captured by users
  • low-cost open hardware devices easily assembled by citizens using commercial off-the-shelf parts

A data fusion algorithm and reasoning services will be developed for synthesising heterogeneous air quality data into air quality-aware personalised services to citizens.

The hackAIR platform will be co-created with the users, and offered through:

  • a web application that communities of citizens will be able to install and customize
  • a mobile app that citizens can use to get convenient access to easy-to-understand air quality information, contribute to measurements by an open sensor, or by taking and uploading sky-depicting photos, and receive personalised air quality-aware information on their everyday activities

The hackAIR platform will be tested in two pilot locations, with the direct participation of a grassroots NGO with >400.000 members and a health association with >19.000 members. Appropriate strategies and tools will be developed and deployed for increasing user engagement and encouraging behavioural change.

The usability and effectiveness of the hackAIR platform, and its social and environmental impact will be assessed. A sustainability and exploitation strategy will pave the way for the future availability of the hackAIR toolkit, community and website, and explore opportunities for commercial exploitation.

NILU led the pilot study in Norway and the development of the data fusion tool.

Development of sensor-based Citizens’ Observatory Community for improving quality of life in cities

Project

The CITI-SENSE project developed and tested components of environmental monitoring and information systems based on innovative and novel Earth Observation capabilities. The applications focused on the citizens’ immediate environment regarding urban air quality, environmental quality of urban public spaces and indoor air quality in schools.

The CITI-SENSE approach was to develop “Citizens’ Observatories” (COs), a collaborative concept that focuses on the empowerment of citizens to influence their community policy and decision-making. Several novel technologies, especially a variety of micro sensors, mobile applications and communication solutions, enabled this approach technically.

The concept of CITI-SENSE citizen observatories rested on realizing the chain “sensors-platform-products-users” with the following elements: technologies for distributed monitoring (sensors); information and communication technologies (platform); information products and services (products); and citizen involvement in both monitoring and societal decisions (users). The main novel contributions were:

  • Studies of motivations and barriers to citizen involvement with environmental decision making
  • Development of tools for citizens monitoring of urban environment
  • Deployment of low-cost micro sensor devices and innovative data fusion and scientific analyses
  • Combining new sensing technology, ICT Cloud platform with IoT, Big Data and App/Portal services and participatory methods in products and services.

To demonstrate the CO concept and capabilities, we established and for over six months, operated the largest ever sensor network for air quality comprising of 324 units deployed across Europe. We involved nearly 400 volunteers in nine cities to test our personal monitoring devices. We established 24 individual COs (8 COs for outdoor air quality, 12 COs for indoor air quality in schools and 4 COs for personal comfort in public spaces) in the following nine cities across Europe: Barcelona (ES), Belgrade (RS), Edinburgh (UK), Haifa (IL), Ljubljana (SI), Oslo (NO), Ostrava (CZ), Vienna (A) and Vitoria-Gasteiz (ES). We involved volunteers in co-development of sensor devices, visualisation solutions and other tools used in the project. Our air perception app was downloaded and actively used by more than 1200 persons. With the help of the sensor network and additional observation tools, we collected more than 9.4 million observations in the last year of the project.

In any decisions, people need to be in focus. We developed and applied participatory methods for each individual CO. We collected citizens’ feedback on environmental issues through evaluation questionnaires and in-depth focus group discussions and interviews. We have also collected feedback on our tools and services. The results have also helped the tools’ providers to improve their products and we can provide a list of lessons learned to support similar initiatives within Citizens’ Observatories and Citizen Science. The resulting products and services are available through the Citizens’ Observatories Web Portal (http://co.citi-sense.eu).

CITI-SENSE operated within an open e-collaboration framework with projects funded under the same call. Methodologies and standards for data archiving, discovery and access within the GEOSS framework were coherent with initiatives such as GEO, INSPIRE and GMES. CITI-SENSE also made CO information available through the GEOSS infrastructure.

NILU was the project coordinator and WP lead for Citizens’ Observatories. NILU led the CO on air quality in Oslo and the CO on indoor climate in schools.

Utvalgte publikasjoner før 2018:

Oslo Citizens' Observatory. Results from the Oslo Empowerment Initiative as part of the CITI-SENSE project.

Castell, N. & Grossberndt, S.
2017
Report/thesis

CITI-SENSE. Final report on methodology. Deliverable 6.4, Work Package 6.

Fredriksen, M., Bartonova, A., Kruzevic, Z., Kobernus, M., Liu, H.-Y., Santiago, L., Schneider, P., & Tamilin, A.
2016
Report/thesis

CITI-SENSE. Citizens' observatories - version 1. Deliverable D4.3.

Liu, H.-Y. (Ed.) Bartonova, A., Berre, A., Broday, D., Castell, N., Cole-Hunter, T., Fredriksen, M.F., Grossberndt, S., Høiskar, B.A., Holøs, S.B., Kobernus, M., Keune, H., Liu, H.-Y., Robinson, J., Santiago, L., & Soloaga, I..A.
2015
Report/thesis

Science-based risk governance of nanotechnology

Project

Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are covered by REACH/CLP regulations; the general opinion is that the risk assessment (RA) approach routinely used for conventional chemicals is also applicable to ENMs. However, as acknowledged by OECD and ECHA, the OECD and ISO Test Guidelines (TGs) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) need to be verified and adapted to be applicable to ENMs.

Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) provide the opportunity for breakthroughs in health care, chemical and technology industry. However, ENMs' unpredictable impact on human health generates increasing concern from the public, academia, and governments worldwide.

ENMs are subject to REACH/CLP regulations. The test procedures need to be verified and adapted for specific use for ENMs (OECD and ISO Test Guidelines (TGs) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)). The national legal frameworks and the international regulations need to be harmonized. RiskGone, a newly financed H2020 project (H2020-NMBP-13-2018 RIA), aims at providing solid procedures for science-based inter-disciplinary risk governance, based on a clear understanding of risks, risk management practices and the societal risk perception by all stakeholders.

This workshop will bring together national and international experts in different aspects of the risk governance of nanotechnology, promoting the establishment of contacts, discussions and collaborations between researchers, society stakeholders and public administration. The workshop will also promote a technical discussion between the participants of RiskGONE project with other nanosafety experts and community.

NILU is RiskGONE project coordinator and acts as a host of the workshop. The workshop participants will come from highly experienced and internationally recognized institutes with long-standing expertise in multidisciplinary areas of nanosafety such as characterisation, human-related nano-toxicology, environmental hazard, safety governance, social science, ethics, and communication.

The workshop will feature oral presentations and discussion sessions in order to provide attendees with various channels to exchange and acquire information about the latest developments and future trends. It will provide a platform for strengthening existing national and international collaborations, as well as establishing new ones.