Research*EU Magazine | Number 72 (May 2018)

Author (Corporate)
Series Title
Series Details Number 72
Publication Date May 2018
ISSN 1977-4028
EC ZZ-AC-18-004-EN-N
Content Type

Laying the tracks for a truly 21st century European railway


In this edition of Research*EU magazine we take a look at the work of the latest EU-funded projects supported under Shift2Rail is enlightening. From smart solutions for safer rail transport to next-generation computing and communication systems, novel technologies hint at what future railway could look like. At the same time, joint stakeholder reflection under projects like Smart-Rail show that a real mental shift is taking place and could help the sector step up its game over the next few years. It’s definitely worth the trouble: if Shift2Rail’s ambitions are any indication, an additional EUR 49 billion of EU GDP, 140 000 additional jobs and EUR 20 billion of additional exports could reward the sector’s efforts by 2030.

Our special feature is followed by the usual thematic sections on health, society, transport, environment, agriculture & forestry, industry, ICT, space and fundamental research. The magazine closes with a list of upcoming events hosted by or involving EU-funded research projects.



  • New biomaterials enable the engineering of pancreatic islets from single cells
  • Advances in clinical trial design for rare diseases
  • An active immunotherapy against neurodegenerative disorders
  • A toolbox of advanced technologies for next generation vaccines
  • Fighting obesity and the metabolic diseases it causes


  • Nineteenth century British and Italian working classes may have had more in common than previously thought
  • Genomics sheds light on the birth of agriculture
  • How travelling in Europe can boost active citizenship
  • Innovative framework to strengthen research ethics in European science

Transport and Mobility

  • New tests for more eco-friendly aero engines
  • Full speed ahead for an e-propulsion solution for land, sea and air transport
  • Accelerated, hyper-accurate force modelling leads to far more efficient airliner designs
  • Telematics technology steering us towards smarter EU roads

Climate Change and Environment

  • Balancing conservation and social equity
  • A better understanding of the high levels of mercury pollution in the Arctic tundra
  • 3D imaging unlocks mysteries beyond the ocean floor

Food and Natural Resources

  • Efficient mobilisation of wood from the bottom up
  • Potato DNA markers could keep potatoes fresher for longer
  • Cross-linguistic diversity in forest terminology could inspire policymakers
  • A switch to plant-based protein could help tackle climate change and hunger

Industrial Technologies

  • Resource and energy-efficient manufacturing
  • Generating ‘as-is’ 3D models of existing infrastructure
  • Improved X-ray Computed Tomography for quality control of advanced manufactured parts
  • European manufacturers still struggling to transform their businesses? Survey says yes

Digital Economy

  • Leading-edge architecture tackles safety and certification hurdles in embedded systems
  • Programmable multicore optical fibres set to keep movies and music streaming into late 2020s
  • Touchless sensing: from something you can feel to something that feels right
  • New-generation GPGPUs increase energy efficiency by an order of magnitude


  • Updating the dynamical paradigm for galactic globular clusters
  • European SMEs ready to clean up outer space
  • Bigger pipes in space for handling the data explosion

Fundamental Research

  • EU project pioneers new wave material analysis
  • How the study of dynamical systems help us better understand quantum chaos
  • Geometrically examining the equations that describe the world’s phenomena
  • Crosstalk in social dilemmas could hinder cooperation
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