We are thrilled with the outcome of our recent 20th anniversary competition, where we created the opportunity for people to submit project ideas with the potential to be an EU project, as well as to win one of three prizes, the first prize being a trip to Malta.
We received a great number of submissions, and here is an overview of our chosen top three.
We would like to thank everyone who took the time to participate, it was a tough decision!
Name: Michael Gasik
Project: PIONEER: Peri-implantitis Obstruction with Novel Enhanced and Efficient Recovery
PIONEER focuses on oral implants and aims to develop, optimise and validate innovative solutions to prevent and fight infections that come about with challenging clinical conditions. These solutions consist of a multilevel combination and integration of treatments and dental surgery. It will also allow for the personalisation of the treatment in patients with certain conditions and risks.
The purpose of this project is to offer a solution to common issues that arise with dental implants. These main challenges include:
- No effective, anti-microbial approaches are commercially available to minimise the risk of harmful bacteria contamination at the implant site without any side effects to healthy bacteria.
- With certain medical conditions, the methods to regain the strength between the living bone and the implant are still lacking effectiveness.
- The current approaches of guided bone regeneration are based on the use of standard treatments with poor performance.
PIONEER proposes significant advances in anti-infective strategies and in pro-regenerative technologies in oral implant and dental surgery. These will promote quicker recovery and increase the success rate after implantation, prevent general infection, the technologies may be transferred to other medical fields, and much more.
Name: Dorianne Cerovac Pawney
FREYR’s concept is based on aquaponics, which is a combination of aquaculture and hydroponics. This technique is a clean and green way of growing fish and plants together in a closed system. Fish, such as tilapia, are reared in tanks whilst their water is pumped to the plants that are growing in soilless conditions. Edible plants typically include herbs and leafy greens. The plants then take up the waste produced by fish for growth, and the water is returned to the fish.
The main benefits of aquaponics are:
- Highly efficient
- 90% less water used
- Continually recycled water
- No fertiliser required
- Produce free from pesticides
- Minimal amounts of fossil fuels used
- Flexibility of design
- Therapeutic horticulture
- Food security
- Social enterprise / firm
The social enterprise approach builds on “social firms” by facilitating people with mental health problems to develop new skills and re-engage with the workplace. Adults with disabilities often have difficulty finding, keeping, and achieving success on the job. This project will provide these adults with an employment opportunity that fits.
FREYR is the genesis of the project authors’ social enterprise. Following the success of the project, the underlying goal is to establish aquaponics training centres in which diverse target groups will be trained at any European Qualification Framework (EQF) level. Groups focused on are youth, unemployed youngsters, disabled people, immigrants and the like.
Education plays an important role in these new developments, teaching the workers of the future and making them aware of the future food problems. The food sector faces a tremendous challenge in feeding the world in the next 40 years, as more than 50% of the world population lives in urban areas. Aquaponics can cover part of the food supply on a small scale.
This project also aims to promote volunteering, which offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community, but the benefits can be even greater for the volunteer.
Name: Arjana Blazic
Project: Learning, Teaching and Creating AI (LTC-AI)
This project will focus on bringing artificial intelligence to teachers and students, and on raising awareness of the benefits and challenges of AI in education and in everyday life. It will include two different tracks: one for teachers and one for students. Each track will encompass learning, teaching and creation activities.
Learning: Teachers will be introduced to the fundamentals of AI, explore examples of effective use of AI tools for teaching and learning in different educational contexts, recognise different approaches in the implementation of AI in the classroom, identify threats and challenges imposed by AI and explore the benefits and opportunities of AI.
Creating: Upon acquiring the basic skills and knowledge about AI, teachers will create learning scenarios which will be implemented in their peers’ classrooms. The peers will review the scenarios and provide feedback to the authors to be improved before they are shared with the general public.
Learning: Students will be provided with the opportunity to gain AI-related skills and enhance their AI competence so that they can effectively use AI, develop new AI technologies or become AI researchers and shape the world of AI. They will learn the skills needed to modify, develop and build AI, in particular coding, programming, computational thinking, problem solving, design thinking and data literacy skills.
Creating: Students will build basic chatbots, train AI models, code to validate machine learning ideas and apply learning analytics.
Both teachers and students will be involved in peer teaching. They will be encouraged to share the knowledge and skills that they gained in the project with the other participants as well as with the general public. Activities with students teaching their teachers will be encouraged.
Even though AI technologies have become prevalent in our everyday lives, they are still not used in education to the same extent. AI is mainly used in applications and solutions that support learning for individual students, such as language translators, text-to-speech generators, automatic subtitling and the like. However, AI has great potential to transform education. At the same time, teachers and students need to take into consideration a number of ethical concerns.
We love that the top 3 projects cover such a broad spectrum, namely the medical field, agriculture and education. This goes to show how vast the EU’s opportunities can be!
Do get in touch with us on [email protected] should you need advice with project ideas or approaches, funding, growth, export, procurement, networking, project management, research and innovation.