DRYvER - Securing biodiversity, functional integrity and ecosystem services in DRYing rivER networks

Securing biodiversity, functional integrity and ecosystem services in DRYing rivER networks

River networks are among Earth’s most threatened hot-spots of biodiversity and provide key ecosystem services (eg. supply drinking water and food, climate regulation) essential to sustaining human well-being. Climate change and increased human water use are causing more rivers and streams to dry, with devastating impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Currently, over half the global river network consist of drying channels and these are expanding dramatically. However, drying river networks (DRNs) have received little attention from scientists and policy makers, and the public is unaware of their importance. Consequently, there is no effective integrated biodiversity conservation or ecoystem management strategy of DRNs facing climate change.
A multidisciplinary team of 25 experts from 11 countries in Europe, South America, China and the USA will build on EU efforts to investigate how climate change, through changes in flow regimes and water use, has cascading impacts on biodiversity, ecosystem functions and ecosystem services of DRNs. DRYvER (DRYing riVER networks) will gather and upscale empirical and modelling data from nine focal DRNs (case studies) in the EU and CELAC to develop a meta-system framework applicable to Europe and worldwide. It will also generate crucial knowledge based strategies, tools and guidelines for cost-effictive adaptive management of DRNs. Working closely with stakeholders and end-users, DRYvER will co-develop strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change effects in DRNs, integrating hydrological, ecological (including nature-based solutions), socio-economic and policy perspectives. The end results of DRYvER will contribute to reaching the objectives of the Paris Agreement and place Europe at the forefront of research on climate changes.
 

Digitourism

Digitourism

Many business intelligence surveys demonstrate that Digital Realities (Virtual reality and Augmented reality) are becoming a huge market trend in many sectors, and North America is taking the lead in this emerging domain. Tourism is no exception and the sector in Europe must innovate to get ahead of the curve of this technological revolution, but this innovation needs public support.
In order to provide labs, startups and SMEs willing to take this unique opportunity with the most appropriate support policies, 9 partner organizations from 8 countries (FR, IT, HU, UK, NO, ES, PL, NL) decided to work together: regional and local authorities, development agencies, private non-profit association and universities.
Thanks to their complementary experiences and know-how, they intend to improve policies of the partner regions (structural funds and regional policies), in order to foster a tourist channelled innovation in the Digital Realities sector.
All partners will work together on policy analysis tasks before exchanging their best initiatives and transferring them from one country to another. This strong cooperation will allow them to build the best conditions to foster innovation thanks to more effective structural funds policies and regional policies.
8 policy instruments are addressed, among which 7 relate to structural funds programmes. Basis for exchange of experience: Reciprocal improvement analysis and 8 study trips with peer-review of each partner’s practices. Video reportages for an effective dissemination towards other territories in Europe. At least 16 good practices will be identified by the partners.

ODYSSEUS - Coal-to-liquids supply chain integration in view of operational, economic and environmental risk assessments under complex geological settings

Coal-to-liquids supply chain integration in view of operational, economic and environmental risk assessments under complex geological settings, ODYSSEUS

ODYSSEUS aims at Coal-to-Liquids Supply Chain (CLSC) integration and enhanced assessment of operational, economic and environmental risks during or after mine operation in unfavourable geological settings for potential high coal production areas in European medium- to low-grade coal deposits. For that purpose, technological CLSC integration and optimisation are the main project tasks, supported by experimental activities on upgrading coal-derived liquids and by-product beneficiation, integration of conventional and innovative mine development as well as enhanced techno-economic and environmental risk management. Best-practices guidelines and workshops will support decision makers and stakeholders in increasing EU-wide resources utilization and employment, while reducing import dependency. 

Diverfarming - Crop diversification and low-input farming across Europe: from practitioners engagement and ecosystems services to increased revenues and chain organisation

Crop diversification and low-input farming across Europe: from practitioners engagement and ecosystems services to increased revenues and chain organisation — Diverfarming

With the long-term view of increasing diversification and biodiversity in Europe and fostering sustainable development of bioeconomy, the Diverfarming consortium come together to develop and deploy innovative farming and agribusiness strategies. Diverfarming will increase the long-term resilience, sustainability and economic revenues of agriculture across the EU by assessing the real benefits and minimising the limitations, barriers and drawbacks of diversified cropping systems under low-input agronomic practices that are tailor-made to fit the unique characteristics of six EU pedoclimatic regions (Mediterranean south and north, Atlantic central, Continental, Pannonian and Boreal), and by adapting and optimising the downstream value chains organization. This approach will provide: i) increased overall land productivity; ii) more rational use of farm land and farming inputs (water, energy, machinery, fertilisers, pesticides); ii) improved delivery of ecosystem services by increments in biodiversity and soil quality; iii) proper organization of downstream value chains adapted to the new diversified cropping systems with decreased use of energy; and iv) access to new markets and reduced economy risks by adoption of new products in time and space. The diversified cropping systems will be tested in field case studies for major crops within each pedoclimatic region. In the end, Diverfarming focuses on research and innovation for rural development, with emphasis on developing new framework systems and business models adapted to the rural context of each pedoclimatic area of the EU, to foster sustainable growth through adoption of diversification, sustainable practices and efficient use of resources.