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Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

Running EU-funded research projects

Horizon 2020

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Projects funded by the HORIZON 2020 Research and Innovation Programme

Biotransformation of brewers' spent grain: increased functionality for novel food applications (FUNBREW)

FUNBREW integrates both fundamental and applied research to exploit fully the potential of breweries side streams and to enable the development of sustainable food systems. Brewers' spent grain (BSG), the insoluble residue that is separated from the mash before fermentation, is the most abundant beer-brewing by-product. Average annual global production is estimated to be ca. 39 million tons, of which 3.4 million tons produced in the European Union. BSG is mainly constituted by fibres and proteins, which make this material very attractive for subsequent use in food industry. In spite of its potential, at present, the majority of BSG is used al low value animal feed or it is discarded. Currently, no recycling solution exists on a large scale and sustainable approach for BSG exploitation should be implemented. Bioprocessing has shown great potential for the enhancement of many food by-products. Tailored bioprocessing with selected lactic acid bacteria in combination with enzymes will enable the production of functional compounds in BSG. FUNBREW goal is to obtain fundamental understanding on the biochemical and structural modifications occurring during BSG bioprocessing to establish its use as food ingredient. FUNBREW aims at exploiting bio-transformed BSG as a novel food ingredient enriched in functional compounds generating additional nutritional and economic benefits.

Principal Investigator: Raffaella Di Cagno — Faculty of Science and Technology
Project Duration: 01/04/2018 - 31/03/2021
Project Partner: University of Helsinki (Lead Partner), University of Bari, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden
Project Website: funbrew.eu
Funding Type: ERA-NET Cofund SUSFOOD2

 

Industry 4.0 for SMEs: Smart Manufacturing and Logistics for SMEs in an X-to-order and Mass Customisation Environment (SME 4.0)

Industry 4.0 refers to the fourth industrial revolution and technological evolution from embedded systems to cyber-physical systems (CPS) in production. The main objectives of Industry 4.0 can be summarized as the introduction of intelligent systems in production and logistics, the development of highly adaptable and modular manufacturing and logistics systems, the integration of sustainable and advanced manufacturing technologies as well as the promotion of automation technology and human-machine interaction. In the context of Industry 4.0 new ICT and web technologies acts as booster or enabler of smart, autonomous and self-learning factories facing the challenges of even more individualized and customized product portfolio.

A great challenge for the future lies in the transfer of Industry 4.0 expertise and technologies in small and medium sized enterprises (SME). SMEs represent the backbone of the economy and have an enormous importance in the development programmes of the European Union for strengthening the competitiveness of European enterprises. Although the high potential of Industry 4.0 in SMEs, the main limit lies in a lack of concrete models for its implementation and application in small and medium enterprises. Thus, this research project aims to close this gap through the creation of an international and interdisciplinary research network. Identifying the needs and enablers for a smart and intelligent SME-Factory, creating adapted concepts and design solutions for SME production and logistics systems and developing suitable organisation and business models will be the main objectives of this research network.

Principal Investigator: Dominik Matt — Faculty of Science and Technology
Project Duration: 01/01/2017 - 31/12/2020
Project Partner: Technical University of Kosice, Montanuniversität Leoben, ELCOM sro, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chiang Mai University, SACS MAVMM School of Engineering
Project Website: www.sme40.eu
Funding Type: Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions - RISE – grant agreement 734713

 

Carbon smart forestry under climate change (CARE4C)

CARE4C strives to develop carbon smart forest management strategies under climate change. We believe that forestry needs to contribute to a low-carbon emitting society. While forest ecosystems sequester and store carbon in different compartments, they emit carbon during forest tending and harvesting activities. The ambition is to reach an integrated picture of carbon sinks and sources in order to adapt forest management to future climate.

The project CARE4C provides a unique opportunity to achieve these goals by employing a large, multidisciplinary and balanced consortium of excellent academic and non-academic institutions covering the entire chain from empirical research, to data evaluation, knowledge integration, statistical and mechanistic modelling, model applications, forest management, and forest harvesting.

Principal Investigator: Giustino Tonon — Faculty of Science and Technology
Project Duration: 01/01/2018 - 31/12/2021
Project Partner: Technische Universität München (Lead Partner), Università degli Studi di Padova, Berner Fachhochschule University of Applied Science, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology Spain, Universidad de Valladolid, Forest Enterprise Traunstein, Landesbetrieb Wald und Holz NRW, föra - forest technologies SLL, Bialowieza National Park, Agresta, Forestry Department Autonomous Province of Bozen-Bolzano, Forstbetrieb Burgergemeinde Bern, Stellenbosch University, Merensky Timber
Project Website: care4c.eu
Funding Type: Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions - RISE – grant agreement 778322

 

Innovative Design for Reliable Planet Bearings (IDERPLANE)

The high power transmissions that have to be designed for modern highly efficient turbofans need the extensive application of epicyclical gears with planet gear containing an integrated bearing. These components are subjected to severe rolling contact fatigue (RCF) conditions as many others (e.g. wheels/rails of high speed trains): propagation of micro-cracks starting from the bearing race surface and leading to spalling is a typical damage mode of these components.

The main objective of the project is to provide innovative, effective and validated criteria for the design and assessment of more reliable planet bearings for aerospace application. Compared to other applications, there is no surface wear to remove the surface damage. In detail, in some specific cases that have led to catastrophic failures, planet gears are affected by cracks starting from the spalls that can bifurcate into the body of the gear wheel, leading to the complete failure of the component. The main idea behind IDERPLANE is to analyse the problem not in terms of the usual stress-based design of gears, but rather on damage tolerance concepts. This kind of analysis is meant at understanding/measuring the risk of a catastrophic failure in the case of development of subsurface propagation of cracks driven by shear stresses. This could be seen an established route, but unfortunately RCF is a grey area where there are no data available for such an analysis (that should be based on reliable crack growth curves for different driving mechanisms), because it is very difficult to make cracks propagate under shear as it happens in RCF (and as it was shown in the known failures of planet gear containing an integrated bearing).

The design approach proposed is based on a preliminary damage tolerance analysis, aimed at identifying the maximum size of the allowable defects, followed by the subsequent crack growth investigation. An effective prediction of the crack growth path, aimed at the maximisation of the reliability, favoured by paths, which produce spalling instead of in core crack propagation, can be achieved only if several influence parameters are considered. In particular, the properties of the base material, the geometry of the component, the heat treatment process, the profile of the residual stresses and the hardness profile, with its case-core transition, are taken into account.

Principal Investigator: Franco Concli — Faculty of Science and Technology
Project Duration: 01/11/2018 - 31/10/2021
Project Partner: Politecnico di Milano (Lead Partner), Università degli Studi di Brescia, Institut national des sciences appliquées de Lyon, Argo
Project Website: iderplane.eu
Funding Type: Clean Sky 2 – grant agreement 821315

 

5G for Connected and Automated Car Mobility in the European Union (5G-CARMEN)

5G-CARMEN will realise a 5G-enabled mobility corridor from Bologna to Munich to conduct cross-border trials of 5G technologies in four major use cases: cooperative manoeuvring, situation awareness, video streaming, and green driving. The aim is to validate this set of innovative Cooperative, Connected, and Automated Mobility (CCAM) use cases from both business and technical perspectives. To achieve this, 5G-CARMEN will leverage on the most recent 5G technology enablers, including 5G NR, C-V2X interfaces, Mobile Edge Computing (MEC), end-to-end network slicing, and predictive quality of service. Mobile Virtual Network Operators, Over-the-Top providers, and service providers will have access to a multi-tenant platform that supports the automotive sector transformation towards delivering safer, greener, and more intelligent transportation with the ultimate goal of enabling self-driving cars. Specifically, the project pursues the following key objectives:

  • Specify the technical and business requirements for the planned use cases in order to enable an extended 5G CCAM corridor between Bologna and Munich.
  • Design a federated 5G system architecture and deployment model that can effectively support the CCAM use cases.
  • Advance the enabling technologies for a 5G corridor including the network-embedded cloud, the NR, and the new frequency planning to conform with the CCAM KPIs.
  • Design, implement, and validate a service-oriented, federated, and secure platform for CCAM.
  • Validate, evaluate and demonstrate the 5G-CARMEN concepts via single-country and cross border pilots. unibz specifically contributes intelligent optimization solutions that help to manage resources and services at the necessary mobile edge cloud platforms for CCAM more predictably and efficiently.

Principal Investigator: Claus Pahl — Faculty of Computer Science
Project Duration: 01/11/2018 - 31/10/2021
Project Partner:  Fondazione Bruno Kessler (Lead Partner), Deutsche Telekom, Bayerische Motoren Werke, Centro Ricerche Fiat, Autostrada del Brennero (Brenner-Autobahn), Infrastrutture Wireless Italiane, Telecom Italia, T-Mobile Austria, NEC Laboratories Europe, Nokia Solutions and Networks Germany, Qualcomm CDMA Technologies Germany, SWARCO MIZAR, Eight Bells, CommAgility, CyberLens, DriveSec, WINGS ICT Solutions, Commissariat a l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives France, Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Telecomunicazioni Italia, Interuniversitair Micro-Electronica Centrum, Promozione per l’Innovazione fra Industria e Università, Universitat Politècnica de Valencia, Kompetenzzentrum – Das Virtuelle Fahrzeug Forschungsgesellschaft mbH, Vereinigung High Tech Marketing
Project Website: 5gcarmen.eu
Funding Type: ICT-2018-2020 – grant agreement 825012

 

Fuel Cells HydroGen educational model for schools (FCHgo)

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the world and a clean energy carrier, but in classrooms the H2 energy potential is a rarely treated subject. Basic principles of FCH functioning and benefits however are an important subject for school education, ensuring young minds are well equipped for the energy transition and ecological thinking becomes an integral part of their lives. To support energy education in classrooms, the EU project FCHgo develops an innovative narrative-based teaching concept and materials, inspiring teachers, pupils and their parents alike about the world of hydrogen energy.

FCHgo develops an educational toolkit adapted to teaching pupils from age 8 to 18 years. Containing games, stories, roleplays and experimental kits the toolkit visualizes the functioning of energy processes and inform pupils about the manifold applications of hydrogen. In order to ensure materials are well aligned with educational practice and draw on latest FCH research and industry developments, FCHgo partners involve a wide range of stakeholders from education, science and industry in the production of materials.

FCHgo seeks to contribute to energy science education at large by proposing narrative and playful approaches to FCH teaching. The goal is to not only transfer knowledge on fuel cells and hydrogen, but to stimulate pupils’ interest and open their minds to the world of science.

Principal Investigator: Federico Corni — Faculty of Education
Project Duration: 01/01/2018 - 31/12/2020
Project Partner: Università degli studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia (Lead Partner), InEuropa, Zürcher Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften, Technical University of Denmark, Nicolaus Copernicus University Toruń, Steinbeis 2i, agado – Association for Sustainable Development
Project Website: fchgo.eu
Funding Type: FCH 2 JU – grant agreement 826246

 

Process-aware Analytics Support Based on Conceptual Models for Event Logs (PACMEL)

Nowadays great attention is being paid to the concept of Industry 4.0, whose central idea is the exploitation of large amounts of sensor data, so as to enact highly automatised, robust processes and to develop high quality monitoring systems supporting intelligent semi-autonomous decision-making.  At the same time, big data analytics and a process-oriented management approach are often indicated as main pillars of a modern company. 

Towards this, the main objective of PACMEL is to develop a process-aware analytic framework for analysing sensor and device data for the purpose of process modelling and analysis.  The framework can be applied to the data system of smart factories to support the business process management activities.  On the one hand, it will allow the creation of conceptual models of particular industrial processes executed in the factory, by combining knowledge extraction techniques with semantics technologies such as ontology-based data access and integration. On the other hand, it will support model mapping methods and visualisation techniques that allow relating the interpreted sensor data to the process models for process analysis.  As use-case of the project, we will use a real dataset from the industrial domain of mining.  The dataset is related to a very complex and specific process, and working with this challenging example will bring valuable insights and results that can be applied across various industrial domains.

Principal Investigator: Diego Calvanese — Faculty of Computer Science
Project Duration: 01/03/2019 — 28/02/2022
Project Partner: AGH University of Science and Technology Krakow (Lead Partner), Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Funding Type:  CHIST-ERA   

 

Intelligent Open Data Exploration (INODE)

Data growth and availability as well as data democratisation have radically changed data exploration in the last ten years. The project INODE (Intelligent Open Data Exploration) aims at simplifying access to data, by allowing a more dialectic and intuitive interaction with data, similar to a dialog with a human.  

The goal of INODE is to offer a suite of agile, fit-for-purpose and sustainable services for exploration of open data sets. On the one hand, OpenDataDialog will help scientists search data using natural language, examples, and analytics, get guidance from the system in understanding the data and formulating the right queries, and visually explore and optimise answers and queries and get insights through interactive visualisations. On the other hand, OpenDataLink will help domain experts link multiple datasets, generate structured knowledge over unstructured data, and thus enable queries over heterogeneous data sets.

Principal Investigator: Diego Calvanese — Faculty of Computer Science
Project Duration: 01/11/2019 — 31/10/2022
Project Partner: Zurich University of Applied Sciences (Lead Partner), Athena Research and Innovation Centre, Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research, SIRIS Academic, French National Centre for Scientific Research, Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Infili Technologies PC, Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics
Project Website: www.inode-project.eu
Funding Type:  INFRAEOSC — grant agreement 863410

 

Smart Protein for a Changing World. Future-proof alternative terrestrial protein sources for human nutrition encouraging environment regeneration, processing feasibility and consumer trust and acceptance (SMART PROTEIN)

SMART PROTEIN is a technology transfer project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. It aims to industrially validate innovative, cost-effective and resource-efficient, EU-produced, healthy plant proteins (fava bean, lentil, chickpea, quinoa) and microbial biomass proteins (MBS) (food-grade yeast and fungi) for the production of ingredients and products for direct human consumption, through developing future-proofed protein supply chains with a positive impact on bio-economy, environment, biodiversity, human nutrition, food and nutrition security and consumer acceptance.

The SMART PROTEIN strategy has four major priorities: nutrition, sustainability, innovation and consumer trust and acceptance. These priorities will be addressed through global partnerships forged with consortium members from Europe, North America, Israel, Thailand and New Zealand to develop and demonstrate a climate-smart, sustainable protein-food system for a healthy Europe. 

The project is coordinated by the University College Cork - National University of Ireland and involves 34 partners: five Universities and 29 companies (food and beverage producers) and associations (e.g., business accelerators, regulatory bodies, policy makers, crop producers, and consumer organisations). The Free University of Bozen-Bolzano is leader of the work packages dedicated to food processing (in close contact with Barilla company) and to ex-situ studies by using the Simulator of the Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem (SHIME).

Principal Investigator: Marco Gobbetti — Faculty of Science and Technology
Project Duration: 01/01/2020 — 31/012/2023
Funding Type:  SFS-2018-2020 — grant agreement 862957

 

Knowledge Platform on Food, Diet, Intestinal Microbiomics and Human Health (FOODMICROHEALTH)

FOODMICROHEALTH is an EU-wide Knowledge Platform on Food, Diet, Intestinal Microbiomics and Human Health funded by JPI-HDHL.

It is known that the organism responses to the diet and the relative alteration of susceptibility to disease are worth of investigation to understand the role of the microbiome for maintaining the well-being status in humans. Thanks to its expertise on the standardization and datasharing within the food, nutrition and health axis, the contribution of the Free University of Bozen (UNIBZ) to the Knowledge Platform aims at identifying and quantifying, through a systematic review or meta-analyses, biogenic compounds in foods as consumed in rural vs. urban areas. Special focus will be on anti-oxidant, -inflammatory, -carcinogenic and -microbial activities of biogenic components, as well as on their possible synergism.

The contribution of UNIBZ builds on a networking with national groups previously collaborating within JPI-HDHL projects linking food, diet, intestinal microbiome and human health in urban vs rural populations. The network includes CREA, University of Florence, Bari and Bologna. Each partner addresses different, complementary aspects of a common research framework.

The project includes two phases:

  • meta-analysis/systematic review, and
  • pilot study (observational) on a cohort of Italian subjects living in rural or urban areas. To demonstrate the cause-effect relationships between food, diet, gut microbiome and human health, the correlations highlighted in the metaanalysis/systematic review will undergo through a validation by a “Collaborative pilot study”. The project plan includes the enrolment of  200 people (native Italians and immigrants) living in different rural and urban areas from Northern to Southern Italy (e.g., South Tyrol, Emilia-Romagna, Toscana, Lazio and Puglia regions) and examines their dietary habits.

UNIBZ will also estimate the amount of fermented foods consumed in these areas, with food metabolomics and with the content of biogenic components as synthesized by fermenting microorganisms. The results will be analysed in correlation with the gut microbiome (composition and function), and with the salivary, faecal, urinary and blood metabolomes and the healthy status of the individuals as determined by the other research groups of the Platform.

The expected outcomes of these research activities would contribute to open paths towards dietary and microbial components to prevent diet related diseases. 

Principal Investigator: Marco Gobbetti — Faculty of Science and Technology
Project Duration: 01/01/2020 — 31/012/2023
Funding Type:  ERA-NET Cofund JPI-HDHL INTIMIC