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30 years Interreg: University of Luxembourg a strong research partner

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Publié le mercredi 16 décembre 2020

2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the interregional programme “Interreg” – one of the key instruments of the European Union supporting cooperation across borders through project funding. Launched in 1990, it has proven that borders are not barriers and has brought Europeans closer together by helping to tackle common challenges and creating new opportunities for cooperation across borders. The University of Luxembourg has been playing a prominent role by participating in several research projects.

18 projects, 8 million euros

Among the 386 Interreg cooperation projects with Luxembourg participation over the last 30 years (303 Greater Region, 62 North-West Europe and 21 Europe), the University of Luxembourg has been involved in 18 projects with a total budget of more than 8 million euros until 2019. The projects within the Faculty of Science, Technology and Medicine, the Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust cover a wide range of fields such as health, environment, research, education, transport and sustainable energy.

The selection below details the University’s commitment to tackle common challenges and find shared solutions together with European partners.  

Emisûre: reducing pollutants in surface water

Micro-pollutants such as drugs and pesticides are increasingly detected in the wastewater of municipal treatment plants. These compounds are difficult to eliminate and may be traceable in surface water. Launched in 2017 by the Universities of Luxembourg and Kaiserslautern, water unions and administrations,with a 1.4 million euros budget, the EmiSûre project aims to develop strategies to reduce the emissions of these micro-pollutants into the water bodies of the German-Luxembourg cross-border area. The partnership has enabled to test nature-oriented technologies, elaborate and analyse different scenarios and finally develop a masterplan for the Greater Region. Outputs have a tremendous value for operators, decision makers and the scientific community. The Chair of Urban Water Management is considered nowadays an important reference in the topic of micro-pollutant mitigation.

Watch the video for more information.

ENERGE - Energising education to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Launched in 2018 with 8 partners from six countries, ENERGE aims at using low-cost interventions to achieve a minimum 15 % reduction in total energy consumption at 12 pilot secondary schools in North West Europe over the four-year project duration. ENERGE addresses the need to ensure long-term resource efficiency in schools and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as underpinned in EU building energy directives and climate actions for 2020 and 2030. It uses targeted interventions through a web-based platform and sensors that help measure, analyse and visualise energy consumption in school buildings. In addition, sociological and educational approaches ensure an adapted and tailored implementation within each school.

Watch the video for more information. 

Robotix-Academy: developing synergies in robotics

The Robotix-Academy, launched in 2016, as a continuation of a very successful first project, envisages to create a cross-border academy for teaching and research in industrial robotics and human-robot cooperation, exploiting synergies between key players of the Greater Region – led by ZeMA (Center for Mechatronics and Automation Technology) with the support of the Universities of Luxembourg, Liège, Lorraine, Trier and Pôle MecaTech. The team offers technology demonstrators, feasibility studies, training of Master students in industrial robots and also collaborates actively with regional industries in research projects. Due to its success, the project is extended until 2022. The Robotix-Academy is also one of the largest projects within the Interreg Greater Region, with a total of 9 million euros for the project of which 1.5 million euros go to the University of Luxembourg.

Take a look at the lab

SeRaMCo: recycling construction and demolition waste

Initiated in 2017 for a 4-year period with a 7.28 million euros budget and involving 17 partners from 5 European countries, SeRaMCo aims to replace primary raw materials with the high-quality materials recycled from construction and demolition waste (CDW). Although CDW represents the largest waste stream in the EU, accounting for 1/3 of the overall waste, only 4 % of the recycled CDW are currently used. The project has generated a new computational methodology, a market study and several prototypes of an entirely innovative nature demonstrating the potential of concrete precast products from recycled aggregates. The project is in line with recommendations of the strategic study presented by the Ministry of the Economy, the Chamber of Commerce and IMS Luxembourg in November 2016 in the framework of the Third Industrial Revolution Consultation Process.

Watch the video for more information.

Wow!

Sewage contains valuable substances that can be used as raw materials for biobased products. However, this potential is hardly exploited in North West Europe resulting in loss of valuable materials. Launched in 2018 with 12 partners from 6 countries, WOW! aims to make the transition to a more circular approach by matching supply and demand of cellulose, lipids and bioplastics from sewage. The University of Luxembourg focuses on the enrichment of filamentous bacteria present in sewage sludge, known for their ability to accumulate lipids. Those accumulated lipids constitute an interesting feedstock and may be harnessed for biodiesel production. The project combines the expertise in genomics and engineering with a product-oriented approach. The project partner Remondis Aqua is responsible for developing a demo-product for biodiesel. Beside technical achievements, the project has delivered high impact scientific publications, and a powerful market and legal study useful for identifying the barriers in the implementation of policies.

Watch the video for more information.

European Center for Competence and Knowledge in Border Studies

The UniGR-Center for Border Studies (UniGR-CBS) is a thematic cross-border network of border scholars from the six member universities of the University of the Greater Region  (UniGR). Research is conducted on the meaning and challenges of borders from a geographical, spatial, socio-cultural and socio-economic perspective. In the framework of the “European Center for Competence and Knowledge in Border Studies”, the UniGR-CBS aims at developing harmonised research tools, embedding Border Studies in teaching, promoting the dialogue on cross-border challenges between academia and institutional actors and supporting the spatial development strategy of the Greater Region. The achievements of  the project include the creation of the digital documentation centre and the Border Studies Glossary, the development of innovative distance learning and teaching methods for cross-border studies and initiatives to increase mobility and interchange between researchers, such as the UniGR-CBS Guest Lecturer Border Studies.

EUR&QUA: Developing a cross-border area for international child protection

Many children in need of social, legal, psychological or medical assistance find themselves in cross-border situations, in which not all family members live in the same country. Cross-border cooperation between social and medical care services and authorities is often difficult and the support systems are different from one country to the next. The EUR&QUA seeks to improve children’s access to support services by making their practices more transparent and to improve the information exchange between the involved parties. The project envisages to create a central service point for child protection in the Greater Region directed at professionals, families and administrations, establish a transregional working group to exchange experiences and develop future common projects in the Greater Region and launch new training offers to improve knowledge about the different national professional practices and legal frameworks.

Patient Partner Care Approach in the Greater Region (APPS)

The APPS-project brought together universities and hospitals from Belgium, France, Germany and Luxembourg to analyse the possibility of shifting the health care system of the Greater Region to a more patient-centered model. The patient-as-partner concept considers that patients know their body best and that their experiences are valued by medical professionals. Patients become fully involved members of their health care team and have access to all information regarding their health condition; they take active part in treatment decisions and participate in medical training and research. Patient empowerment can lead to improvements in the quality of the health care services and an increased patient satisfaction, which again positively influences the patient’s health condition.

Based on the result of a series of qualitative studies with all stakeholders involved, the APPS-project team published a White Paper with 20 recommendations for patients, medical professionals and political representatives facilitating the move to a more patient-centered health care system in the Greater Region.

Towards cross-border automated mobility

Launched at the beginning of 2019, TERMINAL is the first project in Europe to test a cross-border bus line with automated electric minibuses under real traffic conditions. The primary objective of the TERMINAL project is to increase cross-border worker mobility.

As the first practical test within the trilateral digital test field DE-FR-LUX, TERMINAL will test a cross-border automated bus line under real traffic conditions in the surroundings of the municipalities Überherrn (DE) and Creutzwald (FR). This is a premiere, as besides the technical challenges from the point of view of communication between bus and traffic technology, the entire legal framework for obtaining a special permit in both countries as well as the requirements of commuters are examined.

On a second route between Luxembourg and Germany or France, Mobility on Demand (MoD) – the possibility of ordering a bus as required independently of a fixed timetable – will also be investigated.

GRoNe – Large Regional Flight Robotics Network

Launched in 2016, the project GRoNe addressed the interest in drones and the anticipation of 150.000 new jobs in the field. In all four countries of the Greater Region, regulations differ across the region regarding the operation, equipment and use of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles). There is no simple transnational use of UAVs.

GRonE aimed to establish a cross-border network in which knowledge, experience and technological and scientific resources are exchanged. The consortium has identified economic niche segments with a significant relation to the Greater Region, which are of global importance due to their orientation. Areas of application include mining follow-up care, the environmental sector, air, water, agriculture, infrastructure control with possible applications such as monitoring the sinking of mines, air quality and inland waters.

 

Full list of the 18 projects with University of Luxembourg participation:

Title

Responsible

Period

APPS

Louis Chauvel

2017-2020

BORDER STUDIES

Christian Wille

2018-2020

DIPLAST

Peter Plapper

2018-2022

EmiSûre

Joachim Hansen

2017-2020

ENERGE

Stefan Maas

2018-2022

EUR&QUA

Ulla Peters

2016-2020

FAFIL

Peter Plapper

2018-2022

GRoNe

Holger Voos

2016-2020

Inners

Joachim Hansen

2010-2014

INTERMAT

Peter Plapper

2013-2014

PowderReg

Bernhard Peters

2016-2020

PRODPILOT

Peter Plapper

2018-2022

PtH4GR²ID -

Frank Scholzen

2016-2020

ROBOTIX

Peter Plapper

2014-2015

Robotix Academy

Peter Plapper

2016-2020

SeRaMCo

Daniele Waldmann

2017-2021

TERMINAL

Raphael Frank

2019-2021

WoW!

Joachim Hansen

2018-2021