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Brussels, 5 December 2011

Digital Agenda: From hospitals to Hollywood, EU-funded technology research is making a mark

ICT research is dramatically changing the possibilities open to people as diverse as victims of brain injuries and video game makers. Partners from Hollywood to hospitals are now reaping the benefits of this EU-funded research.

Forty-five of Europe's best ICT research projects are on exhibition the EU's first Innovation Union Convention held in Brussels on 5-6 December 2011.

3D cities – the V-City project

The V-City project integrates 3D modelling and virtual reality to reconstruct whole cities in 3D format using maps, photos and data in just a couple of hours. The 3D products include facades, roofs and greenery (see image). Developed by researchers from Belgium, France, Italy, and Switzerland, V-City technology in the form of the CityEngine product has been used by Disney and Pixar to re-create cities like London and Tokyo, where chase sequences of the movie "Cars2" took place and has a huge future in the cultural, gaming, urban planning and architectural industries. The French Government will be also using V-City technology integrated in the Virtual-Geo product to publish geo-reference data about the whole French territory.

Image: a 3D creation from the V-City project.

Perform helps Parkinson's patients

This remote monitor of patients suffering from neuro-degenerative diseases and movement disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, has been developed by scientists from eight European countries led by the University of Madrid. The monitoring works through five sensors that patients wear placed over the limbs and the trunk which record information about their movements. A touch screen computer is placed in their home to process all data recorded, together with additional information about their medication and diet. Health professionals can access this information to remotely monitor patients and personalise treatment and medication.

CASBLIP clears the way for the blind

The CASBLIP research project led by the University of Valencia focuses on cognitive aids for the blind. It aims to develop a wearable device capable of interpreting and managing information from the real world and transforming it into 3D sound maps. Thanks to this technology, visually impaired and blind people will be able to perceive surrounding obstacles through sound and to navigate autonomously around them.

BrainAble helps to communicate without movement

The Brain Computer Interface (BNCI) created by the Brainable project [VIDEO], lead by Barcelona's Digital Technological Centre, helps people with severe disabilities to communicate. In some cases, sensors attached to the head can now measure boredom, confusion and frustration, and allow communication without moving. In other case, Brainable, has developed online and offline tools such as specialised games to help patients avoid cognitive decline.

Interstress helps manage stress

Led by the Italian Institute of Auxology, Interstress scientists are developing using Virtual reality technology to create a new instrument to measure all forms of stress [VIDEO].

Nanopower to convert movements into electricity

The Nanopower project, led by Italy's University of Perugia develops ways of powering wireless sensors and nano-electronic devices without the need of batteries. Researchers have found a way to harvest energy using nano-technology to transform vibrations and movements into electrical power.

Octopus robot to help in underwater rescue

Octopus is a soft-bodied robot that can operate under water and perform fluid movements like a living being [VIDEO]. Scientists, led by Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Italy, have developed this eight-armed robot for use in underwater rescue operations, marine exploration and even surgery.

More on the Innovation Convention Exhibition:

Further information about EU-funded ICT research:

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