Global warming and pollution are threatening the survival of one million over the eight million species in forests and oceans on the planet. The EU answer to these challenges is the set of deeply transformative policies contained in the European Green Deal. Among these policies a prominent role is given to the restoring and preservation of ecosystems by increasing the coverage of protected biodiversity-rich land and sea areas building on the Natura 2000 network. Stretching over 18% of the EU’s land area and almost 6% of its marine territory, Natura 2000 is the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world. The land and sea coverage will be increased up to 30% within 2030. Today human operators are the only option to perform the environmental monitoring of such a large area. This is not only because of their specific expertise and knowledge in classifying plants and habitats but also because their physical intelligence allowing them to move for hours in wild unstructured environments such dunes, forests, and mountains. The artificial alternative is robotics, which made tremendous advancements in recent years, however robots hardly leave laboratories and factories because they are not robust and efficient to survive in the real world. Flying robots do not have the required energy autonomy, while ground robots are not: i) intelligent to autonomously percept, interpret, and interact with highly uneven, slipping and irregular grounds, ii) physically robust to manage unexpected contacts and impacts. The Natural Intelligence (NI) project aims to serve the European Green Deal via monitoring the natural habitats of N2000N with robots able to effectively move in dunes, grasslands, forests, and alpine terrains. NI robots will be empowered by Natural Intelligence, emerging by the interaction of environment, body and mind, leveraging on the fusion of artificial cognition and articulated soft-robotics bodies.
The overall objective of PIANO is to create a strategic cooperation partnership for water research and innovation between Europe and China, promoting the creation of networks of companies (including SMEs), entrepreneurs, not for profit organisations, policy makers, regulators and funding bodies to create business and social opportunities for China Europe Water Cooperation. PIANO will contribute to and is endorsed by the China Europe Water Platform (CEWP), and its 10 active EU Member States. First, PIANO will strengthen the existing CEWP network to create a comprehensive China Europe water research and innovation network. Second, based on a comparative analysis of the water innovation landscape in Europe and China, PIANO will identify European technological water innovations with potential for implementation and replication in China. In addition, PIANO will identify opportunities for joint development to address water challenges, where both Europe and China lack market ready technological water innovations. Third, PIANO will identify drivers and barriers for implementation and replication of technical innovations. PIANO will also identify strategies to overcome obstacles and take advantage of drivers, to facilitate creation of business opportunities. Fourth, PIANO will promote knowledge exchange and a policy dialogue to create an enabling environment for the uptake of technological water innovations. Fifth, PIANO will develop a shared strategic research and innovation agenda between Europe and China in the water sector. PIANO will align with current and future strategic initiatives to optimise opportunities for the EU and China across the water sector. To ensure success and achieve high impact, PIANO will be executed by a consortium of 9 leading European partners from both public and private sectors. Also, 13 leading Chinese partners are active PIANO participants, including the Ministries of Water Resources and of Environmental Protection.
The goal of the NET project is to lay the foundation of a NETwork connecting research world and society, building a stable and empatic communication path among institutions, researchers and citizens, also thanks to the capillary physical presence of the partners in the territory, since the NET consortium is made by well-recognised public italian research and academic institutions. This network will offer a stable exchange path through which researchers can share their passion for science, their work and life with citizens, who, in turn will use the path to get the scientific viewpoint from their “informed neighbors”. Conveying this idea is the first step to build and plan a research-based society, by increasing the number of students taking up research careers. The path will be paved by using conventional and unconventional, online and offline communications tools, to reach every citizen, regardless of age, gender, cultural or economic conditions, even if particular attention will be devotaed at students and pupils. NET will bring researchers closer to the general public and increase awareness of research and innovation activities, increasing the public recognition of researchers, creating an understanding of the impact of researchers' work on citizens ́ daily life, promoting choices for a sustainable future. In fact the main theme of the project is the most relevant and global question of this millennium: the climate change, in order to give citizens information to be aware protagonists of collective political choices and correct individual behavior. NET European Researchers’ Night and related activities will take place in 16 italian cities (from North to South: Brasimone, Chioggia, La Spezia, Ozzano, Civitavecchia, Fiumicino, Frascati, Grottaminarda, Monte Porzio Catone, Rieti, Rocca di Papa, Roma, Tarquinia, Viterbo, Palermo, Portici, Trisaia) and Vulcano and Stromboli Aeolian Islands, so as to wrap the whole of Italy in the NET.
The objective of NET 2021 is the consolidation and widening of the ScieNcE Together NETwork, which was launched in 2020 by a group public Italian research and academic institutions to build a stable and emphatic dialogue among researchers, citizens and society at large. This years' theme will be climate change and environmental degradation but we are aware that in 2021 the pandemic impacts will still be felt, so to achieve our objective we need to develop a communication approach that both takes into account the pandemic narrative and counterbalance it. We'll engage our public with inspiring examples of research, a positive narrative that should involve them in the discussion and offset helpless feelings caused by covid-19.We aim to make people aware that sustainable growth is deeply dependant on society's response to the climate and environmental challenges and we will keep the debate alive providing correct scientific facts and involving the public in the fight against fake news through rigor and scientific credibility. Our activity programme will integrate the traditional in presence experience with online resources and virtual experiences, so to help us reach every citizens, regardless of age, gender, or education. Activities will be designed to specifically inform about the European research's contribution to turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities and favour a better understanding of the Union. Other novelty will be an extended programme for schools aimed at reducing the stereotypes about researchers and their profession and promoting scientific careers among young students, and a pilot training activity for journalists.NET project will take place in 18 italian cities (from North to South): Venezia, Chioggia, Livorno, La Spezia, Camugnano, Ozzano-Emilia, Roma, Monte Porzio Catone, Viterbo, Rieti, Civitavecchia, Tarquinia, Frascati, Rocca di Papa, Portici, Rotondella, Milazzo, Grottaminarda and in Vulcano and Stromboli Aeolianan Islands