Case studies

Case studies are summaries of some of the successful R&D projects that have been funded through one of our programmes in recent years. Read about the societal, environmental and commercial impact of these international collaborations.




Advanced all weather helicopter radar

German and Israeli partners have developed a novel high-frequency radar system for helicopters that works day or night and cuts through prevailing weather to provide an accurate reading of the surroundings. The system, designed and tested at lower altitudes during the HELI-FLR project, uses interferometric 3D-topograpy to map the near-field area and warn pilots of obstacles like antenna, cables/ wires, buildings and uneven landing surfaces.

Interferometry is a technique that measures interference or how waves (light, radio or sound) change when bouncing off materials or objects like hilltops. The wave displacement is analysed, calibrated and displayed through an easy-to-interpret interface, including a technically advanced “final approach mode” with colour-coded altitude visualisation tools. Pilots working for a helicopter-based rescue organisation provided feedback on tricky flying conditions during their trials of the new radar system. With some final developments to extend the system’s range, it could prove to be a life-changing addition to low-flying aircraft safety.

Project funded by Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung BMBF (Germany) and Israel Europe R&D Directorate ISERD Israel

  • RST Radar Systemtechnik Gmbh (Germany – SME and leading role)
  • DRF Stiftung Luftrettung Gemeinnützige Ag (Germany – end-user)
  • Elbit Systems Ltd (Israel – SME))



A clean lift for a heavy vehicles

Danish and German engineers have developed hybrid engines combining hydrogen fuel-cell battery technology and large diesel engines in vehicles like forklifts and tractors. Hybrids offer the benefits of both silent and zero-emission electric power and the proven reliability of combustion engines, making them ideal for indoor and outdoor use.

Outcomes from the Eurostars HYLIFT-FLEX project fed into new product development by the German partner, which builds drive technologies for airport ground-support equipment, including hybrid diesel-electric tractors. The global market for forklift trucks in general is predicted to reach around 48.5 billion euro by 2021.The Danish partner used its involvement to develop advanced hydrogen fuelling stations, marketed as H2Station®. Projects like this also help the EU achieve its ambitious “low-carbon economy” goals to cut emissions from transport to more than 60% below 1990 levels by 2050.

Project funded by Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation (DASTI) and Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)

  • H2 Logic A/s, now NEL Hydrogen Fuelling (Denmark – SME and leading role)
  • Mulag Fahrzeugwerk Heinz Wössner Gmbh (Germany – SME)



Cutting-edge laser tech fit for today’s industry and tomorrow’s science

British and German laser specialists teamed up to develop a new standard in ultra-compact, high-energy laser systems capable of producing complex materials essential to modern manufacturing. The key was to shrink down the laser head, amplify the beam and lose nothing in terms of speed and accuracy. The technologies delivered during the HYLASE project are ideal for printing, etching and cutting complex surfaces like glass, plastic and thin-films used in semiconductors, optics and diverse sectors as insulation protection and decoration and other coatings.

Apart from excellent processing speed, accuracy and beam quality, boosting output and minimising heat build-up, the lasers proved very reliable and easy to integrate and maintain within new and existing industrial and scientific applications. Their laser amplifiers were also installed in the European X-Ray Free-Electron Laser. This cutting-edge research facility produces intense x-ray flashes (a billion times higher than commercial sources) that can see into the atomic detail of cells and chemical reactions.

Project funded by and Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung BMBF (Germany) and Innovate UK (UK)

  • neoLASE GmbH (Germany – SME)
  • Fianium Ltd, now part of NKT Photonics A/S (UK – SME and leading role)


(Network Projects)

Zeroing in on Alzheimer’s at last

Hungarian research organisations teamed up with Israeli computer scientists to identify and test molecules that could target enzymes believed to cause Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia: brain diseases affecting 5-8% of the world’s over-60s. They used advanced computer modelling and algorithms to design combinations of peptides (compounds of amino acids) that could simultaneously target two enzymes: BACE-1 and Acetylcholinesterase. The SAMBA consortium’s choice of partners (including the prize-winning chemist Amiram Goldblum) and nimble approach to the problem gave them an edge over major pharmaceuticals involved in the race for breakthrough treatments.

Since its completion, the Eureka project has placed all partners in a strong position to serve the growing market for Alzheimer’s drugs, estimated to be worth 4.5 million euro by 2022 on the back of ageing populations. Some combinations of these patented proteins could also be sold or outsourced for use in other drugs.

Project funded by ISERD, Israel European R&D Directorate, and the Hungarian National Research, Development and Innovation Office  

  • Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel – university)
  • National Korányi Institute of Tuberculosis and Pulmonology (Hungary – university)
  • TargetEx (Hungary – SME and leading role)
  • Pepticom (Israel – SME)


(Network Projects)

Blueprint for new Crohn’s treatment

Hungarian and Israeli biotech companies joined forces to tackle Crohn’s, one of several inflammatory bowel diseases affecting 6.8 million people worldwide. Front-line drugs and medical advice have traditionally focused on treating the symptoms only. Building on new knowledge about the role of anti-tumour necrosis factors (TNFa) (substances secreted by the immune system which interfere with healthy cells) in the cause of Crohn’s disease, the PIP-4-CD Eureka project focused on boosting TNF’s potency, but also its targeting, to reduce associated side-effects.

Their work concentrated on new ways to “imprint” the active agents (protein-imprinted polymers) to bind specifically to TNFa, knocking it out before it can further damage intestines. Partners developed bioassays and preclinical protocols for testing the anti-inflammatory potential of several candidate drugs. They also developed nutraceuticals (dietary supplements with medical benefits), which are being sold on respective national markets. Turnover is growing. Plans are underway to further develop the bioassays and products for international expansion.

Project funded by National Research, Development and Innovation Office (Hungary) and Israel Innovation Authority ISERD (Israel)

  • Semorex Technologies Ltd ( Israel – SME)
  • Greenformatix Nonprofit Ltd (Hungary – SME)
  • Pharmacoidea Ltd (Hungary – SME and leading role)


(Network Projects)

Precision treatment for prostate cancer

Imaging and software experts developed a new 3D imaging technology that can improve the outcome of prostate cancer treatment. Under the PTPS project, new technologies were developed by Israeli company INSIGHTEC, together with German researchers. These technologies aid in the performance of non-invasive, focused ultrasound treatment. Guided by magnetic resonance images on a screen, doctors direct a high-intensity ultrasound beam, using heat generated at the beam focused to destroy cancerous tissue. Until now, the best equipment on the market provided 2D imaging.

The more realistic 3D display helps doctors avoid damaging organs near the prostate, such as the bladder, rectum, sphincter and nerve muscles. This reduces the risk of undesirable effects leading to incontinency or impotence. In the EU, more than 350,000 men per year are diagnosed with prostate cancer. INSIGHTEC is marketing the system, which mounts on typical MR scanner tables.

Project funded by Israel European R&D Directorate ISERD (Israel), and German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Germany)

  • Fraunhofer MEVIS (Germany – research organisation)
  • INSIGHTEC (Israel – SME and leading role)
  • Mediri GmbH (Germany – SME)



Preparing for tomorrow’s mobile networks

Researchers from Finland, France and Germany developed tools for network operators serving growing numbers of mobile device users. Their work optimises 5G mobile communications and paves the way for better services. Smartphone users expect high-quality and affordable services, and ever-faster connections, while the telecommunications industry moves towards open-source software and cloud technologies. Operators are migrating software from application-specific hardware platforms to large-scale data centres. The SIGMONA project leverages novel software-defined networking, a cloud-based solution that enables direct programming of network control, and the abstraction of underlying infrastructure from applications and services.

The end result is higher throughput, optimised network flow management and new traffic engineering possibilities. Researchers developed eight new or improved products for network operators, hired 13 new employees and established a spin-off company. Partners in Finland deployed a national 5G test network. SIGMONA won the 2019 Innovation Award at the Eureka Global Innovation Summit in Manchester.

  • Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux énergies alternatives (France – government agency)
  • Montimage (France – SME)
  • Nokia Oy (Finland – large company and leading role)
  • AALTO University Foundation (Finland – university)
  • Coriant Oy (Finland – SME)
  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (Finland – research organisation)
  • Technical University of Chemnitz (Germany – university)
  • Atos (France – large company)
  • EXFO (Finland – SME)
  • 6Wind (France – SME)
  • University of Oulu (Finland – university)


(Network Projects)

Laser-like focus on metabolic markers

A Lithuanian-Swiss partnership developed a system to advance research into diabetes and other metabolic disorders. Molecules have unique light-absorption qualities which act like a fingerprint for identifying markers of disease. By shining a laser onto a substance, such as blood or a person’s skin, the reflected light can help measure specific metabolite concentrations. Researchers in the SWIRSENSE project developed a new tuneable laser technology for remote-sensing critical components of blood such as glucose, lactates, urea and serum albumin, without having to take blood samples from patients.

Current technologies that do similar work cost upwards of 70,000 euro. The new system uses a short-wavelength infrared spectral range (the little-used but potentially valuable region between 1.7 and 2.5 micrometres) and is expected to cost as little as 5,000 euro. From 1980 to 2014, the number of people suffering from diabetes quadrupled to 422 million, indicating huge market potential for the SWIRSENSE system.

Project funded by MITA, Lithuanian Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology, and Research and Innovation Switzerland

  • Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (Switzerland – research organisation)
  • Brolis Semiconductors (Lithuania – SME and leading role)