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.

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LDL4HELTA

(Network Projects)

Meaningful relationships shape the semantic web business

The Austrian, Israeli and Spanish participants in the Eureka LDL4HELTA project capitalised on developments in AI, text mining and lexicography to develop new tools and services to meet the growing demand for language technologies.  


A key focus for the project was on “word-sense disambiguation”. This critical language technology identifies a sentence’s meaning when different interpretations are possible. It enables more value to be attached to high-quality information available in linked data form, including knowledge graphs. The semantic web (a more intelligent and intuitive web) is one step closer. 


Eureka helped the SME partners to strengthen their services and deepen their skills and knowledge in the burgeoning language technology market.

Project funded by: FFG (Austria), OCS (Israel)

  • Semantic Web Company (Austria – SME and lead partner)
  • K Dictionaries (Israel – SME)
  • Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Spain – university)

EYEINJECT

(Network Projects)

Research with a vision

Czech and Slovak project participants developed a new medical device to help people in pain after eye surgery. Patients often experience discomfort when recovering from operations like laser-assisted sub-epithelial keratectomy (LASEK), where surgeons use a laser to reshape the surface of the cornea. There are anaesthetic drops that can help, but they tend to slow down the healing process. Researchers in the Eureka EYEINJECT project wanted to create a device for injecting a painkilling solution straight into the cornea. The needle had to be extremely thin and delicate and the injection very precise to avoid damaging the eye.

The device they developed features a needle with a diameter of just 0.15mm, and it can also be used to administer antibiotics in the case of corneal infections and for corneal cross-linking (a procedure to treat a condition called keratoconus), where the cornea thins out and weakens. Commercial success beckons.

  • Gemini Eye Clinic (Czech Republic – medical clinic and leading role)
  • Augenlaser Praxis Dr Pavel Stodulka (Austria – medical clinic)
  • Tajmac ZPS (Czech Republic – medical clinic )
  • Precision Tubes Europe (Slovakia – technology innovator)

WHITE TOP TESTLINER

(Network Projects)

Infinitely better recycled containerboard

Backed by Eureka, a Spanish paper and packaging company and a large Austrian company developed a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly solution to meet growing demand for white-grade top-coated paper. 


With demand for recycled paper materials outstripping supply, the quality was suffering. Specifically, Saica had to find a cost-effective solution to produce higher-grade corrugated cases and testliners on which essential information could be printed. They also needed to avoid relying on bleaching to get that familiar white “quality” look. 


After intensive R&D, Saica introduced its pioneering “Infinite” line of corrugated containerboard. Made from 100% recycled fibre, it offers higher brightness, whiteness and colour intensity and better print quality. It is thus ideal for modern packaging that needs to be both durable and appealing, with colourful printed graphics and texts that are easy to read. 

Project funded by: CDTI (Germany), FFG (Austria)

  • Saica (Spain - large company and lead partner)
  • Voith Paper (Austria - large company)

HEAT-TO-POWER

(Eurostars)

Burning your garbage now powers your computer

A project collaboration between a Swedish large company and a Dutch SME and research organisation helped Swedish SME Climeon optimise and improve its energy recovery technology. It can now reliably generate electricity from waste or geothermal heat at temperatures as low as 60-80°C.  


Waste heat and geothermal energy are considered one of the greatest untapped energy sources. Climeon was able to profitably convert 90°C heat into electricity, but wanted to push the boundaries further and utilise 70°C heat. 


Thanks to the Eurostars Heat-To-Power project, Climeon’s patent-protected Heat Power System can now be connected to almost any low-temperature heat source to produce significant amounts of clean electricity. More and more industries (especially those with energy-intensive production plants like steel and cement) are interested in the potential cost-savings and environmental benefits of reusing low-temperature waste heat.  

Project funded by: Vinnova (Sweden), RVO (The Netherlands)

  • Climeon (Sweden – SME and lead partner )
  • IF Technology (The Netherlands – SME)
  • Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (the Netherlands – research organisation )
  • Alfa Laval Corporate (Sweden – large company)

BRAINIQ

(Eurostars)

AI helps early detection of dementia

Through pioneering algorithmic analysis, a consortium of Dutch and Danish SMEs and a university developed software that uses AI to detect the signs and progression of dementia in a patient’s MRI scans.


One of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease is shrinkage of brain tissue, especially around the hippocampus, an area of the brain associated with the consolidation of short- and long-term memory. Understanding how the volume of the hippocampus changes as the disease advances could help with detection and prognosis.


However, each hospital has different MRI scanners, imaging processes and software. The consortium developed software that would work in all settings and still produce accurate results. Moreover, the AI system was trained to ensure an accuracy that’s comparable to human beings.

Project funded by: Innovation Fund (Denmark), RVO (The Netherlands)

  • Quantib (the Netherlands – SME and lead partner)
  • Biomediq (Denmark – SME)
  • Erasmus University Medical Centre (the Netherlands – university)

HANDINMIND

(Eurostars)

A robotic hand for stroke patients

Stroke victims often experience severe motor disability caused by neural damage when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. A Swedish-Swiss-Dutch partnership delivered a wearable device that helps patients recover dexterity in affected hands and arms. The robotic glove developed under the HANDINMIND project speeds up the retraining of patients’ neural networks. Powered by a battery pack worn around the waist, the glove has sensors embedded in the fabric that relay and transpose finger movements into a visual environment on a computer screen. Patients can play “serious” games specially devised as therapy, such as using targeted finger movements to direct a submarine in an underwater adventure game.

Conventional rehabilitation equipment can be large and expensive, and patients usually have to travel to hospitals to use them. The HANDINMIND glove can be used at home at any time and answers a growing market need for small therapeutic devices.

Project funded by Swedish innovation agency VINNOVA (Sweden), Netherlands innovation agency RVO (Netherlands) and Research and Innovation Switzerland Innosuisse (Switzerland)

  • Hocoma (Switzerland – SME)
  • Roessingh Research and Development (The Netherlands – research organisation)
  • Bioservo Technologies (Sweden – SME and leading role)

ITEA2: MEDIATE Clusters

(ITEA3)

Taming the controls as medical imaging reach new heights

This project led to the development of new imaging procedures, supporting devices and an integrated architecture covering all the procedural steps (from diagnosis to post-operation follow-up and decision-support) for image-guided interventions in cardiology, oncology and orthopaedics.


Operating theatres and hospital rooms for minimally-invasive, image-guided surgery are often crammed with equipment from different manufacturers. Medical staff frequently struggle to keep up with all the different training and protocols necessary.


The newly developed integrated systems save time and help staff to concentrate on the task at hand. For example, staff no longer have to continually re-enter patient names and monitor multiple displays via different user interfaces.

  • Institut Mines-Télécom Bretagne (France - university)
  • Philips (The Netherlands - large company )
  • Utrecht University Medical Centre (the Netherlands – university)
  • • Leiden University (Medical Centre)
  • EndoControl ()
  • Erasmus Medical Centre (The Netherlands - hospital)
  • Haption ()
  • Demcon ()

VEMS

(Network Projects)

A simple solution for cleaner cars

An international partnership developed a system that captures and reroutes energy from car exhaust gases back to the vehicle, cutting fuel use by 5-10%. Current petrol or diesel cars use electricity produced by an alternator to power systems such as air conditioning, entertainment and door locks. This inefficient process requires a three-way conversion of chemical energy (the fuel) into mechanical energy (the alternator) and then into electric energy. Czech, Slovenian and UK partners in the VEMS project channelled unused “waste” energy contained in combustion engine exhaust fumes directly back to the alternator, producing additional electricity to boost vehicle power when needed.

The VEMS system, which was tested in a Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSI, is remarkably simple in its design, being partly based on existing technologies. It is intended for use in passenger cars, trucks, buses and other vehicles, and is already being used in race cars.

Project funded by Czech Republic Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Slovenian Ministry of Economic development and technology, and Innovate UK

  • MSR Engines (Czech Republic – SME and leading role)
  • Sterk (Slovenia – SME)
  • Hi Tech Racing (UK – SME)