Ca' Foscari researchers take part in a number of strategic projects of relevance.
This section presents all on-going projects related to Ca' Foscari's Global Challenges. To discover the past projects, please visit the Archive.
Cultural-E: Plus Energy Buildings
Cultural-E is a EU-funded project, which aims to define modular and replicable solutions for Plus Energy Buildings (PEBs), accounting for climate and cultural differences, while engaging all key players involved in the building life cycle. Cultural-E will develop technologies and solution sets that are tailorable to specific contexts and energy demands, as well as performing a comprehensive optimisation of the value/cost ratio of Plus Energy Buildings. Sets of design-for-assembly technologies will be developed through a careful mapping of European climates, building archetypes, and cultural energy habits. We are going beyond the state-of-the-art by maximising the share of the demand covered by renewable sources, towards zero emissions in the operational phase.
Cross-sectoral cooperation in culture and creative industry
The Culture and Creative Industry (CCI) sector lacks a transnational and cross-sectoral shared vision on what could be its contribution to economic and social growth in central Europe, along with a cooperation system to foster innovation processes. COCO4CCI project (Culture and Creative Industries Cooperation Collider) will build capacities for cross-sectoral cooperation in advanced manufacturing (AVM), by mapping CCI potentials aimed to create a transnational CCI collider network. A training programme will accompany facilitators in technology development, future trends setting and a mind-set definition in advanced manufacturing.
Big data of the past for the future of Europe
The Project Time Machine will give Europe the technology to strengthen its identity against globalisation, populism and increased social exclusion, by turning its history and cultural heritage into a living resource for co-creating its future. The FET Flagship will develop a large-scale digitisation and computing infrastructure mapping millennia of European historical and geographical evolution, transforming kilometres of archives, large collections from museums and libraries, and geo-historical datasets into a distributed digital information system. To succeed, a series of fundamental breakthroughs are targeted in Artificial Intelligence and ICT, making Europe the leader in the extraction and analysis of Big Data of the Past.
Time Machine will bring a new era of open access to sources, where past and on-going research are open science. A dissemination programme aims to further strengthen the rapidly growing ecosystem, currently counting 95 research institutions, most prestigious European cultural heritage associations, large enterprises and innovative SMEs, influential business and civil society associations, and international and national institutional bodies.
Stopping illicit trade and protection of endangered cultural heritage
The last decades have witnessed a variety of initiatives promoted by a diverse set of actors engaged in the protection of endangered cultural heritage and in stopping illicit trade, initiatives that have tried to bring solutions, remediation, methods and approaches to tackle looting and trafficking. NETCHER (NETwork and digital platform for Cultural Heritage Enhancing and Rebuilding) seeks to address the complex challenge of harmonising and bringing together these worthy, but often disconnected initiatives by using a participative approach that will result in the establishment of a structured network (defined as a Social Platform) drawing together a broad range of players such as international bodies, umbrella organizations, national governments, researchers, public policy makers, NGOs, as well as public and private foundations. The Platform will take charge of the systematizing and framing of all the emerging best practices in order to enhance and capitalize on the experiences of the partnership members at an international level for building a joint action plan with shared toolkits and a research and innovation roadmap.
SIforREF – Social policies for refugees integration
The challenge that SIforREF addresses is combating the risk of marginalization of refugees after the reception phases, which are different in each country, through the design and implementation of social innovation methodologies. The project aims to facilitate refugees’ autonomy by enhancing or launching refugee integration policies at regional and local level (countries involved: Italy, Germany, Austria and Slovenia). To achieve this objective, refugee integration should be included in the decisional agenda both at local and transnational level and policy-makers should adopt inclusive measures in governance. The complexity of this issue requires a mutual learning among central European regions, especially neighbourhood regions like those involved in the project.
A European AI On Demand Platform and Ecosystem
Artificial Intelligence is a disruptive technology of our times with expected impacts rivalling those of electricity or printing. Resources for innovation are currently dominated by giant tech companies in North America and China. To ensure European independence and leadership, we must invest wisely by bundling, connecting and opening our AI resources. The AI4EU project will efficiently build a comprehensive European AI-on-demand platform to lower barriers to innovation, to boost technology transfer and catalyse the growth of start-ups and SMEs in all sectors through Open calls and other actions. The platform will act as a broker, developer and one-stop shop providing and showcasing services, expertise, algorithms, software frameworks, development tools, components, modules, data, computing resources, prototyping functions and access to funding. Training will enable different user communities (engineers, civic leaders, etc.) to obtain skills and certifications.
It will mobilize the whole European AI ecosystem and already unites 80 partners in 21 countries including researchers, innovators and related talents. Eight industry-driven AI pilots will demonstrate the value of the platform as an innovation tool. In order to enhance the platform, research on five key interconnected AI scientific areas will be carried out using platform technologies and results will be implemented. The AI4EU Ethical Observatory will be established to ensure the respect of human centred AI values and European regulations. Sustainability will be ensured via the creation of the AI4EU Foundation.
QUality and Effectiveness in Science and Technology communication
Science Communication (SciCom) plays a key role in addressing today’s societal challenges. To be effective, it must be conceived as multi-directional communication, involving scientists, policy-makers, journalists, other communications actors and citizens. On one side, scientists produce research results but are not always equipped to communicate efficiently to the public and to policy-makers. On the other, journalists and other communications actors act as the interface between science, citizens and other audiences, although they may face challenges in fully comprehending the scientific message. Citizens will have a varied perception of the information received but limited knowledge and tools impeding a qualitative assessment. The variety of means of communication existing today makes communications faster and easier, but that increases the complexity of these interactions and the challenge to communicate “sound” science. We also need to consider that much of today SciCom passes through the digital sphere, as the advent of digitalization has changed the way in which information flows and opinions are shaped, also regarding science. Social media are one of the key representatives of these modern means of communication, deserving a special focus.
QUEST aims at facing this challenge with a multi-step approach that will: (1) understand the dynamics of today SciCom (2) design tools to evaluate SciCom quality (3) experiment best practices and proposing innovative ways for SciCom (4) promote SciCom training (5) build an engaging SciCom community. The focus will be on (a) journalism (b) Social media (c) Museums, recognized as having the highest impact in this context. Climate change, vaccines and Artificial Intelligence are used as case studies.
Immersive Underwater Museum experience for a wider inclusion
Aim of the Underwater Muse project, coordinated by ERPAC of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, is the development of proposals for the valorization of the underwater archaeological heritage of the Italian and Croatian Adriatic coasts. In particular, the partners, respecting the guidances of the Unesco Convention on the Underwater Heritage, will promote the in situ maintenance of the sites and the organization of parks which allow the underwater visit of this heritage. The digital virtual visit of the underwater sites, a solution which guarantees a completed sharing of this particular heritage, and the creation of a GIS platform for the dissemination of the most important sites, will be other important topics on which the team of Ca’ Foscari, coordinated by Carlo Beltrame, will work.
Researcher: Carlo Beltrame
Duration: 01/01/2019 - 30/06/2021
Risk Governance of Nanotechnology
Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are covered by REACH/CLP regulations; the general opinion is that the risk assessment (RA) approach routinely used for conventional chemicals is also applicable to ENMs. However, as acknowledged by OECD and ECHA, the OECD and ISO Test Guidelines (TGs) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) need to be verified and adapted to be applicable to ENMs. The project RiskGONE will support the standardization and validation process for ENM by evaluating, optimizing and pre-validating SOPs and TGs and integrating them into a framework for risk governance (RG) of ENMs.