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12 March 2015

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Responsible research and innovation push seeks to broaden societal involvement

Eco-innovation could be boosted by a call for “responsible research and innovation” (RRI) in Europe, which is defined as “societal actors work[ing] together during the whole research and innovation process in order to better align both the process and its outcomes with the values, needs and expectations of European society”.
Under the Italian presidency of the Council of the European Union (second half of 2014), a conference on “achieving RRI” was held in Rome from 19-21 November 2014. The conference concluded with the issuing of a “Rome Declaration” on RRI in Europe.

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First commercial development of straw houses goes on sale following EU project

A group of seven houses constructed from highly compacted straw has gone on sale in Bristol, United Kingdom, following extensive testing to prove the safety and environmental performance of the straw panels, which was carried out with assistance from a European Union-funded eco-innovation project. The seven houses are, according to the developers, Modcell and Connolly-Callaghan, “believed to be the world's first commercially available straw eco-homes.”

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Seaweed cultivation project promises higher yields

Seaweed has been harvested for hundreds of years – the ocean plants are used for a variety of products, including edible seaweeds such as Japanese nori or Welsh laver. Typically, however, seaweed production has been small-scale. The plant has either been harvested from areas where it grows naturally, or is grown on bamboo branches or ropes, to which the seaweed attaches. Seaweed cultivation could soon be scaled up however, thanks to a Belgian company which has experimented with textile sheets that can be seeded and stretched across frames and used for seaweed cultivation.

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Registration now open for 18th European Forum on Eco-innovation, 20-21 May
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Applications open for Public Procurement of Innovation Award 2015 – deadline 27 March
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