Imperial's impact across Europe
European collaboration is essential to the success of UK science – it is the building block to wider global engagement and maintains research excellence. Over half of all publications Imperial has co-authored with organisations outside of the EU between 2014 and 2019 also have at least one co-author from an organisation within the EU.
The EU funds research collaboration through its Horizon framework programmes which are the only international research schemes of scale anywhere in the world and provide extensive networks of collaboration. Horizon includes the European Research Council (ERC) which funds the best scientists for cutting-edge research at the frontiers of knowledge in their field, including at Imperial. ERC grants are the most prestigious grants in Europe and among some of the most respected in the world. At Imperial, funding from the ERC has played a significant role in supporting pioneering research in STEM, medicine and business.
Imperial researchers work with partners all over Europe to develop the latest technologies and ground-breaking discoveries – sharing expertise, infrastructure and advancing knowledge for the benefit of all. Hover over the map to discover some of these projects and the partners involved.
Credit: map design by Ian Dutnall
Imperial's impact across Europe
An aerial robot is a system capable of sustained flight with no direct human control. Imperial’s Aerial Robotics Lab are collaborating with University of Zagreb and with two other European partners in a twinning coordination action for spreading excellence in Aerial Robotics. The AeRoTwin project aims to create an international aerial robotics community with potential impact in areas such as remote sensing, disaster response, image acquisition, transportation, and delivery of goods.
Future cities will be like ecosystems where robots, the built environment, and humans work together in a symbiotic relationship. The Imperial Aerial Robotics Lab and Materials Science Institute Empa have a joint centre for independent flying robots which will carry out building maintenance work, and help to complete maintenance work in hard-to-reach, hazardous areas. The drones’ designs are inspired by nature: the flying robots will sense and swoop on damaged infrastructure like bees monitoring and building their hive.Click here for more information
In 2019, Hitachi ABB Power Grid and Imperial launched the Digital Energy Demonstrator facility, hosted by Imperial's Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. The state-of-the-art digital demonstrator will be used by researchers and students to develop their understanding of possible configurations for future low-carbon energy systems, thereby contributing to the fight against climate change.
In Europe’s rapidly growing photonics industry, lasers have played a major role in technological developments ranging from communications to medicine. Imperial and IBM Research address the rising need for educated professionals in this field by training two young researchers in photonics technology, with a focus on random lasers. The project will drive the emerging field of random laser networks, opening the way for photonic circuits which could boost computation speed in electronic chips.Click here for more information
The transition to a low-carbon energy system will involve a major redesign of the energy system, primarily around renewable sources. Imperial is collaborating with other European partners on the ETH Zurich-led SENTINEL project to redesign the planning models that will guide our transition to a new energy system. The new modelling framework will aid policymakers across Europe in developing energy systems that are secure, clean and energy efficient.
Denmark, Hungary, Netherlands, Greece, Spain, Austria, Germany
Imperial has a long-term partnership with ABB, spanning at least 15 years, looking at novel technologies in energy systems. ABB and Imperial have set up a Carbon Capture Pilot Plant and Control Room, which provides a fully hands-on discovery experience for researchers and giving students skills that will be essential in their future careers. The plant is a vital resource in the fight against climate change, demonstrating best practice in capturing and storing harmful carbon dioxide before it can be released into the atmosphere.
Internet and productivity
Productivity is key to economic growth and creating new opportunities for people – something that is especially important as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Imperial College Business School and Ericcson Research have found connections between cellular Internet of Things connections and productivity growth. The study results show that when these connections per inhabitant grow ten percentage points, there is a 0.23 percentage point increase in total factor productivity growth, equal to $197 billion based on world GDP in 2018.Click here for more information
Nuclear waste disposal
Imperial and the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company (SKB) are collaborating to make the disposal of spent nuclear fuel as safe as possible. This project focuses on predictive modelling of rock spalling – the break-off of rocks from rock walls – around the subsurface holes in which the spent fuel canisters will be deposited. Nuclear waste disposal will be safer as a result of an improved ability to predict the possibility and extent of spalling.
Imperial and Volvo Trucks are working together on a project investigating the mechanisms by which soot causes problematic wear in heavy-duty diesel engine components. This is important since understanding soot mediated wear can allow an increase in the amount of soot in engine oil. This in turn enables vehicles to achieve an optimum CO2 - NOx trade-off, and hence resulting in lower emissions.
Laser modification of materials is fertile ground for new breakthroughs in photonics, tribology and plasmonics. Imperial is working with New Bulgarian University and four other European partners to develop a network of advanced theoretical modelling of laser-matter interaction. This will bridge mathematical theory and modelling, potentially impacting a range of emerging applications in areas such as high-resolution imaging and complex materials engineering.
Czechia, France, Germany, Belarus
Extreme weather and climate events are expected to increase in the future due to global warming. Imperial is part of a European consortium led by Uppsala University which is training the next generation of leading researchers to better understand the dynamics, predictability and impacts of temperature, precipitation (including drought), and surface wind extremes over Europe.
France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland
Haptic devices have transformed how people interact with virtual environments and are driving the burgeoning multidisciplinary field of artificial touch, flexible electronics and their applications in robotics and assistive and rehabilitation technology. In collaboration with Imperial and nine other European partners, the INTUITIVE project, coordinated by Lunds Universitet, is training early-stage researchers in haptic technology. The programme aims to further the development of intuitive and efficient haptic displays for blind people.
France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Belgium
Antibodies form the basis of a robust adaptive immune response to viral disease. Imperial’s School of Public Health is working with the EU-funded CoroNAb project led by Sweden's Karolinska Institute, in collaboration with Statens Serum and ETH Zurich, to identify multiple neutralising antibodies and nanobodies against coronavirus, and to recommend where their use would be maximally effective.
Imperial and Spanish energy company Enagas are investigating methane and CO2 emissions from the Spanish natural gas supply chain and liquid natural gas shipping fuel. This in-depth analysis of emissions will lead to recommendations for emissions reductions and an increased understanding of the impact these emissions have on climate metrics.
Europe’s ageing population is likely to increase the demand for assistive hearing devices. Imperial coordinates 3D Tune-In, a project with partners in Spain and Italy that produces digital games applied to hearing aids - enhancing social inclusion, generating new markets and creating job opportunities. The technology transfer between the scientific, technological and industrial communities will enable the game industry to expand into assistive technologies and support active ageing and healthy living.
Health and environment
The exposome is the sum of all non-genetic drivers of disease. Imperial researchers are part of an international team lead by Barcelona Institute of Global Health (ISGlobal) that works to quantify the effects of a wide range of environmental risk factors on mental, cardiometabolic and respiratory health outcomes and associated biological pathways during the first 20 years of a person’s life. The results will identify environmental changes that can be made to improve lifelong health.
France, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Lithuania, Denmark, Italy
Financial systems throughout the world generate a vast amount of digitally recorded transaction data. Imperial's Dr Stephen Hansen is working with Spanish bank BBVA to help track the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 crisis with high-resolution transaction data. The research has informed policymaking in Spain and beyond, with presentations to the IMF, OECD, Bank of England, and Federal Reserve Board. The work has now expanded through a European Research Council grant to include Pompeu Fabra University and partners in the US and UK.
Approximately 70% of European plastic waste is not recycled due to technical or economic reasons and is sent to landfill or incinerated instead. Imperial researchers are working with the Spanish National Research Council as part of a larger circular economy consortia which aims to substantially increase the recycling of plastics to produce commodity products that can be used for virgin-quality polymers production or as raw materials for other processes in petrochemicals, fine chemicals, automotive, and detergent and surfactants industries.
Germany, Portugal, Netherlands
Childhood obesity is a global challenge that seriously impacts health, social and economic outcomes. Imperial coordinates a major project with 21 international partners, including the University of Ljubljana and the Slovenian National Institute of Public Health, that brings together a range of key health and food sector actors. It will generate evidence on the factors that have contributed to the spread of childhood obesity in European countries and develop better indicators and measurements of childhood obesity and policy advice.
Italy, Estonia, Romania, Portugal, France, Belgium, Sweden, Croatia, Spain, Finland, Switzerland
Sound is one of the main dimensions of any human-computer interface and traditionally relies on a single user device. The EU-funded SOUNDS project aims to bring a revolutionary change by exploiting network-enabled cooperation between a range of wearable devices. The project will train the next generation of European researchers in techniques that can lead to a radical shift in audio technology.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) represent a large part of the European economy, but they often face barriers to scale-up including access to finance. Dr Cláudia Custódio from Imperial College Business School leads an ERC-funded project, working with the Bank of Portugal and the Lisbon School of Economics & Management to analyse Portuguese SMEs, to provide better understanding of how challenges in access to finance and information impact firm performance and economic growth.Click here for more information
The large public health burden and individual suffering associated with mental disorders illustrates the need to study their biological underpinning. Portugal’s Centro de Neurociencias e Biologia Celular leads a European team which includes Imperial and four Portuguese industry partners focused on training researchers to become world-leading scientists in the field of neuropsychiatric research.
France, Switzerland, Denmark
Europe’s renewable energy policies are among the most ambitious in the world. Imperial is collaborating with a European consortium led by Portugal’s National Energy and Geology Laboratory to develop and test an innovative electricity market design. This could enable the cost-effective and secure development of a nearly 100% renewable power system and realise the full extent of the system-wide benefits of flexibility resources.
Netherlands, Finland, Germany, Norway
Imperial's Cristina Lo Celso is partnering with the University of Porto and University of Coimbra on pioneering research into understanding the stem cells in bone marrow to improve treatment of leukaemia and infection. The work is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) and has generated ground-breaking discoveries, such as improving understanding of how leukaemia cells move throughout bone marrow and destroy vital stem cells.Click here for more information
Integrated quantum photonics
Quantum photonics is a pioneering field of research at the interface of physics and information science. Imperial is part of a European consortium led by the University of Warsaw to train early-stage researchers in integrated quantum photonics. The programme involves a range of projects focused on developing a range of applications including satellite-based systems, photonic circuits, and artificial neural networks.
Austria, Italy, Belgium, France, Switzerland
Imperial and four Polish universities - Jagiellonian University, Adam Mickiewicz University, Medical University of Gdansk, and Warsaw University of Technology - are working together to improve science communication in Europe, focusing first on the role universities have as centres both of research and public engagement. The aim is to develop science communication in relation to highly complex challenges like COVID-19 and climate change.
Data scientists from Imperial and the University of Bergen have found a new way to predict how a disease will likely progress in individual patients. The team utilised an algorithm called HyperTraPS, which uses biomedical data from many patients – hundreds or thousands of individuals – to build a ‘road map’ of the different pathways that a disease takes over time. HyperTraPS has had a number of impacts including providing a refined risk assessment for malaria and revealed the diverse pathways of ovarian cancer progression.Click here for more information
Innovation in process industries is a key component of low-carbon transition. Imperial chemical engineers coordinate the EU-funded PRONTO Network which is focused on guiding the development of state-of-the-art sustainable technology related to the flows of material, natural resources, and energy in industrial processes. The European training network includes the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, ABB Norway, and Equinor.
Germany, Poland, Italy, Spain
One of the main threats in sustainable farmed fish production is the occurrence of infectious diseases: in Europe alone accumulating to a yearly economic loss of €1.8 billion Euros. Imperial researchers are working with the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and 8 other European partners to find genetic solutions to improve disease resistance in aquaculture production - improving fish welfare, farm profitability, sustainability, and supporting the EU Green Deal’s Farm to Fork Strategy.
Germany, Greece, France, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain
Imperial and Toyota Motor Europe are collaborating on polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) for electric car batteries. These highly conductive membranes will improve the efficiency and lifetime of flow batteries for energy storage in electric vehicles and reduce their cost. The research will also benefit the development of renewable energy such as solar and wind power as well as the hydrogen economy, and contribute to sustainable development in Europe and the world.
Managing patients with fever is one of the most challenging problems for healthcare providers because distinction between bacterial and trivial viral infection on clinical grounds is unreliable. An international research team, led by Imperial and including researchers from Erasmus, University of Rotterdam and other partners, is working to improve diagnosis and management of patients with fever across European healthcare systems by applying of genomic, proteomic and bioinformatic approaches to large-scale multi-national patient cohorts.
Greece, Spain, Austria, Slovenia, Latvia, France, Germany, Switzerland
The environment we live in accounts for an estimated 70% of the chronic disease burden, highlighting the risks of urbanisation. Utrecht University is leading an international study in which Imperial participates with 18 other partners – the largest European urban health exposure consortium to date - to study non-genetic drivers of health and disease. Its aim is to identify ways to maximise health outcomes in a modern urban environment.
Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, France, Estonia, Poland, Spain, Italy, Greece, Czechia
There are on average 324 million surgical procedures performed per year globally. 20% are likely to experience a post-operative complication, including infection. Imperial researchers are part of the PERISCOPE consortium co-ordinated by Dutch health tech company Heathplus AI. The programme focuses on using artificial intelligence for early warning of post-surgery infections and other major complications. Earlier diagnosis and actions will reduce the number complications, their impact and cost.
The measles virus is highly contagious and leads to more than 100,000 deaths per year worldwide in unvaccinated communities. Imperial researchers have worked with an international team, including the University of Amsterdam, to reveal how measles causes long-term damage to the immune system, leaving people vulnerable to other infections. The study looked at a non-vaccinated group in the Netherlands and explained why children often succumb to other infectious diseases after they have had measles.Click here for more information
Net zero emissions
Imperial’s partnership with Shell is addressing a variety of challenges in the energy sector, with a focus on working with the company to help it meet its ambition of being a net zero emissions energy business by 2050 or sooner. Across five labs and centres, scientists and engineers are working with Shell to realise new energy storage technologies, reduce methane emissions, and develop solutions to decarbonise the mobility sector.
Satellite-based geo-data is revolutionising our understanding of the atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere. Civil and environmental engineers at Imperial and TU Delft are working with an international team, including tech hubs across Africa, to make advances in sensor and communication technology that can create new products and services in areas such as food, water, energy security, climate change and resilience to natural hazards.
Germany, Italy, Spain, Slovakia
COVID-19 death rates are accentuated by cardiovascular comorbidities and arrhythmias leading to unexpected major cardiovascular events. Imperial is partnering with a consortium which aims to better identify COVID-19 patients at risk of developing cardiovascular events leading to death, to improve surveillance and care of these patients. The project will quickly deliver a minimally-invasive, simple, yet robust and affordable prognosis tool that can risk-stratify patients, and inform the adaptation of therapies and drug design.
France, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Hungary, Slovenia, Spain, Portugal
Structural health monitoring
Complex engineering structures such as bridges and highways deteriorate over time, often invisibly. Imperial and Kaunas University of Technology researchers are part of a European project co-ordinated by Germany’s federal lab for material science focused on using guided wave-based structural health monitoring to continuously monitor and facilitate early detection of faults in complex engineering structures, such as chemical plants, pipelines, transport systems and aeronautical structures.
France, Netherlands, Germany, Estonia, Italy, Portugal
Native and alien pest threats, such as insect pests, pathogens and weeds can harm natural ecosystems and farming systems. Means to control them are often harmful to biodiversity and ecosystems. Imperial works with 21 other international partners in a major study, coordinated by University of Turin, to ensure a European food security system and the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems while developing integrated mechanisms to predict, prevent and protect agriculture and forestry systems from native and alien pest threats.
Spain, Netherlands, France, Latvia, Czechia, Belgium, Hungary
Imperial researchers are working with Universita Campus Bio-Medico University Rome, Sant’Anna School of Advances Studies, IUVO, and IBM to investigate a paradigm shift that promotes physical communication mediated by robots to enhance handwriting in children and music learning in beginner musicians. The project applies innovative robotic technology, wearable sensors, and machine learning algorithms to establish a physically interactive robotic platform that will connect humans to support the learning of complex sensorimotor tasks.
Serbia, Belgium, Israel
One in six women experience long-term post-traumatic stress following an early-stage pregnancy loss. A study by Imperial and KU Leuven in Belgium revealed that miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy may trigger long-term post-traumatic stress in women. This research is helping to support calls by Imperial researchers for immediate improvements in the care women receive following miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy.Click here for more information
Imperial academics working at the forefront of nanoscience, bioelectronics and wearable technologies are collaborating with colleagues at the University of Catania and at the National Institute of Astrophysics to develop flexible electronic and wearable components for aerospace applications. The project funded by the European Space Agency aims to investigate the ageing of flexible and printed electronic materials upon exposure to the outer space, which will be increasingly important as space technology is developed and deployed further.
Photovoltaics is the conversion of light into electricity using semi-conducting materials that exhibit the photovoltaic effect. Imperial researchers are collaborating with the University of Catania and CNR's Institute of Microelectronics to develop future highly efficient hybrid photovoltaic (PV) systems - a key part of developing future sustainable energy sources, thereby helping to tackle climate change.
Brain disease represents a €750 billion cost to the European economy and patient numbers are growing fast due to an ageing population. An Imperial team is coordinating the EDEN2020 project on robotic-assisted neurosurgical drug delivery. The project aims to transform the treatment of brain disease by delivering an integrated technology platform for minimally invasive neurosurgery, partnering with Polytechnic University of Milan, University of Milan and Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, and four other European partners.
Rare diseases, like spina bifida and muscular dystrophy, impact around 5% of the world’s population and roughly 30 million people in Europe. More research still needs to be done to understand and treat many rare diseases. Imperial is collaborating with Italian, French, Spanish and Belgian partners to gather input from patients, practitioners and key opinion leaders to improve policy responses for people living with a rare disease in Europe.
France, Spain, Belgium
Limb prosthetics used by amputees lack natural and tactile sensations. Using cutting-edge tissue engineering technology and computational modelling, Imperial bioengineers are working with Campus Biomedico Rome, University of Naples Federico II, and other European partners to develop an in vitro innervated skin model to study sensory receptors and the afferent neural signals. This work is expected to provide amputees with sensor–motor control of their upper limbs.
Germany, Spain, Iceland
Microalgae are photosynthetic micro-organisms found in marine and freshwater environments. Imperial researchers are working with the University of Padua and 11 other European partners from academia and industry to train the next generation of researchers to work on the growth optimisation of microalgae, with application potential in fields like renewable energy, biopharmaceuticals, and nutraceuticals.
France, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium
COVID and cancer
The morbidity and mortality stemming from COVID-19 infection in cancer patients is not fully appreciated. OnCovid is a multicentre study led by researchers at Imperial College London in collaboration with teams in Spain, Italy and Germany, to look at the outcomes from SARS-CoV-2 infection in European cancer patients. The study will evaluate prognostic factors for survival in patients and contribute to understanding the characteristics and severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with cancer.
Spain, Italy, Germany
Foodborne and waterborne diseases are causing 23 million illnesses and 5,000 deaths per year in Europe. Imperial is working with University College Cork and other partners to study how the gut microbiota protects against serious Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, Citrobacter, Campylobacter and other foodborne pathogens. The research and training network is focused on understanding how the gut microbiota fights foodborne pathogens, with the aim of reducing mortality and morbidity associated with such diseases.
Germany, Spain, France, Switzerland
From energy to nanotechnology, healthcare to electronics, and biomaterials to ceramics, the need determine the properties of new materials is essential. Imperial's Department of Materials is working with Trinity College Dublin and University College London to train new scientists to be experts in the application of advanced analytical techniques for materials development. The Centre for Doctoral Training in the Advanced Characterisation of Materials is a four-year funded PhD training programme.Click here for more information
Antimicrobial resistance has taken on pandemic proportions. Simultaneously, a growing number of people have become resistant to vaccination. The Department of Immunology and Inflammation is working with University College Dublin and other European partners to train the next generation of researchers in vaccinology. The common goal of BactiVax Innovative Training Network is to develop effective vaccines against challenging antimicrobial-resistant bacterial infections.
Italy, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Belgium
Modelling turbulent flows in land, sea and air transport has advanced rapidly over the last decades, but new models for complex fluid flows are needed to enhance prediction for better control of fluid flow. Imperial is collaborating with Numerical Mechanics Applications International and with three other Belgian partners in a European-wide HiFi-Turb project to create improved models for complex fluid flows, further reducing energy consumption, emissions and noise of aircraft, ships and cars.
France, Germany, Italy, Spain
Imperial is working with C3S and MTA EK in Hungary to test new nanosatellite technologies for monitoring space weather and solar system exploration. As part of a European Space Agency technology demonstration mission, Imperial is responsible for developing a magnetometer called MAGIC which will be used to measure the magnetic field and monitor space weather, allowing greater understanding of phenomenon that can damage satellites and infrastructure on Earth.
Visionary and integrated solutions are required to improve wellbeing and health in cities. Imperial researchers from Civil and Environmental Engineering are working with 26 other international partners on a project led by the National Technical University of Athens to deploy natural systems to enhance public health and wellbeing and create resilient urban ecosystems. The project solutions will be tested in four urban areas: Belgrade, Lodz, Piraeus and Gladsaxe.
Poland, Serbia, Denmark, Austria, Hungary, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Quantum computing is the use of quantum phenomena such as superposition and entanglement to perform computation. When a quantum computer is claimed to have been built, it is important to certify the claim. Setting this standard should be an international effort between academia, national labs and industry. Imperial and Fraunhofer are working together for validation and certification of quantum advantages and to consider the development of quantum algorithms for applications in finance, material design and optimisation.
Researchers in Imperial’s Department of Bioengineering have joined forces with German animal feeds producer Kaesler Nutrition to kick-start the company’s in-house production of carotenoids, which improve nutritional quality of animal feed. Imperial bioengineers will be pioneering a yeast-based approach to Kaesler’s synthesis process, which will expand the company’s current production capabilities, and also can lead to innovative biotechnological and bioengineering processes.Click here for more information
Ceres Power, an Imperial spin-out which is developing solid oxide fuel cells to bring cleaner and cheaper energy to businesses, homes and industry, is collaborating with Bosch Group on fuel cell technology. Fuel cells represent a promising technology for decentralised and distributed power stations - the market for decentralised power generation is estimated to reach €20 billion by 2030 - and will be important in reducing greenhouse emissions.
Europe now has 116 offshore wind farms across 12 countries, and 40% of overall capacity is in the UK. Imperial’s Department of Aeronautics is developing wind farm optimisation tools to design wind farms of the future - essential in meeting clean energy targets. Partners include Vestas, one of the largest wind turbine manufacturers in the world, Frazer-Nash Consultancy and the University of Oldenburg, Germany.
AI & healthcare
Virtually all emerging technologies are in AI, robotics or a combination of both. Imperial and TU Munich have established a Joint Doctoral Academy in AI –Healthcare Robotics as part of a flagship institutional partnership. The academy is training the next generation of researchers to work in emerging fields including computer vision in AI, minimal invasive surgery, robotic ultrasound, exoskeletons, and neuro-inspired intelligent healthcare tools and action.Click here for more information
For a new green revolution to feed the continually increasing population, agriculture productivity will have to be significantly improved. Imperial researchers are working with the Max Planck Institutes of Molecular Plant Physiology and Terrestrial Microbiology to transform the future of agriculture through synthetic photorespiration, with potential to increase plant yields by 20%.
Immersive audio is our everyday experience of being able to hear and interact with sounds around us. Imperial is leading a project focused on transforming auditory-based social interaction and communication in virtual or augmented reality (AR/VR). The project involves academic and SME partners and aims to revolutionise the way we interact socially within AR/VR environments by leveraging methods from Artificial Intelligence to design a new generation of immersive audio technologies.
France, Italy, Greece, Spain
Strokes are one of the largest public health challenges around the world. Imperial is the lead institution in a multi-partner European project and clinical trial focused on stroke prevention in our ageing societies. Researchers in the Department of Brain Sciences are working with the project team, which includes the Institute of Clinical Epidemiology and Biometry from the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg. A key aim is to develop new medication for stroke prevention in patients with heart conditions.
Austria, Spain, France, Italy, Denmark, Belgium
Material scientists at Imperial and the Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung are developing a world-first microscopy suite aimed at unravelling questions about the atomic scale nature of materials. This project includes joint appointment of staff between our institutions focused on materials for the energy transition, with wide ranging potential for applications in low-carbon manufacturing, and energy generation and conversion.
Academics from Imperial’s new home for chemistry, the Molecular Sciences Research Hub, are working with chemical company BASF to develop flow chemistry, an innovative approach to chemical production. Continuous flow can allow companies to distribute manufacturing across smaller plants, reducing the cost of shipping and creating more localised and resilient supply chains – something that may become increasingly important following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Quantum fields and strings
The Theoretical Physics Group at Imperial is the UK lead of the CNRS International Research Network in Quantum Fields and Strings which addresses some of the most fundamental of questions about our universe, such as around the nature of quantum gravity, how to understand the physics of the very early universe and of black holes, and what lies beyond the standard model of particle physics.Click here for more information
Imperial and L'OREAL are studying the behaviour of simplex materials and formulations inside soft tissues during finger contact. This project will improve the understanding of mechanics of finger-substrate interactions, helping L'OREAL research new materials to enhance skin tactile improvements.
The ocean has absorbed 93% of the heat trapped by human greenhouse gas emissions, but its future responses to continued warming are uncertain. The Stochastic Transport in Upper Ocean Dynamics project brings together IFREMER, INRIA and Imperial College London to produce a new systematic capability for dealing with the changing regimes of uncertainty in upper ocean fluid transport.Click here for more information
HIV continues to be a major global public health issue with around 2 million people newly infected every year. An effective vaccine remains the best hope of ending the global epidemic. Two projects in Europe which Imperial is engaged with include a consortium of 25 international partners led by Imperial, including INSERM, University Grenoble Alps, and CEA, to develop protective and therapeutic HIV vaccines; and a European HIV vaccine alliance of 41 international partners led by INSERM to develop new HIV vaccines.
Spain, Italy, Austria, Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Hungary
Checking genes can offer significant improvements in the diagnosis of infectious and inflammatory diseases. Imperial leads an international consortium of researchers and scientists from 28 institutions in 13 countries, with 11 of those in Europe, including Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris and Biomerieu in France, to develop a new molecular test to provide rapid diagnosis of common infectious bacterial disease, as well as viral and inflammatory diseases.
Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Greece, Latvia, Slovenia, Switzerland
Mathematics and statistics are at the heart of the data revolution sweeping across much of science. Imperial and CNRS co-host the Abraham de Moivre International Research Laboratory, establishing a long-term partnership which serves as a hub for collaborations between the French and UK mathematics communities. The joint lab facilitates the mobility of researchers and students, working in areas such as number theory, mathematical analysis, and financial mathematics.Click here for more information
Imperial’s Department of Earth Sciences and Engineering has established several collaborations with Total – a long term partner of the College – in the area of digital rocks and fluid mechanics. Our discovery science work aims to contribute to the design of more sustainable oil recovery and carbon storage processes, with the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse emissions. The Centre for Environmental Policy is also working with Total on greenhouse gas removal technologies.
Human-interpretable machine learning and efficient medical image processing are leading to significant healthcare innovations. Imperial researchers from the Department of Computing are collaborating with Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU) and State of Upper Austria on human-interpretable AI. The project investigates new ways to analyse, visualise and understand machine learning processes and algorithms for use in healthcare technologies.
Solar energetic particles are high-energy particles coming from the Sun. These radiation events are often unpredictable and can impact space and air travel. The University of Turku is leading a project with Helsinki University, Imperial and Spanish, French and German partners that uses data from the most recent US and European space missions to better understand and predict events that pose the greatest risk.
Germany, France, Spain
Negative emission technologies and practices are a range of mechanisms to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and to permanently store it on land, underground, or in the ocean. Imperial is collaborating with 14 other European partners in a project led by the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland to determine the extent to which negative emission technologies are needed to achieve climate neutrality and how their associated technical, economic and socio-political impacts could limit their contribution.
Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, France, Sweden
Environment and health
Changing lifestyles and living environments are reacting with genetic factors to increase the risk of people developing diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The University of Oulu coordinates the LONGITOOLS project, in partnership with Imperial, 14 other academic groups and 2 small companies across Europe, to understand the link between environment and health by harnessing a catalogue of birth cohorts, longitudinal data, registers and biobanks.
Netherlands, Sweden, France, Norway, Spain, Italy
Serverless computing technologies
Serverless computing enables developers to build applications faster by eliminating the need to manage infrastructure. Imperial researchers are collaborating with the University of Tartu, and researchers in the Netherlands, Slovenia, Greece, Italy, Germany, and Denmark, to develop new applications that can broaden the adoption of serverless computing technologies within the European software industry.
Netherlands, Slovenia, Greece, Italy, Germany, Denmark
Understanding the impact of the financing of household consumption and investment is vital for policymakers interested in improving living standards and tackling inequality. Imperial College Business School has worked with Danish partners including Copenhagen Business School on whole-country datasets, which have helped our understanding of both mortgage refinancing and house selling — two essential arenas of household financial decision-making.Click here for more information
FLSmidth and Imperial are developing innovative technologies for new flotation equipment, which is used to unlock fine grained deposits of critical raw materials in mining processes. This will lead to a substantial increase of operating conditions and improve the efficiency of mining operations.
Chlamydia trachomatis is the world's leading infectious cause of blindness. Imperial and Statens Serum Institut are part of the Trachoma Vaccine (TracVac) consortium, which aims to eliminate the global problem of blinding trachoma through the development of a safe and effective vaccine.
Imperial is working with Aalborg University, Mermaid Care and with Austrian and French partners to develop the world’s first biomarker-based diagnostic tool for severe lung injury patients. Imperial is also leading a separate trial to test a new AI device to help monitor the lungs of patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia, who are also at risk of developing a life-threatening Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, with the aim of reducing morbidity and mortality from the disease.
Austria, France, Ireland
Applied computer science
Advances in computer power are having a significant impact across manufacturing and engineering. Imperial is collaborating with six other European partners in the Charles University-led PRIME project to train the next generation of researchers in new technologies focused on predictive rendering. This technology allows image synthesis which delivers visually accurate results, with application potential in product design, architecture, sensor system calibration, training of autonomous vehicle systems, and manufacturing control.
Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Spain
There is an urgent need to improve the resilience, security and efficiency of critical infrastructure like transport, energy and communications networks, healthcare, water and waste systems. Imperial and the University of Cyprus co-host the KIOS Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence, which focuses on making critical infrastructure more efficient, resilient and economical through creating research and innovation capability and talent to develop new ideas for infrastructure industries.Click here for more information
Missing a limb leads to dramatic impairments in the capacity to move and interact with the environment and to a substantial worsening in quality of life. Imperial’s Professor Dario Farina is leading an international study to develop prosthetic arms and legs that can sense the environment and deliver the sensations to patients. The ERC-funded project is collaboration with Medical University of Vienna and the Italian Institute of Technology, and aims to improve the lives and mobility of people with prosthetic limbs.
Despite the great advances made in astrophysical knowledge, space still holds many secrets. Greece’s Foundation for Research and Technology is leading a project in partnership with Imperial and other international partners to unravel some of these secrets related to dark energy, dark matter, binary stars and galaxies. The ASTROSTAT-II project is a platform for interdisciplinary collaboration, sharing statistical and astrophysical expertise from various institutions in Europe and North America.
Particulate matter pollution is a global environmental health problem. Major sources of particulate matter emission are factories, power stations, incinerators, industries, automobiles and diesel generators. Imperial experts are partnering with the University of Warsaw and the Institute for Environmental Protection – State Research Institute to monitor air quality and pollution, develop capacity in Poland for atmospheric chemistry transport modelling and support local decision-makers in formulating policies to decrease air pollution.
Key to faculty
- Business School
- Natural Sciences