Maastricht Economic and social Research and  training centre on Innovation and Technology

 
Standing up for Science
Continuing our drive to ensure research is both understood and applied globally, we travelled to Ghana for the second round of our science reporting workshop ‘Reach & Turn’. Along with our sister institute UNU-INRA and the UN Info Centre Accra we led two days of learning and debate with around 50 researchers, communications officers, and journalists from five mainly West African countries (Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Togo and Rwanda). For some this was a real innovation: the first time they had shared a platform with people from outside their field.
See: http://www.merit.unu.edu/ghana-reach-and-turn-2017/
Call for Papers: 10th Conference on Model-based Evidence on Innovation and DEvelopment (MEIDE)
The aim of the conference is to bring together researchers from around the world to discuss various aspects of innovation and its relation to economic development. Priority will be given to empirical papers, but there is also room for methodological and theoretical papers, as well as for case studies, as long as they address the issue of innovation and development. Innovation is to be understood broadly as any kind of innovation in what firms, households, communities and governments do, or in the way they operate. It also includes knowledge creation, diffusion, measurement and evaluation issues. Development comprises growth but also welfare, poverty alleviation, environmental concerns and fairness in the distribution of wealth/income. Since last year, we have enlarged the scope of the conference to include papers based on macro or industry data.
See: http://www.merit.unu.edu/meide10/



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  • Plasma jet engines that could take you from the ground to space
    Forget fuel-powered jet engines. We're on the verge of having aircraft that can fly from the ground up to the edge of space using air and electricity alone.

    Traditional jet engines create thrust by mixing compressed air with fuel and igniting it. The burning mixture expands rapidly and is blasted out of the back of the engine, pushing it forwards. Instead of fuel, plasma jet engines use electricity to generate electromagnetic fields. These compress and excite a gas into a plasma - a hot, dense ionised state similar to that inside a fusion reactor or star.

    Plasma engines have been stuck in the lab for the past decade or so. And research on them has largely been limited to the idea of propelling satellites once in space. Researchers from the Technical University of Berlin now want to fit plasma engines to planes. The challenge was to develop an air-breathing plasma propulsion engine that could be used for take-off as well as high-altitude flying.

    Plasma jet engines tend to be designed to work in a vacuum or the low pressures found high in the atmosphere, where they would need to carry a gas supply. But the team has tested one that can operate on air at a pressure of one atmosphere.

    Journal of Physics Conference Series    May 17, 2017