© Eric Schmuttenmaer
© Eric Schmuttenmaer

Prize set for EU clean air solution

The EU has set aside a €3m prize for material solutions with the hope of tackling air pollution.

According to the European Environment Agency (EEA), air pollution remains the single largest environmental health hazard in Europe, resulting in a lower quality of life due to illnesses and an estimated 467,000 premature deaths per year.

The latest EU research and innovation prize is being provided for materials for clean air.

Aimed at developing the most affordable ‘innovative and well-designed material solution that will reduce the concentration of particulate matter in the air’, entries are being accepted until 23 January 2018.

The contest is open to any person(s) or organisation established in either the EU or countries associated to Horizon 2020.

Average EU life expectancy is estimated to be some 8.6 months lower due to exposure to particulate matter resulting from human activities. According to the EEA, the inhalation of particulate matter can lead to asthma, lung cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, birth defects, and premature death.

In addition to its impact on human health, particulate matter can also have adverse effects on climate change and ecosystems.

Among the other drives for cleaner air is the encouragement of electric vehicle adoption throughout member states.