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🛣️There has much buzz in the press in the last several months about U.S. President Biden’s infrastructure plan, but in Europe the infrastructure is also in need of renewal. Why now all of the sudden? It’s no coincidence that the roads, bridges and waterways of these two continents are aging together since most were built in the boom following WWII. Hildegard Suntinger reports on how Austria is not just renewing its infrastructure – and doing it sustainably.

🚀The German state of Bavaria, where automotive giant BMW first spread its wings by manufacturing airplane engines, is striving to make itself a major center for air travel. Its ambitious and outspoken prime minister, Markus Söder, helped inaugurate Space Valley, a name that drew inspiration from the Californian computing technology center. The ambition is nothing short of making this the aviation center of Europe in a combined effort of several local companies and universities. 

🧠The race is on worldwide to develop 5G and even 6G computing to enable self-driving cars and other cutting-edge technologies. The European HYBRAIN project team headed up by the University of Twente, Netherlands, has discovered how to mimic the processes used by the human brain to enable faster computing. It will combine several highly innovative solutions based on how the brain works. These solutions include in-memory computing and an evolutionary system that is disordered by itself but can nevertheless detect complex patterns – just as the brain does.

🌲The German Economics Minister recently traveled to Qatar to cut a deal for oil in an attempt to reduce German dependency on Russian oil and gas in light of the current war in Ukraine. But what if energy were available closer to home? Significant producers of timber such as Finland and Canada may soon find their wood chips in higher demand, as a joint team from the TUM University in Straubing, Germany, and the Finnish Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology has developed a process to increase the energy potential of waste wood. In combination with green electricity, the waste wood is converted to acetic acid and ultimately hydrogenated to produce ethanol. A home-grown, sustainable source of energy lurking right in the woodpile in your backyard.

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