How to best promote proficiency in foreign languages, and the role of schooling in doing so, has been a matter of debate in the European Commission for decades. The MultiCat action addresses this debate by investigating the effects of two English learning contexts, English as a foreign language (EFL) and Content Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), on language development during the first year of elementary school in Catalonia, a Catalan-Spanish bilingual province in Spain. In CLIL contexts, students receive extended instruction in English at the expense of reduced hours in Catalan/Spanish. We investigate (1) the effects of the learning context on the development of the three languages and (2) how individual differences between children may influence such development. Special consideration is given to the multilingual development of heritage language children (i.e., children whose home language is not Catalan, Spanish, or English). As such, this action lies at the intersection of three main issues of interest: the development of foreign languages, the protection of minority languages, and the integration of heritage language children. To address our objectives, we will collect data on the oral language and literacy skills in English, Catalan, and Spanish from 600 first graders (ages 5-6) at two time points (at the onset of primary schooling and at the end of the first schoolyear). By determining the effects of the learning context and other sources of individual differences, the results from this action may inform policymakers’ decisions to promote one learning context over the other, and will help other stakeholders make informed decisions about multilingual practices in the school and the home. This action will combine the expertise of the Experienced Researcher, currently a postdoctoral fellow investigating individual differences in bilingual children, and the supervisor, whose research has focused on the effects of CLIL instruction on language development.
Several tens of millions of European citizens are partially edentulous and have insufficient bone for placement of dental implants. Following FP7 REBORNE project on bone regeneration, the MAXIBONE consortium coordinated by INSERM wishes to perform a randomized controlled clinical trial on alveolar ridge augmentation in mandibular and maxillary bone. This late stage clinical trial will aim at comparing the safety and efficacy of autologous bone grafting (gold standard) with culture expanded autologous bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) associated to a synthetic bone substitute covered by a resorbable membrane in 150 patients. The recruitment will be performed in 10 major hospital centres while the production of MSC will be done in the German and French blood transfusion institutes. Medical imaging, direct measurements and histology of core biopsies before dental implants will ensure the evaluation of bone regeneration. Cost-effective monitoring using a secured internet platform (eCRF) will produce a clinical database for evaluation of safety, efficacy and health costs in both arms. The participation of the innovative biomaterial SME Mimetis and the industrial leader in dental implantology Straumann will further contribute to the dissemination and exploitation strategies of future personalized regenerative medicine treatments in Europe.
One of the lessons learnt from the Covid-19 pandemic is the importance of flexibility in funding and organization of health systems. European countries responded quickly to this extreme event, by expanding the amount of financial resources available for health care and reallocating financial and human resources. However, there are several other challenges for health care systems that require efficient and flexible financing mechanisms to be successfully addressed. This project undertakes a comprehensive analysis of health care financing mechanisms in Europe, by focusing on the two key stages of the process: i) budget allocation (e.g., among managing authorities, clinical areas), ii) financing of health services within a specific budget, through the definition of contracts and payment rules. We identify and examine the most prominent mechanisms underlying the relationship between the main challenges faced by health care systems (demand shocks, ageing, budget pressure) and their financing. By employing a wide range of methodological approaches, we provide evidence on the ability of existing financing mechanisms and contracts to address such challenges and study new solutions to achieve more effective, efficient and equitable health care systems.
UP2030 aims to guide cities through the socio-technical transitions required to meet their climate neutrality ambitions. It will do so by enabling a quantum leap from a ´business as usual´, project-by-project decarbonisation approach to a vision-driven, strategy-based approach that is anchored on sound projects and renewed policy development. The approach uses urban planning and design as a vehicle to create better connected, more compact, net-zero neighbourhoods in the city pilots – i.e. neighbourhoods that promote liveability and, through designing with intent, promote mitigation action. Unlike fragmented innovation processes that focus on the deployment of a specific solution to achieve incremental progress, UP2030 proposes that cities should themselves be at the centre of the innovation approach to drive transformative change. The project develops the 5UP methodological framework that supports cities in (i) UP-dating those policies, codes, regulations that need to be left behind to make room for the new vision (ii) UP-skilling, through building the capacities of the entire city stakeholder ecosystem that shall deliver actions (iii) UP-grading, through the development of solution prototypes (digital and physical) at selected neighbourhoods, (iv) UP-scaling to achieve city-wide impact by shaping the enabling governance arrangements and matching project portfolios to financial resources, and (v) UP-taking, by engaging with the Mission and sharing best practices across European cities. Inclusive participation is key throughout the project’s full cycle of activities so that real needs of communities are reflected in the city-specific visions, and co-designed interventions maximise delivery of co-benefits. As such, UP2030 will (a) have a measured positive impact on spatial justice in the pilots, and (b) give the opportunity to citizens to participate in the transition by becoming agents of change themselves through their sustainable behavioural shifts.