What will your future look like (thanks to LIST)?

Published on 25/11/2019

Cognitive environments, Industry 4.0, digital twins, personalised medicine and more: welcome to the world of the future, which is being developed in our laboratories at LIST!

The Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) is what is known as a Research and Technology Organisation (RTO). Unlike conventional research bodies, such as universities, which focus on education and the development of scientific knowledge, LIST aims not only to convert existing scientific knowledge into usable technologies, but also to contribute to the common good by accelerating the country's socio-economic development. In short, LIST is making a major contribution towards building the Luxembourg of the future.

Here are ten ground-breaking innovations from LIST that could change your life if they are adopted by our industrial partners:

1. A vaccine against cancer tailored specifically to each individual

LIST is on the verge of making a contribution to personalised medicine, thanks to biological field-effect transistors (BioFET). These are sensors that enable reliable chemical detection. At LIST, we are trying to make use of a large number of nanosensors (FinFET), which could be a revolutionary innovation for personalised medicine, such as in the fight against cancer or autoimmune diseases.


 

2. Touchscreens that allow you to feel what is displayed as if it were real

LIST has successfully integrated extremely thin piezoelectric actuators on glass without the need for cumbersome external ceramics, thus paving the way for 3D printing of these materials and, therefore, their industrialisation. This makes it possible to generate localised vibrations that you can feel in your fingers. Thanks to new haptic technologies, you will be able to feel the materials on the screen of a tablet or even your car's windscreen: this technology will revolutionise our relationship between the virtual world and reality.

 
 

3. Materials with extraordinary properties, thanks to a plasma robot

LIST researchers use plasma – the fourth state of matter – and its deposition on an industrial scale to treat a material on three-dimensional shapes. The aim is to give the surface of this material new properties (for example, to make it corrosion-resistant, adhesive, antibacterial, self-cleaning, etc.).

 
 

4. Closer monitoring of air quality, thanks to our mobile laboratory

LIST's environmental monitoring vehicle contains a unique combination of biometerological and chemical measuring equipment, which makes it possible to evaluate surrounding air quality almost everywhere, without depending on an external electricity supply. It is also possible to analyse nanoparticles and their chemical composition almost in real time and in combination with meteorological variables. Nanoparticles may be harmful to human health, and there are currently no regulations for handling them.


 

5. Putting a stop to animal testing, thanks to our lung model in vitro

LIST has developed the first 3D in vitro test that can identify respiratory sensitisers and distinguish them from respiratory irritants, thus avoiding experiments on animals in the future. Thus, we are seeking to be part of a world that has greater respect for animal rights.


 

6. Cognitive environments for better teamwork in the workplace

LIST develops cognitive environments, which are connected physical spaces that provide workers with digital tools, allowing them to complete their tasks while detecting and measuring their activity. These environments can therefore improve workers' performance and their experience for multi-user tasks such as designing, decision-making and problem-solving. The technologies in such spaces consist of a combination of artificial intelligence, sensors, data analysis and data visualisation, collaborative tools and connected objects that interact with users and adapt to suit them.


 

7. Fewer pesticides, thanks to precision agriculture

Satellites to monitor the nutritional composition of wheat fields, and drones to detect vine diseases are two examples of remote sensing technologies used by our researchers to make precision agriculture possible. The aim is to reduce the use of fertilisers and pesticides by using an application based on the needs of the soil: a win-win both for nature and for farmers, who will make savings by doing this.


 

8. Life-saving smart maps

Floods have a significant impact on the environment, society and the economy, and this will be an increasingly common phenomenon in the future with climate change and population growth. LIST has developed HASARD, a satellite mapping software based on observation of the Earth that uses satellite images to automatically produce accurate floodwater maps almost in real time.


 

9. Organic waste converted into green energy and fertilisers

LIST is helping to design a circular local bioeconomy by working on the renewable and sustainable production of energy, biofertilisers and green chemical products. In particular, LIST is working on anaerobic biowaste digestion as a natural microbe-based process, which produces biogas that can be stored and used as energy. Some biogas waste products can also be used as fertiliser.


 

10. Digital twins for better city life

A digital twin is a digital double of an object, a process or a system, which allows it to be tested in a virtual and secure environment to check that it works properly, and/or to carry out simulations for forecasting purposes. LIST is helping to create digital twins in order to monitor the performance and environmental impact of buildings, and to provide useful information to shape our neighbourhoods and cities. This will also allow citizens to interact easily with their neighbourhood or town.

 

To find out more, be sure to visit our website at list.lu or our technological showroom at the Maison de l'Innovation (House of Innovation) in Belval, where other amazing technologies developed by LIST await your discovery.

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 Thomas SCHOOS
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