Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


CAPACITIE Report Summary

Project ID: 608014
Funded under: FP7-PEOPLE
Country: United Kingdom

Periodic Report Summary 1 - CAPACITIE (Cutting-Edge Approaches for Pollution Assessment in Cities)

The CAPACITIE project is training a new generation of researchers who will not only have the skills to develop and apply cutting-edge technologies to monitor pollutants in the natural environment, but also have a detailed understanding of the needs of users of monitoring data and of the social and ethical issues around the adoption and use of selected technologies. These researchers will be highly employable in a wide range of sectors including: information technology, environmental protection, water and wastewater companies, chemical producers and analytical instrument manufacturers.

The scientific objectives of CAPACITIE are as follows: 1. To fully understand the needs of end users (expert stakeholders and the public) for environmental monitoring data and to understand how best to engage different stakeholders in monitoring activities; 2. To explore how to better prioritise contaminants of emerging concern (such as pharmaceuticals, nanomaterials, personal care and cleaning products and paint coatings) that may have profound impacts on human and ecological health; 3. To build on and develop new, innovative technologies that may be more easily deployed to monitor pollutants in the natural environment; and 4. To develop ICT technologies for data collection and analysis to explore how to better use data generated by monitoring and how best to present the information and to aid decision-making.

CAPACITIE has recruited 12 ESRs to the University of York, across the Sociology, Environment, Electronics, Chemistry, Physics and Computer Science departments.
The CAPACITIE training programme was implemented soon after the ESRs began their tenure at the University of York across a range of scientific, policy and transferrable skills themes:

1. Researcher Induction Course (York, one day, April, 2014).
2. Environmental Pollution and Monitoring (York, five days, July, 2014).
3. New Technologies for Monitoring Pollution (York, six days, September, 2014).
4. Researcher Skills (York, three days, November, 2014).
5. Policy and Regulation of Pollutants in the Environment (Berlin, four days, April, 2015).

The CAPACITIE project fellows, coordinator, project manager, Seoul National University students and partners from the Ecologic Institut and Umweltbudesamt attend the Policy and Regulation of Pollutants in the Environment training course in Berlin, April 2015.
Progress across all four technical work packages has progressed since project implementation:
In work package 1, significant progress has been made towards understanding why citizens get involved in participatory environmental monitoring and institutional data regarding pollution monitoring in the project case study cities (York, Berlin and Seoul) have been collated.

Conceptual diagram showing how the four work packages of CAPACITIE interrelate using data from three case study cities (York, Berlin and Seoul) and focus on a range of pollutants in the urban environment.

Work package 2 – significant progress has been made towards identifying priority pharmaceuticals and characterising their levels present in the rivers in York; an in-depth understanding of the formation of secondary pollutants in indoor air environments has been formed and analysis of the sources and release pathways for engineered nanoparticles has been carried out.

Work package 3 focuses on the developing of emerging technologies and methodologies for pollution monitoring in cities. Under the technological focus of this work package, several new components and systems have been developed, including: a lab-on-a-chip system for volatile organic carbon analysis; a machine-learning system for robust sound recognition; a prototype aquatic monitoring robot; and development of a synthetic biomolecular sensor for detecting contaminants in aquatic samples.

Work package 4 has seen the development of a prototype model for testing sensor performance in urban sensor networks and the development of a decision-support system for city planning decisions considering air quality.

The expected outcome of CAPACITIE is the development of 12 highly qualified researchers who can understand and take account of the policy and regulatory context with which their research outputs sit and also comprehend the societal benefits and innovation opportunities that new monitoring technologies and modelling methodologies may bring. We envisage that a number of new technologies and applications will be brought to market following the completion of CAPACITIE and research from several of the projects is likely to feed into regulatory and policy methodologies for assessing pollution in the urban environment.

For more information on CAPACITIE, please go to the project website at:

Contact Dr Lorraine Youds (, CAPACITIE Research Project Manager, for more information.

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United Kingdom


Life Sciences
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