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European scientists enter final stage of competition that will award up to $1.3 billion

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European Union flags
European Union flags

European Union officials are preparing to reveal the two winners of a science / technology contest that have each secured up to €54 million ($72M) in funding, a figure that could balloon to over €1 billion ($1.33 billion) over the next decade. 26 entrants initially took part in the competition, drawn up as a way to prevent Europe from being eclipsed in modern research and development. That pool was later pared down to just six candidates. From there, four finalists were selected. One of those is the Guardian Angels project; its team is attempting to create health-centric devices that urge wearers to work out, collect environmental data that can be analyzed by their doctors, and "warn them of danger" according to the Associated Press.

Europe tries to remain at the forefront of science

Another team is hoping to harness graphene to a fuller extent than other researchers have managed so far. We've seen the promising material, much stronger than steel while also far lighter, increasingly used in labs across the US, but Europeans are eager to take the lead in this crucial area of research. A third entrant hopes to assemble the most accurate computer model of the human brain yet depicted, with the fourth finalist team aiming to build an ambitious supercomputer capable of tracking and simulating economic and social shifts throughout the world. How much the lucky two winners earn beyond their initial €54 million cut will depend on whether they can meet predetermined milestones during the first few years of their work. Results will be announced January 28th.