December 2011

“Brussels in Brief”:
Highlights on EU policies and funding programmes related to the knowledge-based economy: The “Lisbon Strategy”

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  • General EU Information

    General EU Information

    • Council of the EU

      2011-12-21 - Danish government sets priorities for EU council presidency

      As 2011 nears its end, it's that time of year when the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union welcomes a new country; as the bells strike midnight on New Year's Eve, it will be the Danes' turn to step up to the plate, and organize and lead the work of the Council over the coming six months. The Danish government has just announced its presidency work programme: the main objectives are to make Europe responsible, dynamic, green and safe. And with the economic crisis in Europe far from over, it seems that inspiring growth will remain top of the Danes to-do list.

      Further information
    • European Parliament

      2011-12-12 - 2011-12-15 - Plenary Session - Strasbourg

      The outcomes of the Eurozone crisis summit and the Durban climate change conference were highlighted by Parliament's President Jerzy Buzek in his opening address at the 12-15 December plenary session in Strasbourg. Mr Buzek welcomed 17 new MEPs, and also noted the 60th anniversary of the Geneva Convention on refugees and the 30th anniversary of the imposition of martial law by Poland's communist regime.

      Further information
  • EU policies and funding programmes for Research, Innovation, Training and Competitiveness

    EU policies and funding programmes for Research, Innovation, Training and Competitiveness

    • Research Policy

      • General points
        2011-12-22 - Scientists explore negative ions' dancing patterns

        A team of Swedish and German researchers has uncovered how negative ions interact, according to findings set out in the Review of Scientific Instruments. Negative ions play a crucial role in everything from how our bodies function to how the universe is structured. These results are important for our knowledge of superconductors and radiocarbon dating, as one of the study authors, Anton Lindahl, from the Department of Physics at the University of Gothenburg, explains: 'By studying atoms with a negative charge, "negative ions", we can learn how electrons coordinate their motion in what can be compared to a tightly choreographed dance. Such knowledge is important in understanding phenomena in which the interaction between electrons is important, such as in superconductors.'

        Further information
      • European Research and Innovation projects
        • ICT
          2011-12-09 - Study finds Spanish gender gap in Internet use and frequency

          A new study reveals how the digital gender gap in Spain is larger than the European average. Presented in the journal Reis, the study investigated the use and frequency of the Internet in Spain and 30 other European countries. The findings indicate that Spanish men use the Internet more frequently than Spanish women do.

          Further information
          2011-12-14 - Measuring greenhouse gas emissions: focus of two new EU-funded projects

          Two new EU-funded projects that aim to investigate how we measure greenhouse gases have just got under way. One of the projects, titled AMITRAN ('Assessment methodologies for ICT in multimodal transport from user behaviour to CO2 reduction') aims to scientifically underpin carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions estimations by developing a methodology to assess the impact of ICT (information and communication technologies) and ITS (intelligent transport systems) on transport sector CO2 emissions. Bringing together partners from Belgium, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Romania, AMITRAN received EUR 1 900 000 of funding as part of the 'ICT' Theme of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

          Further information
          2011-12-20 - New EU-funded project hopes to create first 100 Gbps optical RAM silicon chips

          A new EU project that aims to develop a 100 gigabits per second (Gbps) optical random access memory (RAM) chip has just kicked off. This chip will be the first of its kind. There are six project partners participating in RAMPLAS ('100 Gbps optical RAM on-chip: silicon-based, integrated optical RAM enabling high-speed applications in computing and communications'). The project has been funded in part by almost EUR 2 million under the 'Information and communication technologies' (ICT) Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

          Further information
        • Health
          2011-01-02 - Proteins stopping HIV in its tracks?

          Researchers in the United Kingdom have shed new light on how the body's proteins can fight the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1). The study, presented in journal Nature, was funded in part by the NIMBL ('Nuclease immune mediated brain and Lupus-like conditions: natural history, pathophysiology, diagnostic and therapeutic modalities with application to other disorders of autoimmunity') project, which is backed with EUR 5.4 million under the Health Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

          Further information
          2011-12-02 - EU-funded researchers get to grips with genetics of blood cell formation

          In a new major EU-funded study into the genetics of blood cell formation a team of international scientists has identified 68 regions of the genome that affect platelet size and number. This new data could lead to better treatments for those who suffer from platelet-related diseases. The 124-strong research team behind the study, published in Nature, hail from 13 countries all over the world and received a funding boost from no less than 6 EU projects.

          Further information
          2011-12-05 - ERC awards German researcher EUR 2.5 million for liver disease research

          A German researcher hopes to develop therapeutic strategies to slow or even reverse the pathological development of fibrous connective tissue in body organs. The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded the scientist EUR 2.5 million to help him meet his research objectives. Professor Dr Detlef Schuppan from Mainz University Medical Center is a specialist in biochemistry and gastroenterology - the study of the digestive system. His work focuses on liver diseases: it includes hepatic cancer, fibrosis, and cirrhosis, the terminal stage of fibrosis.

          Further information
          2011-12-05 - Study finds chimney-stoves help cut risk of pneumonia

          People who cook over open fires and dirty cookstoves are at a higher risk of suffering from illnesses than those who do not, new international research shows. Presented in the journal The Lancet, the findings reveal a 33% drop in the number of reported pneumonia cases in children living in homes with smoke-reducing chimneys on the cookstoves. Pneumonia is the leading cause of death for children aged 5 and under; around 43% of the global population, representing approximately 3 billion people, use open fires and cookstoves as their primary source of cooking and heating. This translates to a serious health risk being posed for children daily via indoor air pollution.

          Further information
          2011-12-06 - Scientists find way to design new brain drugs

          A Belgian-British team of researchers has found a way to design drugs able to target specific areas of the brain. Presented in the journal Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the findings could help researchers develop treatments to fight diseases without triggering adverse events in other parts of the nervous system. Researchers led by Professor Neil Marrion at the University of Bristol's School of Physiology and Pharmacology in the United Kingdom worked on a subtype of ion channel called SK (Small conductance calcium-activated potassium) channels. Ion channels are proteins able to control the excitability of nerves. Ion channels, which are constructed like an electrical circuit, enable the flow of 'charged' potassium, sodium and calcium ions to enter or exit cell membranes through a network of pores formed by the channels, a subtype of which is the SK channel family.

          Further information
          2011-12-07 - EU-funded scientists uncover gene that causes spread of skin cancer

          A new EU-funded study has pinpointed the specific gene that must be present before malignant melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, can spread. The gene P-Rex1 causes cancer cells to break away from the original tumour and spread or metastasise to other organs like the brain, something which can cause them to fail. Cancer's ability to metastasise is what makes it so dangerous, so understanding what triggers metastatic behaviour is vital for furthering our knowledge of the disease and reducing high death rates.

          Further information
          2011-12-09 - Linking up cancer registries: EU-funded project on track

          Taking stock on the progress of an EU-funded project that aims to link up European cancer registries was the aim of a recent summit organised by the European Cancer Organisation (ECCO). At the summit titled 'Eurocourse Oncopolicy Summit' that took place at the end of November in Brussels, project stakeholders got the chance to reflect on how the EUROCOURSE ('Europe against cancer: optimisation of the use of registries for scientific excellence in research') project was going. EUROCOURSE, which received EUR 1,999,408 of funding under the 'Health' Theme of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), brings together project partners from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

          Further information
          2011-12-12 - Scientists discover what makes flies fly

          Scientists in Austria and Germany have discovered a genetic switch that regulates the formation of flight muscles in flies, creatures with very small wings in relation to their bodies. The study, published in the journal Nature, suggests that spalt proteins switch myofibres from tubular to fibrillar fate during development. This function is potentially conserved in the heart of vertebrates: the stretch-stimulated muscle resembles the muscle used for insect flight.

          Further information
          2011-12-14 - NEUROSTEMCELL advances stem cell therapy research

          Maximising prospects for successful clinical trials of stem cell therapy for neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington's and Parkinson's is possible through solid cooperation between experimental and clinical researchers. The NEUROSTEMCELL ('European consortium for stem cell therapy for neurodegenerative disease') project is driving this effort, and positive results are already coming in. NEUROSTEMCELL is supported under the Health Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) to the tune of EUR 11.9 million.

          Further information
          2011-12-15 - ERC award for young researcher investigating common diseases

          A young researcher has been awarded a EUR 1.5 million Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) to support her research into the genetics of common diseases in humans. Dr Eleftheria Zeggini, from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the United Kingdom, will use the grant to help her identify the underlying genetic variants that contribute to human diseases, and develop new and more refined tools to help researchers tackle them. 'It's a great honour to be a recipient of this award, which will boost our research into the genetics of complex human traits,' says Dr Zeggini.

          Further information
          2011-12-16 - Who's got the better nose? Study finds modern man does

          An EU-funded team of scientists has discovered that the human temporal lobes that play key roles in the sense of smell, memory, language and social functions are relatively larger in Homo sapiens than in Neanderthals. The findings, presented in the journal Nature Communications, indicate that modern man has a better olfactory system than what Neanderthals had. The study was funded in part by the EVAN ('European virtual anthropology network') project, which clinched a Marie Curie Research Training Networks (RTN) Grant under the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) to the tune of EUR 3.3 million.

          Further information
          2011-12-16 - Less harmful pain relief on the way as researchers work out how paracetamol works

          A team of researchers has discovered how one of the most common household painkillers works, meaning pain relief medication with less harmful side effects could soon be a reality. Presenting their findings in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers, from France, Sweden and the United Kingdom, explain how paracetamol, one of the most used drugs in the world, actually works. Although paracetamol was first discovered in the 1890s and has been marketed as an over-the-counter painkiller since the 1950s, exactly how it relieves pain has remained unknown - until now.

          Further information
          2011-12-16 - EU study assesses obesity prevalence rates

          Researchers believe obesity raises people's risk of suffering from chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. And with the incidence of obesity increasing in Europe and the rest of the world, it is important to achieve a more accurate estimate of future obesity prevalence. This can be achieved by obtaining and using data from longitudinal studies. The problem is that insufficient longitudinal data is published in literature compared with results of cross-sectional data. New research, presented in the journal PLoS ONE, tackles this issue through the DIOGENES ('Diet, obesity and genes') project, which received more than EUR 14 million under the 'Food quality and safety' Thematic area of the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6).

          Further information
          2011-12-19 - Scientists solve ricin riddle using new technology

          A protein that controls how the deadly plant poison and bioweapon ricin kills has finally been identified by a team of Austrian researchers in a new study. With a combination of stem cell biology and modern screening methods, the team were able to get to the bottom of how the poison works. One of the deadliest plant based poisons in the world, ricin has frequently hit the headlines due to its association with terrorism. Everyone from Al Quaida to the United States Army in the First World War has been reported to have tested ricin's potential as a chemical warfare agent.

          Further information
          2011-12-21 - Biological model system helps us understand the 'absorbing state'

          A team of EU-funded German scientists has investigated how fibres made of the muscle protein actin behave when they are transported and cross-linked at the same time. In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team explain how they discovered that at a certain point, systems suddenly enter a so-called 'absorbing state', albeit without ceasing to consume energy. Their research was funded in part by the COMPNET ('Dynamics and Self-organisation in Complex Cytoskeletal Networks') project, which has clinched a EUR 1.5 million European Research Council (ERC) grant under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

          Further information
        • Environment
          2011-12-01 - EU project develops advanced data management system

          An EU-funded team of researchers has succeeded in developing a novel accounting framework that uses sophisticated tools for policy analysis. The EXIOPOL ('A new environmental accounting framework using externality data and input-output tools for policy analysis') project is backed under the 'Sustainable development, global change and ecosystems' Thematic area of the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) to the tune of EUR 5 million.

          Further information
          2011-12-05 - Scientists shed light on ice sheet formation

          An international team of scientists has discovered that the Antarctic ice sheet was potentially formed by a decrease in the levels of carbon dioxide (CO2). Presented in the journal Science, the study's findings highlight how this greenhouse gas was involved in the one of our planet's most significant climate events, and how it is contributing to the current and future climate scenario. Scientists from Australia, China, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States evaluated molecules from ancient algae found in deep-sea core samples. They identified a threshold for low CO2 levels below which an ice sheet forms in the South Pole. However, why CO2 must rise before the ice sheet melts is not yet known.

          Further information
          2011-12-06 - Where do you winter? Scientists map migrating birds' flexible overwintering patterns

          For humans, it is generally just the super-rich and the upper echelons of society who get to choose where they 'summer' or 'winter', with the rest of us having to acclimatise and adapt to the onset of extreme conditions from one end of the year to the other. But in the animal kingdom, for species like the Antarctic skua, migrating as the seasons change is normal. What's more, it seems that these seabirds are pretty flexible in their flight routes - not only about where they pass the chilliest months, but also about the company they keep. In a new study, a team of international researchers has discovered that although a large number of the South Polar skuas spend the Antarctic winter in the northern Atlantic, about one third of the same species overwinters - the practice of waiting out the winter season in regions where temperatures are warmer or food is more readily available - in the northern Pacific, tens of thousands of miles in the other direction.

          Further information
          2011-12-08 - Insecticide use to threaten European streams: study

          Changes in the climate and the way we use land is playing havoc with our planet's ecosystem. The pressure is now on streams, as researchers in Germany predict that they will be more heavily polluted with insecticides than ever before. The study, presented in the journal Ecological Applications, highlights how the use of insecticides in agriculture will jeopardise the state of streams across Europe, especially in central Europe, and the Baltic and Nordic regions. The researchers established a link between the use of insecticides and temperature.

          Further information
          2011-12-09 - Moon cycles and petrels ... migration and mating

          Creatures on Earth have annual cycles consisting of life history stages of breeding, moult and migration. For some, moon cycles influence their periodic behaviour, particularly in the case of birds. New research from Université de La Réunion on Réunion, France probed the influence of photoperiod and moon phases on the migration dates and at-sea activity of Barau's petrel, a tropical seabird species, throughout its annual cycle. The study, published in the journal PLoS ONE, was funded in part by the RUN-EMERGE ('Supporting the research potential on emerging infectious diseases in La Reunion Island, and EU outermost region in the south-western Indian Ocean') and the RUN SEA SCIENCE ('Improvement of the tropical sea sciences research potential in western Indian Ocean, and of the technology capacities in La Reunion Island') projects, which received EUR 1.8 million and EUR 922 953 respectively under the 'Capacities' Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

          Further information
          2011-12-12 - Study identifies factors to help save great apes

          African great apes are in jeopardy; their populations are shrinking, particularly for those located in areas that are managed poorly and protected weakly. A new international study provides fresh insight into how the hardest hit areas of the last 20 years are those that are not well protected against poaching. The study, presented in the journal Conservation Letters, suggests law enforcement is crucial to help secure the future of the great apes.

          Further information
          2011-12-13 - Bedrock rises as ice melts in Greenland

          Greenland is becoming greener again, a new international study shows. The year 2010 was hot, triggering accelerated ice loss in southern Greenland by 100 billion tonnes. The study results also reveal how large portions of the island's bedrock rock rose another quarter of an inch during this period. Ice weighs down bedrock, but the rocky coast rises as the ice melts away. Scientists from Denmark, Luxembourg and the United States measured the natural response of the island's bedrock to the shrinking weight of ice above it. They used a network of almost 50 global positioning systems (GPSs) located across the coast of Greenland to get the data they needed for the Greenland GPS Network (GNET) project.

          Further information
          2011-12-15 - Study sheds light on natural carbon cycle dynamics

          An international team of scientists has reconstructed the Last Ice Age's marine and terrestrial productivity and carbon stocks by combining isotope data that are relevant to both global quantities and models. The study, published in the journal Nature, is funded in part by the MOTIF ('Models and observations to test climate feedbacks') project, which clinched more than EUR 181 000 under the 'Energy, environment and sustainable development' (EESD) Thematic programme of the EU's Fifth Framework Programme (FP5).

          Further information
          2011-12-19 - Researchers re-examine water policy focus

          Although the world's forests supply a significant amount of moisture that creates rain, the important contribution they make to the water cycle is often overlooked in water resource policy. This is the conclusion of a new study published by Swedish and Hungarian researchers in the journal Global Change Biology. The pan-European team warn that reducing forest area reduces regional and continental rainfall.

          Further information
          2011-12-20 - Scientists spotlight wildfire regimes

          Wildfires have a huge impact on terrestrial ecosystems across the globe. These fires are triggered by an interaction of weather, vegetation and land use, making them highly sensitive to change. Understanding the mechanisms that control wildfire regimes and improving the predictions of when and how they will change is important. Enter a German-US team of scientists that demonstrates how threshold values for wildfires exist. The research is an outcome of the PATRES ('Pattern resilience') project, which received EUR 1.2 million under the 'New and emerging science and technology' (NEST) Cross-cutting Activity of the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). Their findings are presented in the journal The American Naturalist.

          Further information
          2011-12-20 - Collecting carbon in a concrete jungle

          Thanks to microscopic tubes that suck in carbon dioxide from the air, land that has been deemed unsuitable for tree planting could still be used to reduce levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere - even without trees. A team of innovative researchers from the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom believe that a one 1m2 unit of land containing these tiny tubes could adsorb the same amount of carbon that 10 average-sized trees can.

          Further information
          2011-12-22 - Why dark clouds loom over frankincense production

          According to the Christian tradition, Balthazar, one of the three Magi, presented the world's purest incense to the Christ Child on the night of His birth. Moving forward, frankincense was burnt during ancient religious rituals, symbolising Christ's divinity and sacrifice. And with that, we have come to associate frankincense with Christmas. But researchers from Ethiopia and the Netherlands bring bad tidings to us all: a dramatic decline of the trees that produce frankincense has begun, with a 50% drop estimated between now and 2027. The results of the study are presented in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology.

          Further information
        • Agriculture
          2011-12-14 - The Baltic Sea, the food we eat, and what all this means

          If you thought your health and well-being are the only things affected by what you eat, think again. New research from Finland shows how you can help mitigate the burden and risks triggered by hazardous substances found in the food supply chain, by choosing the right foods and following dietary guidelines. Researchers from the Foodweb project, coordinated by MTT) Agrifood Research Finland, put the spotlight on the Baltic Sea, saying the food supply chain is playing havoc with this body of water. Conversely, the hazardous substances accumulated in the marine ecosystem can also increase our risk of consuming unsafe foods.

          Further information
        • Nanosciences
          2011-12-07 - A noiseless, emission-free car? Europeans are on the right track

          Dutch and Swiss researchers have developed a four-wheel drive car that produces no noise and no emissions. Presented in the journal Nature, the study was funded in part by the MOLECULAR MOTORS ('Molecular motors - controlling movement at the nanoscale') project, which is supported through a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant worth EUR 2.18 million under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The researchers say this prototype symbolises lightweight construction at its most extreme.

          Further information
        • Space
          2011-12-22 - Two new Earth-sized planets discovered

          An international team of astronomers has detected two Earth-sized planets orbiting around an old star that was once a red giant and is now in a late phase of stellar evolution characterised by high levels of luminosity and low or intermediate mass. Writing in the journal Nature, the team, made up of researchers from Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United States, describe how this new planetary system they spotted, located a mere 3,900 light years from Earth, may have contributed to the increased loss of mass that their host star, KIC 05807616, experienced.

          Further information
        • Energy
          2011-12-01 - Report suggests biomass energy won't harm food production

          Biomass could cover 20% of the global energy supply without harming production of food, a new report released in the United Kingdom says. Reviewing over 90 international studies, the report was produced by the Technology and Policy Assessment function of the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), which tackles the challenges faced by the energy sector and seeks to provide solid and accessible reports that set high standards for rigour and transparency.

          Further information
          2011-12-19 - Boosting biofuels for sustainable energy and environment

          Europeans believe in a sustainable environment, and a way of ensuring its future is to promote and build energy resources based on residual biomass. Supporting this objective is the BIOBOOST ('Biomass-based energy intermediates boosting biofuel production') project. Set to kick off at the start of 2012, BIOBOOST will develop novel energy carriers, generating energy-rich intermediate products from biogenous residues, assess environmental compatibility and optimise logistics chains. The BIOBOOST partners will ultimately boost biomass and residues use across Europe. The project is funded under the Energy Theme of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) to the tune of EUR 5.1 million.

          Further information
        • Maritime Affairs
          2011-12-06 - Parasites outpace fish as temperatures go up

          Climate change is taking a toll on creatures the world over, fish included. A new study from the United Kingdom shows how parasite worms that infect fish are playing havoc with fish reproduction, and how they are growing four times faster at higher temperatures. Presented in the journal Global Change Biology, the findings highlight how global warming has the capacity to unsettle the balance between parasite and host, and could jeopardise fish populations.

          Further information
          2011-12-13 - Homeless marine species? Blame climate change

          New international research suggests that increasing temperatures will affect the habitats of animals and plants, as several will be forced to leave their surroundings and find new environments; some marine species will have nowhere to go. The findings of the study, published in the journal Science, indicate how it will be difficult for marine species to keep up with the changes. Scientists led by the Scottish Association for Marine Science, Scottish Marine Institute in the United Kingdom compared changing temperatures for both land and sea and from across regions in the period from 1960 to 2009. The data helped the researchers project the speed at which both terrestrial and marine species populations would be forced to move in order to deal with the changing temperatures. Their results show there is no significant difference between movement rates in the environments.

          Further information
          2011-12-21 - Study investigates whether groundwater is sustainable

          Researchers in the United Kingdom have discovered that agriculture practices developed in the last century that gave food security a boost also contributed to increasing nitrate pollution in both surface water and groundwater. The study, presented in the journal Water Resources Research, evaluated water quality measurement over the last 140 years to track this problem in the Thames River basin. Led by the University of Bristol, researchers used a simple model that combined two key elements: an estimate of nitrate available for leaching triggered by land use and land management, and an algorithm to determine this leachable nitrate through to surface water or groundwater.

          Further information
        • Socio-economic sciences and Humanities
          2011-12-02 - Scientists unearth sites confirming early human migration into Arabia

          Researchers have long postulated that early human populations expanded from Africa into Arabia during the Late Pleistocene, but they have never found an archaeological site in Arabia that resembles a specific African industry... until now. An international team of researchers sheds new light on the timing and identity of one of the first modern human groups to migrate out of Africa. The results challenge long-held beliefs about the timing and route of early human expansion out of Africa. The study is published in the journal PLoS ONE and brings together researchers from Australia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.

          Further information
          2011-12-08 - Big brain, small stomach? Not any more

          Contrary to what the expensive-tissue hypothesis says - that some tissues need more energy for their resting metabolism than others - researchers in Switzerland have discovered that when the brain of a mammal increases in size, the digestive organs do not become smaller. Presented in the journal Nature, the study was funded in part by the SYNTHESYS ('Synthesis of systematic resources') project, which has received EUR 7.2 million under 'Research Infrastructures' Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

          Further information
          2011-12-13 - 'Lads' mags' use same rhetoric as sex offenders, researchers say

          'Lads' mags', magazines aimed specifically at young heterosexual men, have long been controversial; their portrayal of women is often a subject of debate that raises concerns in many quarters. Now researchers from the United Kingdom have carried out a study that backs up these concerns, showing that the language used in these magazines shares characteristics with language used by sex offenders, and contributes to the objectification of women.

          Further information
          2011-12-13 - What kind of nationalism makes people happy?

          Does being proud of your country make you happy? An impossible question with an infinite number of answers. While previous research has concluded that feeling good about your country can be linked to feeling happy about your own life, researchers Tim Reeskens, from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium and Matthew Wright, a political scientist from American University in Washington, DC wanted to delve deeper into the topic and set out to find out the whole story behind happiness and nationalism.

          Further information
          2011-12-15 - Out of time: seniors and shift workers suffer social exclusion

          Researchers in the United Kingdom have found that older people and employees who do not work the typical 'office' hours from 9 to 5 each day are more likely to feel excluded from society. 'Feeling part of society usually involves participating in certain activities such as sports, the arts, volunteering or social networking,' explains research coordinator Dr Matt Barnes of the National Centre for Social Research in the United Kingdom. 'Our research shows that older people and those who work unusual hours face particular barriers to participating in such activities.'

          Further information
      • Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Development 2007- 2013 (FP7)
        • News
          2011-12-01 - Boosting growth: Commission announces EUR 80 billion for research and innovation

          On 30 November, Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn announced an EUR 80 billion package of proposed measures that aim to give European research, innovation and competitiveness a much-needed boost. If accepted by the Council and the European Parliament, Horizon 2020 will be a key cornerstone of the EU's Innovation Union initiative, a Europe 2020 flagship policy that aims to secure Europe's science and technology base and industrial competitiveness.

          Further information
          2011-12-05 - European Commission, EIB and EIF launch new scheme to help SMEs get loans for research and innovation

          Today the European Commission and the European Investment Bank Group launch a new guarantee facility for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them access finance from banks. This builds on the success of the Risk-Sharing Finance Facility (RSFF), launched in 2007, that has so far helped 75 companies benefit from over €7 billion in EIB loans to projects enhancing European growth and competitiveness. The new risk-sharing instrument for SMEs will be managed by the European Investment Fund (EIF). In addition, the EIB and the European Commission are to provide extra resources for research infrastructures.

          Further information
        • European Technology Platforms
          Advanced Engineering Materials and Technologies (EuMaT)

          No events planned

          Further information
          Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE)

          No events planned

          Further information
          European Technology Platform for Wind Energy (TPWind)

          No events planned

          Further information
          European Technology Platform on Smart Systems Integration (EPoSS)

          9-11 April 2014, Athens - InfoIndustrial Technologies 2014
          16-17 April 2014, Turin - A&T 2014: Innovative Technologies and Services for design, manufacturing and testing
          5-6 May 2014, Freiburg - MicroTEC Südwest Clusterkonferenz 2014
          7 May 2014, Lisbon - 1st Workshop on M2M Solutions and Services
          5-6 June 2014, Prague - EURIPIDES Prague Forum 2014
          11-13 June 2014, Vienna - pHealth 2014 - 11th International Conference on Wearable Micro and Nano Technologies for Personalized Health
          23-24 June 2014, Berlin - AMAA 2014: 18th International Forum on Advanced Microsystems for Automotive Applications "Smart Systems for Safe, Clean and Automated Vehicles"
          23-25 June 2014, Bremen - Actuator 2014: 14th International Conference on New Actuators and 8th Exhibition on Smart Actuators and Drive Systems
          1-2 July 2014, Dortmund - Smart SysTech 2014: European Conference on Smart Objects, Systems and Technologies
          2-4 July 2014, Birmingham - esIoT-2014: 3rd International Workshop on Extending Seamlessly to the Internet of Things
          2-4 July 2014, Bremen - SysInt 2014 - 2nd International Conference on System-Integrated Intelligence: New Challenges for Product and Production Engineering
          8-11 July 2014, Besançon - AIM 2014, IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics "From Smart Systems to Smart Matters"
          7-10 September 2014, Warsaw - Workshop on Trends and Applications in Intelligent Environments (TAIE'14)
          22-24 September 2014, Marseille - M2M Innovation World Congress 2014
          23-25 September 2014, Darmstadt - MSE 2014: International Conference Materials Science Engineering
          24-26 September 2014, Turin - EPoSS General Assembly, Annual Forum & Engagement Day 2014
          11-14 November 2014, Munich - Electronica 2014: 26th International Trade Fair for Electronic Components, Systems and Applications

          Further information
          European Technology Platform Food for Life (Food)

          No events planned.

          Further information
          Forest Based Sector Technology Platform (Forestry)

          9-11 April 2014, Athens - Industrial Technologies 2014 conference & exhibition
          29-30 April 2014, Santander - FOREST EUROPE Workshop on Green Economy and Social Aspects of SFM
          6 May 2014, Berlin - DEMOWOOD Final Conference
          8-9 May 2014, Vienna - EARTO Annual Conference
          15-18 May 2014, Lecce - European Biotechnology Congress
          20-21 May 2014, Munich - Symposium Innovative Packaging
          21-26 June 2014, Copenaghen - EuroScience Open Forum 2014
          23-26 June 2014, Hamburg - 22nd European Biomass Conference & Exhibition
          10-12 September 2014, Bilbao - EFI 2014 Annual Conference
          15-18 September 2014, Helsinki - Bioenergy from Forest Conference
          17-18 September 2014, Freiburg - COOL Conference (Competing uses Of forest Land Project)
          23-26 September 2014, Gerardmer - 5th Forest Engineering Conference & 47th International Symposium on Forestry
          29 September-01 October 2014, Bologna - LET's 2014 - Leading Enabling Technologies for Societal Challenges
          7-9 October 2014, Reims - EFIB 2014
          17-20 November 2014, Brussels - 6th European Innovation Summit

          Further information
          Embedded Computing Systems (ARTEMIS)

          9-11 April 2014, Athens - Industrial Technologies
          14-17 April 2014, Berlin - CPS Week 2014
          14 April 2014, Berlin - WORKSHOP:CPS 20 years from now - visions and challenges
          23-24 April 2014, Monaco - Celtic-Plus Event 2014
          19-20 June 2014, Istanbul - Sabanci University Microelectronics Workshop
          10-12 September 2014, Florence - SAFECOMP 2014
          23-25 September 2014, Amsterdam - ITEA PO Days

          Further information
          Nanoelectronics Technologies 2020 (ENIAC)

          10-11 April 2014, Paris - Journées Industrielles « NANOMATÉRIAUX »
          13-16 May 2014, Gaithersburg - The Tenth International Nanotechnology Conference on Communication and Cooperation (INC 10)
          19-20 June 2014, Istanbul - Sabanci University Microelectronics Workshop
          23-24 June 2014, Grenoble - CATRENE DTC (European Nanoelectronics Design Technology Conference)
          25-26 June 2014, Grenoble - Leti Days (applied research in the fields of microelectronics, IT and technology for health care and other areas)
          22-26 September 2014, Venice - 40th European Solid-State Circuits Conference (Esscirc) & 44th European Solid-State Device Conference (Essderc 2014)
          7-9 October 2014, Grenoble - SEMICON Europa 2014
          5-7 November 2014, Brno - NANOCON

          Further information
          European Rail Research Advisory Council (ERRAC)

          14-17 April 2014, Paris - 5th Edition of TRA 2014
          17 June 2014, Brussels - ERRAC Steering Committee

          Further information
          European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC)

          14 April 2014, Paris - TRA 2014 Conference
          20 May 2014, Brussels - ERTRAC Steering Group
          5 June 2014, Brussels - ERTRAC Plenary
          7 October 2014, Brussels - ERTRAC Plenary

          Further information
          European Space Technology Platform (ESTP)

          No events planned

          Further information
          European Steel Technology Platform (ESTEP)

          No events planned.

          Further information
          European Technology Platform for the Electricity Networks of the Future (SmartGrids)

          No events planned.

          Further information
          Future Manufacturing Technologies (MANUFUTURE)

          No events planned.

          Further information
          European Technology Platform for the Future of Textiles and Clothing (Euratex)

          22-23 April 2014, Moscow - “LEGPROMFORUM-2014” - 1st INTERNATIONAL FORUM OF LIGHT UNDUSTRY
          8-9 May 2014, Istanbul - 7th International Instanbul Fashion Conference
          14-16 May 2014, Brugges - 6th European Conference on Protective Clothing
          5 June 2014, Brussels - Textile and Clothing International Conference
          10-12 September 2014, Austria - 53rd Dornbirn Man-Made Fibers Congress
          24-26 September 2014, Barcelona - OUTLOOK 2014 - The World's premier Personal Care Products Conference
          29 September-1 October 2014, Medellin - 30th IAF World Fashion Convention
          1-2 October 2014, Berlin - FILTREX Europe 2014, your Filtration Conference & Exhibition
          4-6 November 2014, Istanbul - Messe Frankfurt announces the launch of Texworld
          18 November 2014, Brussels - 3rd EURATEX CONVENTION
          18-19 November 2014, Brussels - 3rd PPE Lead Market Conference 2014
          4-7 May 2015, Franckfurt - Texprocess 2015

          Further information
          Fuel Cells and Hydrogen (FCH)

          No events planned.

          Further information
          Industrial Safety ETP (IndustrialSafety)

          9-11 April 2014, Athens - ETPIS at the Industrial Technologies 2014 Conference 
          13-16 April 2014, Bologna - 6th International Conference on Safety & Environment in Process & Power Industry
          24-27 August 2014, Frankfurt - XX World Congress on Safety and Health at Work 2014
          30 September-3 October 2014, Glasgow - WOS2014 "Learning from the past to shape a safer future"
          1 October 2014, Berlin - 3rd International Conference on Fires in Vehicles (FIVE)
          14-16 October 2014, Roma - 48th International Carnahan Conference on Security Technology

          Further information
          Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI)

          21 May 2014, Brussels - IMI Stakeholder Forum 2014

          Further information
          Integral Satcom Initiative (ISI)

          No events planned.

          Further information
          Mobile and Wireless Communications (eMobility)

          No events planned.

          Further information
          Nanotechnologies for Medical Applications (NanoMedicine)

          9-11 April 2014, Athens - Industrial Technologies 2014
          23-26 April 2014, Antalya - NANOTOX 2014
          21 May 2014, Brussels - IMI Stakeholder Forum 2014
          26-30 May 2014, Lille - E-MRS Spring Meeting: Converging technology for nanobio applications
          2-4 June 2014, Munster - InfoNanobio Europe 2014
          15-19 June 2014, Tel Aviv - Summer School on Nanomedicine and Innovation
          22-25 June 2014, Basel - European Summit for Clinical Nanomedicine 2014
          30 June-2 July 2014, Sydney - 5th International NanoMedicine Conference
          5-12 July 2014, Thessaloniki - NANOTEXNOLOGY 2014
          8-11 July 2014, Thessaloniki - 11th International Conference on Nanosciences & Nanotechnologies
          27-29 August 2014, Angers - International Meeting - Translational Nanomedicine 2014
          29 September-1 October 2014, Bologna - LET’S 2014 Conference: Leading Enabling Technologies for Societal challenges
          2-4 October 2014, Porto - 2014 Workshop: Tools and models for the translation of advanced drug delivery
          15-16 October 2014, San Sebastian - ETP Nanomedicine Annual Event 2014
          3-5 November 2014, Frankfurt - BIO-Europe 2014
          5-7 November 2014, Brno - 6th International Conference NANOCON 2014
          18-20 November 2014, Grenoble - 4th International Conference NANOSAFE 2014

          Further information
          Networked and Electronic Media (NEM)

          No events planned.

          Further information
          Networked European Software and Services Initiative (NESSI)

          24 April 2014, Brussels - ONE: Conference - Policies (R)evolution and Speeding Every European
          12-13 June 2014, Luxembourg - 5th European Summit on the Future Internet
          17-18 June 2014, London - Big Data World Congress: Discover the business value of Big Data
          10-12 September 2014, Salerno - CCPI'14: Workshop on Cloud Computing Projects and Initiatives

          Further information
          Photonics21 (Photonics)

          9-11 April 2014, Copenhagen - 6th living knowledge conference 2014
          9-11 April 2014, Athens - Industrial Technologies 2014
          11-15 April 2014, Montpellier - ISCS 2014 and IPRM 2014
          14-17 April 2014, Brussels - SPIE Photonics Europe Conference and Exhibition
          5-9 May 2014, Baltimore - SPIE Defense and Security
          7-8 May 2014, Barcelona - Smart Lighting 2014
          7 May 2014, Aachen - EPIC EU funding session
          12-13 May 2014, Munich - Rohde & Schwarz: Broadcast and Digital Media Innovation Forum
          20-22 May 2014, Lyon - LumiBat 2014
          20-22 May 2014, Lyon - CapUrba 2014 - The city planning and innovative Urban project trade fair
          26-30 May 2014, Aveiro - International Conference on Applications in Optics and Photonics - AOP2014
          26-28 May 2014, Munich - LOPEC 2014: 6th International Exhibition and Conference for the Organic and Printed Electronics Industry
          2-3 June 2014, Munich - Siemens New Venture Forum Europe 2014
          9-13 June 2014, San Jose - CLEO: 2014 Laser Science to Photonic Applications
          10 June 2014, Rome - EPIC Workshop on High Resolution Imaging for Security and Defense
          18-19 June 2014, AR's-Hertogenbosch - EPIC Workshop on Photonic Integrated Circuits "Electronics - Photonics Integration and Packaging"
          18-21 June 2014, Paris - 12th European Congress on Digital Pathology
          24-26 June 2014, Nice - Next Generation Optical Networking
          2-3 July 2014, Rotterdam - EPIC Workshop on Intra-Operative Assessment of Tumor-Resection Margins
          2-8 July 2014, Barcelona - Fab10 Barcelona
          22-23 July 2014, Stuttgart - Bosch Venture Forum
          28-31 July 2014, Barcelona - Advanced Photonics
          17-21 August 2014, San Diego - SPIE Optics + Photonics 2014
          25-29 August 2014, Berlin - EPIC Entrepreneurship Week
          25-29 August 2014, Marseille - Laser-light and Interactions with Particles
          27-29 August 2014, Prague - PHOTONICS PRAGUE 2014 - 7th International Conference on Photonics, Devices and Systems
          28-30 August 2014, Vienna - OPTICS 2014 - 5th International Conference on Optical Communication Systems
          22-25 September 2014, Amsterdam - SPIE Remote Sensing 2014
          22-25 September 2014, Amsterdam - SPIE Security and Defense 2014
          30 September-2 October 2014, Bregenz - LED professional Symposium and Exhibition
          19-23 October 2014, Tucson - Frontiers in Optics 2014
          11-12 November 2014, Goteborg - Optics & Photonics
          5-6 December 2014, Lyon - Light Festival Expo 2014

          Further information
          Photovoltaics (PV Platform)

          No events planned

          Further information
          Plants for the Future (Plants)

          22-26 June 2014, Dublin - Plant Biology Europe FESPB/EPSO 2014 Congress

          Further information
          Robotics (EUROP)

          No events planned.

          Further information
          European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem)

          9-11 April 2014, Athens - Industrial Technologies 2014
          29-30 April 2014, London - 3rd Annual Smart to Future Cities 2014
          12 May 2014, Darmstadt - Raw Materials University Day
          14 May 2014, Brussels - CRM_InnoNet 2nd Innovation Network Workshop
          28-29 May 2014, Taragonna - 3SCICC Sustainable Chemistry Forum
          11-12 June 2014, Bruxelles - SusChem 12th Stakeholder Event - Sustainable Chemistry: At the Forefront of Innovation

          Further information
          Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform (SNE-TP)

          9-11 April 2014, Manchester - Sustainable Nuclear Energy Conference 2014
          1-4 June 2014, Zadar - 10th International Conference on the Nuclear Option in Countries with Small and Medium Electricity Grid
          16-19 June 2014, Toronto - 5th international CANDU In-service inspection workshop and the NDT in Canada 2014 Conference
          7-11 July 2014, Prague - 22th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
          1-4 September 2014, Paris - TINCE, 2nd International Conference on Technological Innovations in Nuclear Civil Engineering
          14-16 October 2014, Paris - World Nuclear Exhibition

          Further information
          Water Supply and Sanitation Platform (WSSTP)

          No events planned.

          Further information
          Waterborne ETP (Waterborne)

          14-17 April 2014, Paris - TRA 2014 calls for competitions
          3-5 June 2014, Brussels - SG50 + MG and WTB General Assembly
          17 September 2014, Brussels - SG51+ MIRROR GROUP

          Further information
          Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Power Plants Technology Platform (ETP ZEP)

          22-24 April 2014, Stavanger 4th EAGE CO2 Geological Storage Workshop
          28 April-1 May 2014, Pittsburgh - The Annual CCUS Conference

          Further information
          European Technology Platform on Renewable Heating & Cooling (RHC)

          No events planned.

          Further information
        • Joint Technology Initiatives
          Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI)

          21 May 2014, Brussels - IMI Stakeholder Forum 2014

          Further information
          Embedded Computing Systems (ARTEMISA)

          7-11 April 2014, Hannover - HANNOVER Messe 2014
          9-11 April 2014, Athens - Industrial Technologies
          14-17 April 2014, Berlin - CPS Week 2014
          14 April 2014, Berlin - WORKSHOP: 'CPS 20 years from now - visions and challenges'
          23-24 April 2014, Monaco - Celtic-Plus Event 2014
          19-20 June 2014, Istanbul - Sabanci University Microelectronics Workshop
          10-12 September 2014, Florence - SAFECOMP 2014
          23-25 September 2014, Amsterdam - Sabanci University Microelectronics Workshop

          Further information
          Nanoelectronics Technologies 2020 (ENIAC)

          9-11 April 2014, Athens - Industrial Technologies 2014
          10-11 April 2014, Paris - Journées Industrielles « NANOMATÉRIAUX »
          13-16 May 2014, Gaithersburg - The Tenth International Nanotechnology Conference on Communication and Cooperation (INC 10)
          19-20 June 2014, Istanbul - Sabanci University Microelectronics Workshop
          23-24 June 2014, Grenoble - CATRENE DTC (European Nanoelectronics Design Technology Conference)
          25-26 June 2014, Grenoble - Leti Days (applied research in the fields of microelectronics, IT and technology for health care and other areas)
          22-26 September 2014, Venice - 40th European Solid-State Circuits Conference (Esscirc) & 44th European Solid-State Device Conference (Essderc 2014)
          7-9 October 2014, Grenoble - SEMICON Europa 2014
          5-7 November 2014, Brno - NANOCON

          Further information
          Aeronautics and Air Transport (Clean Sky)

          23-25 April 2014, Prague - ASD Annual Convention
          30 April 2014, Tel Aviv - Clean Sky 2 Info Day
          22 May 2014, Berlin - Clean Sky 2 is Taking Off

          Further information
          Fuel Cells and Hydrogen (FCH)

          No events planned.

          Further information
    • Education policy

      2011-12-16 - Erasmus Mundus: funding boost for Arab Spring countries

      The European Commission has more than doubled the number of education and teaching grants available for young people and university staff from countries involved in the 'Arab Spring' uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East. Funding for a further 559 scholarships, on top of the 525 that were already planned for 2011-2012, are being allocated to Southern Mediterranean countries through 'Erasmus Mundus', the international version of the European Commission's Erasmus student and staff exchange scheme. The recipients will be able to spend part of their studies, research or a teaching period in the European Union. The Commission is increasing its grant funding to encourage learning and training opportunities for individuals who are viewed as key to strengthening democracy in the region. The move is part of the EU's strategic response to the Arab Spring.

      Further information
    • Regional policy

      2011-12-12 - Improved monitoring and reporting on financial instruments related to EU cohesion policy

      The European Commission welcomes the approval today by the EU Member States to improve the monitoring and reporting on financial instruments available under cohesion policy like guarantee schemes to finance the start up of new small companies. This will mean that Member States will have to report once a year on progress made in financing and implementing these instruments. Such reporting will allow the Commission to better assess the overall performance of financial instruments across Member States. Together with additional information to be presented with each statement of expenditure, the Commission will be able to produce accurate and comprehensive accounts, which give a true image of the Union's assets and of the actual budgetary implementation.

      Further information
    • Information society

      2011-12-07 - Digital Agenda: First meeting of EU Media Futures Forum

      European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes has established a group to debate how to improve the policy framework for European media industries, chaired by Christian van Thillo, CEO of De Persgroep. The first of five group debates will take place today focussing on the impacts of the digital revolution on European media industries, and will provide input designed to foster pluralist media sector and quality journalism in spite of recent declining revenues.

      Further information
      2011-12-10 - Digital Agenda: Coalition of top tech & media companies to make internet better place for our kids

      28 leading companies have come together to form a new Coalition to make a better and safer internet for children. Put together by the Commission, founding Coalition members are: Apple, BSkyB, BT, Dailymotion, Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, France Telecom-Orange, Google, Hyves, KPN, Liberty Global, LG Electronics, Mediaset, Microsoft, Netlog, Nintendo, Nokia, Opera Software, Research in Motion, RTL Group, Samsung, Sulake, Telefonica, TeliaSonera, Telenor Group, Tuenti, Vivendi, Vodafone.  Priority actions include making it easier to report harmful content, ensuring privacy settings are age-appropriate, and offering wider options for parental control, reflecting the needs of a generation that is going online at an increasingly young age.

      Further information
      2011-12-12 - Digital Agenda: Turning government data into gold

      The Commission has launched an Open Data Strategy for Europe, which is expected to deliver a €40 billion boost to the EU's economy each year. Europe’s public administrations are sitting on a goldmine of unrealised economic potential: the large volumes of information collected by numerous public authorities and services. Member States such as the United Kingdom and France are already demonstrating this value. The strategy to lift performance EU-wide is three-fold: firstly the Commission will lead by example, opening its vaults of information to the public for free through a new data portal. Secondly, a level playing field for open data across the EU will be established. Finally, these new measures are backed by the €100 million which will be granted in 2011-2013 to fund research into improved data-handling technologies.

      Further information
    • Enterprises

      2011-12-07 - New EU fundraising rules: boosting venture capital for SMEs and easing access to credit

      Access to finance is essential to enhance the competiveness and growth potential of SMEs. In the context of the current crisis, marked by a fall in lending to the real economy, it is increasingly difficult for such companies to access loans. For this reason the European Commission is presenting a strategy to promote better access to finance for SMEs with an EU Action Plan (see MEMO/11/879) which includes increasing financial support from the EU budget and the European Investment Bank and a proposal for a regulation setting uniform rules for the marketing of venture capital funds.

      Further information
  • Other EU Policies and funding programmes supporting the Lisbon Strategy

    Other EU Policies and funding programmes supporting the Lisbon Strategy

    • Employment and social affairs

      2011-12-15 - New analysis shows employment and social policies key to Europe’s job-rich recovery

      The first annual review of Employment and Social Developments in Europe (ESDE) published today by the European Commission underlines that a mix of employment and social policies is necessary to ensure a long-term job-rich recovery in the current climate of fiscal consolidation and bleak economic outlook. Its findings show how the economic crisis has aggravated Europe’s structural weaknesses like income inequality and the disappearance of medium-paid jobs, especially in manufacturing and construction. Poverty remains high with 115 million Europeans (23 % of the EU population) at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2010. The review also analyses labour mobility within Europe, reviews active ageing policies and draws attention to the problem of in-work poverty.

      Further information
      2011-12-20 - EU calls for immediate action to drive down youth unemployment

      Against the backdrop of Europe's persistent jobless youth rate of 21%, the Commission is pleading for Member States, workers' representatives and business to join forces and take decisive action to tackle youth unemployment. The new 'Youth Opportunities Initiative', adopted by the Commission today, calls on Member State to work on preventing early school leaving; helping youngsters develop skills relevant to the labour market; ensuring work experience and on-the-job training and helping young people find a first good job. The Commission is also urging Member States to make better use of the European Social Fund which still has €30billion of funding uncommitted to projects. In addition, the Commission has put forward a set of concrete actions to be financed directly by EU funds.

      Further information
    • Environment

      2011-12-12 - Significant boost in EU support for the environment and climate through the new LIFE programme

      The Commission proposes to allocate EUR 3.2 billion over 2014-2020 to a new Programme for the Environment and Climate Action - LIFE. The proposed new programme will build on the success of the existing LIFE+ Programme but will be reformed to have a greater impact, be simpler and more flexible and have a significantly increased budget.

      Further information
      2011-12-13 - Environment: Meeting the waste water treatment challenge

      Between 2007 and 2013, some 14 billion EUR will be spent across the EU on infrastructure for the collection or treatment of waste water under the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (UWWT). The aim is to ensure that human and industrial waste doesn't adversely affect human health and the environment. The latest report on implementation of the Directive, for the period 2007/2008, shows that work is progressing well but that collection and treatment compliance rates could still improve. It reveals that most longstanding EU Member States (EU-15)1 maintained good standards of waste water treatment and improved on treatment of sensitive waters, while newer Members States (EU-12) improved on overall collection and treatment.

      Further information
      2011-12-15 - Eco-innovation Action Plan Launched: helping business to deliver green growth and environmental benefits

      Eco-innovation is crucial to delivering the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The new Eco-Innovation Action Plan (EcoAP) will boost innovation that reduces pressure on the environment, and bridge the gap between innovation and the market. Eco-friendly technologies are good for business and help create new jobs, so eco-innovation is crucial to the economic competitiveness of Europe.

      Further information
      2011-12-15 - Environment: Commission launches new initiative to help cutting-edge green technologies reach the market

      The European Commission is launching a new instrument to help companies that are developing innovative environmental technologies. The Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) pilot programme will provide independent verification of the performance of new environmental technologies. This will help manufacturers prove the reliability of performance claims, and help technology purchasers identify innovations that suit their needs.

      Further information
    • Health

      2011-12-08 - Public Health: Commission proposes effective measures to better protect citizens from a wide range of cross-border health threats

      To better protect Europeans from a wide range of health threats, and provide for a fully co-ordinated response in the event of a crisis, the European Commission adopted today a legislative proposal on the means to address serious cross border health threats. Building on lessons learned with recent crises such as the H1N1 pandemic in 2009, the volcanic ash cloud in 2010 and the outbreak of E. coli in 2011, the Commission is proposing to beef up the means to prepare for and to address such crises.

      Further information
      2011-12-22 - Health: driving forward the uptake of e-Health with a new network for European Co-operation

      Today the European Commission adopted a Decision establishing an eHealth Network, as foreseen by the Directive (2011/24/EU) on Patients' Rights in Cross-border Healthcare. For the first time, EU legislation includes provisions on eHealth with clear objectives to find modern, innovative solutions for providing better and safer healthcare for all Europeans.

      Further information
    • Transport

      2011-12-01 - "Better Airports" Package Launched

      The European Commission today announced a comprehensive package of measures to help increase the capacity of Europe's airports, reduce delays and improve the quality of services offered to passengers. The measures address the quality of services passengers and airlines receive on the ground before they take off and after they land (for example, baggage handling, check-in, refuelling), the transparency of decisions on airport noise, as well as the efficiency of the complex network of take-off and landing slots that make up every journey.

      Further information
      2011-12-01 - Air transport: Commission welcomes agreement on Siberian overflights

      The European Commission and the Russian government have agreed to modernise the system of Siberian overflight payments. From 1 January 2014, any charges EU airlines have to pay for flying over Russian territory will be cost-related and transparent. They will not discriminate between airlines. The agreement is set out in an exchange of letters between Russian Economic Development Minister Ms Elvira Nabiullina, on the Russian side, and Vice-President Siim Kallas and EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht for the Commission. The agreement will enter into force on 1 January 2012 after the WTO Ministerial Conference has given its green light to Russia's WTO accession, which is expected to happen on 16 December 2011.

      Further information
      2011-12-05 - Transport: public vote on electronic journey planners now open

      European citizens have been invited today to start voting for their favourite multimodal journey planner as part of the first European Mobility Challenge launched by the Vice-President Siim Kallas, Commissioner for Mobility and Transport. The idea behind the challenge was to raise awareness about and stimulate development of all-in-one journey planners, going beyond national borders and offering alternative transport modes. Now it is time for the public to have their say on the submitted planners.

      Further information
    • Agriculture and fisheries

      2011-12-01 - € 30.1 million EU support for the promotion of agricultural products in third countries

      The European Commission has approved 20 programmes to promote agricultural products in third countries. The total budget of the programmes, running for a period of three years, is € 60.2 million of which the EU contributes € 30.1 million (50%). The selected programmes cover fresh and processed fruit and vegetables, milk and milk products, PDOs (Protected Designations of Origin), PGIs (Protected Geographical Indications) and TSGs (Traditional Specialities Guaranteed), organic food and farming, olive oil, wine and spirits, cereals and rice, horticulture and meat.

      Further information
      2011-12-07 - JRC tackles alcohol fraud with denaturants

      The Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission has revealed the list of denaturants that could potentially be used to harmonise denaturing practices at EU level. The denaturants shortlist reported on 6 December will mitigate both fraud and tax evasion practices related to alcoholic beverages.

      Further information
    • Energy

      2011-12-02 - ITER: Agreement on the extra €1.3BN needed for 2012 and 2013

      A full agreement was found at today's trilogue (Council, European Parliament, European Commission) on the funding of the experimental reactor "ITER" for the next two years.

      Further information
      2011-12-15 - Energy Roadmap 2050: a secure, competitive and low-carbon energy sector is possible

      To achieve the goal of cutting emissions by over 80% by 2050, Europe's energy production will have to be almost carbon-free. How to achieve this without disrupting energy supplies and competitiveness is the question answered by the Energy Roadmap 2050 the Commission is presenting today. Based on the analysis of a set of scenarios, the document describes the consequences of a carbon free energy system and the policy framework needed. This should allow member states to make the required energy choices and create a stable business climate for private investment, especially until 2030.

      Further information
      2011-12-15 - Digital Agenda: Commission consults on massive expansion of LED lighting in Europe

      The European Commission today adopted a Green Paper and launched a public consultation on the future of LED-based lighting. LED lighting is one of the most energy-efficient and versatile forms of lighting - saving up to 70% energy and money compared to other lighting technologies. Faster LED deployment will ensure the success of Europe's lighting industry and help reduce energy use from lighting by 20% by 2020. But Europe also faces a number of challenges and more input is needed from citizens and businesses to refine the policy. To this end a consultation will run until 29 February 2012 to collect feedback on the Commission's ideas.

      Further information
    • Maritime Affairs

      2011-12-02 - A new European Fund for the EU's Maritime and Fisheries Policies

      The European Commission has proposed a new fund for the EU's maritime and fisheries policies for the period 2014-2020: the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). The Fund will help deliver the ambitious objectives of the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and will help fishermen in the transition towards sustainable fishing, as well as coastal communities in the diversification of their economies. The fund will finance projects that create new jobs and improve quality of life along European coasts. Red tape will be cut so that beneficiaries have easy access to financing.

      Further information
      2011-12-08 - EUR 9 million for new EU marine fund

      A new EU-funded initiative is set to give the marine renewable energy sector a boost worth EUR 9 million. The MARINET ('Marine renewables infrastructure network') initiative will give companies access to test facilities in specialist marine renewable energy centres across Europe. Led by researchers at the Hydraulics and Maritime Research Centre (HMRC) at University College Cork in Ireland, the project, funded as part of the 'Infrastructures' Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), will allow companies to carry out renewable energy testing at these centres at no extra cost.

      Further information
  • Research, Innovation, Training and Competitiveness related EU events

    Research, Innovation, Training and Competitiveness related EU events

Special chapter on training opportunities

Next Sessions in English in Brussels

Prochaines sessions en français à Paris et Bruxelles

Le montage des projets sous le nouveau programme européen de recherche et d'innovation (Horizon 2020)

Date : mardi 29 avril 2014

Comment rédiger une proposition réellement compétitive? Conseils stratégiques et méthodologiques.

Formations dispensées par d’anciens "Project Officers" de la Commission européenne ayant une expérience pratique des projets européens de R&D.

Lieu : Paris - Langue de formation : Français

Prix : 599€ HTVA

S'inscrire à cette session

Plus d'information

Les contrats européens de recherche : module financier sous le nouveau programme de recherche et d'innovation (Horizon 2020)

Date : mercredi 30 avril 2014

Session d'approfondissement - Comprendre les règles financières sous le nouveau programme de recherche et d'innoovation (Horizon 2020). Comment préparer votre budget? Comment gérer votre budget?

Formations dispensées par d’anciens "Project Officers" de la Commission européenne ayant une expérience pratique des projets européens de R&D.

Lieu : Paris - Langue de formation : Français

Prix : 599€ HTVA

S'inscrire à cette session

Plus d'information

Horizon 2020: Comment comprendre le nouveau programme européen de recherche et d'innovation

Date : mardi 13 mai 2014

Formations dispensées par d’anciens "Project Officers" de la Commission européenne ayant une expérience pratique des projets européens de R&D

Lieu : Paris - Langue de formation : Français

Prix : 599€ HTVA

S'inscrire à cette session

Plus d'information

Le montage des projets sous le nouveau programme européen de recherche et d'innovation (Horizon 2020)

Date : mercredi 14 mai 2014

Comment rédiger une proposition réellement compétitive? Conseils stratégiques et méthodologiques.

Formations dispensées par d’anciens "Project Officers" de la Commission européenne ayant une expérience pratique des projets européens de R&D.

Lieu : Paris - Langue de formation : Français

Prix : 599€ HTVA

S'inscrire à cette session

Plus d'information

Horizon 2020: Comment comprendre le nouveau programme européen de recherche et d'innovation

Date : mardi 03 juin 2014

Formations dispensées par d’anciens "Project Officers" de la Commission européenne ayant une expérience pratique des projets européens de R&D

Lieu : Paris - Langue de formation : Français

Prix : 599€ HTVA

S'inscrire à cette session

Plus d'information

Les contrats européens de recherche : module financier sous le nouveau programme de recherche et d'innovation (Horizon 2020)

Date : mercredi 04 juin 2014

Session d'approfondissement - Comprendre les règles financières sous le nouveau programme de recherche et d'innoovation (Horizon 2020). Comment préparer votre budget? Comment gérer votre budget?

Formations dispensées par d’anciens "Project Officers" de la Commission européenne ayant une expérience pratique des projets européens de R&D.

Lieu : Paris - Langue de formation : Français

Prix : 599€ HTVA

S'inscrire à cette session

Plus d'information

Audits et contrôles de votre contrat européen de recherche

Date : mardi 17 juin 2014

Les audits et contrôles de votre contrat européen de recherche.
Comment s’y préparer et comment y réagir?

Formations dispensées par d’anciens "Project Officers" de la Commission européenne ayant une expérience pratique des projets européens de R&D.

Lieu : Paris - Langue de formation : Français

Prix : 599€ HTVA

S'inscrire à cette session

Plus d'information

Le management de projets européens de recherche sous le nouveau programme de recherche et d'innovation (Horizon 2020)

Date : mercredi 18 juin 2014

Management de projets européens de recherche. Comment gérer efficacement et simplement un projet européen de recherche sous Horizon 2020?

Formations dispensées par d’anciens "Project Officers" de la Commission européenne ayant une expérience pratique des projets européens de R&D.

Lieu : Paris - Langue de formation : Français

Prix : 599€ HTVA

S'inscrire à cette session

Plus d'information

Próximas sesiones en español a Madrid