February 2012

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

Download the PDF Version

The newsletter is only available in English

To receive the newsletter by email please contact us

  • General EU Information

    General EU Information

    • European Parliament

      2012-02-01 - 2012-02-02 - Plenary Session - Brussels

      President Martin Schulz announced the resignations of MEPs Diana Wallis (ALDE, UK) and Proinsias De Rossa (S&D, IE), and thanked them for their services to Parliament, at the opening of the 1-2 February mini-plenary in Brussels.

      Further information
      2012-02-13 - 2012-02-16 - Plenary Session - Strasbourg

      The fact that Saudi journalist Hamza Kashgari faces the death penalty for posting "blasphemous" comments on Twitter, and the opening of a Dutch web site to collect complaints against central and east Europeans, were criticized as affronts to universal and EU values by President Martin Schulz at the opening of the Strasbourg plenary session.

      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
        2012-02-22 - Competitiveness Council: Innovation ministers discuss ins and outs of Horizon 2020

        Innovation ministers came together to discuss the Commission's proposals for Horizon 2020 at a Competitiveness Council meeting in Brussels on 21 February. The plans for a new streamlined EU research and innovation funding programme, set to kick off in 2014, were outlined by Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn on 30 November 2011.

        Further information
      • European Research and Innovation projects
        • ICT
          2012-02-01 - EU-funded prizewinning researchers decongest the internet!

          The Internet has become part of our everyday lives, in ways we would never have imagined 30 years ago, but how often do we pause and think about the how and why of getting online? A team of EU-funded Spanish researchers are doing exactly that. IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4), the protocol that every device uses to connect to the Internet, has just encountered a major stumbling block: because of the Internet's continuous spiralling growth, all of its addresses have recently run out. It is hoped that IPv6, a protocol currently in the early days of implementation, will eventually replace IPv4; unfortunately, however the two protocols are not compatible.  Now researchers from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) have developed a solution to the problem.

          Further information
          2012-02-17 - Study spotlights dog impulsivity

          Researchers in Hungary have discovered a clear link between repeat polymorphism in the tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) gene with activity-impulsivity in German Shepherd dogs. The research, presented in the journal PLoS ONE, was funded in part by the LIREC ('Living with robots and interactive companions') project, which has received EUR 8.2 million under the 'Information and communication technologies' (ICT) Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

          Further information
          2012-02-22 - Europeans push the innovation envelope with radio frequency identification tags

          The quest to drive innovation continues in Europe. And joining the growing list of innovative products and services is the world's first radio frequency identification (RFID) circuit, designed and created by Interuniversitair Micro-Electronica Centrum Vzw (imec) in Belgium, the Holst Centre in the Netherlands and the ORICLA consortium. ORICLA ('Towards electronic product coding with RFID tags based on hybrid organic-oxide complementary thin-film technology') is supported under the 'Information and communication technologies' (ICT) Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) to the tune of EUR 3.02 million.

          Further information
        • Health
          2012-02-03 - Are European kids getting enough vitamin D? Winter weather reopens the debate

          The cold snap has well and truly set in across much of Europe, and as temperatures fall, watching our health becomes increasingly more crucial. Keeping our vitamin D levels up during the winter months has long been lauded as an important part of this fight against unforgiving winter climes, particularly for vulnerable groups such as young children. But parents and carers could be forgiven for feeling confused about the different and at times conflicting advice they hear from doctors and the media regarding what is best for their young ones, and several recently published research papers on vitamin D levels from British and French researchers have re-opened this medical can of worms.

          Further information
          2012-02-03 - Piecing together a genetic puzzle

          A European team of scientists has discovered how cells accurately inherit information that is not contained in their genes. The research, presented in the journal Developmental Cell, was funded in part by the EPICENTROMERE ('Determining the epigenetic mechanism of centromere propagation') project, which has clinched a Marie Curie Action 'International Reintegration Grant' worth EUR 100 000 under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The results help piece together a puzzle on the biological processes of genes and cells, and in particular on cell division.

          Further information
          2012-02-06 - Researchers shed light on hearing loss and touch sensitivity connection

          A European team of researchers has discovered that people with a specific form of inherited hearing loss are more sensitive to low frequency vibration. Presented in the journal Nature Neuroscience, the findings provide insight on the association between hearing loss and touch sensitivity. Specialised skin cells must be tuned to enable a person to 'feel'. Led by the Germany-based groups Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch, researchers assessed people with hereditary DFNA2 hearing loss to get a better perspective on their sense of touch, and not on their ability to hear.

          Further information
          2012-02-13 - New EU-funded neuroscience network launched!

          A new EU-funded network for training researchers on the cutting edge of neuroscience has just been launched. Funded entirely by more than EUR 3 million through a Marie Curie Training Network grant, the FLIACT ('Systems neuroscience of Drosophila: from genes to circuits to behaviour') network brings together early-stage researchers to carry out studies on the brain of the fruit fly. The aim is to interconnect eight academic centres and three industry partners from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. These institutions making up the network all specialise in different complementary fields of neuroscience, including molecular genetics and bioengineering.

          Further information
          2012-02-13 - Weaning baby food revisited: solid finger foods healthier than purée

          A two-woman research team in the United Kingdom has discovered that giving solid finger food to babies to help wean them off milk offer two benefits: one, these babies are more likely to develop healthier food choices; and two, they are less likely to become overweight children than are those who consume spoon-feed pureed food. Presented in British Medical Journal (BMJ) Open, the study provides fresh insight into how a specific weaning style can affect food preferences and the body mass index (BMI) in early childhood.

          Further information
          2012-02-16 - EU-funded scientists investigate intricacies of end-of-life care

          Looking after its ageing population remains a challenge for Europe; an international team of EU-funded researchers has just published a new study detailing the often overlooked complexities of palliative non-pharmacological care for the elderly. Writing in the journal PLoS Medicine, the team, whose members hail from Australia, Argentina, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, describe how this type of care is based on complex professional decisions that link physical, psychosocial and existential dimensions into a functional whole. Specifically, the study highlights three key areas that are sometimes overlooked in palliative care: bodily care and contact; a secure, aesthetic and comfortable environment; and death-related rituals. The study was supported by the project OPCARE9 ('A European collaboration to optimise research for the care of cancer patients in the last days of life') project, funded to the tune of more than EUR 2 million under the Seventh Framework Programme's (FP7) 'Health' Theme.

          Further information
          2012-02-17 - Sneezing, wheezing, itchy eyes? Relief may be in sight

          If house dust mites trigger your asthma, you may soon be able to breathe a sigh of relief. Researchers in the United Kingdom have identified a molecule that could lead to the development of new treatments for people allergic to this pesky creature. The findings of the study are presented in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Led by Dr Amir Ghaem-Maghami and Professor Farouk Shakib, immunologists from the University of Nottingham discovered how the molecule DC-SIGN could potentially be an adversary of the house dust mite. The team says the molecule can be found on the surface of immune cells that help identify a major allergen from house dust mites, what experts refer to as Der p 1. Asthma sufferers in northern Europe could blame Der p 1 for triggering their asthmatic events.

          Further information
          2012-02-20 - Science predicting how long we will live: EU-funded lifespan research

          Although for most people, knowledge about our lifespans involves questions often best left unanswered, it could have positive implications for medical science. Now researchers from the University of Glasgow and the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom might have developed a new way to find out how long individuals will live, based on a DNA analysis. The team's findings, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, show that scientists can obtain a good indication of a life's duration using the length of specialised pieces of DNA called telomeres, early on in life. Telomeres are found at the ends of chromosomes, which contain our complete genetic code. They work in the same way as the plastic caps at the end of shoelaces - marking the chromosome ends and protecting them from various processes that would otherwise cause the ends to wear away gradually. If the telomere wears away, cells can start malfunctioning.

          Further information
          2012-02-21 - Fighting breast cancer: new EU-funded biomarker project kicks off

          A new EU-funded biomarker project that aims to get breast cancer therapy more tailored to individual patients has just got under way. By ensuring that breast cancer therapy is specifically designed with an individual patient in mind, medical practitioners can bypass ineffective treatments - saving both valuable time and energy. RESPONSIFY ('Genome-based biomarkers leading to validated molecular diagnostic tests for response prediction in breast cancer') received almost EUR 6 million under the 'Health' Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), and brings together researchers from Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

          Further information
          2012-02-21 - Why vitamins could be key in fight against malaria

          British and German researchers led by the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom have found that vitamins could help fight malaria. The findings of the study, presented in the journal Structure, could encourage the development of more effective drugs to fight this disease. This disorder affects more than 250 million people each year, and kills over 650 000 people. The study was funded in part by a grant under the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6).

          Further information
          2012-02-23 - Huntington's disease: Irish team identify enzyme behind condition

          Irish researchers have made new strides in the treatment of Huntington's disease by identifying an enzyme linked with genetic mutations associated with the condition. Presenting their findings in the journal PLoS Biology, the team, from the National University of Ireland Galway, describe how the experiments they carried out helped them reduce the harmful effects of the enzyme by altering its activity. Although their finding cannot cure the disease, the scientists believe it will go some way to controlling its progression.

          Further information
          2012-02-24 - Malaria and the cloak of invisibility

          An international team of scientists has discovered a key molecule that helps the malaria parasite evade the human body's immune system. Partially funded by the EU-backed EVIMALAR ('Towards the establishment of a permanent European virtual institute dedicated to malaria research') project and presented in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, the findings of this study could provide fresh insight into how the parasite that triggers disease can dodge the defences built by the immune system. EVIMALAR, meanwhile, is funded under the Health Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) to the tune of EUR 12 million.

          Further information
          2012-02-27 - New EU-funded project investigates embryonic stem-cell division

          Researchers have just launched an EU-funded project that will investigate the different ways embryonic stem cells divide. When embryonic stem cells start to divide and develop into tissue, they do this through a process called differentiation. Each stem cell has the potential to differentiate into different types of tissue cells such as neurons, muscle, or blood cells, and the molecular mechanisms that determine its fate are highly complex. The 4DCELLFATE ('Developing a global understanding of the PRC and NuRD complexes in stem cell differentiation, in health and disease') project received a funding boost of almost EUR 12 million from the 'Health' Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). It will investigate the sophisticated and dynamic protein machineries that control the earliest steps of differentiation: polycomb repressive complex (PRC) and nucleosome remodelling and deacetylase (NuRD) complexes, which are both critical for switching genes off and on at the right time and in the right cell type.

          Further information
          2012-02-29 - Study finds link between sleeping pills and higher death risk

          A new American study has found a link between the use of certain prescription pills and an increased risk of death. Presented in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) Open, the findings highlight how important it is not to become dependent on the aid of sleeping pills to fight insomnia. Researchers from the United States-based Scripps Clinic Viterbi Family Sleep Center in California, and the Jackson Hole Center for Preventive Medicine in Wyoming estimate that between 6% and 10% of adults living in the United States used drugs containing agents such as eszopiclone, temazepam, zolpidem, and other barbiturates, in 2010. According to the researchers, sleeping pills may have been associated with 320 000 to 507 000 extra deaths in the United States in that year alone. Their data also indicate that the percentages may be higher in some parts of Europe.

          Further information
        • Environment
          2012-02-10 - Scientists investigate how warming trend impacts mountain plant communities

          Environmentalists the world over been investigating and measuring climate change over the years, and they found that the period from 2000 to 2009 was the warmest since they began taking worldwide climate measurements. Although their studies focused on local areas, there is proof that mountain plant communities are changing, and that this is linked to the warming trend. An EU-funded team of researchers recently took this one step further by looking at the problem from a continental perspective. The study, presented in the journal Nature Climate Change, was backed in part by the ENSEMBLE ('Ensemble-based predictions of climate changes and their impacts') project. This EU-funded project received EUR 15 million under the Sustainable development, global change and ecosystems' Thematic area of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6).

          Further information
          2012-02-13 - Study finds why parasites can be good for society

          Ants are tough, loyal and hard workers, all working towards a common goal. New research from Germany, France and the United Kingdom suggests that political and economic theorists could learn lessons by examining how ant colonies allocate food resources. Current political systems use legislation and regulations to ensure that resources are not overexploited. The findings, presented in the journal The American Naturalist, show how ant colonies reap rewards when an external 'parasite' enters the picture, effectively helping curb resource overexploitation by resident queens. More female offspring with queen potential is the result, which in turn gives colony efficiency and fitness (or health) a big boost.

          Further information
          2012-02-14 - Global sea levels rising

          A team of researchers from France and the United States has discovered that the planet's oceans are rising as ice melts. Presented in the journal Nature, the study is the first of its kind to determine just how much of Earth's melting land ice is fuelling the global sea-level rise. Led by the University of Colorado Boulder in the United States, researchers used satellite measurements from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), a joint mission between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the German Aerospace Center, to measure ice loss across the planet between 2003 and 2010. The team focused especially on glaciers and ice caps outside Greenland and Antarctica.

          Further information
          2012-02-14 - Study finds proof of origin of single-cell ancestors

          Scientists in China, Sweden and the United Kingdom have discovered evidence of the single-celled ancestors of animals, dating from the interval in Earth's history just before the emergence of multicellular animals. The proof is found in rocks from south China, around 570 million years old. Presented in the journal Science, the study received partial funding under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). Past studies suggested that life evolved from a single-celled universal common ancestor, and at various points throughout the Earth's timeline, single-celled organisms meshed to emerge into larger and multicellular organisms. The wide variety of the animal kingdom is an example of this. But finding proof of these major evolutionary transitions has not been a successful endeavour... until now.

          Further information
          2012-02-16 - Can you see it yet? Scientists discover world's teeniest tiniest chameleon!

          Researchers have discovered a species of chameleon small enough to balance comfortably on the end of a match. At just under 30 mm in length, Brookesia micra, whose natural habitat is one of Madagascar's tiny peripheral islets called Nosy Hara, is now one of the smallest vertebrates ever discovered by scientists. The researchers, from Germany and the United Sates, also identified three other tiny lizard species living on the same island, as they noted in their study published in the journal PLoS ONE.

          Further information
          2012-02-20 - Study finds decomposition responsible for fossilised deformations

          A two-man research team from Germany and Switzerland has discovered how the decomposition of dead dinosaurs triggered strange deformations of fossilised dinosaurs. The finding counters what most researchers believed, i.e. that the dinosaurs' twisted posture was the result of death spasms. The near-complete and articulated skeletons of dinosaurs with a long neck and tail usually exhibit a body posture in which the head and neck are recurved over the back of the animal. This posture, also known from Archaeopteryx, has been fascinating paleontologists for over 150 years. It was called `bicycle pose¿ when talking with a wink, or `opisthotonic posture¿ in a more oppressive way of speaking. Opisthotonic posture is triggered by a lack of vitamins, poisoning or damage to the cerebellum.

          Further information
          2012-02-21 - Getting to know Earth's forests: scientists map out trees from space

          Climate change shows no signs of slowing down. Getting a better handle on forests' influence on climate change and the wildlife habitats within them will give scientists the information they need to monitor carbon stored in vegetation more effectively. Enter a team of researchers led by the American National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) that has devised an accurate, high-resolution map of the height of the planet's forests. The findings are presented in the Journal of Geophysical Research. The scientists used 2.5 million carefully screened, globally distributed laser pulse measurements from space. The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System instrument on NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) collated light detection and ranging (lidar) data in 2005.

          Further information
          2012-02-22 - Scientists raise red flag on fish sustainability

          An international team of scientists has discovered that the effect of fishing for tuna and similar species since the early 1960s has led to a decline in these populations by around 60%. The study, presented in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was funded in part by the METAOCEANS ('Elucidating the structure and functioning of marine ecosystems through synthesis and comparative results') project, which clinched a Marie Curie Early Stage Research Training (EST) grant worth EUR 2.23 million under the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). The results have raised red flags, highlighting how several fish species have been overexploited, and particularly how the majority of tuna fish have been exploited to the limits of sustainability.

          Further information
          2012-02-23 - Scientists shed light on sympatric speciation

          Sympatric speciation, the creation of two or more descendant species from one ancestral species all occupying the same habitat, has weighed on the minds of researchers for a long time. A team of scientists from the United Kingdom and the United States provides fresh insight into the profound genetic diversity that probably occurs everywhere in wild microbial populations. The findings of the study are presented in the journal PLoS Biology.

          Further information
          2012-02-24 - Third phase of EU-funded river protection project gets underway in South Caucasus

          An EU-funded project that aims to improve water quality in the Kura River basin has just entered its third phase. As part of the project 'Transboundary River Management for the Kura River', funded through the European Commission's European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), the EU is helping Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia combat pollution and counter the negative impact of industrial and agricultural activities on the Kura. The overall aim of the project is to encourage adoption of the European approach to water management.

          Further information
          2012-02-27 - Zebra stripes help keep horseflies at bay

          Have you ever wondered how and why zebras got their stripes? Well, wonder no more: a team of researchers from Hungary and Sweden sheds fresh light on the stripe function and why the stripe pattern has evolved. Presented in the Journal of Experimental Biology, the study was funded in part by the TABANOID ('Trap for the novel control of horseflies on open-air fields') project, which received more than EUR 825 000 in funding under the 'Research for the benefit of SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises)' Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

          Further information
          2012-02-29 - Itsy bitsy spider with really long thread

          Researchers have often reported on how spider silks are rich in strong mechanical properties, regardless of the species. However, the mechanical properties of stalks of silk taken from the egg sac of the cave spider Meta menardi have never before been analysed. Enter a team of researchers from Italy and the United States that put the European Society of Arachnology's 'European spider of the year 2012' in the spotlight. The study was recently published in the journal PLoS ONE.

          Further information
        • Agriculture
          2012-02-01 - Plant food supplements in the spotlight

          Natural food does not always mean safe food. EU-funded researchers have discovered that the compounds found in some botanicals and botanical preparations, such as plant food supplements, may be detrimental to one's health. Presented in the journal Food and Nutrition Sciences, the study was funded in part by the PLANTLIBRA ('Plant food supplements: levels of intake, benefit and risk assessment') project, which is backed with nearly EUR 6 million under the 'Food, agriculture and fisheries, and biotechnology' (KBBE) Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

          Further information
          2012-02-16 - Ancient tools discovery highlights fishing activity

          Ancient fish seines and traps have been discovered in the Russian capital city of Moscow, a new international study reveals. Led by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the researchers have documented a series of equipment dating back more than 7 500 years. They say while it is very old, it shows a great technical complexity. This discovery provides insight into the role of fishing among the European settlements by the early Holocene epoch, some 10 000 years ago. The information will be especially useful for understanding the areas where inhabitants did not practice agriculture almost until the Iron Age.

          Further information
          2012-02-20 - Nutrition labelling: not as effective as you might think

          Consumers use nutrition labels to make informed decisions about eating the 'right' foods for better health. But new research from Europe shows how there are limitations on how these labels can be used in real-life situations. The results are an outcome of the FLABEL ('Food labelling to advance better education for life ') project, which has clinched almost EUR 2.9 million in funding under the 'Food, agriculture and fisheries, and biotechnology' (European Knowledge Based Bio-Economy or KBBE) Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The findings were presented by FLABEL scientific advisor Professor Klaus G. Grunert in a recent webinar.

          Further information
          2012-02-24 - New EU-funded project champions more sustainable production and distribution of foodstuffs

          New EU-funded project champions more sustainable production and distribution of foodstuffs A new EU-funded project that aims to contribute towards getting the food and drink sector to engage in more environmentally sustainable production, transformation and distribution of its products has just kicked off. The agri-foodstuffs industry is currently one of the biggest contributors towards rising emissions levels and global warming, and as a whole it uses up about 70% of the world's fresh water. The main objective is to reduce the environmental impact of food and drink throughout the production chain, starting with production and transformation and going right up to commercial distribution.

          Further information
        • Nanosciences
          2012-02-09 - Europeans develop innovative, sustainable food packaging product

          We're constantly on the go, and products that make our lives easier are always welcome. But keeping products safe is important. This is especially true for the food industry. When fats, oils and other food components are oxidised, the foods we eat lose nutrients and colours. Steering clear of oxidation is crucial for food packaging. An EU-funded team of researchers has developed a biomaterial from whey protein as well as a commercially viable method of producing multifunctional films on an industrial scale. This is steps ahead of the conventional films based on petrochemicals. The results are an outcome of the WHEYLAYER ('Whey protein-coated plastic films to replace expensive polymers and increase recyclability') project, which received more than EUR 2.5 million under the 'Research for the Benefit of SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises)', Seventh Framework Programme Capacities Work Programme of the EU.

          Further information
          2012-02-15 - Hiding buildings from earthquakes? The cloaking technique that could make them safer

          How can we protect buildings in the event of an earthquake? A European researcher has perhaps found the answer - use an invisibility cloak! Whilst this may sound like something straight out of a science fiction novel, mathematician Dr William Parnell from Manchester University in the United Kingdom believes that their newly developed 'cloaking' device could one day protect buildings when an earthquake strikes. The technique makes an object near invisible to light, sound or vibration waves.

          Further information
          2012-02-23 - New method to clean and treat polluted water for extraction of chemicals

          Scientists in Poland have discovered that it is easy to clean and treat polluted water for extraction of valuable chemicals, such as those used in the production of drugs. The upshot of this is that the use of neither plants nor factories is required; only the Sun and a 'magic' powder are needed to get the job done. The study, presented in the journal Bioresource Technology, was funded in part by the PHOTOBIO23JC ('Synthesis of novel nanostructured metal-supported photocatalysts: characterization and promising applications in the production of high value chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass') project, which is backed with a Marie Curie International Reintegration grant worth EUR 100 000 under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

          Further information
        • Space
          2012-02-06 - Life on Mars? Too dry, say scientists

          An international team of researchers has concluded that Mars may have been arid for hundreds of millions of years, meaning it would have been too hostile for any form of life to survive on its surface over this period. For 3 years, the researchers from Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States have been analysing individual particles of Martian soil that were gathered as part of a 2008 NASA Phoenix mission to Mars. They present their findings in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

          Further information
        • Energy
          2012-02-14 - Boost for wave energy: half the Wave Hub berths now filled

          Two of the four berths at an EU-funded grid-connected offshore marine-energy test site have now been filled. Wave Hub, located off the Cornish coast in the United Kingdom, is the largest test site of its type in the world. It is supported by EUR 23 million from the European Regional Development Fund under its Convergence objective, which focuses on supporting sustainable integrated economic development and the creation of sustainable jobs. Wave Hub provides shared offshore infrastructure for the demonstration and proving of arrays of wave energy-generation devices over a sustained period of time. Situated 16 kilometres off the coast, it consists of an electrical hub on the seabed, to which wave energy devices can be connected. Four separate berths are available to lease, each with a capacity of between 4 MW and 5 MW. Combined, these four berths have a capacity equivalent to the electricity needs of more than 7 000 homes.

          Further information
        • Socio-economic sciences and Humanities
          2012-02-17 - Playtime for humans and pigs: new tablet game pioneering innovative approach to animal welfare

          Relationships between humans and other animals are often strained and turbulent, but a unique new game developed by creative Dutch designers has added a new aspect to human-porcine relations. And to boot, this out-of-the-ordinary interactive game could help farmers meet EU requirements on animal welfare. The game, titled 'Pig Chase', lets player one, the pig, interact with light effects on a special screen in its pen, while player two, the human, controls these light effects from a remote tablet device such as an iPad. While many popular app games already feature animals, the designers from Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU) and Wageningen University have taken this one step further by giving gamers the opportunity to play with real live pigs.

          Further information
          2012-02-28 - New data show Neanderthals died off before modern Man appeared

          The extinction of most Neanderthals in Europe occurred some 50 000 years ago, years before the our Homo sapiens ancestors made their presence known on the continent, new international research shows. Presented in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution, the findings counter what most researchers have long believed: a stable Neanderthal population lived in Europe for hundreds of thousands of years before modern Man arrived. The data show that after most Neanderthals died off, a small group of Neanderthals recolonised central and western Europe. There, they survived for another 10 000 years before our ancestors appeared.

          Further information
      • Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Development 2007- 2013 (FP7)
        • News
          2012-02-08 - Promoting projects that benefit society at large: the European Foundation Statute

          Foundations pursue objectives benefiting the public at large. Their activities focus on areas that are important for European citizens and the European economy. For instance, they are active in social and health services; they foster research and promote culture. To this end, foundations award grants and run projects. However, differences between and obstacles in national laws often make the conduct of their cross-border activities costly and cumbersome. When they decide to operate abroad, for example, foundations often have to spend a part of their resources on legal advice and fulfilling legal and administrative requirements laid down by the different national laws across the EU. This diminishes the amount of funding available to foundations for the purpose of activities benefiting the public at large and can deter them from further developing their work.

          Further information
          2012-02-28 - New EU-funded research infrastructure for biology gets going

          A new structural biology research infrastructure has just been launched, most likely meaning more breakthroughs in biomedical science are just around the corner. Fifteen of Europe's leading structural biology research institutes have come together to provide access to some of the most advanced technology in the world to academic and commercial scientists across Europe. The groundwork for establishing the network - titled 'Instruct' - was carried out with support from a EUR 4.5 million grant under the 'Research Infrastructures' Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The Czech Republic, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and the United Kingdom have already signed up to the network, allowing researchers from these countries to start to access the shared technology.

          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
    • Innovation policy

      2012-02-07 - Enterprises must boost innovation as global competition becomes stronger

      Almost all Member States have improved their innovation performance according to the Innovation Union Scoreboard 2011. However, innovation performance growth is slowing down and the EU is not closing the persistent gap with global innovation leaders US, Japan and South Korea. The largest gap for the EU27 remains in terms of private sector innovation. The EU still maintains a clear lead over the emerging economies of China, Brazil, India, Russia, and South Africa. However, China is improving its innovation performance and is catching up progressively. Within the EU, Sweden confirms its position at the top of the overall ranking, followed closely by Denmark, Germany and Finland (see complete ranking below). Firms' innovation activities stand out as an important factor to achieve top positions at EU and international level.

      Further information
      2012-02-21 - EIT Entrepreneurship Awards announced

      The first Entrepreneurship Awards for the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) were announced at the Royal Academy of Science in Brussels this evening in the presence of Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth. The three overall winners were chosen from among nine start-up companies created as part of the EIT's knowledge and innovation communities (KICs) in the areas of climate change, sustainable energy and ICT.

      Further information
    • Education policy

      2012-02-08 - EU at risk on missing targets on early school leaving and graduate education

      The European Union is at risk of missing its 2020 targets to reduce the number of early-school leavers and increase the share of students completing tertiary education, according to a report which will be discussed by Ministers at the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport (EYCS) Council on Friday (10 February).

      Further information
    • Regional policy

      2012-02-15 - Urban Forum: Commissioner Hahn challenges cities to deliver more on growth and jobs

      The Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn is launching a direct dialogue with Europe's cities. EU structural funds are currently one of the most important instruments the Member States can use to stimulate growth, and cities should be a major focus, given their particular role in European economies. Effective investment in our cities – which represent nearly 70% of the EU population – is crucial at a time when the economic crisis is pushing youth unemployment to an unacceptably high 22%. At the first Urban Forum in Brussels on 16th February, the Commission will give cities their voice on new proposals for urban policy presented last October, which included ambitious plans to earmark funds for cities; develop new more coherent approaches to bringing together actions in sectors like transport and environment and encourage innovation by the cities themselves. Mayors and representatives of cities and of the EU institutions will discuss how to achieve the goals of the EU 2020 Strategy with a more dynamic approach to developing urban areas.

      Further information
    • Information society

      2012-02-15 - Digital Agenda: Plan to make EU the world leader in High-Performance Computing

      High Performance Computing (HPC) is critical for industries that rely on precision and speed, such as automotive and aviation, and the health sector. Access to rapid simulations carried out by ever-improving super computers can be the difference between life and death; between new jobs and profits or bankruptcy. Hospitals in Germany use HPC to avoid last-minute decisions during childbirth, while analysis of 3D brain imaging through HPC has allowed much earlier diagnosis of disease. HPC has enabled car makers to develop new vehicle platforms in 2 years rather than 5 years, saving the European car industry up to €40 billion. 97 % of the industrial companies that employ HPC consider it indispensable for their ability to innovate, compete and survive.

      Further information
      2012-02-15 - Digital Agenda: Commission welcomes step forward for wireless broadband with adoption of Radio Spectrum Policy Programme

      Radio spectrum supports 3.5 million jobs and more than €250 billion of economic activity each year in Europe, including incredibly popular services such as wireless broadband. The Commission therefore welcomes the European Parliament's adoption of the five-year Radio Spectrum Policy Programme (RSPP) which will allow sufficient spectrum to be made available for wireless applications and services such as high speed 4th generation (4G) wireless broadband. The RSPP also supports entertainment/culture (mobile TV or wireless electronic books), transport systems, health (such as medical appliances and devices to assist disabled persons), research, civil protection, the environment and energy (including smart energy grids and smart metering systems), without affecting the requirements of other policies such as defence.

      Further information
      2012-02-28 - Digital Agenda: €110bn jackpot on offer for completing e-Communications Single Market

      The answers to Europe's search for new economic growth may be closer to home than expected. The European Commission today released a study showing that, if the internal market for electronic communications were completed, the EU gross domestic product (GDP) could grow by up to 110 billion euros a year, or more than 0.8% of GDP. e-Communications is a critical part of overall efforts to build a digital Single Market. This "digital bonus" for EU growth would result from more competition, increased economies of scale for telecom operators, and the chance for every European to access all online content and services throughout the EU, such as music, movies and video games. For example, new and more efficient economic activity could arise from the ability to subscribe to TV from your home country when living abroad, the possibility of receiving healthcare monitoring from your local physician while on holiday, or a business using a single Cloud computing provider for offices in many EU countries.

      Further information
    • Enterprises

      2012-02-20 - European Company Law: what way forward?

      The European Commission has launched today an in-depth consultation on the future of European company law. Europe needs a company law framework that is adapted to the needs of the society of today and to the evolution of the economic environment. EU company law has played a central part in building the single market. It is now time to see whether today's needs are still met by the existing legal framework. An on-line public consultation paper has therefore been launched to collect comments from all stakeholders. The deadline for sending contributions is 14 May 2012.

      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

      2012-02-27 - EU funds boosting employment in remote regions

      Grey clouds still loom large over the jobs market in much of Europe, and it is often those in rural areas who are most affected and are cut off from opportunities. With this in mind, the EU has earmarked over EUR 6 million to boost 15 different projects that help to foster economic growth and put people into employment in the Highlands region of Scotland. The funding comes from the European Structural Fund (ESF), made up of two separate funds: the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) which supports research, innovation, urban regeneration and rural development; and the European Social Fund (ESF) which helps unemployed or economically inactive people upgrade their skills and prepare for work. Of the 15 projects, some have been under way for some time and others are just kicking off.

      Further information
      2012-02-28 - Commission acts to increase to € 500 million the funds for the most deprived in 2012

      The final distribution of the 2012 Aid for the Needy Scheme has been voted through the Management Committee today and will be published in the Official Journal in the near future. It confirms that a total of €500 million will be available for the scheme this year – with a projected 18-19 million people in 20 Member States expected to benefit. Today's vote follows last week's formal adoption of the new legal framework by the European Parliament and the Council.

      Further information
    • Internal Market

      2012-02-27 - Making the Single Market work better: boosting Europe's potential for growth

      The Single Market celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2012. In the past 20 years, the Single Market has helped create millions of jobs and make Europe increasingly competitive. But the job is not finished. The Single Market needs to be constantly monitored and updated to make it work. Despite all the progress made, there are still many barriers to a fully functioning Single Market.

      Further information
    • Environment

      2012-02-01 - Commission wants your views on how we can produce and consume more sustainably

      By 2050 the global population is set to reach 9 billion people and worldwide demand for food, feed and fibre is forecast to increase by 70%. To thrive in that context, economies will need to use natural resources in a far more efficient manner. The way we consume and produce will be key to Europe's success or failure in this process. This is why the Commission intends to revise the EU's Consumption and Production policies and has launched a public consultation that will remain open until 3 April.

      Further information
      2012-02-13 - New Classification and Labelling Inventory opens way to safer use of hazardous substances

      A big step towards a safer use of hazardous chemicals was taken today with the publication of the first EU Classification and Labelling Inventory. Released by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), it lists the classification of all the chemical substances used in the EU which allows identifying those that are potentially hazardous and may damage health and the environment. The aim is to provide industry, and in particular small companies, with easy access to information on the hazardousness of a given substance, facilitating the task to correctly classify and label substances and mixtures, as well as substitution of hazardous substances with less damaging alternatives where feasible.

      Further information
      2012-02-13 - Environment: Commission calls for a stronger response to soil degradation

      Soil degradation is a worrying phenomenon in the EU. Between 1990 and 2006, at least 275 hectares of soil per day were permanently lost through soil sealing – the covering of fertile land by impermeable material – amounting to 1,000 km² per year, or an area the size of Cyprus every ten years. Soil erosion by water is estimated to affect 1.3 million km² in Europe, an area equivalent to 2.5 times the size of France. Soil degradation affects our capacity to produce food, prevent droughts and flooding, stop biodiversity loss, and tackle climate change. These are some of the main findings of two new reports on the policy and scientific aspects of European soil presented by the European Commission.

      Further information
      2012-02-13 - Commission proposes strategy for sustainable bioeconomy in Europe

      The European Commission has today adopted a strategy to shift the European economy towards greater and more sustainable use of renewable resources. With the world population approaching 9 billion by 2050 and natural resources finite, Europe needs renewable biological resources for secure and healthy food and feed, as well as for materials, energy, and other products. The Commission's strategy and action plan, “Innovating for Sustainable Growth: a Bioeconomy for Europe”, outlines a coherent, cross-sectoral and inter-disciplinary approach to the issue. The goal is a more innovative and low-emissions economy, reconciling demands for sustainable agriculture and fisheries, food security, and the sustainable use of renewable biological resources for industrial purposes, while ensuring biodiversity and environmental protection. The plan therefore focuses on three key aspects: developing new technologies and processes for the bioeconomy; developing markets and competitiveness in bioeconomy sectors; and pushing policymakers and stakeholders to work more closely together.

      Further information
      2012-02-17 - Environment: environmental impact assessment now more user friendly

      To help Member States' authorities and developers manage the environmental consequences of construction projects more easily, the Commission has brought together all existing EU legislation governing environmental impact assessments. The original Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive and its three subsequent revisions have been combined to create a more compact, clearly translated and user-friendly version which comes into force today.

      Further information
      2012-02-28 - Retailers show commitment to resource efficiency

      The latest report from the European Retail Forum for Sustainability shows retailers taking the environment into consideration in their business decisions more actively than ever. Companies in the forum are paying more attention to the greening of their supply chains, sustainable distribution systems and the use of renewable energies. This shows that environmental responsibility increasingly make business sense and contributes to EU policies to promote sustainable consumption and production.

      Further information
      2012-02-29 - Environment: What are your views on uninvited guests?

      There are many cases where animals and plants have been introduced to an environment that is not naturally theirs, and are now spreading so fast that they become a threat to biological diversity. Some originally "non native" species such as the tomato or potato have historically been introduced without any problem. However, numerous other species including Canada geese, American bullfrogs, Japanese knotweed and Caulerpa seaweed are now spreading in our environment and threatening local fauna and flora and causing considerable damage to ecosystems and biodiversity. Such cases of "invasive alien species" can also threaten public health, damage crops and livestock and have serious economic effects. The European Commission is considering ways to tackle this problem, including a new dedicated legislative instrument, and seeking views through an on-line consultation on how to deal with the issue most effectively. The results of the consultation will feed into a proposal to appear later this year.

      Further information
    • Health

      2012-02-02 - Medical devices: European Commission asks for further scientific study and draws first lessons from the recent fraud on breast implants

      Following today's publication of the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) on the safety of silicone products manufactured by the Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) Company, the European Commission requested to conduct further in-depth study on the potential health impact of faulty breast implants.

      Further information
      2012-02-15 - Putting EU cancer legislation in the spotlight

      Children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer face an additional challenge: EU legislation has had a negative impact on the treatment received by these patients. This is the message that was presented at International Childhood Cancer Day, a European Parliament event that brought together key figures in Brussels, Belgium on 15 February. Hosted in association with the European Society for Paediatric Oncology (SIOPE), the meeting's primary objective was to increase awareness of the issues children with cancer and their caregivers confront as a result of the EU Clinical Trials Directive (CTD).

      Further information
    • Transport

      2012-02-28 - EU helps to mobilise investments for transport on the Europe–Caucasus–Asia corridor

      Today the European Commission hosts the Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia (TRACECA) Investment Forum to help attract investments into transport infrastructure between the EU and Central Asia. The high level conference brings together representatives of the international donor community and the countries in TRACECA to discuss potential funding for priority projects.

      Further information
    • Space

      2012-02-02 - New satellites and launchers ensure Galileo start in 2014

      With the signature of further contracts for satellites and launchers in London today, Galileo is firmly on track for the provision of improved satellite navigation services to citizens in 2014. In total, 3 contracts were signed: the contract signed with OHB System AG (DE) comprising 8 satellites for an amount in the order of €250 million. A second contract was signed with Arianespace (FR) for a booking option of up to 3 launches using Ariane 5 (booking fee of €30 million). A third contract was signed with Astrium SAS (FR) to enable the current Ariane 5 launcher to carry 4 Galileo programme satellites per launch into orbit, for an amount in the order of €30 million. Galileo satellites are currently launched in pairs aboard the Russian Soyuz rocket. Thanks to the highly competitive proposal of the contractor and increasing the number of satellites which will be launched in orbit by 2014, the Commission has been able to accelerate the process.

      Further information
    • Agriculture and fisheries

      2012-02-15 - European Union and United States agree to Historic New Partnership on Organic Trade

      The European Union and the United States announced today that beginning June 1, 2012, organic products certified in Europe or in the United States may be sold as organic in either region. This partnership between the two largest organic-producers in the world will establish a strong foundation from which to promote organic agriculture, benefiting the growing organic industry and supporting jobs and businesses on a global scale. The organics sector in the United States and European Union is valued at roughly €40 billion combined, and rising every year.

      Further information
      2012-02-16 - Commission to recover € 54.3 million of CAP expenditure from the Member States

      A total of €115.2 million of EU agricultural policy funds unduly spent by Member States is being claimed back by the European Commission today under the so-called clearance of accounts procedure. As some of these amounts have already been recovered from the Member States, the financial impact is somewhat lower at €54.3 million. This money returns to the EU budget because of non-compliance with EU rules or inadequate control procedures on agricultural expenditure. Member States are responsible for paying out and checking expenditure under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and the Commission is required to ensure that Member States have made correct use of the funds.

      Further information
      2012-02-29 - Innovation Partnerships: new proposals on raw materials, agriculture and healthy ageing to boost European competitiveness

      The European Commission has today proposed decisive action to meet three key challenges facing our society, in areas that are crucial to growth and jobs: the supply of raw materials, sustainable agriculture, and active and healthy ageing. All three require a more concerted innovation effort across the public and private sector, in order to improve quality of life and position Europe as a global leader. The Commission has therefore launched two new European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs) - on Raw Materials and on Agricultural Sustainability and Productivity - and has endorsed a four-year action plan for the Active and Healthy Ageing EIP, a pilot launched in February 2011. EIPs take a new approach to tackling the whole research-development-innovation chain, bringing together public and private stakeholders across borders and sectors in order to accelerate the uptake of innovation. They each have an ambitious target to reach by 2020, and are expected to start delivering results within 1-3 years. The announcement today comes just ahead of a European Council that is expected to reaffirm the place of research and innovation at the centre of European economic recovery.

      Further information
    • Energy

      2012-02-01 - EESC gives new momentum to European energy policy

      In a bid to advocate its proposal for the European Energy Community as a means of achieving a common EU energy policy, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and European think-tank Notre Europe brought together prominent EU decision makers, stakeholders and civil society representatives at a major conference.

      Further information
      2012-02-17 - Digital Agenda: EU funded project helps citizens compare and reduce their energy consumption via TV, PC and social networks applications

      Citizens and business often waste energy because they do not realise which appliances and lighting use the most energy. An EU-funded project tested in the United Kingdom and Bulgaria is helping to change that – showing consumers reduced energy usage by an average of 8% when provided with an "information dashboard" about their energy use.

      Further information
      2012-02-29 - MEPs give go-ahead for energy efficiency negotiations in historic European Parliament energy committee vote

      Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) sitting on the European Parliament (EP) Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) have given the thumbs up to stronger binding targets for 2020 on energy efficiency. At their latest meeting on 28 February, the MEPs agreed on a series of amendments to the proposed Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) of 22 June 2011, as well as making the exceptional decision that interinstitutional negotiations with the Council of the European Union should begin straight away. All MEPs will get the chance to vote on the draft legislation at the next EP plenary session in March.

      Further information
      2012-02-29 - Innovation partnership to overcome Europe's raw materials shortages

      The supply of raw materials, the lifeblood of today's high-tech industry, is increasingly under pressure. With a view to increasing Europe's own production, the European Commission has proposed today to set up a European Innovation Partnership on raw materials. Pulling together capital and human resources, Member States, companies and researchers will join innovation efforts to support exploration, extraction and processing of raw materials. For example, it has been estimated that the value of unexploited European mineral resources at a depth of 500-1,000 metres is about € 100 billion. New technologies will help to extract deeper, in more remote areas and under harsh conditions. Action is also needed to develop substitutes for critical raw materials and to improve recycling of the 17 kg electric and electronic equipment waste that each EU citizen produces annually today.

      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