Beam me up! More than 200 events will be held across the European Union today as part of the sixth annual 'European Researchers' Night', which aims to promote careers in science and research. Around 500,000 people are expected to attend the events, which range from a virtual eco-system disco to laboratory-induced indoor lightning and an exploration of the science – fact and fiction – that lies behind teleportation and invisibility. Star Trek and Harry Potter fans may be surprised to learn that their heroes' disappearing acts are not necessarily pure fantasy.
It is estimated that 11% of small and medium-sized businesses lose contracts due to a lack language skills. The cost of these missed opportunities can run into millions of euro and threaten jobs. This year’s European Day of Languages, which takes place on and around 26 September, will focus on languages for business. On 24 September, Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, will address a conference in Brussels on ‘Languages for SMEs’ and meet representatives of European businesses whose language skills have translated into profits. With its 23 official languages and over 40 regional and minority languages, the EU forms a unique multilingual community of countries and people. The European Day of Languages was launched in 2001 to celebrate this diversity and to highlight the importance of languages in our private and professional lives.
Grundtvig helps adults boost their skills and employability by providing financial support for training courses and learning mobility. The Commission believes this support is needed more than ever to overcome the crisis and to free up all of Europe's growth potential, by ensuring that those who missed opportunities in the past are able to flourish in the future. Over the past decade, the programme has invested €370 million in the adult education sector and provided 17 000 grants for organisations involving an estimated 500 000 participants
The European Commission and the governments of the USA and Canada will jointly invest €15 million on new transatlantic education partnerships involving 160 universities and training institutions and thousands of students on both sides of the Atlantic. Commissioner Vassiliou said: "In today's globalised world, investment in education with an international dimension is more important than ever if we are to equip young people with the skills they need to succeed in the knowledge economy."
Nearly 5 000 researchers have applied for EU-funded Marie Curie fellowship grants this year, an increase of 20% on last year and 70% on 2008. Around 800 fellowships worth a total of €150 million will be granted to researchers working on projects of up to three years in another country. For the first time, a funding category is available for researchers who want to restart their career after a break.
The European Commission today welcomed the launch of "Education at a Glance 2010", a new report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) which underlines the need for governments to support world-class quality in their education systems to ensure long-term growth and to fight unemployment. 21 EU countries are covered by the report, which draws on data collected jointly with Eurostat and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The report looks at what is spent on education, how education systems operate and what results are achieved. For the Commission, the report provides evidence and data in support of its Europe 2020 education targets to reduce early school leaving and to boost university education.
Secondary schools wishing to enter pupils for the 2010 EU Young Translator Contest can register from today at http://ec.europa.eu/translatores. The registration period for the contest, known as ‘Juvenes Translatores’ (Latin for 'young translators’), runs until 20 October. The online application form is available in all official EU languages. The competition, which is open to pupils born in 1993, will be held on 23 November, at the same time in all selected schools.
The European Commission, the European Parliament, Member States and the Council of Europe are ready to cooperate further on the promotion of the "Cultural Routes". This is the message the main European key players in the tourism sector have made clear today in Brussels, where the Commission is celebrating the European Tourism Day on the occasion of the World Tourism Day. Since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009, the European Union has the new role to promote the competitiveness of its tourism sector, its sustainable and quality-based development and the visibility of Europe as an outstanding tourist destination.
The European Commission announced a new strategy today aimed at helping European cinemas to go digital and to encourage more of them to screen European-made films, thus ensuring a wider choice for cinema-goers. The cost of digital equipment is prohibitive for many small cinemas and the Commission's strategy sets out options for financial support, including state-aid and backing from the European Regional Development Fund and EU MEDIA programme, which supports the film industry. One of the opportunities created by the move to digital is to increase the feasibility of converting films made in the first years of cinema to preserve them for future generations.
The panel responsible for selecting the European Capital of Culture for 2015 in the Czech Republic recommended yesterday in Prague that the title be awarded to Pilsen. The other Czech city still in contention was Ostrava. The formal nomination of Pilsen by the Council of Ministers will probably take place in May 2011.
Five million young Europeans are looking for a job. Many of them will miss opportunities because they lack the right qualifications or experience. Today, the European Commission launches Youth on the Move, a new flagship initiative aimed at helping these young people to gain the knowledge, skills and experience they need to make their first job a reality.
'Youth on the Move' – one of the flagship initiatives in the Europe 2020 growth strategy, will be launched on 15 September 2010. On 17 September, Commissioner Vassiliou will take part in a 'Youth on the Move' debate. This is your chance to ask the Commissioner anything you like about EU policy on education, training and mobility - don't miss it!