Neelie KROES
Vice-President of the European Commission

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"Like two halves of the brain": how we're working with the US

President Obama's visit to Brussels is a reminder of how the EU and US can benefit by working together.

A roadmap for European electronics

As I blogged a couple of days ago, public-private partnerships are an important part of Horizon 2020, our new research and innovation funding programme.

Horizon 2020: Investing in our future

With nearly €80 billion on offer, the EU's new research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, will be the biggest ever. Just last week we launched it, issuing the first "calls". And already now you can start to see the difference it could make to our future.

Wanted - innovators to take part in Europe's largest app challenge!

The EU is supporting an exciting opportunity: helping innovators – especially entrepreneurs and small businesses – come up with the ideas that could power tomorrow's internet, and compete for a prize pot worth hundreds of thousands of euros.

The EU investing in innovation - new partnerships to support electronics and ageing well

In the current climate – with so many looking for work and worrying about the future – we need to look towards the future sources of growth. And today the Commission came forward with a very clear example: a package for investment and innovation; including measures to stimulate new ideas in electronics, and to support a society that is getting older.

How we're boosting trust in the cloud, post PRISM

Recent reports like about the PRISM programme bring to everyone's mind issues of security. The College of Commissioners recently discussed specific allegations about the US surveillance of EU premises; we are seeking urgent clarifications from the US. But for many people, this has brought this issue to the front: people are understandably concerned. And they are asking more general questions like: is my online data is free from hacking and spying? And: what measures can I take to stay secure online? Those are the right questions to ask.  And it is especially important as people and companies are storing more and more data in the cloud. The benefits of cloud computing are immense: but that's precisely why it's so important to restore trust. And the cloud is something particularly on my mind as I head off to Tallinn for our European Cloud Partnership.

Smart Cities – Europe's NOBEL prize

I often blog about the capacity of ICT to change lives for the better, and make a real difference on the ground. Here's one very solid example of where it's saved energy, saved public money, and empowered people to take control: the pioneering NOBEL project Nothing to do with the Prize – it refers to the Neighbourhood Oriented Brokerage ELectricity and monitoring system. Aided by EU funding, last year, Alginet in Valencia, Spain got to try it out. A small town with just over 13,000 people, the energy grid in Alginet is owned not by a commercial company, but by a cooperative – whose members are the inhabitants themselves. And they were chosen to test out an "energy brokerage system": meaning that businesses and ordinary consumers could communicate their energy needs directly to energy producers – who could in turn optimise how they produce and distribute energy.

Bananas, chocolate and sticky tape: I meet those taking forward tomorrow's technologies

The EU has long invested in research in innovation. And quite right too – because this is something essential to building a strong economy, and a strong society. Yesterday I announced two large scale programmes in particular that will benefit from that investment, on a sustained and large scale. They were: - The Graphene Flagship programme – looking at a new substance that could one day transform electronics - not to mention transport, healthcare or others. It really is a miracle material, the focus of a lot of research activity. In future maybe we'll have "Graphene Valley", instead of Silicon Valley: and maybe it will be right here in Europe. - And the Human Brain Project, looking at how this incredible machine represents reality. Not just to better our understanding of brain diseases, but maybe also as a new model for tomorrow's computers.


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