Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

19/09/2014 - 10:51

Intense work – and little sleep – to connect the EU with Taiwan


The EU has not given up on semiconductors. On the contrary! This type of material and its value chain are key for our economy. It is one of the messages of our electronics strategy for Europe. The semiconductor ecosystem itself employs approximately 250,000 people directly in Europe. More than 800,000 people work on the integration of components into systems, applications and services across Europe, and more than 2,500,000 are employed in the complete components value chain. Our objective is to double the economic value of the semiconductor component production in Europe by 2020-2025. This will mobilise €100 billion in private investments and create

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17/09/2014 - 01:43

Connecting the oceans: Sounds good!


This is a guest blog post written by journalist and science writer Marco Merola, SUNRISE Press manager on behalf of the University of Rome “La Sapienza”

Connecting the oceans appears to be madness, a project from “the twilight zone.” However, similar thoughts were circulating when mankind, years ago, decided to send a probe on Mars. And there is still somebody who thinks it is crazy that some governments are talking about going back to the Moon, now that transmissions from our satellite can count on communication standards remarkably more sophisticated and efficient than those available in 1969.

There is, however, a fundamental difference between space exploration and the exploration of the seas: Despite centuries of navigations on its surface, the ocean remains largely an uncharted “

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16/09/2014 - 16:09

e-Identification and trust services: living online without borders


Imagine you want to enrol online in a university abroad and your electronic identification is not accepted. What would you do? Probably you would need to visit the university offices in person and fill in tons of paper files. Or what if you want to sign a contract online with an EU foreign counterpart and your electronic signature is not recognised? These are only few of the questions that the Regulation on electronic identification and trust services (eIDAS) addresses.

Today is a big day for my team and me: after two years of hard work and fruitful collaboration with the co-legislators, the eIDAS Regulation enters into force. We now have a predictable regulatory environment for electronic identification, electronic trust services - electronic signatures,

16/09/2014 - 15:37

ARCAS project: Manipulation and assembly in the air: the new powerful drones


This is a guest blog post by Anibal Ollero, Coordinator of the ARCAS project, professor at the University of Seville and Scientific Advisor of FADA-CATEC

Work at heights

Works at height could be very dangerous and difficult. Imagine for example installation and maintenance works in communication towers or in skyscrapers. The same applies to electrical lines, wind turbines, high pipes in refineries just to mention a few. These works require scaffolding, or climbing using rigging systems and are either dangerous or costly or both.

Search and rescue, or post disaster intervention in general, also require aerial transportation to otherwise inaccessible sites. In such cases piloted aircrafts and particularly helicopters are used. They are also deployed in some of the above mentioned maintenance activities. However

16/09/2014 - 11:26

Preparing the next steps of the Human Brain Project


Independent experts have now completed their evaluation of the HBP's proposal for a Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA). The experts found the proposal very good and recommended some improvements, which the HBP consortium will integrate into an amended FPA. These include its governance structure; the need to focus its scientific orientations in line with those defined in the original project; and the effective integration of the cognitive neuroscience community. The Consortium has also been asked to propose transparent mechanisms to further develop its partnership and meet the requirements of its evolving research agenda. This agenda – which receives funding from Horizon 2020 – is due to be revised and submitted to the Commission for review every 2 years, before being approved for implementation.

I welcome the fact that

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05/09/2014 - 12:44

Science at 'state of the art', art at 'state of the science': Music Tech Fest, the global festival of music ideas

European history is full of people who make a difference by combining artistic and scientific thinking. In the world of music, for instance, Busoni, Russolo, Theremin, Schaeffer, Varèse and Stockhausen expanded the boundaries of the art by exploring the creative possibilities of cutting edge technologies. Daphne Oram and Delia Derbyshire at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop - and later, the Beatles and Radiohead - all famously pushed at the limits of technical musical production in order to reimagine what music could be. 

Just as science has a 'state of the art', art has a 'state of the science'.

In 1959 CP Snow gave a lecture at Cambridge University called 'The Two Cultures and The Scientific Revolution'. It

07/08/2014 - 15:08

Ethics at the core of the CEEDs project

This is a guest blog post written by CEEDs' Coordinator, Professor Jonathan Freeman, Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths University of London

There have been some exciting few years for me working with all the project partners in CEEDs; working to develop new tools to make exploring multimodal representations of big data more fruitful, easier, and more intuitive.  And doing this by focusing these new tools on our own, as users, subconscious responses to what we explore.

So you probably won’t be surprised to hear from me that from the earliest days of planning the project proposal, my colleagues and I were at the same time motivated to understand what could be possible with a system like CEEDs, and acutely

31/07/2014 - 13:10

Planning your communications strategy – a genuine way to provide your organisation with another innovation channel

Considering Henry Chesbrough's notion, we can say that Open Innovation is a process in which companies and organisations seek external ideas in order to advance in their technologies. In 2013 the OI understanding was upgraded to Open Innovation 2.0 (OI2) philosophy. At that time already the OI2 trend had been adopted by many companies in Europe, but no one had recognised it with an official update.

In May 2013 during a OI2 Conference in Dublin, Ireland a new paradigm was born – the OI2 Paradigm in which the integrated

22/07/2014 - 11:27

Air transportation will grow: time to optimize the energy operation of airports buildings!

According to long-term forecast, the demand for air travel will continuously grow in Europe in the coming decades. The Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) movements are expected to increase in a range from 1.6% to 3.9% annually between 2009 and 2030. In 2030, a 1.4-2.2 fold expansion in air traffic is expected compared to 2009 (Eurocontrol, 2010[1]). In view of this, European airports are facing a major challenge to jointly develop their capacity while reducing their environmental impact and thus contributing to the 20/20/20 targets of the European Union.

In the same time, important energy saving potentials can be harnessed just by optimizing the energy  operation of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in

18/07/2014 - 12:45

No single roadmap for understanding the human brain

The European Commission has received an open letter from a number of scientists expressing concerns about the EU's Human Brain Project, its scope and governance.

As a public research funding agency, we take all such signals seriously. We welcome debate. And we will do our best to address concerns, while bearing in mind that, overall, Brain Science is, in Europe as in the world, an increasingly diverse and very big community, with tens of thousands of actors in neuroscience alone.

The Human Brain Project (HBP) addresses what is arguably in the Top Ten unknowns facing Mankind. Understanding better our human brain is one of the greatest challenges of our century; but unlocking its mysteries is far from easy.

The HBP supported since last year by the Commission is an