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25 January 2011

GMES improves iceberg forecasting and air quality monitoring
GMES improves iceberg forecasting and air quality monitoring

Two important European Commission-funded projects were launched in January 2011 for the implementation of Europe's Global Monitoring system for Environment and Security, GMES, following the recent signature of two contracts worth EUR 2 million each.


The Icemar project paves the way, for example, for a shortened safe shipping line between Europe and China by bringing better iceberg forecasts to ships in the Arctic Ocean and the Baltic seas.


The obsAIRve project will provide real time air quality information and alerts on levels of pollutant emissions, primarily Sulphur Oxides (SOx), Nitrogen Oxide (NOx), Ozone (O3), Carbon Monoxide (CO), and Particulate Matter (PM), delivered directly to the user online, via smart phone platforms and SMS messages. Icemar and obsAIRve services will be available to citizens by the end of 2012.

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Vice-President

Antonio Tajani

Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship

"European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: "GMES helps us make informed choices in areas concerning our environment, health, safety and security. The signature of these contracts is another important step in moving GMES from a research initiative to an information service to the benefit of citizens, businesses and public institutions.""

Vice-President A. Tajani website

Vice-President Antonio Tajani - Commissioner for Enterprise & Industry
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Commission presents midterm review of Galileo and EGNOS

 
Commission presents midterm review of Galileo and EGNOS

The European Commission presented its midterm review on the development of Europe�s satellite navigation programmes Galileo and EGNOS on 18 January 2011. Recent progress in the development of Galileo, including the signature of four major contracts and the testing of the first four operational satellites, means the satellite navigation system will deliver initial services in 2014. It is expected to help secure a bigger share of the space technology market and bring European independence in a sector that is important for its economy and for the well-being of its citizens. There has also been considerable progress with the EGNOS programme which increases the accuracy of signals from satellite navigation systems.

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EU RTD funding � changes to cut red tape for researchers and SMEs

 
EU RTD funding � changes to cut red tape for researchers and SMEs

The European Commission has adopted measures to make participation in the EU's current Seventh Framework Programme for Research more accessible to the best researchers and most innovative companies, such as:


Allowing more flexibility in how personnel costs are calculated so that EU research grant-holders can apply their usual accounting methods when requesting reimbursement for average personnel costs.


SME owners whose salaries are not formally registered in their accounts can now be reimbursed.

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European Small Business Portal to assist SMEs

 
European Small Business Portal to assist SMEs

The 21 language versions of the European Small Business Portal are designed for users across Europe, from new entrepreneurs looking for EU level financing to those interested in finding new markets, partners or specific support services. The website also contains news and information on events and examples of successful SMEs which received EU support.

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Does Corporate Responsibility Pay Off ?

 
CSR - Rimas Report

Europe should develop sector-specific approaches on corporate social responsibility (CSR) to help boost the competitiveness of its industry, says a new report requested by the Commission. The report looks at the connections between CSR and competitiveness in three sectors: chemicals, textiles and construction.

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