News archives - Year 2006
expenditure: Private research investment in EU clocks significant
This years EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard has revealed that private research investment in the EU rose by 5.3% in 2005, with pharmaceuticals and biotechnology among the leading sectors. This, along with a strong growth outlook by European firms surveyed, is good news for Europe.
Energy, Environment: GM bacteria fuel hopes for sustainable bio-diesel
According to the latest climate models, global warming is occurring faster than previously thought, making the EU’s bid to switch to renewable energy sources all the more pressing. German scientists have uncovered a novel way of using genetically modified bacteria to produce bio-diesel which could make bio-fuels a more feasible alternative in the future.
R&D, Expenditure: Private research investment in EU set to accelerate
European companies expect to boost their R&D investment by some 5% per year over the next three years, according to a new survey by the Commission’s Joint Research Centre. The biotechnology, pharmaceutical and chemicals sectors account for most of that growth.
Research, Policy: Technology platforms no wild goose chase
Migratory birds co-operate closely to reach better climes; the same applies to collaborative research, particularly technology platforms, according to Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik.
Research, planning: Food for Life technology platform launches public consultation
The knowledge-based bio-economy edged a step closer to bearing fruit with the launch of an on-line consultation by the Food for Life technology platform. The opinions of stakeholders will help it in the drafting of its final strategic research agenda (SRA).
Research, funding: Seventh Framework Programme nears fruition
Following an eleventh-hour breakthrough on EU funding for embryonic stem cell research, the Competitiveness Council of Ministers managed to give the Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7) its stamp of approval.
Research, intellectual property: Huge gender chasm in patenting among life scientists
Male academics register patents at twice the rate of their female colleagues, despite equivalent levels of scientific achievements, a new US study has discovered.
Biotechnology, strategy: Commission invites stakeholders to review biotech strategy
As part of the mid-term review of the Commission’s 2002-2010 life science and biotechnology strategy, stakeholders have until the end of September to voice their opinion of this key policy document.
Basic research, funding: Forthcoming European Research Council to place its trust in youth and individuality
Once it is launched next year, the European Research Council – which has the task of overseeing EU funding of basic research – will focus on youth, individuality and simplicity, according to the ERC’s Scientific Council.
Biotechnology, policy: Stakeholders attend round-table discussion of biotech competitiveness
The Austrian and Finnish presidencies of the EU co-hosted a round table on boosting the competitiveness of EU biotechnology in the context of the Commission’s 2002-2010 life science and biotechnology strategy, which is currently up for mid-term review.
Opinion, survey: Eurobarometer registers growing public trust in biotechnology
European citizens are becoming increasingly confident that biotechnology will have a positive influence on their lives, despite concerns over some of its applications, the latest Eurobarometer survey has revealed.
Co-operation, life sciences: New mandate for transatlantic biotech dialogue
Europe and the United States have agreed, for the fourth time, to renew the mandate of the EC-US Task Force on Biotechnology Research which seeks to peer into the future of this exciting field.
Biotechnology, study: European biotech – innovative but strapped for cash
Europe is an explosive incubator of new biotechnological ideas, but growth is hampered by a severe lack of venture capita, an industry study comparing the biotechnology sector on both sides of the Atlantic has found.
Research, funding: Nascent European Research Council delivers launch strategy
If Member States agree to set up a European Research Council - which would be charged with promoting basic research - it will start off by focusing on supporting both young and experienced independent researchers conducting such fundamental research, according to the ERC's provisional Scientific Council.
R&D, innovation: Technology platforms drive innovation and demand for new technologies
Technology platforms - which coordinate research and innovation in various knowledge-intensive sectors in Europe - are an important socio-economic 'comparative advantage' for the Union and can help drive demand for new technologies, according to Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik.
Research, strategy: 'Food for life' technology platform delivers its Strategic Research Agenda
Food for life', an EU-backed technology platform charged with breathing new life into the food and drink industry through research and innovation, has released a draft of its Strategic Research Agenda (SRA).
Agriculture, regulation: Stakeholders come together to discuss coexistence
The Austrian Presidency recently hosted a conference on crop coexistence which allowed stakeholders to help flesh out a Commission report on the subject.
Genetics, research: No consensus on embryonic stem cells under FP7
EU research ministers failed to reach a consensus on the funding of research involving embryonic stem cells under the forthcoming Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), leaving in place the current piecemeal system.
Biotechnology, fair: EU makes its presence felt at BIO 2006
The European pavilion at this year’s BIO annual convention, the world’s largest biotechnology trade fair, was a great hit.
Research, policy: How less can be more in the sustainable energy equation
Under the slogan ‘doing more with less’, the Commission’s new Green Paper on energy efficiency outlines a two-pronged approach to reducing energy consumption in Europe. It seeks to enhance energy efficiency and developing technologies based on renewable fuels, particularly bio-fuels.
Agriculture, regulation: Freedom of choice through coexistence
Crop coexistence has become an accepted tool for placing the choice of what kind of food to grow and consume firmly in the hands of farmers and consumers. This raises the question of whether coexistence regimens should be imposed at EU, national or regional levels? A Commission report and stakeholder conference explore the issue.
Research, plant sciences: Harvesting the potential of bio-renewables
As fossil fuels become costly in both environmental and economic terms, the search is on for more sustainable solutions. The EU-backed EPOBIO project aims to find ways of bypassing the ‘fossilised’ economy by developing plant-based alternatives.
Research, food: Food safety fears dropping on Europeans’ “worry list”
Efforts by the European Union to improve food safety and security appear to be winning the ‘hearts and minds’ of European citizens, according to a recent special Eurobarometer survey on risk issues related to food.
The question of whether life science communication should be tailored specifically for men and women or whether communicators should take a one-size-fits-all approach was the off-beat subject of a recent Commission-hosted workshop. Communication, workshop: Do we need ‘gender-tailored’ or ‘unisex’ life science communications?
Research, health: (Bio)Marking the spot to improve our children’s health
Current scientific literature gives a fairly decent account of early childhood development and health, including nutrition and what might constitute a risk. But what is missing is the bigger picture connecting, for example, exposure to potentially harmful chemicals during all stages of a baby’s development, including in utero, maternal and paternal aspects.
Conference, review: Reaping the first buds of the knowledge-based bio-economy
Most people with some grounding in EU policy will have heard of the knowledge-based economy. The knowledge-based bio-economy represents the cutting-edge of a €1.6-trillion slice of the European economy. A recent conference explored how the life sciences and biotechnology can promote growth in this important sector.
Renewable energy, strategy: Towards greener energy with Biomass Action Plan
As the latest UN Climate conference breathed new life into the Kyoto Protocol, the EU launched its ambitious Biomass Action Plan which seeks to reduce oil imports and greenhouse gas emission by developing and using renewable bio-energy technologies.
Research, funding: Final deal on FP7 tops Austrian presidency’s agenda
As Austria takes over the reins of the EU presidency for the first half of 2006, it has indicated its intention to wrap up a deal between Member States on the forthcoming Seventh Framework Programme for research (FP7) to ensure that it kicks off on time in 2007.