Publications, project success stories, videos and expert groups reports

Find here a series of Publications and videos about EU Research & Innovation about the Environment and also visit the EU Publications for a wider selection of books, leaflets and reports..

Thematic publications

A circular economy for plastics

Insights from research and innovation to inform policy and funding decisions

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Experts from across the plastics value chain have developed policy recommendations and identified R&I priorities for transitioning towards a circular economy for plastics. These insights are based on evidence extracted from EU-funded projects and the wider scientific community. They are gathered in an expert policy report to inform policy and funding decisions on a circular economy for plastics.

Report on Horizon 2020 R&I projects supporting the transition to a Circular Economy

The EU action plan for the Circular Economy supports the transition towards an economy in which valuable materials, products and resources are maintained as long as possible while reducing the generation of waste. Knowledge, innovation and investments are essential in generating the systemic changes needed to close the loop.

The present report provides an overview of over 250 projects financed in 2016-2018 by the Horizon 2020 programme that contribute to the different stages of a circular economy (production, consumption and waste). The fields covered are very diverse and address all kinds of production processes, new bio-based and biodegradable products, substitution or recovery of raw materials, conversion of CO2, packaging, plastics, etc. Since 2018, an ambitious Focus Area entitled ‘Connecting economic and environmental gains – the Circular Economy’ mobilises substantial resources to develop new technologies and new business models and facilitate their uptake by industry and SMEs.

In addition, many other fields within the Horizon 2020 programmes contribute to the circular economy package (e.g. bioeconomy, resource and energy efficiency, SMEs dedicated programmes). Altogether, the presented projects are mobilising around EUR 1,450 million, of which more than EUR 1,237 million as EU funding.

EU Research & Innovation for and with cities
Yearly mapping report 2017

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This report provides an overview of the main EU Research and Innovation (R&I) actions for and with cities, promoted both at the European and international level to foster sustainable urban development. In addition it presents a detailed overview of budget of Horizon 2020 and the past three research Framework Programmes (FP7, FP6 and FP5) committed to city-related projects.

Interim evaluation of Horizon 2020 - Societal challenge 5 : climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials

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This publication constitutes the contribution of the Horizon 2020’s Societal Challenge 5, ‘Climate action, environment, raw materials and resource efficiency’, to the overall Interim Evaluation of Horizon 2020, the Framework Programme for research and innovation (2014-2020). It follows the structure and principles established in the European Commission’s Better Regulation Guidelines: intervention logic, relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, consistency and European added-value. It covers the two first work programmes of Horizon 2020, 2014-15 and 2016-17, but it has been prepared only when the topics going from 2014 to 2016 have been evaluated, and very few projects are delivering results. Therefore, its conclusions are mainly based of expected results, based on the intervention logic and on extrapolations of FP7, the predecessor to Horizon 2020.

Research*eu - Resource efficiency : powering green growth for Europe

Europe aims to obtain 20 % of its growth from industrial processes by 2020 and at the same time has set itself incredibly ambitious environmental targets. To achieve these conflicting ambitions in the face of limited natural resources, resource efficiency must be prioritised. This will not only contribute to the growth of a truly green economy but will also open many new economic opportunities for European businesses, including SMEs.

A European research and innovation roadmap for climate services

The ambition of this roadmap is to offer a framework for discussion to the relevant actors and stakeholders. It paves the way to shared solutions and pathways facilitating the development of a market for climate services that provides benefits to society. This document offers an essential contribution to achieving the EU objectives of an Energy Union with a forward looking climate policy .

Building a "joint European and African agenda research & innovation agenda on waste management"

The intention of this paper is to inform and to mobilise stakeholders from business, academia and government towards the implementation of a “Joint European-African Research and Innovation Agenda on Waste Management” (JR&IA) with the goal of advancing collaborative research and innovation between Africa and Europe in the area of waste management; and to leverage institutional, technical, and financial resources to support such collaboration.

Circular approaches to phosphorus

This report constitutes a summary of presentations and discussions which took place at the workshop ‘Circular approaches to phosphorus: from research to deployment’ held in Berlin in 2015. Bringing together research and demonstration projects on phosphorus recovery and recycling from across Europe, with industry practitioners and experts

EU Research - Biodiversity

Humanity has rarely faced a challenge as significant as ensuring the survival of our species through the sustainable use of the living world of which we are a part. Ever since humans mastered fire, invented tools, and discovered agriculture, nature has been viewed as a source of strength and growth on which we depend.

EU Research - Climate Change

Research in the environmental sciences is necessary for a better understanding of the underlying principles of climate change and its effects. But simply understanding how and why climate change is occurring is not enough. We also need to know its impacts and how to respond.

EU research - Cultural heritage

Europe’s cultural heritage is invaluable for its citizens and is irreplaceable. It provides an opportunity to gain understanding of the past and promotes a sense of social and common identity. Overtime, however, the fragility of European cultural heritage has increased and its vulnerability to the harmful effects of climate change, pollution, natural and man-made disasters, neglect, vandalism and tourism become more evident. Changing landscapes, deforestation and coastal erosion due to increasing urbanisation also take their toll. To avoid irreversible damage and loss, appropriate action is needed at every level.

EU research - Earth observations

The Earth's atmosphere, oceans and landscapes are changing rapidly, with human activities being a major driver. Monitoring and modelling the changes are critical because they allow governments, society and the private sector to make informed decisions about climate, energy, food security, natural hazards, health and other societal challenges.

EU Research - Environment and health

The best scientific evidence now indicates that chemicals in our air, water, soil, food, homes, schools and work places can be important causative factors in many human diseases and health conditions. The European Union is concerned about this problem and is supporting research aimed at better understanding the risks.

EU Research – International cooperation

A large number of the challenges facing us today, whether socio-economic, environmental or scientific, are common to many countries. Globalisation, and the rapid development into world markets of emerging economies like Brazil, China and India further amplifies these challenges.

EU Research - Marine environment

As the last frontier on planet Earth, our seas and oceans are still relatively unexplored, but they have long been exploited extensively for mineral and biological resources, and more recently for oil and gas. With marine-based scientific activities and ‘blue growth’ now widely seen as sources of new economic prosperity, the need to better manage and protect our European waters is more urgent than ever.

EU Research - Natural hazards and disasters

There has never been a time when natural hazards did not regularly and profoundly affect life on earth. Tales of torrents, floods and earthly upheaval appear in our most ancient myths, and such events have played and continue to play, now more than ever, an integral part in the natural history of our planet.

EU Research - Social innovation for sustainability

Moving towards a greener economy while keeping the quality of development sustainable is a major challenge. This entails, among other factors, good policy-making, changes in societal and individual lifestyles, ethical consumerism and, perhaps most importantly, good research to understand all of the factors at play.

EU Research - Soil and sustainable land use management

Competition for land in Europe is increasing, due to a growing population and increasing demands, especially in cities. Housing, a growing infrastructure, industry, agriculture and leisure are not easy to accommodate.

EU Research – Water

Today, economic development, growing populations and increasing degradation of the environment all make sustainable exploitation of resources a priority, and no resource is more fundamental to our well-being than water.

EU Research - Waste as a resource

As today’s consumer society has expanded, so has the consumption of resources and the waste it produces. Domestic waste, industrial waste… the population of the EU throws away 2.7 billion tonnes of it every year, of which 98 million tonnes are hazardous. The greatest waste stream comes from construction and demolition waste.

EU Research - Systemic eco-innovation

Trends in the consumption of resources have been constantly increasing over the last decades, while pressures are being placed on the environment. These are challenges where single eco-innovative solutions alone are not enough. There is a need to address breakthroughs in innovation for a systemic change and to move beyond classical boundaries of production and consumption, bringing economic and environmental benefits to society as a whole.

A European research and innovation roadmap for climate services

The ambition of this roadmap is to offer a framework for discussion to the relevant actors and stakeholders. It paves the way to shared solutions and pathways facilitating the development of a market for climate services that provides benefits to society.

EU research for the environment 2007-2013

A summary of environmental research funded by the European Union, providing the context of environmental research and giving an overview of the ten research priorities within the “Environment” research theme.

Success Stories

A bright future for perovskites in lighting and displays

ImageEU-funded researchers behind a breakthrough solar-energy technology have also laid the material foundations for a new generation of digital displays that could surpass latest-generation OLED screens in brightness, colour range and energy efficiency.

Read more Success Stories

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