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EU, US, Canada launch Atlantic Ocean research alliance
The European Union, the United States and Canada today agreed to join forces on Atlantic Ocean research. The agreement focuses on aligning the ocean observation efforts of the three partners. The goals are to better understand the Atlantic Ocean and to promote the sustainable management of its resources. The work will also study the interplay of the Atlantic Ocean with the Arctic Ocean, particularly with regards to climate change. The EU and its Member States alone invest nearly two billion euro on marine and maritime research each year. The 'Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation' was signed today at a high level conference at the Irish Marine Institute in Galway. The Prime Minister of Ireland, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, attended the event.
Monday, 13 May 2013
EU chooses finalists for innovation in public administration prizes
The European Commission has today announced the 18 public authorities shortlisted for its competition to find the most innovative public initiatives in Europe. The finalists are competing for nine prizes worth €100,000 each. The purpose of the prizes is to encourage modern approaches to public spending, which accounts on average for half of EU gross domestic product. The prize money has to be used by winning administrations to scale up and expand their winning initiatives.
Tuesday, 30 April 2013
€150 million for brain research launches EU 'Month of the Brain'
At the start of its 'European Month of the Brain' initiative, the European Commission has earmarked some €150 million of funding for 20 new international brain research projects. It will bring the total EU investment in brain research since 2007 to over €1.9 billion. The 'European Month of the Brain' (#brainmonth) will highlight European research and innovation in the area of neuroscience, cognition and related areas through over 50 events across Europe this May. The initiative aims to showcase the latest achievements in the field, but also to urge a more decisive effort to combat brain diseases.
Friday, 26 April 2013
Spotlight on Africa's life source – first Soil Atlas of Africa
The European Commission has today presented the first Soil Atlas of Africa, highlighting a vital natural resource which provides food, fodder, fuel wood, reduces flood risk and protects water supplies. With full colour maps and illustrations, the atlas explains in a simple and clear manner the diversity of soil across the African continent and emphasizes the importance of this non-renewable resource. Coordinated by the European Commission's in-house science service, the JRC, an internationally renowned group of soil scientists from Africa and Europe has contributed to this atlas. The aim is to raise awareness at all levels – from politicians to the general public - of the significance of soil to life in Africa.
Wednesday, 24 April 2013
EU research project develops new malaria test tool
An EU-funded research project aims to start testing a new diagnostic tool for malaria one year ahead of schedule. The pioneering smartphone-like device uses cutting-edge nanotechnology to detect not only the malaria infection but also any drug resistance from a pinprick of blood, taking just 15 minutes. The Nanomal project partners say if field trials later this year are successful the device could be deployed in developing countries from 2015.
Thursday, 18 April 2013
New EU training centre to combat illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive materials
The European Commission has today launched a new European nuclear security training centre (EUSECTRA) in Karlsruhe. The training centre will instruct front-line officers, trainers and experts on how to detect and respond to illicit trafficking of nuclear or other radioactive materials. EUSECTRA offers hands-on training using a wide variety of radioactive and nuclear materials and a broad selection of equipment and measurement instruments. Indoors, one of the training areas simulates airport conditions, equipped with a pedestrian portal monitor and an x-ray conveyor. Outdoors, training is provided on a variety of scenarios, providing 4 different types of radiation portal monitors.
Wednesday, 17 April 2013
EU loan guarantee agreement for innovative SMEs signed in Portugal
A new EU loan guarantee agreement for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) was signed today with BPI bank in Portugal. Under the Risk Sharing Instrument (RSI), a joint initiative of the European Investment Bank Group and the European Commission, the European Investment Fund and BPI have signed a guarantee agreement which will allow support up to €60 million of lending to innovative SMEs over the next two years.
Monday, 15 April 2013
EU launches the second edition of the Women Innovators Prize
Today, the European Commission has launched the second edition of the Women Innovators Prize to reward three women who have achieved outstanding innovations and brought them to market. The Prize aims to raise awareness of the need for more female entrepreneurs and to inspire other women to follow in their footsteps. The first prize is worth €100 000, the second prize €50 000 and third prize €25 000.
Friday, 05 April 2013
Report shows women still under-represented in EU research
Although the proportion of female researchers in Europe is increasing, the under-representation of women in scientific disciplines and careers still persists. This is the message of the latest edition of the "She Figures", published today by the European Commission. Women represent only 33% of European researchers, 20% of full professors and 15.5 % of heads of institutions in the Higher Education sector.
Tuesday, 26 March 2013
2013 GreenLight Awards: 9 companies save the yearly electricity consumption of 1200 households
Nine EU-based companies have today been recognised for their energy-saving efforts, thanks to the installation of energy-efficient lighting technologies. The winners of the European Commission's 2013 GreenLight Awards have achieved yearly electricity savings equal to the total consumption of around 1200 households (3 568,5 MWh - on average, a household consumes 3MWh/year). The winners include the international brewer AB Inbev (Belgium), which, by renovating its production facilities, achieved average energy savings of 73% in its lighting. The French fast food chain Quick, which refurbished 52 of its restaurants in France, Belgium and Luxembourg, achieved energy savings of 991 MWh/year, a 69% drop in lighting energy consumption. Brussels Airlines upgraded a maintenance hangar, reducing consumption by 68%.
Scoreboard shows EU more innovative, but gap between countries widening
Innovation performance in the EU has improved year on year in spite of the continuing economic crisis, but the innovation divide between Member States is widening. This is the result of the European Commission Innovation Union Scoreboard 2013, a ranking of EU Member States. While the most innovative countries have further improved their performance, others have shown a lack of progress. The overall ranking within the EU remains relatively stable, with Sweden at the top, followed by Germany, Denmark and Finland. Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia are the countries that have most improved since last year. Drivers of innovation growth in the EU include SMEs and the commercialisation of innovations, together with excellent research systems.
Monday, 18 March 2013
Adaptation to climate change: EU research projects presented at ECCA conference
Policy and decision-makers across Europe need improved understanding of the potential impacts of climate change at different sectors and levels, from local to national, regional and worldwide. The need to enhance understanding of climate change and its impacts, on vulnerability and adaptation policy options and measures has been reflected in the research priorities of the Environment Work Programme of the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7), which began in 2007 and ends this year. Results from this research will be presented at the European Climate Change Adaptation (ECCA) Conference, "Integrating Climate Into Action" in Hamburg, Germany, March 18-20, 2013.
Friday, 15 March 2013
Marie Curie Actions: Commission invites bids for €227m in research grants
The European Commission is inviting bids for the final tranche of Marie Curie fellowship grants allotted under the current seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7, 2007-13). Some €227 million, the highest single amount made available through the Marie Curie Actions fund, will be awarded to around 1 000 experienced researchers this year. The application process runs until 14 August 2013.
Wednesday, 06 March 2013
Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn shocked by fire at Città della Scienza in Naples, Italy
Following the fire that destroyed the Città della Scienza complex, in Naples, Italy on 5 March, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, sent the following message of support:
"The Città della Scienza has played a leading role in the communication of culture, science and technology in Italy and at international level, and has been a valuable partner in EU research projects. It has also contributed to the promotion of socio-economic development in Naples. This is terrible news for the science, research and innovation community. I send my best wishes and support to all involved in the Città della Scienza and I hope they can restart their activities very soon. We at the European Commission will offer whatever support we can."