Under a new agreement concluded today by the European Union and the United States, scientists and researchers from both continents will be working closer together to more strategically address common environmental challenges. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the United States government and the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union (EU), have agreed on an “Implementing Arrangement on Environmental Research and Ecoinformatics” (the science of information in ecology and environmental science) which was negotiated under the auspices of the bilateral Science and Technology Agreement between the United States and the European Union.
“This bilateral research framework marks a new level of collaboration between the US EPA and the Commission to help ensure that our efforts to protect the environment and public health, while promoting wealth through eco-innovation, are strongly supported by sound science. The collaboration will bring closer together scientists who are involved in policy analysis research and in this way help mutual understanding of topical environmental policy questions" said José Manuel Silva Rodríguez, Director-General for Research of the European Commission.
Following EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson's signature in Washington, Director-General José Manuel Silva Rodríguez signed the implementing arrangement on the margins of the EU-US Joint Consultative Group meeting on 9 February in Brussels. The Joint Consultative Group monitors the bilateral science and technology cooperation and discussed new transatlantic initiatives.
Among the collaborative research topics included in the Implementing Arrangement are:
- environmental information systems;
- development of environmental and sustainability indicators;
- environmental modelling;
- decision support tools;
- environment and health;
- sustainable chemistry and materials;
- uses and impacts of nanotechnology;
- environmental technologies and
- air quality management.
Cooperation under the EPA-EC Implementing Arrangement is expected to take many forms, including direct collaboration between US and European researchers and consortia; joint sponsorship of conferences, workshops and meetings; coordinated calls for proposals and mutual participation in peer reviews and exchanges of information, methodologies and data.
An opportunity to turn this arrangement into practice is cooperation under the newly launched 7 th EU Research Framework Programme (FP7, 2007-2013). Certain relevant topics are included already in the first calls for proposals which were launched a few weeks ago with deadline for proposal submission in May 2007. The calls are published on www.cordis.europa.eu/fp7.
The signed text of the implementing agreement between the EC and the US EPA can be downloaded (5 pages, PDF, 1.4 MB).
Birgit de Boissezon, Head of Unit
European Commission: Research DG, Environment – Horizontal Aspects and Coordination
Tel: +32.2.299 47 15
Michael H. Wappelhorst, Press and information officer, Research DG
Tel.: +32.2.298 75 75, Fax: +32.2.295 82 20