We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
The European Commission today presented the results of the first-ever survey on creativity and innovation in schools. The results show that 94% of European teachers believe creativity is a fundamental competence to be developed at school, and 88% are convinced that everyone can be creative. In order to achieve that, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are considered very important among teachers (80%): computers, educational software, videos, online collaborative tools, virtual learning environments, interactive whiteboards, and free online material and courses. These results were presented at the Closing Conference of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation in Stockholm, 16 – 17 December.
The level of innovation in regions varies considerably across almost all EU countries. This is one of the main findings of the 2009 Regional Innovation Scoreboard (RIS), published today by the JRC's Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC), together with the Commission's Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry and the Maastricht University (MERIT).
Sensitivity analysis is more and more frequently adopted by scientists to understand numerical models that are employed to simulate and predict natural and social-economic phenomena. Sensitivity analysis is the study of how the variation in the output of a model can be apportioned, qualitatively or quantitatively, to different sources of variation.
The November edition of the JRC Newsletter has been published and can be downloaded here. It features an editorial from Martin Williams, Chair of the Executive Body of the UNECE Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution, on issues in climate change research that need to be addressed beyond the current debate.
Energy efficiency measures introduced across the European Union are already contributing to stabilise electricity consumption. A combination of labelling, minimum efficiency standards and voluntary agreements, together with national policies and incentives, have flattened the energy and electricity consumption in recent years. For the first time since 1990, final electricity consumption decreased in 2007 in EU households from 806.52 TWh in 2006 to 800.72 TWh.
Despite a general improvement in education and training performance in the EU, progress is too slow, which means that the majority of the reform targets set for 2010 will not be reached. This is the main conclusion from the 'Commission Progress Report towards the Lisbon Objectives in Education and Training - Indicators and Benchmarks 2009'. This annual report, co-authored by scientists of the JRC's Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) - Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning (CRELL), looks at Member States' progress towards five key benchmarks in education and training for 2010.
If the climate expected in the 2080s occurred today, the EU would face yearly GDP losses between €20 and €65 billion, depending on the temperature increase in Europe (2.5°C to 5.4°C). This is one of the forecasts of the final report of the PESETA study, published today by the JRC Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS). The PESETA study also looked at different regional impacts of climate change across the EU. Damages would occur mainly in Southern and Central Europe, while Northern Europe would be the sole region to benefit, in economic terms and for the aspects studied, from climate change.
The rapid growth of web 2.0, or social computing, allows users to play an influential role in the way commercial and public products and services are shaped. The report "The impact of Social Computing on the EU Information Society and Economy", published today by the JRC Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS), finds that in 2008, 41% of EU Internet users were engaged in social computing activities through Social Networking Sites (SNS), blogs, photo and video sharing, online multi-player games and collaborative platforms for content creation and sharing. This percentage rises to 64% if users aged under 24 only are considered.
The 2009 EU R&D Industrial Investment Scoreboard is now available. Worldwide corporate R&D investment has increased by 6.9% in spite of the economic crisis, according to the report. With an 8.1% increase, the R&D investment growth of EU companies, defined as companies having headquarters within the EU, is significantly higher than US ones for the second year, at 5.7%, and Japanese ones, at 4.4%.
The European Commission has opened a public consultation in order to receive input from all people and organisations involved or interested in nanosciences and nanotechnologies research in Europe, and notably researchers, policy makers, industry, media and civil society organisations.