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.
Improving tax procedures for cross-border trading of securities could raise European GDP by more than 37 billion Euro over a ten-year period. This is the key finding of a study jointly carried out by the JRC's Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) and the Commission's Directorate General Internal Market and Services which analyses the costs and benefits of the proposals made by the EU Clearing and Settlement Fiscal Compliance Experts Group (FISCO) for improving and simplifying withholding tax relief procedures.
A new project has been launched which will bring together European and Turkish experts in measurement science. The JRC Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) will work with scientists from the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜB0TAK) and the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK).
On the occasion of ESOF 2010, taking place in Turin next year, an Italian national science competition has been launched: “Science, Society and Us: What can science do for society? – in the eyes of young people” (“Noi, la Scienza, La Società – Cosa può fare la scienza per la società: il punto d vista dei giovani”). The competition is open to high school students in Italy, and participants must make a 3 minute video clip. Prizes include a visit to Turin during ESOF 2010, and a study trip to Belgium organised by the JRC.
The new-look October edition of the JRC Newsletter has been published and can be downloaded here. It features an editorial from Matthias Ruete, Director-General for Energy and Transport at the European Commission, on the SET-Plan and its role in the EU's energy and climate change policies.
The Trans-Atlantic Science for Policy Workshop at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra brought together a unique group of 22 individuals with pertinent experiences of real-life scientific support to policy-making. These parliamentarians, science advisers, heads of European and international organisations, leaders of science foundations and academies, plus senior NGO representatives and CEOs from industry, represent all aspects of science-policy interaction from conception and development to implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
The Workshop initiative succeeded in allowing this group to take a step back to debate with and to learn from each other and, most importantly, to identify best practices and pitfalls on both sides of the Atlantic. Participants appreciated the emphasis on looking at things from new and unexpected angles, while reaching firm conclusions about the challenge of "evidence-based policy versus policy-biased evidence".
Next steps will be for the JRC and AAAS to finalise a list of recommendations on behalf of all participants to be used accordingly within their own organisations and networks on both sides of the Atlantic.
The day before the workshop, Dr. Norman P. Neureiter, Director of the AAAS Center for Science, Technology & Security Policy gave a special lecture on "The challenge of providing science advice to Governments". And to commemorate the occasion, a coast redwood tree was planted on the JRC Ispra site.
Participants took the chance to visit some of the Joint Research Centre's unique laboratories, including the Vehicle Emissions Laboratory (JRC-IES), the European Laboratory for Structural Assessment (JRC-IPSC), and Systems Toxicology and Nanobiosciences at the Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (JRC-IHCP).
A smaller follow-up meeting is planned to take place at the AAAS Annual Meeting in February 2010 in San Diego where the JRC and AAAS aim to take the debate further. Based on inputs from the Workshop, a high-level panel to include Alan Leshner, Roland Schenkel and British and Irish Chief Science Advisors, John Beddington and Patrick Cunningham, will also present a session on "science-based policy versus policy-biased evidence" at the EuroScience Open Forum meeting in Turin in July 2010.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the JRC's Institute for Energy (IE) strengthened their ongoing collaboration yesterday with the official signing of a 'Practical Arrangement' which will allow both partners to further develop scientific and technical co-operation in the fields of nuclear safety, nuclear technology and energy planning issues.
At this year's Annual Congress of the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM 2009), the JRC's work in the field of alpha immunotherapy received special recognition. The presentation by Frank Bruchertseifer of the JRC Institute for Transuranium Elements (ITU) was nominated for the EANM 2009 Marie Curie Award and received the Eckert and Ziegler Award (Top 5 papers presented by young investigators below 38 years of age). The paper describes methods for the production of the alpha emitters Th-226 and Bi-213 and compares their therapeutic efficacy in vitro and in vivo.
A fully computerised Nuclear Material Accountancy and Control (NMAC) system will soon be in place at the Russian Mayak reprocessing plant located in Ozersk in the Chelyabinsk region. The project, technically managed by the JRC in the framework of the European Commission's TACIS Programme, is the first one of its kind to conceive and implement such a system in a Russian designed nuclear reprocessing facility. After validation, the complete system is likely to become a prototype for all Russian reprocessing plants. This important achievement marks a significant step forward in securing nuclear material in the Russian Federation.
Illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive material remains a reason for concern and a threat to our security. The recent survey on radiological vulnerability in the EU identified the need for training of first responders at the European level. The JRC has been tasked by the Commission's Directorate General for Justice, Freedom and Security to create a European Security Training Centre and to provide a training session demonstrating the JRC's capabilities. A seminar dedicated to the response to nuclear security incidents is being held this week (14 – 16 October) at the Institute for Transuranium Elements (ITU) in Karlsruhe. This follows the first pilot session for training in the area of prevention and detection in nuclear security that was recently held by the Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) at the JRC Ispra site.