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 JRC's Institute for Energy (IE) today publishes its eighth Annual Photovoltaics Status Report. The report notes that global production of photovoltaic (PV) solar modules and panels increased to about 7.3 gigawatts (GW) in 2008, representing an 80% increase on the previous year.
The JRC lent its scientific expertise and contributed through economic analysis and scenarios to the European Commission's new Communication "Stepping up international climate finance: A European blueprint for the Copenhagen deal" and its corresponding Staff Working Paper published this week by the Commission's Environment Directorate-General.
The number of commercialised genetically modified (GM) crops in the world is foreseen to multiply by four from about 30 today to over 120 in 2015. This is the forecast presented in the report "The global pipeline of new GM crops: implications of asynchronous approval for international trade", recently published by the JRC. It features a list of new GM crops expected to be commercialised ('in the pipeline') in various parts of the world and analyses their possible impact on international trade. The report notes that their increasing number may cause trade disruptions due to asynchronous approval.
ERAWATCH, the European Commission's on-line information platform on research systems and policies in Europe and beyond, has expanded its service with a new section entitled "European Perspective", offering an overview of research policies and systems at a European level.
The JRC Institute for Transuranium Elements (ITU), together with international partners, will carry out research into the possibilities of using catalysts based on 'actinide' elements (such as uranium, neptunium, plutonium and beyond) to convert hydrocarbons from biomass or fossil fuels into high-value chemicals. This could lead to new ways of reducing the release of greenhouse gases such as methane into the atmosphere, while at the same time offering economic benefits.
The July edition of the JRC Newsletter has been published and can be downloaded here. It features an editorial from Božidar Đelić, the Republic of Serbia's Deputy Prime Minister for EU Integration and Minister of Science and Technological Development, on his country's cooperation with the JRC and on the recent EU Research Information Event in Belgrade.
The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector accounts for 26% of all industrial Research and Development (R&D) expenditure in the EU and employs 32% of business sector researchers, according to the 2009 Report on R&D in ICT in the European Union (PREDICT) recently published by the JRC's Institute for Prospective Technological Studies.
The forest fire situation in Europe is constantly monitored by the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS), a system established by the JRC's Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES) and the European Commission's Directorate General for Environment.
ECVAM, the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods, is renewing its Scientific Advisory Structure. An open call for the expression of interest to become member of the ECVAM Scientific Advisory Committee (ESAC) has been published on the ECVAM website. Deadline for submission is 30 September 2009.
Following the spread of major forest fires in Corsica earlier this month, French authorities made a request for additional fire fighting aircraft through the European Commission's Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC), based in Brussels. The MIC responded by providing European reserve fire-fighting aircraft within three hours of the request.