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Envisat: Aftermath of Greek fires, August 2007 Envisat: Aftermath of Greek fires, August 2007
©ESA
Mar 05 2008

The European Commission has adopted a Communication on reinforcing the Union's Disaster Response capacity. In order to respond to the growing challenges posed by natural and man-made disasters, the communication proposes that the European Union strengthens its abilities at home and abroad to provide civil protection and humanitarian assistance. The Commission has undertaken a screening exercise of all its existing resources and puts forward as a first step an action plan of specific measures to be implemented before the end of 2008. As a concrete example, the communication includes a specific focus on how to improve the Union's response to forest fires.

The JRC is supporting the EU's disaster response and civil protection activities in many areas. The European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) is one of the cornerstones of this action plan. EFFIS, managed by the JRC Institute for Environment ans Sustainability (IES), provides the fire danger forecast (currently up to 6 days forecast) during the fire season helping in improving preparedness for forest fire fighting. In addition, EFFIS monitors the forest fire situation in Europe through the provision of information of active fires (hot spots) and the rapid assessment of forest fire damages in the countries. This information is critical for the Member States and the Commission in cases of catastrophic fire events (e.g. Portugal 2003 or Greece 2007) and facilitates the work of the Union's Monitoring and Information Center in is work of coordination of forest fire fighting.

The JRC IES also develops the European Flood Alert System (EFAS), that will be capable of providing medium-range flood simulations across Europe with a lead-time (time between the detection and the arrival of the flood) of between 3 to 10 days.

With its expertise in satellite images analysis and information technologies, the JRC Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) is conducting several activities to provide scientific and technical support in crisis situations. IPSC's work supports different phases, from crisis preparedness to damage assessment, including also early warning, alerting and situational monitoring. Some recent examples of IPSC's activities in support to Crisis Management are:

EFFIS screenshot EFFIS forest fire danger overview on 10 July 2009
Jul 10 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.

Retracting Glaciermouth in Valfurva 2010 A global index for climate–resilient development would help identify countries and communities most at risk.
©2010, M.Wolf
Jul 03 2014

A recently published JRC report makes recommendations on the creation of a global index to monitor the progress of climate-resilient development policies. The index should include metrics on extreme climate events, climate vulnerability and adaptive capacity, taking into account the climate vulnerability of ecosystem services and the role of natural resources in climate adaptation. As a first step towards building the index, JRC scientists propose to construct a platform which will act as interface between science and policy on climate-resilient development.

Graphical interpretation of one of the four exploratory scenarios showing four different futures in 2050 Graphical interpretation of one of the four exploratory scenarios showing four different futures in 2050.
©EU, 2014
Nov 27 2014

How can research in food and diets address how we will live and eat in 2050? By supporting the move towards individualised diets; by ensuring the sustainability of the future food system; by improving our understanding of links between food, nutrients and health; and by focusing on integrated policy-making. These are the main findings of a new foresight report that will support work done under Horizon 2020, the EU's Funding Programme for Research and Innovation for 2014-2020.

Fuel pump The JRC's new certified reference material will help establish the lowest temperature use of biodiesel.
©Fotolia, nexusseven
Jul 29 2016

This material helps laboratories to accurately establish the lowest temperature at which biodiesel can be used, supporting the implementation of the EU policy on the use of biofuels for transport.

Scientist testing the SESAMONET system on a street crossing New intelligent path for the visually impaired in Melsungen, Germany
©EU, 2014
Sep 19 2014

A JRC-designed path for the visually impaired was inaugurated today in Melsungen, Germany. The new path will enable a visually impaired person to move around independently in the historical centre of Melsungen using a walking cane, which recognises the signals emitted by microchips placed in the pavement.

The JRC and Slovenia will increase scientific cooperation in a number of areas The JRC and Slovenia will increase scientific cooperation in a number of areas
©EU, 2017
Feb 28 2017

On 28 February 2017, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission's science and knowledge service, and the Slovenian Ministry of Education, Science and Sport signed a Memorandum of Understanding to boost cooperation and scientific excellence.

The Memorandum opens new avenues for scientific exchange and synergies in the fields of energy, transport, public health, security, climate change, digital transformation, and biotechnology, among others.

Vladimír Šucha and Dr. Ryoji Chubachi The new agreement opens new possibilities for scientific exchange
©EU, 2017
May 31 2017
The Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission's science and knowledge service, and the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) signed a Research Framework Agreement (RFA) to boost cooperation and scientific excellence.
Easy and rapid assessment of fish stocks is made possible through the JRC-developed a4a model. Easy and rapid assessment of fish stocks is made possible through the JRC-developed a4a model.
©E. Canuti, 2009
Sep 09 2013

A novel approach to fishery management has been presented during the stakeholders meeting of the Assessment for All (a4a) initiative, held today and tomorrow at the JRC's premises in Ispra. Under this initiative, the JRC developed a new assessment model for the rapid assessment of fish stocks.

Cover of the report Life Cycle Thinking aims at improving the environmental performance of goods and services
©EU, 2012
May 15 2012

A new JRC report provides key information for policy makers and business managers on how to assess the environmental impacts of products and services through more consistent and better quality life cycle assessments.

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