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.
A JRC report on research, development and demonstration (R,D&D) projects on electric cars in the EU, with a total budget of €1.9 billion (65% from public funding), finds that increased exchange of information and more coordination between projects would result in a better leverage of the investments. The report "Paving the way to electrified road transport – Publicly funded research, development, and demonstration projects on electric and plug-in cars in Europe", lists more than 320 projects covering the period 2007-2015 which received EU or national public funding, and with a total budget of more than €1 million.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.