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.
Between 3.5 and 4.5 million square kilometres of land surface are burnt every year. More than half of this burnt surface is in Africa, which has more than 6000 protected areas across 50 countries. The Joint Research Centre today launched a web tool to monitor the fire activity in protected areas worldwide.
The JRC and the University of South Carolina co-authored a study developing a series of indices to measure the drug consequences in the USA over the last decade. It is the first set of indices developed in a US context that summarises the multidimensional phenomenon of drug-related consequences over a multi-year period. The JRC was invited to underpin all the analytical work, given its renowned expertise on composite indicators for policy making. The study was published by the Office for National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) of the White House.
The JRC recently published its 2014 edition of the "Smart Grid projects outlook", which presents the most comprehensive database of smart grid and smart metering initiatives up until the first quarter of 2014 across the European Union, Switzerland and Norway. The results can also now be visualised using new interactive, freely available web tools. In this update, more than 450 smart grid projects were identified, accounting for a total investment of €3.15 billion.
An overview of regulatory solutions worldwide on the use of nanotechnology in food and feed production shows a differing approach: only the EU and Switzerland have nano-specific provisions incorporated in existing legislation, whereas other countries count on non-legally binding guidance and standards for industry.
The JRC Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) has released two new reference materials that are now available to analytical laboratories in industry, public authorities or scientific institutions.
According to analysis of the building renovation strategies submitted by EU Member States, 74% of the national strategies address the requirements of the Energy Efficiency Directive satisfactorily and 10 are considered exemplary.
The European Commission this week launched a public consultation on the prevention and insurance of natural and man-made disasters. This Green Paper examines the market penetration of insurance in this area throughout the EU; it investigates disaster risk awareness and claims handling and looks at the combination of natural and man-made disasters. Some quantitative figures in the green paper about insurance practices for floods, storms, earthquakes and droughts in the EU countries rely on the JRC's study "Natural Catastrophes: Risk relevance and Insurance Coverage in the EU".
To mark the International Day for Disaster Reduction today 13 October, the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) is calling on its partners to play a more active role to protect cities against disasters. Research institutions and academia play a crucial role in developing new methods for disasters management and advancing the state-of-the art in risk reduction.
More scientists, techniques and collaborations are needed to characterise nuclear materials, and so deterring illicit trafficking and terrorism, according to a JRC article published in today's Nature edition.
In the aftermath of the powerful earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday 25 April, the JRC is supporting the European Commission in coordinating the EU's response through up-to-date situation reports and maps.