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.
Nutrients are essential for plants and animals, but in excessive amounts they can lead to a significant decrease in soil and water quality. Nutrients can be introduced into the environment through fertilisers or other agrochemicals, and strict regulations have been adopted to limit their use. A new atlas, the work of the JRC's Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES), provides for the first time a clear view on the pressure on eco-systems due to nutrients and their source. The atlas was the basis for identifying areas in Europe with the highest levels of nutrient pressure, which include large portions of The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, and Italy.
According to the 2007 Scoreboard, companies have increased their R&D investment by 10%. Three EU companies keep a position within the top 10 R&D ranking: DaimlerChrysler (5th), GlaxoSmithKline (7th) and Siemens (8th). Results also show that EU-based companies have increased their R&D by 7.4%, compared with 5.3% in the 2006 Scoreboard. By sectors, pharmaceuticals & biotechnology becomes the top R&D investing sector, overtaking the technology hardware & equipment sector. On the downside, the report shows that EU companies continued to grow their R&D investment at a lower rate than companies in the rest of the world.
The 50th anniversary of the EU was also the occasion for the JRC to organise – with the help of the Italian school authorities – an Italy-wide school competition in which students were invited to find out who we are, what we do and to find a way to communicate their findings to others via a poster, a web page or a slogan.
JRC scientists comment on study published in Science magazine
The JRC and the European Commission's Research Directorate-General, in co-operation with the Ministry of Science of the Republic of Serbia, have organised a research information event in Belgrade on 12th June 2007. The objective of this event was to inform Serbian R&D organisations and researchers about the opportunities offered by the newly launched 7th Framework Programme (FP7), in particular with regard to collaborative activities and mobility of researchers. Examples were presented in the areas of environment, food, agriculture, and nuclear safety and safeguards. The intention is to encourage dialogue, identify potentially interested partners and pave the way for further collaboration within FP7.
The consultation period on last year's Maritime Policy Green Paper comes to an end on 30th June. Marine and maritime science is contributing in many ways to maritime policy. The JRC's activities in this field include the development of systems for tracking vessels and monitoring fishing, including the use of space technology, and research on the quality of coastal and sea waters as well as the effects of climate change on marine habitats.
Linking in with the festivities for the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, Green Week 2007 looks back at 50 years of European environmental policy and looks at the future.
The European Commission has today released IUCLID 5 as part of its preparation for REACH and the new European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). It is a key software application essential for chemical industry to comply with the new legislation, which entered into force on 1 June 2007. The freely downloadable tool will assist chemical companies globally in fulfilling their obligation to submit data to the Agency under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) legislation from 1 June 2008.
The JRC's Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) has contributed to the Commission’s new European Action Plan for "Ageing Well in the Information Society", adopted last 14 June 2007. The plan is accompanied by a new European research programme which will invest over 1 billion EUR in research into information and communication technologies helping older Europeans to stay active for longer and live independently. JRC-IPTS' foresight activities in the fields of ICT for Independent Living and older users' needs, eHealth and eInclusion have been a very valuable input to this Action Plan.