Press releases

  1. 21 Nov 2011

    A new model developed by scientists of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) allows the potential presence of bluefin tuna to be tracked through daily updated maps, helping to protect endangered stocks and fight illegal fishing. The model, based on satellite remote sensing data, provides for the first time an overall view of the preferred bluefin tuna habitats in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as their changes over time. Satellite-based habitat mapping can help identify more precisely areas to be inspected or to be closed for fisheries and it can also help refine estimates of fish stocks, thus contributing to a more effective fisheries management.

  2. 28 Sep 2011

    The EU Joint Research Centre (JRC) has developed a statistical modelling tool which allows the risk of conflict occurrence in developing countries to be analysed. Combining online news reports with geographical satellite data, the tool establishes a link between natural resources and the risk of conflict. A key advance is the very detailed scale of the data (most being gathered to the square kilometre) and the fact that the modelling is based on the seriousness of the conflicts. When tested, the model successfully identified the correlation between resource-rich areas of land and occurrence of conflict. This approach has potential use in the European Commission's development aid planning and crisis prevention.

  3. 21 Feb 2011

    When a major disaster strikes in remote parts of the world, knowing if the area is populated, and how densely, is crucial for the effective organisation of humanitarian operations. The Global Human Settlements Layer (GHSL), developed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), will soon provide this detailed information for the first time on a global scale. The breakthrough is new advanced algorithms, developed by the JRC, that allow automatic analysis of medium resolution data provided by European satellites. The first test results confirm that the combined use of ICT technologies permit fast and precise mapping of built-up areas, anywhere in the world. In addition, the algorithms allow massive datasets to be processed more efficiently and rapidly, making it possible to monitor the changes in human settlements regularly and equally importantly, to collect the same information from heterogeneous satellite data. This can help to reduce risks in areas that experience recurrent disasters and to focus post-disaster humanitarian interventions on the most likely populated places in disaster affected countries and regions.

  4. 4 Nov 2010

    Europe's cyber security experts are testing their responses today in the first ever pan-European cyber-attack simulation exercise. In "Cyber Europe 2010", experts will try to counter simulated attempts by hackers to paralyse critical online services in several EU Member States. The simulation will be based on a scenario where internet connectivity between European countries would be gradually lost or significantly reduced in all participating countries so that citizens, businesses and public institutions would find it difficult to access essential online services. In the exercise, Member States will need to cooperate with each other to avoid a simulated total network crash. The event is organised by EU Member States with support from the European Network Security Agency (ENISA) and the Joint Research Centre (JRC). Today's exercise is due to be followed by more complex scenarios ultimately going from European to global level. Supporting EU-wide cyber-security preparedness exercises is one of the actions foreseen by the Digital Agenda for Europe (see IP/10/581, MEMO/10/199 and MEMO/10/200) to enhance online trust and security.

  5. 4 Aug 2010

    Total cereal production in 2010 should be close to the average from the last five years. While the yield per hectare will be 5% above average, overall cultivated areas have decreased. This agricultural year has been marked by unusual scattered weather events ranging from severe rain shortage to floods. However, the impact of poor weather on crops in some areas of the EU has been offset in other areas. This forecast, published today by the European Commission, is based on analysis by the Commission's in-house scientific service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), using an advanced crop yield forecasting system1.

  6. 15 Jan 2010

    More than 4000 physical structures were destroyed or damaged in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, by the magnitude 7 earthquake that struck the country on 12th January 2010. About 2000 residential buildings have partially or totally collapsed and the same number of buildings shows severe damage. A number of critical infrastructures such as government buildings, educational structures and hospitals have collapsed or are severely damaged. These are the preliminary findings of a rapid damage assessment carried out by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) based on the analysis of very high resolution satellite imagery acquired before and after the disaster. Rapid damage assessment provides valuable information in order to effectively plan relief and assistance measures, as well as for subsequent reconstruction and recovery planning efforts.

  7. 30 Sep 2009

    A report published today by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) reviews the agricultural risk management systems in the European Union, providing a comprehensive state of the art of the agricultural insurance schemes and public intervention in risk management in the different countries. The study also evaluates the potential of index insurance schemes for crop risk management. It constitutes a basis to analyse strategies to integrate risk management tools within the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to better respond to crises in the agricultural sector.

  8. 7 Sep 2009

    The European Commission, represented by its Joint Research Centre (JRC), and the African Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), covering 15 African countries, have today signed a Collaboration Agreement. The two organisations aim to co-operate in the field of agriculture and land cover monitoring to support food security and the management of natural resources in East Africa. EU Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Poto nik, and Uganda's Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Daniel Omara Atubo, witnessed the signature in Nairobi (Kenya).

  9. 7 Aug 2008

    Favourable weather conditions and an increase in the planted area farmed should lead to a total cereals harvest close to 301 M tonnes for this year in the European Union, 43 M tonnes more than in 2007. This represents an increase of 16% o the 2007 harvest and 9% o the past five years' average production. This forecast, published today by the European Commission, is based on an updated analysis by the Commission's in-house scientific service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), using an advanced crop yield forecasting system.

  10. 4 Jun 2008

    Laparoscopic or 'keyhole' surgery is about to become safer and more efficient thanks to ALF-X, a new surgical tele-robotics system with innovative tactile sensing capabilities. The system, to be presented today for the first time at the 17th Annual Congress of the International Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy in Bari (Italy), represents a breakthrough in tele-robotic surgery. It was developed by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the pharmaceutical company SOFAR S.p.A.