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.
The European Commission's Joint Research Centre, Institute for Transuranium Elements, has published a new edition of the Karlsruhe Nuclide Chart, an extended periodic table of the elements that displays all known isotopes and their radioactive data. First developed in 1958 and now in its 7th edition, the Karlsruhe Nuclide Chart is a globally recognised research and teaching tool in the area of nuclear science. The new 7th edition coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe (Germany).
A new research centre will be officially opened by European Science and Research Commissioner Janez Poto nik today that will provide training and opportunities to share knowledge for scientists from across South Eastern Europe. It will focus specifically on the field of the chemical and bio-analytical measurements required for the implementation of EU legislation in areas such as environmental monitoring. The Slovenian-European Natural Sciences Research Centre (SENARC) is based in Maribor, Slovenia, and is funded from the EU’s Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance and Structural Funds, among other sources. The opening will also be attended by the Slovenian Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Jure Zupan.
European consumers want to know that the food they buy is safe and, where packaged, that the materials in that packaging keep it fresh and do not compromise the quality of the food inside. Today the European Commission inaugurates the Community Reference Laboratory (CRL) for Food Contact Materials. EU legislation ensures that all materials that come into contact with food comply with standards so that safe food remains safe. The CRL will establish an equivalent level of laboratory practice across the EU. It will serve as a point of reference for issues relating to the enforcement of legislation on food contact materials, through a network of National Reference Laboratories and will develop methods, reference substances, training and so on to ensure the best possible implementation of EU legislation in this field. Food contact materials are essential in processing, transporting and storing food. Food packaging is a particularly important material, as it must prevent deterioration of, and at the same time avoid interacting with the food concerned. The CRL will be based at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy.
Today, 28 November 2006, a high-level conference on EU-Finnish research perspectives took place at The Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) in Espoo. The focus of the Information Day – hosted by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the VTT – was on two research areas of high relevance to Finland where new Collaborative Agreements were signed: Energy and the Environment & Health Impact of Chemicals. Future perspectives under the 2007 – 2013 EUR 54 billion Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7) were also discussed.
Current international protocols and national legislation designed to reduce air pollution need to go further if more damage to the climate and environment due to high ozone concentrations is to be avoided. Until that is in place, better use of existing technology can help reduce the harmful effect of such emissions and bring ozone levels in most regions of the world into compliance with current standards. This would minimise the negative impacts of ozone on human health, ecosystems and global warming. This is the conclusion of scientific studies carried out by European Commission scientists and the ACCENT network of research scientists, funded by the EU.
Studies conducted by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission show a huge potential for saving energy through better energy efficiency. Fewer than three out of ten bulbs in European households are low energy consumption Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs). Compared to their conventional counterparts CFLs reduce electricity consumption and energy costs for the consumer by 60%. hile lasting six to twelve times longer, they offer the same or even increased light quality. Every electricity unit saved corresponds to about 3 units of primary energy use avoided. Work by the JRC also shows that turning of appliances left on standby can save up to €84 per household per year.
Today the European Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) celebrate 25 years of cooperation in the control of nuclear materials and facilities. This anniversary is marked by an event at the European Commission’s Institute for Transuranium Elements (ITU) in Karlsruhe, Germany. The IAEA is charged with verifying that states live up to their international obligations in the area of nuclear non-proliferation. This includes not diverting nuclear material or using facilities for the development of nuclear weapons. The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission has provided scientific and technical support to this work for quarter of a century, with over 100 scientists and technicians working on more than 25 projects. The anniversary event is also an opportunity for both parties to plan their future joint activities.
The Second International Seminar on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis will bring together for two days experts from around the globe to analyse the impact of "FTA1" on policy and decision making. The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, part of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, is organising this seminar in Seville, Spain, on 28/29 of September.
A recent survey of European companies about their R&D investment shows that these companies expect their global investments in R&D to grow by roughly 5% ayear over the next three years. This contrasts with growth of just 0.7% fr R&D investment reported in the 2005 Scoreboard. The European Commission questioned more than 400 companies in ten major industrial sectors about their R&D investment intentions. The survey also gives an insight into other aspects of private companies decisions about their R&D activities, such as the incentives that lead companies to invest in R&D, the factors that lead to a decision as to where their R&D operations are located and the sources of finance. Companies that do not invest in R&D were also asked about their reasons for not doing so.
From 31 July to 14 August, mapping of fires larger than 50 ha with satellite imagery indicates an increase of burnt areas from 13,591 to 49,881 ha in Portugal and from 2,241 to 88,473 ha in Galicia Up to 31 July, more than 64,500 ha were burnt by forest fires in the EU. This is the information received from the Member States and compiled by the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS), the system developed by the European Commission to monitor forest fire risk in Europe and provide Member States with early risk warning and damage assessment. After a rather quiet beginning to the fire season in the Mediterranean Regions, the beginning of August has witnessed a sharp increase in fires and burnt areas, mainly in Galicia (Spain) and in neighbouring Portugal. On the other hand, in Northern Regions of Europe an unusually high fire danger was recorded in spring and early summer. The figures for 2006 so far are much less than the 610,000 ha (i.e. twice the area of Luxembourg) burnt in 2005, but the fire season is not yet over.