The European Commission has adopted the JRC's first Work Programme for 2014-2015 under Horizon 2020, the new EU strategy to boost research and innovation.
The programme of the Joint Research Centre, the Commission's own science service, is aligned with the European Union's policy priorities, such as overcoming the economic crisis, encouraging the use of renewable energy and tackling climate change, and with other work programmes of the Commission under Horizon 2020.
The formal participation contract of the EU in the Expo Milano 2015 was signed today in Milan in the presence of the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and the Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta. The participation contract was signed by David Wilkinson, Commissioner General to the World Exhibition in Milan 2015 for the European Commission, by Giuseppe Sala, Commissioner of the Government of Italy for Expo Milano 2015 and by the General Commissioner for the Italian Pavilion Diana Bracco.
For the first time since 2004, an EU company - the German carmaker Volkswagen - is the world's largest private sector R&D investor. Volkswagen tops the European Commission's 2013 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard with an investment of €9.5bn in 2012. Overall, EU-based firms (527 companies) stepped up R&D investment by 6.3%, just above the average of the 2000 firms in the Scoreboard (+6.2%). However, like last year they lagged behind their US counterparts (+8.2%).
An EU-27 survey of intermediary organisations operating on the education, social and employment sectors and providing IT training has produced a first ever assessment of the e-Inclusion intermediary sector. It accounts for a total of 250,000 organisations, or one e-Inclusion actor per every 2,000 inhabitants. One in two employs 10 staff or less and operates on a budget smaller than €100,000. Half of the e-Inclusion actors go further and offer employment–related training. And for two out of three, local government funding is the main financial resource.
Global production of photovoltaic (PV) cells grew by 10% i 2012 in comparison to 2011 despite a 9% dcline in solar energy investments according to the annual "PV Status Report" released by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre. Europe remained a leader in newly installed capacities accounting for 51.7% (6.8 GW) of the 30 GW installed worldwide.
The first of the twin centres designed to promote common standards in electric mobility and smart grids on both sides of the Atlantic was today inaugurated near Chicago. Converging standards and interoperability between smart grids and electric vehicles will allow for deeper penetration of renewable energies in the electricity systems, thus facilitating the way to a low-carbon economy. Technology harmonisation will drive product and service innovation in the two world's largest economies and could prove instrumental in establishing global standards for electric mobility.
Lowered tariffs and harmonised standards – this is where the real savings for businesses and consumers will be achieved in the future free trade agreement between the EU and the US. To help reach the goal of having compatible standards across the both sides of the Atlantic, the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today agreed to expand their current scientific co-operation to 10 different areas.
Electrified vehicles will be a key technology for future urban commuting, improving urban air quality and reducing dependence on oil and other fossil fuels. Electro-mobility is part of the alternative fuels mix promoted in the "Clean Power for Transport" legislative package launched by the Commission on 25 January 2013.
This year total cereal production in the EU-27 is forecast to be well above 2012 levels and above the average of the past five years. This agricultural year has so far been marked by an unusually prolonged winter for western and central Europe and heavy rainfall in May and June. However, the impact of poor weather on crops in some areas of the EU has been offset in other areas; for example, the Iberian Peninsula is expecting an excellent season.
The European Commission's in house science service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), and the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU jointly organise today a conference focused on the role of science as a contributor to address the challenges and opportunities of energy security in the Baltic region, oriented to energy production, energy storage, energy transmission and distribution.