Today, Janez Poto nik, European Commissioner for Science and Research, will participate in the EU Research Information Event in Belgrade. He will address scientists, business representatives and representatives from Serbian Ministries on the importance of increasing Serbia's research cooperation, especially within the European Research Area (ERA), and he will announce a special call for proposals for the Western Balkan region. The event will be a unique opportunity for Serbian scientists and business representatives to receive detailed information about the funding opportunities offered by the 7 th European Framework Programme for Research (FP7) and to strengthen dialogue and networking opportunities in view of facilitating Serbia's integration into the European Research Area. During his visit to Belgrade Commissioner Poto nik will meet with Božidar Đelić, Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia, responsible both for the European integration and Science and Technology, to discuss in more detail Serbia's national strategy for research and its contribution to the ERA objectives. Commissioner will also have meetings with Serbian President Boris Tadić and the Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković.
10 European standards for design of construction works will provide a common approach for the design of buildings and other civil engineering works as of 2010. These "Eurocodes" will boost business in this sector by removing technical barriers to trade with construction products and services within the European Union. They will improve quality of products and services, and will create new job opportunities in the construction sector, which currently covers 28% o industrial employment in the EU. To foster the widespread use of Eurocodes in all Member States, the European Commission is organizing a conference in Brussels, 18-20 February, bringing together more than 300 delegates from Member States. The aim of the conference is to provide national trainers with appropriate knowledge and expertise.
Following the discovery of contaminated sunflower oil imported from Ukraine (April 2008), the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) has tested 55 analytical laboratories from 17 EU Member States plus Switzerland and Ukraine to determine their capability to measure levels of the contaminant, mineral oil, in sunflower oil. The test results are now available and show that around 80% of laboratories performed satisfactorily.
Worldwide corporate R&D investment increased by 6.9% in 2008, in spite of the economic crisis, according to the 2009 "EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard" published today. With an 8.1% increase, the R&D investment growth of EU companies', defined as companies having headquarters within the EU, is significantly higher than US ones for the second year, at 5.7%, and Japanese ones, at 4.4%. Two EU companies feature in the top ten: Volkswagen in the 3rd place with an R&D investment of €5.93 billion and Nokia in the 8th. The world's biggest investor in R&D was Toyota Motor, with €7.61 billion. The report also shows that companies from emerging countries have the highest R&D investment growth.
Necessity breeds invention, and the prospect of a complete ban on the use of animal testing in the EU cosmetics sector is a powerful driver for ambitious research and innovation across industry and academia. Methods to trigger cells into reinventing themselves, a prototype bioreactor to engineer living tissue and a computer model to predict the fate of a chemical in your body - these are just some of the recent achievements of SEURAT-1, a major European private-public research consortium that's working towards animal free testing and the highest level of consumer protection. With the European Commission's Joint Research Centre as a key partner, this biggest ever initiative in animal free toxicology is committed to doing things differently. A research strategy formulated around harnessing knowledge rather than simply generating data and an organisational model that marries crowd-sourcing with individual excellence, the proof of the pudding will be in demonstrating the concepts on which SEURAT-1 is built. Results in this field will also be useful in a wide range of other industrial and medical sectors and will have a positive impact on the competitiveness and innovation of EU companies.
Zürich/Brüssel, 16 März 2007. Das Joint Research Centre der Europäischen Kommission (JRC) stellte sich heute im Rahmen einer hochrangig besetzten Konferenz im Forum Chriesbach (Zürich/Dübendorf) erstmals in der Schweiz vor. Für Staatssekretär Charles Kleiber und JRC-Generaldirektor Roland Schenkel war das rege Interesse an der gemeinsam mit dem SBF, dem ETH-Rat und Euresearch organisierten Veranstaltung eine Bestätigung der guten Zusammenarbeit des JRC mit Schweizer Forschungseinrichtungen. Darüber hinaus wurde grosses Potential für eine Vertiefung der Kooperation im 7. EU-Forschungsrahmenprogramm aufgezeigt (2007-2013, dotiert mit 87 Milliarden Schweizer Franken).
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.
A majority of laboratories around the world are capable of effectively testing for the presence of melamine in food, according to a new study by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC). Results of the international study published this week show that levels of the harmful substance in food samples can be accurately measured by the majority of laboratories tested, suggesting that the global response to the Chinese contaminated milk scare of 2008 has been effective.
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.
Europe's Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector, accounting for just 4.8% of GDP, leads the way in private research and development (R&D) in the EU, with 25% of total investment and 32% of researchers working in the private sector in 2007, according to a European Commission report released today. However, even with these numbers the EU is still lagging behind global competitors in terms of both public and private ICT R&D investment. This investment gap is identified as one problem to tackle by the forthcoming European Digital Agenda, one of seven flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.