Publication date: 2003-05-16
Thoughts on the future of energy policy were focused this week by a paper suggesting that the world could face serious energy problems by as early as 2030. In this week's CORDIS Express, we outline the paper and report on an important part of the world community's efforts to address the energy issue - ITER, the international thermonuclear experimental reactor. This project is still in the design stage, however, and current discussions are focused on finding a suitable site for the reactor.
News - Top Stories
In his address to the Competitiveness Council on 13 May, Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin emphasised the importance of the EU agreeing on a single European candidate site for the ITER project. Through 'carefully controlled consensus-building', Members States could select one site and give the EU the best chance of hosting ITER, he argued. However, two potential European candidate sites in Spain and France remain, and the Council's conclusions noted that one Member State is not in agreement on the need to select a single European site as candidate.
The development of a comprehensive European space policy has been described as 'crucial to the long term interests of the Union' by ministers who adopted a resolution on the subject at the EU Competitiveness Council on 13 May. The Council called for action on the GALILEO project and for the signing of a framework agreement between the European Community and ESA by the end of this year. Other items discussed included spending on research and development and a more efficent European approach to the procurement of defence equipment.
Unless research activities and policies are stepped up to cut greenhouse gases and promote the deployment of renewable energies more effectively, the world will have a huge energy and environmental crisis on its hands by 2030, predicts a study carried out by an EU consortium of research teams. It is estimated that if current consumption trends and structural changes in the global economy continue, the world's energy consumption will double over the next thirty years.
These articles have been taken from CORDIS News, a daily news service updated every weekday lunchtime. For more research and innovation headlines, go to the CORDIS News homepage.
Focus on Innovation
The European Commission has issued new definitions of micro enterprises and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), taking account of price and productivity increases over the last seven years. The financial ceilings which help define what category a particular company falls within have been raised significantly. The Commission believes that these new definitions will encourage entrepreneurship and favour companies that invest their capital in research and innovation.
Future of Research
European Research Area (ERA) policy makers should avoid applying a 'one size fit' approach to co-ordination of national and European research programmes, especially in the field of social and human sciences, concludes a new discussion paper published by the European Commission. We feature a CORDIS News introduction to the work while access to the paper itself, entitled 'Implementation of the ERA in the social and human sciences', is available by clicking below.
The Sixth Framework Programme service is the starting point when looking for FP6 information on CORDIS. Developments relating to the European Research Area (ERA) initiative can be found on ERA.
Italy will not reach the Barcelona target of spending three per cent of GDP on research and development (R&D) by 2010, according to a new report from the country's national research council. Author of the study, Giorgio Sirilli, considers that Italy's current R&D spending level of 1.04 per cent is too far off the three per cent target. Given recent decreases in expenditure and ongoing structural problems, he believes that the best Italy can hope for would be to grow to a ratio of 1.6 per cent by 2010.
A conference on the sustainable development of the Mediterranean and Black Sea environment is taking place from 29 May to 1 June in Thessaloniki, Greece. An overview and analysis of sustainable development activities under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) will be presented, focusing particularly on the field of marine science and technology. Researchers and policy makers will attend and thematic networks are expected to evolve as a result of the event.
A workshop on how to write a winning business plan for entrepreneurs in the information society technology sector will be held from 1 to 7 June in Hamburg, Germany. Part of the EU funded TRAIN-IT project, the event includes motivational training and individual coaching sessions with recognised business plan experts. It is expected that by the end of the workshop, participants will have completed a first draft of their business plan.
Calls and Tenders
The European Commission has published a call for expressions of interest for the provision of assistance in various technical, administrative and organisational tasks in relation to the IST (information society technologies) section of the Sixth Framework programme (FP6). We feature a CORDIS News introduction to this call, while the call text itself and supporting documents are available by clicking below.
The state-owned Krakow University of Economics, Poland, is looking for FP6 partners interested in a proposed research project into the functioning of organisations in a knowledge-based society. The reseachers will consider human resources as the main component of an organisation's performance and intellectual capital. Human resource management specialists are sought as partners here, especially those involved in research on the growing role of knowledge in organisations
The CORDIS Partners Service, recently redesigned, now provides a more user-friendly way of finding a research collaborator in order to benefit from EU or other funding. You can also search by profile type, programme and/or country to Find project partners for FP6 and FP7.
Roman cements were key materials for decorating facades of buildings in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Restoration of such buildings is hampered by the fact that such stone is no longer availble on the markert. A group of European researchers has been awarded EU funding for a project on reestablishing the manufacture and use of Roman cements. This will be achieved by studying historic mortars to establish compatibility criteria, selecting appropriate raw materials and optimising cementstone calcination conditions in the laboratory.
A very promising anti-HIV family of compounds has recently been synthesised and successfully tested in a laboratory environment. Having been biologically tested, these novel compounds were found to stop HIV-1 from infecting uninfected cells in the body. In this way, they limited the extent of the virus spreading. The developers say that there is great potential for use of these compunds in therapeutic drugs and they are looking for further research or development support.
All emerging technologies featured in this marketplace are awaiting further exploitation, be it production, marketing, funding or further development. To see the range of new offers that are posted every week, go to Technology Marketplace.
Finally and briefly…
New research into sexual strategies has shown that male hyenas displaying 'friendly' behaviour had much more luck with the ladies than those males who tried to manipulate or dominate the opposite sex. Using genetic techniques, researchers discovered that males rarely sired offspring with females that they attempted to manipulate through monopolisation or harassment, whereas males that invested time and energy in developing amicable relationships with females successfully sired offspring.