Publication date: 2003-12-12
How can the EU maintain its leading role in the highly competitive field of nanotechnology? Participants at this week's EuroNanoForum event in Italy focused on improving Europe's infrastructure and the effectiveness of its collaborative ventures. With regard to the long term sustainability of their sector, however, they would also have agreed with Commissioner David Byrne's recent comments on the importance of increasing public acceptance of scientific innovation. Both stories feature in this week's edition of CORDIS Express.
News - Top Stories
Most participants at the EuroNanoForum in Trieste, Italy, on 9 December, agreed that Europe is in an enviable position on the nanotechnology stage. However, the fear that the situation may change is shared by many, and there are a number of different opinions as to where Europe's focus should be if it is to maintain its position. Helmut Schmidt, Director of Germany's Institute of New Materials, echoed the views of many particpants when he said: 'Whoever builds up the infrastructures first will win the nanotechnology race.'
At the annual epoline conference in Barcelona on 9 December, Dr Ingo Kober, president of the European Patent Office (EPO), outlined plans to make the EPO's e-filing system the new global standard in online patent submission. The enhanced epoline service will facilitate the submission, monitoring and searching of patent information at national and international level, making it more accessible to both intellectual property professionals and the general public, he said.
'When I started this job, everybody asked me to ensure that decisions were made on the basis of scientific evidence. If we drift away from that, we're at sea, and I don't know where we'll end up,' said EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection David Byrne, on the opening day of a conference addressing risk perception. Held in Brussels on 4 December, the conference shed some light on why consumers often refuse to accept scientific evidence which shows that a new product or method is safe.
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
An expanded budget for education and research and an independent European Agency for Science and Research are just two of the recommendations of a far-reaching independent review of the EU's economic policies, carried out earlier this year. A high-level group, chaired by André Sapir of the Université Libre de Bruxelles, reviewed the entire system of EU economic policies, proposed a radical reform of research policy and emphasised the importance of innovation as a means of improving Europe's performance.
Future of Research
The European Commission has published details of the new Marie Curie reintegration grants, funded under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), which will make mobility more attractive by facilitating a researcher's return to their home country or another European country. These grants are designed to help researchers who fear that opportunities at home will be missed if they spend time working abroad.
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 our ERA Gateway.
Sweden has topped the international telecommunication union's (ITU) digital access index 2002, described as the world's first global rankings for information and communication technologies (ICT). The four remaining Nordic countries, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Finland, also came in the top ten. With the Netherlands placed sixth, a strong performance by the so-called Asian Tiger economies ensured that Canada was the only country from outside Europe and Asia to finish in the top ten.
An international symposium on medical research funding, entitled 'vision for the 21st century' will take place in Stockholm, Sweden, on 14 January, 2004. The event will provide delegates with the chance to meet policy makers, healthcare representatives and heads of research organisations to discuss how medical research should be initiated, organised and funded.
The French national contact point (NCP) for aeronautics and space is organising an information day, to take place on 19 January 2004 in Paris. Discussions will cover the strategic research agenda for aeronautics and the white paper on space, as well as lessons learnt from the first call for proposals. Information will also be made available about the second call for proposals, due to be published before the end of the year.
Calls and Tenders
The European Commission's Environment DG has published a prior information notice of a call for tenders for the provision of scientific and technical assistance for species protection. The aim of this contract is to provide support to the Commission in tasks related to species protection measures that arise from the following four legal instruments: the Birds Directive, the Habitats Directive, the Bern Convention and the Bonn Convention and its agreements.
Based in Ireland, Moorepark Technology Ltd specialises in dairy processing technologies, but also has a wide range of capabilities in general food and food ingredient development. With extensive pilot plant facilities, it has already taken part in national and international collaborations in the areas of food technology transfer and support services to food businesses. Moorepark seeks partners for the Sixth Framework Programme to work with it on new product development and technology transfer.
The CORDIS Partners Service publish partner profiles and find research collaborators to take part in EU-funded research, join a consortium or run a private collaboration in your area of interest. You can also search by profile type, programme and/or country to Find project partners for FP6 and FP7. To find partners for the Sixth Framework Programme, go to our FP6 Partners Service, which also features an advanced search facility.
A project funded by EU's Fifth Framework Programme is assessing the contribution of high altitude polar clouds to ozone depletion as part of a wider campaign to improve understanding and forecasting of ozone destruction. The MAPSCORE project is aimed at enabling researchers to use existing datasets more effectively and to map the location of high altitude polar clouds in near real time.
Waste production is inevitable in nuclear power plants as in all industries. However, unlike other industries, the associated radioactive waste needs to be specially treated and safely managed in a way that is environmentally sound. An EU funded project, called PARTNEW, is set to develop new processes and technologies for further decreasing the toxicity of the highly active wastes.
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…
What do funny cartoons, money and pretty faces have in common? According to the latest neurological research, they all fire up the same region of the brain as a shot of cocaine.