Publication date: 2004-09-10
The 25 Commissioners who, it is proposed, will take the reins of the executive arm of the European Union from 1 November are now busy doing their homework. The questions that they will have to answer in front of MEPs were published this week, and they will not be a walkover for the Barroso Commission. Janez Potoènik, put forward as the new Research Commissioner will not only have to convince MEPs that they will not be left out of the process shaping European research policy, but also that he has good knowledge of current policy and is able to propose solutions for some of the most complex and sensitive issues facing the research community.
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The European Parliament has published the questions that it intends to put to the newly nominated Commissioners during September and October. Questions for Janez Potocnik, the proposed new Research Commissioner, address the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and its budget, the international thermonuclear experimental reactor (ITER) and the European Research Council. Illustrating how research affects a spectrum of policy areas, questions relating to research and innovation will also be put to other Commissioners.
Both the EU and Canada need to do more in terms of scientific collaboration, says Paola de Rose, the Science and Technology Counsellor at the Canadian Mission to the EU. Speaking to CORDIS News, Ms de Rose highlighted how, despite the signing of a science and technology agreement between the two parties in 1996 and again in 1999, only ad hoc measures have followed. A new initiative is however foreseen: a Canada-Europe Science and technology cooperation office in Ottawa has been proposed. It will have a mandate to increase linkages between Canada and the European Research Area (ERA).
The European Commission announced on 2 September that it will contribute 93 million euro over four years to the upgrading of Europe's world-leading communications network for research and education, GÉANT. The project, now funded under the EU's Sixth Framework Programme, will aim to improve high-performance services, giving researchers their own 'wavelengths' from Iceland to the Caucasus.
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
A new study on 'Innovation management and the knowlege-driven economy' has been published on CORDIS. The study concludes that proper application of innovation management techniques facilitates a company's ability to introduce appropriate new technologies in products or processes, as well as the necessary chagnes to the organisation. However, it goes on to say that most companies do not have an innovation culthre that favours the introduction of change.
Future of Research
To ensure that Europe remains at the leading edge in genetic and chromosome research, where it has been ever since the discoveries of figures such as Gregor Mendel and Theodore Boveri, the European Commission, through its Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), has opted to finance a new Network of Excellence (NoE) called 'The Epigenome'. The network aims to provide a coherent platform for Europe's epigenetic research community over the next five years.
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
New statistics published by the UK Home Office reveal that the total number of scientific procedures carried out on animals in the UK in 2003 was just over 2.79 million, a rise of 2.2 per cent on 2002. The UK government says that the slight rise was 'within typical year on year variability' and stressed that it remains committed to the '3 Rs' - reducing the numbers of animals used, replacing animals wherever possible and refining scientific procedures involving animals.
A conference aimed at stimulating the involvement of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) from the new Member States and candidate countries in the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) will take place in Bratislava, Slovakia, on 1 October. The event is being organised within the framework of DETECT-IT, a project co-funded by the Research DG under the Economic and Technological Intelligence (ETI) initiative.
The world conference of science journalists will take place in Montréal, Canada, from 4 to 8 October. Some of the aims of the conference are to: enhance the story-telling skills that journalists need to deal with the ever-increasing complexity of science; promote the role of science journalists within science, society and the media; encourage science journalists from around the world to exchange information, share experiences and best practices.
Calls and Tenders
The European Commission has published a call for proposals in the area of 'Sustainable energy systems - research activities having an impact in the medium and longer term' under the Sixth Framework Programme. The call covers fuel cells, new technologies for energy carriers, renewable energy technologies, capture and sequestration of CO2 and socioeconomic tools and concepts.
The 3s research laboratory in Austria is seeking partners for research on the interface between education and the labour market. The lab is experienced in the development of methods, tools and instruments for anticipating and assessing qualifications and competences. Entities with experience in statistics, operations research, programming and actuarial mathematics are invited to get in touch.
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.
EUROCOPTER in France is coordinating an EU funded project addressing the definition of a Flight Control System and associated control laws for an advanced Tilt-rotor configuration. One of the objectives of the project is to improve the safety, dispatch reliability and affordability standards of Tilt-rotors, making the aircraft attractive to the commercial market. The application of this technology to rotorcrafts is still in its early days, with most ongoing research programmes being conducted by military organisations.
The latest offer of the week on the CORDIS Technology Marketplace comes from CNM in Spain and relates to disposable sensors for organ transplantation. The offer presents an electronic instrument for measuring living tissue conditions. The reliable monitoring of bio-parameters such as temperature, impedance, pH and potassium allows online and continuous characterisation of organs for clinical and animal experiments. This is essential for assessing organ viability for transplantation particularly during preservation, transport and initial post-operative period.
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
Finally and briefly…
This week saw the UK public vote for two muppets - Dr Bunsen Honeydew and his indestructible (and understandably hysterical) assistant Beaker - as their favourite screen scientists. An online survey organised by the British Association for the Advancement of Science's Festival of Science and hosted by BBC Online found that one third of the respondents preferred their researchers shock-haired, fond of explosive experiments and made of cloth...