Publication date: 2004-11-05
This week‘s CORDIS Express leads with the release of the eagerly awaited Kok report, which measures Europe‘s progress towards becoming the world‘s most competitive economy by 2010. The goal was set in the year 2000, and at the halfway point, ’the overall picture is very mixed and much needs to be done in order to prevent Lisbon from becoming a synonym for missed objectives and failed promises,' claims the report.
News - Top Stories
Much of the responsibility for the current failure of the Lisbon strategy lies with the EU and its Member States, who have failed to act with sufficient urgency, according to a long-awaited report drawn up by former Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok and his high level group. The report recommends five policy areas on which governments should focus, and areas for action within each policy area. One of the policy priorities is building a true knowledge society. In this context, the group calls for the removal of obstacles to researcher mobility, the establishment of a European Research Council (ERC) to fund basic research, and either adoption or abandonment of proposals for a Community Patent.
The European Union Research Advisory Board (EURAB) has followed up its recommendations on social sciences and humanities within the European Research Area of January 2004 with a progress report illustrating how few of its suggestions have been taken into account. In the paper, EURAB claims that the attention awarded to the social sciences and humanities (SSH) in the groundwork for the remaining calls for proposals and the discussions on FP7, has not been sufficient. 'Given the important (potential) role of the SSH coupled with their relative under-representation compared to that of the natural, medical and engineering sciences, this is particularly worrisome,' states EURAB.
Dutch Minister for Education, Culture and Science, Maria van der Hoeven, has called for new efforts to secure the digital storage of scientific research, which, she claimed, currently resembles quicksand. She suggested that the concept be awarded more importance at European level and introduced as a priority in the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) for research. 'The basis for our scientific knowledge risks landing in the digital attic,' she warned.
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 Group of the European People's Party (EPP) in the European Parliament has published proposals urging a rethink of the Lisbon agenda in light of the limited impact that the EU's competitiveness strategy has had on growth in its first four years. The group argues that while research and innovation are rightly recognised as key elements in Europe's competitiveness, Europe does not yet fully understand that funding research and development (R&D) merely fosters inventions, and not innovation, which is the real driving force behind growth.
Future of Research
Germany's Leibniz Association, one of the largest research institutes in the country, has expressed its broad support for the Commission's stated objectives for the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), while also highlighting a number of improvements that it feels could be made to the current programme. In its position paper, the association strongly welcomes the focus on research excellence outlined in the Commission's proposals for FP7 and future EU research policies in general. It also identifies, however, 'considerable unused potential' for EU funded research in the social sciences, humanities and environmental sciences.
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.
Ireland has launched a consultation on the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), as announced on the CORDIS Irish Member State service. The consultation paper summarises some of the initial proposals from the European Commission and discusses them from an Irish perspective. Researchers and industry representatives are invited to participate.
The UK Research Office (UKRO) will hold an information day on the EU's Marie Curie actions in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 26 November. The day will provide an outline of the Marie Curie actions for both individuals and groups, and will offer guidance on preparing proposals. The event will focus on the new work programme for the Marie Curie actions, providing an outline of the key changes as well as the lessons learned from the first round of calls for proposals.
Conference on the role of ICT in the economic development of Estonia
An international conference on 'Business Opportunities and Economic Development in Estonia 2010+: The role of ICTs [information and communications technologies]' will take place in Tallinn, Estonia, on 26 November. The conference, organised under the auspices of the eVikings II project, funded by DG Information Society of the European Commission, will focus on how small economies can foster knowledge-based entrepreneurship and international competitiveness.
Calls and Tenders
The European Commission's Research DG has published a call for tenders to produce an inventory of scientific advice processes and risk governance in the enlarged EU. The objectives of the contract include producing an inventory and typology of structures playing a significant role in scientific advice within the EU 25 and countries associated to the EU Research Framework Programme; producing similar inventory and typology of risk bodies; analysing the European landscape and making recommendations to promote the use of scientific advice and improving the quality of scientific advice processes and the quality of risk governance in the EU.
The insurance and financial activities company ING Greece is interested in participating in an IST research consortium as an end-user. The business' principal areas of interest are: technologies for trust and security; research addressing work and business challenges; communication and network technologies; knowledge technologies and digital content and intelligent interfaces.
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.
An Integrated Project funded under FP6 is developing and testing new preventative and therapeutic tools, such as somatic gene and cell therapies, in particular stem cell therapies, for treating connective tissue disorders. Genostem will seek to use autologous adult Mesechymal Stem Cells (MSCs) to engineer connective tissues, and will compare the different tissue sources of MSCs and isolate subsets. The consortium will study the complete MSC gene product repertoire using genomic and proteomic analysis that should provide molecules and pathways potentially operative for the maintenance and differentiation of stem cells.
The reasons why biomass energy is not competitive centre on the reliability and performance of gas cleaning systems. An EU funded project investigated how to improve tar decomposition gas cleaning systems, and found that replacing the existing gas reformers and filters with nickel monolith catalytic converters is particularly effective. The results have led to a reduced sized power plant, a continuous operational system and the capability of gasifying various types of biomass without compromising a plant's performance. VTT of Finland now seeks a licence, marketing or manufacturing agreement.
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…
A German insurance company has taken the unprecedented step of writing to its clients telling them to eat more chocolate if they want to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease...