Publication date: 2006-06-23
Science has always been an international endeavour, and international scientific cooperation is becoming even more important as globalisation gathers pace. In recent years, technological developments have facilitated international cooperation, and the European Union, which epitomises inter-state cooperation at its best, has set itself the task of boosting scientific, technical and academic cooperation and networking.
News - Top Stories
EU Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding has been on a five-day visit to Singapore, participating in a forum on European-South East Asia cooperation in information and communications technologies (ICT). There, the Commissioner met her counterparts from the region, and opened the European ICT Pavilion at CommunicAsia2006, part of Asia's largest ICT and media business platform. When asked by CORDIS News what Europe has to gain from cooperating with South East Asia, Ms Reding answered: 'We believe in networking'. 'Both parts of the world have a lot of good researchers. Scientific discoveries are extremely quick, so sharing results is of utmost importance for progress in both regions', said the Commissioner.
During the EU-US summit in Vienna on 21 June, a new eight-year education agreement was signed between the two parties, renewing their long-standing cooperation programme in higher education and vocational training. The new agreement will usher in innovative Transatlantic Degree programmes, promote exchanges of students, teachers and other professionals, strengthen the Schuman-Fulbright Programme and encourage greater institutional collaboration in tertiary education. The European Commission plans to allocate € 45 million to the cooperation programme over the period 2006-2013 with a target of 6 000 EU and US persons participating in mobility activities over the duration of the programme.
The EU and Egypt have adopted a joint science and technology (S&T) action plan, to increase the participation of Egyptian researchers in the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), as well as maximise coordination between EU researchers. The plan is part of a bi-lateral scientific cooperation agreement, signed by both parties in 2005. In addition to focusing on areas in FP7 where closer collaboration between Egyptian and European scientists can be developed, the action plan also looks at possible synergies with other European organisations, such as COST, Galileo and the EU Neighbourhood policy, and the MEDA Programme.
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
In the June 2006 edition, Euroabstracts magazine examines some shining examples of good practice identified in the PAXIS initiative. An interview with Reinhard Büscher, Head of Unit for Innovation Policy Development at the Enterprise and Industry DG, examines the impact of PAXIS on future policy at the EU, national and regional levels. The magazine also reviews a technology business incubation ‘tool kit’ devised by UNESCO, the UN’s scientific, educational and cultural arm. Also available in the June edition is the final report by the CARS 21 High Level Group for a competitive automotive regulatory system. Finally, three reviews on the ever-growing fields of e-business and e-government inject a digital ‘e’ into this edition of Euroabstracts.
Future of Research
The European Parliament has adopted the report outlining the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) by an overwhelming majority. This endorses the structure of FP7. The report now gives broad support to the European Commission's proposed work programme, which will have a budget of EUR 50,521 billion. The Parliament also adopted, by a large majority, the report on the proposed European Atomic Energy Community's seventh Framework Programme (EURATOM). The spokesperson for European research Commissioner, Janez Potocnik, welcomed the vote, saying it went very much in favour of the Commission's original proposal. The document will now be debated by Member States, before a second reading in the Parliament later this year.
A recently completed foresight project, 'FinnSight 2015', has identified some 80 priority areas that Finland should focus on in the future, in order to reach scientific technological breakthroughs and new innovations, among which the management of global risks, energy, environment, and human and social factors. FinnSight 2015 is an initiative by the Academy of Finland and the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes), launched in 2005 to coincide with the Finnish government's development of its public research system.
The 5th Forum of European Neuroscience, organised by the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies, will take place from 8 to 12 July 2006 in Vienna, Austria, to discuss the latest developments in brain research from around the world. FENS 2006 aims to some 5,000 international delegates to consider advances in brain development and learning; stem cell therapy and spinal cord repair; memory, recognition, speech, hearing, sight and perception; depression, stress and hormones.
A workshop on applied and emerging technologies in food processing will take place on 5 to 7 July in Barcelona, Spain. The main aim of the event is to enhance research, promote new ideas in food science and intensify technology transfer to food industries. The workshop will also present the latest findings of a project funded under the of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), focused on developing and optimising a continuous Ultra High Pressure Homogeniser (UHPH), for application on milks and vegetable milks
Calls and Tenders
The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) has published a call for expressions of interest to compile a list of companies interested in the execution of studies in the following fields: life sciences; foresight on information society technologies and key applications in Europe; information and communication technologies (ICT); energy technologies and greenhouse mitigation policies; environment; clean; transport; support to research policy; economics of technical change; economic dimensions of prospective technological studies; cost benefit analysis; social dimension of sustainable development; and economics of industrial research and innovation.
The Institute of Food Sciences (ISA) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR) is looking for partners to identify the genes linked to monogenic diseases such as migraines, as well as more complex human diseases. The Institute has already obtained some results with regard to the identification of the Incontinentia Pigmenti (IP) gene which is linked to skin discolouration, as well as the first gene and associated variant involved in uric acid, Nephrolithiasis, which when crystallised forms kidney stones.
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 FP7 Partners Service, which also features an advanced search facility.
Every year, more than 50,000 EU citizens people are killed as a result of road accidents. In any other context, the loss of so many lives would constitute a major disaster. While numerous and varied European research projects are now focused on improving road safety, much of their work is still being carried out in isolation. In response to this, the EU-funded INTRO (‘Intelligent roads’) is integrating existing novel sensing technologies and developing local databases and combining them with real-time networking technologies. This will improve both road safety and capacity by providing rapid feedback of emerging problems to maintenance authorities and road users
Ceramic implants are an attractive new development in orthopedic surgery. They are being extensively used in total hip replacement, knee replacement and other joint replacement surgeries. However, wear in these implants is a serious limitation on their use. Ceramics like alumina and zirconia drastically reduces the wear rate. In the BIOKER project, funded under the European Commission's GROWTH programme, methods and materials were investigated with the aim to increase the longevity of ceramic-ceramic knee and hip orthopaedic implants. They developed a new material made of zirconia-toughened alumina nanocomposites to form ceramic-ceramic implants with potential life spans of more than 30 years.
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…
The name itself is eloquent enough: Theobroma cacao, God‘s food. And who can resist the charms of the sublime pleasure experienced when letting a piece of dark, flavoursome chocolate melt in the mouth and slide down the throat? But at the same time, ideals of nutrition and health seemed to conspire to spoil the fun and have demonised the consumption of chocolate and similar snacks to the point that so-called chocoholics see themselves as sinners ostensibly practicing unhealthy acts.