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The Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

CORDIS Express

A weekly briefing on European Research & Innovation
Publication date: 2006-10-13

Editorial

A glance at the past week‘s headlines in CORDIS News may lead one to believe that Europe has nothing to worry from emerging economies, so often touted as a real threat to Europe‘s prosperity. Not only has Europe increased its R&D; investment at a rate that, should it continue, could close the gap with competitors, but 12 months of close collaboration under the heading ’China-EU Science and Technology Year‘ has just begun.

News - Top Stories

EU companies close R&D; investment gap with competitors

EU companies have significantly increased their investment in research and development (R&D), a trend which, if it continues, could help Europe close the investment gap between it and other world R&D players, a European Commission survey has revealed. Broken down, the figures reveal that European companies increased their R&D investment by an average of 5.3%. This is an improvement on 2004, when investment was sluggish and growth fell by 2%.

China-EU Science and Technology Year kicks off

The China-EU Science and Technology Year (CESTY) was officially launched in Brussels on 11 October. Through a series of events, the initiative is expected to stimulate further dialogue between the two regions on science and technology (S&T) strategy and policy, and foster a more enduring exchange of ideas, people, and resources. 'It is high time that we seize the opportunity derived from the formulation and implementation of [...] strategies on both sides to deepen mutual understanding of each other's strategic orientation, objectives, policies and other relevant aspects with a view to usher in a new stage of our joint endeavor,' said Chinese Vice-Minister for Science and Technology, Wu Zhongze.

EU and IAEA celebrate silver anniversary of cooperation in field of nuclear safeguards

This year the European Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) celebrate 25 years of cooperation in the field of nuclear safeguards. The anniversary was marked by a ceremony in Karlsruhe, southern Germany, where both parties pledged to continue their cooperation, at which CORDIS News was present. 'We are not only celebrating today,' commented Roland Schenkel, Director General of the JRC, which has provided technical support to the Agency. 'We are also making a commitment to the future.'

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

Nine ideas to bridge industry-academia gap

The Science l Business news service has launched a nine-point innovation manifesto intended to cut to the heart of where Europe is going wrong with its innovation efforts. It includes recommendations on technology transfer offices, seed investment, fiscal incentives and patents. 'At Science l Business [...], we believe it's time for the politicians to stop fussing about the spending gap between the US, Europe or China - and focus instead on a different kind of gap, between industry and academia. Into that gap falls the patent that goes unexploited, the research report that gets ignored, or the researcher who leaves for richer labs in San Francisco or Singapore,' reads the report's introduction.

For further information on technology and innovation on CORDIS, go to Technology Marketplace .

Future of Research

MEPs ask to be co-guarantor of ERC's integrity

The European Parliament's Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) committee has adopted consultation reports on three of the specific programmes for FP7: Ideas, Capacities and Cooperation. 'Ideas' refers to the European Research Council, a new pan-European funding agency for fundamental research. While the Commission originally proposed that members would be appointed by the Commission, following an independent identification procedure, a compromise amendment adopted by the committee states: 'Its members will be selected from among the scientific community by the Scientific Council, ensuring the diversity of the scientists' research fields, following general criteria set by European legislator [...] and appointed by the Commission after a hearing in the European Parliament.'

The Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) service is the starting point when looking for FP7 information on CORDIS.

Around Europa

Greek researchers lead the way on thin film technology

Thin film technology is key to many areas of the optoelectronic industry, having applications in photovoltaic and thermo-electrical elements, toxic gas detectors and telecommunications. The morphological, electrical and optical properties of the films can be altered by the careful deposition onto the film of ‘impurity’ atoms. Now a team of Greek and Romanian researchers has developed a new deposition method which gives researchers greater control over the quantity and placing of the impure atoms.

Top Events

Large Scale Integration of Wind Energy, Brussels

The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) has organised a policy conference to discuss 'How to integrate big amounts of wind energy into the European power infrastructure', to be held in Brussels, Belgium, on 7 and 8 November. Speakers will include European Commissioner for Energy, Andris Piebalgs, and MEPs and experts from around Europe.

Workshop on the impacts of endocrine disruptors, Helsinki, Finland

An international conference on the impacts of endocrine disruptors will be held under the auspices of the Finnish EU presidency on 8-10 November 2006 in Helsinki. International experts and policy-makers from EU Member States will come together to assess new research findings, identify knowledge gaps, define future research priorities and consider the implications for policy-making and chemicals regulation.

For more event announcements, see Forthcoming Events in the CORDIS Press Corner.

Calls and Tenders

RISET project launches competitive call

The Reprogramming the Immune System for the establishment of Tolerance (RISET) project has launched a competitive call for new partners. Interested parties should be engaged in clinical trials aimed at minimising immunosuppression on the basis of biomarkers and/or innovative therapies. Proposals should consist in prospective studies in any area of organ or cell transplantation. Investigators must agree to enter clinical data in the RISET database and to provide blood samples from enrolled patients for analysis in reference laboratories of the RISET consortium.

FP6 calls can be viewed in our Sixth Framework Programme Calls service , while a broader selection of calls and tenders are available in the CORDIS News Calls section.

Partners Service

Spanish ICT companies keen to embark on EU projects

The Regional Development Agency of the Spanish region of Murcia aims to promote the participation of local companies in European projects. A number of enterprises in the region are keen to join a consortium for projects in the IST field. Their expertise covers a range of areas, including software development for SMEs; digital content development; voice recognition software; wireless applications and security; defence applications and embedded electronic systems development.

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.

Projects Update

Reducing the threat posed by avalanches and landslides

Avalanches, landslides and debris flows pose serious threats to human safety, land use and infrastructure across Europe. However, predicting when and where one of these ‘extremely rapid mass movements’ will occur is extremely difficult. The IRASMOS (Integral Risk Management of Extremely Rapid Mass Movements) project aims to develop a set of tools which will help to assess the risk of these events occurring, and to develop effective countermeasures.

The CORDIS FP6 Find a Project section offers factsheets and contact details for projects funded under the Sixth Framework Programme. You can also browse the FP5 projects section (archived) to see what kinds of research proposals have been chosen for European funding in the past.

Technology Marketplace

Unrolling plastic optical fibre cables

Within the EU project MOTIFES, French company Nexans Draveil developed state-of-the-art optical cables for on-board equipment. The use of plastic optical fibres (POF) in cable manufacturing has increased, leading to competition to provide advanced solutions. The new products are high-speed PMMA (polymehtyl(methacrylate)) and fluorinated POF cables. Tests have shown that they could be exploited in civil aircrafts, in both multimedia applications and cabin utilities.

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…

Selflessness zapped – hooray!

Ever wished you were a more ruthless negotiator? Or are you fed up with people who thrust their way through life with a ’devil take the hindmost‘ air and an ’it‘s all about me‘ attitude? Or perhaps you‘ve just marvelled at the rampant egos and primitive primate dynamics of the occupants of the Big Brother house?