Publication date: 2007-01-19
Although the seasonal cheer of Christmas may have long gone, CORDIS Express detects in the air a definite early spring-like optimism among the movers and shakers of the European scientific policy community. In this week’s edition, we visit Bonn where the German research community gathered to get the low-down on the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). Also present were representatives from the German Government and the European Commission, who expressed high hopes for the future of European research. The event also gave German researchers and policy-makers time to reflect on their country’s impressive performance in the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6).
News - Top Stories
Representatives from the German Government and the European Commission have expressed high hopes for the future of European research following the launch of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). With FP7 now in full swing, the European Commission says it will turn its attention to reviewing progress on the European Research Area (ERA).
Germany is ranked first among all participating countries for FP6. At the country’s launch event for FP7 in Bonn on 15 and 16 January, CORDIS News caught up with Klaus Uckel of the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and asked him to reveal the secrets behind the country's winning performance.
Investment in research and development (R&D) in Europe would appear to be stagnant, according to preliminary figures from Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities. Despite having grown by 1.5% since 2001, R&D expenditure in the EU27 in 2005 stood at 1.84% of GDP - the same as in 2004. The preliminary results raise doubts as to whether the EU as a whole will be able to reach the Barcelona objective of investing 3% of GDP in research by 2010.
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 the economic impact of Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) on the European information and communication technologies (ICT) sector has found that it could increase Europe's competitiveness. The paper suggests that Europe is in a good position to increase its €22 billion investment in FLOSS (compared to 36 billion in the US), considering that 63% of all FLOSS developers are resident in the European Union, while only 20% are in the US and Canada.
Future of Research
Since the European Commission launched the ERA-NET scheme in 2002, intending to coordinate national research programmes, the initiative has 'met a need', according to an expert group charged with reviewing the scheme. And the need has not disappeared. The experts' report suggest ways of improving ERA-NETs, including the development of a 'brand name', and strategic reviews of programme owners' needs and priorities vis-à-vis trans-national research activities
Politicians have more trust than the general public in the work of researchers, but nonetheless make use of scientific research results all too rarely, according to a new Swedish study. Three-quarters of politicians interviewed claimed that they seek out scientific information to help them make political decisions. But paradoxically, it seems that politicians seldom look for research information within the areas that they believe are affected the most by research - health and energy.
The UK will hold a high-level conference on the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) on 6 February in London. The event will be opened by Malcolm Wicks, Minister for Science & Innovation, and EU Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik will give a talk on FP7 and the global context.
A three-day series of workshops on how to participate successfully in the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) will take place in Paris, France, between 14 and 16 February. They will cover issues such as financing strategies, how to write a competitive proposal and the legal aspects of the research contract. The workshops will be led by a former European Commission official, assisted by former European project managers both from industry and academia.
Calls and Tenders
The European Environment Agency (EEA) has launched a call for tenders for a GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) fast track service on land monitoring. The overall objective is the production of a seamless European high-resolution core land cover dataset of built-up areas, including degree of soil sealing, for the reference year 2006. These land cover data will support a wide range of environmental information requirements for framing, implementing and evaluating several policy areas at European, national and regional level.
The Czech Institute of Chemical Technology has a group focusing on the preparation and measurement of thin film chemical gas sensors. The group’s members have expertise in material engineering, deposition technologies, the characterisation of layer properties and data acquisition and data processing. In recent years the group has published several papers concerning thin film sensors with a high sensitivity and fast response to both reducing and oxidizing gases, and is now looking for partners.
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.
The DOUBLEFRESH project is seeking to extend the shelf life of pre-packed food without compromising on taste, appearance or nutritional content. Two concepts will be pursued: the 'double fresh' meal will have a shelf life of at least nine days (compared to today's five days), while the 'freshly cooked' meal will use either milder post-pasteurisation treatments or advanced packaging solutions to improve quality.
The ALUSI project has developed advanced thermal oxidation techniques to coat the Fe-20Cr-5Al alloy (PM 2000) with a thin outer alumina layer. Being neither allergenic nor carcinogenic, these aluminium forming alloys, the team says, could be used as biomaterials for hip or knee surgical implants. The project partners are seeking collaboration with designers of medical devices to develop this product further.
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…
One of humanity's oldest and most elusive goals has been to live forever, or at least live longer. Alchemists spent their lifetimes trying to cook up an elixir for longer life. Adam and Eve had it but then lost it. After so many failed attempts and disappointments, the good news is that researchers have discovered a way to live longer...