The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) has published its annual report for 1995. IPTS activities fall into three categories: - "Technology watch"; - Research on the links between technology, employment and competitiveness; - Research work in response to specific requests. In 1995, the IPTS was able to bid for competitive research contracts for the first time, thus gaining a valuable additional source of income and also forming new links with the scientific community. "Technology watch" activities aim to detect scientific breakthroughs, trends and events which might lead to technological innovation, in order to alert EU decision-makers about their implications and consequences, particularly where action at European level is needed. The IPTS works with the European Science and Technology Observatory (ESTO), a network of over 50 members across Europe, and collects and disseminates information about developments in five areas: energy, environment, information technologies, industrial technologies and materials and life sciences. Research on the impacts of technology on employment and industrial competitiveness has been carried out in areas such as the agro-food industry, transport telematics, the pharmaceutical industry and intellectual property rights. Work on request has mainly been in response to demand from the Commission's services, with projects undertaken, in 1995, in areas such as plastic recycling, clean production technologies, business and environment, sustainable development, renewable energies and regional development.