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Research & Technology in the EU

Latest news about research and innovation policy in the European Union.

Galileo, the EU's satellite navigation programme
Galileo, the EU's satellite navigation programme, has placed two more satellites into orbit. The lift-off took place on 27 March at 22.46 CET from the European spaceport near Kourou in French Guiana.Signals confirm that they were positioned as expected.

Connecting Europe Facility under way with EUR 100m to connect European energy networks
The European Commission opened calls for proposals on 4 March under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to help finance key trans-European energy infrastructure projects.

UK companies file more European patents in 2014
Patent filings at the European Patent Office (EPO) grew by 3.1% in 2014, hitting a new record high of over 274 000. Companies from the UK filed 6 823 patents at the EPO last year (2013: 6 510): with +4.8% the highest growth rate for the UK since 2011, and well above the 1.2% average increase of the 38 EPO member states.

research.eu results magazine no 38
research*eu results features highlights from the most exciting EU-funded research and development projects. Special feature: Can Hydrogen revolutionise our lifestyles? It is published 10 times per year in English, and covers: Biology and medicine - Social sciences and humanities - Energy and transport - Environment and society - IT and telecommunications - Industrial technologies - Space

2014 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard
The 2014 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard (the Scoreboard) contains economic and financial data for the world's top 2500 companies ranked by their investments in research and development (R&D). The sample consists of 633 companies based in the EU and 1867 companies based elsewhere. The Scoreboard data are drawn from the latest available companies' accounts, i.e. usually the fiscal year 2013/14. The 2014 Scoreboard shows that Investment in research and development by companies based in the EU grew by 2.6% in 2013, despite the unfavourable economic environment. However, this growth has slowed in comparison to the previous year's 6.8%. It is also below the 2013 world average (4.9%), and lags behind companies based in the US (5%) and Japan (5.5%).

2014 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard
Investment in research and development by companies based in the EU grew by 2.6% in 2013, despite the unfavourable economic environment. However, this growth has slowed in comparison to the previous year's 6.8%. It is also below the 2013 world average (4.9%), and lags behind companies based in the US (5%) and Japan (5.5%). These results were published on 4 December in the European Commission's 2014 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard, which analyses the top 2500 companies worldwide, representing about 90% of the total business R&D expenditure. Data show that EU-based companies (633) invested EUR 162.4 billion in 2013, whereas US-based companies (804) invested EUR 193.7 billion and the 387 Japanese ones EUR 85.6 billion.

Horizon 2020: first impressions
Horizon 2020, the EU’s biggest ever research and innovation programme, kicked off at the beginning of 2014. Worth EUR 80 billion and running over seven years, Horizon 2020 promised a simple structure that reduced red tape and time so participants could focus on what is really important. Has this been the experience of participants so far?

Public-Private Partnership for Big Data
The European Commission and Europe's data industry have committed to invest EUR 2.5 billion in a public-private partnership (PPP) that aims to strengthen the data sector and put Europe at the forefront of the global data race. Mastering big data could mean: up to 30% of the global data market for European suppliers; 100,000 new data-related jobs in Europe by 2020; 10% lower energy consumption, better health-care outcomes and more productive industrial machinery.

EUROfusion - the European Fusion Joint Programme
The European Commission and the European fusion research laboratories launched on 9 October a European joint programme on fusion in Horizon2020 - 'EUROfusion' - that will ensure significant progress along the path towards the realisation of fusion energy. This joint programme has an overall budget of at least EUR 850 million over the period 2014-18, of which about half will come from the Euratom Horizon 2020 fusion energy research programme.

Horizon Report: schools urged to tackle digital skills challenge
Low digital skills and competences among school pupils and the need to integrate effective use of information and communication technologies into teacher training are among the most pressing challenges faced by European school education today, according to a report published by the European Commission and the New Media Consortium, a US-based not-for-profit body bringing together experts in education technology.

Horizon Report Europe - 2014 Schools Edition
The NMC Horizon Project from the New Media Consortium is a long-term investigation launched in 2002 that identifies and describes emerging technologies likely to have a large impact over the coming five years in education around the globe. The NMC Horizon Report Europe: 2014 Schools Edition, the first of its kind for Europe, examines six key trends, six significant challenges and six important developments in educational technology that are very likely to impact educational change processes in European schools over the next five years (2014-2018). The topics within each section were carefully selected by the Horizon Project Europe Expert Panel, a body of 53 experts in European education, technology, and other fields. They come from 22 European countries, as well as international organisations and European networks. Throughout the report, references and links are made to more than 150 European publications (reports, articles, policy documents, blog posts etc.), projects (both EU-funded and national initiatives) and various policy initiatives from all over Europe. The Creative Classrooms multidimensional framework, developed by European Commission?s JRC-IPTS on behalf of DG EAC, was used for analysing the trends, challenges and technologies impacting European schools over the next five years. The analysis reveals that a systemic approach is needed for integrating new technologies in European schools and impacting educational change over the next five years.

EU funds Open and Disruptive Innovation
The European Commission is committing EUR 90 million to Open and Disruptive Innovation over the next 12 months.

FIWARE makes EUR 80m available for Europe's SMEs
The European Commission has launched the FIWARE Accelerator Programme, enabling EUR 80 million to be awarded to SMEs, Startups and web-entrepreneurs using FIWARE Technologies. The FIWARE Accelerator is a network of European organisations which has already launched first calls for proposals earlier this month. The remaining calls were presented in Munich on 17th & 18th September on the occasion of the European Conference on Future Internet.

FET Flagships: A novel partnering approach to address grand scientific challenges to boost innovation in Europe
The European Commission has published a report on its ambitious science and technology Flagships. The report draws the lessons from setting up the first two such Flagships, Graphene and the Human Brain Project, each representing an investment of EUR 1 billion.

GALILEO, the EU's satellite navigation programme
Galileo, the EU's satellite navigation programme, on 21 August sent two more satellites into space, reaching a total number of 6 satellites in orbit. The lift-off took place at the European spaceport near Kourou in French Guiana. The launch marked another milestone for Galileo as a step towards a fully-fledged European-owned satellite navigation system. These two satellites are the first of a new series which is fully owned by the EU. With the addition of a new wave of such satellites to the existing array, the availability and coverage of the Galileo signal is expected to gradually improve and bring us a step closer to the fully operational phase of the programme. The satellites launched, Doresa and Milena, were named by two schoolchildren who won an EU wide drawing competition to name them.

EU-industry partnerships boost for innovation
Research partnerships between the EU, the private sector and Member States presented their first calls for projects and partners under Horizon 2020, the EU's EUR 80 billion research and innovation programme. Worth a total of EUR 1.13 billion in public funding, which would be complemented by a comparable amount from the private partners, the first round of funding would go into projects that would improve people's lives as well as boost international competitiveness of Europe's industry. Topics included new treatments for diabetes and eye disease and a roll out of dozens of hydrogen-powered road vehicles and refuelling stations.

Interoperability as a means for modernising the public sector
The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a new programme that will help EU Member States to modernise their administrations and provide interoperable digital services at national and European level.

Top inventors honoured at European Inventor Award 2014
Inventors from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, UK, Japan and the US scooped top honours at the European Inventor Award 2014 in Berlin last week.

European Patent Office
The European Patent Office (EPO) offers inventors a uniform application procedure which enables them to seek patent protection in up to 40 European countries. The EPO is one of the leading international organisations in Europe, with some 7,000 staff from over 30 different countries at five locations in four countries. Under the European Patent Convention inventors can obtain patent protection in up to 40 countries by filing a single application.

Commercial access to Earth observation data: new EU proposal
Businesses and research institutions will soon have more reliable access to commercial earth observation satellite data, according to a proposal presented by the European Commission in Brussels on 17 June.

An environmental standards information portal for Europe
In Europe, we have a vast wealth of research results that support standards in relation to environmental aspects such as air, water, soil and waste. SIPE ('An environmental Standards Information Portal for Europe'), an EU-funded project, brings all these results together and combines them with information on standards and policies in a single dedicated web-based portal.

SPARC - the world's largest civilian robotics programme
The European Commission and 180 companies and research organisations (under the umbrella of euRobotics) launch on 3 June the world's largest civilian research and innovation programme in robotics.

Key Enabling Technologies & European Industrial Renaissance
At the Key Enabling Technologies summit on 19 May 2014 in Grenoble (France), European and local entrepreneurs together with Research Organisations met to discuss the future challenges for the reindustrialisation of Europe by using the most innovative and strategic technologies. Key Enabling Technologies comprise micro- and nanoelectronics, advanced materials, industrial biotechnology, photonics, nanotechnology and advanced manufacturing systems. Most innovative products nowadays, whether it is the smart phone or electric car, incorporate several KETs simultaneously, as single or integrated parts.

Innovation in the blue economy
Two thirds of the Earth is covered by oceans and seas. If we manage them in a responsible manner, they can provide sources of food, medicine and energy while protecting ecosystems for generations to come. However, in order to make this possible, we need to know more about our seas and oceans. The European Commission has today presented an Action Plan for Innovation in the 'Blue Economy' to help use ocean resources sustainably and drive growth and jobs in Europe.

Mapping the European ICT Poles of Excellence: The Atlas of ICT Activity in Europe
The EIPE Atlas presents the results of the empirical mapping of ICT activity in Europe and the ranking of the top European NUTS 3 regions based on their performance in EIPE Composite Indicator (EIPE CI), together with the ranks for the individual 42 indicators which contributed to the building of the EIPE composite indicators. The report offers a snapshot of the performance of regions that are identified as the main locations of ICT activity in Europe. It is meant to provide a comprehensive picture of how ICT activity is distributed across Europe and where its main locations are. This information is expected to give a better overview of the European ICT landscape, activity and actors in each location and to reveal their strengths and weaknesses.