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Research & Technology in the EU

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

Innovation Union Scoreboard 2011
The Innovation Union Scoreboard includes innovation indicators and trend analyses for the EU27 Member States, as well as for Croatia, Iceland, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey. It also includes comparisons based on a more reduced set of indicators between the EU27 and 10 global competitors.

The Innovation Union Scoreboard - guide
This memo provides an overview of the research and innovation performance of the different EU Member States, and associated and neighbouring countries, as measured by the Innovation Union Scoreboard 2011. The Scoreboard is prepared by the Maastricht Economic and Social Research and Training Centre on Innovation and Technology (MERIT), in collaboration with the Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC).

eBSN eBusiness Solutions Guide
This web-based guide is created by the European Commission as part of the European eBusiness Support Network (eBSN). It provides a review of the eBusiness and IT solutions market and supports companies and consultants to find and select appropriate software products, solutions, and service providers.

European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Strategic Innovation Agenda - guide
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is to significantly step up its efforts to drive innovation and entrepreneurship in the EU with the creation of six new cross-border innovation hubs, known as Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs), in 2014-2020. The European Commission has allocated a budget of €2.8 billion in the next financial framework to enable the EIT to expand and consolidate the development of its existing KICs which focus on climate change, sustainable energy and ICT.

Patents on chimpanzees, sperm cells and human genes - European Patents 'black List' published
Today Testbiotech is publishing a “Black List” of European Patents that have already been granted. Ten examples, granted since 2009, were selected for the list in cooperation with the Initiative “No Patents on Life”.

Antimicrobial Resistance - guide
With about 25,000 patients dying per year in the EU from infections caused by drug resistant bacteria and related costs of over 1.5 billion euros in healthcare expenses and productivity losses , antimicrobial resistance is a growing health problem in the EU. Today, on the eve of European Antibiotic Awareness Day, the European Commission tabled a comprehensive Action Plan on Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) which unveils12 concrete actions to be implemented in close cooperation with the EU Member States.

Binge drinking more common in northern Europe
The relationship between drinking and damage to one's health is stronger in the Baltic countries and Sweden than in Italy, new research from Europe shows. The findings, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, suggest that the northern part of Europe tends to report higher alcohol-harm relationships because of a stronger propensity to indulge in heavy episodic drinking, what experts label 'binge drinking'.

Connecting Europe Facility
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is a key EU funding instrument to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness through targeted infrastructure investment at European level. It supports the development of high performing, sustainable and efficiently interconnected trans-European networks in the fields of transport, energy and digital services. CEF investments fill the missing links in Europe's energy, transport and digital backbone.

A pilot for Europe 2020 Project Bond Initiative - EC legislative proposal - guide
The European Commission has tabled a plan which will fund EUR 50 billion worth of investment to improve Europe's transport, energy and digital networks. The "Connecting Europe Facility" will finance projects which fill the missing links in Europe's energy, transport and digital backbone. To assist with the financing of the Connecting Europe Facility, the Commission has also adopted the terms for the Europe 2020 Project Bond Initiative which will be one of a number of risk-sharing instruments upon which the facility may draw in order to attract private finance in projects. The pilot phase will start next year.

Connecting Europe Facility - guide
The European Commission has today tabled a plan which will fund €50 billion worth of investment to improve Europe's transport, energy and digital networks. Targeted investments in key infrastructures will help to create jobs and boost Europe's competitiveness at a time when Europe needs this most. The "Connecting Europe Facility" will finance projects which fill the missing links in Europe's energy, transport and digital backbone. It will also make Europe's economy greener by promoting cleaner transport modes, high speed broadband connections and facilitating the use of renewable energy in line with the Europe 2020 Strategy. In addition the funding for energy networks will further integrate the internal energy market, reduce the EU's energy dependency and bolster the security of supply.

Commission Recommendation on the definition of nanomaterial - guide
"Nanomaterials" are materials whose main constituents have a dimension of between 1 and 100 billionth of a metre, according to a recommendation adopted by the European Commission on 18 October. The announcement marks an important step towards greater protection for citizens, clearly defining which materials need special treatment in specific legislation.

The 2011 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard
The 2011 "EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard" (the Scoreboard) collects information on the top 1000 EU companies and 1000 non-EU companies investing the largest sums in R&D in the last reporting year. The Scoreboard includes data on R&D investment along with other economic and financial data from the last four financial years.

EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard 2011 - guide
The European Commission's 2011 "EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard" shows that R&D investment by top EU companies recovered strongly in 2010, with a 6.1% rise following a 2.6% decrease in 2009. However, data for the world's top 1400 companies show EU companies as a whole lagging behind major competitors from the US and some Asian economies on R&D growth. There was a general positive trend in 2010, as global R&D investment increased by 4%, a robust up-turn after the 1.9% drop observed in 2009. The global top 50 in terms of total R&D investment includes 15 EU companies, 18 US firms and 13 from Japan. Two pharmaceutical companies occupied the top spots: Roche from Switzerland (€7.2bn) followed by Pfizer from the US (€7bn). Volkswagen (€6.3bn), in sixth place, is the biggest EU investor in R&D, followed by Nokia (11th with €4.9bn), Daimler (13th with €4.8bn) and Sanofi-Aventis (14th with €4.4bn).

Innovation Union competitiveness report 2011
The present Innovation Union Competitiveness report monitors progress towards the EU and national R&D headline targets and provides economic evidence and analysis to underpin EU and national policy making in support of Innovation Union. It aims to complement the overall review of Europe 2020 targets in the European Commission Annual Growth Survey by offering a deeper perspective on R&D intensity targets at EU and national level and presenting evidence on the dynamics of knowledge-intensive firms and other aspects of innovation. The report also extends and complements the Innovation Union scoreboard indicators to address the whole cycle of innovation, including the impact of research and innovation on raising competitiveness and tackling societal challenges.

Progress in the Development of Alternative Methods to Animal Testing for Cosmetics - Commission report
The European Commission presented on 13 September its yearly report on Alternative Methods to Animal Tests in the Field of Cosmetics to the European Parliament and Council.

Funding boost of EUR 7bn for Innovation Union
Research is set to remain high on the EU's political agenda as Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn announces the release of nearly EUR 7 billion for stimulating European innovation through research funding.

EUR 7 billion of investment in research and innovation - guide
Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn announced on 19 July nearly EUR 7 billion to kick-start innovation through research. The European Commission's biggest ever such funding package, under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7), is expected to create around 174,000 jobs in the short-term and nearly 450,000 jobs and nearly EUR 80 billion in GDP growth over 15 years. EU research funding is at the top of the political agenda and has now been placed at the centre of a coherent innovation strategy, the Innovation Union, which the Commission says Europe needs if it is to compete with large, dynamic countries like the US and China.

Science for Environment Policy - Resource Efficiency
Humanity is demanding ever greater economic productivity at a time when natural resources, the input that feeds this productivity, are dwindling. To reduce pressure on key assets, such as water, minerals, fuel and land, we must use less of them, and we need to increase the efficiency and productivity of resources that we do use, to achieve more output per input. Put simply, we must do more with less. This thematic issue reports on research which helps guide the way to a more resource efficient society. Science for Environment Policy is a free news service published by the European Commission’s DG Environment and edited by the Science Communication Unit at the University of the West of England (UWE).

Intellectual Property Strategy - guide
Intellectual property rights (IPR), which comprise patents, trademarks, designs and geographical indications, as well as copyright (authors' rights) and rights related to copyright (for performers, producers and broadcasters), have been around for centuries. Often, without our even realising, they affect our daily lives: they protect the technology we use (cars, mobile phones, trains), the food we eat and the music we listen to or the films we watch. But in the last few years, technological change and, in particular, the growing importance of online activities, have completely changed the world in which IPR operate. The existing mix of European and national rules are no longer adapted and need to be modernised. That is why the Commission has adopted today a comprehensive strategy to revamp the legal framework in which IPR operate. Our objective is to enable inventors, creators, users and consumers to adapt to the new circumstances and to enhance new business opportunities. The new rules will strike the right balance between promoting creation and innovation, in part by ensuring reward and investment for creators and, on the other hand, promoting the widest possible access to goods and services protected by IPR. Getting this balance right will make a real difference to businesses (from the individual artist working alone to the big pharmaceutical companies) by encouraging investment in innovation. This will benefit the EU's growth and competitiveness which is delivered through the single market. Consumers will benefit from wider and easier access to information and cultural content, for example online music. The strategy deals with many issues to ensure IPR are covered comprehensively - from the patent a business needs to protect an invention to tackling the misuse of such inventions via a proposal also adopted today which will strengthen action on counterfeiting and piracy. Among the first deliverables of this IPR overall strategy are today's proposals for an easier licensing system for so-called "orphan works" that will allow many cultural works to be accessible online, and for a new regulation to reinforce customs actions in fighting trade of IPR infringing goods.

European Satellite Radio Navigation Programmes Galileo and EGNOS - guide
The launch of the first two operational satellites of the EU's global navigation satellite system will take place on 20th October, the European Commission has announced. This is just the first of a series of launches due to take off from Europe's Space Port in Kourou, French Guiana. The launch of the Galileo satellites at an altitude of 23.600km will lead to the provision of initial satellite navigation services in 2014. Successive launches will complete the constellation by 2019.

Cord Blood Europe calls for objective debate on family storage of cord blood cells
On average 11.7% of pregnant women are willing to store their child's cord blood stem cells in a private bank, according to a study that was published in the recognized Journal Transfusion and that analyzed attitudes towards cord blood storage in 5 EU countries.

SME brochure: Which European Research Programmes are most suitable for your SME?
This brochure is a publication of the European NCP-SME Network, adressed to European SMEs in order to provide them with information on specific European research programmes suitable for their needs and research capacities.

Unitary EU patent proposal: Summary of the impact assessment
The procedure for searching, examining and granting European patents is well-functioning and widely accepted by applicants from Europe and third countries. This standardised procedure, however, is complemented by mandatory post-grant procedures that are complex, divergent and result in unnecessary cost for business. This Impact Assessment looks into the problems and possible solutions with respect to the post-grant stage of patent protection.

The Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) - EU grants and loans in the field of research and technology

Information Society
EU loans and grants in the field of the Information Society