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Research & Technology in the EU

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

Data protection in the EU
Developments of a frontier free Internal Market and of the so called 'information society' increase the cross-frontier flows of personal data between Member States of the EU. In order to remove potential obstacles to such flows and to ensure a high level of protection within the EU, data protection legislation has been harmonised. The Commission also engages in dialogues with non-EU countries in order to insure a high level of protection when exporting personal data to those countries. It also initiates studies on the development on European and international level on the state of data protection.

SMEs and the ICT challenge
20 million small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the European economy. They represent 99% of all enterprises in the EU and provide around 65 million jobs. They create wealth, foster new ideas and are a key source of new jobs. By using ICT and particularly e-business, SMEs have greater opportunities to develop: they are able to buy and sell over the Internet, reduce their costs and boost productivity, and manage change more effectively. e-business helps eliminate the barrier of distance, allowing SMEs to trade worldwide from a single website.

European cosmetics industry
The European cosmetics industry has a value of output of more than EUR 35 billion; is highly innovative, with major cosmetic companies replacing or reformulating around 25% of their products every year; and employs over 150.000 Europeans directly, with a further 350.000 jobs created indirectly in retail, distribution and transport. The main regulatory framework which aims at ensuring the free circulation of cosmetic products in the internal market and safeguarding the safety of cosmetic products placed on the EU-market is the Council Directive 76/768 of 27 July 1976 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to cosmetic products ("Cosmetics Directive").

EU Internet Policies and Activities
The Internet is a critical element of the Information Society, particularly in Europe, where it can help bridge national boundaries and create a truly European economy and society.

Galileo European Satellite Navigation System
The Galileo programme is Europe's initiative for a state-of-the-art global satellite navigation system, providing a highly accurate global positioning service under civilian control. The fully deployed system will consist of 30 satellites and the associated ground infrastructure. Galileo will provide Europe with independence in satellite navigation but will also be inter-operable with GPS and GLONASS, the two other global satellite navigation systems.

Trans-European Networks
The construction of Trans-European Networks (TEN) is seen as an important element for economic growth and the creation of employment. The idea for TEN emerged by the end of the 1980s in conjunction with the proposed Single Market. A big market, with freedom of movement within it for goods, persons and services, needed the various regions and national networks making up that market to be properly linked by modern and efficient infrastructure.

Transport networks (TEN-T)
Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T) - the construction of the trans-European transport network is a major element in economic competitiveness and a balanced and sustainable development of the European Union.

Safer Internet in the EU
The EU Safer Internet plus programme aims to promote safer use of the Internet and new online technologies, particularly for children, and to fight against illegal content and content unwanted by the end-user, as part of a coherent approach by the European Union.

Fighting Spam in Europe
Article 13(1) of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive requires Member States to prohibit the sending of unsolicited commercial communications by fax or e-mail or other electronic messaging systems such as SMS and MMS unless the prior consent of the addressee has been obtained (opt-in system).

SME TechWeb
This European Commission website provides information and resources for technology - oriented companies with fewer than 250 employees (small and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs) - especially those wishing to innovate and internationalise. It is of particular value to those who want to apply for research funding through the new measures of the European Union's Sixth Research and Technological Development Framework Programme (FP6).

CADDET - energy technologies research
The CADDET (centre for the analysis and dissemination of demonstrated energy technologies) initiative has launched a new web service comprising a one-stop-shop to information on sustainable energy technologies and projects. CADDET brings together the countries participating in the International Energy Agency (all 15 EU Member States, two acceding countries, and others), and the European Commission. Its aim is to provide the latest information on innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies that have been applied in a commercial environment, and ultimately to promote their widespread uptake by the market. The new site allows users to search products, specifying individual technologies, countries or market sectors.

eCommunications - Networks and Services
Services or networks that transmit communications electronically, whether it is wireless or fixed, carrying data or voice, Internet based or circuit switched, broadcasting or personal communication are all covered by a set of EU rules that became applicable on 25 July 2003. The legal framework is aimed at developing and reinforcing the single market, promoting competition and safeguarding public and user interests in the electronic communications sector.

CIP – Innovation and entrepreneurship, ICT and intelligent energy
CIP is a programme for SMEs bringing together several existing EU activities that support competitiveness and innovation The new CIP programme has a budget of EUR 3.621 billion, from 2007-2013. On an annual basis this represents an increase of 60% compared to 2006 under the various equivalent predecessor programmes. It is estimated, that more than 350.000 enterprises will benefit from the new Financial Instruments under CIP.

EU Influenza Research
As news reaches the public about the spread of H5N1 'avian' influenza virus from Asia to Europe and Africa, it raises some questions. What is the difference between seasonal, avian and pandemic influenza? Is Europe prepared for a pandemic? What are scientists and, especially, EU-funded projects doing to help? This website presents current EU-funded flu and virus research – both human and pandemic strains and animal strains – and future initiatives. It also features profiles of some key personnel engaged in the battle against this deadly opponent.