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European RTD Insight - December 2008

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The EERA's main objective is to accelerate the development of new energy technologies by conceiving and implementing Joint Research Programmes in support of

    British Council online bulletin DECEMBER 2008

    News on EU Research Policy and Programmes

    Table of contents

    EU Policy ........................................................................................................................................... 2 Further round of FP7 calls open ..................................................................................................... 2 ERC Advanced Grants: full results announced .............................................................................. 3 EIT executive committee elected .................................................................................................... 3 EC outlines challenges in health and consumer policies ............................................................... 3 New EC policy on innovation clusters ............................................................................................ 4 An EU-wide strategy for rare diseases ........................................................................................... 4 Commissioner addresses poverty related diseases conference .................................................... 5 Bosnia and Herzegovina associates to FP7 ................................................................................... 5 Financially sustainable universities................................................................................................. 6 EDCTP progress report .................................................................................................................. 6 New report on societal aspects of nanotechnology ........................................................................ 6 Energy Commissioner gives speech on carbon capture and storage ............................................ 7 Revision of animal experimentation directive ................................................................................. 7 British Council Opening Doors ........................................................................................................ 8 EC approves 143 new LIFE+ projects ............................................................................................ 8 French Presidency conference on the Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan .......................... 9 Survey on the need for a new EU nano-related infrastructure ....................................................... 9 Research News ............................................................................................................................... 10 Inauguration of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN .................................................................... 10 New European alliance in energy research .................................................................................. 10 ESA challenges students to design robots ................................................................................... 11 EC funded project proves virtual drug detection outsourcing technology .................................... 11 Education, Training and Culture ................................................................................................... 11 New partnerships to promote regional co-operation in education ................................................ 11 Young Europeans enthusiastic about science but not looking for scientific careers ................. 12 External Collaboration ................................................................................................................... 12 Joint declaration signed with India ................................................................................................ 12 New network connection links researchers in Europe and Asia ................................................... 13 ISSUE: E1 12:08 DECEMBER 2008 1

    Drivers of international collaboration ............................................................................................ 13 Events and Awards ........................................................................................................................ 14 2009 Research Connection conference ....................................................................................... 14 European biomass conference and exhibition .............................................................................. 14 Fifth EDCTP forum ....................................................................................................................... 15 Sustainable development conference .......................................................................................... 15 Winners of ESA drawing competition announced ........................................................................ 15 New Publications and Online Resources .................................................................................... 16 Website to track alternatives to animal testing ............................................................................. 16 Launch of new European digital library ........................................................................................ 16 New catalogue of EU-funded emerging epidemics projects ......................................................... 17 IPR-helpdesk launches new FP7 and CIP website ...................................................................... 17 European IPR database in agricultural biotechnology ................................................................. 17 CORDIS ........................................................................................................................................ 18 IGLO Project Search ..................................................................................................................... 18 EUR-LEX (Official Journal C and L) ............................................................................................. 18 EUROPA ....................................................................................................................................... 18 RAPID ........................................................................................................................................... 19 cubed… from the British Council .................................................................................................. 19 Talking Science............................................................................................................................. 19 GLOSSARY ..................................................................................................................................... 19

EU Policy

    Further round of FP7 calls open

    On 19 November the EC published a further series of FP7 calls for proposals. All of the supporting

    documentation required for an application, including Work Programmes and Guides for Applicants,

    are available on the EU‟s Cordis website. The following themes within the Co-operation pillar of

    FP7 have opened calls: Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), and Nanosciences,

    Nantechnologies, Materials, and New Production Technologies (NMP). There was a joint call

    between ICT and Energy, and another joint call between NMP and Environment. There is also an

    ERA-net call involving: Environment; Food, Agriculture, Fisheries, and Biotechnology; Health; NMP;

    and Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities. The ERA-net scheme aims to strengthen the co-

    ordination between national and regional research programmes.

There was also a call for the Marie Curie Action called Co-funding of Regional, National, and

    International Programmes, whilst the International Research Staff Exchange Scheme call opened

    on the 25 November. The latest calls for the European Research Council‟s Advanced Grants

    scheme opened on 19 November for all three domains (Physical Sciences and Engineering, Life

    Sciences, and Social Sciences and Humanities). A fission call also opened under Euratom.

    Further information

    A full list of all of the calls that have opened, including the supporting documentation, is available

    from: http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/dc/index.cfm?fuseaction=UserSite.FP7CallsPage&rs

    ISSUE: E1 12:08 DECEMBER 2008 2

ERC Advanced Grants: full results announced

    The ERC has announced the full results of the 2008 Advanced Grant call. The results had previously been published for the three main research domains. However, the results of the final domain, which was for interdisciplinary proposals, have now been published too. The list of proposals funded under the life sciences domain has been updated to include the new proposals that have been funded out of the additional budget allocation.

    For the physical sciences and engineering domain, 998 proposals were submitted and 114 have been chosen for funding. For the social sciences and humanities domain, 404 proposals were submitted and 48 will be funded. The life sciences domain saw 776 submissions with 84 of these being funded. For the final domain, interdisciplinary proposals, 31 will be funded. Based on the 2,167 proposals that were submitted to the ERC call, the average age of the grantee is 51. The grantees represent 26 different nationalities and they will be working in host institutions in 23 different countries throughout Europe.

    Further information

    The ERC website is available at: http://erc.europa.eu/

    The ERC press release on Advanced Grants results is available at:

    http://erc.europa.eu/pdf/Press_release_AdG_07-11-08.pdf

    EIT executive committee elected

    The governing board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) had their second meeting in Budapest during October 2008. During this meeting they elected a subset, of four members, to act as the Executive Committee. This Committee will prepare meetings and facilitate the EIT‟s strategic decision making. It will also oversee the implementation of the Strategic Innovation Agenda (SIA), the triennial work programme and selection procedure for the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs). KICs are the integrated partnerships comprising businesses, entrepreneurs, universities, research institutes and technology centres. However, it should be noted that all EIT-related decisions will continue to be taken by the governing board as a whole.

    The four members of the governing board elected to the executive committee are: Professor Giovanni Adjunct Colombo, Politecnico di Torino, and former Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and head of long-term research, Telecom Italia; Dr Anders Flodström, University Chancellor, Swedish National Agency for Higher Education; Dr Daria Gołębiowska-Tataj, founder and managing partner,

    EMF (Enterprise Management and Finance) Consultancy and Professor/Researcher at Warsaw University of Technology Business School; and Dr Professor Yrjö Neuvo, research director at Helsinki University of Technology, former Chairman of the ARTEMIS Joint Technology Platform, and former CTO at Nokia.

    Further information

    News and further information on the EIT can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/eit/index_en.htm

    EC outlines challenges in health and consumer policies

    The EC has published a draft paper entitled „Future challenges for EU Health and Consumer Policies, a follow-up conference was held in Brussels on 29 and 30 October 2008. The paper aims

    to reflect on what is needed to address the major challenges facing the EU in the long-term, and to develop a strategic approach to preparing DG Health and Consumers (DG SANCO) for the future. The paper pulls together an extensive range of activities undertaken by the EC, stakeholder projects, and also consultations conducted over the past few years. The paper is in effect the result of a reflections process and a mapping of the most important challenges.

ISSUE: E1 12:08 DECEMBER 2008 3

The process of analysis has demonstrated that for DG SANCO to continue delivering what is

    required in public, animal and plant health, food safety, and consumer policy areas in the years to

    come then it must address some pressing needs. There is a need to target action towards citizens,

    and to better anticipate and communicate uncertainties in risk analysis to citizens and stakeholders.

    There is also a requirement to integrate major societal challenges linked to sustainability, health

    lifestyles and inequalities into the vision for „safer, healthier, and more confident citizens‟.

    Further information

    Further information on the future challenges paper is available at:

    http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/health_consumer/future_challenges/future_challenges_en.htm

    New EC policy on innovation clusters

    Günter Verheugen, the European Commissioner for Enterprise, recently launched a new EC policy

    on innovation clusters. In order to create a more efficient framework for cluster support, the new

    policy proposes to: improve the functioning of the internal market and remove remaining barriers to

    trans-national mobility; establish a high-level „European Cluster Policy Group‟ to explore ways on how best to assist Member States in supporting the emergence of world-class clusters; expand the

    policy dialogue initiated by the European Cluster Alliance among Members States and EU regions;

    further develop the European Cluster Observatory into a full-fledged service to clusters across the

    EU; and launch a pilot scheme offering training programmes and platforms for cooperation of

    cluster.

Commissioner Verheugen was at the Fourth Competitive Cluster Forum in Sophia Antipolis,

    France, on 13 - 14 November, to launch this new policy drive. He pointed out that the importance

    of better exploiting the potential of innovation clusters and how they could act as the main driver of

    Europe‟s competitiveness. The forum saw stakeholders and experts in the field from around the

    world. Many of the presentations given at the forum are available on the conference website.

    Further information

    EC Press Release IP/08/1548 of 17 October 2008 is available at: http://europa.eu/rapid

    The EC web pages on innovation policy are available at:

    http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/innovation/index_en.htm Further details of the Sophia Antipolis conference, including several of the presentations given, are

    available at:

    http://www.sophia-antipolis.org/ue2008/programme2.htm

    An EU-wide strategy for rare diseases

    The EC recently adopted a Communication on rare diseases, which essentially sets out a

    European strategy for this area. The Communication follows on from a public consultation carried

    out earlier this year. The specificities of rare diseases single them out as an area of high EU

    added-value. The EC, therefore, feels it is important to reinforce co-operation between Member

    States and also between centres of excellence on rare diseases. It is hoped that this will pool

    together the scarce resources available and better coordinate the expertise in this area.

The strategy has three main parts to it: improving recognition and visibility of rare diseases;

    supporting national plans for rare diseases in the Member States; and strengthening co-operation

    and coordination for rare diseases at European level. The strategy was presented at the EU

    conference on National Plans for Rare Diseases, which took place in Paris on 18 November 2008

    as part of the French Presidency of the EU.

    ISSUE: E1 12:08 DECEMBER 2008 4

Further information

    The EC Communication on rare diseases is available at:

    http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_threats/non_com/rare_10_en.htm The agenda of the EU conference on National Plans for Rare Diseases is available from:

    http://ue2008.fr/PFUE/lang/en/accueil/PFUE-11_2008/PFUE-

    18.11.2008/strategies_et_plans_nationaux_pour_les_maladies_rares_en_europe

    Commissioner addresses poverty related diseases conference

    On 13 - 14 November 2008, the EC held the 'Challenges for the Future: research on HIV/AIDS,

    Malaria and Tuberculosis' conference. The event brought together almost 300 international

    participants and aimed at raising the profile of the importance of research in the area of the „big

    three‟ global killer diseases - HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB. It was an opportunity for the EC and

    participants to report on EU funded research in this area. The conference provided a forum to

    gather input from relevant stakeholders in order to set future research priorities on poverty related

    diseases (PRDs) for the remainder of FP7.

In his opening speech, EU Commissioner for Research Janez Potočnik highlighted that in FP6 the

    EC spent ?450 million on research and development into new drugs, vaccines and clinical

    investigations for PRDs. This resulted in more than 80 collaborative projects involving more than

    250 research groups. These projects brought together academic researchers, the pharmaceutical

    industry and SMEs to collaborate in the area of HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB. The EC support will be

    continued in FP7 as well as through the European and Developing countries Clinical Trials

    Partnership (EDCTP) which approved, in June 2008, over ?80 million for research into these three diseases.

    Further information

    EC Press Release SPEECH/08/611 of 13 November 2008 is available at: http://europa.eu/rapid

    The presentations from the conference will be available at:

    http://poverty-related-diseases.teamwork.fr

    Bosnia and Herzegovina associates to FP7

    Bosnia and Herzegovina signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the EC on the 24

    November 2008 in Brussels. This 'Associated status' will allow Bosnia and Herzegovina to

    participate in all Calls for Proposals and compete on an equal footing with EU Member States and

    other Associated Countries for research co-operation, as well as support actions funded under

    FP7 as from 1 January 2009. The EC feels that this agreement is also an important step in

    Bosnia's integration into the European Research Area and in the pre-accession process for

    European Union membership.

    Bosnia is now the twelfth Associated Country in FP7. The other Associated Countries are Norway,

    Iceland, Lichtenstein, Israel, Switzerland, Turkey, Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

    (FYRoM), Serbia, Montenegro, and Albania. The EC Commissioner for Research Janez Potočnik

    said: “I am pleased to see that with Bosnia and Herzegovina‟s association to the FP7, we have all

    the Balkan countries on board to participate in the ERA”. Further information

    EC Press Release IP/08/1758 of 24 November 2008 is available at: http://europa.eu/rapid

    ISSUE: E1 12:08 DECEMBER 2008 5

Financially sustainable universities

    The European University Association (EUA) has published a report entitled „Financially Sustainable

    Universities: towards full costing in European universities. The report study provided information and empirical data for the ongoing debate, and also an analysis of the current situation with regard

    to full costing and the relationship between autonomy, accountability, and financial suitability. The

    recommendations were divided into those to universities, those to national governments, to

    European institutions, and to all parties.

This report provides an analysis of the current state of play with respect to the development of full

    costing in higher education institutions in Europe. It presents a further evaluation of systems that

    are in place or are being developed and an analysis of cost drivers, benefits and obstacles in the

    process of working towards full costing. The findings clearly demonstrate the diversity of progress

    towards full costing across the EU. The report highlights that the definition for full costing should be

    broad enough to allow for the development of diversity of approaches that are needed to comply

    with the national legislative differences across Europe.

    Further information

    Further information is available at: http://www.eua.be/eua-news/view-item/article/701

    EDCTP progress report

    The EC has published a progress report on the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials

    Partnership (EDCTP) which was established in 2003, under FP6 as the first 'Article 169' initiative.

    The report provides information on the achievements and current status of the first five years of

    EDCTP from 2003 to 2008, following the recommendations of the independent report on EDCTP in

    2007. The report highlights that since 2007, the EDCTP Secretariat has redefined its scientific

    strategy, through stakeholder's meetings held on the different diseases and products, increased

    collaboration with Public-Private Partnerships, renewed calls for proposals, and simplified the co-

    funding.

In addition, participating Member States have created a General Assembly Steering Committee,

    renewed their commitment to the EDCTP, reinforced African participation into the General

    Assembly, and are increasingly accepting of a unique central EDCTP evaluation. The report

    explains that the EC is now joining efforts of its relevant services in relation to EDCTP and is

    working on a strategic research policy for Africa including EDCTP, and setting pre-conditions for

    future Article 169 initiatives, such as the necessity to ensure the pre-existence of national

    programmes and commitment to funding.

    Further information

    The EDCTP Progress Report can be downloaded at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=SEC:2008:2724:FIN:EN:PDF

    Further information about the EDCTP is available at: http://www.edctp.org

    New report on societal aspects of nanotechnology

    The EC has recently published a report entitled, „European activities in the field of ethical, legal and

    social aspects (ELSA) and governance of nanotechnology‟. The report was produced in order to

    summarise the societal dimension of the EU-funded nanotechnology research that has currently

    taken place in FP5, FP6 and FP7. This report will also be updated regularly so that it captures all of

    the new activities that take place throughout the duration of FP7.

A full list of all the nanotechnology projects focussed on societal and governance issues is

    provided in Annex I to the report. It shows that in FP6 the EC funded 20 projects in the field of

    ISSUE: E1 12:08 DECEMBER 2008 6

ELSA and the governance of nanotechnology at a cost of ?8,849,400. Furthermore, the report also

    gives details of five projects funded to date in FP7 on the same theme. This number will of course

    increase throughout the current programme and the publication will be updated regularly to take

    account of this.

    Further information

    The „European activities in the field of ethical, legal and social aspects (ELSA) and governance of

    nanotechnology‟ report is available at:

    ftp://ftp.cordis.europa.eu/pub/nanotechnology/docs/elsa_governance_nano.pdf

    The Cordis web pages on nanotechnology are available at:

    http://cordis.europa.eu/nanotechnology/

    Energy Commissioner gives speech on carbon capture and storage

    Andris Piebalgs, the EC Energy Commissioner, recently gave a speech on Carbon Capture and

    Storage technologies to the Zero Emissions Platform (ZEP) General Assembly. The ZEP has been

    set up by the EC, European industry, NGOs, scientists and environmentalists as one of the

    European Technology Platforms (ETP). The goal of the ZEP is to enable European fossil fuel

    power plants to have zero CO2 emissions by 2020. The ZEP has an important role to play in

    contributing to the European energy future. Its activities and ideas will be most valuable in helping the EU devise effective policies and measures to tackle the energy challenges we face.

The Energy Commissioners speech emphasised the importance of energy policy in the EU, with

    the need for energy security and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, of 80 per cent by 2050.

    If these ambitious targets are to be met, then there is a clear need for Carbon Capture and Storage

    (CCS) technology to be implemented. The Commissioner acknowledged the continuing importance

    of coal and emphasised that CCS is essential if emissions targets are to be met. The European

    Council has endorsed a proposal to enable low-CO2 power generation by 2020, and the

    construction of 12 demonstration plants by 2015. ZEP has been and will continue to be key to this

    work. „On behalf of the Commission, I congratulate all the members of this Platform for their drive and initiative in moving this technology forwards NGOs, scientists, geologists, as well as Industry‟.

    Further information

    EC Press Release

    SPEECH/08/598 of 10 November 2008 is available at: http://europa.eu/rapid/

    The ZEP website is available at: http://www.zero-emissionplatform.eu/website/

    Revision of animal experimentation directive

    The EC has recently adopted a proposal to revise the Directive 86/609/EEC on the protection of

    animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes, which was originally adopted by the

    European Council in 1986. The EC conducted an impact assessment which included the detailed

    examination of an EC Technical Expert Working Group (TEWG) and Animal Health and Animal

    Welfare (AHAW) panel opinions. Using the opinions of the TEWG and AHAW panels the EC

    organised a public consultation which gave the opportunity for citizens and experts to bring their

    arguments to the fore. The communication from the EC has therefore been prepared using

    considerable background information and analysis.

The proposal will now have to go through the procedures of the EP and European Council. The

    legislation is then intended to make it compulsory for EU Member States to carry out ethical

    evaluation of projects and to ensure the improvement of breeding, accommodation and care of the

    animals. There will also be a ban on the use of great apes (except when in relation to the

    conservation of the species itself), a widening of the scope of the legislation to include specific

    invertebrate species forms, and also late foetal forms.

    ISSUE: E1 12:08 DECEMBER 2008 7

Further information

    Further information including the EC proposal and the history of the preparatory activities for the

    revision of Directive 86/609/EEC is available at:

    http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/lab_animals/nextsteps_en.htm

    British Council Opening Doors

    The British Council in Spain, in collaboration with the Spanish Council for Scientific Research

    (CSIC), is organising the „Opening Doors‟ series of workshops aimed at promoting links between

    young scientists from the UK and Spain. The scientific workshops provide opportunities for

    researchers from both countries to work together in seminars and working groups, exchange ideas,

    knowledge and information on priority topics as well as explore future areas of research and

    collaboration. The new call for applications for the next workshop on „Evolutionary Biology:

    Evolution 150‟ was recently published. The workshop will cover the broad field of evolutionary

    biology and marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin‟s „The Origin of Species‟. It will take place from 15 - 19 March 2009 in the ancient city of Cuenca, Spain.

The meeting will involve ample opportunities for discussion in structured and informal sessions

    involving keynote speakers and early career researchers. Keynote speakers will give 30 minutes

    talks and other participants will give 15 minutes presentations of their work. The workshop is

    limited to around 30 participants to be selected from those applying. The organisers of this

    scientific workshop will cover all participants‟ travel and full board accommodation costs.

    Further information

    Additional Information on the workshop and the application form are available at:

    http://www.britishcouncil.org/spain-science.htm Early to mid-career researchers wishing to participate should send their CV and the application

    form to belen.fortea@britishcouncil.es before 15 December 2008. EC approves 143 new LIFE+ projects

    The new European funding programme for the environment, LIFE+ (2007-13), has a total budget of

    ?2.143 billion. 700 proposals were received to the first annual LIFE+ call. Out of the best proposals,

    143 will be funded representing a total investment of ?367 million, of which ?186 million is from the

    EU. Projects cover nature conservation, biodiversity, environmental policy and governance, and

    information and communication. Impressed by the range and high quality of the proposals

    submitted this year, Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said that “projects selected will not

    only have a significant impact on the environment, but will also show the way for others to apply

    the same techniques."

Six funded projects will be funded in the UK: GRACC project (Groundwork Sheffield) to address

    climate change by increasing the quality of green roofs; PISCES (WWF-UK) to improve marine

    policy and governance by using an ecosystem approach in the Celtic Sea; RENEW (Energy Saving

    Trust Limited) to raise consumer awareness on energy and water saving; ECO-ANIMATION

    (Business Solutions Europa Limited) to produce and promote animated cartoons to help European

    children learn more about the environment, sustainability and climate change; TaCTICS (Royal

    Society for the Protection of Birds) to tackle climate change-related threats to the North Norfolk

    Coast; and, Anglesey and Lleyn Fens (Countryside Council for Wales) to restore 751 hectares of

    alkaline and calcareous fens.

    Further Information

    EC Press Release IP/08/1588 of 27 October 2008, which includes a more detailed summary of all

    the projects to be funded (broken down per country), is available at:

    http://europa.eu/rapid

    ISSUE: E1 12:08 DECEMBER 2008 8

Further information on LIFE+ is at: http://ec.europa.eu/life

    French Presidency conference on the Strategic Energy Technology (SET)

    Plan

    Making the European energy system more sustainable and secure is one of the greatest

    challenges facing Europe. Therefore, the EU has set out an Energy and Climate Package with

    ambitious targets for 2020. As part of this, the EC adopted the European Strategic Energy

    Technologies Plan (SET Plan) in November 2007, which aims to accelerate the availability of new

    energy technologies. This SET plan was the subject of a recent conference, organised by the

    French Presidency of the EU.

The EC has also recently published some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the SET plan

    covering: the European Energy Research Alliance; the steering group on SET; and the SET

    Information System (SETIS). In 2008, the EC also proposes to launch six new European Industrial

    Initiatives (wind; solar; bio-energy; CO2 capture, transport and storage; electricity grids; and

    nuclear fission). They will target sectors for which working at Community level will add most value

    technologies for which the barriers, the scale of the investment and risk involved can be better

    tackled collectively. In early 2009, the EC will also; plan to present Communication on financing low

    carbon technologies; organise a European Energy Technology Summit; and call for co-ordination

    action on „planning the transition of European energy infrastructure networks and systems‟.

    Further Information

    EC Press Releases SPEECH/08/562 and MEMO/08/657, both of 28 October 2008, are available at:

    http://europa.eu/rapid

    More information on the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) is at:

    http://ec.europa.eu/energy

    Survey on the need for a new EU nano-related infrastructure

    The EC recently funded a feasibility study to look into setting up a new research infrastructure,

    which would be a cluster of distributed nanoscience foundries co-located at large-scale research

    infrastructure facilities across the EU. As part of this, a survey is being carried out to investigate the

    current and future needs of European nanoscience research and to gauge the requirements of

    setting up such a cluster. All stakeholders in the nanoscience research community are encouraged

    to respond to the survey. Those particularly encouraged to apply include the scientists who need

    access to state of the art instrumentation and methods for designing, synthesizing, nanofabricating,

    characterizing matter with atomic precision and performing experiments

In the US, five new nanoscience foundries have already been established alongside five different

    US national research infrastructures. The aim of the EU feasibility study is to assess whether the

    same needs are to be done in the EU. The survey should take no more than five minutes to

    complete.

    Further information

    The survey is available at: http://nffa.tasc.infm.it/pmwiki/pmwiki.php?n=NFFA.Survey

    The feasibility study project website is available at: http://nffa.tasc.infm.it/pmwiki/

    Details of the US scheme are available at:

    http://www.science.doe.gov/News_Information/News_Room/2006/nano/index.htm

    ISSUE: E1 12:08 DECEMBER 2008 9

Research News

Inauguration of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN

    On 21 October 2008, European Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik participated in the formal inauguration of CERN'S Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world‟s largest and most complex scientific instrument ever built to study the basic constituents of matters the fundamental

    particles. While the CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research) member states covered most of the LHC construction costs, the EU has been very proactive in the setting up and implementation of the ambitious research programmes of the LHC, in particular through the FP6 and FP7 European Research Infrastructures and Marie Curie budgets.

    It is expected that Heads of Government, Research Ministers and High Representatives of CERN's Members and Observer States and other countries, as well as over a thousand leading EU and international scientists will participate in the LHC event. Janez Potočnik called LHC “one of the world's most advanced physics experiment.” He stated that the LHC should be considered a tool used to enhance European scientific excellence and increase collaborative research between Member States, and between the EU and the rest of the world.

    Further information

    EC Press Release IP/08/1554 of 21 October 2008 is available at: http://europa.eu/rapid/

    New European alliance in energy research

    Ten leading research institutes in the EU have established the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) which is the research community pillar of the EUs Strategic Energy Technology (SET-plan). The EERA‟s main objective is to accelerate the development of new energy technologies by conceiving and implementing Joint Research Programmes in support of the SET-plan by pooling and integrating activities and resources, combining national and Community sources of funding and maximising complementarities and synergies.

    The EERA aims to strengthen, expand, and optimise EU energy research capabilities through the sharing of world-class national facilities in Europe and the joint realisation of pan-EU programmes. The primary focus of the EERA will be on the strategic and targeted development of the next generations of energy technologies drawing on results from fundamental research and maturing technologies to the point where it can be embedded in industry driven research. The SET-plan, launched by the EC in November 2007, is intended to bring together the potential of the research capacities of the major European institutes and universities along with the engagement of European industry and Member States, supported by the EC‟s European Energy Technology

    Information System (SETIS). The initiatives already in preparation focus on carbon capture and storage, bio-energy, wind and solar energy, the European smart grid and sustainable fission. Further information

    EC Press Release IP/08/1587 of 28 October 2008 is available at: http://europa.eu/rapid/

    The website of the European Energy Research Alliance is available at: http://www.eera-set.eu

    ISSUE: E1 12:08 DECEMBER 2008 10

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