Articles taggés avec ‘Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Dev’

Eu funding : Boosting a European Single Labour Market for Researchers

Mardi 27 mai 2008

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 New framework programme for research and technology aiming at better exploiting research capacities in Europe and transforming scientific results into new products, processes and services.

The Commission proposes a new partnership with Member States

In the Communication “Better careers and more mobility: a European Partnership for Researchers “, the European Commission seeks a partnership with Member States to ensure that the necessary human resources are available to sustain and enhance the contribution of science and technology to a knowledge-based European economy. Europe faces growing global competition for the best talents and demographic challenges. The aim of the partnership is to align and focus the efforts of individual Member States. Joint priority actions should make the EU a more attractive place for researchers, and allow researchers to be more mobile between countries, institutions, and between the academic and private sectors. Key areas for action are the systematic opening up of recruitment, meeting the social security and pension needs of mobile researchers, providing fair employment and working conditions, and ensuring that researchers have the right training and skills.

In many Member States, there is still limited competition-based recruitment in the public sector. Short-term contracts are the norm for young researchers and advancement can often be based on seniority not performance. Many researchers are also trained in a traditional academic way which does not equip them for the needs of the modern knowledge economy where connections between industry and public research institutions are increasingly important. Today’s researchers may need to manage intellectual property, conduct multi-disciplinary projects or start up their own company.

It is proposed that the partnership should make a commitment to achieving by the end of 2010 rapid, measurable progress to:

* systematically open recruitment by research institutions to all European researchers ;
* meet the social security and supplementary pensions needs of mobile researchers;
* provide attractive employment and working conditions, such as improved contractual terms, salaries and opportunities for career development;
* ensure researchers have the necessary skills to turn knowledge into results including by creating stronger links between universities and industry.

Coordinated action in these areas between the Commission and the Member States, alongside renewed efforts on existing initiatives such as the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, would help to create a genuine European labour market for researchers. This will balance the supply and demand for researchers, boost productivity growth through better job matching, increase knowledge transfer and facilitate the development of centres of excellence throughout the EU. It will also create better international connections for collaborative research and the economic exploitation of research results, and help to create more attractive conditions for industrial investment in research.

At the end of the first stage of the partnership in 2010 an overall evaluation of the situation and results from actions by the partnership will be made and the need for further EU action to address specific outstanding issues will be considered.


The Communication is one of five policy initiatives planned by the Commission to follow up the 2007 Green Paper “The European Research Area: New Perspectives”. The results of the public consultation following the Green Paper suggested that a single labour market for researchers should be amongst the top priorities for action at EU level.

Press Room - European Commission
  More information:

Europeans unlock puzzle of centuries-old methane question

Jeudi 15 mai 2008

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 New framework programme for research and technology aiming at better exploiting research capacities in Europe and transforming scientific results into new products, processes and services.
 Grants for research projects about climate change, pressure from growing human activity and prevention of risks on environment and health

Ice cores play a major role in climate research because they act as a historical point of reference, enabling researchers to take direct measurements of the atmospheric composition and greenhouse gas concentrations of the past

From its drilling, the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica (EPICA), has obtained for the first time key information on changes in methane levels. The EU provided € 8.5 million in funding for the work, the findings of which were recently published in the journal Nature.

Under the programme, the EPICA researchers drilled and assessed the ice core, located at Dronning Maud Land in the Atlantic sector of Antarctica. Their analyses were then compared with those taken from an ice core in North Greenland.

The data obtained gave the team the information they needed to identify the most significant processes responsible for changes in natural methane concentrations during the transition from the last ice age to our warm period. The findings show that wetland regions emitted less methane during glacial times, while forest fire activity remained constant from glacial to interglacial times.

The work conducted by EPICA provides insight into natural changes in the atmospheric concentrations of CH4 - otherwise known as the greenhouse gas methane. This is the first glacial/interglacial record of the carbon isotopic composition of methane, thus providing key information on the sources that triggered the CH4 concentration changes.

The data showed that glacial concentrations totalled on average 350 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) and increased to some 700 ppbv during the last glacial/interglacial transition. Human methane emissions also artificially boosted CH4 concentrations to around 1,750 ppbv over the last few centuries.

The researchers developed an analytical method enabling changes in the isotopic ratio of 12CH4 and 13CH4 in ice core samples to be quantified. This ratio gave the researchers insight into the methane sources responsible for the changes.

Temperatures in continental Antarctica are much lower than those found in Greenland, the largest island in the world, located between the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. A challenge for the EPICA team was working in unexplored regions that called for extensive meteorological and geophysical work to pick drill sites.

EPICA was one of this year’s winners of the Descartes Prize for Research for its work in retrieving past climate records. Thanks to this research, temperatures and greenhouse gas concentrations up to the last 800,000 years could be measured.

  More information:
European Science Foundation website