Articles taggés avec ‘FUnds’

EU funding : Young People and Tobacco – Show and Share Your Idea!

Lundi 19 mai 2008

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 Grants awarded via the programme of Community action of public health

This competition was launched by the European Commission’s Health & Consumer Protection Directorate (DG SANCO) in partnership with the European Youth Forum (YFJ) to involve young Europeans (aged 15 to 35) on matters affecting their health and well-being

Create a video, photo or comic strip to reduce smoking across Europe and to encourage a life without tobacco. The materials produced will support the positive aspect of a life without tobacco. Young people´s empowerment and involvement in issues affecting their health and well-being should be underlined. There are four categories: best video, best “candid camera”, best photo, best comic strip.

Deadline: 30 June 2008.

European Youth Portal
  More information:
‘Young People and Tobacco’ contest website

Sport - MEPs back a fair playing field

Jeudi 15 mai 2008

Tougher rules on doping and fairer distribution of TV rights are among the measures backed by MEPs in response to a White Paper on sport drafted by the European Commission

They don’t want quotas for foreign footballers playing in Europe’s domestic leagues, but they do want home grown local talent to be encouraged. The importance of local sports clubs, the economic impact of sport and the employment of an estimated 15 million people in that field are also recognised.
The report, drawn up by Greek MEP Manolis Mavrommatis of the centre-right EPP-ED bloc, notes that 60% of people in the European Union take part regularly in some form of sporting activity. Given this it says the health and educational aspects should be encouraged. The report also says sport should be supported in next year’s budget, especially as the new Lisbon Treaty specifically recognises its importance.

Free-to-air principle supported

TV rights are the biggest source of revenue for all professional sports and MEPs are keen to ensure that the money is not concentrated in the hands of a few. In particular they support the drawing up of a list of major sporting events that should always be on free to air television in the belief that people have a right to watch them. Also in terms of funding, MEPs want national lottery funds given to a variety of sports.

The report calls for the rules of international sporting bodies like the FIFA - the governing body of football - to be respected. This includes a ban on the transfer of players aged under 16 within the EU and the principle that players should sign their first professional contract with the club that has trained them.

Finally, the report says professional sport should never lead to a “muscle drain” from poorer countries to wealthier ones.

Press room - European Parliament

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

20 May: European Maritime Day set up by European institutions

Jeudi 15 mai 2008

The European Union has decided to celebrate the achievements and potential of Europe’s ocean and seas by declaring 20 May as a dedicated “European Maritime Day”

The official launch ceremony will be held in Strasbourg, where Commission President José Manuel Barroso, European Council President Janez Janša and the President of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Pöttering will sign a Joint Tripartite Declaration. European Maritime Day will provide an occasion to highlight the crucial role that oceans and seas play in the everyday life not only of coastal communities, but of all EU citizens, and for Europe’s sustainable growth and jobs at large. Based on a proposal from the Commission, this dedicated Maritime Day will also encourage better stewardship of coastal zones, seas and oceans by all citizens and actors concerned.

The Commission hopes that citizens and stakeholders living and working in Europe’s maritime regions will seize this occasion to showcase their contribution to the EU as a whole, and to stimulate broad debate around the challenges they face

The first ever European Maritime Day on 20th May 2008 will see the European Parliament vote on a report on the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy. The report highlights, inter alia, the exceptional maritime dimension conferred on the EU by its extensive coastline, islands and outermost regions. It also underlines the unique opportunities offered by the maritime sector as regards innovation, research, environment and biodiversity, calling for these to be fully taken into account in the emerging Integrated Maritime Policy. Furthermore, the report stresses how the involvement of regional and local partners is essential to making a success of the maritime policy and advocates closer cooperation between Europe’s coastal regions.

In parallel, the European Commission will hold a Stakeholder Conference in Brussels on 19 and 20 May, open to the press. The programme includes keynote interventions by European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Joe Borg, Member of the European Parliament and Integrated Maritime Policy Rapporteur Willi Piecyk, and 1st Vice-President of the Committee of the Regions and Mayor and MP of Dunkirk Michel Delebarre. There will be a Ministerial Panel headed by the Slovenian Presidency in which members of the Governments of France, Germany, Portugal and Norway will participate. Discussions will focus on how to promote continued stakeholder dialogue in support of the development of an Integrated Maritime Policy and ensure that the new policy is fully adapted to the regional dimension of maritime affairs.

Since the proposal of an Integrated Maritime Policy by the European Commission on October 2007 and its subsequent endorsement by Heads of State and Government at the European Council of 14 December 2007, real progress has been made towards building a coherent framework to promote synergies and resolves potential conflicts between different sea-related policy areas. In line with the detailed Action Plan published in October, the Commission itself has already come forward with proposals to combat illegal fishing, boost development of EU ports and port cities, re-assess the social framework regulating seafaring jobs, and promote a better fit between energy policy and maritime policy. It has also carried out a stock-taking exercise looking at maritime surveillance systems, and the offshore activities and competences of the Member States.

Press room - European Commission
  More information:
European Maritime Day website

Test free your knowledge on European Funding

Jeudi 15 mai 2008

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Survey takes pulse of e-Health in Europe and prescribes wider ICT use among doctors

Vendredi 25 avril 2008

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 Grants for research projects concerning the treatment of major diseases and the delivery of health care
 Grants awarded via the programme of Community action of public health

The European Commission today published a pan-European survey on electronic services in healthcare (eHealth) that shows 87% of European doctors (General Practitioners) use a computer, 48% with a broadband connection.

European doctors increasingly store and send patients’ data such as lab reports electronically. In using such eHealth applications, doctors and medical services have already improved healthcare in Europe through, for example, more efficient administration and shorter waiting times for patients. The report also highlights where doctors could make better use of ICT to offer services such as telemonitoring, electronic prescriptions and cross border medical services.

eHealth applications have a growing role in the doctor’s practices, according to the ‘Benchmarking ICT use among General Practitioners in Europe’ survey presented today by the Commission. However, there remain significant differences in their availability and use across Europe. About 70% of European doctors use the Internet and 66% use computers for consultations. Furthermore, there are wide differences across countries: Denmark has the highest broadband penetration among General Practitioners (91%), Romania the lowest (about 5%).

Administrative patient data is electronically stored in 80% of general practices: 92% of these also electronically store medical data on diagnoses and medication; 35% electronically store radiological images. European doctors often transfer data electronically with laboratories (40%), but less to other health centres (10%).

The survey shows that the countries most advanced in ICT access and connectivity are more likely to use them for professional purposes. For example, Denmark, where high-speed internet is most widely available in Europe, sees extensive use of email communication between doctors and patients in about 60% of practices (the EU average is only 4%).

The survey also highlights areas for improvement and further deployment, such as electronic prescriptions (e-Prescribing), which is practiced by only 6% of EU General Practitioners. This is widely used in only three Member States: Denmark (97%), the Netherlands (71%) and Sweden (81%).

Telemonitoring, which allows doctors to monitor a patient’s illness or manage chronic diseases remotely, is only used in Sweden (where 9% of doctors provide telemonitoring services), the Netherlands and Iceland (both about 3%). The Commission plans to report later this year on the potential and development of telemedicine.

Exchange of patient data across borders is also rare, done by only 1% of the EU’s General Practitioners, and with the highest usage rate in the Netherlands (at 5%). This year the Commission plans to make recommendations on cross-border interoperability of electronic health record systems and will launch, with several countries, a project on cross-border eHealth services for patients traveling within the EU.

A majority of European doctors agree that ICT improves the quality of healthcare services that they provide. Doctors not using ICT cite a lack of training and technical support as major barriers. To spread eHealth, they ask for more ICT in medical education, more training and better electronic networking among healthcare practitioners wanting to share clinical information.

In 2004, the European Commission adopted an Action Plan to develop the use of ICT in the Health sector. As a result, all Member States put in place strategies to accelerate e-Health deployment ( eHealth is part of the Lead Market initiative for innovation launched by the Commission in 2008.

The results of this survey, which involved almost 7,000 General Practitioners in the 3rd quarter of 2007, are related to these policy initiatives. The results will be presented in the forthcoming European eHealth Conference in Slovenia on May 6-7 (

Consultation to prepare an EU Offshore Wind Energy Action Plan

Vendredi 25 avril 2008

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 Grants for strengthening Community environment policy and legislation, with a view to promoting sustainable development in the EU

The European Commission launches a public consultation to prepare an EU Offshore Wind Energy Action

The European Commission is inviting investors, project developers, wind turbine manufacturers, energy companies, government services, environmental NGOs and all other interested stakeholders, including the general public, to help identify the key barriers for the further development of offshore wind energy in Europe and what might be done to overcome them.

On 23 January 2008 the Commission made a far-reaching package of energy and climate change related proposals including a draft directive to promote renewable energy and increase its share to 20% by 2020[1]. Offshore wind energy has the potential to make a significant contribution to reaching this target but exploiting this potential is associated with a number of specific challenges that might require further, more targeted actions.

The on-line consultation is aimed at providing the Commission with a clearer understanding of the specific key challenges for future large-scale development of offshore wind energy in Europe, as well as with ideas on how the EU could support the development of European offshore wind energy resources. The consultation will be open until 20 June 2008.

Press Room - European Commission
  More information:

Help us make research in Europe more European, say researchers

Jeudi 24 avril 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.

Careers and mobility, international co-operation, research infrastructures, joint programming and knowledge sharing are today’s main concerns of European research actors, according to a report just published by the European Commission.

The report draws on over 1000 responses to a public consultation on the Green Paper “The European Research Area: New Perspectives” published in April 2007. The responses show strong overall support to further consolidate the European Research Area through new and more ambitious actions at all levels in the EU – regional, national and transnational.

In 2000, the EU called for realising a European Research Area, creating a single area across Europe, and overcoming under-capacity, fragmentation and lack of coordination between national and European research programmes. Since then, the European research landscape has changed, with growing socio-economic challenges and the impact of globalisation on science and technology requiring R&D policy responses.

The consultation results show that the original ERA objectives remain valid and relevant, but that action remains needed on the issues raised by the ERA Green Paper. Most respondents deem “sharing knowledge” and “developing world-class research infrastructures” most important, the former placed top by universities, research funding organisations and NGOs and the latter by industry and governmental bodies. “Researchers’ careers and mobility”, “international cooperation” and “infrastructures” were identified as the three most important in terms of need for action at EU level.

Respondents also draw attention to crucial interactions between research, education and innovation. Virtually all of the responses from Member States emphasise the need to consider the role of industry in ERA and its links to wider innovation and education policy. Industry itself regrets that the Green Paper focused more on challenges to public research systems and not enough on the central roles of private R&D within ERA and of the linkages between research and innovation.

Respondents endorse the use of a variety of instruments to promote ERA – financial incentives, increased EU budget, co-ordination and guidelines. While there is little demand for binding legislation, there is significant support for considering legislative action to improve the careers and mobility of researchers, as well as for a new non-binding legal framework for pan-European research infrastructures.

Concerning publicly funded research, over 70% of respondents call for more open and easy access to scientific data and 84% call for more immediate, accessible and wider dissemination of scientific publications.

More than 80% of respondents support the idea of the EC and Member States collaborating to define common European research priorities, to ensure coordinated, efficient and coherent use of legal and financial instruments and resources.

Most respondents favour Europe adopting a more active approach to define the global S&T agenda internationally. 75% of the respondents expressed the wish that Europe should “speak with one voice” and 69% of them considered that this could be achieved through placing emphasis on a small number of high-priority research themes.

A dominant theme was the need for Member States to commit to a wide and ambitious ERA policy agenda as a genuine European Research Area would only be fully realised through Member States, stakeholders and the Commission working in partnership, with each accepting their responsibility to make it happen.

Five new specific initiatives, following directly on from the consultation, will be launched in the coming months. These initiatives will address in particular:

* The management of intellectual property by public research organisations (recommendation adopted on 10 April 2008)
* The promotion of mobility and careers of Europe’s researchers
* The legal framework for pan-European research infrastructures
* Joint programming and programmes and
* International science and technology cooperation.

Press Room - European Commission
  More information:
ERA and full report

OPEN DAYS 2008: ‘Regions and cities in a challenging world’

Jeudi 24 avril 2008

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 Grants in the framework of national sectoral or regionalised programmes to support the improving of employment and social inclusion
 Grants in the framework of national sectoral or regionalised programmes to support projects for growth and jobs creation in the least favoured regions of the Member States
 Grants in the framework of national sectoral or regionalised programmes to sustainable regional development in the least favoured regions of the Member States
 Support for investment of economic public and private actors in order to reinforce competitiveness, attractivity of regions and employment

‘Regions and cities in a challenging world’ is the theme of OPEN DAYS 2008, announced today by Danuta Hübner, Commissioner for Regional Policy, and Luc Van den Brande, President of the EU Committee of the Regions.

The sixth edition of the European Week of Regions and Cities, OPEN DAYS, will be held in Brussels from 6 to 9 October. This year, 217 regions and cities from 32 countries have signed up as partners, and participants are expected from many other countries. There will be 120 events in Brussels and around 250 local events all over Europe during OPEN DAYS, which has become the most important annual gathering of EU and regional policy-makers, experts and representatives of banking, business and civil society groups.

The event will enable participants to share their first experiences of implementing 345 Cohesion Policy programmes for 2007-2013 at local and regional level, with investment of about EUR 500 billion of EU and national funds. The debate about the policy’s future after 2013 is in full swing, and the Commission is expected to adopt an important Green Paper on territorial cohesion just before OPEN DAYS.

The OPEN DAYS 2008 seminars and debates will focus on four themes:

* Innovating regions: Promoting research, technological development and innovation;
* Sustainable development: Regional responses to climate change;
* Cooperation and networking: Exchange of best practice in regional development;
* Looking forward: A European cohesion policy for tomorrow.

Attracting about 5,000 regional and local experts to Brussels, OPEN DAYS 2008 is organised jointly by the European Commission’s Regional Policy Directorate-General and the Committee of the Regions. Partner regions and cities from 26 Member States are represented, along with others from Turkey, Croatia, Norway, Switzerland and – for the first time – Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iceland. France has registered the highest number of partners, 22, followed by Italy and Spain (19), the United Kingdom (18), and Poland (17). In addition, representatives from other countries, including China, Russia, Brazil and Serbia are expected to contribute to the event, along with international organisations. OPEN DAYS will also be an opportunity for private companies, financial institutions and civil society organisations to get together with regional stakeholders. The European Investment Bank, Businesseurope, the European employers’ organisation, Siemens, General Electric, Philips, Veolia and the European Citizen Action Service will be among organisations represented at the “Investors Café”, the event’s exhibition and meeting area.

Press Room - European Commission
  More information:
Open Days

Europe ahead of US in funding nanotech risk research

Jeudi 24 avril 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.

Europe invests nearly twice as much as the US in research addressing the potential risk of nanotechnologies, a report issued by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) indicates.

While the US National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) allocated USD13 million (€8.1 million) to risk-related projects in the fiscal year 2006, Europe set aside USD24 million (€15 million) over the same time period.

The report was conducted by PEN, an initiative of the US-based Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Pew Charitable Trusts, and is based on data listed in the NNI research strategy.

According to the PEN assessment, 62 US-government funded nanotech projects with a total annual budget of USD13 million could be categorised as highly relevant to potential environment, health or safety (EHS) hazards.

The US government, on the other hand, disagrees. Their estimates amount to USD37.7 million (€23.6 million) invested in EHS research in nanotechnology.

In contrast, the EU has incorporated EHS concerns into nanotechnology research as an important part of a balanced approach to the subject. ‘It is fundamental to have a high level of public health, safety, and environmental and consumer protection,’ EU Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik said at a conference in Brussels in April 2007.

Earlier this year, the Commission adopted a code of conduct for responsible nanotech research, encompassing seven general principles to ensure that nanotechnologies are developed in a safe manner. Among other things, these principles include calls for sustainability and precaution as well as accountability of researchers and research organisations.

In addition, funding for nanotech safety research has been expanded under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), bringing into focus quantitative data on (eco)toxicology as well as development of nano-specific tests, exposure and risk assessment methods, and methodologies for life cycle analysis. FP7 has become the world’s largest public funding source for nanotechnology with a total budget of €3.5 billion.

Experts estimate that by 2014, about 15% of the total global output of manufactured goods, worth USD2.6 trillion (€1.6 trillion), will incorporate nanotechnology.

  More information:
PEN Project