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General European Highlights

Open access to research publications reaching 'tipping point'
The global shift towards making research findings available free of charge for readers—so-called 'open access'—was confirmed in a study funded by the European Commission. This new research suggests that open access is reaching the tipping point, with around 50% of scientific papers published in 2011 now available for free. This is about twice the level estimated in previous studies, explained by a refined methodology and a wider definition of open access. The study also estimates that more than 40% of scientific peer reviewed articles published worldwide between 2004 and 2011 are now available online in open access form.
Bridging the science-policy communication gap
While policy decisions can have a huge impact on how people interact with their environment - and science should have a key role here - sound decision-making is based on science. This is not however always the case, and a team of European researchers puts this down to communication gaps between science, policy and society.
Commission launches new innovation indicator
Sweden, Germany, Ireland and Luxembourg are the EU Member States getting the most out of innovation, according to a new indicator proposed by the European Commission. The "Indicator of Innovation Output" measures the extent to which ideas from innovative sectors are able to reach the market, providing better jobs and making Europe more competitive. The indicator was developed at the request of EU leaders to benchmark national innovation policies, and shows that significant differences remain between EU countries.
Biofuels proposals adopted by narrow majority
The European parliament has narrowly voted to adopt proposals which aim to reduce the environmental impact of biofuel production, particularly those resulting from indirect land use change (ILUC).
The new legislation will ensure that ILUC factors are accounted for in biofuels legislation from 2020 and places a six per cent cap on biofuels coming from energy crops.
However, by a single vote, MEPs also rejected proposals to start negotiations with the European council until after a second reading of the report, a decision criticised by many policymakers and stakeholders.
Commission looks at possible revamp of organic farming legislation
The European Commission is due in September to reconsider the EU’s rules on organic farming, including a likely review of certification standards and an assessment of the potential risks posed by genetically modified crops.
The Commission’s forthcoming roadmap could open the door to update a 2007 regulation and a decade-old action plan on organic farming, a tiny but politically important farm sector in the EU.
Wastewater to produce biofuel alternative
Backed by EU financing, a water company produced its first crop of algae that will be used to manufacture biofuel as an alternative to the more controversial crop-based transport fuels. The "All-gas" project will cultivate fast-growing micro-algae by using the nutrients in wastewater and then by further processes generate biomethane which can be captured and used in transport fuel.
It is hoped algae biofuels will eventually help ease the pressure that land-intensive biofuel crops, such as palm oil, put on output and prices of food crops.
Researchers revise 'overestimated' biofuels subsidies
Experts, who estimated that the biofuels industry received the equivalent of a €10-billion in public support in 2011, have shaved the figure by a fifth. The accuracy of the study may have important knock-on effects for EU legislators, who are attempting to gauge the value of biofuels as a viable long-term energy solution. Public support for the biofuels industry has been deemed necessary to enable member states to meet the EU’s target of sourcing a 10% share of transport fuel to renewable energy by 2020.
Your first EURES job
The European Commission is launching “Your first EURES job” (YFEJ) – a new targeted job mobility scheme to enhance job opportunities for young people on the European labour market and to encourage employers to fill bottleneck vacancies with a young, mobile workforce. The scheme aims to enhance youth labour mobility across Europe by providing information, job search, recruitment and financial support to both young jobseekers/job changers willing to work in another EU Member State and businesses (SMEs in particular) recruiting young European mobile workers and providing them with an integration programme.

Funding Updates and Awards

Call for proposals 'FP7-INFRASTRUCTURES-2013-2'
The European Commission has published a call for proposals entitled 'FP7-INFRASTRUCTURES-2013-2'. Research infrastructures help structuring the scientific community and play a key role in the construction of an efficient research and innovation environment. In the case of eScience, they allow for addressing scientific and global challenges of enormous complexity and scale.
This new call for proposals aims to support actions on policy development, including international cooperation, for e-Infrastructures.
Deadline: 3 December 2013
EMRP Early Stage Researcher Mobility Grants (ESRMG)
The aim of the Early-Stage Researcher Mobility Grant is to “to increase the capability of the European metrology researcher community” and additionally to “ensure sustainability of cooperation between the NMI and DI” of the EMRP.
An Early-Stage Researcher Mobility Grant provides financial support for a researcher with fewer than 4 years experience, employed by an NMI or DI from an EU Member State or FP7 associated countries, to undertake research activities relevant to the JRP objectives. This aims to “prepare the next generation of experienced metrology researchers” by building experience of metrology collaborations.
Deadline: 15 October 2013

Consultations and Roadmaps

Revision of the Community framework for state aid for research and development and innovation
The initiative is an integral part of the State Aid Modernisation, and thus one constitutive element of a broader endeavour to modernise the policy of state aid control, which aims at supporting the efforts that are being deployed across the Union to boost economic growth, giving a better focus to the Commission's enforcement work, and taking quicker decisions.
Its main policy objectives can be summarised as follows:
- ensuring that state aid granted to economic operators for promoting R&D&I activities does not create distortions of competition that would be contrary to the common interest;
- providing a clearer and more effective legal framework so as to allow a proportionate assessment of aid measures according to their potential effects on trade and competition.
To this purpose, the revision of the R&D&I state aid rules will aim at setting the most appropriate conditions for considering state aid for R&D&I as compatible with the internal market, which generally require that any such aid does not exceed what is strictly necessary to achieve its purpose and that distortions of competition are avoided or minimised as far as possible.
Evaluation of Energy Labelling Directive and certain aspects of the Ecodesign Directive
This consultation is part of the review of the Energy Labelling Directive (2010/30/EU Art.14) required by the Directive by 31 December 2014. It also brings additional information to the required review of the Ecodesign Directive (2009/125/EC Art. 21).
Deadline: 30 November 2013

Business Updates

New Biocides Regulation improves human health and environmental protection
A new Regulation on biocidal products will significantly increase the safety and simplify the authorisation procedure of biocides used and placed on the market in the EU. The new Regulation is a major breakthrough for the internal market with the possibility to request an EU-wide authorisation for biocidal products, which will allow industry to directly place their products on the entire EU market. The total cost savings for the industry, to be achieved through this simplified and more efficient product authorisation, data sharing and data requirements are estimated to be € 2.7 billion over a period of 10 years.
EU group says a ‘product passport’ would open doors to eco-innovation
An EU advisory panel is recommending that goods manufactured and sold in Europe have a ‘product passport’, or a declaration of what materials are used and their potential for reuse at the end of the product’s life. The European Resource Efficiency Platform, a high-level group comprised of business, government, consumer and environmental representatives, has issued recommendations saying that product passports would improve resource efficiency, encourage innovation and generate jobs across Europe.

Forthcoming Events

Science for the Environment 2013
3-4 October 2013
Aarhus, Denmark
11th European Week of Regions and Cities
7-10 October 2013
Brussels, Belgium
Equality, growth and innovation - in theory and practice
9-10 October 2013
Lulea, Sweden
The EU HORIZON 2020 Programme and Teaming for Excellence in the European Research Area
17-18 October 2013
Prague, Czech Republic
COBALT - Industry’s and Society’s needs for the sustainable use of raw materials in Europe: Exploring solutions for future action
28-29 November 2013
Brussels, Belgium
Source :
3rd European Energy Conference (E2C 2013)
27-30 October 2013, Budapest, Hungary

Upcoming EuCheMS Recognised Events 

Journées de Chimie Organique (JCO 2013)
24-26 September 201
Palaiseau, France
II Brazilian Symposium on Biorefineries

24-26 September 2013
Brasília, Brazil
12th International Symposium Prospects for the 3rd Millennium Agriculture
26-28 September 2013
Cluj-Napoca, Romania
3rd Mass Spectrometry Food Days

9-11 October 2013
Trento, Italy
1st EuCheMS Congress on Green and Sustainable Chemistry
13-15 October 2013
Budapest, Hungary
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Produced for EuCheMS by Nineta Majcen.
The information given by EuCheMS in this EuCheMS Brussels News Update has been carefully formulated but is necessarily based on information available and consequently EuCheMS does not accept responsibility if it is in any way inaccurate or incomplete. In this respect EuCheMS does not accept any duty of care and will not be liable for any losses or damages arising from inaccurate or incomplete information. EuCheMS acknowledges that a disclaimer cannot restrict liability at law for personal injury or death arising through a finding of negligence.
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