Tag Archives: Technologies

Specific programme: Ideas

Specific programme: Ideas

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Specific programme: Ideas

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Research and innovation > General framework

Specific programme: Ideas

Last updated: 04.06.2009

Specific programme People

Specific programme People

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Specific programme People

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Research and innovation > General framework

Specific programme “People”

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2006/973/EC of 19 December 2006 concerning the specific programme People implementing the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007 to 2013) [Official Journal L 400 of 30.12.06].

Summary

“People” is a specific programme within the 7th Framework Programme and its basic objectives are to improve, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the professional opportunities available to researchers in Europe. To put it another way, the “People” programme aims to adapt the European employment market so that it is more able to meet the training, mobility and career development needs of researchers. This will give researchers incentives to build their futures in Europe.

This programme mobilises extensive financial resources and draws on experience gained through the Marie Curie actions.

More specifically, the focus will be on the following three areas:

  • generating benefits and structuring effects, for example by introducing co-funding for regional, national and international programmes;
  • improving conditions for training and career development in the private sector;
  • strengthening the international dimension.

The budget required for executing this specific programme is estimated at EUR 4 750 million for the period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013.

CHARACTERISTICS AND GENERAL OBJECTIVES

The overall objective of this specific programme is to improve, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the human research and technological development potential in Europe. In order to achieve this, various initiatives need to be taken to:

  • encourage people to embark on a career in research;
  • encourage European researchers to stay in Europe;
  • attract researchers to Europe from throughout the world;
  • do more to share knowledge between countries, sectors, organisations and disciplines;
  • foster the participation of women in research and technological development.

This specific programme provides added value in a number of respects. First of all, it will undoubtedly improve the mobility of researchers at both the intersectoral and transnational levels. It will also have structuring effects on:

  • the organisation, performance and quality of training given to researchers;
  • their career development;
  • the sharing of knowledge between research sectors and organizations; and
  • the participation of women.

TheFramework Programme including the various specific programmes and the research activities they give rise to, should respect fundamental ethical principles and give consideration to social, legal, socio-economic, cultural and gender mainstreaming aspects.

ACTIVITIES

The various objectives of this specific programme will be achieved by implementing a series of “Marie Curie” actions focusing on skills and competence development at all stages of a researcher’s career. Mobility (both transnational and intersectoral), the recognition of experience acquired in different sectors and countries, and optimum working conditions are all key elements of these actions, which will address:

  • initial training for researchers;
  • life-long training and career development;
  • industry-academia partnerships and pathways;
  • the international dimension.

The programme also provides for more specialised accompanying actions, promotion actions (Marie Curie Awards, for example) and support actions.

Initial training of researchers

Initial research training will normally take place during the first four years of a researcher’s career; an additional year can be added if necessary.

This type of training should open up new career opportunities for researchers and make scientific careers more attractive by optimising the way in which training is structured in Member States and associated countries, in both the public and private sectors.

This action encourages the networking of organisations from different sectors engaged in the training of researchers. These networks will be built around joint multi-disciplinary training programmes covering not only scientific and technological knowledge but also skills in diverse disciplines such as management, finance, law, entrepreneurship, ethics, communication and societal outreach. In more concrete terms, Community support should be directed at:

  • recruiting and training researchers at the start of their careers;
  • setting up academic chairs or equivalent teaching positions for experienced researchers;
  • organising short training events (conferences, summer schools, specialised training courses, etc.) open both to trainees of the network and to researchers from outside the network.

Life-long training and career development

This action is directed at experienced researchers who have at least four years’ experience in full-time research or a doctorate. Essentially, it will help them to diversify their skills portfolio by acquiring multi- or interdisciplinary qualifications and intersectoral experience. The aim here is twofold:

  • to give researchers support in attaining the independent positions of responsibility they desire and/or strengthening their standing in such positions;
  • to help researchers who are resuming their career after a break by enabling them to (re)integrate quickly into a scientific career in a Member State or associated country, including in their own country of origin, after a mobility experience.

This action will be implemented through:

  • support for individual transnational, intra-European fellowships;
  • co-funding of regional, national or international programmes – applicants for co-funding may come from either the public or private sector, but they must play a key part in building up human resource capacity for research in their respective fields.

Industry-academia partnerships and pathways

This action seeks to establish links between public research organisations and private commercial enterprises (and in particular SMEs). It will involve long-term (intersectoral and transnational) cooperation programmes which will not only increase knowledge-sharing but also improve mutual understanding of the different cultural settings and skills requirements of both sectors.

Community support will focus on human resources, and take one or more of the following forms:

  • staff secondments between both sectors in the partnership;
  • temporary hosting of researchers recruited from outside the partnership;
  • the organisation of workshops and conferences;
  • a contribution to equipment for participating in the cooperation initiative (for SMEs only).

The international dimension

The international dimension of human resources in European research and development can be divided into two separate areas:

  • career development for researchers from EU Member States and associated countries;
  • international cooperation through researchers.

Actions in both these areas will be supported by international fellowships (“incoming” and “outgoing” fellowships), grants, partnerships, exchanges, organised events (conferences, etc.) and a systematic sharing of good practices.

Background

Since 1984, the research and technological development policy of the European Union has been founded on multiannual framework programmes. The 7th Framework Programme is the second to be adopted since the Lisbon strategy was launched in 2000 and will play a crucial role in stimulating growth and jobs in Europe in the coming years. The Commission wishes to advance the “knowledge triangle” of research, education and innovation so that knowledge is used to promote economic dynamism as well as social and environmental progress.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision 2006/973/EC

1.1.7 – 31.12.13

OJ L 400 of 30.12.06

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 29 April 2009 to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the progress made under the Seventh European Framework Programme for Research [COM(2009) 209 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The “Marie Curie” grants proposed by the “People” programme remain a great success. They contribute towards a balanced “brain circulation” both at European and global levels and to the creation of a high-quality and mobile European R&D workforce. The use of industry-academia fellowships could be improved by better communicating opportunities to industries and SMEs.

Specific programme Capacities

Specific programme Capacities

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Specific programme Capacities

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Research and innovation > General framework

Specific programme “Capacities”

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2006/974/EC of 19 December 2006 on the Specific Programme: capacities implementing the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007 to 2013).

Summary

Continuing previous action, the “Capacities” programme aims in the main to create new research and innovation infrastructures across Europe.

To this end, the programme calls for a strategic approach in two phases: a preparatory phase and a construction phase. This approach concerns the following areas:

  • research infrastructures;
  • research to benefit SMEs;
  • regions of knowledge;
  • research potential;
  • science in society;
  • horizontal activities in the field of international cooperation.

The budget required for executing this specific programme is estimated at EUR 4 097 million for the period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013.

CHARACTERISTICS AND GENERAL AIMS

All of the financial resources mobilised by the programme correspond to specific aims in each area:

  • to optimise use and development of research infrastructures;
  • to reinforce SMEs’ innovation capacities and their ability to benefit from research;
  • to promote and sustain development of regional groupings which depend on research;
  • to unlock research potential in the European Union’s convergence and outermost regions;
  • to bring science and society closer together;
  • to stimulate international cooperation;
  • to encourage coherence in research policy and synergies with other policies and Community programmes.

It is worth noting that theFramework Programme, including the various specific programmes and the research activities they give rise to, should respect fundamental ethical principles and give consideration to social, legal, socio-economic, cultural and gender equality aspects.

THEMES: OBJECTIVES, APPROACHES, ACTIVITIES

For each of the themes touched on by the programme, the following are defined:

  • a specific aim;
  • a suitable approach;
  • specific activities.

Research infrastructures

The specific programme aims to optimise the use and development of European research infrastructures * and to support their creation or modernisation. Support measures could also be proposed in order to respond to possible needs arising at a later date. More generally, it is a question of reinforcing the technological know-how of Europe to benefit a more competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy.

The measures relating to research infrastructures (which may already exist or have been newly created) and the emergence of new needs involve:

  • promoting trans-national access to structures already in place;
  • improving coordination through integrated modernisation;
  • developing on-line infrastructure based on ICT;
  • supporting the design and creation of new infrastructures;
  • strengthening cooperation within Europe and internationally.

The budget allocated to this field of research will amount to EUR 1 715 million.

Research benefiting SMEs

To allow SMEs and SME associations to use advances made in research to benefit their growth, their know-how and their innovation capacity, two special schemes are planned:

  • one is designed to aid small business groups to resolve, in the short term, common or complementary technological problems;
  • the second should allow technical solutions to be found for problems common to a large number of SMEs on a longer-term basis (e.g. conformity to European norms or regulations in areas such as health, safety and environmental protection.)

These projects will receive funding of EUR 1 336 million.

Regions of knowledge

Strengthening the research potential of European regions is the prime objective pursued here by the specific programme. To do this, support will be concentrated throughout Europe on the development of “regional clusters”, bringing together regional authorities, universities, research centres, businesses and other stakeholders. Better coordination between regional policy and research policies is one of the priorities of the programme.

The different projects in this section concern the following activities:

  • analysis, development and implementation of the research agendas of regional clusters (planning capacity and priorities for research and development);
  • “mentoring” of regions with a less developed research profile by highly developed ones, in particular by setting up trans-national regional consortia;
  • initiatives to improve integration of research actors and institutions in regional economies (e.g. trans-national activities organised within the framework of regional clusters);
  • measures aiming to promote the systematic exchange of information and interaction between similar projects (e.g. analysis and synthesis workshops, round tables, publications, etc.).

The budget allocated to the regions of knowledge will be EUR 126 million.

Research potential

The programme’s impact should centre around the European Union’s convergence and outermost regions to enable them to benefit fully from their research potential. This should, in the long term, stimulate the research potential (reinforcing knowledge, developing new skills, increasing visibility) of the enlarged Union.

In terms of specific activities, the focus will be on encouraging strategic partnerships, including twinning, between research groups from these regions (from both the public and private sectors) with prominent research groups elsewhere in Europe. These partnerships and twinning schemes will allow research groups in the least advanced regions, selected on the basis of their quality and potential, to benefit from:

  • exchanging knowledge and experience;
  • recruiting experienced researchers in charge of imparting knowledge and giving training;
  • acquiring and developing some research equipment;
  • organising workshops and conferences;
  • dissemination and promotion activities to maximise their visibility.

EUR 340 million funding will be dedicated to the development of research potential.

Science in society

Building an effective and democratic knowledge-based European society inevitably entails the integration of the scientific dimension into the European social fabric.

Despite being the driving force behind innovation and therefore growth, well-being and sustainable development, scientific research remains, generally speaking, badly integrated within society. Several causes for this can be identified:

  • insufficient public participation in the debate relating to the priorities and direction of scientific policy;
  • growing reservations with regard to certain scientific developments (lack of control, the questioning of fundamental values, etc.);
  • the perceived isolation of science from the everyday realities of economic and social life;
  • questioning the objectivity of scientific evidence made available to public policy-makers.

Further ambiguities arise from the increasing desire to undertake more research to address major social challenges (diseases, pollution, epidemics, unemployment, climate change, ageing of the population, etc.) and from a growing feeling of distrust regarding the possible misuses of science.

The danger of an increasing scientific divide in our societies therefore makes it essential to:

  • make scientific research more open, transparent and ethical;
  • strengthen the role of Europe on a global level in debates on shared values, equal opportunities and social dialogue;
  • bridge the gap between those who have scientific training and those who do not;
  • encourage a taste for scientific culture;
  • stimulate public debate on research policy;
  • make the world of science more accessible and more comprehensible;
  • help women to continue to progress in scientific careers;
  • adapt scientific communication to the present (using new means of communication to reach the widest possible audience).

Implementing this aspect will follow three general strands:

  • management of the relationship between science and society: strengthening and improving the European science system, anticipating and resolving political, ethical and social problems, a better understanding of the place of science and technology in society, development of the role of universities;
  • potential and prospects for the scientific world: consolidating the role of women and young people;
  • scientific communication: re-establishing the connection between science and society.

In terms of the European science system, three aspects are on the agenda:

  • improving the use of scientific advice and expertise in developing policies in Europe and evaluating their impact;
  • promoting trust and self-regulation within the scientific community;
  • encouraging debate on the distribution of information.

In anticipating and resolving political, ethical and social problems, two aspects come into play:

  • broader engagement on science-related questions;
  • setting up an informed debate on ethics and science.

To improve understanding of the place of science and technology in society, the programme advocates the formation of specialised university networks. These would have the task of demonstrating the actual role of science in building a European society and identity. To this end, several elements should be highlighted:

  • relationships between science, democracy and law;
  • research on ethics in science and technology;
  • the reciprocal influences of science and culture;
  • the role and image of scientists.

Regarding the evolving role of universities, emphasis will be placed on:

  • defining better framework conditions to optimise university research;
  • promoting structured partnerships with the business world;
  • reinforcing knowledge-sharing between universities and society at large.

Furthermore, programmes will be put in place to reinforce the role of women and the gender dimension within scientific research.

Equally, youth-based activities will be centred around:

  • supporting science education in schools;
  • reinforcing links between science education and science careers;
  • research and coordination on new methods in science teaching.

On matters of scientific communication, efforts will focus on the following aspects:

  • the reliability of information distributed to the scientific press;
  • creation of a European centre for scientific information;
  • training in and exchange of good practice to bring the media and the scientific community closer together;
  • reinforcing the European dimension of science events targeting the general public;
  • increasing the prominence of science by using audiovisuals;
  • promoting multinational communication (e.g. by awarding public prizes);
  • researching new methods and equipment to aid communication of scientific material.

The budget allocated to this topic will be EUR 330 million.

International cooperation

To develop an international policy of the first order for science and technology, the EU intends to:

  • support European competitiveness through strategic partnerships with third countries and welcome their best scientists to Europe;
  • address problems of accessibility that third countries face or will face.

Cooperation with third countries will mainly involve the candidate countries, the Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPC), the Western Balkan countries (WBC), the countries of Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus (EECAC), developing countries and emerging economies.

This cooperation will entail:

  • the establishment of priorities and definition of policies;
  • improving and developing partnerships;
  • improving coordination of national policies and activities.

A budget of EUR 180 million will be dedicated to activities in the field of international cooperation.

Coherence of research policies

In addition to enhancing the efficiency and coherence of national and community research policies, the EU aims to:

  • increase their coordination with other policies;
  • improve the impact of public research and its links with businesses;
  • increase public funding and its leverage effect on private sector investments.

To do this, two lines of action will be adopted:

  • monitoring and analysis of research-related public policies and industrial strategies, including their impact;
  • supporting open coordination and transnational cooperation initiatives.

These activities will receive EUR 70 million funding from the programme.

Background

Since 1984, the EU has been following a technology research and development policy based on multi-annual framework programmes. The Seventh Framework Programme is the second since the launching of the Lisbon strategy in 2000. Its role is vital in relation to growth and employment in Europe over the coming years.

Key terms in the act
  • Research infrastructure: facilities, resources and services which the scientific community needs to do its research in all scientific and technological domains. This encompasses personnel, equipment, knowledge-based resources, information and communications technology, plus anything used for scientific research.

References

Act Entry into force and expiry date Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision 2006/974/EC

1.1.2007 – 31.12.2013

OJ L 400 of 30.12.2006

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 29 April 2009 to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the progress made under the Seventh European Framework Programme for [COM(2009) 209 – Not published in the Official Journal].

All actions under the “Capacities” programme are in heavy demand, notably those supporting research for SMEs and SME associations. The realisation of 44 priority infrastructure projects of strategic European interest identified by the ‘European Strategic Forum on Research Infrastructures’ (ESFRI) are limited by a lack of Community and national resources. However, the adoption of a new legal framework for European research infrastructures in 2009 should provide a further boost and financial planning security integrating other financial instruments (EIB, Structural Funds).
The “Research potential” and “Regions of knowledge” activities which bring together scientific capacity between regions have not produced the expected results (particularly in convergence regions), as they also suffer from a lack of resources. A more efficient, targeted use of Structural Funds would raise the level of scientific and technological excellence in the EU.
The new financial system is more encouraging towards the creation of a partnership between research and society.

Decision N° 743/2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 on the Community’s participation in a research and development programme undertaken by several Member States aimed at supporting research and development performing small and medium-sized enterprises [Official Journal L 201 of 30.7.2008].
The Eurostars programme supports research and development (R&D) performing SMEs. This programme is founded on Article 169 of the EC Treaty concerning the participation of the Community in the R&D programme implemented jointly by several Member States. Eurostars is aimed at aligning and synchronising national research and innovation programmes to establish an integrated joint programme in scientific, management and financial fields and to contribute towards the realisation of the European Research Area.
Eurostars is a joint programme between Eureka and the Seventh Framework Programme for technological research and development (Capacities).
It is co-funded by Member States, the other participating countries and the Community. The Community financial contribution will be EUR 100 million, whilst the 22 Member States of the EU and the 5 countries associated to the 7th FPRD will jointly provide an additional EUR 300 million. Private funding will reach EUR 400 million. The total amount for European SMEs that are active in the field of research will therefore be EUR 800 million over six years.

Seventh Framework Programme: activities of the Joint Research Centre

Seventh Framework Programme: activities of the Joint Research Centre

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Seventh Framework Programme: activities of the Joint Research Centre

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Research and innovation > General framework

Seventh Framework Programme: activities of the Joint Research Centre (JRC)

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2006/975/EC of 19 December 2006 concerning the Specific Programme to be carried out by means of direct actions by the Joint Research Centre under the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007 to 2013) [Official Journal L 400, 30.12.2006].

Summary

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) carries out fundamental research and provides know-how and scientific and technical support for the policies of the European Union. An important function is to promote technology transfer of the results of research, both to create industrial added value and to support the Community’s innovation policies. Set up 43 years ago to provide European expertise in the nuclear power field, over time it has become a vast, diverse and multi-purpose research institution that is completely integrated into the Commission.

CHARACTERISTICS AND GENERAL OBJECTIVES

The task of the JRC under this Specific Programme will be to give users a greater role in drafting, implementing and following up Community policies, supporting and facilitating this process, but also reacting to new requests.

In terms of approach, the emphasis will be placed on both the “better regulation” requirement as defined in the new Lisbon Strategy and on developing the means and capabilities to deal with emerging challenges. In addition, it will strengthen scientific community networking by:

  • flexibly responding to the developing needs and requirements of the EU policy makers;
  • focusing on important challenges facing society that contain both a scientific and a Community dimension;
  • developing partnerships with research centres, universities, industry, public authorities, regulatory bodies in the Member States and with third countries and international bodies;
  • expanding its skills and improving its facilities;
  • collaborating with EU agencies, other EU institutions and the competent authorities in the Member States.

One of the particular features of this Specific Programme lies in its integrated approach to providing scientific and technological support for policies. This should contribute to a better understanding, in a number of fields, of the interactions between developments in technology and science, innovation and competitiveness on the one hand, and different regulatory and policy approaches on the other.

The Board of Governors will be responsible for monitoring and evaluating the JRC work programme on an annual basis. Every year, the JRC will assess the results and impact of the actions implemented. Meanwhile, user satisfaction surveys, which until now have been carried out every two years, will most likely be replaced with a system for the continuous collection of comments. In addition, in line with the Commission’s rules and good practices concerning its evaluation activities, there will be a mid-term review (3½ years after the start of the Research Framework Programme). This review will be carried out by external experts and will be chiefly based on information gathered during each annual review. Lastly, a general assessment will be carried out at the end of the seven-year Framework Programme.

The budget required for carrying out this Specific Programme is estimated at 1 751 million for the period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013.

It is worth noting that the Seventh Framework Programme, including the various Specific Programmes and the research activities they give rise to, should respect fundamental ethical principles and give consideration to social, legal, socio-economic, cultural and gender mainstreaming aspects.

ACTIVITIES

JRC actions will focus chiefly on the following policy themes:

  • prosperity in a highly knowledge-based society;
  • solidarity and the responsible management of resources;
  • security and freedom;
  • Europe as world partner.

Prosperity in a highly knowledge-based society

This field breaks down into five distinct agendas relating to:

  • competitiveness and innovation;
  • the European Research Area;
  • energy and transport;
  • information society;
  • life sciences and biotechnology.

Competitiveness and innovation will be promoted in a number of ways:

  • the production and dissemination of internationally accepted references;
  • the implementation of a common European measurement system;
  • support for the drafting of EU policy on international trade (assessing the impact of trade policy on sustainable development and competitiveness);
  • improving understanding of the relationship between education provision and the needs of the scientific community, of factors affecting equity in education, and how efficient use of educational resources can be achieved;
  • the identification and assessment of eco-efficient technologies and the study of the conditions under which they are developed.

The JRC will contribute directly to the European Research Area through:

  • scientific networking, training and mobility for researchers;
  • enhancing access to research infrastructures;
  • developing collaborative research;
  • supporting the implementation of the research policy;
  • technology assessments of research priorities in individual thematic areas *;
  • creating and using science and technology foresight methods.

In the energy field, the JRC has three main objectives:

  • to provide a sustainable energy reference system;
  • to act as reference centre (validation of results, certification of technologies, etc.);
  • to provide information on the reliability of energy supply in Europe.

In the transport field, the JRC’s activities will focus on:

  • the balance between the development of sustainable transport and the protection of the environment;
  • the technical and economical dimension of new fuels and engines;
  • the social dimension (spatial planning, health, etc.), plus aspects relating to the security and safety of air, land and maritime transport.

The JRC will also contribute to the creation of policies and instruments for information society technologies. It will also participate in the implementation of EU policies that are affected by developments in these technologies (e.g. e-business, personal security, e-governance, etc.) or linked to overall European strategies relating to growth, social inclusion and quality of life. Lastly, the JRC will concentrate its efforts on the “convergence” of applications in the fields of health, security and the environment. The aim is to assess the potential impact of science and information technology on society in terms of competitiveness, privacy, ownership and social inclusion.

The JRC will also expand its skills in the field of life sciences and biotechnology by carrying out socio-economic impact studies and by implementing new strategies and processes. Activities will also be carried out in the field of biotechnology, in connection with health and agriculture (including the food industry).

Solidarity and the responsible management of resources

This field breaks down into four distinct agendas relating to:

  • rural development, agriculture and fisheries;
  • natural resources;
  • environment and health;
  • climate change.

The JRC will support rural development, agriculture and fisheries policies on three levels, relating to production, environmental aspects and relations between producers and consumers. The Specific Programme is also intended to improve the quality and accessibility of scientific data and to develop processes for assessing the economic and social impact of policy management options.

As regards natural resources, JRC activities will focus on:

  • water management (ecological quality of Europe’s inland and coastal waters, pollutant cycles, etc.);
  • soil protection and monitoring;
  • analysis of the life cycle of resources from extraction through use, recycling and ultimate disposal of materials;
  • sustainable production and consumption of natural resources and materials;
  • the environmental impact and sustainability of products under different technology and policy scenarios;
  • forestry (biodiversity, forest fires, resources, climate change, etc.);
  • technical support for the EU shared environment information system in the context of the development of INSPIRE;
  • analysis of the impact of structural and cohesion programmes and support for regional policies.

In addition, the JRC will contribute to making the link between the environment and health via:

  • the development and validation of methods for monitoring different pathways of exposure for humans (air, water, foodstuffs, chemical substances);
  • the assessment of the effects on health of the different forms of exposure;
  • the creation of an integrated environmental system.

As regards climate change, JRC action will focus on the problem of greenhouse gas emissions. It will also have the task of assessing the impact of climate (flooding, drought, forest fires, storms, etc.) on the most vulnerable sectors of Europe’s economy (agriculture and forestry in particular). Lastly, the JRC will tackle the question of integrating climate-related policies into other sectoral policies in the context of analysing the different options for the post-Kyoto period.

Security and freedom

This section breaks down into three distinct agendas relating to:

  • internal security;
  • disasters and response;
  • food and feed safety and quality.

JRC support for EU policies relating to internal security consists in particular in the application of systems analysis competencies in the following areas:

  • the fight against criminality, fraud and trafficking;
  • the protection of critical infrastructures;
  • anti-terrorism measures;
  • border security and migration management.

The JRC will also intervene on the ground in the event of natural disasters and technological accidents. In particular, it will contribute to improving the EU response capacity and to optimising crisis management in terms of rapidity of response, monitoring and damage assessment.

As regards the food industry, JRC actions will be based around the Fork to Farm concept. More specifically, it will validate methods and harmonised procedures for a broad range of food and feed types. In addition, it will develop its capacity for managing food crises.

Europe as a world partner

The theme of EU external relations comprises two distinct agendas: global security and development cooperation.

As regards global security, the JRC will provide technological support for, among others, the following:

  • identifying forgotten crises;
  • early warning of potential crises;
  • humanitarian needs assessment and relief;
  • integrated crisis response;
  • post-crisis damage assessment;
  • creation of a rapid mapping database;
  • cross-border stability (non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the fight against trafficking and terrorism).

In terms of development cooperation, the JRC will play a role in setting up and operating an Observatory for Sustainable Development and Environment. This will be set up initially in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. At the heart of the observatory will be an information gathering and communication system. The system will focus essentially on the three following aspects:

  • environmental diagnostics and country profiles;
  • scenario building;
  • cross-policy interactions.

The work of the observatory will focus above all on responding to existing needs. It will be designed in such a way that it can be managed by developing countries.

Background

Since 1984, the research and technological development policy of the European Union has been founded on multiannual framework programmes. The Seventh Framework Programme is the second programme since the launch of the Lisbon Strategy in 2000 and will be crucially important for growth and employment in Europe over the coming years. The Commission wishes to advance the “knowledge triangle” of research, education and innovation so that knowledge is used to promote economic dynamism as well as social and environmental progress.

Key terms used in the act
  • Thematic areas: health; food, agriculture and biotechnology; information and communication technologies; nanosciences, nanotechnologies, materials and new production technologies; energy; environment (including climate change); transport (including aeronautics); socio-economic sciences and humanities; security and space.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2006/975/EC

1.1.2007 – 31.12.2013

OJ L 400 of 30.12.06

Related Acts

Council Decision 2006/977/Euratom of 19 December 2006 concerning the Specific Programme to be carried out by means of direct actions by the Joint Research Centre under the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007 to 2011) [Official Journal L 400, 30.12.2006].

This Decision concerns the objectives and activities of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) under the Euratom Specific Programme. These are linked mainly to training, knowledge management, nuclear safety, waste management and the impact of nuclear activity on the environment.

Specific programme Cooperation

Specific programme Cooperation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Specific programme Cooperation

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Research and innovation > General framework

Specific programme Cooperation

Last updated: 15.01.2010

Promoting data protection by privacy-enhancing technologies

Promoting data protection by privacy-enhancing technologies

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Promoting data protection by privacy-enhancing technologies

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Data protection copyright and related rights

Promoting data protection by privacy-enhancing technologies

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on promoting data protection by privacy-enhancing technologies [COM(2007) 228 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission considers that privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) should be developed and more widely used, in particular where personal data are processed through information and communication technology (ICT) networks. It considers that wider use of these technologies would improve the protection of privacy.

In its Communication on a strategy for a secure Information Society, it invites the private sector to “stimulate the deployment of security-enhancing products, processes and services to prevent and fight ID theft and other privacy-intrusive attacks”. Furthermore, in its Roadmap for a pan-European eIDM Framework by 2010, it indicates that one of the key principles governing electronic identity management is that “the system must be secure, implement the necessary safeguards to protect the user’s privacy, and allow its usage to be aligned with local interest and sensitivities”.

The purpose of this Communication, which follows on from the Communication on a strategy for a secure Information Society, the Roadmap for a pan-European eIDM Framework by 2010 and the First Report on the implementation of the Data Protection Directive, is to define the objectives so as to achieve better protection of privacy and to determine clear actions so as to achieve these goals by supporting the development of PETs and their use by data controllers and consumers.

First objective: to support the development of PETs

If PETs are to be widely used, there needs to be further design, development and manufacturing of PETs. Although these activities are already undertaken to a certain degree by the public and private sectors, the Commission considers that they should be stepped up. With this aim in mind, the need for PETs and their technological requirements should be identified and RTD activities should develop the tools. Finally, the Commission will encourage stakeholders to meet and discuss these technologies.

As the need for and technological requirements of PETs are identified, concrete action has to be taken to arrive at an end-product ready to use. In the future, under the 7th Framework Programme, the Commission intends to support other research and technological development (RTD) projects and large-scale pilot demonstrations to develop and stimulate the uptake of PETs. The Commission also calls on national authorities and on the private sector to invest in the development of PETs.

Second objective: to support the use of available PETs by data controllers

The Commission calls on all data controllers to incorporate and apply PETs in their processes more widely and systematically. For that purpose, the Commission will organise seminars with key actors of the ICT industry, and in particular PETs developers, with the aim of analysing their possible contribution to promoting the use of PETs among data controllers. It will also conduct a study on the economic benefits of PETs and disseminate its results in order to encourage enterprises, in particular SMEs, to use them.

Furthermore, the Commission will assess the need to develop standards regarding the lawful processing of data with PETs.

Firstly, the Commission will consider the need for respect of data protection rules to be taken into account in standardisation activities. It may invite the European Standardisation Organisations (CEN, CENELEC, ETSI) to assess specific European needs and subsequently to bring them to the international level by means of applying the current agreements between European and international standardisation organisations.

Secondly, the Commission considers that this is an area where coordination of national practice could contribute positively to promoting the use of PETs. It is calling on the Article 29 Working Party to continue its work in the field by including in its programme ongoing analysis of the needs for incorporating PETs in data-processing operations. This work should then produce guidelines for data-protection authorities to implement at national level through coordinated adoption of the appropriate instruments.

Moreover, many data-processing operations are conducted by public authorities in the exercise of their competences, both at national and at Community level. They are themselves bound to respect fundamental rights, including the right to protect personal data.

The Commission also considers that the public authorities should therefore set a clear example in this field. It calls on governments to ensure that data-protection safeguards are embedded in eGovernment applications, including through the widest possible use of PETs in their design and implementation. As for Community institutions and bodies, the Commission calls on them to comply with the requirements of Regulation (EC) No 45/2001. The European Data Protection Supervisor could contribute with his advice to drawing up internal rules relating to the processing of personal data.

Third objective: to encourage consumers to use PETs

A consistent strategy must be adopted to raise consumer awareness of the risks involved in processing their data and of the solutions that PETs may provide. With this in mind, the Commission intends to launch a series of EU-wide awareness-raising activities on PETs.

The main responsibility for conducting this activity falls within the realm of national data-protection authorities, which already have valuable experience in this area. The Commission calls on them to increase their awareness-raising activities to include information on PETs through all possible means within their reach. It also urges the Article 29 Working Party to coordinate national practice in a coherent work plan for awareness-raising on PETs and to serve as a meeting point for the sharing of good practice already in place at national level.

The Commission also intends to investigate the feasibility of an EU-wide system of privacy seals. With this in mind, and taking account of previous experience concerning seal programmes in other areas (e.g. environment, agriculture, security certification for products and services), it will conduct a dialogue with all the stakeholders concerned, including national data-protection authorities, industrial and consumer associations and standardisation bodies.