Science & Technology Issue 18

This issue of Science and Technology discusses new approaches to the shifting landscape of research and development in Europe – and in other countries around the world – today. This the 18th edition, also discusses public health and the challenges that face healthcare in the EU, and the effects of climate change and the sustainable future.

How is the commission further contributing to research?

  • Maria Grazia Calza and Arianna Carciotto from the National Institute for Statistics (Istat) – the main supplier of official statistical information in Italy – explain how official statistics can bolster the third sector (which has seen significant development as a result of the current economic crisis, accompanied by state budget constraints for welfare) and its efforts to pursue social aims;
  • Dr Julia Stamm, who recently led a European Commission team working to integrate social sciences and humanities (SSH) in Horizon 2020, discusses how to make interdisciplinary research work and the lessons learnt from two years of Horizon 2020, where the focus on applied and close-to-market research constituted a break from the past, but where an ‘embedding’ of these disciplines is coming to be replaced by a more welcome integration; and
  • Talking to Science and Technology 18 on the European Commission’s engagement with the construction sector, DG GROW’s deputy chief, Eliana Garcés Tolón, provides an insight on Brussels’ approach.

What challenges does healthcare face in the EU?

  • Science and Technology met with Professor Carlo Ventura at the 11th International Congress on Coronary Artery Disease (ICCAD 2015) in Bologna to discuss his work on how stem cells are extremely sensitive to acoustic vibrational signatures, finding which have pioneered physical energy in stem cell science;
  • Professor Borut Gersak, from the University Centre Ljubljana, Slovenia, talks to Science and Technology about structureless, rapid deployment valves in aortic valve replacement, including evidence-based patient benefits, first-choice valve replacement options, and alternatives to stented valves, as well as how they are fast becoming the prosthesis of choice in valve replacement surgery; and
  • During a briefing for the European Union’s Joint Undertakings, Science and Technology spoke to Pierre Meulien, executive director of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), to get his thoughts on the present pharmaceutical challenges.

How does Carbon Capture and Storage aid the environment?

  • Science and Technology asked the Carbon Capture & Storage Association’s (CCSA) Theo Mitchell for his thoughts on how CCS is situated in the current climate landscape;
  • Jonas Helseth, director of Bellona Europa, discusses the role of CCS in meeting Europe’s climate ambitions; and
  • The European Environment Agency (EEA) outlines how agriculture contributes to, and is affected by, climate change, as well as the role of environmental technologies.