Science & Technology Issue 3

In this issue of Science and Technology we see articles on space, cancer research, agriculture, biotechnology and Horizon 2020.

There is a focus of energy harvesting and clean coal technology, while emphasis is also placed on biotechnology in healthcare and how the health sector can benefit from this. Finally, we take a closer look at the efforts Europe is taking towards the conservation of animals.

How is Europe improving the future for energy?

  • Science and Technology speaks to Dr Michel Claessens, head of communications for the ITER project, about the history and future of fusion research and what success at ITER could mean for the future of humanity’s energy needs;
  • Dr Francesco Romanelli, director of the Joint European Torus, talks to Science and Technology about the future of fusion energy; and
  • In his discussion of European energy policies, Jery Buzek, former president of the European Parliament speaks to Science and Technology about how their decision will have repercussions for the whole of the EU for years to come, while underlining the potential benefits of Carbon Capture and storage can have for Europe’s competitive edge in global technologies market.

How can biotechnologies improve healthcare within Europe?

  • John Dalli, EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, has a very clear interest in the biotechnology industry, given its record in developing medical products and processes. Speaking at the EuropaBio conference in Brussels, which Science and Technology attended, the commissioner highlighted the importance of continued funding, clinical trials and HTAs;
  • Professor Peter Olesen, chair of the board at the Danish Council for Strategic Research, underlines the need for an accumulation of indisputable evidence before the paradigm shift necessary to tackle obesity can be realised; and
  • Co-ordinator of the Nanoear project, Professor Ilmari Pyykkӧ, discusses how multifunctional, highly penetrating delivery vehicles will be created to carry and release drug/genes precisely to target tissue sites.

What steps are being taken towards conservation in Europe?

  • European Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potočnik, discusses the challenges facing environmental policy and conservation in Europe, including the re-introduction of certain species to areas of Europe, the LIFE initiative, the Habitats Directive, the 7th Environmental Action Programme and the delivery of the EU Biodiversity Strategy;
  • European Wildlife’s Dalibor Dostal on the possibility of establishing a ‘Central European Serengeti’ for bison and other species.
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