Science & Technology Issue 7

In this issue of Science and Technology we look at the provisional confirmation of the budget for the European Commission’s next framework programme, Horizon2020, as well as the research priorities of the European Space Agency (ESA) – and indeed the budget for the coming years – being decided upon at the annual ministerial meeting.

Space research has continued to produce successful results, EuropaBio, discusses how the bioeconomy stands to benefit from Horizon 2020, and the European Commission for Climate Action, outlines new targets for 2030.

How is space research and technology changing?

  • The new head of the UK Space Agency, Dr David Parker, speaks to Science and Technology about the importance of the space sector to the everyday life of citizens and economic growth, and how Britain is continuing to demonstrate its excellence in the field, not least by attracting a stronger ESA presence to the country;
  • Science and Technology speaks to Mauro Facchini, head of the Space Research Unit at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry, about his speech at the EU Science: Global Challenges, Global Collaboration event, and his wider views on space and Horizon 2020, including how space is of benefit for the European citizen; and
  • Dr Juhani Huovelin on space research and technology, and the role that Horizon 2020 could come to play in the space sector.

Is medicine in Europe changing?

  • Science and Technology speaks to Nathalie Moll, secretary general at EuropaBio, the European Association for Bioindustries, about how the bioeconomy stands to benefit from Horizon 2020, as well as the issues of international competition, the impact of possible budget cuts and the role of the recently-announced bioeconomy observatory;
  • IMI executive director Professor Michel Goldman speaks to Science and Technology about the challenges facing the future of personalised medicine; and
  • Science and Technology looks at how biomedicine and the molecular biosciences fit into the COST remit and how the research is benefitting society.

How is Europe tackling climate change?

  • Connie Hedegaard, the European Commissioner for Climate Action, makes the case to Science and Technology that climate change is one of the three crises that Europe needs to tackle immediately. In light of this, the Commissioner explains, new targets on this area for 2030 should help to advance this; and
  • Denmark is consistently seen as a world leader when it comes to renewable energy and the reduction of carbon emissions. Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Building, Martin Lidegaard, speaks to Science and Technology about tackling climate change, the target of going 100% renewable in the energy and transport sectors by 2050, and the situation in Europe more widely.

A space research special report

  • Science and Technology introduces this section on asteroid impacts and mitigation methods, and speaks to Imperial College London’s senior lecturer Dr Gareth Collins about the potential consequences of large asteroid impacts and ‘Impact: Earth!’ – a web-based calculator for estimating the regional environmental consequences of a comet or asteroid impact on Earth.
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