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|Dear Subscriber, |
Welcome to the December 2012 issue of the EPN Consulting Newsletter that is received by over 1,500 selected professionals in Europe.
IMPORTANT MESSAGESince 01 Dec 2012 we have been experiencing problems with our hosting provider. This means our corporate website is offline and our email addresses cannot be reached. However, our business is open as usual.We have activated a provisional email address where each of you can contact us: EPNconsulting.Inforequest [at] gmail.com Feel free to send any request to this email address and we will forward it to the relevant team. Updating of the current situation will be regularly published on our Twitter account.We hope to have this inconvenience solved soon. Thanks for your patience.
For those of you focusing on Energy saving activities, we are pleased to inform you that during this month the new 2013 Intelligent Energy Europe
call for proposals will be launched.
Project proposals can be submitted to three main areas of interest such as SAVE (Energy efficiency and the rational use of energy), ALTENER (New and renewable resources), STEER (Energy in transport) plus an INTEGRATED INITIATIVES opportunity.
An information day has been planned in Brussels next 23 Jan 2013 where further details of the call will be discussed.
We would like to remind you that next 15 Jan 2013 the FP7 ICT-10 call will close. Due to the Christmas holidays, many project partners may become unavailable for a couple week between 24 Dec 2012 and 07 Jan 2013.
We suggest that you should work hard in these weeks to prepare a good quality proposal. If you need any help EPN Consulting
is happy to hear from you.
With regard to Intelligent Transport Systems and Services (ITSS), next 4-7 June 2013 the 9th ITS European Congress
will be organised in Dublin (Ireland). Since last week it is possible to submit papers on a number of topics dealing with "ITS: Real Solutions for Real Needs". This submission period will end on 21 Dec 2012
Last 29 Nov 2012 the European Commission released €1.265 billion to fund key TEN-T projects in all transport modes - air, rail, road, and maritime/inland waterways - plus logistics and Intelligent Transport Systems.
The Commission Vice President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said:
"In making this considerable amount of funding available, the Commission aims for a competitive relaunch of the European economy, to sustain and support growth. By directing this money to TEN-T infrastructure, we are also continuing to help the realisation of the entire TEN-T network - bringing a tangible benefit to all European businesses and citizens who will reap the rewards of a more efficient, sustainable and effective European transport system"
. More information available here.
EPN Consulting is also available to provide assistance to public and private organisations that would like to see their ideas converted into a sound proposal to be submitted.
EPN Consulting is also an ideal partner for your project consortium as we have got a lot of experience in dealing with EC projects.
to know more about how we can help you.
If some of you are already involved in European projects and would like to publicise your progress, contact us and you will be impressed by the range of opportunities that are waiting for you.
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EPN Consulting membership fees (both in GBP and in EUR) will be kept unchanged until 31 Dec 2012.
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We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2013!
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New Calls recently published
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EPN Consulting organises "INTRODUCTION TO EUROPEAN PROJECTS" Courses to help you understand strengths and weaknesses of your ideas and how they can fit in the relevant Calls of interest. Theses courses are very flexible (No. of Students, Course Duration and Course Locations) to help you get the best out of it.
We look forward to receiving your numerous subscriptions!
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Digital Agenda - Commission decision paves the way for 4G in Europe
Brussels, 05 Nov 2012 - The European Commission decided to add another 120 MHz to the radio spectrum portfolio for 4G technologies, such as LTE (Long Term Evolution), around the 2 GHz band. This band is currently solely used for UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) wireless communications, known as 3G networks.
The Decision makes it mandatory for Member States to open the relevant spectrum by 30 June 2014 at the latest, and lays down harmonised technical conditions to allow coexistence between different technologies. On this basis the EU will enjoy up to twice the amount of spectrum for high speed wireless broadband as in the United States, namely around 1000 MHz.
The Commission's decision means mobile operators will have more opportunities to invest in improved mobile networks, which benefits the whole economy, and consumers will, over time, enjoy faster data transfers and more broadband services. Greater access to spectrum for 4G technologies will make a substantial contribution to the Digital Agenda broadband target of universal EU broadband coverage of at least 30 Mb/s by 2020(see IP/10/581, MEMO/10/199 and MEMO/10/200).
European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes said: "This extra spectrum for 4G in Europe means we can better meet the changing and growing demand for broadband. I want to see Member States acting swiftly to change existing licenses. We all win from faster wireless connections in Europe".
The Decision enforces the harmonised liberalisation of the 2 GHz band (1920-1980 MHz paired with 2110-2170 MHz) in all Member States, avoiding internal market fragmentation in the future use of this band.
Introducing flexibility of use in spectrum bands by removing technology restrictions offers a cost-effective way for deploying advanced wireless infrastructure in response to market demand.
More information available here.
Active and Healthy Ageing - Concrete Actions Plans for a Better Life for Older Europeans
Brussels, 06 Nov 2012 - The first Conference of Partners of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing took place in Brussels. The Conference was headlined by European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes, Commissioner Maire Geoghegan Quinn, Kathleen Lynch, the Irish Minister of State from the Department of Health and Department of Justice, and the Spanish Secretary General of Health and Consumers, Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality, María Pilar Farjas Abadía.
High level representatives and Ministers from European regions and innovative projects were discussing how to implement and scale up innovations for active ageing and what contribution they can make to regions. They were joined by leading figures in the field of active and healthy ageing from across Europe, from universities and research groups, public authorities, health providers, industry and non-governmental organisations.
Six Action Groups presented six Action Plans which tackle a specific challenge in this field - from falls, which account for almost one third of fatal injuries amongst older people to tele-monitoring which enable chronically ill patients to live longer at home. The Action Groups are made up of many stakeholders: from national government and regions to hospitals, municipalities, health care professional organisations, insurers and others.
The European Innovation Partnership is about scale and impact. It is not a funding instrument for projects, but a partnership among stakeholders, facilitated by the Commission, to change how health and social care for older people are delivered across Europe.
The Action Groups include 261 commitments, by over 3,000 stakeholders from all Member States, and the Action Plans aim to improve the quality of life of four million European senior citizens between now and 2015.
The six Action Plans address the following areas:
- Prescription Adherence
- Fall Prevention
- Frailty and Malnutrition
- Integrated Care
- Independent Living
- Age-friendly Environment
More details available here.
|EU Enlargement - EU allocates €63 million to bring Kosovo* closer to Europe
Brussels, 09 Nov 2012 - The European Commission announced that it has allocated €63 million to support Kosovo's efforts to implement its EU-reform agenda.
The funds will be used for reforms of the justice and public administration systems, to support the readmission and reintegration of refugees and to improve correctional and probation services. It will also help boost private sector development through the modernisation of Kosovo's power supply, its infrastructure, and investment in education and regional development.
The funding earmarked today is included in the 2012 annual programme for Kosovo under the EU's Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA), and will be topped up with an additional €20 million of co-financing by Kosovo authorities and other donors.
"Reforms to increase the efficiency of the judicial system, improve public administration and promote a more dynamic and resilient private sector are the key priorities of our assistance in Kosovo. This not only helps Kosovo move closer to the EU, but it also aims to bring about real change in Kosovo society for the benefit of all its citizens", said European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Füle.
More details available here
(*) This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/99 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.
Automotive - Safer Vehicles through International Harmonisation
Brussels, 14 Nov 2012 - The European Commission agreed with international partners on new internationally harmonised rules on Advanced Emergency Braking Systems (AEBS) and Lane Departure Warning Systems (LDWS) for commercial vehicles.
EU legislation already sets out dates for the obligatory introduction of these safety enhancing technologies in the EU. To promote safety internationally and help the European automotive industry export trade, it is important that these systems are based on globally harmonised standards. At the United Nations' World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations, the Commission actively contributed to these and other measures, including the adoption of rules for a new generation of Child Restraint Systems (CRS) called "i-Size" and rules covering the safety of batteries fitted in electric vehicles.
The inclusion of these measures in the United Nations' International Agreement on vehicle construction will ensure that the same requirements are adopted not only by Europe, but also by other countries such as Japan, Russia and South Korea, hence reducing market entry barriers and facilitating trade between major automotive markets.
European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: "This is a further step to simplify our legislation and promote international harmonisation that facilitates access by European manufacturers to non- EU markets. We are improving road safety and simplifying legislation, all on the basis of internationally agreed standards. This is how the Cars 2020 Action Plan, presented a week ago, works in practice".
More details are available here
Public Consultation on the e-Freight Initiative
The EU aims at establishing the adequate structural conditions for fostering growth of the EU economy. A main element needed to support growth is the facilitation of the transport of goods.
E-Freight will help improving the efficiency of freight transport and thus contribute to growth and competitiveness.
Through supporting the achievement of the missing link between different information tools and the facilitation of seamless information flows and thus transport of goods across modes and countries, it will simplify the organisation and execution of freight transport across modes and countries, and therefore contribute to unifying the European Transport Area.
The EU has been for many years actively supporting a policy of efficient and sustainable uni-modal and multi-modal transport logistics chains, for which accompanying seamless information flows is a prerequisite. While progress in this respect has so far mostly taken place at an individual mode level, in terms of vertical integration and interoperability, often triggered by traffic management needs and public reporting requirements, the additional challenge lies in the horizontal integration and interoperability of information and information exchange across several transport modes.
The White Paper on Transport "Roadmap to a Single Transport Area - towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system" adopted in March 2011 has therefore proposed action n°7 on multimodal transport of goods - e-Freight.
This Consultation will close on 17 JAN 2013.
More details available here
Environment - Commission presents Blueprint to Saveguard Europe's Waters
Brussels, 15 Nov 2012 - The European Commission launched a Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources, a strategy for ensuring that enough good quality water is available to meet the needs of people, the economy and the environment.
EU waters are not doing well in terms of quality, despite improvements in recent years. Water quantity is of equal concern with water scarcity spreading in Europe and extreme events (like floods) increasing in too many Member States.
We must step up our efforts in order to deal with old and emerging challenges, including water pollution, water abstraction for agriculture and energy production, land use and the impacts of climate change. Strengthened measures are needed to help the EU protect its water resources and become more resource (including water) efficient.
Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "This Blueprint shows we have a good understanding of the problems we face and a solid platform to tackle them. The time has come to take action to deliver the full benefits of our legislation and create opportunities for innovative solutions in water policy and the water industry. What is needed is a sustainable balance between water demand and supply, taking into account the needs of both people and the natural ecosystems they depend on".
To achieve the already existing Water Framework Directive objective of good water status by 2015, the Water Blueprint sets out a three-tier strategic approach:
Improving implementation of current EU water policy by making full use of the opportunities provided by the current laws. For example, increasing the take-up of natural water retention measures such as the restoration of wetlands and floodplains or improving implementation of the "polluter pays" principle through metering, water-pricing and better economic analysis.
Increasing the integration of water policy objectives into other relevant policy areas such as agriculture, fisheries, renewable energy, transport and the Cohesion and Structural Funds.
Filling the gaps of the current framework, particularly in relation to the tools needed to increase water efficiency. In this regard, the Water Blueprint envisages water accounts and water efficiency targets to be set by Member States and the development of EU standards for water re-use.
More details are available here.
InfoDay on FP7 Environment Research in the speficic field of Water Innovation Demonstration Projects
Next 15 JAN 2013
in Brussels the European Commission (Research & Innovation DG - Directorate Environment) is organising an InfoDay on FP7 Environment Research in the specific field of "Water Innovation Demonstration Projects"
The event will focus on the Call FP7-ENV-2013-WATER-INNO-DEMO of the 2013 Work Programme. It aims to provide guidance on the preparation of proposals, to update proposers on recent progress by the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Water and to allow for brokerage amongst the participants.
More information available here
EBRD invests 10 Billion Euros in Sustainable Energy
Last 05 Nov 2012 the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced that its investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy have reached €10 billion (over US$ 13 billion) since the launch of its Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI) in 2006.
This milestone was announced in Istanbul (Turkey) during an EBRD panel discussion held in parallel with the Climate Investment Funds 2012 Partnership Forum. SEI has financed 552 projects ranging from the insulation of a nursery in Slovakia (watch video) to energy efficiency credit lines in Turkey. The project that brings the total of EBRD SEI financing to €10 billion is the new 53 MW Kukinia wind farm in Poland.
"The energy intensity of economies in the region of EBRD operations remains very high, despite some progress. Sustainable energy has grown into a major activity of the EBRD accounting for a third of EBRD investments in 2011. From Turkey to Russia, from Mongolia to Slovakia we are working with industries, utilities, municipalities and households to enhance their energy efficiency. The EBRD has proven over the years that energy efficiency makes good business sense", said Sir Suma Chakrabarti, the EBRD President.
EBRD's Managing Director for Energy Efficiency and Climate Change, Josué Tanaka, said: "With this financial milestone of €10 billion of EBRD sustainable energy financing, we demonstrate that even in a difficult context there is a strong opportunity to assist small and large corporates in reducing their costs and enhancing their competitiveness. Beyond business, these investments bring significant environmental benefits with SEI projects to date expected to reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 50 million tonnes, which is equivalent to the emissions of Sweden".
More information available here.
EPN Consulting attended a Seminar in Italy on Sustainable Energy and Technological Innovation
Last 28 Nov 2012 EPN Consulting was represented by its consulting member Mr Wilhelm Determann (pictured above) during a seminar in Turin (Italy) on "Sustainable Energy and Technological Innovation: Challenges and strategies" at an international post-graduate program organised by the Turin's Law & Business in Europe - Autumn School (University Institute of European Studies).
The lecture given by Mr Determann had the following goals:
1) Providing an understanding of general principles of select renewable energy technologies, their current status of implementation and future potential, and challenges to their implementation and development
2) Providing information about ancillary technology development (super grids, DC transmission, energy storage, ...)
3) Presenting international project examples
4) Identifying practical work scopes
5) Discussing potential for application of renewable energy technologies in the countries of the attendees
Two EPN Consulting Members are part of METPEX, an FP7 Transport project
Last year EPN Consulting
provided a professional service on designing and writing an FP7 Transport project proposal named METPEX (MEasurement Tool to determine the quality of Passenger EXperience). In Spring 2012 the project was included in the group of proposals eligible for funding and in Nov 2012 the project was officially kicked off.
The project website is www.metpex.eu
(currently under construction).
EPN Consulting is proud to announce that SBOING, one of its members from Greece, and SMART CONTINENT LT, one of its members from Lithuania, are partners in this successful project.
Press releases of our members follow below.
METPEX ("MEasurement Tool to determine the quality of Passenger EXperience"), a 3-year, FP7 RTD project, coordinated by the University of Coventry, was launched on November 1st, 2012, aiming to develop and evaluate a standardised tool to measure passenger experience across whole journeys. The METPEX tool will provide reliable data which can be used by transport providers, policy makers, vehicle designers and municipalities to measure and benchmark their services and to assess where changes need to be made to increase efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery. This 3 Million Euros R&TD effort brings together 16 European partners from 12 countries.
SBOING's role in the project is to contribute to the development of the METPEX tool for mobile devices, and to the collection, processing and evaluation of passenger feedback, to be acquired through the SBOING user community. The full press release can be downloaded here.
Smart Continent LT kicked-off with the METPEX (A Measurement Tool to determine the quality of the Passenger EXperience) project this month. The project is funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme. The Consortium of 16 partners from 12 countries will work to develop an inclusive passenger experience measurement tool for European transport providers, passenger groups and municipalities validated through its use across eight cities of varying transport complexity. The data collected during the project will enable the creation and dissemination of service quality and accessibility benchmark indicators.
Smart Continent LT will contribute to the project by researching existing practices of quality of passenger experience and will carry out trials of the developed tools in Vilnius as demonstration site.
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The Website of the Month: EC Autumn Economic Forecast
This month EPN Consulting has chosen the EC Autumn Economic Forecast website.
Last 07 Nov 2012 the European Commission published an interesting press release with the worrying title:
"Autumn forecast 2012-14: sailing through rough waters".
The short-term outlook for the EU economy remains fragile, but a gradual return to GDP growth is projected for 2013, with further strengthening in 2014.
On an annual basis, GDP is set to contract by 0.3% in the EU and 0.4% in the euro area in 2012. GDP growth for 2013 is projected at 0.4% in the EU and 0.1% in the euro area. Unemployment in the EU is expected to remain very high.
To better understand the situation of each of the EU countries, the Accession Countries and Other non-EU countries click on the link below. There is plenty of useful figures that help us understand the difficult moment we are currently in.
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