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Commission science centre addresses member states’ needs

The Joint Research Centre wants its work to become more aligned to the priorities of EU member states, according to the centre’s annual reports.

The JRC’s board of governors is trying to act as a “two-way conduit”, to better reflect member state priorities in the JRC work programme 2013 it wrote in the report. The board added that it was pleased to see that cooperation with member states and other groups is being reinforced in the JRC’s preparation for Horizon 2020.

The JRC is the European Commission’s in-house laboratory, which undertakes research and advises on policy development. The centre’s annual report for 2012, published today (3 April 2013), describes its research activities in a range of topics including financial stability, economic growth, energy and environment last year.

“I am glad to say that this last year has seen increased collaboration with all relevant stakeholders, including Commission services, EU member states and their organisations as well as industry,” said JRC director-general Dominique Ristori in his foreword to the report.

The report also highlights the JRC’s work in managing natural disasters. The European Crisis Management Laboratory, located at the JRC’s Ispra site in Italy, was inaugurated in 2012. It was created to support European interventions in dealing with natural disasters around the world.

The JRC’s board of governors noted progress made by the centre’s modelling task force, which supports policy-making by the Commission. The JRC has carried out modelling relating to the European financial system and environmental and climate issues. The board recommended the JRC further develop its modelling capabilities.

“The JRC has truly demonstrated its relevance as the trusted provider of unbiased scientific and technical support to policy, with an impressive capacity to rapidly mobilise the necessary resources to deal with emerging topics,” research commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said in her foreword to the report.

The report includes JRC figures for 2012. The centre employed 2,822 staff at the end of the year, of which 77 per cent were working on scientific projects and the rest were working on administration, support, and nuclear decommissioning.

The JRC’s 2012 budget was €380 million and it earned €69m through participation in Framework 7 and carrying out additional work for Commission services and regional and industrial organisations. The centre produced 684 peer-reviewed publications, 577 scientific and technical reports, and nine PhD theses in 2012.