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Information on the Joint Research Centre / JRC NCP meeting

The Annual JRC National Contact Points meeting was held on June 5-6, 2008, in the JRC Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM), in Geel, Belgium.

  • Posted on: 24.07.2008

First day of the meeting was dedicated to presentations of the recent highlights of the JRC, progress in the Customer and Stakeholder Relation activities in 2007, collaboration with the Council Presidencies and the JRC communication strategy. After presentations of news, round table was organised with a presentation and discussion of the JRC National Contact Points. NCPs presented the activities related to the JRC since the last year and discussed ideas for the future. Discussion was mainly concentrated towards possible actions that will provide rising the visibility of JRC in the EU and acceding countries.

Second day was dedicated to the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements. NCPs visited the major laboratories of the IRMM, where activities of the JRC in the areas of food quality and safety, metrology in chemistry, reference materials and neutron physics, were presented. NCPs were also joined by the scientific attachés of the permanent representations/missions of their countries to the EU in Brussels.


On JRC in general:

The Joint Research Centre is a Directorate-General of the European Commission. Its mission is to provide customer-driven scientific and technical support for the conception, development, implementation and monitoring of European Union policies. As a service of the European Commission, the JRC functions as a reference centre of science and technology for the Community. Close to the policy-making process, it serves the common interest of the Member States, while being independent of special interests, whether private or national. JRC’s goal is to deliver robust and fit-for-purpose scientific/technical support to policy makers based on a strong anticipation function, strategic dialogues with customers and stakeholders and an appropriate research base.

The JRC has seven scientific institutes, located at five different sites in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, with a wide range of laboratories and unique research facilities. Through numerous collaborations, access to many facilities is granted to scientists from partner organisations. The JRC employs around 2750 staff coming from throughout the EU, and its budget comprises € 330 million annually, coming from the EU’s research budget, the 7th Framework Programme. Further income is generated through the JRC’s participation in indirect actions, additional work for Commission services and contract work for third parties, such as regional authorities and industry.

JRC’s work ranges from detecting and measuring genetically modified organisms (GMO) in food and feed to developing nuclear forensics technology for combating illicit trafficking of nuclear material and to using satellite technologies for monitoring land use and emergency situations such as forest fires and floods. Its activities also involve the definition of food safety standards, research into new energy technologies and evaluating policy options, for instance related to climate change.

The main customers of the JRC are the policy-making Directorates General of the European Commission. Depending on the subject matter, the JRC’s scientific/technical support covers the complete policy cycle or parts of it: the JRC anticipates policy needs, assesses policy options and their impacts, and monitors and contributes to the implementation of policies. It also provides operational support in certain cases, for example in anticipating environmental disasters, providing assistance to managing crises and assessing any consequential damage and their impact on human life and/or the environment. The ultimate beneficiaries are the EU Member States.

Main areas of policy support:
Chemicals legislation; European Research Area (ERA); Internal market: financial services, system of common standards; Safe and secure energy supply: energy efficiency; renewable energies; nuclear energy; Sustainable transport; Information Society: competitiveness, innovation and inclusion; Common Agricultural policy: rural development, sustainable agriculture; Maritime Policy: fisheries, ecological state of the European seas; Environmental policies (support to various legislative acts such as on fuels, soils, water, forests, air quality, Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe (INSPIRE)); Climate change: Kyoto protocol and post-Kyoto policy options; Health and consumer protection: food and feed safety and quality, cosmetics directives; Internal and Global Security: fight against terrorism, nuclear non-proliferation.

The JRC also plays an important role in providing scientific and technological support for EU enlargement and integration. It actively supports new Member States, candidate and potential candidate countries with the take-up of the body of EU law.

Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) – Geel, Belgium:
The IRMM produces and distributes reference materials for quality assurance of testing laboratories, develops and validates methods of analysis, organises measurement evaluation programmes, and provides reference measurements and training, in order to support a common and reliable European measurement system.

Institute for Energy (IE) – Petten, the Netherlands:
The IE provides scientific and technical support for community policies related to energy. It focuses in particular on the security of energy supply, and sustainable and safe energy production.

Institute for Transuranium Elements (ITU) – Karlsruhe, Germany:
The ITU provides the scientific foundation for the protection of the European citizen against risks associated with the handling and storage of highly radioactive elements.

Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) – Ispra, Italy:
The work of the IPSC focuses on the protection of citizens against economic and technological risk, and includes research on global security and stability, border management, transport safety and security, nuclear safeguards, and activities regarding the detection of fraud and econometric and statistical analysis.

Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP) – Ispra, Italy:
Research at IHCP concerns several areas related to consumer protection and health such as chemicals and risk assessment, alternatives to animal testing, genetically modified organisms in food and feed, and human exposure to health stressors through the environment and consumer products.

Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES) – Ispra, Italy:
The IES is at the forefront of providing high quality research-based support for the development and implementation of European environment policies. Pivotal fields of activity include climate change, natural hazards, air quality and transport, sustainable use of natural resources, and environmental monitoring and information systems.

Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) – Seville, Spain:
The IPTS supports the formulation of EU policies by responding to policy challenges that have a socioeconomic as well as a scientific/technological dimension. IPTS provides its customers with forward looking technoeconomic analysis, applying a broad range of expertbased and quantitative methodologies.

A job at the Joint Research Centre
http://europa.eu/epso and http://www.jrc.ec.europa.eu/jobs

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