Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 338

Posts Tagged ‘future’

What Future for the Blue Economy?

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 20 ottobre 2020

27 October 2020 10:00-12:30 am (online) A European Commission Webinar.The European Commission is in the process of shaping a new comprehensive approach to the blue economy. In this virtual meeting, we will present its general concept and orientations. Representatives of regions, clusters and NGOs as well as scientists and finance experts will give us their outlook on challenges to tackle and opportunities to grab. Panel discussion M. Arjen Uytendaal, President of the European Network of Maritime Clusters (ENMC) Eleni Marianou – Secretary General of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (tbc) Mrs. Monika Verbeek, Executive director, Sea at Risk Dr. Torsten Thiele, Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam Professor Sheila JJ Heymans, Executive Director of the European Marine Board Open debate with audience. Pannel discussion will be moderated by Christos Economou, acting director, DG MARE.

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Ricerca “The Future for Workers, By Workers”

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 13 ottobre 2020

Ha analizzato le aspettative dei lavoratori sul ritorno al lavoro e ad una nuova normalità. Il Covid-19 accelera la rivoluzione delle competenze a livello globale, ma accentua le diseguaglianze di genere e quelle fra lavoratori con skill più o meno ricercate dalle aziende.In Italia: • le priorità dei lavoratori post Covid sono: continuare ad imparare (93%), non perdere il proprio lavoro (90%), prendersi cura di sé (salute e benessere, 85%), mantenere condizioni di lavoro flessibile (83%) • il 65% degli italiani è favorevole al rientro sul posto di lavoro, anche se oltre la metà dei lavoratori teme una nuova ondata del virus • il 19% dei lavoratori ha perso temporaneamente il lavoro, il 44% dei lavoratori ha visto diminuire il proprio stipendio: donne più a rischio degli uomini • oltre il 50% dei lavoratori teme di perdere il controllo sui propri dati personali

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The Conference on the Future of Europe

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 1 ottobre 2020

Since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Libyan GNA and Turkey, Ankara has increased its provocative moves in the Eastern Mediterranean. It has sent drilling ships in Greek and Cypriot waters, often accompanied by navy vessels. Such provocations to two European Member States have been rightly condemned across the EU but few substantive actions have been taken at an EU level. Furthermore, despite the efforts of Member States such as France or Germany, Turkey has not given up its aggressive stance in the Mediterranean. Turkish behaviour in the Eastern Mediterranean does not only constitute a challenge for Greece and Cyprus but has wider ramifications over a range of different issues and has implications for the Union as a whole. As such, the current tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean urgently requires a coordinated EU response. Firstly, the European Commission has presented a detailed legal analysis on issues linked to the conflict, which are of exclusive EU competence and covered by EU law in the area of common fisheries policy. As a reminder, what is challenged herein are the rights given to islands under UNCLOS, a UN Convention that the EU has signed and ratified as a full party. Secondly, the Council should at least define a well-balanced, strong common response that goes beyond a strongly worded statement. As such initiatives have not only proven unsuccessful in persuading Turkey in the past but have angered it further. It is important therefore, to have a coordinated response, which will allow EU Council Members to trust each other, communicate, and share relevant information between them. Thirdly, the European Parliament should call for a wider evaluation of the EU relations with Turkey concerning its candidacy to the Union: the respect of human rights, the rules of law and values, the management of the migration flow transiting Turkey towards Europe and the reworking of economic ties between the two sides. This evaluation, needs to take into account the drift of Erdogan’s Turkey, away from meeting the minimum required to be considered an EU candidate country, a status it still possesses. Finally, it is necessary to recall that this situation can and should be solved through existing international law. Laws, as well as dispute-settlement mechanisms, exist for these sorts of matters and their use need to be promoted. If the European Union is able to coordinate a cohesive and effective response it will be possible to convince Turkey to settle this matter in court, as this remains the only peaceful and rightful conclusion to the problem.

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L’innovazione nei tessuti: Technow presenta il progetto “Graphene Inside the Future”

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 24 settembre 2020

Presentazione a White Milano, spazio Tortona 27 – Superstudio Più, il 24 e 27 febbraio. L’innovazione nel tessuto fa il suo ingresso in Italia dalla porta principale. Technow, giovane azienda svizzera dedicata alla ricerca e sviluppo in ambito tessile, ha scelto il salone della moda contemporanea White Milano per presentare il suo progetto Graphene Inside the Future. Una soluzione altamente innovativa che, nel rispetto del mantra dell’ecosostenibilità, dà un valore aggiunto a tutti i prodotti della filiera tessile: dal filato alle imbottiture accrescendone le proprietà tecniche e fisiche. Condividendo l’impronta innovativa e sostenibile, Technow sarà ospite di WRAD il 24 e il 27 febbraio nello spazio Tortona 27 – Superstudio Più a Milano.Alla base del progetto sviluppato da Technow c’è il grafene. «Un materiale di recente scoperta costituito da un singolo strato di atomi di carbonio con caratteristiche fisiche incredibili e che grazie alla sua estrema duttilità trova applicazioni in diversi settori industriali», spiega Francesco Lazzati, terza generazione di una famiglia di imprenditori tessili e tra i fondatori di Technow.«Attraverso studi e continui test di laboratorio siamo riusciti ad applicare il grafene alle principali fibre tessili (nylon, poliestere, lana e cotone) alle membrane tecniche e alle imbottiture, trasformando prodotti tradizionali in smart textile, ovvero prodotti con caratteristiche uniche, senza però alterare la loro naturale composizione».
Il tutto, con un’anima eco-sostenibile. Prosegue Lazzati: «Il grafene che applichiamo nelle nostre lavorazioni tessili è l’unico ottenuto da biomassa ovvero ricavato dagli scarti di lavorazione del mais, differenziandoci così dai tradizionali processi produttivi del grafene proprio grazie a questa sua natura eco-sostenibile».L’applicazione di questo materiale nel tessile permette accrescere le caratteristiche tecniche dei tessuti. «Innanzitutto, abbiamo un tessuto capace di termoregolarsi con la temperatura emanata da proprio corpo, ovvero in grado di propagare e disperdere calore più velocemente rispetto ad un tessuto tradizionale», spiega il referente di Technow. In secondo luogo, grazie a specifiche tipologie d’applicazione e anche possibile avere «un tessuto antistatico, poiché la distribuzione continua ed uniforma di grafene consente la dispersione delle cariche elettriche lungo la superficie del tessuto». Non ultimo, è antibatterico.
«Infine, grazie alla sua struttura atomica può conferisce ai materiali ottime proprietà antibatteriche, motivo per il quale siamo presenti come Technow a WSM Fashion Reboot Milano tra le aziende attive nella produzione di tessuti antibatterici».Dalle magliette ai giubbotti, dai rivestimenti per arredo fino all’abbigliamento sanitario passando per i rivestimenti dei sedili delle auto e arrivare alle imbottiture, il grafene rappresenta un valore aggiunto per il mondo del tessile. Diversi marchi internazionali hanno già adottato Graphene per capi di abbigliamento in ambito fashion e sportswear.

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Europe’s Largest Initiative Launches to Accelerate Therapy Development for COVID-19 and Future Coronavirus Threats

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 26 agosto 2020

Brussels, Belgium CARE (Corona Accelerated R&D in Europe) a new consortium supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) public-private partnership announced its launch to accelerate the discovery and development of urgently needed medicines to treat SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. With a grant totaling € 77.7 million, CARE is funded by cash contributions from the European Union (EU) and cash and in-kind contributions from eleven European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) companies and three IMI-Associated Partners. CARE is a 5-year project bringing together 37 partners from Belgium, China, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the US, and is led by VRI-Inserm (French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, Paris, France), Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (Beerse, Belgium), and Takeda Pharmaceuticals International AG, (Zurich, Switzerland). It integrates partners’ COVID-19 projects ongoing since February 2020.“The COVID-19 pandemic has emerged as the largest global health threat to humanity in this century, requiring the global scientific community to join forces in unprecedented ways,” said Professor Yves Lévy, Executive Director of the VRI-Inserm and CARE coordinator. “Beyond the scientific excellence of the different teams involved in this very ambitious project, CARE is bringing together 37-partners in an alliance pooling their expertise and know-how around an ambitious 5-year work plan to develop therapeutics against the current COVID-19 pandemic. We are very grateful for the financial support provided by the Innovative Medicine Initiative that will enable us to implement this plan”. With no licensed vaccines and only limited therapy options against COVID-19 yet, the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing, counting more cases and deaths every day. Uniting some of the most innovative and experienced scientists from all relevant areas in a unique collaborative spirit CARE will maximize synergies and complementarities with other initiatives such as the Gates Foundation-supported COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, MANCO[1], SCORE[2], and the ECRAID[3] network, to accelerate the path to providing solutions for the current COVID-19 pandemic as well as future coronavirus outbreaks. After testing in the laboratory, the project will advance the most promising drug candidates to clinical trials in humans.

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COVID-19 pandemic adds uncertainty on future emissions

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 8 agosto 2020

The Climate Action Tracker today published updated assessments for 12 of the 36 countries it assesses, and has included projections of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on 2020 emissions.The CAT team has updated Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Germany, Ethiopia, Morocco, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey, Ukraine and the USA (see below for details).
ect, but there does appear to be a worrying trend where countries are protecting their fossil fuel industries,” he said.For the US, the Trump Administration continues to systematically walk back climate policy now even more using the pandemic as justification. If the new rule rolling back the Obama-era vehicle emissions standards withstands legal challenges, a 12% share of electric vehicle sales in 2025, projected by the last CAT assessment, will drop to 7%.The USD 2 trillion recovery package goes without support for climate. But renewables continue to dominate in terms of new investment. The CAT’s US emissions projections for 2030 are 5%–10% lower compared to our previous projections in December 2019, mainly due to the impact of the pandemic on emissions and the greening of the electricity sector due to market forces.Chile’s rating has been upgraded from “Highly Insufficient” to “Insufficient” based on its updated Paris Agreement target submitted to the UNFCCC. Chile was one of the first countries to officially submit an updated target.“Chile is one of the few countries that followed the specific request of the Paris Agreement to submit an updated target that is more ambitious than the first. More countries have to follow suit,” said Deborah Ramalope, head of climate policy analysis at Climate Analytics. The CAT grades government’s Paris Agreement 2030 targets with one of five possible ratings, based on its “fair share” methodology: 1.5˚C Paris Agreement compatible, 2˚C compatible, Insufficient, Highly Insufficient and Critically Insufficient.

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What’s next for the future of our ocean?

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 8 agosto 2020

Ocean governance concerns the international and regional processes, agreements, rules and institutions that allow the international community to coordinate and work together for conservation and sustainable use at sea, where challenges cannot be tackled by one country alone. The consultation aims to identify relevant actions in light of today’s challenges and opportunities to deliver global sustainability objectives for oceans in particular the Sustainable Development Goal on the oceans (SDG14) under the 2030 Agenda in support of the European Green Deal.High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell said: “The protection of our oceans is a global challenge that requires a collective response. The European Union is doing its part and ready to do more. We are determined to continue to fulfil our responsibility towards our citizens and to work with partners across the world. We all want sustainable and healthy oceans and to improve their governance.” Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries said: “The EU is fully committed to promoting ocean governance. We are a reliable partner in strengthening the international framework, a top donor in building capacity, a strong supporter of ocean science and a business partner for the sustainable ‘blue economy’. This consultation will help the EU to lead on delivering of global sustainability objectives for the ocean.”

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Conference on the Future of Europe should start by September, say MEPs

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 29 maggio 2020

The European Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee, underlines that the COVID-19 crisis has made the need for reforms more crucial than ever.The shortcomings of the EU and its member states, especially in relation to its coordinated response in times of crisis, were highlighted by all MEPs in today’s meeting. The Conference on the Future of Europe will need to be launched as soon as possible in order for effective reforms to be implemented based on its outcome, they stressed.Most speakers pointed out the need for the Council to come up with a sensible negotiating position in the immediate future, with many asking for a commitment by the member states to implement Conference-driven reforms, potentially including treaty change. A broad majority also stressed that a joint declaration between Parliament, Council and Commission will need to be concluded before the summer in order for the Conference to be launched in September and to be at full speed by the end of the year.Citizen participation and the need for the Conference to be a bottom-up exercise with an open agenda were reiterated as core demands by all MEPs, many of whom advocated for the use of digital technology and remote participation tools during the pandemic.

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EU future at stake: MEPs broadly welcome Commission’s recovery package proposals

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 28 maggio 2020

Focussing on future generations, Commission President von der Leyen discussed the €750 billion recovery instrument within a revamped long-term EU budget in plenary.Following the presentation by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the pledge by the Croatian Council representative Nikolina Brnjac to work with member states to swiftly conclude negotiations with Parliament on the new package, political group leaders took the floor to outline their initial reactions. Click on names to view the individual statements.“European solidarity is back and we are opening a new chapter for the EU”, Manfred Weber (EPP, DE) said. The new money needs to be spent on fresh ideas and not on Europe’s old problems. “Solidarity goes hand in hand with responsibility”, therefore it must be clear how the money will be paid back, he said, calling for new own resources and for digital giants to pay their part.Iratxe García Perez (S&D, ES) thanked von der Leyen for an ambitious proposal and for giving the EP “the role it deserves” in the design of the recovery package. Warning that the survival of the European project is at stake, she urged the Council to adopt the new MFF by qualified majority to avoid keeping the EU “hostage by four member states that prefer a national response to a European one”.“It is a game changer, unprecedented in the history of Europe”, said Dacian Ciolos (Renew, RO). “The MFF and the recovery plan must focus on the future”, with the Green deal and digital agenda as building blocks, he said. “We may differ on some details, but I really welcome the approach”, he said, reminding member states that “the EU is not a cash machine. Solidarity comes with values”.Jörg Meuthen (ID, DE) rejected the package proposal as “completely wrong and nonsense”, without a proper legal basis and lacking responsibility or economic sense. The Commission wants to spend money “as if there was no tomorrow”. It is a huge price for European taxpayers, he concluded.Ska Keller (Greens/EFA, DE) urged: “We must not repeat the big mistakes of the past and force countries into austerity and blind market ideologies. Instead, we need to make sure that the money is well invested into projects that will help in the long term, create jobs and save the one planet that we have.”Johan van Overtveldt (ECR, BE) said: “If we are going to allow loans and grants, there must be clear conditions. The money needs to go to where it is most needed, and there must be safety mechanisms in place for our businesses. People working and saving should not have to “fork out” for these programmes”.“Instead of making a clean break with past dogmas”, the Recovery Plan stops “midstream” said Manon Aubry (GUE/NGL, FR). Welcoming the new proposals on Own Resources, she called for the crisis debt to be cancelled, for direct perpetual loans to member states, and for public support to be conditional on social considerations.The Commission has also unveiled its adjusted Work Programme for 2020, which will prioritise the actions needed to propel Europe’s recovery and resilience.

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Response to pandemic is vital for the sustainable future of the transport sector

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 16 maggio 2020

Transport Committee MEPs supported the urgency procedure for proposed measures. However, they noted also that there is a need for greater transparency and deliberation before rushing any legislative proposals through:
Aviation: Contracts with ground-handling services should be flexible, as should modified air carrier licensing rules. The measure mostly received support in the debate.
Maritime: Ports should be able to defer, reduce or lift port infrastructure charges for port users. Many MEPs underlined that it is not clear who would benefit from this proposal and it is difficult to see its added value in a very competitive environment. This might cause unfair competition. The Commission said that it remains an optional tool to provide additional flexibility and keep supply lanes open.
Rail: the deadline to transpose EU law on rail safety and interoperability should be extended. Transport Committee MEPs agree with the extension; however, the timeframe remains under discussion.
Relieving the administrative burden: the validity of certain certificates and licences should be extended by providing temporary derogation from 15 legal acts. Many MEPs supported the changes by the Council, i.e. for the less affected member states to opt out from the relief measures.The MEPs also reiterated the need for a coordinated approach to easing COVID-19 lockdown measures as well as the need for additional support measures for both the transport and tourism sectors.
Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans acknowledged that transforming the transport sector is essential to the success of the European Green Deal. “COVID-19 or not, there is still a climate crisis. That will not go away. We have to do everything we can to stop the temperatures rising”, he said. “We want to make sure that, in the recovery plan, we save jobs and at the same time make the transition to sustainability. We will have to invest as much as possible at the EU and national level. This is the most challenging part of our mandate.”Many MEPs raised doubts about whether a strong economy is compatible with a fair transition to sustainability. “Can we afford a green deal in this crisis? There is no contradiction between the need to recover economically and to do it in line with the Green Deal. We cannot succumb to short-term expediency”, explained the Executive Vice-President, adding that it is already evident that investments into sustainable energy now outpace the investments in old energy. Several questions also tackled the loss of jobs in the car industry, the lack of infrastructure for electric vehicles, the aviation sector’s struggles in the current crisis and a possible additional tax burden, the importance of rail transport, as well as rethinking transport systems in cities.

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Applied research dedicated for the future

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 8 maggio 2020

The monthly editions of Research News are here to keep you informed about recent projects by the Fraunhofer Institutes. This update on current trends, future topics, studies, the latest developments and innovative concepts goes out to you at the beginning of each month. The May issue’s topics include sustainability, climate action and AI in manufacturing. We are covering a lot of ground with subjects ranging from alternative fuels and new methods of testing e-vehicle batteries to neural networks for accelerated logistics workflows.This issue continues the April edition’s SARS-CoV-2 coverage to keep you posted on research projects and initiatives pursued by Fraunhofer experts to fight the coronavirus. Our researchers are supporting industry and society in their efforts to deal with its immediate effects and future consequences. This work includes critical projects in the life sciences, close collaboration with businesses, and direct and indirect medical support.

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Le future mamme in quarantena

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 12 aprile 2020

Dalla scoperta della maternità al parto le donne in gravidanza vivono quella che in termini tecnici si chiama ‘trasparenza psichica’, una sorta di maggiore vulnerabilita’ emotiva determinata dal fatto che tutte le energie sono canalizzate verso il bambino. Ma cosa succede se su questa condizione di aumentata suscettibilita’ si innestano le preoccupazioni legate al contagio da coronavirus e ai vissuti di isolamento dovuti al lockdown? Secondo Magda Di Renzo, analista junghiana, psicoterapeuta dell’eta’ evolutiva e responsabile Terapie dell’Istituto di Ortofonologia (IdO), per comprendere a fondo le paure che popolano le menti delle donne che stanno vivendo la gravidanza in quarantena occorre, innanzitutto, distinguere le fasi della gestazione. Tenendo presente che, “in casi di donne che hanno una maggiore vulnerabilita’- spiega all’agenzia Dire Di Renzo – il non sentirsi sostenute potrebbe portare ad un maggior rischio di sviluppare una depressione post partum”, ma che, allo stesso tempo, “il fatto di non avere degli appoggi attiva resilienze che in condizioni normali non sarebbero state attivate”. “La gravidanza e’ il periodo dell’esistenza in cui si ha maggiormente bisogno di una condivisione e di un contenimento, cioe’ di avere accanto le persone- continua l’analista- Per una donna il momento della gravidanza e’ la riattivazione della sua dimensione di figlia. C’e’ un bisogno di partecipazione, di riavvicinarsi alla figura materna, che sia stata positiva o negativa nel passato. Quindi, essere lontane, non poter condividere con la madre, con gli amici, questo momento e’ un grande problema”. È il caso di Claudia, che nello speciale dell’Agenzia Dire dedicato alla maternita’ in quarantena, aveva raccontato la frustrazione di aver scoperto di essere incinta senza poter aver vicino sua madre. Se fino al quarto mese, da parte della donna, “c’e’ un assestarsi nella condizione- prosegue la psicoterapeuta- dal quarto al settimo sono molto fertili le fantasie sul futuro bambino”, che “oggi sono state in qualche modo contaminate da questo problema esterno”, dalla “preoccupazione del collettivo”. In piu’, molte “hanno avuto difficolta’ nel preparare le cose per il bambino, perche’ i negozi sono chiusi. Sembrano sciocchezze – sottolinea la psicoterapeuta- ma sono, invece, degli elementi determinanti, perche’ e’ un modo di pensare al bambino che verra’”. L’elemento piu’ insidioso per chi, invece, sta affrontando il parto in emergenza Covid-19 “e’ il fatto di essere sole. Per alcune e’ stata possibile la presenza del marito, per altre no”, e anche il dopo parto, “il momento in cui ci dovrebbe essere la festa, l’iniziazione del bambino al mondo”, e’ stato sostituito dalla condivisione virtuale di immagini foto e video inviati ad amici e parenti. Per questo, avverte Di Renzo, occorre valorizzare e avere “un rapporto piu’ umile con la tecnologia, che ci ha salvato in questo momento, dandoci una grande possibilita’”, anche se “avere accanto la propria madre che ti aiuta e’ un’altra cosa”. È la funzione simbolica protettiva del futuro padre, “centrale” fin dai primi mesi di gravidanza, a venir meno per le donne che sono costrette a partorire senza il proprio marito o compagno accanto. “Hanno paura di rimanere sole durante il parto perche’ arrivano in questa condizione di isolamento nei giorni che lo precedono con un senso abbandonico – sottolinea la responsabile Terapie di IdO – La vulnerabilita’ emotiva che la donna gravida vive necessita di un contenimento, la vicinanza fisica e’ una vicinanza alla paura di quel momento, al vivere un’esperienza ignota, come nel caso del primo parto”. Quindi, “la mancanza della figura del futuro padre viene vissuta come un’esperienza abbandonica. I padri che hanno potuto assistere, perche’ moltissime strutture sanitarie, dobbiamo dirlo, lo hanno permesso – insiste Di Renzo – hanno assolto alla loro funzione e sicuramente queste donne si sono sentite piu’ protette, perche’ la figura paterna e’ simbolicamente fondante”. Una direttiva nazionale per tutti gli ospedali, in questo senso, “aiuterebbe, anche se nelle situazioni di emergenza, sia in ambito sanitario che non, si attivano da parte di tutti delle straordinarie resilienze e molte gestanti sono riuscite a portare avanti controlli ed ecografie senza sentirsi abbandonate”. Secondo di Di Renzo, le neomamme in quarantena devono sentirsi un po’ speciali, come i loro piccoli: “Sono bambini che nonostante tutto sono venuti fuori, che ce l’hanno fatta, sono madri che sono state capaci di proteggerli. Io ne farei un inno positivo- osserva- affinche’ quelle ansie che hanno costellato questi mesi diventino una grande risorsa per le mamme e per i loro bambini”. E allora si’ alla ricerca della vicinanza del marito o del compagno, “un elemento protettivo importante”, e si’ a tutta una serie di attivita’ positive che vanno dall'”ascolto della musica, ai corsi di preparazione al parto online, ai piccoli movimenti, agli esercizi di yoga”. Importante, sottolinea la psicoterapeuta, “mantenere i contatti con amici, parenti e donne nella stessa condizione, attraverso la tecnologia”, ma anche “occupare il tempo con qualcosa di creativo” e fare tesoro di questo periodo di isolamento. Perche’ “c’e’ una maggiore calma delle madri e questo e’ sicuramente un vantaggio per il bambino”. Avendo sempre ben presente, conclude Di Renzo, “che il feto non viene attaccato dal virus: un elemento fondamentale”. (fonte: agenzia dire)

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Applied research dedicated for the future

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 7 aprile 2020

A new issue began to emerge at the turn of the year 2019/2020. It has since taken center stage in the public discourse and in the personal experience of individuals. The novel virus that the World Health Organization calls severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 has upended every aspect of public life. The WHO declared the outbreak of this virus to be “a public health emergency of international concern.” The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a toll on day-to-day life, on people’s health, on businesses, on the domestic economy and on global trade. The current situation and the dynamic developments throughout Germany and across the world are posing major challenges for people. Working at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic, Fraunhofer experts are supporting the efforts of industry and society to cope with the immediate effects and the consequences to come. These women and men are pursuing critical life sciences projects, joining ranks with businesses, rising to challenges with partners, and providing direct and indirect medical support. And we are reporting on all this and more as part of our special website coverage of the “Fraunhofer vs. Corona” campaign. In this April issue of Research News, we are also going to bring you up to date on other technological highlights that figure prominently in Fraunhofer research.
The coronavirus pandemic is the dominant story in the media. Many Fraunhofer Institutes have joined the battle against COVID-19, bringing their know-how to bear. Fraunhofer researchers are testing the efficacy of drugs available to physicians today, supporting research across national borders with their expertise in diagnostics, and creating the infrastructural prerequisites for further research into SARS-CoV-2 and related viruses in their laboratories. We will soon add more information about Fraunhofer research activities related to the coronavirus to our website.

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COVID-19: research package welcomed, EU needs to be better equipped in future

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 24 marzo 2020

• EC proposes significant budget package to fight pandemic
• EP Research MEP welcomes emergency measures
• We have to invest more in research and be ready for the next crisis
Crisis-response measures should be combined with a long-term commitment to EU research programmes, says Research MEP.
“We applaud the measures taken by Commissioner Gabriel and the pooling of almost €140 million against COVID 19. The Commission was very fast in launching a special call for expressions of interest from Horizon 2020 and involving relevant stakeholders under the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) public-private partnership”, said Horizon Europe rapporteur Christian Ehler (EPP, DE).”Now, we have to start thinking ahead in order to be better equipped for the future. Research and development clearly have an important role to play in addressing global challenges. This is yet another reason to support our proposal for €120 billion for Horizon Europe.”, he added. “The health crisis posed by COVID-19 is focusing minds. The top priority now is to stem the spread of the virus. Behind the scenes, emergency research is working on finding a treatment and a vaccine. The virus’ extraordinary rate of contagion should make us aware that our interconnected world has shrunk considerably and that joint and coordinated action between states is the only way to deal with this crisis”, said Christian Ehler.”This crisis is a test of our ability to work together on an emergency situation on the one hand, and to remain faithful to our long-term objectives on the other”, he said.
“When this crisis is over, we must immediately prepare for the next one. This means investing more in research and ensuring that programmes such as Horizon Europe do not become hostages to short-term squabbles between member states”, he concluded.
The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), a public-private partnership between the European Commission and the pharmaceutical industry, has today launched a fast-track call for research proposals to develop treatments and diagnostics in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Up to €45 million of the funding will come from Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme.
This call is part of the coordinated EU response to the public health threat of COVID-19 and complements the emergency research funding already mobilised recently under Horizon 2020. You can find more information about the IMI call here, and the EU research actions on COVID-19 here (source : European Commission).

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Future EU-UK relations: EU is offering ‘cooperation of an unprecedented nature’ Statement

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 22 marzo 2020

by David McAllister, Chair of the European Parliament’s UK Coordination Group, on the publication of a draft legal agreement on the future EU-UK partnership.”I welcome the fact that the European Commission has transmitted to the United Kingdom a draft agreement on a new partnership with the European Union that is closely aligned with the European Parliament’s recommendations in its resolution adopted in February and the negotiating directives approved by EU member states on 25 February.The European Parliament strongly supports the constructive work of the European Union’s negotiators with the United Kingdom’s team, in an open and positive spirit, as these negotiations aim to build – or rather rebuild – an ambitious partnership.
For the European Parliament, it is vital that the European Union does its utmost when negotiating with the UK to guarantee the EU’s interests; both parties share a strong desire to agree on a new partnership based on a good balance of rights and obligations and in respect of the sovereignty of both parties.I also welcome the fact that the European Commission is proposing provisions for cooperation in foreign affairs, security and defence, even if it did so in a separate document from the comprehensive draft treaty. The Commission thereby proposes to clarify a series of areas that go beyond what the EU usually engages in with third countries. Cooperation in these fields is clearly mutually beneficial for both EU and UK citizens. The EU is, in this regard, truly offering the UK cooperation of an unprecedented nature.”

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Greta Thunberg to MEPs: “we will not allow you to surrender our future”

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 8 marzo 2020

Climate activist Greta Thunberg spoke at a meeting in the Parliament’s Environment Committee.Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg on Wednesday attended an extraordinary meeting of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee to talk about the European Climate Law.“The EU must lead the way – you have a moral obligation to do so”, Greta Thunberg said on Wednesday before MEPs. “In November 2019, you said that climate change was an existential threat. Now you must prove that you mean it”, she added. She said that the new proposal for a climate law published on Wednesday by the European Commission is “a surrender”: “Nature does not bargain, and you cannot make deals with physics. We will not allow you to surrender our future”, she concluded.
MEPs highlighted the challenge of bringing other continents on board to raise climate ambition before the Glasgow climate conference to take place in November. While most MEPs agreed that the EU needs to raise its own emission reduction goals, several MEPs said that raising the EU’s 2030 goals from 40% to 55%, as proposed by the European Parliament, would already be ambitious, but is met with much resistance from member states.Following the meeting, the Chair of the Committee Pascal Canfin (Renew, FR) said: “Today we hosted Greta Thunberg. To win the battle against climate change, we need the energy of youth. Here in Parliament, and notably in the Environment Committee, we are fighting for climate neutrality in 2050. The climate law that was presented today cannot deceive young Europeans who are mobilised for the climate and all European citizens, and we must therefore succeed.”

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More than money: the long-term EU budget is a tool for Europe’s future

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 14 febbraio 2020

Talking about the budget means talking about the EU’s future, MEPs said in a key plenary debate with Nikolina Brnjac, Croatian State Secretary for Foreign and European Affairs, representing the Council, and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.The debate on Wednesday came ahead of a special EU summit starting on 20 February, where member states will try to agree on a common position on the next multiannual financial framework (MFF).Most MEPs insisted that sufficient funding is key to achieve common ambitions such as fighting climate change, the digital and ecological transformation, dealing with the social consequences of the latter, and continuing to support regions and cities, farmers, young people, researchers or entrepreneurs. Implementing the Green Deal with a reduced budget, for example, would mean cutting successful EU programmes elsewhere, MEPs highlighted. Some said that certain EU policies need to be assessed more thoroughly, and that more spending discipline is needed.In addition, introducing new sources of revenue (“Own Resources”) for the EU and linking the EU budget to the respect of rule of law are key for MEPs.
David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament
Nikolina Brnjac, for the Croatian Presidency
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the Commission
Manfred Weber (EPP, DE)
Iratxe García Pérez (S&D, ES)
Dacian Cioloş (Renew, RO)
Marco Zanni (ID, IT)
Philippe Lamberts (Green/EFA, BE)
Raffaele Fitto (ECR, IT)
Dimitrios Papadimoulis (GUE/NGL, EL)
Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations
Nikolina Brnjac, for the Croatian Presidence.

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The construction site of the future: digitized and networked

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 11 febbraio 2020

The Center Construction Robotics gives green light for joint research project under realistic conditions for academia and industry. RWTH Aachen University officially handed over a 10,000 square meter site to the Center Construction Robotics (CCR) in the Construction Cluster for its envisaged reference construction site. An interdisciplinary team of RWTH Aachen academics will use digitalization as its research basis in the Center Construction Robotics in conjunction with a European industry consortium at this construction site of the future – research topics will include many issues from pre-production of construction elements to fully automated construction sites. The reference construction site, a pilot project starting up temporarily on Campus West, will serve as a reality laboratory. New construction processes and products, networked machines, the implementation of robots, software solutions,
as well as teaching, working and communication concepts will be tested under real construction site conditions here. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research is currently funding an initial research project.Main industry sponsors for the project include PORR, Liebherr Tower Cranes division, EIFFAGE, LEONHARD WEISS GmbH & Co. KG, HILTI AG and Autodesk GmbH. They provide financial and infrastructural support for the reference construction site. “We find it very important to ensure that as many stakeholders as possible will be able to utilize the construction site as a ‘living lab’ for transformation”, explains Professor Sigrid Brell-Cokcan the
philosophy behind the reality laboratory.

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Conference on the Future of Europe

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 17 gennaio 2020

“We are pleased to see the European Parliament take the lead in setting the agenda for the Conference on the Future of Europe, finally opening the door for long-needed Treaty changes with yesterday ‘s vote. Europe cannot win back the trust of its citizens with another so-called “listening exercise”. Instead we need to be courageous and give citizens a real say over the future of the European project. Only a Conference on the Future of Europe that puts all options of deep policy and institutional change on the table can now deliver on citizens’ expectations. If Commission President von der Leyen and the European Council are genuine about bringing Europe closer to the people, we invite the Commission and the Council to support the proposals and the level of ambition indicated by the European Parliament”, says Sandro GOZI, President of the Union of European Federalists (UEF).The Union of European Federalists (UEF) and the Young European Federalists (JEF Europe) welcome the resolution adopted yesterday by the European Parliament stating its position regarding the Conference on the Future of Europe. Both UEF and JEF have long advocated for the renewal of our European Union and put forward detailed proposals for the setup of the Conference. The Conference is a golden opportunity for European citizens to walk the path towards an “ever closer union”, as stated in the Treaties. The Conference should not shy away from proposing to expand the Union’s powers and resources and renew its institution to make Europe really sovereign, including through an overhaul of the current Treaties.The Conference on the Future of Europe must send a clear message to the Union’s citizens that their voices will be heard. For this reasons, the European federalists call on the European Commission and the Council, to engage fully and genuinely with this exercise in participatory democracy. The Conference on the Future of Europe shall not be a new dialogue exercise as seen in the past, but a democratic and participative process where citizens have a real say on the Future of the Union. Therefore, in line with the proposal of the Parliament, UEF and JEF welcome an inclusive model that allows citizens to discuss the most pressing policies and institutional reforms, both necessary to rebuild trust in the European project. UEF and JEF are however concerned that there is no credible feedback loop between the decisions ultimately taken by political representatives and the proposals put forward by the citizen agora.
“We couldn’t agree more with the European Parliament: the increase in voter turnout at the 2019 European elections showed that citizens engage with Europe when they are offered the opportunity. For too long we, European citizens, have been sidelined or only cosmetically “consulted” in discussions over the future of European integration. Those times are over. Citizens and civil society are determined to continue pushing for change. The EU’s 60-years-long record of ensuring peace on the continent is at risk if it keeps muddling through the current intergovernmental status quo. The Conference on the Future of Europe is the opportunity to address the concerns of citizens about the future of European democracy and to provide the EU with the tools – institutional and financial – to deliver on its promise”, concludes Leonie MARTIN, President of JEF Europe.

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Citizens to be the cornerstone of the Conference on the Future of Europe

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 17 gennaio 2020

Citizen and Youth meetings should set the tone for EU reform, according to the resolution adopted on Wednesday. Following a debate with Dubravka Šuica, Commission Vice-President for Democracy and Demography and Nikolina Brnjac, representing the Croatian Presidency of the Council, Parliament adopted a resolution setting out its vision for the upcoming Conference on the Future of Europe with 494 votes for, 147 against and 49 abstentions.MEPs want citizens to be at the core of broad discussions on how to tackle internal and external challenges that were not foreseen at the time of the Lisbon Treaty. People of all backgrounds, civil society representatives and stakeholders at European, national, regional and local level must be involved in setting the EU’s priorities in line with citizens’ concerns in a bottom-up, transparent, inclusive, participatory and well-balanced approach.Parliament proposes establishing several Citizens’ Agoras (thematic fora of citizen representatives chosen randomly in line with proportionality and representativeness criteria), and at least two Youth Agoras, each comprising 200-300 citizens with a minimum of three per member state. Citizen representatives will discuss Agora conclusions at the Conference Plenary with MEPs and national parliament representatives, Council ministers, Commission Vice-Presidents and representatives of other EU institutions, bodies and social partners.In addition to high-level support from the presidents of the three main EU institutions, Parliament urges Council and Commission to commit to the possibility of treaty change. The adopted text also underlines that a permanent mechanism to engage citizens should be considered.

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