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Monday, 15 October 2007

New visions of Green and Tech Europe

Because you know I love Europe, I'm gonna post some news on EU from time to time. Today, you can read how Europe plans to deal with inovations in medicine and also, about the help EU plans to give to small companies to go green. And I write it here, because I believe those changes are part of the bright future, I'm hunting for in this blog.

New institute to assess value of medical technology

A new institute will aim to bridge the gap between medical technology, innovation and healthcare policy to provide policymakers with evidence of the social and economic value of medical technology, and medical devices in particular.

The European Health Technology Institute for Socio-Economic Research (Research Institute) was officially launched on 6 October 2007,the most important annual health policy event in the EU.

Founded and funded by the European medical technology industry association for an initial three-year period, the institute will bring together industry and the health departments of three European universities - Technische Universität Berlin, Università Bocconi and London School of Economics (LSE) - to conduct socio-economic research on the impact of medical technology. Each university will be granted €200,000 a year, bringing the total budget of the institute to some €1.8 million. According to the consortium, researchers will "have complete scientific and editorial independence".

There are two main research topics. The first topic will examine how medical technologies are currently financed in major European countries and consider how existing financing systems could be improved.

The second will review the benefits of technological innovations in the healthcare sector. The aim is to provide evidence of, for example, improving quality of life and decreasing disability and mortality rates, as well as higher employee productivity or higher GDP output per worker.source

My comment: I think the second topic is the important one. There should be an agency to look for medical appliance of the innovations appearing every day. Science should be brought closer to people and their lives, because in the moment, there are many fancy new ideas that are doomed to stay only in science journals. We have to change that if we want to face the bright society of the Future.

EU to help small businesses to go GREEN

The Commission has announced new measures aimed at helping small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) cope with increasingly burdensome environmental legislation and take advantage of the potential economic benefits offered by improved environmental management.

The 'Environmental Compliance Assistance Programme' (ECAP), announced by the EU executive on 4 October, aims to wise up Europe's 23 million SMEs to the negative impact that their daily business can have on the environment.

"A majority [of companies] actually think that their activities have little or no impact [on the environment]," explained the Commission in a statement, adding: "SMEs also tend to believe that they are complying with legislation unless told otherwise."

However, with SMEs representing 99% of all EU enterprises, Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas stressed: "To successfully tackle the environmental challenges we face and to achieve our targets on greenhouse emissions, renewable energy and energy efficiency, all European companies must be on board."

The seven year, €5 million programme will thus concentrate on disseminating information to SMEs about the environmental threat their activities can pose, as well as about the economic benefits they can reap from better resource management and eco-innovation. It will also provide financial assistance for training activities and support programmes aimed at reducing the burden of compliance.

My comment: It's nice to see people thinking on different scales. It's obvious that small companies are not the biggest polluters, but every little bit counts. And even more, if the small one get green, that will create a social attitude on the issues. And as we know, production follow the needs of the market. If people want greener production, they ought to have it and even the biggest companies will have to make up with that. Go Europe!

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