Rolf Meyer (ITAS, Karlsruhe, Germany), Tomas Ratinger (Technology Centre ASCR, Prague, Czech Republic) and Kai Peter Voss-Fels (University of Gieβen, Germany)
In the frame of the STOA project “Technology options for feeding 10 billion people”, this report analyse how farming management concepts, practices and technologies, including plant breeding, could enable sustainable intensification of crop production, with the aim to increase food production and support food supply. The aim of sustainable intensification is to produce more food from the same area of land while reducing the environmental impacts, under social and economic beneficial conditions. The study addresses agriculture in developing countries as well as in industrialized countries (Europe), small-scale and large-scale farming, extensive and intensive agricultural production systems, and low and high tech production practices. The main topics are: - Reducing yield gaps – sustainable intensification and improving crop management; - Increasing yield potentials – plant breeding; - Reducing crop losses – improving harvest and postharvest procedures. For these topics, options for action are identified and discussed.
Carmen Priefer (Project Leader), Juliane Jörissen and Klaus-Rainer Bräutigam (ITAS)
The reduction of food waste is seen as an important lever for achieving global food security, freeing up finite resources for other uses, diminishing environmental risks and avoiding financial losses. In its roadmap for a resource efficient Europe the European Commission has set the target to halve the generation of food waste by 2020. The present study deals with approaches for preventing food waste based on a thorough analysis of the scale, reasons and pattern of food wastage in EU-27. The focus is on measures and instruments that are considered in literature or in the current debate as particularly useful, easy to implement and/or that have already proven their effectiveness in practice. This includes among others the improvement and harmonization of the data basis, the setting of reduction targets on national and regional level, the revision of existing regulations on food date labelling, the enforcement of awareness campaigns, the introduction of economic incentives, the improvement of workflows as well as the implementation of an integrated supply chain management in the manufacturing and wholesale/retail sector including technological innovations which are likely to reduce food waste.
E. Underwood, J. Poláková, B. Kretschmer, A. J. McConville and G. M. Tucker (IEEP) ; E. Dooley, A. Frelih-Larsen and S. Naumann (Ecologic Institute) ; S. Berman, M. Sarteel and C. Tostivint (BIO Intelligence Service) ; N. M. van der Grijp (Institute for Environmental Studies - IVM ; VU University) ; N. Maxted (School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham)
There will be rising global demand for food and energy from the land over the coming decades resulting from population growth and economic development. This will coincide with the need to adapt agriculture to increasing climate-related threats (which will probably outweigh opportunities in Europe), whilst decreasing the impact of agricultural emissions on climate change. At the same time, biodiversity losses due to intensive agricultural practices and abandonment of biodiversity-rich farming are expected to continue. The long-term sustainability of farming is being undermined by trends such as soil degradation, declines in pollinators, the loss of natural biological control of pests and diseases, and the loss of plant and animal genetic diversity. Substantial changes in agricultural systems are required in Europe to ensure rapid reductions in agricultural emissions of greenhouse gases, as well as effective adaptation to climate change and strengthened biodiversity conservation. This report describes a range of practices and developments in agriculture that could sustainably increase agricultural productivity whilst contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and providing biodiversity benefits. Policy could play a larger role in supporting innovation and development in the full range of agricultural systems in Europe and in the use of certain wastes and residues for energy purposes. The report provides a set of recommended options for incentivising beneficial actions, constraining unsustainable practices, and promoting innovative options whilst ensuring environmental safeguards for new technologies that might have unwanted negative impacts on biodiversity.
Bettina Kretschmer (Project Leader), Claire Smith, Emma Watkins, Ben Allen, Allan Buckwell, Jane Desbarats and Daniel Kieve
The purpose of this study is to examine and review biorefinery technology options that exist to convert biomass in the form of agricultural crop and forestry residues and waste from the whole food chain into biomaterials and bioenergy. It assesses the technological options, including the sustainability of the processes involved. The study forms part of a bigger project commissioned by the European Parliament’s STOA (‘Science and Technology Options Assessment’) office under the heading of ‘Technology options for feeding 10 billion people’. Advanced biofuels and innovative bio-based pathways based on wastes and residues show considerable potential and should be further developed especially as Europe is already seen by some as having a lead in relevant technologies. However, there are also considerable uncertainties for investors and indeed all market participants and thus a major task is to ensure good transparency and better information concerning the availabilities of the waste and residue streams, the opportunities for processing, and the benefits to consumers. In addition, because, by definition, bio-based economic developments necessarily interact with ecosystems, there has to be visible assurance that the bio-products are indeed environmentally preferable with respect to GHG emissions, water, soil and biodiversity compared with their fossil-based counterparts. The conclusion is thus encouragement should be given to this sector, but with enhanced transparency of all aspects of its development, and with equally strong sustainability safeguards.
Anders Jacobi (Project leader, DBT), Mikkel Lund Jensen (DBT), Linda Kool (Rathenau Institute), Geert Munnichs (Rathenau Institute) and Arnd Weber (ITAS)
The project ‘Security of eGovernment systems’ aimed at assisting policymakers in discerning policy options for meeting future challenges in securing eGovernment systems. The project focused on upcoming challenges of eGovernment security in delivering public services across borders. Through identifying key security barriers and enablers, the project points to promising avenues of policy development in an environment of rapidly changing ICTs and changing socio-economic concerns in the EU. The most important contribution of the project is the development and assessment of 11 policy options. Policy Option 1: Develop a policy strategy for improving the security of IT-systems used in Europe ; Policy Option 2: Stimulate development and use of security checklists (short-term) ; Policy Option 3: Policy Option 3: Encourage the development and use of highly secure components (mid-term) ; Policy Option 4: Encourage the development and use of highly secure systems (long-term) ; Policy option 5: Create stronger institutional supervision and oversight of security ; Policy option 6: Build a ‘Privacy by Design’ knowledge base ; Policy option 7: Substantiate the data minimization principle by using anonymization techniques in all European eGovernment systems ; Policy option 8: Stimulate technical and legal solutions that avoid or limit privacy risks caused by re-identification of previously anonymized data ; Policy option 9: Make Privacy Impact Assessments of eGovernment systems mandatory and public ; Policy option 10: Use gateways to achieve interoperability of different national eGovernment security tools, but aim at Europe-wide availability and usability of tools ; Policy option 11: Ensure open and transparent evaluations of the trade-offs between privacy, security, usability, interoperability and costs of an eGovernment system.
Jana Poláková (Project Leader, IEEP), Andrew Farmer (IEEP), Sandra Berman (BIO Intelligence Service), Sandra Naumann (Ecologic Institute), Ana Frelih-Larsen (Ecologic Institute) and Johanna von Toggenburg (Ecologic Institut)
Water is a key natural resource targeted within resource efficiency policy of the European Union, as well as globally. This study has focussed on research, technologies and options for sustainable water use and water efficiency; agricultural land management with soil and water benefits; and measures within the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to address sustainable management of water and soil resources. Six key areas for improvement have been identified: (1) The legislative framework currently in place to protect Europe’s waters needs to be implemented fully and effectively as well as adequately enforced; (2) Water priorities that have been articulated at the EU level need to be more fully integrated and well implemented within the sectoral policies at EU, national and regional levels; (3) Water losses should be reduced and water savings and efficiency should be increased, in particular in agriculture and water scarce areas; (4) Land and soil management approaches aimed at combating soil erosion, preventing loss of soil organic matter, sequestering soil carbon and improving water retention are critical for long-term sustainability of farming and healthy ecosystems and should be promoted at all levels; (5) EU funds, including CAP, allocated to water priorities should be used in an efficient and effective way; and (6) improved data and decision support tools relating to water and soils are essential for making informed decisions that support sustainable management of water and soil.
Jens Schippl (Project leader), Markus Edelman, Maike Puhe and Max Reichenbach (Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis - ITAS ; Karlsruhe Institute of Technology - KIT)
An affordable, efficient and clean transport system is a basic pillar for economic growth and the quality of life in European countries. However, transport is still accompanied by a broad range of negative impacts on human health and the environment. It is still using huge amounts of finite resources. Congestion is increasingly hampering the efficiency of the system. Transport volumes are expected to further grow in the future. So, a transition to a more eco-efficient transport system is needed to cope with recent challenges and anticipated future developments in the transport sector. Against this background, the STOA Project on “Eco-Efficient Transport” aimed at assessing to what extent different concepts and approaches can help to increase the eco-efficiency of the transport system. To allow the required systemic perspective, the assessment was supported by scenario building. The feasibility and desirability of the scenarios and their elements was the subject of a stakeholder consultation. This report is the final report (Deliverable 5) of the project. It summarises the previous phases of the project and draws conclusions on that basis. The previous reports, Deliverables 2, 2b, 3, and 4, are available online on the STOA homepage at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/stoa/cms/home/publications/studies
STOA Secretariat, European Parliament
STOA mainly carries out projects that assess the impact of introducing or promoting new technologies, and identify the best possible options for action, from a technological point of view. In 2012, STOA continued its activities on the main topics of: - Eco-efficient transport - Sustainable management of natural resources - Security of the Internet, including e-Government, cloud computing and social networks - Health In addition, STOA also runs several activities on science policy. Of the thirteen ongoing projects, six were completed and published in 2012. In each case STOA published the final report and an Options Brief succinctly summarising in 2-4 pages the policy options identified. Four new prominent projects launched in 2012 are: - STOA-Project: Potential and Impacts of Cloud Computing and Social Network Sites - Methanol: a future transport fuel based on hydrogen and carbon dioxide? - Science Metrics: Measuring scientific performance for improved policymaking - Technology options for feeding 10 billion people. Fourteen workshops were organised, covering a wide variety of domains. Highlights amongst the workshops included: - The Science of Innovation & research management - Ethical issues of human enhancement - Digestive and liver diseases: a priority for Europe - Precision agriculture and optimised use of fertilisers STOA aims towards a closer collaboration between the scientific community and policy-makers. In theory, such collaboration should work well: with scientists producing evidence that policy-makers use for decision-making; in return, policy-makers provide scientists with requirements and resources for research. However, in practice more efforts are needed to ensure that the scientific projects are carried out according to the highest quality standards and their results inform policy-making in a meaningful way. Based upon these reflections, efforts were made to publish the outcomes of STOA events in scientific articles,
This project has been carried out by the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) as a member of the European Technology Assessment Group (ETAG). PROJECT LEADER :Jens Schippl, ITAS AUTHORS: Jens Schippl, ITAS, KIT; Maike Puhe, ITAS, KIT
Urban transport is related to a wide range of unsolved problems and challenges that need to be tackled in order to guarantee a high quality of life in European cities and to make the transport system an even more efficient pillar of the European economies. This final report highlights relevant aspects and pathways for a transition to a more sustainable urban transport system. For this purpose, relevant technologies and the factors influencing end-user behaviour were analysed, as well as the interrelations between them. The transport system is understood as a socio-technical system of five key elements: paradigms and visions, mobility patterns, technologies and infrastructures, business models, and transport policies. In this report it is illustrated that changes in all elements of the transport system are taking place: - On the one hand, a broad range of innovative technologies and concepts to achieve sustainable urban transport are emerging or are already used. - On the other hand, the paradigm of sustainable transport is about to dominate transport planning in many urban areas and at different governmental levels – which has by far not always been like this. Further there is evidence that travel behaviour is not as static as it seems, but rather changes over time. In several countries, the travel behaviour of some societal groups is evidently changing. All of the five elements offer pathways to sustainable urban transport. Nevertheless, successful pathways do not only require new developments in one of these elements, but in several or in all of them, and at the same time. Against this background it is essential that governance strategies deal with the transport system as a whole. Integrated policies need to consider technical, as well as non-technical factors and developments. The facilitation of learning opportunities is crucial. Innovations need “spaces” to be tested and demonstrated. But, for a successful transition, the transport users need to
Erik Arnold, Paula Knee, Neil Brown, Zsuzsa Jávorka, Flora Giarracca and Sabeen Sidiqui
This study describes knowledge transfer from European universities and institutes to industry, focusing on the role of the Industrial Liaison / Technology / Knowledge Transfer Office function. It explores practices in European institutions and compares these with international ones, especially from the USA. The project is based upon a comprehensive literature review and a programme of detailed case studies of knowledge transfer strategies and practices. It addresses the wide range of knowledge transfer activities undertaken by public research organisations, in addition to IP exploitation and their different effects on innovation in the business sector. It presents a model of the transition of PROs' knowledge transfer strategies from pure technology transfer based only on IP to a broader role in knowledge transfer and ultimately to a two-way process of knowledge exchange between PROs and industry and wider society. The report presents a number of policy options to support this process.