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Satellite communication is becoming a strategic asset for governments and civil society alike, in the context of the twin digital and ecological transition. Complementary to terrestrial networks, it can contribute to seamless digital communication, even when such networks are absent or disrupted. It builds on technological advances to ensure both low latency and global coverage, as well as the deployment of other emerging technologies such as quantum-based cybersecurity. Today, the EU does not have ...

A new European innovation agenda

Briefing 22-09-2022

Since the Lisbon strategy, launched by the European Council on 23-24 March 2000, the EU's ambition has been to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world. The growing effects of the ecological crisis, from climate change to the loss of biodiversity, digitalisation and mounting geopolitical tensions have broadened the scope of innovation policies to the transformations required by both sustainability and preparedness to crises, such as the Covid-19 pandemic. Today ...

European health data space

Briefing 15-09-2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on the growing importance of digital health technologies, both to enable remote medical care and to facilitate the health response by international, national and local authorities. At the same time, personal health data have been key for containment measures such as the EU digital COVID-19 certificate. The European Commission's proposal for a regulation on a European health data space aims to improve individuals' access to and control of their electronic personal ...

Biases are commonly considered one of the most detrimental effects of artificial intelligence (AI) use. The EU is therefore committed to reducing their incidence as much as possible. However, the existence of biases pre-dates the creation of AI tools. All human societies are biased – AI only reproduces what we are. Therefore, opposing this technology for this reason would simply hide discrimination and not prevent it. It is up to human supervision to use all available means – which are many – to ...

Supported by the arrival of 5G and, soon 6G, digital technologies are evolving towards an artificial intelligence-driven internet of robotic and bionano things. The merging of artificial intelligence (AI) with other technologies such as the internet of things (IoT) gives rise to acronyms such as 'AIoT', 'IoRT' (IoT and robotics) and 'IoBNT' (IoT and bionano technology). Blockchain, augmented reality and virtual reality add even more technological options to the mix. Smart bodies, smart homes, smart ...

According to a recent European Parliamentary Research Service Cost of Non-Europe (CONE) report, ambitious and united European Union (EU) action in climate and energy policy could be very beneficial, bringing gains of up to 5.6 % of gross domestic product (GDP), equal to €1 trillion additional GDP per year in 2050, compared to a continuation of the status quo (see Figure 1). However, failure to arrive at a common approach, in particular by collectively addressing volatile energy prices and systemic ...

Recent events have multiplied concerns about potential fragmentation of the internet into a multitude of non-interoperable and disconnected 'splinternets'. Composed of thousands of compatible autonomous systems, the internet is by definition technically divided. Yet, the internet was also designed to be an open and global technical infrastructure. The unity and openness of the internet appear to be under great pressure from political, commercial and technological developments. This report explores ...

With a particular focus on artificial intelligence (AI), this study identifies and examines policy options for the EU's data governance framework that align with a data justice perspective. A data justice approach is one that centres on equity, recognition and representation of plural interests, and the creation and preservation of public goods as its principal goals. The analysis offers both an assessment of the EU data governance strategy overall and specific policy options for the AI act, the ...

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above-mentioned proposal, adopted on 15 February 2022 and referred to the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). The proposal, which is included in the 2022 Commission work programme (see Annex I – New initiatives) and in the EU Legislative Priorities for 2022 (see the Commission's working document), seeks to establish a ...

Demographic, socio-political and economic pressures have made eating meat an unsustainable practice for the long term. However, meat substitutes have proved unpopular, owing to social norms and a lack of trust; some alternatives also contribute heavily to climate change. Could microbial protein be a sustainable alternative to meat that not only solves these multidimensional pressures but also contributes actively to reversing climate change?