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With a focus on research and development in the area of innovative medicines, this study discusses a new European approach to pharmaceutical policy. After examining the European pharmaceutical sector's features, and the strengths and weaknesses of the current research and business model, the study explores the need for and the concept of a European infrastructure with a long-term transboundary mission. Any such European medicines infrastructure should focus on threats and areas of research and development ...

Technological sovereignty has been at the heart of recent political debate in the EU. Interest has only been strengthened by the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, due to its impact on many value chains. Key enabling technologies (KETs) – advanced manufacturing and materials, life-science technologies, micro/nano-electronics and photonics, artificial intelligence, and security and connectivity technologies – are crucial for an interconnected, digitalised, resilient and healthier European society, as well ...

As the use of biometrics becomes commonplace in the era of artificial intelligence (AI), this study aims to identify the impact on fundamental rights of current and upcoming developments, and to put forward relevant policy options at European Union (EU) level. Taking as a starting point the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down harmonised rules on AI, presented by the European Commission in April 2021, the study reviews key controversies surrounding what ...

The concepts of 'sustainability' and 'resilience' have been steadily gaining prominence in the EU's political discourse. Most recently in 2019, the von der Leyen Commission placed the goal of increased sustainability – environmental, social and economic – at the heart of its European Green Deal set of policy initiatives. As the EU achieves higher levels of sustainability, it will be more resilient, that is, capable of better withstanding a future crisis or shock, whether in the form of another pandemic ...

The purpose of this paper is to inform the committees of the European Parliament about the challenges of genome editing in the 21st century, and the societal hopes and concerns surrounding its possible implementation to support European food production. The higher precision of new genetic techniques (NGTs) raises the question of whether they should be treated differently or even exempt from the current GMO Directive. NGTs (mainly CRISPR-cas9) are the subject of controversy, as some believe they will ...

Epidemiological studies of Covid-19 have, in most cases, provided inconclusive results to date regarding the role of air pollution in the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the geographical spread of the disease, both regionally and globally. The present review analysed just under 6 000 articles published up to 31 May 2021, looking at the role of pollution and air quality factors in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and in the geographical differences in Covid-19 propagation. A body of evidence ...

Given the vast potential for renewable electricity generation, the production of renewable hydrogen is a promising option for the hard-to-decarbonise energy-intensive industry sectors. A growing hydrogen sector will also result in job creation and economic growth while fostering innovation and reducing pollution. The European Commission published its Hydrogen Strategy in 2020 with the aim of boosting hydrogen use in the EU while promoting the uptake of renewable hydrogen production. Recent activities ...

Since 1970, Japan has developed a world-leading capacity for foresight. At the outset, the focus was on technology and socio-economic development. Broader geopolitical and security aspects have become more pronounced in the past decade. Concerns about global political changes have given rise to an enhanced strategic partnership between Japan and the European Union. Common challenges include shifts in global economic power, the emergence of China, and uncertainties around the United States' international ...

The European Union has an ambitious climate strategy and is looking for ways to boost technologies that will make it possible. Could hydrogen and the deployment of related technology and infrastructure become a decisive factor in decarbonising specific industry sectors?

The second part of the STOA study, 'A framework for technology foresight intelligence', this report deals with horizon stakeholder engagement for the strategic and practical purposes of the STOA Panel's activities. It analyses online engagement methods and tools and their suitability for brainstorming meetings, and for technology assessment and foresight projects. To gain insight and experience in the use of online methods and tools for engagement, these were implemented in one ongoing STOA project ...