Professor Sir John Meurig Thomas from The University of Cambridge, UK has been rewarded for the 5th Ahmed Zewail Prize in Molecular Sciences, for his outstanding contributions to the fundamental understanding of the structures of solids and development and application of the concept of single-site heterogeneous catalysis.

To see the complete article, click on this link:


Professor Anthony Kounadis, member of EURASC and Blaise Pascal Medallist in 2010, has received on July 16, 2014 the "Medal of the Higher Commander" of the Order of Honor for his outstanding contributions in science and technology, by the President of the Hellenic Democracy Karolos Papoulias. Such a state distinction is bestowed for the first time to a scientist in the wider field of engineering.

Professor Edgardo Carosella, member of EURASC and Chairman of the Academic Council, was promoted Commander in the Order of Academic Palms (l′Ordre des Palmes Académiques), on July 14th 2014.

Professor Edgardo Carosella, has been elected to the Real Academia de Medicina y Cirugia (Spain)

Professor Edgardo Carosella, Head of Medicine and Life Sciences Division and Chairman of the Academic Council, has been elected to the Real Academia de Medicina y Cirugia (Spain).

The professor Peter Zoller (Blaise Pascal Medal 2011 and fellow of EURASC), receives the prestigious Wolf Prize 2013 in Physics

The Presidium of the European Academy of Sciences congratulates warmly Professor Peter Zoller (Blaise Pascal Medallist in 2011 and Fellow of EURASC)  for the Wolf Prize 2013 which was awarded to him for his essential theoretical contributions to quantum information processing, quantum optics and the physics of quantum gases.

The professor Martin Schadt (Fellow of EURASC), receives the European Inventor Award 2013 in the category "Lifetime Achievement"

The Presidium of the European Academy of Sciences congratulates warmly Professor Martin Schadt (Blaise Pascal Medallist in 2010 and Fellow of EURASC)  for the European Inventor Award 2013 in the category "Life Achievement" which was awarded to him for his work on LCD technology.

Professor Vincenzo Capasso (Vice-President of EURASC), has been awarded one of the ten Chairs of Excellence for the 2013/2014 academic year, upon an international competition called by the Carlos III University of Madrid, in order to promote excellence in research and attract frontline researchers from the international university and research community.

The beneficiaries in all fields of research, have been selected by an Evaluation Committee composed of Five Senior Professors from Carlos III University of Madrid, and three researchers of recognized prestige who do not belong to this university.

In particular the beneficiaries will have the freedom and independence to carry out the activities of the Chair, notwithstanding coordination with the corresponding Department. Professor Capasso, former President of our Academy, and now Vice-president, is warmly congratulated.

The professor Antonio Bianconi, (member of EURASC), is chairman of the EPS international conference: QUANTUM IN COMPLEX MATTER of the series "Superstripes conferences", at Ischia, Italy May 27-June 1st.

organized by RICMASS Rome international Conference for Materials Science Superstripes

If you want more information about this conference, please click on this link :

The professor Paul O′Brien, (member of EURASC), has been elected as member of the Royal Society on 3rd May 2013

Prof. O′Brien is Professor of Inorganic Materials in the Schools of Chemistry and of Materials, University of Manchester.

Paul O′Brien is distinguished for his many original contributions to chemistry and materials science, notably in the use of novel molecularly defined precursors from which to prepare important functional electronic or optical materials in well-defined forms. Processes he pioneered have been widely adopted. His discoveries include substantial improvements in the constitution, stoichiometry and nature of precursors. He has shown how relatively stable compounds can be used to prepare high quality functional materials, and developed improved methods to convert precursors into useful functional products, devising and refining ways by which nanoparticles syntheses can be controlled within the size limits require for device use.  (Royal Society link)


The professor Serge Haroche (member of EURASC), 9th October 2012,  received the Nobel Prize in Physics together with the American physicist David Wineland, for their work about measurement and manipulation of individual quantum systems.

Prof. Haroche works primarily in atomic physics and quantum optics. He is principally known for proving quantum decoherence by experimental observation, while working with colleagues at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris in 1996.

After a PhD dissertation on dressed atoms under the supervision of Claude Cohen-Tannoudji (himself a Nobel Prize recipient) from 1967 to 1971, he developed new methods for laser spectroscopy in the seventies, based on the study of quantum beats and superradiance. He then moved on to Rydberg atoms, giant atomic states particularly sensitive to microwaves, which makes them well adapted for studying the interactions between light and matter. He showed that such atoms, coupled to a superconducting cavity containing a few photons, are well-suited to the testing of quantum decoherence and to the realization of quantum logic operations necessary for the treatment of quantum information.

The professor Philippe G. Ciarlet, (Head of Mathematics Sciences Division of EURASC), June 5, 2012, received the distinction of "Officier de l′Ordre National de la Légion d′Honneur" at the Consul-General of France in Hong-Kong & Macau.

EU atmospheric research airship PEGASOS takes off

From the European Commission Research & Innovation website : "Eu atmospheric research airship PEGASOS takes off",  European climate scientists today began a mission to investigate the relationship between atmospheric chemistry and climate change above the skies of Europe. The EU-funded research project PEGASOS (Pan-European Gas AeroSOl Climate Interaction Study) involves twenty-six partners from twelve EU member states and Israel, Switzerland and Norway. Over 20 weeks, the PEGASOS team will fly an airship across Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Slovenia, Italy and France to analyse the chemistry of the air. The project′s findings are expected to provide a sound scientific basis to better fight climate change and improve air quality in Europe.

European Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: "According to the European Environmental Agency, the health and environmental cost of air pollutants released every year in Europe exceeds €100 billion. EU-funded research such as PEGASOS will give us better understanding of the issue and provide a valuable contribution to the review of EU air policies due in 2013".

The PEGASOS project will investigate the impacts of European air pollution on climate change and vice versa by combining field measurements with state of the art atmospheric and climate models. Thanks to the airship′s unique flight characteristics, the scientists will have an unprecedented view of how pollution is distributed in the lowest one or two kilometres of the atmosphere. It is in this layer that most pollutants emitted on the ground react with other atmospheric actors. Carrying measuring equipment weighing more than 1 tonne, the airship will be able to hover at this altitude, ascend and descend vertically, and fly for up to 24 hours at a time.

During their mission, the scientists will focus on hydroxyl radicals (OH radicals) and minute aerosols, which exert a major impact on climate and health. Hydroxyl radicals are sometimes called “detergents of the atmosphere” since they trigger the degradation of pollutants. Data on their formation and their contribution to climatic processes are expected to provide researchers with new insights, for instance on how the atmosphere cleanses itself. This will feed into the review of EU air policies due in 2013 and the work of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

After months of preparation and equipment testing, the project proper was launched at a ceremony at the airship′s home base in Friedrichshafen in southern Germany. During its first mission, starting May 14, the airship will travel north to Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, to take measurements in the region until May 27. Beginning in June, the airship will take the east route around the Alps to Italy, where measurements will be taken in the Po Valley and above the Adriatic. On the return flight, the Zeppelin will take the west route around the Alps via France. Finally, in April 2013, the atmospheric researchers will set out on another two-month mission over northern Europe to Hyytiälä in Finland. Both the mission routes and the measuring locations have been coordinated with existing ground measuring stations. In this way, researchers can directly compare data from the flight with stationary measurements.

More information:
PEGASOS project:
PEGASOS blog, including detailed flight schedule:
EU-funded climate research:
EU air policies review:

Michael Jennings, Spokesperson, European Commission, DG Research & Innovation: +32 229 633 88
Salvador Ruiz Carrillo de Albornoz, Communication Officer, European Commission, DG Research & Innovation: +32 229 555 89
José Jiménez Mingo, Policy Officer, European Commission, DG Research & Innovation: +32 229 767 21
Spyros Pandis, PEGASOS Project Coordinator: +30 261 0969 510


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There′s something healthy in the state of Denmark

From the European Commission Research & Innovation website : "There′s something healthy in the state of Denmark", the people of Denmark are not only concerned about what they eat, but they are willing to pay more tax to eat healthier and make more informed eating choices. The results of this study come at a time when healthy eating and increasing rates of obesity are becoming a major concern for people the world over. Despite this concern, however, government policy actions have rarely been evaluated. The findings are an outcome of the EU-funded EATWELL (′Interventions to promote healthy eating habits: evaluation and recommendations′) project, which has received EUR 2.5 million under the ′Food, agriculture and fisheries, and biotechnology′ (KBBE) Theme of the EU′s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). EATWELL is looking into a variety of European policies aimed at reducing obesity and the lengths people would go to become healthy.

Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that obesity is responsible for 10% to 13% of deaths and 2% to 8% of health costs in Europe alone. In the case of the United Kingdom, it is believed that the over-consumption of salt, sugar and saturated fats, combined with an under consumption of fruit and vegetables, are responsible for 70 000 premature deaths.

These startling figures have led many EU Member States to design and implement a raft of policies aimed at encouraging healthier eating habits through the promotion of fruits and vegetables, and at discouraging advertising certain foods to children. Other actions undertaken have included nutrition labelling, engaging with the food industry to improve the composition of food products that are manufactured, as well as regulating public sector canteens to ensure healthy food offerings. While all these efforts are encouraging, what has been lacking for many of these policy actions is a proper evaluation done in a systematic manner.

Enter the EATWELL project that is investigating these policies over 36 months; the project is set to end in October 2012. In particular, it aims at reviewing the policy actions undertaken and at identifying gaps, success and failure factors for these campaigns. Its final objective is to provide EU Member States policymakers with best practice guidelines, and with valuable insights from private sector and communication agencies to develop appropriate policy interventions that will encourage healthy eating across Europe.

At a recent workshop to discuss the EATWELL results, it was revealed that consumers in Denmark were both more willing to eat healthier and pay more to do so. ′Danes have the most positive attitude towards economic interventions within the nutritional area, and are also willing to pay more to eat more healthily,′ said Jessica Aschemann-Witzel from Aarhus University, Business and Social Sciences in Denmark, a doctoral student who worked on the project.

The EATWELL project partners evaluated more than 3 000 consumers from 5 European countries, asking them whether they were willing to accept ′national economic interventions to promote healthy eating habits′. Close to 36% of Danes responded they were prepared to pay more tax in return for policies to promote consumption of healthier food and more information on what constitutes healthy food (only 16% called for a tax reduction). When the researchers turned to the other countries represented in the study, the answer to the same question plummeted to 30% or less. For some specific measures, like increasing taxes to subsidise the price of healthy foods, the gap is even larger, with almost 42% of Danes being supportive, compared to an average below 29% in other countries.

One reason for such a large difference is that the Danes have greater trust in their public institutions, the EATWELL partners found. ′Danes often have more faith in the public authorities and are used to paying high taxes, and therefore they are not as dismissive to changes in these areas as other populations,′ commented Jessica Aschemann-Witzel.

The EATWELL consortium is focusing its efforts in reviewing the policy actions of Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Poland and the United Kingdom

Click here to read the full article

Study investigates aquatic parasites on fish

From the European Commission Research & Innovation website : "Study investigates aquatic parasites on fish", Researchers in the Czech Republic, Spain and the United Kingdom have successfully identified the cellular components and mechanisms that play a role in the proliferation of myxozoa, tiny aquatic parasites responsible for diseases in commercially valuable fish. Presented in the journal PLoS ONE, the study′s findings shed light on the motility of myxozoa′s proliferative states and their reproductive process.

Produced through spores and without insemination, myxozoa are related to cnidarians, what researchers define as being primitive marine species of great diversity. Examples of myxozoa include anemones, corals and jellyfish. Fish quickly fall victim to these parasites because of the latter′s fast proliferation. It should be noted, however, that research has failed to elucidate the consequences of their development.

Led by the Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Valencia in Spain, the researchers used confocal laser-scanning microscopy (CLSM) to probe the anatomy and reproductive biology of the pathogens.

For their part of the study, the Spanish team investigated the morphology, structure and composition of the myxozoa Ceratomyxa puntazzi, found in the bile of the bream Diplodus puntazzo. This bream is one of the species experts are using in their attempt to diversify fish farming in the Mediterranean.

Specifically, the team identified two different developmental cycles of the parasite: (a) presporogonic proliferative development, and (b) sporogony. According to the researchers, both developmental cycles occurred in parallel, but fish were observed to have either predominantly stages lacking mature spores or predominantly stages with mature spores.

′The application of in vivo techniques has enabled the analysis of the proliferation mechanisms and the movement of this kind of pathogen, which affects the fishes’ digestive system and might cause important losses to fish farms,′ says lead author Gema Alama-Bermejo from the Cavanilles Institute, who is currently carrying out postdoctoral research at the Institute of Parasitology of the Academy of Science of the Czech Republic.

In the paper, the authors write: ′As the present study shows, the combination of light microscopy, scanning and transmission electron microscopy and three-dimensional confocal laser microscopy, successfully contributed novel information on the structure and morphology of ceratomyxid parasite stages in the bile, and provided unique insights into parasite composition, cell motility and cytokinesis in myxozoans, which had not previously been studied.′

The researchers point out that although confocal CLSM may be a poorly used tool, it is extremely useful for investigating the three-dimensional morphology of the parasites as well as for determining the presence and location of certain cellular components.

Click here to see the full article

Report on better butterfly protection

From the European Commission Research & Innovation website : "Report on better butterfly protection", Researchers in Europe have created a set of new guidelines for the protection of Europe′s most threatened butterfly species. Coordinated by the Butterfly Conservation Europe, the report puts the spotlight on 29 threatened species listed in Council Directive 92/43/EEC, more commonly known as the Habitats Directive. The report is part of the SCALES (′Securing the conservation of biodiversity across administrative levels and spatial, temporal, and ecological scales′) project, which is backed with EUR 7 million under the Environment Theme of the EU′s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

All EU Member States must help conserve these species. The report, entitled ′Dos and don′ts for butterflies of the Habitats Directive of the European Union′ is presented in the journal Nature Conservation; it provides detailed accounts of each species, their habitat requirements and food plants. The dos and don′ts of managing the habits of these species are also included in the report, which offers all the information one needs to understand how to ensure the protection of the butterflies and to meet the global biodiversity targets.

Researchers say almost 10% of Europe′s butterflies are threatened with extinction. According to the European grassland indicator, more than 70% of the abundance of 17 characteristic butterflies has shrunk since the late 1990s. Habitat loss and improper management are responsible for the loss.

Led by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Germany, the researchers say many habitats are now abandoned from agriculture, becoming overgrown with scrub, while others are too intensively managed. The report offers the information we need to ensure improved management of remaining habitats.

Researchers use butterflies to help determine how habitat change impacts both the environment and populations. Improved management for butterflies will give these and other creatures better survival rates, as well as better wildlife and ultimately human survival rates.

′Managing habitats in the correct way is the single most important issue affecting the survival of European butterflies,′ says lead author Chris van Swaay of the Dutch Butterfly Conservation. ′This is the first time that practical information has been brought together to address the issue. We hope the advice will be taken up urgently across Europe to help save these beautiful species from extinction.′

For his part, Klaus Henle of the UFZ says: ′Biodiversity loss is one of the most important topics facing the future of our planet. Our new open access journal Nature Conservation is intended to make scientific information freely available to help conserve nature and create a healthy world for everyone. The journal aims particularly at facilitating better interaction between scientists and practitioners, and its major goal is to support synergistic interactions among scientists, policymakers, and managers.′

Researchers from Australia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United Kingdom make up the SCALES consortium.

Click here to read the full article.

New motor can cut space exploration costs

From the European Commission Research & Innovation website : "New motor can cut space exploration costs", A European team of researchers led by the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland has developed a prototype of a new, ultra-compact motor that will enable small satellites to journey beyond Earth′s orbit. The objective of this new motor is to make space exploration less expensive. The result is an outcome of the MICROTHRUST (′Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based electric micropropulsion for small spacecraft to enable robotic space exploration and space science′) project, which is supported under the Space Theme of the EU′s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), to the tune of EUR 1.9 million.

The compact motor weights only a few hundred grams and is specifically designed to propel small satellites, weighing from 1 to 100 kilograms. The conventional thruster can change orbit around our planet and travel to more distant destinations, but it is usually used for large and expensive spacecraft. The researchers say their prototype will probably be used on CleanSpace One, a satellite currently being developed at EPFL that will clean up space debris, as well as on OLFAR, a swarm of Dutch nanosatellites able to record ultra-low radio-frequency signals on the far side of the Moon.

The prototype weighs only around 200 grams, with the fuel and control electronics included. The motor can be mounted on satellites as small as 10 x 10 x 10 square cubic metres. It is also very efficient.

′At the moment, nanosatellites are stuck in their orbits. Our goal is to set them free,′ said Herbert Shea, the head of EPFL′s Microsystems for Space Technologies Laboratory and the coordinator of the MICROTHRUST project.

Research into the development of small satellites has intensified in recent times, due mostly to the low cost of production and launch. The price tag for the small satellites is around USD 500 million; the price for larger ones runs into the hundreds of millions. The problem with nanosatellites lay in the lack of an efficient propulsion system ... until now.

The new mini motor does not run on combustible fuel but rather on an ′ionic′ liquid, and in this project, it is a liquid chemical compound, EMI-BF4, used as both a solvent and an electrolyte. It is made up of ions, electrically charged molecules, which are extracted from the liquid and then ejected to produce thrust. The fuel is expelled, not burnt.

′We calculated that in order to reach lunar orbit, a 1-kilogram nanosatellite with our motor would travel for about 6 months and consume 100 millilitres of fuel,′ said Muriel Richard, a scientist in EPFL′s Swiss Space Center. ′Our prototype still has a few flow problems at the nozzle extremities, which could cause short-circuits,′ Dr Shea concluded.

Researchers from the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom, members of the MICROTHRUST consortium, also contributed to this study.

Click on this link to read the full article

Scientists identify gene behind blood orange pigmentation

From the European Commission Research & Innovation website : "Scientists identify gene behind blood orange pigmentation", Researchers in China, Italy and the United Kingdom have discovered what gene is responsible for blood orange pigmentation, and how it is controlled. The results, presented in the journal The Plant Cell, could help improve the growth of health-promoting blood oranges and lead to novel solutions for patients suffering from cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes. The study was partially supported by two EU-funded projects: FLORA and ATHENA. FLORA (′Flavonoids and related phenolics for healthy living using orally recommended antioxidants′) received EUR 3.3 million under the ′Food quality and safety′ Thematic area of the EU′s Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). ATHENA (′Anthocyanin and polyphenol bioactives for health enhancement through nutritional advancement′) has received almost EUR 3 million under the ′Food, agriculture and fisheries, and biotechnology′ Theme of the EU′s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

Led by the John Innes Centre in the United Kingdom, researchers said blood oranges usually need a period of cold as they ripen in order to develop red pigmentation. While many areas around the world produce these oranges, the Sicilian area around Mount Etna in Italy is the best place to produce them reliably. Sunny days and cold nights, as well as sunny days and warm nights make for the best orange-producing conditions, found in this Italian area.

In their study, researchers gave the name Ruby to the gene they identified as playing a key role in the pigmentation of the blood orange.

′Blood oranges contain naturally occurring pigments associated with improved cardiovascular health, controlling diabetes and reducing obesity,′ said Professor Cathie Martin from the John Innes Centre on Norwich Research Park. ′Our improved understanding of this trait could offer relatively straightforward solutions to growing blood oranges reliably in warmer climates through genetic engineering.′

The pigments are anthocyanins, flavonoids that give red, purple and blue fruit their colour. Former studies, based on research regarding other high-anthocyanin foods, identified how the consumption of blood orange juice reduces oxidative stress in diabetic patients, protects DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) against oxidative damage and could potentially reduce cardiovascular risk factors more generally. The Ruby gene was isolated from the flesh of blood and blonde oranges. The team found that it is controlled by mobile genetic elements activated by the stress of cold.

′Our results offer little hope of conventionally breeding or identifying new varieties of blood orange that are free from cold dependency,′ Professor Martin said. ′We are now experimenting with hooking the Ruby gene up with a specific fruit promoter so it can be induced in another way.′

Blood oranges are a derivative of sweet orange, the most commonly grown fruit tree in the world. This latest study confirmed that sweet oranges are a hybrid between the south-east Asian pomelo and mandarin.

Click on this link to see the full article.

Innovative pellets to benefit organic farmers

From the European Commission Research & Innovation website : "Innovative pellets to benefit organic farmers", Researchers in Germany and Hungary have engineered novel pellets that are able to repel pests in a way that does not harm the environment and that could fertilise the plants. These pellets are made of cyanobacteria and fermentation residues from biogas facilities. The organic farming industry could stand to benefit from this innovative development since organic farmers stand to lose entire crops when pests, such as cabbage root flies, lay their eggs on freshly planted vegetables.

he purchase and consumption of organic vegetables keeps growing, with most people saying they prefer buying and eating products that are neither treated with pesticides nor laden with chemicals. But organic farmers must deal with the challenge of keeping their plants safe from pests, a task that is next to impossible. So when cabbage root flies, for instance, lay their eggs in the spring and fall on freshly planted greens, an entire harvest can be lost. Farmers say they can help protect their plants by planting seeds after the fly′s flying time is over.

But good news has finally arrived for these farmers. Thanks to scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (IGB), in collaboration with researchers from the University of West Hungary in Mosonmagyaróvár, and on behalf of several organic agriculture associations, these innovative pellets will prove advantageous for all.

′The pellets primarily consist of fermentation residues from biogas production, but they also contain 0.1% cyanobacteria,′ says Dr Ulrike Schmid-Staiger, group manager at IGB. Soil flora degrade the cyanobacteria, which release a scent that repels cabbage root flies, after the pellets are placed around the planted vegetables. The fermentation residues, which are rich in nutrients, also fertilise the plants.

The team used a flat-panel airlift reactor originally developed for microalgae to cultivate cyanobacteria. They used only light, carbon dioxide (CO2) and mineral nutrients to cultivate the bacteria. The task was not easy, especially because the bacteria had to be mixed thoroughly and to rise to the surface. Both air and CO2 had to flow into the reactor. It should be noted that the cyanobacteria are very sensitive. Their structure looks like a long string of pearls, which can be damaged if too much pressure is placed on it. The researchers regulated the air inflow to allow the mass to be thoroughly mixed without damaging the bacteria.

They later used super-heated steam to dry the cyanobacteria, which was then mixed with the fermentation residues and pressed into pellets. The team acquired the fertilising fermentation residues from eco-certified farms in which liquid manure is decomposed into biogas. Within 2 weeks, they generated 300 litres of biogas per kilogram of organic dry mass. The remnants that cannot be further fermented are dried.

The pellets were tested in open-field studies in Spain and Hungary. They found that the cabbage root flies did not attack any of the growing cabbage or kohlrabi.

Click on this link to see the full article

The Euro-Mediterranean Conference 2012 in Barcelona

The Euro-Mediterranean Conference 2012 in Barcelona 2-3 April 2012, all the presentations from the Euro-Mediterranean Conference 2012 are now available on the website.

The historical changes taking place in the Southern Mediterranean region since December 2010 call for a focused, innovative and ambitious response from the European Union. Throughout 2011, the European Commission has established the Neighbourhood countries of the European Union as a key priority and has developed a new strategy, which can be found in two Joint Communications of the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (COM (2011) 200 and COM (2011) 303).

Research and Innovation play a major role in promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth and job creation. The development of a Common Knowledge and Innovation Space (CKIS) linked to smart growth and the EU′s Innovation Agenda is one of the aims of the new strategy of the EU. The CKIS is meant to cover policy dialogue, national and regional capacity-building, cooperation in research and innovation, increased mobility opportunities for students, researchers and academics. 

In this context, a high-level conference is being held by the European Commission′s Research and Innovation DG, in consultation with other departments, the European Parliament, the EU Member States and the Mediterranean countries. The main objectives are:

  • To define the objectives and main elements of a medium to long term agenda of Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation in Research and Innovation based on the views of leading scientists and senior policy makers as well as the experience gained from ongoing initiatives.
  • To promote a process of coordination between the European Commission, EU Member States and Mediterranean policies and programmes with the aim of enhancing the scientific capacities of the Mediterranean countries, increasing the impact and coherence of initiatives in the region as well as underlining the values of mutual respect, reciprocity and partnership.

The Conference will be opened by Mrs. Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, by Mrs. Carmen Vela Olmo, State Secretary for Research and Innovation Spain, by Mr. Andreu Mas-Colell, Minister for Economy and Knowledge Catalunia, Mr. Lahcen Daoudi, Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Training Morocco, Mr. Kim Brinckmann, Head of Division at Center for Globalisation, Danish Agency for Science, technology and Innovation and Mr. Kent Johansson, Member of the European Parliament.

Please, click on this link to see the presentations feedback and the press articles.

The professor Chong Soo Lee, (Member of EURASC), April 1, 2012, became Head of the Graduate Institute of Ferrous Technology (GIFT) of Pohang University.

The institute is a world leader in education and research in steel technology.  The Prof. Lee keeps fruitful scientific collaborations with the Polytechnic of Milano.

The Research Activities of the European Commission - Research & Innovation

The Research Activities of the European Commission - Research and Innovation - The Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, informally DG Research and Innovation, is a Directorate-General of the European Commission, located in Brussels, and responsible for, notably, the European Union′s research policy and coordination of research activities.It is headed by Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and Director-General Robert-Jan Smits.

The Directorate General’s mission is evolving as work on the European Research Area continues. It can be summarised as follows:

  • to develop the European Union’s policy in the field of research and technological development and thereby contribute to the international cooperation of European industry;
  • to coordinate European research activities with those carried out at the level of the Member States;
  • to support the Union’s policies in other fields such as environment, health, energy, regional development, etc;
  • to promote a better understanding of the role of science in modern societies and stimulate a public debate about research-related issues at European level.

One of the instruments used for the implementation of this policy is the multi-annual Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development (FP RTD) which helps to organise and financially support cooperation between high schools, research centres, and industries - including small and medium sized enterprises (SME).

Click here to reach the website of The Research Activities of the European Commission - Research & Innovation (Available in 22 languages)

2012 Acta Materialia Gold Medal Award

The professor Terence G. Langdon (Member of the Presidium of EURASC and Blaise Pascal Medallist 2008), September 17-21, 2012, is the winner of the 2012 Acta Materialia Gold Medal. The Award Ceremony will be held as part of the E-MRS Fall Meeting in Warsaw, Poland.

The Acta Materialia Gold Medal is awarded annually by the Board of Governors of Acta Materialia, Inc.

Click here to read the full article

The award ceremony and an Acta Materialia Gold Medal Symposium will be held as part of the E-MRS Fall Meeting in Warsaw, Poland, on 17–21 September, 2012.

Click here to download the Simposium invitation

World′s Largest Science Society Honors UCF Environmental Engineer

Ni-bin Chang, a University of Central Florida environmental engineering professor, spent his childhood swimming in rivers, climbing mountains and even jumping into drainage ditches to catch fish with his bare hands.

This fall, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the acclaimed journal Science, has elected him as a fellow for his research accomplishments in environmental sustainability and ecosystem restoration.

Click here to reach the website of the University of Central Florida and read the article by Kimberly J. Lewis

The prestigious Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA)

On December 2, 2011, The  President of EURASC, Professor Vincenzo Capasso, has been elected Fellow of the prestigious Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) the UK National Institute.

The Charles Stark Draper Prize

T. Peter Brody, George H. Heilmeier, Wolfgang Helfrich, and Martin Schadt will receive the Charles Stark Draper Prize — a $500,000 annual award that honors engineers whose accomplishments have significantly benefited society — “for the engineering development of the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) that is utilized in billions of consumer and professional devices.”

The Liquid crystal display (LCDs) is used by virtually everyone in the modern world on a daily basis.  It is the medium through which people get information from a variety of everyday devices – including calculators, clocks, computer monitors, smart phones, and television screens.  T. Peter Brody, George H. Heilmeier, Wolfgang Helfrich, and Martin Schadt each made substantial contributions to its development.

George Heilmeier discovered the dynamic scattering mode (DSM), which resulted in the first operational LCD.  Liquid crystals are materials that have properties of both liquids and crystals.   DSM allows them to scatter light when a voltage is applied.  Shortly after Heilmeier’s discovery, DSM LCDs could be widely found in watches and calculators.

Taking cues from Heilmeier’s work, Wolfgang Helfrich and Martin Schadt invented the twisted nematic (TN) field effect of liquid crystal displays. Unlike the DSM, the twisted nematic field effect electrically controls the polarization state of transmitted light of LCDs. It requires virtually no power and small electric fields. The contrast of light is very large, allowing short switching from dark to bright and vice versa.  Helfrich and Schadt’s discovery of the TN allowed for the practical use of LCDs in nearly all of today’s flat panel LCD applications.

T. Peter Brody created the active matrix (AM) drive, which enabled an array of new capabilities for LCDs. Such capabilities consist of the display of high resolution motion pictures combined with fast response which are prerequisites for television. Brody’s AM LCD opened the door for further LCD advancements in television, including color filters and brightness-enhancement films.

T. Peter Brody worked at Westinghouse, where he discovered the first active matrix displays. He later started his own firm, Panelvision, and then went on to become the president and CEO of Amedeo. In addition to his contributions to LCD technology, his numerous patents include a low-cost color filter process and a high-resolution printing process. Brody is also the co-founder of the Advantech in-line fabrication process, designed to create backplanes for the next generation of OLED displays. Brody passed away in September 2011; the award will be presented to his family.

George Heilmeier joined RCA in 1958 where he discovered the dynamic scattering- and a guest-host electro-optical effect in liquid crystals. After serving as a White House fellow at the U.S. Department of Defense, he was appointed Assistant Director for Defense Research and Engineering, Electronic and Physical Sciences. From 1974 to 1977, Heilmeier was the director of the Defense Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA). He then became senior vice president and chief technical officer at Texas Instruments. Heilmeier later served as the president and CEO of Bellcore, and eventually as chairman and chairman emeritus.

Wolfgang Helfrich, while at RCA, set up a theory of conduction-induced alignment of nematic liquid crystals as a first step towards a theory of dynamic scattering. In 1970 he joined Hoffmann-LaRoche where he and Martin Schadt began their cooperation. Afterwards he accepted a professorship at the Free University of Berlin. Since then his theoretical and experimental research centered on fluid bilayer membranes and their vesicles. .

Martin Schadt patented the first organic light emitting display (OLED) in 1969 as a post doc fellow at Canada’s National Research Council. He then joined the Laboratoire Suisse de Recherche Horlogère at Neuchâtel of Omega. Two years later he became a member of the newly founded research group at the Central Research Center of Hoffmann-La Roche working on liquid crystal field-effects and LC-materials.  He was appointed head of the liquid crystal department inventing many new electro-optical effects, commercial liquid crystal materials and the photo-polymer liquid crystal alignment technology.  From 1994 he headed the spin-off company Rolic Ltd. as its CEO.  He is active as a scientific adviser to governments and industrial research groups.

Click here to reach the website of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for more information


Coppito (L′Aquila), Italy, November 30 th - December 2 nd, 2011

Young Researcher Workshop on Theoretical Approaches and Related Mathematical Methods in Biology and Medicine.

Presented by CIMAB & GASVA SIMAI, Under the auspices of EURASC.
At the Department of Pure and Applied Mathematics
University of L′Aquila
via Vetoio, 1 67010 Coppito (L′Aquila)

See attached program

Royal Society journal archive now permanently free to access

The Royal Society continues to support scientific discovery by allowing free access to more than 250 years of leading research.  From today, our world-famous journal archive has been opened up and all articles more than 70 years old have been made permanently free to access. 

The Royal Society is the world′s oldest scientific publisher and, as such, our archive is the most comprehensive in science.  It comprises more than 69,000 articles, from the very first published in 
the world′s first peer-reviewed journal Philosophical Transactions to the first article published in
our recently launched journal
Open Biology.

Thomas Henry Huxley FRS wrote in 1870: ′If all the books in the world, except the Philosophical Transactions were to be destroyed, it is safe to say that the foundations of physical science would remain unshaken, and that the vast intellectual progress of the last two centuries would be largely, though incompletely, recorded.′

Professor Uta Frith FRS, Chair of the Royal Society library committee, says: ′The release of these papers opens a fascinating window on the history of scientific progress over the last few centuries and will be of interest to anybody who wants to understand how science has evolved since the days of the Royal Society′s foundation.′

The move to open up our publishing archive coincides with Open Access Week, and is being made as part of the Royal Society′s ongoing commitment to open access in scientific publishing. It also comes soon after the launch of our first ever fully open access journal, Open Biology.

Click here to access the online version

June 2011 Prof. Herbert Gleiter, member of the Scientific Committee of Eurasc for the division Materials Science and also recipient of the EURASC Blaise Pascal Medals 2009 for his achievements has the pleasure to announce that he has been elected as one of the Fellows of the American Materials Research Society as well as an Honorary Fellow of the American Nano Society.

March 27-31, 2011. National ACS Meeting in Anaheim, CA - Prof. Alain Tressaud (Fellow of Eurasc) will be the recipient of the official award for Creative Work in Fluorine Chemistry

The 2011 ACS Award for Creative Work in Fluorine Chemistry has been attributed to Alain Tressaud "For major discoveries in the field of solid state fluorine chemistry, in particular for correlations between structures and properties."

The announcement was made official in the August 30th issue of Chemical & Engineering News. Alain Tressaud has presented his award address at the 20th Winter Fluorine Conference, which took place in St Petersburg, Florida, January 9-14, 2011. The official award presentation will take place at the National ACS Meeting in Anaheim, CA (March 27-31, 2011).

Prof. Rao receiving Award from India′s Prime Minister : Dr Manmohan SinghOctober 19th, Hyderabad, India, Prof. C.R. Rao was honored by the Hon′ble Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh with India Science Award for pioneering contributions to statistical theory ad applications on 19th Oct, 2010 in Hyderabad. This is the highest and most prestigious national recognition given to a scientist in India by the Government of India for a major contribution of a path-breaking nature in any branch of science, engineering and medicine. The award consists of a gold medal, plaque with photo and citation, and cash of Rs. 25 Lakhs ($55, 000).

Second Statistics Olympiad

Although Statistics is a young discipline, it has during the last century grown to be an essential body of information based knowledge useful in all areas of human endeavor from individual decision making in daily life to scientists fathoming the mysteries of nature. There will be a great demand in future for statisticians to help in decision making by the government, industrial and research establishments. It is one of the aims of the CRRao Advanced Institute of Mathematics Statistics and Computer Science (AIMSCS) to encourage talented young students , both rural and urban, to pursue professional and research careers in Statistics .To create awareness of statistics and to encourage those with an aptitude for numbers and numerical reasoning to study statistics, Dr. CR Rao suggested conducting Statistics Olympiad on lines similar to Mathematics Olympiad. Following his suggestion, a team of statisticians headed by Dr.T.J.Rao and Dr.S.Bendre organized the FIRST STATISTICS OLYMPIAD, for the first time in India and probably in the whole world, in June 2009 by administering tests to students at the high school/junior college levels in the cities of Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam. In all about 270 students took the test. The questions were not routine or conventional type from mathematical statistics , but framed to test the ability of students to cross examine data, detect misuses of statistics, statistical comprehension ,table and chart reading etc. ( all at the respective levels of syllabi) , together with a general knowledge of official statistics expected at the school level. A special grading scheme was devised to discriminate and pick those with an aptitude for statistical reasoning and ability to deal with numbers. The top twenty students were felicitated at a function held on June 29,2009 ,the birth date of Professor Mahalanobis, which is declared by the Government of India as Statistics Day.(The first Statistics Day was observed on June 29, 2007). During the felicitation ceremony , a booklet was distributed giving biographical accounts of three outstanding statisticians belonging to three different generations, namely P C Mahalanobis , CR Rao and SRS Varadhan to serve as role models for the young students in India aspiring to be statisticians.

Encouraged by the success of this, the SECOND STATISTICS OLYMPIAD was held on 5 June 2010 in some more centers and in all 345 at the junior level(grades IX and X) and 61 at senior level (grades XI and XII) took the test. Top scorers in the tests were felicitated on 29 June 2010 on the occasion of the (Fourth) Statistics Day, at a function held in the University of Hyderabad Campus, Prof. C.R.Rao Road, Gachibowli, HYDERABAD, 500046.

With the experience gained so far, a committee is being set up by AIMSCS in collaboration with the University of Hyderabad to cover a larger number of schools from different States of India, and explore the possibility of creating a world forum for Statistics Olympiad on lines similar to Mathematics Olympiad. Statisticians all over the world are requested to offer suggestions for implementing our project. Further details can be had from Dr.S.B.Rao, Director of AIMSCS (

News communicated by Drs. S.B.Rao and T.J.Rao

Call for Papers : Journal of Mathematics in Industry. Managing Editor:Vincenzo Capasso, University of Milan, member of EAS Presidium and Executive Committee.

Published in collaboration with the European Consortium for Mathematics in Industry.

The Journal of Mathematics in Industry is a high-quality journal that brings together research on developments in mathematics for industrial applications, including both methods and the computational challenges they entail. Here, "industry" is understood as any activity of economic and/or social value. As such, "mathematics in industry" concerns the field as it actually improves industrial processes and helps to master the major challenges presented by cost and ecological issues.

For the complete editorial board, please visit

Professor Edgardo D. Carosella, EAS member and Blaise Pascal Medallist 2009 in Medicine, was confered the French award of "Commandeur dans l’Ordre National du Mérite" on May 14th, 2010.

Professor Jerzy Leszczynski, Polish-American Member of the EAS Receives top Awards from both Countries.

On January 6, 2010, the President Barak Obama honored USA scientists and researchers for their mentoring efforts in the areas of math, science and engineering. Such awards are the highest recognition from the USA government for a small (10 individuals and one institution per year) group of mentors selected from universities, research laboratories and industry. Due to the change of the US administration a ceremony for the group of 2007 year awardees that includes Professor Leszczynski was postponed for two years and carried out this January, along with the ceremony for the 2008 awardees. The enclosed picture features President Obama along with 2007 and 2008 Presidential award recipients during their visit to the White House.

Professor Jerzy Leszczynski with President Barak Obama

Dr. Leszczynski’s US Presidential Mentor award was complement (also by 2007) Polish prestigious research prize. His scientific accomplishments were recognized by the Polish Chemical Society (PCS) that awarded him Marie Curie-Sklodowska medal during 50th year Anniversary PCS Congress in Torun, Poland that gathers together more than 1400 members and invited guests. Only 10 such medals have been conferred during the 52 years long history of the Polish Chemical Society. The enclosed photograph was taken during his plenary lecture at the PCS Congress.

Professor Jerzy Leszczynski

Dr. Jerzy Leszczynski is a Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and President’s Distinguished Fellow at Jackson State University, Jackson, MS, USA. He directs NSF Interdisciplinary Nanotoxicity Center. He is author and co-author of almost 700 research papers that have been cited in scientific literature more than 10,000 times (H Index 45). In addition, he also co-authors more than 50 book chapters. He has edited 22 books for various publishers including Elsevier, Word Scientific, and Springer. To boost visibility of the EAS Annals, as a member of the editorial board he initiated collaboration with the Springer to develop a special issue of the Annals that would be available for the broad scientific community. This initiative resulted in publishing in November 2009 a volume “Practical Aspects of Computational Chemistry: Methods, Concepts and Applications” which was published by Springer and sponsored by the EAS. The book includes 23 contributions from leading computational chemists and is being distributed by the professional publisher network.

Professor Professor Philippe Ciarlet was elected a foreign member of the prestigious Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), in recognition of his contribution to developing and utilising mathematical tools to solve critical issues in mechanics and modern engineering, as well as promoting mathematics in China.More...

Prof. Philippe Ciarlet was elected as Fellow of the. S.I.A.M

Fellowship honors SIAM members who have made outstanding contributions to the fields served by SIAM, and he is among the distinguished members of SIAM in the initial class of Fellows.

Using criteria approved by the membership, the initial Fellows were selected from among those SIAM members for which certain previous recognition places them clearly among those intended to be recognized by this program. This included members of certain national academies and corporate and laboratory fellowship programs, recipients of certain SIAM or ICIAM prizes, recent editors-in-chief of SIAM journals, and former SIAM presidents. You can find more information about the program at

Professor Ni-Bin Chang
was elected as Fellow in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in last Feb. and attended the ceremony in Washington DC to receive this honor in last April.

May 10th-15th 2008 The Fellow member of EAS, prof. Oleg L. Figovsky is a chairman of the International Congress on Science and Innovation in Civil Engineering "SIB" that will take in Voronezh, Russia on November 10-15, 2008.

May 16th 2008 - Professor Vincenzo Capasso, Fellow Member of our Scientific Committee, has received an Honorary Doctorate of Science in Technology of the University of Lapeenranta (Finland) in recognition of his achievements in promoting European collaboration between academia, technology and society in the field of industrial mathematics, in areas including applied research, educational development and network building.

Our Fellow Member and Blaise Pascal Medal 2003, Professor Eric de Clercq (Belgium), was elected European Inventer of the year 2008 (Ljubjana, 6-7 May).

February, 2008 - Professor Bernard Barbara our Head of Physics Division, is awarded the 'Gentner-Kastler-Preis' by the German Physics Society and the French Society of Physics, for his innovative contributions to magnetism of solids, nanostructures and molecules [Click Here]

January, 2008 - Professor Jean-Marie Andre (FUNDP, Chemistry Department), Fellow Member of the EAS, becomes President of the Royal Academy of Belgium.

December, 2007 - Professor Oleg L. Figovsky, Fellow of EAS in Materials Sciences, has been elected as Honorary Professor of the Voronezh State University (VGASU) for his fundamental and applied research in the field of nanotechnologies for industrial application.

November, 2007 - Professor Philippe G. Ciarlet has been elected as a Member of the Academy of Sciences in the Developing World (T.W.A.S., previously Third World Academy of Sciences).

October, 2007 - Professor Krishnaiyan Thulasiraman has been elected as a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS).

October 8, 2007 - Professor Mario R. Capecchi from the University of Utah, Fellow Member of the European Academy of Sciences, was Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine. He was honoured together with Professor Oliver Smithies and Sir Martin J. Evans for their work on the development and application of gene targeting' in mice. This technique allows geneticists to target and mutate specific genes and, thus, study the functional role of these genes in the organism. Next to DNA sequencing it is perhaps the most important technique to understand genomes[Read More]

July, 2007 - Professor Nina Fedoroff, the Verne M. Willaman Chair in Life Sciences and Evan Pugh Professor at Penn State University, and an External Professor of the Santa Fe Institute, is one of eight scientists named by US President Bush to receive the 2006 National Medal of Science, the nation's highest award for lifetime achievement in scientific research. The honorees received medals at a White House ceremony on 27 July 2007.[Read More]

June, 2007 - Professor Oleg L. Figovsky was awarded the NASA TechBrief award "50 the best in nanotechnology - 2007"

May, 2007 - Professor Peter Jagers was elected as Vice President of the Royal Swedish Academy of Science.