A range of measures to help prevent Europe’s best scientists abandoning their careers in Europe in favour of more lucrative opportunities in the US and elsewhere were proposed today by the European Commission.
Based on a thorough analysis of career prospects in the EU, the Communication “Researchers in the European Research Area: one profession, multiple careers” identifies factors that impact on the development of careers in R&D, namely training, recruitment methods, employment conditions, evaluation mechanisms and career advancement. The Communication proposes concrete steps to encourage and structure improved dialogue and information exchange with researchers and to establish a genuinely competitive research labour market at a European level. Recommended actions include a “European Researcher’s Charter”, a “Code of conduct for the recruitment of researchers”, a common way of evaluating and recording researchers’ skills, qualifications and achievements, advanced training tools, access to adequate funding and minimum social security benefits for PhD students.
European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin said: “Building on recent developments aimed at enhancing the mobility of researchers, such as the European Researcher’s mobility portal, the Communication represents another important step forward in improving the EU’s attractiveness for research talent across the world. It is essential that we encourage more young people to embark on scientific careers and ensure that we keep hold of our existing talent. Failing to do so will seriously undermine our chances of creating a genuine European internal market for knowledge and science, and also of meeting our objective of making the EU the most competitive knowledge-based economy in the world.”
Fabio Fabbi | European Commission
Starting school boosts development
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New Master’s programme: University of Kaiserslautern educates experts in quantum technology
15.03.2017 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.
Graphene is up to the job
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
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