JRC: does anyone know?

JRC stands for Joint Research Centre, this being an organ of the European Commission which has just launched its new I3S web ("Innovation Union Information and Intelligence system").  According to the information available on its website
"This web-based platform gathers information on each of the 34 commitments [actually there are more: some are subdivided into A and B commitments] made in the Innovation Union Communication (October 2010). These commitments include crucial issues for innovation such as e-skills, access to finance, EU patent, eco-innovation or joint public procurements. 
It aims to ensure that all stakeholders are well informed on the implementation of the commitments by providing easy access to up to date and comprehensive information. 
The new IS3 web illustrates the key dimensions of challenges faced by each commitment, the approach planned to meet these challenges and the objectives. Key milestones are also presented, highlighting achievements made and specific events, publications and other activities planned. The contents will be gradually developed. 
Also, in the near future, I3S will be complemented by the launch of a web-based portal on research and innovation policies in the EU Member States, Associated Countries and a number of third countries".
The IPKat wonders how useful exercises such as these really are, not least since he is embarrassed to confess that this entire operation seems to have escaped his attention so far.  So does Merpel, who feels tempted to take a swipe at them but dare not do so in the absence of genuine knowledge as to how the JRC functions.   She wonders:
  • Where does the JRC get its information and its direction? 
  • Do exercises of this nature benefit society at large, innovative industries, European decision-makers, those who carry out their decisions, or anyone else? 
  • How is their efficacy measured? 
  • Is anyone currently doing any research into them, whether funded by the EU or otherwise?  
  • How does the JRC fit in with all the other initiatives that seem to coexist with it?  
  • Do other trading blocs and major innovative jurisdictions such as the United States, Japan, Korea and the like have similar initiatives? 
Can any reader advise?

ps Thanks to Chris Torrero for drawing this item to the Kat's attention!
JRC: does anyone know? JRC: does anyone know? Reviewed by Jeremy on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 Rating: 5


  1. The JRC is a Commission directorate general which carries out o lot of specialised research for other directorates of the Commision - it has considerable in-house expertise and numerous scientists, statisticians, expertise, etc. Along with DG research & Innovation, its under the Commissioner for Research and Innovation, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. This helps joined-up thinking in the innovation sphere. Hope this helps a little.

  2. As it happens, I am attending an excellent workshop on patent statistics and economic analysis of patents, hosted at the JRC branch in Seville. Frankly, my main interest in attending was to meet the Chief Economists of the EPO and USPTO, both of whom are also here, but I am finding this 2-day workshop intellectually stimulating, and I am discovering many analogies and possible common research projects encompassing the trademark/design and patent worlds.

    So at least for helping my understanding of the other big part of the IP world, the JRC is very useful :-)


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