On November 28, 2011, The European Institute, in cooperation with the Ecologic Institute, hosted Karl Falkenberg, Director General of the DG Environment at the European Commission, who discussed the need for sustainable environmental growth and emphasized the importance of resource efficiency as means towards a circular, sustainable economy. He stressed the importance of creating a common sustainable growth strategy between the U.S. and Europe, as well as the necessity to include the developing countries into the dialogue for the recovery of sustainable resources.  Dominic Marcellino, Fellow at the Ecologic Institute moderated the discussion.

The Tweaker: The Real Genius of Steve Jobs by Malcolm Gladwell in The New Yorker. According to this celebrated essayist on science and society, innovation requires not only a genius but also a context of other inventive “tweakers” whose inspirations feed off each other.  This insight about the process comes in his review of the magisterial biography, "Steve Jobs," by Walter Isaacon. Recommended by European Affairs. (11/23)

On October 4, 2011, The European Institute held a seminar in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy, European Commission and Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s EU-Japan-U.S. Trilateral Critical Materials Initiative.  The Honorable David Sandalow, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy for Policy and International Affairs, The Honorable Reinhard Bütikofer, Vice Chair of the European Parliament’s Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance and Member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, European Parliament; and His Excellency Ichiro Fujisaki, Ambassador of Japan to the United States presented keynote remarks.  Panelists included: Gwenole Cozigou, Director for chemicals, metals, mechanical, electrical, construction industries and raw materials, DG Enterprise and Industry at the European Commission; Herbert von Bose, Director for Industrial Technologies, DG Research and Innovation at the European Commission; Cyrus Wadia, Senior Policy Analyst, Environment and Energy Division at the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy; Charles Cogar, Legislative Director for U.S. Representative Mike Coffman; Komei Halada, Managing Director for the Center for Strategic Natural Resources at the Japanese National Institute for Materials Science; Keiichi Kawakami, Deputy Director General, Manufacturing Industries Bureau at the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; Stephen Collocott, Group Leader, Novel Alloys, Magnetics and Drives at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization; Anil Arora, Assistant Deputy Minister, Minerals and Metals Sector, Natural Resources Canada; Alain Rollat, Technology Development Manager for Rhodia Rare Earth Systems; Maurits Van Camp, Coach, Recycling and Extraction Technology Platform, Umicore; and Jim Sims, Vice President for Corporate Communications at Molycorp.  The discussion was moderated by The Honorable Bart Gordon, Partner at K&L Gates LLP.

Recent outbreaks in food-borne illness in both Europe and the U.S. – such as the E.coli episode this summer in Germany (that affected some transatlantic travellers) and the U.S. scare and recall involving salmonella-infected ground turkey meat – have underscored the need for better protection and inspection of foodstuffs and other agricultural products.

But efforts to tackle the issue are encountering problems on both sides of the Atlantic. In particular, funding problems have beset Congressional-mandated reforms in the U.S.

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On September 21, 2011, The Honorable John Dalli, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy offered his perspective on the parameters for responsible innovation and how the EU can best strike a balance between the pressing drive for new and innovative consumer products and consumer safety.  He also the prospects and challenges for greater transatlantic cooperation on consumer safety policies and the shared imperative of insuring better public health policies for long term social and economic benefit.

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