– Classification of publications – All

21 Oct National Broadband Plan Ireland – Policy Advisory

Irish Academy of Engineering (IAE)
2016
Advisory prepared to assist in developing a national policy in providing an internationally competitive, ubiquitous, high speed broadband service based on long term planning (30yrs).
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21 Oct The proper use of the Precautionary Principle

National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF)
2011
The Precautionary Principle (PP), introduced into the French Constitution in 2004, is the epicentre of a passionate debate involving the whole of society. Is it then possible to identify the “proper use” of this principle which would allow, between irresponsibility and immobilization, the ways to construct a shared progress serving everyone? Without taking a binary position “pro” or “contra”, the NATF is making 4 main recommendations: 1. It affirms that PP is a Principle of Action, 2. Technical and scientific expertise is indispensible and should always be included in debates but the final decision belongs to the political world. 3. Legal difficulties related to applying the PP to important societal issues must be solved. 4. Application of the PP beyond the sanitary and environmental issues should be considered with a lot of caution.
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21 Oct Guidelines for a German Aerospace Policy

National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)
2010
This position paper describes the guidelines for a future German aerospace policy. It is the result of the analysis conducted by a group of authors under the aegis and significant involvement of acatech members. Its predominant purpose is to serve as a decision aid and framework for orientation for the federal government for the decision on a national aerospace strategy in the near future and to present critical success factors for the further promotion of aerospace in Germany and on the international level. With this position paper, acatech joins the ranks of the expert opinions delivered by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in March 2010 and by the federal states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Bremen in October 2010. Thus acatech highlights its willingness to play an active part in the continuing process of the crafting of a national aerospace strategy and support the federal government constructively with its governmental plan.
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18 Oct Rare Metals

Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (SATW)
2010
Through their increasing use in innovative technical products our society is dependent upon rare metals as never before. It is unclear how the rising demand can be satisfied in the future. Workable deposits of rare metals are often restricted to just a few regions, resulting in political and economical critical dependencies. Generally, moreover, rare materials are not mined in isolation, but occur as by-products of the extraction of other elements. Thus the availability of rare materials is not just influenced by the direct demand for a specific element. An added complication is that rare metals are nowadays only recycled to a limited extent. The concrete examples in this paper show that the way we handle rare materials today could lead to critical situations in the future. We therefore need to find more sustainable ways of handling them. This will require a better understanding of the corresponding material cycles and specific, coordinated measures anchored in international institutions.
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18 Oct Is nano sustainable?

Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (SATW)
2010
If we are to achieve sustainability and meet the great challenges of our time, such as climate change or the increasing scarcity of resources, we have to have the will as well as the right instruments. These latter undoubtedly include technical innovations. And today the nanotechnologies are delivering these many times over. Thanks to synthetic nanoparticles, harmful substances can now be replaced with harmless ones; resource and energy-intensive processes are becoming more efficient. It is important, however, to recognize at an early stage the possible risks that could ensue from nanotechnologies, and to carefully evaluate these risks and discuss them openly. Switzerland is making every endeavour to ensure that nanotechnologies are used safely, thereby helping this discipline to find long-term success
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18 Oct Delivering Ireland’s Water Services for the 21st Century

Irish Academy of Engineering (IAE)
2011
A joint position paper and report prepared by the IAE and Engineers Ireland (EI) submitted to Government in the context of a proposed fundamental change to the control and management of the service and the introduction of universal water metering and charging. The report supports the establishment of a national water utility company and the charging for water services.  It recommends continuing Government subvention during the transition period, until the utility company becomes self-financing.
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18 Oct Reform of the Water Sector in Ireland – Response to Consultation on the establishment of a Public Water Utility

Irish Academy of Engineering (IAE)
2012
In response to the Department of the Environment Community and Local Government’s request for views on their Water Services Reform, Phase 1, Report and Position Paper (Jan. 2012) the IAE and Engineers Ireland on 24th February 2012 issued them with their joint “Response to Consultation on the establishment of a Public Water Utility, (i.e. Irish Water) The IAE and Engineers Ireland welcomed the Position Paper and called for a robust and transparent funding model which includes for the substantial legacy issues on the Local Authorities’ books. The importance of the early and on-going conduct of Regulatory Impact Assessments and Risk Analyses is recommended using the knowledge of the sector and its key issues, resident in existing practitioners. It is also recommended that legacy liabilities are met from the Exchequer, rather than recovery through higher water charges, burdening customers and impacting negatively on national competitiveness.
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18 Oct Circular economy – improving the management of natural resources

Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (SATW)
2014
This brochure gives an insight into the current implementation of Circular Economy at national level by presenting three country case studies and their different approaches to achieving the same goal of a more sustainable planet. China, besides being a huge economy, has the political power for a top-down approach to shape a completely restructured industrial and social system. Germany on the other hand is subject to external constraints in the form of EU directives along with national, regional and local demands. Finally Switzerland adopts a step-by-step approach based on finding solutions through the involvement of all stakeholders. In the section Analysis and Comparison, the three countries are investigated according to a number of indicators and consideration is given to the kind of indicators that could serve for a meaningful annual audit of countries’ Circular Economy performance. In the concluding section we give recommendations for possible future actions to take relevant steps towards the vision of a Circular Economy.
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18 Oct Soil – A Geological Resource, Economic Driver and Ecosystem Service Provider: recommendations for pooling scientific expertise in soil and land management

National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)
2014
Soil is fundamental to human existence. It forms the uppermost layer of the Earth’s crust, supporting life and comprising a base of mineral and organic materials together with water, air and living organisms. The soil is where the lithosphere (our planet’s crust and upper mantle) meets the atmosphere (air), hydrosphere (water) and biosphere (flora and fauna). Its position at the interface between these four environmental compartments makes soil a highly sensitive and complex system. The rate at which new soil can be created is limited, meaning that soil loss is often irreversible. Even in the best-case scenario, when land is misused or degraded it can take decades or even centuries to restore soil to a state where it performs its full range of functions. Because the amount of land is finite it is no longer sustainable to consider that new soil may be brought into cultivation, e.g. by clearing forested lands. Arable land is, thus, a finite resource that should be used responsibly.
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