The United States, represented by EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, and the European Union, represented by Director General of the European Commission signed an Implementing Arrangement on Environmental Research and Ecoinformatics.
"Ecoinformatics" is advanced computer and information technology necessary for environmental research. Scientists and researchers from both representative groups plan to work more closely to solve environmental problems and share information on emerging issues, such as nanotechnology under the new agreement.
Cooperation under the EPA-EC Implementing Arrangement is expected to take many forms, including direct collaboration between the U.S. and European researchers and associations; joint sponsorship of conferences, workshops, and meetings; coordinated calls for proposals and mutual participation in peer reviews; and exchanges of information, methodologies, and data.
Among the collabroative research topics included in the Implementing Arrangement are efforts to address the links between environmental pollution and human health; the uses and impacts of nanotechnology in enviromental monitoring, soil remediation, and water quality management; sustainable chemistry and materials; environmental information systems; development of environmental and sustainability indicators; environmental technologies; air quality management; decision support tools; and environmental modeling.
"The United States and Europe share in the commitment of being good global neighbors," said Johnson. "This agreement marks a new level of collaboration which will ensure our efforts to protect the environment and our citizens are supported by sound science."