Brussels Daily
12 Dec 2016


Brussels Daily


Investment Plan for Europe: More than EUR 100 million support for Irish SMEs

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) have signed the first COSME agreement in Ireland. This transaction is guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe. It will provide over EUR 100 million of loans at more attractive rates for an estimated 2,000 Irish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) over the next three years. European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan said: “Supporting SMEs is a key element of our strategy to boost jobs and growth, particularly in rural areas. This agreement with the SBCI shows that the Investment Plan is playing a crucial role in delivering new financing solutions for smaller Irish businesses, allowing them to expand and create jobs. I hope that the EIB Group’s decision to open an office in Dublin will facilitate many more such agreements in the months and years ahead, especially in the agri-sector.” For more information see here


Better understanding the world’s surface water: Commission presents new interactive tool to guide European and global policies

Today, the European Commission officially launches the Global Surface Water Explorer, a new online interactive mapping tool that will be accessible to everyone and serve to improve European and global policies for example on climate change and water management. The maps, developed by the Commission’s Joint Research Centre and Google Earth Engine, highlight changes in the Earth’s surface water over the past 32 years. They show that, although the overall amount of surface water has increased globally, important losses have occurred in specific regions of Asia.Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, responsible for the Joint Research Centre, said: “This new tool is a goldmine. A large amount of data is generated every second by satellites. However, turning data into knowledge has long been a challenge. This initiative of the Joint Research Centre and Google Earth Engine has enabled satellite data to be translated into a user-friendly tool that is both accessible to citizens and will help policy makers across the EU and the world take informed decisions.” The maps reveal that many of these changes are linked to human activities such as the construction of dams, river diversion and unregulated water use. Other changes can be attributed to climate change impacts, including droughts and accelerated snow and glacier melt caused by higher temperatures and increased rainfall. The maps are based on over three million satellite scenes collected between 1984 and 2015 (1 823 Terabytes of data), they were produced using 10000 computers running in parallel. A press release and a factsheet are available online.



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