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The EIT is again calling for applications for its governing board. They need new blood desperately according to the latest developments we have seen, with a deluge of institutions leaving the more mature KICs that seem focused on funding economic activities instead of building up strong and inclusive ecosystems. I have this little voice in my head telling me this is a call for action we need to attend to. Any of you up to the challenge? 

Any comments or suggestions, hit me up with an email on ricardo.migueis@inesctec.pt.

In today's Morning Brief:

In today’s Morning Brief:

EIT Governing Board call

The EIT is selecting up to seven new members for its Governing Board. The Call for Expression of Interest is now open: apply by 29 October 2021.


G20 Research Ministers adopt declaration on research, higher education and digitisation

Ministers of research and higher education, participating in the first meeting of the G20 devoted to research and education, adopted the “Declaration of the ministers of the G20 on the mobilisation of research, higher education and digitisation for a sustainable, resilient and inclusive recovery”. The declaration aligns with the Commission’s work to achieve and strengthen the European Research Area and the European Education Area, to implement the new action plan for digital education as well as to exploit the R&I potential of higher education institutions in Europe.


Commission publishes recommendation and guidelines on the energy efficiency first principle

The European Commission has published a new recommendation and guidelines on the energy efficiency first principle with a view to converting the concept from a principle into practice. While energy efficiency has been a key element of EU policy on emissions reduction for some time now, the energy efficiency first principle was officially written into EU law with the adoption of the 2019 Governance Regulation. This highlighted the essential role energy efficiency plays and the importance of including it in planning processes and investment decisions, for example, through incorporating it in Member States’ National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs). Read the details here.


Circular Plastics Alliance: a new step towards 10 million tonnes of recycled plastics

The CPA announced that has committed to boosting the EU market for recycled plastics to 10 million tonnes by 2025. As per the declaration of the Circular Plastics Alliance, the signatories “take action to boost the EU market for recycled plastics up to 10 million tonnes by 2025”. The summary of the alliance’s commitments for action lists the planned deliverables, most of which are published on this page. Today, the Alliance represents almost 300 industry, academic and public sector organisations across the whole of the recycled plastics value chain.


Soil, farming and carbon capture

An article in the Horizon Europe Magazine explores the relation between the three items in the title. It reads: by enhancing soil’s ability to store carbon, the ground we walk on could play an essential role in keeping carbon dioxide out of the air. If we’re going to fight the effects of climate change, we’re going to have to get our hands dirty. ‘With a huge potential to act as a carbon sink, the soil that sits right under our feet could be at the front lines of climate change,’ said Dr Dragutin Protic, CEO of GILab, a company dedicated to developing solutions based on ICT and geoinformatics. Read the full article here.


EU closer to a long-awaited Unitary Patent Court

The EU is a step closer to establishing a unitary patent, after Germany and Slovenia ratified the Unitary Patent Court (UPC) agreement this week. The EU now needs only one more country to ratify the agreement before it can go ahead with setting the rules for recruiting judges for the new court. However, experts warn the legislation, which has been winding its way through the system for more than four decades and was voted through in December 2012, will need to be revised before it can be put in practice. Read the full Science Business article here.


The Netherlands publishes non-paper on upcoming Data Act

A non-paper pressing for data sharing provisions, interoperability requirements, and data access for the public sector in the European Commissions Data Act proposal was circulated by the Dutch government this Friday. The act is expected to be formally presented by the end of 2021. Read a full article on the issue by EurActiv here.


Another increase in research budget in a EU country: Austria

Following recent news of the increase in research budgets in France, Germany, Ireland and also Austria (and more countries are about to announce them too), things come into effect when we see research funding agencies and innovation agencies get confirmation the money will flow. And it flows, like in most countries, under concrete strategies and visions of the future. This is the case of the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) who is getting a €3.2 billion investment between 2022 and 2036, which will enable the institute to expand. IST Austria, which funds basic research and postgraduate education in physical, mathematical, computer, and life sciences, today host over 60 research teams. By 2036, the number is expected to reach 150.


Starting in science: the real story

Over the past three years, Nature reporters have documented, in real time, two scientists’ journeys through a pandemic and a personal crisis. Spouses Alison Twelvetrees, a neuroscientist, and molecular biologist Daniel Bose have each taken on the epic challenge of launching their own laboratory. In part two of this three-part story, Ali and Dan try to keep the lights on at their new labs while designing experiments, preparing lectures and supervising students. Read the full story here.


EU Council Think Tank September Review

Comparisons between EU member states’ post-pandemic recoveries, the Slovenian Council presidency’s objectives, reconfiguring financial procedures, progress of the EU Green Deal in ensuring climate security, and developments of interest in the Western Balkans, the Middle East, South Asia, and China are among the subjects covered in this edition of the Think Tank Review.


  • Solidarity in isolation? Social cohesion at a time of physical distance
  • Global access to COVID-19 vaccines challenges in production, affordability, distribution and utilisation
  • Towards a resilient and sustainable post-pandemic recovery
  • Den europæiske improvisator
  • How COVID-19 medical supply shortages led to extraordinary trade and industrial policy
  • América Latina post COVID-19: riesgos y oportunidades del nuevo ciclo económico

EU Policies

  • The Slovenian presidency of Council of the EU: towards the post-pandemic Europe
  • Next Generation EU: solidarity, opportunity, and confidence
  • ‘Future proofing’ EU policies
  • Building European Resilience and Capacity to Act: Lessons for 2030

Economic and financial affairs

  • Ökologisch nachhaltig oder nicht? Die Einführung der EU taxonomy for sustainable activities
  • Development finance in challenging times
  • Reforming the European stability mechanism: too much but never enough
  • The Recovery and Resilience Plans: governance at national level


  • Green concerns and salience of environmental issues in Eastern Europe
  • Wie die EU die 2030-Klimaziele in den Sektoren Straßenverkehr und Gebäudewärme erreichen kann
  • The external dimensions of the European Green Deal: the case for an integrated approach
  • EU climate change diplomacy in a post-Covid-19 world

Foreign affairs

  • European sovereignty: strategy and interdependence
  • NATO 2030: towards a new strategy
  • US–China rivalry and European strategic autonomy in the post-covid global economy
  • Better Together Policy Brief EU-India Cooperation in Addressing Climate Risks
  • Prospects for the Development of the EU-ASEAN Strategic Partnership
  • El futuro de la ampliación de la UE en los Balcanes Occidentales

Read it here.

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