Welcome to today’s Morning Brief. The Morning Brief  newsletter is available to INESC staff and affiliated researchers upon subscription, after creating an account in the Private Area of the HUB website, or those who wish to subscribe. To do so, click the log-in icon on the top-right corner of this website or go to the Morning Brief page and click the subscribe button.


Contact us:
Mariana Santos, Communications Officer

Pedro Villas Boas, Policy and Communications Officer

In today's Morning Brief:


🧠 Horizon Magazine underscores Artificial Intelligence (AI)’s potential in addressing the mounting challenges posed by climate change. Highlighting AI’s capacity to generate text and mimic human speech, the piece emphasizes its crucial role in fortifying preparations against the adverse impacts of climate change. Know more here.

🤖 Did you know Engineers, inspired by nature’s flight, are presently engaged in crafting flying robots capable of accessing remote regions for environmental monitoring and sample collection? These innovative researchers are exploring advanced materials like polymers and carbon fiber, renowned for their favourable strength-to-weight ratio, to optimize the robots’ composition. Know more here.

💡 The European Commission has declared Lisbon as the winner of the European Capital of Innovation Awards for 2023, showcasing how cities utilize innovation to transform urban landscapes, confront demographic and economic hurdles, and ultimately benefit their residents. Know more here.

Key Takeaways

– After substantial negotiations, the European Union and Canada reached an agreement permitting Canadian researchers to participate in the Horizon Europe research program from the upcoming year. This significant achievement was announced during an EU-Canada summit convened in St. John’s, Newfoundland, on November 24th. Know more here.

– EU member states aim to allocate €75.35 billion from the post-COVID recovery fund towards research and innovation ventures, fostering the advancement of the European Research Area (ERA). A recent report by the Commission revealed this commitment.

– The Commission’s proposal for 166 cross-border energy projects stands as a crucial move to advance the EU’s energy system in line with the European Green Deal. This week, the Commission approved the first list of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) and Projects of Mutual Interest (PMIs), emphasizing the alignment with the objectives of the European Green Deal. Know more here.


Calls open for 2023 Innovation Fund proposals with record €4B budget

According to the European Commission, the 2023 call for proposals for the Innovation Fund, designed to finance decarbonization technologies, started this week with a record-high budget of €4 billion. Notably, cleantech manufacturing initiatives will experience a significant upsurge, as the budget allocation for these projects has been doubled to €1.4 billion. These projects aim to fortify Europe’s industrial manufacturing capacity, bolster technological advancement, and enhance supply chain resilience.
Project sponsors can access grants across five distinct categories, each tailored to specific capital expenditure (CAPEX) requirements:
– Large-scale general decarbonization: €1.7 billion for projects with CAPEX above €100 million.
– Medium-scale general decarbonization: €500 million for projects with CAPEX between €20 million and €100 million.
– Small-scale general decarbonization: €200 million for projects with CAPEX between €2.5 million and €20 million.
– Cleantech manufacturing: €1.4 billion for projects with CAPEX above €2.5 million, focusing on renewable energy, energy storage, heat pumps, and hydrogen production components.
– Pilot projects: €200 million for endeavours focusing on profound decarbonization, requiring a CAPEX exceeding €2.5 million.
Know more here.

Artificial Intelligence and Data Science

Utilizing Artificial Intelligence to develop the Smart Specialization Observatory

As explained by the EC, The S3 Observatory was collaboratively constructed by DG REGIO G1, DG REGIO country-desks, and the S3CoP Secretariat. To identify S3 priorities from regions’ and member states’ S3 documents, the project team utilized Artificial Intelligence tools, including Generative AI and entity extraction. These tools facilitated automatic tagging and classification of S3 priorities. Notably, AI played a crucial role in categorizing strategies and priorities across different taxonomies and pinpointing keywords at both S3 strategy and priority levels. Furthermore, the AI tools supported the classification of S3 priorities across various classifications such as NACE Sections and divisions, NABS codes (1 and 2 digits), and Industrial Ecosystems. Know more here.

Fighting extreme weather with extreme computing power

In the Horizon Magazine feature, the potential role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in mitigating the escalating impacts of climate change is spotlighted. The article emphasizes AI’s capabilities in generating texts and emulating human speech, positioning it as a pivotal asset for fortifying preparations against climate change adversities. Polytechnic University of Milan Professor Andrea Castelletti champions AI as a potential game-changer in enhancing current climate and weather forecasting models. Although existing models leverage substantial data processed through mathematical algorithms for predictions, Castelletti asserts their scope for improvement, citing inherent weaknesses that AI could address effectively.
Leading a research endeavor named CLINT, Castelletti, backed by EU funding, aims to fuse AI with Europe’s Copernicus satellite network, envisaging enhanced climate forecasting capabilities. Set to span four years until June 2025, the CLINT project brings together researchers from Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. Their collective focus lies in harnessing AI’s potential to augment understanding and predictions concerning extreme weather events. Know more here.


Commission proposes 166 cross-border energy projects for EU support to help deliver the European Green Deal

This week, the Commission took a significant stride toward aligning the EU’s energy system with future needs, marking the adoption of the inaugural roster of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) and Projects of Mutual Interest (PMIs) in full compliance with the European Green Deal. These pivotal cross-border infrastructure endeavors are pivotal in aiding the EU’s pursuit of ambitious energy and climate objectives. Notably, these projects will benefit from streamlined regulatory procedures and gain eligibility for financial backing from the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).
This roster emerges under the revised Trans-European Networks for Energy Regulation (TEN-E), signalling the cessation of support for fossil fuel infrastructure while directing focus towards future-proof cross-border energy networks. Encompassing PCIs within the EU’s territory and introducing PMIs for interconnections beyond EU borders, this list prioritizes swift project execution. It aims to contribute substantially to doubling the EU’s grid capacity by 2030 and achieving the targeted 42.5% renewable energy threshold. Know more here.

Commission sets out actions to accelerate the roll-out of electricity grids

This week, the Commission introduces an Action Plan aimed at bolstering the efficacy and broader deployment of electricity grids, aligning with the objectives of the European Green Deal. Building upon an existing supportive legal framework for widespread electricity grid deployment throughout Europe, the proposed plan prioritizes a more integrated EU market. This modernized infrastructure network strives to ensure accessibility for citizens and businesses to more affordable and environmentally friendly energy sources.
The Action Plan targets key hurdles in the expansion, digitalization, and optimal utilization of the EU’s electricity transmission and distribution grids. It outlines specific, customized measures intended to facilitate necessary investments for enhancing the efficiency of European electricity grids. Noteworthy actions include expediting the implementation of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) and developing new projects through enhanced oversight, reinforced monitoring, and proactive proposals. Additionally, efforts are directed towards enhancing the long-term grid planning to accommodate a higher influx of renewables and electrified demand, encompassing hydrogen, within the energy system. This initiative involves steering the efforts of system operators and national regulators towards this objective. Know more here.


EU and India sign semiconductor memorandum of understanding

Brussels and New Delhi have reached an agreement outlining various collaborative initiatives on semiconductors, focusing on joint research and development efforts.
Following the EU and India’s inaugural Trade and Technology Council, mirroring a similar forum established between Brussels and Washington in 2021, this recent memorandum of understanding aims to integrate semiconductors as a recurrent component within these EU-India councils.
The memorandum stipulates that India and the EU will identify potential avenues for mutual collaboration in semiconductor technologies, encompassing advanced packaging, design, and raw materials, emphasizing areas for joint research, development, and innovation.

Research & Innovation

Canada to sign Horizon Europe association deal next year

According to Science Business, the following of extensive negotiations led to the European Union and Canada sealing an agreement allowing Canadian researchers to partake in the Horizon Europe research program starting next year. This milestone accord was disclosed during an EU-Canada summit held in St. John’s, Newfoundland, on November 24th. It forms a segment of an enlarged trade collaboration encompassing research, energy, digital technology, aerospace, and additional sectors. This agreement marks the inception of broader transatlantic cooperation across various domains, including research, energy, and digital innovation. Emphasizing the quest for ‘transformative discoveries’, the President of the EU highlights the potential achieved through collaborative efforts between the two entities. Know more here.

No more New European Bauhaus Mission

According to Science Business, the proposed New European Bauhaus Mission (NEB) has been collectively rejected by member states, resulting in its discontinuation by the European Commission.
However, the Commission’s green culture initiative is slated to undergo reformation, receiving enhanced organization and funding through a distinct work program within Horizon Europe, set to commence from 2025 onward. This strategic move aims to provide a more structured and financially supported framework for the initiative. Previously, the initiative relied on sporadic funding from Horizon Europe and other programs, but this shift seeks to install greater stability, coherence, and prominence to the endeavour. Know more here.

Nature-inspired flying robots: advancements in environmental monitoring

The Horizon Magazine article underscores how engineers, inspired by nature’s flight, are presently engaged in crafting flying robots capable of accessing remote regions for environmental monitoring and sample collection. These innovative researchers are exploring advanced materials like polymers and carbon fiber, renowned for their favourable strength-to-weight ratio, to optimize the robots’ composition.
Zufferey, one of the researchers, envisions the potential for a hybrid robot capable of both aerial and aquatic movement within approximately six months. The estimated cost per unit stands at around €350, making it a cost-effective solution, especially for environmental monitoring tasks. These robots draw inspiration from various creatures, including birds, fish, and worms. In Europe, scientists are actively developing diverse robotic models designed to explore inaccessible terrains on Earth. Know more here.

Over €75B of the recovery funds will go to European Research Area objectives

EU member states aim to allocate €75.35 billion from the post-COVID recovery fund towards research and innovation ventures, fostering the advancement of the European Research Area (ERA). A recent report by the Commission revealed this deviant financial commitment.
Of this sum, a significant portion, approximately €29.66 billion, is earmarked for ERA action 12. This initiative is focused on expediting Europe’s transition towards greener and more digital sectors. Specifically, it concentrates on the creation and enhancement of low-carbon technologies tailored for energy-intensive industries.

Lisbon crowned European capital of innovation for 2023

The European Commission has declared Lisbon as the winner of the European Capital of Innovation Awards for 2023. Lisbon secured the title, surpassing Warsaw (Poland) and Lviv (Ukraine), while Padova (Italy) and Cork (Ireland) were named runners-up in the rising innovative city category.
Research and Innovation Commissioner Iliana Ivanova highlighted the winners as prime examples showcasing how cities utilize innovation to transform urban landscapes, confront demographic and economic hurdles, and ultimately benefit their residents. Know more here.

Maria Leptin’s perspectives on university challenges and innovation

At the Coimbra Group’s High-Level Seminar on Research Policy in Brussels, themed “Achieving Excellence at Universities: Relevance in an Era of Multiple Crises”, ERC President Maria Leptin delivered insights on research excellence, open science, and the prevalent challenges confronting universities. Leptin also highlighted recent modifications in the ERC proposal evaluation process.
Emphasizing the importance of EU funding, Leptin underscored the necessity for balanced support in research and innovation endeavours. She cautioned against excessive focus on short-term outcomes, warning that an overemphasis could jeopardize future innovative breakthroughs. Leptin expressed concern that solely prioritizing immediate results might hinder the cultivation of originality among the brightest talents, potentially relegating them to imitating instead of pioneering research. Read the full speech here.

EU’s Industrial R&D Scoreboard updates

European Commission’s Industrial R&D Scoreboard marks two decades of tracking global private R&D investment, analyzing 90% of all private funding. Key findings anticipated with the 2023 release in December, so know more here.


RTP3 features INOV’s AI-integrated inspection system in RiaStone production

RTP3 highlighted this weekend INOV’s Unyma Quality system. The project focuses on creating and deploying an AI-integrated online inspection system throughout the production process at RiaStone, a gres tableware manufacturing unit under the Visabeira Group. Check the episode here.

APPRAISE system: INOV contributes to enhancing security in public spaces through innovative technology

INOV is collaborating on the final stages of setting up and rigorous testing for the APPRAISE system. Currently, they are conducting the ultimate pilot at Parco Dora in Turin, simulating a vehicle-ramming attack scenario inspired by the Kappa FuturFestival, a prominent annual music event in the city. This system harnesses cutting-edge developments in big data analysis, artificial intelligence, and advanced visualization to establish a resilient security framework. Its aim is to enhance the safety and security of public spaces by fortifying both cyber and physical security measures. Know more here.

INESC TEC collaborates on a European project that promotes the use of algae in sustainable aquaculture

The INNOAQUA project, in collaboration with INESC TEC, focuses on advancing Europe’s aquaculture industry by emphasizing sustainability and diversification through algae-based solutions. This multidisciplinary initiative aligns with the European strategy for a circular bioeconomy.
Seeking to pioneer a sustainable and diversified land-based aquaculture industry in the European Union, INNOAQUA aims to integrate innovative algae-based foods and solutions. This effort encompasses ecological principles, circularity, and digitalization, paving the way for the future of aquaculture. Recognizing algae’s potential as an alternative protein source with a minimal carbon footprint, the European Green Deal has acknowledged its value. Know more here.

INESC TEC’s podcast among the nominees for a national award

Science Bits secured a spot among the nominees for the PODES awards, joining a roster of 70 nominees across 14 categories. In the ‘Science, Technology, and Education’ category, alongside Science Bits, the nominated podcasts were Plantas da Serra, Azul, Em Banho Maria, and Falando de História. The award, determined by a jury comprising 14 individuals, was granted to Azul from the Público newspaper. Know more here.

Job Opportunities

– INESC TEC has 33 vacancies in different work areas, such as Mobile Robotics, Computer Science, and more. Recently they opened a position for the study and development of a fiber optic sensor for monitoring the curing process of concrete structures, and another in industrial Robotics Research. Find more at INESCTEC website and via LinkedIn
– INESC ID is offering 6 research scholarship with different duration, mainly in the Blockchain area. More info
– INOV is hiring a Analyst/Programmer and a Full Stack Software Engineer. More info
– INESC Coimbra has announced a PhD position Behavioral Operations Research and multi objective optimization in residential energy management systems. More info

Events & Training workshops

–  NATO Innovation Fund (NIF) Policy, Monday, November 27th, 14h00-15h00, Brussels. Hybrid event. Register here.
– Horizon Europe: FP10 and Preparing for the 2024 Annual Conference. 28 November 2023. 15:00 – 17:00 CET. Online. Members only. More info
-ERC Annual Conference 2023: Research on Diversity & Diversity in Frontier Research. 28 November 2023. 08:30 – 18:00 CET. Brussels and Online. More info.
– Webinar: Transnational and Virtual Access Opportunites. 28 November 2023. 10:00 CET. Online. More info
– Generative AI: How will it transform science and its impact on society? 29 November. A Science Business Event, Brussels, 14:00 to 17:00 CET. More info here.
– Behave 2023, the 7th European Conference on Behaviour and Energy Efficiency by the European Energy Network (EnR). 28-29 November. The event will take place in Maastricht, the Netherlands. The theme of this year’s conference will be ‘Scaling-up Behaviour Change in the light of the energy and climate crisis’. More info
– The Chips Joint Undertaking Launch Event, 30 November-1 December, Brussels, at the Event Lounge. Register here.

– Co-Designing Diamond Open Access Recommendations and Guidelines for Research Funders, Sponsors, and Donors by Science Europe, 4 december, Brussels, 14.00–16.00 CET. Register here.
– 10th Symposion on European Civil Security Research – organised by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. 5-6 December, 11:30- 18:00 (CEST), Brussels and online. Register here.
– European Partnership Stakeholder Forum 2023. 5-6 December, Brussels. Registrations open.
– Strategies for R&D resilience in shifting security paradigms – Science Business Network Conference, December 6; 13:30 – 18:00 CET, Brussels. Register here.
– The Widening: 2023 Annual Conference. 06 December 2023 (TBC). 13:30 – 17:30 CET. Place TBA. Public event. More info
– Research and innovation Conference 2023, 7 December 2023, 9:30am – 4:30pm (GMT), a UK Universities event. Register here.

– Annual Network Conference. 06 February 2024. 09:00-17:30 CET. Brussels. Public event. More info
– 4th Workshop on Neuroengineering: Brain-on-a-Chip Platforms. 4-5 April 2024. i3S – Institute of Research and Innovation in Health. More information here.
– 8th World Conference on Research Integrity, 2-5 June 2024, at Megaron Athens International Conference Centre (MAICC), Athens. Travel Grant applications open on 26 June 2023. More info
– Conference: IAMOT – International Association for Management of Technology 2024, 8-11 July 2024. Porto, Portugal. Organised by INESC TEC and FEUP. More info

More Articles