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Contact us:
Mariana Santos, Communications Officer

Pedro Villas Boas, Policy and Communications Officer

In today's Morning Brief:

Key Takeaways

-The European Commission and the UK Government have achieved an initial accord regarding the UK’s involvement in Horizon Europe and Copernicus. After extensive negotiations this week, both entities have formally sealed their discussions, arriving at a mutual understanding within the framework of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

– During her introductory hearing at the European Parliament, Commissioner-Designate Iliana Ivanova assumed a prominent position. In her address, she delineated her primary objectives, with a strong emphasis on elevating research and innovation within the European Union, reinforcing skill development, advocating for the unifying influence of culture, and empowering the youth.

– The EuroHPC alliance, backed by the European Union, has recently introduced its seventh supercomputer, known as Deucalion, at the Azurém Campus in Guimarães, Portugal. According to the partnership’s official website, Deucalion showcases an impressive peak performance, capable of executing a remarkable 10 million billion calculations per second, making it the most powerful computer within Portugal.

– Hear José Caldeira, member of the INESC TEC Board, in the Magellan Circle Podcast, on the innovative approaches that have proven instrumental in driving collaboration between academia and industry, and the first episode of the newborn Podcast “Ciência e Sociedade”, by INESC TEC.

Horizon Europe

UK and European Commission reach consensus for British participation in Horizon Europe and Copernicus

In a jointly official statement from the British Government, the European Commission and the UK Government have reached a preliminary agreement concerning the UK’s participation in Horizon Europe and Copernicus. This week, following rigorous negotiations, both parties have successfully concluded discussions and have come to a consensus on the UK’s association with Horizon Europe and Copernicus within the framework of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

This marks a historic milestone in the realm of scientific and space collaboration between the United Kingdom and the European Union, building upon the prior accord known as the Windsor Framework, which was established earlier this year.

The UK’s association with Horizon Europe is set to bolster and deepen the connections between scientific communities in the UK and the EU, promoting innovation and facilitating collaborative research efforts aimed at addressing global challenges, ranging from climate issues to healthcare.

Both the UK Government and the European Commission eagerly anticipate facilitating collaborative ventures between their researchers, particularly in areas of shared interest, including the exploration of novel and emerging technologies.


Commissioner-Designate Iliana Ivanova’s hearing highlights

Commissioner-Designate Iliana Ivanova took center stage at her introductory hearing at the European Parliament. During her presentation, she outlined her key priorities, emphasizing a commitment to enhancing research and innovation within the European Union, bolstering skills development, championing the unifying role of culture and empowering the youth, as stated by the European Parliament news.

While acknowledging the EU’s standing as a scientific powerhouse, Ivanova highlighted persistent fragmentation within the scientific landscape and investments falling short of the 3% GDP target, leaving the EU lagging behind global competitors. She pledged her dedication to strengthening the Horizon Europe program to position Europe as a global trailblazer and attract additional resources, particularly through collaborative partnerships, while also streamlining access to funding for small and medium-sized enterprises.

To unlock the EU’s full potential, Ivanova stressed the imperative of increased investment in fostering diverse talent, skills, and education. She advocated for extending programs to partner countries, launching targeted initiatives to advance gender inclusion across various domains, including sports, and completing the EU Education Area. Additionally, she underscored the importance of sports in promoting EU cohesion, upholding European values, and safeguarding the mental well-being of young people. Read more here.


Seventh EU-Backed Supercomputer, Deucalion, inaugurated in Portugal

The EuroHPC partnership, supported by the European Union, has officially unveiled its seventh supercomputer, named Deucalion, at the Azurém Campus in Guimarães, Portugal. As explained in the partnership´s website, Deucalion boasts a peak performance capability of 10 Petaflops, equivalent to a staggering 10 million billion calculations per second, firmly establishing it as the most potent computer within Portugal. The supercomputer is earmarked to propel research and innovation across various domains, including energy-efficient technologies, weather forecasting, ocean studies, drug discovery, materials design, and neuroscience, among others.

This state-of-the-art computing powerhouse comes at a cost of €20 million, with €7 million of that investment originating from EU funds. Deucalion joins the ranks of other EuroHPC supercomputers situated in Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Czechia, Italy, and Finland. The inauguration of Deucalion marks a significant stride in bolstering high-performance computing capabilities across Europe. Know more here.


ERC announced 400 Starting Grants for EU Researchers

The European Research Council (ERC) has unveiled its selection of 400 new Starting Grants to support fundamental research projects across the European Union. A total of €628 million will be allocated to fund these research endeavors under the Horizon Europe program, the EU’s flagship initiative for research and innovation.

From the total amount, 7.7 million euros will be allocated to four projects by researchers conducting their work in Portugal, while 4.5 million euros will go to three projects led by Portuguese researchers conducting their research abroad. (Know more about these here)

Among the grant recipients, Germany leads the way with the highest number of awardees at 87, followed by France with 50, the Netherlands with 44, and the United Kingdom with 32. It’s worth noting that UK-based researchers who secured these grants will not be able to accept the funding unless they opt to relocate to an institution situated in a country affiliated with Horizon Europe. The UK, however, has implemented its own funding mechanism to support researchers who secure Horizon Europe grants while the UK remains outside the program.


EIT InnoEnergy secures €140 million in private investment to boost impact

EIT InnoEnergy, a European Union-backed energy innovation community, has successfully raised €140 million in private investment, with hopes of doubling its transformative potential. The infusion of funds will be dedicated to supporting a portfolio of companies, facilitating their growth and development. Since its inception in 2010, EIT InnoEnergy has been a catalyst for numerous start-ups and students, resulting in the launch of over 300 products in the market and the filing of more than 370 patents.

This investment marks a significant milestone for EIT InnoEnergy, particularly as it approaches the final year of its financing contract with its parent EU agency, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). Notable investors include Societe Generale, Santander CIB, Renault Group, Stena Recycling, Siemens Financial Services, Schneider Electric, Capgemini, Volkswagen Group, ING, Koolen Industries, Engie, and others, collectively underscoring the importance of this initiative in shaping the future of energy innovation.

Research & Innovation

Regional Innovation Valley – Matchmaking map now available

This week, the Commission released a matchmaking map highlighting European regions applying to become Regional Innovation Valleys. The map connects these regions with potential partners to strengthen European innovation ecosystems, addressing social challenges in line with their strategies and EU priorities. Currently, 64 regions from 22 countries have expressed interest. The map provides insights into each region’s commitments and challenges, with filters for location, country, and performance. The call for expressions of interest closes on 18th September 2023, supporting applications for €122 million open calls under the European Innovation Ecosystems program or Interregional Innovation Investments (I3) Instrument, open until 17th October 2023.

You can see the map here.

Opinion article in Science Business by Ramon Wyss: Will AI help big tech dominate science?

Wyss, a distinguished professor emeritus in theoretical nuclear physics at Stockholm’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology, prompts us to consider the transformative implications of advanced AI systems regarding scientific literature within specialized domains such as medicine. In this scenario, a singular platform emerges, favouring an ‘intelligent’ scientist, armed with a knowledge that surpasses the cognitive capacity of any human counterpart. Some prospects arise: could this AI-acquired wealth of information create cures and medical treatments, potentially deserving of patent protection? Such a leap in technology not only promises to propel scientific inquiry but also opens new vistas of research.

However, an inquiry looms large: who shall claim ownership of this emerging domain of ‘meta science’ and ‘meta knowledge’ born of AI’s prowess? What entities stand to reap the fruits of this intellectual wealth? These thought-provoking ideas from Ramon Wyss compel us to address the pressing concern of whether this invaluable resource should remain the exclusive purview of private corporations or whether we, as stewards of knowledge, must ensure its equitable dissemination for the greater good of society and the public at large.

As we navigate the transformative impact of AI on the scientific landscape, these questions warrant the earnest attention of policy makers, for the ramifications are monumental, and the future of science hangs in the balance. Read the whole article here.


MEPs Advocate for Small-Scale Nuclear Power Stations in the Fight Against Carbon Emissions

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are intensifying their efforts to drive the development and deployment of small-scale nuclear power stations, which they assert are pivotal to reducing carbon emissions and achieving a net-zero status by 2050.

In a recent debate, the Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research, and Energy (ITRE) voiced their support for the establishment of a new collaborative initiative focused on small modular reactors (SMRs), as explained in Science Business. Currently, there are no operational commercial SMRs, but the technology is undergoing active development in 18 countries worldwide.

An illustrative example of this advancement comes from the United States, where NuScale Power, in 2021, entered into an agreement with Romania’s Nuclearelectrica to construct a next-generation nuclear power facility featuring six SMRs, situated on the premises of the former Doicesti coal plant. The advocacy for SMRs represents a significant step toward embracing innovative solutions in the quest for carbon reduction and sustainable energy sources. Read the full story here.

Artificial Intelligence raises concerns of pandemic risk, scientists urge caution

According to Science Business, the rapid progress of artificial intelligence, exemplified by tools like ChatGPT, has sparked concerns among scientists regarding the potential for AI-generated pandemics. Biologists are advocating for a greater role in training and testing AI models, while debates persist on whether the traditionally open culture of science should adapt to mitigate risks.

A recent study by scientists from Harvard University and MIT sought to assess these concerns by assigning students without life sciences training to use chatbots, like ChatGPT, to simulate the creation of a deadly outbreak. The results suggested that large language models (LLMs) could make pandemic-level agents widely accessible to individuals with minimal laboratory training once identified, emphasizing the urgency of addressing AI-related pandemic risks. Read more.


Temporary leadership change in European Commission’s Research and Innovation Portfolio

The European Commission’s portfolio for research, innovation, and education has seen a series of changes, with vice-president Margaritis Schinas currently overseeing it on a temporary basis. This arrangement, however, is an interim solution. The portfolio is set to transition to the leadership of Iliana Ivanova by the end of the month, pending approval from the European Parliament. Ivanova secured the position following a successful audition during a Parliament hearing held on Tuesday.

The temporary caretaking of the portfolio by Margaritis Schinas followed the departure of its previous overseer, Margrethe Vestager, who temporarily stepped away from her duties to pursue the role of President of the European Investment Bank. Other segments of Vestager’s portfolio will be delegated to commissioners Vera Jourová and Didier Reynders as part of the ongoing adjustments, as explained by Science Business.

News from INESC

The HUB has published a new Intelligence Report about European Partnerships.

European Partnerships facilitate collaborative efforts between the European Commission and private or public partners to tackle critical challenges in Europe through joint research and innovation initiatives. These partnerships serve as an essential mechanism for implementing Horizon Europe and play a significant role in advancing the European Union’s political priorities. This report explains all the partnerships features and give an understanding on how crucial these are for INESC, as they offer opportunities for collaborative research and innovation on a European scale. It also highlights the different ways in which participation in European Partnerships is possible and raises awareness to the need to plan and make available the right funding instruments and funding volume. The R&I community and INESC in particular, as a major interested party in contributing to the challenges addressed by European Partnerships, needs to find ways to better illustrate concrete needs and case studies to the relevant national funding authorities. Check it here.

José Carlos Caldeira on Magellan Circle Podcast

José Carlos Caldeira, member of the INESC TEC Board of Directors, recently took the spotlight on the Magellan Circle podcast. With a wealth of experience, including his previous role as President of ANI, the National Innovation Agency of Portugal, and directorship at INESC Porto, a renowned research and technology transfer institute specializing in ICT, José shared invaluable insights into INESC TEC’s key operational domains and their successful strategies for bridging the gap between academia and the corporate world, thereby fostering innovation.

During the podcast conversation, José Caldeira elaborated on the intricate workings of INESC TEC and shed light on the innovative approaches that have proven instrumental in driving collaboration between academia and industry. For those eager to delve into the world of cutting-edge research, technology transfer, and the dynamic ecosystem of innovation, this podcast episode offers an enlightening perspective. You can listen to the full conversation here.


First episode of the “Ciência e Sociedade” Podcast is out

Curious about the public facets of health, the reflection of science and health in Public Policies, and the impact of artificial intelligence on public health? The inaugural episode of the latest INESCTEC podcast, “Ciência e Sociedade,” is here to answer these questions.

Prepare to expand your horizons and explore the interplay of science and society in the realm of public health. You can listen to it on Spotify or watch it on Youtube.


INESC MN has opened a Call for Expression of Interest for a Researcher Position in the are of Lab on a Chip and Microfluidic Systems

INESC MN, a non-profit research and development association in the private sector (www.inesc-mn.pt), is actively seeking a dedicated individual to join its team as a Research Staff member. The selected candidate will focus on research areas encompassing Lab on a Chip (LoC) technology, microfluidic systems fabrication and design, biosensing, and the development of Point of Care devices. The ideal candidate will hold a doctoral degree in fields such as Bioengineering, Biomedical Engineering, Applied Physics, Mechanical Engineering, or other related engineering disciplines. Moreover, the candidate should possess practical expertise in microfluidics, LoC device design, and the implementation of assays utilizing microfluidic systems. Check the opportunity here.

Job Opportunities

– INESC TEC has 38 vacancies in different work areas, such as Mobile Robotics, Computer Science, and more. Find more at INESCTEC website and via LinkedIn

– INESC MN is seeking a dedicated individual to join its team as a Research Staff member in the area of Lab on Chip and Microfluid System. More info

– INOV is hiring a Analyst/Programmer and a Facilities Manager. 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



– World education today: Insights from the launch of OECD Education at a Glance 2023. Sep 12, 2023 12:00 PM, Lisbon. Register here.

– 2nd Science|Business Sector Day: Green Deal & Climate – The road to net-zero industry. 18-19 September 2023, 14:00 – 12:30 CET, Brussels. Members only. More info

– Science|Business events – Fair access to resources: Looking to 2030 and beyond”, 26 September, 9:00-14:00 CET, Prague and online. Register here.

-Horizon Europe – Cluster 6: “Food, bioeconomy, natural resources, agriculture and environment”. 27-28 September 2023. More info.

– 2023 European Researchers Night, 29 September 2023. The event will take place in 26 countries and will be online.


– EU Industry Days 2023, 4-6 October 2023, Málaga, Spain. Register here.

– Horizon Implementation Day: Finding opportunities and submitting a proposal in Horizon Europe. 5 October 2023, 8:30 CET. Register here.

– European Week of Regions and Cities 2023. 9 – 12 October 2023, 09:00 – 18:00 CET, Brussels. More info.

– The Widening: Founding Group Meeting. 10 October 2023 (TBC), 10:00 – 13:00 CET, Brussels. Members only. More info

– EARTO Policy Event and Innovation Awards Ceremony, 11 October 2023 at 13.30-16.15 (CET), Brussels. Register here.

– Making waves: Is international R&I bringing a true blue economy within reach? 12 October 2023, 14:00 – 16:45 CET, Brussels. Members only. More info

– Horizon Implementation Day: Grant Agreement Preparation in Horizon Europe. 17 October 2023. 8:30 CET. Register here.

– Horizon Europe Cluster 2 – Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society Info Day. 18 October 2023. 8:30 CET, Brussels. More info.

– ETSI Security Conference, from 16 to 19 October 2023, in ETSI, Sophia Antipolis, France. More info.

– Horizon Europe Cluster 2 – Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society Info Day. 18 October 2023. 8:30 CET, Brussels. More info.


– Luxembourg Internet Days: Network Security & Resilience. 7-8 November, Luxembourg. More info here.

– 3rd Science|Business Sector Day: Health & Life Sciences – Future-proofing medicines. 13-14 November 2023. 14:00 – 12:30 CET, Brussels. By invitation only. More info

– Enterprise Europe Network Annual Conference 2023, 15 November 2023, 09:00 CET – 17 November 2023, 18:00 CET, Barakaldo, Spain. More info.

– Horizon Europe: FP10 and Preparing for the 2024 Annual Conference. 28 November 2023. 15:00 – 17:00 CET. Online. Members only. More info


– The Widening: 2023 Annual Conference. 06 December 2023 (TBC). 13:30 – 17:30 CET. Place TBA. Public event. More info


– Annual Network Conference. 06 February 2024. 09:00-17:30 CET. Brussels. Public event. More info

– 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

– 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 crises. More info.

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