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Mariana Santos, INESC Brussels HUB Communications Officer

In today's Morning Brief:

Key Takeaways

– EU governments are increasing their financial support for research and development (R&D), with 5% growth in 2022 compared to the preceding year. This upward trend in R&D investment has remained consistent over the past ten years. When compared to the numbers from 2012, EU member nations allocated 49.2% more funding to R&D activities in 2022.

– An upcoming scientific advisory board will be established to guide leaders within the United Nations regarding how to maximize the advantages and minimize potential drawbacks associated with forthcoming advancements in science and technology. This board will comprise seven distinguished scholars, the chief scientists representing various UN agencies, the technology envoy appointed by the secretary-general, and the rector of the UN University.

– Roughly ten to fifteen research teams in Ukraine are on track to receive an expected funding of $1 million, driving forward their research initiatives through a newly established program named IMPRESS-U. This initiative receives backing from the United States.

Horizon Europe

Public EU R&D spending up by 5% in 2022 

According to Science Business, European Union (EU) governments are ramping up their financial commitments to research and development (R&D), showcasing a notable 5% rise in 2022 compared to the previous year.

This increase aligns with a consistent pattern of heightened R&D investments observed over the past decade. In comparison to the figures from 2012, EU member states directed 49.2% more funding towards R&D in 2022. This accumulation amounted to a total of €117,368 million, equivalent to approximately 0.74% of the EU’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Leading the pack is Luxembourg, which boasts the highest R&D investments, with €661.6 per person. This stands in stark contrast to the EU average of €262.7 per person. Denmark and Germany also contribute significantly, allocating around €520 per person each for R&D initiatives. On the other end of the spectrum, Romania, Bulgaria, and Latvia lag with minimal investments, plummeting as low as €17.6 per person in Romania.

UN creates advisory group for breakthroughs in science and technology 

A new scientific advisory board will be set up to advise United Nations’ leaders on harnessing the benefits and mitigating risks of future breakthroughs in science and technology.  

The board will be made up of seven eminent scholars, chief scientists of UN’s various bodies, the secretary-general’s envoy on technology and the rector of the UN University. 

“Scientific and technological progress can support efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals — but they are also giving rise to ethical, legal and political concerns that require multilateral solutions,” said António Guterres, UN secretary general, who announced the creation of the board. Read more in the UN press release.

European Innovation Council extends October deadline for stage two Accelerator call  

According to Science Business, start-ups will receive a two-week extension for submitting their complete second-stage proposals for the upcoming European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator call scheduled for October.

The initial deadline of October 4th has been shifted to October 19th. This adjustment aims to provide applicants with additional time to adapt to the disruptions caused by the unforeseen shutdown of the dedicated EIC Accelerator submissions platform in early June.

Following the unexpected platform closure, the submissions for second-stage proposals were transitioned to the regular Horizon Europe submissions platform. Additionally, the submission of abbreviated stage one proposals was suspended for a month until July 3rd.

New US-backed fund for researchers in Ukraine 

As reported by Science Business, around ten to fifteen research teams in Ukraine are set to gain access to an anticipated $1 million in funding to propel their research endeavours through a recently established initiative known as IMPRESS-U. This project is backed by support from the United States.

The financing, projected to be approximately $1 million, will be sourced from private contributors and foundations under the guidance of the US’ National Academy of Sciences (NAS). IMPRESS-U operates in collaboration with eight additional public research institutions based in both the United States and the European Union.

Research & Innovation


Life on the edge: securing Europe’s coastal regions

According to the European Research Executive Agency, last year in Brittany, located in the North-West of France, the French government issued a directive to one-hundred and twenty-six coastal towns and villages. This directive mandated the revision of their property planning laws due to the accelerating pace of coastal erosion in the region. The erosion rate has been measured at two centimetres per year.

Numerous strategies exist for addressing coastal erosion. Throughout the 20th century, governments have often employed inefficient and unsustainable artificial methods to counter the damage caused by rising sea levels. These methods have included the construction of costly concrete seawalls, the erection of breakwaters or retaining walls to trap sand and sediment along the shore.

Various projects funded by the European Union, such as Erodes, MaCaBios, and FutureMARES, are adopting a novel approach to coastal protection known as nature-based solutions. Nature-based solutions involve working with natural elements (earth, wind, fire, and water) to address climate change. This approach focuses on adapting to existing ecosystems rather than imposing drastic alterations through artificial means. Know more here.

Taiwan’s Chip Giant Will Build a Plant in Germany

According to The New York Times, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has announced a collaboration with three European technology companies to establish a chip-manufacturing facility in eastern Germany. This move is part of TSMC’s strategy to enhance the diversity of its production sites.

As the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer, TSMC is plans to invest 3.5 billion euros ($3.8 billion) in the venture and will hold a 70 per cent stake in the facility located in Dresden. The remaining 10 per cent ownership will be divided equally among the three other companies involved: Robert Bosch and Infineon Technologies, both headquartered in Germany, and NXP Semiconductors from the Netherlands. Know more here.

Unveiling the Enigma of Earth’s Core: Oceans and Cyclones Explored

As reported by Horizon Magazine, deep within the Earth lies its core, an immense metallic sphere. Though inaccessible without the imaginative leaps of Jules Verne, this core is subject to study and holds immense significance for our planet.

Composed primarily of iron and nickel, this core’s properties give rise to a magnetic field. This field serves as a shield, safeguarding Earth from harmful radiation and enabling the flourishing of life. The specifics of how this magnetic shield is formed, and whether similar processes occur on other celestial bodies, remain unanswered.

Recent scientific investigations are shedding unprecedented light on the nature of planetary cores and magnetic fields. Additionally, these studies provide insights into the intricate transformations unfolding at depths of 3,000 kilometers beneath our feet.

Within Earth’s core structure, an inner solid core measuring around 1,200 kilometres in diameter is enveloped by a liquid outer core composed of iron. This outer core extends an additional 2,200 kilometres. As the molten metal within the outer core circulates, it generates a magnetic field, showcasing the dynamic interplay of Earth’s internal materials.

Post-Brexit talent visa gets just three applicants in two years

The UK’s prominent program designed exclusively for distinguished award recipients has faced a notable lack of interest, which has been characterized as “embarrassing,” according to information from Research Professional News.

Introduced in May 2021, this fast-track visa pathway targeted at exceptional prize-winning researchers has garnered merely three applicants throughout its two-year existence. The initiative’s purpose was to attract top-tier talents across various domains, including sciences, humanities, engineering, arts, and digital technology, by simplifying their application process through the government’s post-Brexit Global Talent route.

Funding boost proposed for Portuguese universities

According to Jornal Público, the Portuguese government has recommended a €138 million boost in funding for the nation’s universities in the coming year.

The announcement was made by the Ministry of Science and Education on August 7th, stating that this increment amounts to a 10.7% rise from the previous year, as per one assessment.

This decision has been prompted by the notable surge in inflation that has impacted Europe and other global regions throughout 2023. The ministry has highlighted that this funding proposition aligns with an updated distribution model that better suits the present landscape of the higher education system while ensuring its stability and sustainability in the future.

To make this proposal feasible, various funding sources have been pooled, including contributions from the European Union.

News from INESC institutes

INESC TEC Prepares to Debut ‘Ciência e Sociedade’: A Science podcast exploring AI in healthcare and daily life

INESC TEC is on the cusp of launching an intriguing science podcast. Titled “Ciência e Sociedade” (Science and Society), the podcast delves into the role of Artificial Intelligence in healthcare system relief, examines existing technologies, and contemplates their potential influence on daily life. Set to premiere this September, the podcast’s debut season, aligned with INESC TEC’s mission to bridge the gap between science and the public, promises to provide thought-provoking insights and knowledge for curious minds. Know more here.

Smart4RES: Advancing Renewable Energy Forecasting Tools and Privacy Solutions, as Pursued by INESC TEC

As per information from INESC TEC, the European initiative known as Smart4RES has successfully advanced the next wave of tools for predicting short-term renewable electricity production. Privacy has been a core focus, with INESC TEC – a partner in the project – applying for an international patent for advancements linked to data privacy and sharing. The prototypes, born within the project’s framework, are poised for potential industrialization within the upcoming two years.

Converging expertise from varied fields such as weather forecasting, operational research, data science, and power systems, Smart4RES convened entities from six European nations to forge novel tools and solutions for the energy landscape of the upcoming decade, characterized by elevated levels of renewable energy integration.

The project also aimed to establish fresh business models for forecasting services directed towards harnessing data from diverse sources and generating economic incentives. A dual focus on ensuring data privacy and devising algorithmic mechanisms for data valuation is imperative to accomplish this objective.

Call for Applications: Vencer o Adamastor Award

Applications are still open for the “Vencer o Adamastor” award, valued at 20,000 Euros, designed to recognize young Portuguese scientists with contributions in electrical engineering, computing, and related areas.

Researchers, scientists, and professors under the age of 40, or those residing in Portugal for at least 3 years, are eligible to apply for the award individually. The submitted works should significantly focus on the realms of electrical engineering and computing, aligning with one of the areas within the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) or the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Apply here. The deadline for applications is 16 October 2023.

Job Opportunities

– INESC TEC has 77 vacancies in different work areas, such as Mobile Robotics, Computer Science, and more. Find more at INESCTEC website and via LinkedIn

– INESC MN is hiring a Clean Room Process Engineer. More info

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

Events & Training workshops


– 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

-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.


– 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 1: Culture, Creativity & Inclusive Society. Info Day. 18 October 2023. More info


– 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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