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Mariana Santos, Communications Officer

Pedro Villas Boas, Policy and Communications Officer

In today's Morning Brief:


🗣️ Dear reader, we invite you to participate in a 7-minute survey to assess the pertinence and quality of this newsletter and other information materials we produce. Please take part in the survey by following this link. It will be available for the next three weeks, until the 3rd of November 2023. 

📝 The HUB has published an event report about the conference sponsored by the ATTRACT project and hosted by Science Business, with moderation by INESC Brussels Hub, where several key recommendations were put forward for the development of net-zero innovation ecosystems. There are several relevant policy recommendations, so check it in the private area of our website.

🌍 A recent report from the European Commission delves into the prospective ecosystems for science in policy development by 2030. This report introduces five distinct scenarios, each exploring unique facets of research and its application in addressing societal challenges. Read the full report here.

Key Takeaways

– The EARTO Innovation Awards 2023 ceremony added a special moment for INESC TEC, with João Claro, the CEO, representing the organization. Among the six finalists for the awards, INESC TEC secured the 3rd prize in the “impact expected” category. This recognition is a testament to the remarkable work with “My NPK”, an innovative technology with the promise of transforming food production. Watch our video at this link.

– INESC Brussels HUB has officially joined CRIQUE network – The Circle of Research and Innovation Québec-UE. This collaboration opens up new avenues for knowledge exchange and cooperation, with the overarching goal of advancing Research and Innovation (R&I). We will keep you updated on the upcoming projects and joint initiatives within the CRIQUE network. 
– Prominent figures in the European Parliament’s research and innovation policy, Christian Ehler and Maria da Graça Carvalho, are emphasizing the necessity of allocating a budget of €200 billion for the European Union’s upcoming seven-year science funding program. This heightened budget is seen as imperative to adequately address and meet the future challenges. Know more here.

– The Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform (STEP) was up for consideration this week by the Industry and Budgets committees. The legislation was adopted with 43 votes to 6, with 15 abstentions. It will be put to a vote by the full House during the 16-19 October plenary session. Know more here. Remember the HUB has published a report on this issue, available here.


MSCA launches €96.6M for co-funded fellowships call  

The European Commission has initiated a call for co-funding in the amount of €96.6 million to support doctoral training and postdoctoral fellowship programs under the EU’s Horizon Europe research initiative.
This call invites universities, research centers, businesses, and governmental entities to submit proposals for co-funding to establish and enhance training and career development initiatives at regional, national, and international levels.
The objective of the Marie Sklowdowska-Curie Actions COFUND program is to promote the training and professional development of researchers across Europe. It also aims to facilitate the expansion of their professional networks, knowledge sharing, and the stimulation of creativity and entrepreneurship.

Matchmaking portal for the Horizon Europe Cluster 6 calls 2024 

For researchers and institutions interested in applying to Cluster 6, focusing on “Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment,” there is an opportunity for extended networking on the CARE4BIO matchmaking platform until December 25, 2023. CARE4BIO is the global network of National Contact Points specializing in Cluster 6.
This platform is designed to facilitate collaboration for the 2024 Cluster 6 calls, which are scheduled to open on October 17. Upon registration, users can create personalized profiles, including cooperation requests for specific topics or thematic areas, and establish connections with potential collaborators.
For comprehensive details on the upcoming Cluster 6 calls, valuable information can be accessed in the recordings of the Infodays held on September 27 and 28. During these sessions, the European Commission introduced various Topics and addressed inquiries regarding the calls. More info here.

Horizon Europe successor needs €200B to meet future challenges, say MEPs 

According to Science Business, prominent figures in the European Parliament’s research and innovation policy, Christian Ehler and Maria da Graça Carvalho, are emphasizing the necessity of allocating a budget of €200 billion for the European Union’s upcoming seven-year science funding program. This heightened budget is seen as imperative to adequately address and meet the future challenges.
Their call to more than double the current Horizon Europe budget of €95.5 billion, designed for the next framework program (commonly referred to as FP10), establishes a clear position on the budget that the Parliament is likely to advocate for in the next program. However, it is worth noting that achieving such an increase may encounter resistance, given that the EU member states, who bear the financial burden, tend to be more fiscally cautious. Although the EU’s current seven-year R&I Framework program is still in progress, discussions regarding the budget for its successor are already in motion. Know more here.

The Industry, Research and Energy and the Budgets committees adopt position on the STEP 

According to the European Parliament news, the Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform (STEP) was up for consideration this week by the Industry and Budgets committees. This platform is intended to facilitate EU initiatives in the advancement of crucial and emerging strategic technologies, including artificial intelligence, robotics, renewable energy, and medical innovations. The proposal suggests that STEP has the potential to generate up to €160 billion in fresh investments.
MEPs ask the Commission to conduct an interim evaluation by 2025, including a proposal to amend STEP or a new proposal for a fully-fledged European Sovereignty Fund. If the Commission does not propose the latter, it must justify its choice, MEPs agreed. The legislation was adopted with 43 votes to 6, with 15 abstentions. It will be put to a vote by the full House during the 16-19 October plenary session. Know more here.
Please remember the HUB has published a report on this issue, available here.

European Commission: Experts sought for new science diplomacy working groups

The European Commission is currently in the stages of establishing science diplomacy working groups and has initiated a Call for Expressions of Interest. These informal working groups will comprise individuals from both the scientific and diplomatic realms, with the overarching objective of establishing a comprehensive European framework for science diplomacy. The initiative involves the formation of five distinct groups, each focusing on specific aspects of the subject matter. Approximately ten members from the scientific community and ten from the diplomatic community will be brought together within each group.
It is essential to note that members will participate in their personal capacity. Detailed eligibility requirements can be found in the official Call document. The deadline for submitting expressions of interest is set for October 31, 2023. The call foe expression of interest is available here.

European Commission: Report outlines five scenarios for science for policy

A recent report from the European Commission delves into the prospective ecosystems for science in policy development by 2030. This report introduces five distinct scenarios, each exploring unique facets of research and its application in addressing societal challenges.
These scenarios encompass challenge-focused research, participatory science, data-driven policy recommendations, open science, and evidence creation driven by policy needs.
According to KOWI, the report emphasizes several crucial themes integral to the evolution of science-policy interfaces in Europe, including:
1. Embracing a diverse array of knowledge sources by integrating multiple disciplines, sectors, and public engagement to influence both scientific research and policy formulation.
2. Undertaking a comprehensive restructuring of governance to encompass societal actors such as NGOs, grassroots movements, and citizens in policy advice, promoting meaningful co-creation.
3. Preserving knowledge mechanisms while providing a secure space for the expression of diverse opinions in the realm of scientific advice.
4. Enhancing the coordination of research and innovation policies with other public policies to effectively address complex challenges.
5. Acknowledging the role of values in value-based decision-making and the provision of scientific evidence.
This publication is part of a broader series of eight Deep Dive Foresight Studies, conducted under the Future4Europe platform, which is supported by the EU. Read the full report here.

Ten European cities awarded with EU Mission Label for their plans to reach climate-neutrality by 2030

This week, ten European cities were labelled with the award for the EU Mission for Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities, as part of the Horizon Europe initiative. This label signifies a significant achievement, as it acknowledges these cities’ strategies to attain climate neutrality as early as 2030. Additionally, it seeks to facilitate their access to both public and private funding sources to support this objective.
The ten cities that have earned this label are: Sønderborg (Denmark), Mannheim (Germany), Madrid, Valencia, Valladolid, Vitoria-Gasteiz, and Zaragoza (Spain), Klagenfurt (Austria), Cluj-Napoca (Romania), and Stockholm (Sweden). Read the full European Commission´s press release here.

Commission welcomes completion of key ‘Fit for 55′ legislation, putting EU on track to exceed 2030 targets

The European Commission announced this week the approval of the final components of its ‘Fit for 55’ legislative package, designed to achieve the EU’s 2030 climate objectives. With this comprehensive set of laws, Europe is demonstrating its commitment to fulfilling promises made to its citizens and international partners. It is asserting its leadership in climate action and actively shaping the green transition for the betterment of its people and industries.
This latest development encompasses the revised Renewable Energy Directive and the ReFuelEU Aviation Regulation, effectively establishing legally binding climate targets that span all significant sectors of the economy. The overarching package includes emission reduction goals across various sectors, an objective to enhance natural carbon absorption, an updated emissions trading system to cap emissions, place a price on pollution, and stimulate investments in sustainability. Moreover, it provides social support to citizens and small businesses. This is a significant step forward, especially in the context of the upcoming COP28 UN Climate Conference and the forthcoming European elections. Read the full statement here.

EU and Japan agree to share supercomputers in ground-breaking deal

As reported by Science Business, starting next year, a groundbreaking collaboration will enable European and Japanese scientists to access each other’s supercomputers. This strategic partnership has the potential to accelerate scientific simulations, particularly in fields such as climate research and materials science, while also contributing to the development of the EU’s next-generation supercomputers.
This initiative reflects Brussels’ ongoing efforts to strengthen its research and technology connections with Tokyo, as the European Union seeks to foster closer relationships with fellow democracies, especially in the wake of the Ukraine conflict. It also signifies a broader trend where nations are increasingly forming geopolitical computing alliances due to the escalating costs of supercomputers. These alliances are instrumental in ensuring that countries can maintain their competitiveness in the field of high-performance computing. Read more here.

European Innovation Council and Joint Research Centre Collaborate to Shape EU’s Innovation Future

The European Innovation Council (EIC) and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) have partnered in a series of Horizon Scanning exercises to boost the EIC’s strategic intelligence capabilities.
This initiative has revealed exceptional investment opportunities in emerging technologies and innovations, aligning with the EU’s long-term goals. It has also identified key drivers, enablers, and barriers to tech development, paving the way for future foresight initiatives.
Three dominant themes—sustainability, energy, and scalability—emerged, guiding the EU’s innovation path. The collaboration concludes with recommendations to streamline Horizon Scanning for the EIC’s specific needs, promising a more competitive and visionary future. Read the full report here.

Europe’s green tech start-ups face up-hill battle accessing financing and public procurements

According to insights shared during the panel discussion on financing net-zero at the EU Industry Days 2023, Europe is encountering challenges in attracting investments in green technology. High risks and uncertainty are acting as deterrents for potential investors. The green tech industry in Europe is grappling with regulatory delays and obstacles in accessing private financing.
Ester Baiget, CEO of Danish biotech Novozymes, expressed that it’s increasingly challenging for companies to make a compelling case for investing in Europe when compared to the United States. She cited factors such as the more flexible labor market in the US and regulatory frameworks that expedite the adoption of new technologies, thus facilitating quicker returns on investment. Additionally, the subsidies offered under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) are luring companies across the Atlantic. These issues were highlighted during the annual EU Industry Days conference in Malaga. Read more in Science Business.

EU-US science and technology agreement renewed

According to the European Commission, an agreement providing the framework for science and technology cooperation between the EU and US is to be renewed for another five years, after approval by the European Council.
Originally signed in 1998, the agreement has been rolled over every five years since then. It’s a short document that sets out high level terms of engagement between the two powers in science and technology collaboration.
While this renewal is uncontroversial, earlier this year the US only agreed to extent a similar agreement with China at the last moment, giving Washington six months renegotiate it after criticism it could help Beijing to gain key US technologies.

EU R&D spending rose to €331B in 2021 – but research intensity fell

In 2021, the European Union invested €331 billion in research and development, marking an increase of approximately €21 compared to the previous year, as reported by the European Commission on October 4th. However, despite this boost in spending, the proportion of R&D investment relative to the overall GDP experienced a slight decline, dropping from 2.3% to 2.27% between 2020 and 2021. This dip in R&D intensity is attributed to the resurgence of GDP following a decline during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Significant disparities in R&D intensity persist among EU member states, with Belgium leading the way at 3.43% and Romania lagging at 0.47%. For the majority of member states, R&D intensity falls below the EU average.
It’s noteworthy that the EU’s average R&D intensity remains lower than that of other major global players, such as China (2.41% in 2020), Japan (3.34%), and the United States (3.46%), as illustrated in the accompanying graph. Read the full report here.

INESC MN collaborates on groundbreaking SafeFire project for firefighter safety 

The pioneering SafeFire project recently conducted its inaugural field tests at Gestosa’s experimental field in Góis. This project, carried out by INESC MN, ADAI-LAETA, Instituto de Telecomunicações, Universidade de Coimbra, and LATINO GROUP, introduced integrated biosensors to monitor firefighters in action. 
SafeFire focuses on enhancing firefighters’ health and performance by integrating physiological and environmental data monitoring, intelligent data analysis, and effective communication methods. The project’s primary goals include improving firefighter well-being, preventing risky situations, and utilizing monitored data to inform team management decisions, such as team rotations and special requirements. Know more here 

INOV triumphs with “Ace of Initiative” award at FIRE INDIA 2023 

INOV secured the top position in the “Ace of Initiative” innovation award category at FIRE INDIA Official 2023. This recognition was granted for their pioneering work in integrating mobile towers and drone software, effectively eliminating blind spots in critical areas. 
During the awards ceremony, the researcher João Oliveira proudly accepted this accolade on behalf of the entire INOV team. 
Know more about INOV’s project CICLOPE here. 

INESC TEC awarded at 10th EARTO Policy Event and Innovation Awards

INESC Brussels HUB was present at the 10th edition of the EARTO Policy Event, a global gathering uniting representatives from Research and Technology Organizations (RTOs), EU institutions, industry leaders, and key players in Research and Innovation (R&I). This event is a pivotal platform aimed at shaping the trajectory of European Research, Development, and Innovation, underlining the collaborative efforts to navigate the future.
A notable highlight of the event was the line-up of speakers. Among them were figures including Marc Lemaitre, Director General of DG R&I at the European Commission, who delivered a keynote address. Markus Beyrer, Director General of Business Europe, shed light on “The Role of Technology Foresight.” Salla Saastamoinen, Deputy Director General of DG Joint Research Center at the European Commission, delved into “The Role of RTOs in Boosting Europe’s Productivity.” Tjark Tjin-A-Tsoi, CEO of TNO, shared insights on “Technology Infrastructures supporting EU Industry: EU Pilot on Aeronautics.” And finally Jane Amilhat, Head of Unit for Low Emission Future Industries at DG RTD, European Commission, explored “Technology Infrastructures supporting EU Industry: EU Pilot on Aeronautics.”
The following Innovation Awards 2023 Ceremony added a special moment for INESC TEC, with João Claro, the CEO, representing the organization. Among the six finalists for the awards, INESC TEC secured the 3rd prize in the “impact expected” category. This recognition is a testament to the remarkable work with “My NPK,” an intelligent photonics technology designed to measure NPK levels in liquid fertilizers in real-time using UV-Vis spectroscopy and proprietary AI. This innovative technology holds the promise of transforming food production, enhancing efficiency, resilience, and sustainability while minimizing the environmental footprint.
Watch our video at this link.

Porto Researchers Develop Autonomous Arctic eDNA Sampling Technology

Researchers in Porto have developed a technology that, when integrated with a robot, enables the autonomous collection of environmental DNA (eDNA) samples in the Arctic, even in deep, low-temperature conditions. The technology, known as ‘biosampler,’ has been successfully tested in the Arctic.
INESC TEC announced this week that, following the validation of this technology, which was also developed by the Interdisciplinary Center for Marine and Environmental Research (CIIMAR), researchers have integrated it into a robot created by the INESC TEC team.
This technology takes the form of a cylindrical sensor, facilitating the autonomous collection of eDNA samples. Environmental DNA, or eDNA, is obtained from fragments released by species during their movements, including skin cells, waste, and other bodily fluids. Know more here.

Second smart underwater cable launched in Portugal 

The installation of a cutting-edge smart underwater cable, supported by the Portuguese Navy, near the Port of Sesimbra, has opened new horizons. The cable, developed by INESC TEC, CINTAL, and the University of Minho, is equipped with advanced sensors for real-time data collection. This innovative technology enables the development of geoinformatics and AI analysis models, advancing our understanding of the oceans.  
The project, called K2D (Knowledge and Data from the Deep to the Space), is a Portuguese-American consortium led by dstlecom. K2D represents a major advancement in ocean exploration, offering the ability to monitor even the ocean’s depths that have traditionally remained uncharted due to their hostile environmental conditions. This venture is supported by the MIT Portugal programme, benefiting from a €1.4 million funding injection. 
Know more here 

FIRE-RES explores innovative solutions to address extreme wildfires 

The FIRE-RES project, featuring INESC TEC as a partner, is taking on the growing threat of extreme wildfires in Europe. They’ve launched an Open Innovation Challenge to find solutions for these devastating events. Winners get the chance to test their ideas in 11 Living Labs across nine countries. 
This project is seeking solutions that cover seven key areas, including risk communication, training, and policy. These challenges were identified after consultations with various stakeholders, including public entities, scientists, and private companies. 
The Open Innovation Challenge is open for submissions until November 19, with a webinar on October 18 for those interested. Visit the project’s website. Know more here 

Job Opportunities

– INESC TEC has 34 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

– 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
– Information Session – European Research Council (ERC) Applications: Key Aspects to Consider from an Evaluator’s Perspective, 20 october, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM. Register here.
– Conference by the European Commission – DG RTD: Making research results work for society. 26 October 2023, 09:30 – 16:15 (CEST), Brussels and online. Register here.

–  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
– BusinessEurope – EARTO event: Investing in Research and Innovation: Towards FP10, 20 November, 10:00 – 12:30 CET, Brussels. Registration will be soon provided.
– Horizon Europe: FP10 and Preparing for the 2024 Annual Conference. 28 November 2023. 15:00 – 17:00 CET. Online. Members only. 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 crisis’. More info

– 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.
– 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
– 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


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