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Contact us:
Mariana Santos, Communications Officer

Pedro Villas Boas, Policy and Communications Officer

In today's Morning Brief:

In this week´s Morning Brief we focus on the European Parliament moving forward with the Net Zero Industry Act, focusing on domestic green tech manufacturing. This next phase of negotiations, set for January 22 and February 6, comes after the Council approved its position in December. On the other hand, the European Data Act is now in effect, promoting fairness and innovation in the digital realm and marking a milestone with a legislation that underscores the commitment to cultivating an innovative and open data economy within the European Union. Finally, Ursula von der Leyen emphasized, at the World Economic Forum, Europe’s AI advancement, unveiling a proposal to link startups with supercomputing capabilities. Stay tuned for more insights and in-depth analysis in our Morning Brief!


📢 The call for papers for the IAMOT 2024 conference remains open until January 31, 2024. The 33rd IAMOT conference, scheduled for July 8-10, 2024, in Porto, welcomes high-quality original contributions covering various topics, including the human, socio-economic, political, and cultural dimensions of technology and innovation management. Know more here.

📋 The official booklet of the “National Strategy for Semiconductors 2024”, with an active contribution of the INESC institutes, has been unveiled. The INESC MN cleanroom facility, for example, was highlighted as a very important infrastructure for the development of micro and nano scale devices. Read the full document here.

📅  The INESC Winter Meeting is coming closer! In collaboration with INESC Holding on January 25th and 26th, 2024, in Porto, 250 participants from the 5 INESC groups will collectively explore the future of research fields and discuss INESC’s position in the European landscape, featuring 7 technological demonstrations, 30+ e-posters, 3 discussion papers, and also a performance by the INESC TEC band. Check the agenda here.

Key Takeaways

– The European Parliament is progressing in its efforts to conclude the Net Zero Industry Act. Preparing for the second round of negotiations, the Parliament is focused on the EU’s strategy to enhance the domestic manufacturing of green technologies. This next phase of negotiations, set for January 22 and February 6, comes after the Council approved its position in December. Know more here.

– The European Data Act is now in force, ushering in fresh regulations aimed at fostering fairness and innovation in the digital realm. Implemented this month, the act specifically tackles the utilization of data derived from connected devices, including connected cars and wind turbines. Representing a pivotal development in Europe’s digital evolution, this legislation underscores the commitment to cultivating an innovative and open data economy within the European Union. Know more here.

– European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen emphasized the need for Europe to enhance its efforts in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) during her special address at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Despite the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report identifying AI as a long-term risk, President von der Leyen remains optimistic about its responsible deployment. In an address, she revealed an upcoming Commission proposal scheduled for release next week, which seeks to facilitate collaboration between European AI startups and the computing power of the continent’s supercomputers. Know more here.




Early 2024 open calls

Remember you can check our new tool for all the open calls under the Horizon Europe programme. Meanwhile, these are the main open funding areas and grants for the beginning of the year: 

Innovative Health Initiative launches new funding round

The Innovative Health Initiative (IHI) has initiated two new calls for proposals, IHI calls 6 and 7, encompassing diverse challenges in health research and innovation.
Approximately €120 million in Horizon Europe funding is now accessible for projects addressing topics such as heart disease management, biomarker validation for clinical use, support for healthcare workers in hospitals, medication adherence for patients, and guidance on utilizing real-world data and evidence.
IHI call 6, structured as a two-stage call, has a deadline for short proposals set for April 16, 2024. On the other hand, IHI call 7, a single-stage call, requires full proposals by May 22, 2024. Know more here.

Commission opens HERA call for the Critical Medicines Alliance

This week, the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), under the European Commission, initiated an open call for expressions of interest to participate in the Critical Medicines Alliance.
The commission’s objective is to unite stakeholders keen on enhancing collaboration in health emergencies, fostering cooperation among national governments, industry, and civil society.
The newly proposed alliance is envisioned to facilitate the development of manufacturing, contractual, or financing solutions, thereby promoting increased strategic autonomy for critical medicines.
For additional information, refer to the provided link. Know more here.

Information package for MSCA Postdoctoral Fellows published

The European Commission and the European Research Executive Agency (REA) have issued a recent information note providing valuable guidance for the implementation of Postdoctoral Fellowships projects funded under Horizon Europe’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA). This new note specifically targets researchers funded by MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships and supplements the comprehensive information package released last year. The broader package includes a general information note outlining the rights and responsibilities of MSCA fellows, along with specialized guides for researchers and staff participating in projects supported by Doctoral Networks, Staff Exchanges, and COFUND. Know more here.

Digital Europe Programme: new calls for proposals on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and post-quantum cryptography

In mid-December 2023, two Digital Europe Programme (DEP) work programmes underwent updates. Subsequently, a new round of calls for proposals, with a budget of €84 million, was initiated on January 16, 2024. The primary focus of these calls is to further the integration of artificial intelligence applications, particularly within “Security Operation Centers.” Additionally, the call seeks to contribute to the European transition to post-quantum cryptography and facilitate the implementation of EU cybersecurity legislation.
Entities such as companies, public administrations, and others from EU Member States, EFTA/EEA countries, or associated countries are eligible to participate in this call. The deadline for proposal submissions is set for March 26, 2024. Know more here.

Metrology Partnership: call open for submission of potential research ideas for 2024 Call

The Metrology Partnership has initiated the first stage (needs identification) for its 2024 call for proposals. Until February 19, 2024, interested parties can submit potential research topics aligned with the call themes: Green Deal, Digital Transformation, Research Potential, and Normative. The subsequent stage (stage 2) is scheduled to open on June 26, 2024, inviting proposals on selected research topics, with a submission deadline of September 30, 2024. This phase will also encompass a call for a Coordination and Support Action focusing on impact and communication. Know more here.

Artificial Intelligence and Data Science


Europe must up its game’ on AI, says EU chief Ursula von der Leyen

As reported by Politico, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen emphasized the need for Europe to enhance its efforts in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) during her special address at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Contrary to the long-standing discussions on regulating AI, von der Leyen sees AI as both a significant opportunity and a potential risk. Despite AI being highlighted as a long-term risk in the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report, von der Leyen expressed optimism about the technology’s responsible use. She unveiled a forthcoming Commission proposal, set to be released next week, that aims to connect European AI startups with the computing capabilities of the continent’s supercomputers. Know more here.



Commission invests €172 million in research and innovation projects to support EU energy independence through Horizon Europe

The European Commission has granted €172 million to back 13 research and innovation projects aimed at directly enhancing the energy independence of the European Union. Aligned with the objectives of REPowerEU, these projects contribute to achieving affordable, secure, and sustainable energy in Europe while reducing reliance on Russian fossil fuel imports. Chosen through calls in March and April 2023 under Horizon Europe Cluster 5 (Climate, Energy, and Mobility), the projects address three main goals: sustainable, secure, and competitive energy supply; efficient, sustainable, and inclusive energy use; and clean and competitive solutions for all modes of transport. Know more here.

EU Database for biofuels becomes operational

Starting this week, the European Commission’s Union Database for Biofuels (UDB) is open for online registration by relevant economic operators involved in transactions of liquid renewable and recycled carbon fuels. Envisioned under Article 31a of the 2018 Renewable Energy Directive, the UDB aims to enhance traceability, prevent double counting, and address concerns about fraud related to biofuels. Collaborating closely with stakeholders and market players, the European Commission has prepared the database. Furthermore, the application for registering gaseous renewable and recycled carbon fuels is set to open in the coming months. The UDB serves as a global traceability tool, tracking consignments of renewable and recycled carbon fuels and their raw materials from origin to market consumption in the EU. Its purpose is to ensure market transparency, traceability in the supply chain, and mitigate the risk of irregularities and fraud, supporting the EU’s ambitious decarbonization targets. Know more here.

Research and Innovation


Advancements in EU Parliament discussions on the Net Zero Industry Act

The European Parliament is making strides toward finalizing the Net Zero Industry Act, as reported by Science Business. The Parliament is gearing up for the second round of negotiations on the EU’s plan to bolster the domestic production of green technologies. Scheduled for January 22 and February 6, these negotiations follow the Council’s adoption of its position in December. Progress has been achieved at a technical level, and the proposed legislation aims to manufacture 40% of the EU’s strategic net-zero technologies in Europe by 2030. The strategy involves promoting investment and expediting production, including faster permitting for renewable energy projects. Know more here.

EU needs more capital to scale up innovations, Belgian prime minister tells MEPs

As explained by Science Business, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo called for increased capital infusion into the EU to bolster innovation during the launch of Belgium’s EU presidency. Expressing concerns about Europe’s competitive position in the global technology arena, he urged the EU to shift to a higher gear for sustained innovation, creativity, and economic productivity. De Croo emphasized the presidency’s focus on critical issues like translating and commercializing research results and fostering international collaboration, despite the challenges leading up to the EU elections in June.
De Croo highlighted the persistent challenge faced by EU innovators in accessing vital risk and venture capital, emphasizing the region’s strength in innovation but weakness in scaling up. Young entrepreneurs, he noted, continue to struggle in bringing their innovative ideas successfully to market. Know more here.

European Data Act enters into force

The European Data Act has come into effect, introducing new regulations to promote fairness and innovation in the digital landscape. Enforced this month, the act addresses the use of data from connected devices, such as connected cars and wind turbines. Key provisions include clarifying the conditions and entities authorized to utilize specific data, ensuring customers can seamlessly switch between service providers, facilitating data transfer with confidentiality safeguards, preventing contractual imbalances, and regulating public sector access for specific public interest objectives. This landmark legislation is a significant step in Europe’s digital transformation, emphasizing an innovative and open EU data economy. Know more here.

EU launches €175M equity fund to prime private investment in defence R&D

As reported by Science Business, the EU, in collaboration with the European Investment Fund, has introduced the €175 million Defence Equity Facility (DEF) to boost private investment in defense research and development (R&D). The fund focuses on supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) engaged in pioneering defense technologies. EU Commissioner Thierry Breton sees this as a crucial step in improving financial accessibility, sending a positive signal to the market and stimulating private investment in defense innovation. The investment, spanning 2024 to 2027, aims to leverage €500 million by acting as the primary investor in independently managed private equity and venture capital funds. Know more here.

New Council of the EU recommendation on research careers

In late December of last year, the EU Council released a recommendation outlining a European framework aimed at attracting and retaining research talent. This recommendation envisions the establishment of a comprehensive research careers framework, aligned with a corresponding European framework for creating appealing and sustainable careers in higher education. The Council calls upon Member States to make commitments in support of these initiatives. Read the full document here.

European Commissioner Iliana Ivanova at World Economic Forum annual meeting

Iliana Ivanova, the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, and Youth, actively participated in discussions at this week’s World Economic Forum Annual meeting.
During the event, she engaged in a debate titled “Europe’s Rush to Innovate” alongside Nikolai Denkov, Prime Minister of Bulgaria; José Luis Escrivá, Spain’s Minister for Digital Transformation; Maria Leptin, President of the European Research Council, and Dimitri de Vreeze, CEO of dsm-firmenich. Ivanova outlined a strategic roadmap for R&I in three key steps: enhancing investment in Research and Innovation (R&I), fostering the growth of startups, and attracting and retaining talent. Check it here.

Report on actors’ engagement in the process of industrial decarbonisation

The European Commission has released a new report on “Actors’ engagement” within the context of the Industrial Decarbonisation Mutual Learning Exercise (MLE). This report delves into the diverse roles undertaken by various stakeholders, including enterprises, governments, and community groups, in the industrial decarbonisation process. It is designed to provide a comprehensive comprehension of these dynamics, integrating insights gathered from the third MLE meeting held online on September 19, 2023.


New study published on uptake of the MSCA Green Charter under Horizon Europe

The European Commission has released a new study evaluating the initial implementation of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Green Charter. The study, based on a 2023 survey covering projects selected under the 2021 calls for Doctoral Networks, Post-doctoral Fellows, Staff Exchanges, and COFUND, highlights that certain sustainable practices have been more commonly adopted. These include utilizing teleconferencing and online tools to minimize travel, promoting eco-friendly travel options, raising awareness of sustainability issues, and attempting to reduce energy and water consumption. The findings suggest a need for the Commission to intensify communication on the Charter and provide user-friendly guidance on sustainability in research and project management to further promote the adoption of greener practices in MSCA projects. Know more here.

TECNALIA and Carlos III lead EU cancer support network project with Portuguese participation

TECNALIA and the Carlos III Health Institute are spearheading a collaborative effort in Spain to establish a Europe-wide cancer support network as part of the European ECHoS project. As explained in their website, their research focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and cure of cancer, with a specific emphasis on supporting the European Union’s Cancer Mission through coordinated research and development. The network involves 58 organizations, including governmental, health, academic, and non-profit entities from 28 countries, including Portugal, pooling cutting-edge expertise in a multidisciplinary approach. Know more here.

Building a knowledge valorisation community: the EU Knowledge Platform

The EU Knowledge Valorisation Platform connects diverse stakeholders in Europe to transform research outcomes into sustainable solutions for the common good. Serving as an interactive forum, it fosters collaboration across borders and sectors, engaging academia, industry, public policy, and civil society. The platform promotes the exchange of best practices, knowledge, and expertise, enhancing policies and cultivating a culture of knowledge valorisation, entrepreneurship, and inclusive innovation in Europe. Your survey input is crucial for further developing this platform as a hub for knowledge-sharing and engagement among research and innovation actors in our network.

Open research collaboration must be EU’s ‘default approach’

As reported by Science Business, the European University Association (EUA) emphasizes that open cooperation should remain the primary approach for Europe in international research collaboration, even amidst the current complex geopolitical landscape. The EUA underlines that universities, being inherently international institutions, should continue to embrace this nature.
While acknowledging the challenges related to security and ethics in international collaborations, Europe’s universities propose addressing these concerns without severing cooperation. The EUA suggests that managing risks can be achieved through specific arrangements, such as implementing stricter cybersecurity measures in defined contexts. This stance is part of the EUA’s response to the European Commission’s request for input on a proposal for Council recommendations on research security. Know more here.

2024’s wave of elections predicted to derail food security progress

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has expressed concern that the upcoming series of global elections in 2024 is anticipated to disrupt progress in food security, as reported by 4NewYork. President Alvaro Lario highlighted that political polarization is expected to be a significant factor in these elections, diverting the attention of both voters and world leaders from more pressing issues. Lario emphasized that the increasing number of conflicts is contributing to a dilution of momentum in international efforts to ensure long-term food supplies. Know more here.

US Department of Defense backs technology sharing with allies

The United States has announced plans to enhance technology and science collaboration with allies and partners, forming a crucial component of a broader strategy aimed at strengthening defense industrial capacity in the event of a conflict.
The Department of Defense (DoD) recently unveiled its inaugural National Defense Industrial Strategy, which features a section advocating for increased technology sharing with allied nations. The strategy outlines the DoD’s commitment to collaborate with federal agencies, such as the Departments of State and Commerce, to bolster existing alliances and establish new mechanisms for sharing technologies and scientific knowledge with partners and allies.
These collaborative efforts will involve “joint programs” designed to foster and uphold technological superiority, with allied nations integrated into the decision-making processes of the Department of Defense. Know more here.

IAMOT 2024 Conference: Call for Papers

The call for papers for the IAMOT 2024 conference remains open until January 31, 2024. The 33rd IAMOT conference, scheduled for July 8-10, 2024, in Porto, will delve into the crucial role of Human-Centred Technology Management in shaping a sustainable future.
IAMOT welcomes high-quality original contributions covering various topics, including the human, socio-economic, political, and cultural dimensions of technology and innovation management. The conference will also focus on technologies facilitating the transition to a sustainable, human-centric, and resilient industry, along with themes like circular economy and sustainable technologies.
Those interested in participating can refer to the call for papers for detailed author guidelines, ensuring the submission aligns with the conference’s overarching theme and contributing meaningfully to the global discourse on technology and innovation. Know more here.

Horizon Europe: 2023 winners and losers revealed

Horizon Europe’s 2023 outcomes reveal shifts in funding distribution, reports Science Business after going through the European Commission data. Italy’s grant share declines significantly, while Belgium, Estonia, and Lithuania experience notable increases. The UK and China witness further decreases amid geopolitical tensions, contrasting with the Netherlands, which surpasses Italy in grant funding. Belgium emerges as a standout winner, expanding its grant share by almost a quarter. Despite minimal signs of favoring less-funded countries, Ukraine doubles its Horizon Europe funding in 2023, reaching €20.3 million, up from €13 million the previous year. Know more here.

EARTO calls for more investment in RD&I

In an open letter to Ms. Ivanova, EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, and Youth, the European University Association (EUA), the European Association of Research and Technology Organisations (EARTO), and Science Europe emphasize the pivotal role of EU research and innovation investments in tackling global challenges, strengthening the EU’s global competitiveness, and reinforcing its strategic autonomy. The letter stresses the importance of increasing the budget for Framework Programme 10 (FP10) to €200 billion. This augmentation is deemed crucial to empower Europe in finding solutions to pressing societal challenges, promoting collaborative research, and leveraging private investments. Additionally, it will enhance the utilization of shared resources, expertise, and infrastructures to address challenges that extend beyond individual countries’ capabilities. Read the full letter here.

EU survey reveals citizen engagement insights on EU missions

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG R&I) has released the findings of a survey conducted across six European countries (Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Poland, and Romania) to evaluate European citizens’ awareness and involvement in EU Missions. The survey is part of the “Policy Experimentation in Research and Innovation” project, funded by DG R&I, aiming to incorporate the concept of “policy experimentation” into the EU. Key takeaways stress the necessity of increasing opportunities and funding for citizen engagement, addressing participation barriers, and leveraging success factors such as local and community-oriented benefits, youth involvement, and diverse engagement methods. Know more here.


INESC’s plays role in shaping the 2024 national strategy for semiconductors

The official booklet of the “National Strategy for Semiconductors 2024”, with an active contribution of the INESC institutes, has been unveiled. The INESC MN cleanroom facility, for example, was highlighted as a very important infrastructure for the development of micro and nano scale devices. The strategy is in line with European objectives and emphasises three key pillars of action: improving specialised training and skills in microelectronics and semiconductors, expanding the national chip design and advanced packaging ecosystem, and increasing technology transfer in emerging areas. A maximum investment of €121,116,000.00 is foreseen between 2024 and 2027, to be used by FCT, I.P. and ANI. Read the full document here.

EV4EU consortium meeting hosted at the HUB

The HUB hosted the recent EV4EU consortium meeting this week, marking 18 months since the project’s kick-off meeting, also held at our venue. During this gathering, consortium participants underwent an evaluation by the European Commission.
EV4EU is committed to implementing bottom-up and user-centric Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) management strategies, crucial for the widespread deployment of electric vehicles. In its role as project coordinator, INESC-ID is spearheading the characterization of electric vehicle scenarios, regulatory frameworks, and use-case specifications, shaping the subsequent activities of the project.
Stay informed for forthcoming updates on our advancements with EV4EU.

President of INESC discusses AI in Expresso podacst

Arlindo Oliveira, President of INESC and researcher at INESC ID, participated in the Expresso Podcast “A Próxima Vaga” discussing the topic “Geopolitics and Artificial Intelligence: Will the race for this technology change the world order?” Know more here here.

INESC ID has two members at Técnico new Governing Board

INESC ID has secured representation in the new Governing Board at Instituto Superior Técnico. Rogério Colaço, re-elected as President of Técnico for the 2024-2027 term, introduced his team on January 3rd at the Técnico Congress Center, Alameda Campus.
Within the newly formed Governing Board, two members from INESC ID assumed roles during the ceremony. Francisco Melo, a senior researcher leading the Group on Artificial Intelligence for People and Society, is now the Vice-President for Academic Affairs. Alexandre Francisco, a researcher at INESC ID since 2010, has taken on the role of Vice-President for Digital Technologies. Both individuals are affiliated with the Técnico Department of Computer Science and Engineering (DEI). Know more here.

INESC TEC researchers win award for advancing realism in virtual training environments

Researchers at INESC TEC aim to enhance the realism and multisensory aspects of training in virtual environments. Their scientific work titled “Studying the Influence of Multisensory Stimuli on a Firefighting Training Virtual Environment” clinched the 13th edition of the Professor José Luís Encarnação Award. By incorporating multisensory elements, the training goes beyond procedural aspects, focusing on the trainees’ decision-making abilities. The study’s significant contribution lies in demonstrating that the use of multisensory stimuli can induce cognitive loads in trainees equivalent to real operational environments, thereby simulating stress and fatigue that impact decision-making capabilities. Know more here.

Job Opportunities

– INESC TEC has 27 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 hiring a Communication and Operations ManagerMore 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 

– Webinar on issues of Co-funded European Partnerships – definition and implementation of additional activities beyond joint calls. 24 january, 9:30 – 13:00 CET, online webinar. Register here.
– INESC Winter Meeting, January 25th and 26th, full day event, in Porto. Check the agenda here.

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

– International conference CBRNE Research & Innovation, March 19, 2024 – March 21, 2024, Strasbourg. Register here.
R&I Week 2024, the European Commission’s flagship event on research and innovation, will take place from 18 to 21 March 2024 in Tour & Taxis, Brussels. The event marks the 40th anniversary of the Research and Innovation Framework Programmes and will focus on discussions on the future of R&I and its role in EU priorities such as technological sovereignty and competitiveness.
During the event, participants will be able to attend various sessions:
– 18 March: Opening of the R&I Week. Know more here.
– 19 March: The 2024 EIC Summit. Register here.
– 19-20 March: Belgian Presidency Conference on Innovation Procurement. here.
– 20-21 March: The European R&I Days 2024. Register here.

– Connecting Europe Days, 2 April, 11:00 – 5 April, 12:30, Brussels. More info here.
– 4th Workshop on Neuroengineering: Brain-on-a-Chip Platforms. 4-5 April 2024. i3S – Institute of Research and Innovation in Health. More information here.
– MSCA Presidency conference: Researcher’s careers – multiple pathways, 18 – 19 April 2024, Mons, Belgium. Register 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
– European Sustainable Energy Week 2024, 11 June 2024, 09:00 – Thursday 13 June 2024, 18:00 (CEST), Brussels. More info here.

– Conference: IAMOT – International Association for Management of Technology 2024, 8-11 July 2024. Porto, Portugal. Organised by INESC TEC and FEUP. More info
-14th International Symposium on Communication Systems, Networks and Digital Signal Processing – CSNDSP 2024, 17-19 July 2024, 9:00 – 17:30, Rome, Italy. Register here.


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