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Contact us:
Mariana Santos, INESC Brussels HUB Communications Officer
mariana.f.santos@inesctec.pt

In today's Morning Brief:

Key Takeaways

The Commission proposes the Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform (STEP). The STEP will reinforce and leverage existing EU instruments to quickly deploy financial support to the benefit of business investments. The STEP will also allow directing existing funding towards technology fields that are crucial for Europe’s leadership, thus contributing to a level playing field for investments throughout the Single Market.

The G6 network organized a High-Level Meeting in Ringberg, Bavaria, Germany with members of the scientific community and representatives from the national governments of France, Germany, Italy and Spain to reflect on what they have considered “the strategic imperatives for the European research landscape”.

– The Lund Declaration on maximizing the benefits of research data has been unveiled, emphasizing the vital role of accessible and reusable data in advancing knowledge and tackling global challenges effectively. The aim is to strengthen Open Science practices and research data infrastructures to ensure an efficient response to crises and create greater societal benefits.

– The long-awaited review of the EU’s seven-year budget puts the European Innovation Council (EIC) in line for an extra €2.6 billion, to be channelled through the Accelerator programme which provides grant and equity funding to cash-strapped start-ups. The money forms part of a proposed €10B package of investment in strategic technologies.

– INESC TEC is spearheading a ground-breaking project with a funding boost of one million euros. The project aims to support and finance up to 10 innovative technological solutions in the European electrical sector. The funding, provided through a consortium of European partners, will drive advancements in sustainable energy, grid integration, and digitalization, revolutionizing the way electricity is generated, transmitted, and consumed.

 

Horizon Europe

 

The European Commission opens call to pilot European fellowship scheme for researchers at risk

The European Commission has published a new call to develop a suitable structure for a fellowship scheme for researchers at risk that would address the currently fragmented and limited support at EU level.

The new scheme will establish, test and validate procedures to:

          assess the risks faced by applying researchers and the excellence of the proposal

          select and award researchers a fellowship

          match researchers with host institutions in the EU, when needed

          award around 30 fellowships for researchers at risk to continue their work in a safe environment, whether academic or non-academic

Researchers may come from all domains of research and innovation. They can be either doctoral candidates (enrolled in a doctoral programme leading to the award of a doctoral degree) or postdoctoral researchers (in possession of a doctoral degree). More info here.

 

European Innovation Council in line for an extra €2.6B in EU budget review

The long-awaited review of the EU’s seven-year budget puts the European Innovation Council (EIC) in line for an extra €2.6 billion, to be channelled through the Accelerator programme which provides grant and equity funding to cash-strapped start-ups. The money forms part of a proposed €10B package of investment in strategic technologies. But the Commission fails to deliver on much-requested increases for other parts of Horizon Europe.

In its proposal for a budget revamp presented today, the European Commission asks the member states for ‘fresh’ money for the budget, including €500 million for the EIC. This will be added to €2.13 billion that is to be diverted from elsewhere in Horizon Europe and from unused research funds.

While hopes were high the budget review would inject extra money in the stretched €95.5 billion Horizon Europe research programme, if member states do agree to put in more funding this will go to the three priorities of Ukraine, migration and strategic technologies, and to the rising cost of servicing EU debts.

That leaves the EIC Accelerator as the only research and innovation initiative to get more money, despite hiccups and shortcomings in the delivery of the programme, which has a current budget of €7 billion. Read more in Science Business.

 

MSCA and Citizens call opens: €15.4 million to bring research closer to education and society

MSCA and Citizens brings research and researchers closer to the public at large. The deadline to apply to organise the European Researchers’ Night and Researchers at Schools is 25 October 2023.

This funding round will dedicate € 15.4 million to fund around 50 projects organising:

          two successive editions of the European Researchers’ Night in 2024 and 2025

          the implementation of Researchers at Schools activities during two consecutive years

The deadline to apply is 25 October 2023. More info.

 

European prize for women innovators launched

The European Innovation Council (EIC) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) have launched a new call for applications for the European prize for women innovators.

The prize celebrates the women entrepreneurs behind Europe’s most groundbreaking innovations. It rewards women from across the EU and countries associated to Horizon Europe, whose disruptive innovations are driving positive change for people and the planet. For this edition, consult the application procedure here.

 

The ‘Guide to EU Funding – 2023’ edition is now available

Produced by the European Parliamentary Research Service of the EP, the guide has been put together to serve as a source of information for regional and local authorities, NGOs, businesses, professionals and citizens on how to access funding.

This ‘Guide to EU funding’ produced by the European Parliamentary Research Service provides easily accessible information on the full range of EU funding sources, conveniently grouped by area of action. The main funding themes of the guide are divided in subsections in order to facilitate research. A number of hyperlinks have been included in the text in order to make access to the source of funding information easier.

Consult the full guide here.

 

Research & Innovation

 

Circular economy: New rules to make phones and tablets more durable, energy efficient and easier to repair, enabling sustainable choices by consumers

The European Commission (EC) is proposing new rules to help consumers make informed and sustainable choices when purchasing mobile and cordless phones, and tablets, under the existing EU Energy Labelling Regulation. This new proposal comes on the same day as the approval of measures to make these devices more energy efficient, durable and easier to repair by the European Parliament and Council, following a Commission proposal in November 2022, under the EU Ecodesign Regulation.

The EC considers these measures will help to make the EU’s economy more circular, save energy, cut our carbon footprint, support circular business models and deliver the benefits of the European Green Deal for consumers. Read the full proposal here.

 

EU budget: Commission proposes Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform (STEP) to support European leadership on critical technologies

Strengthening the competitiveness of the European economy through the green and digital transformations has been the EU’s strategic goal over the last years. Despite its inbuilt resilience, EU industry is being challenged by high inflation, labour shortages, supply chain disruptions, rising interest rates, and spikes in energy costs and input prices. 

Now, the Commission proposes the Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform (‘STEP’). The STEP will reinforce and leverage existing EU instruments to quickly deploy financial support to the benefit of business investments. The STEP will also allow directing existing funding towards technology fields that are crucial for Europe’s leadership, thus contributing to a level playing field for investments throughout the Single Market.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “The future of the strategic industries should be made in Europe. Today, with STEP, we set the stage to mobilise the necessary funding available across various EU programmes to stimulate investments in critical technologies and make sure companies grow and flourish in the EU”.

The STEP will build on existing programmes such as InvestEU, Innovation Fund, Horizon Europe, EU4Health, Digital Europe Programme, European Defence Fund, Recovery and Resilience Facility, and cohesion policy funds.

To boost the investment capacity dedicated specifically to promoting STEP objectives, the Commission further proposes to allocate additional €10 billion to targeted programmes. Know more here.

 

The future of European research: G6 calls on the EU to embrace research as the top priority to tackle today’s and tomorrow’s grand challenges

The G6 network organized a High-Level Meeting in Ringberg, Bavaria, Germany with members of the scientific community and representatives from the national governments of France, Germany, Italy and Spain to reflect on the strategic imperatives for the European research landscape.

Read the press release here and the White Paper here.

The G6 network unites six large multidisciplinary European Research Performing Organisations with a total annual budget of 15.6 billion euros and over 140,000 employees: the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, the Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren, the Leibniz-Gemeinschaft, and the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. Read more here.

 

Lund Declaration on Maximising the Benefits of Research Data

The Lund Declaration on maximizing the benefits of research data has been unveiled, emphasizing the vital role of accessible and reusable data in advancing knowledge and tackling global challenges effectively. The aim is to strengthen Open Science practices and research data infrastructures to ensure an efficient response to crises and create greater societal benefits.

Published 20 June 2023, the declaration was presented at a conference that the Swedish Presidency hosted together with the Swedish Research Council and Vinnova on research data, and how research infrastructure provides new possibilities and benefits for society. The conference took place in Lund, Sweden, on 19–20 June 2023.

Consult the memorandum here.

 

ESFRI Policy Brief on Impact Assessment of Research Infrastructures (RIs) Approved: Enhancing Decision-Making and Stakeholder Engagement

The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) has recently given its seal of approval to a comprehensive policy brief on Impact Assessment (IA) of RIs. The brief highlights the crucial role of IA in policy-making, evaluating the effects on stakeholders, and informing decisions, emphasizing that IA extends far beyond mere performance monitoring for RIs. It offers insightful recommendations for National Policymakers, ESFRI, the European Commission (EC), and Research Infrastructures, with the full report soon to be available online.

Key Takeaways:

1. Customized Approach for IA: No One-Size-Fits-All Solution

2. Longitudinal Assessments for Comprehensive Analysis

3. Allocating Resources and Building Internal Expertise

4. Avoiding Direct Comparisons between RIs

ESFRI acknowledges that conducting IA of RIs is a complex endeavor and, therefore, refrains from performing IA itself. The responsibility for conducting IA lies with the RIs and their stakeholders. ESFRI’s recommendations aim to guide and encourage the voluntary adoption of IA methodologies and practices that align with international standards.

As the full policy brief becomes available online, policymakers, researchers, and stakeholders will have access to valuable insights and recommendations to further advance the understanding and practice of Impact Assessment in the context of Research Infrastructures. Read the announcement here.

 

Political shakeups could further disrupt EU R&D leadership

Political responsibility for research and innovation in the European Commission could be set to change hands again, with executive-vice-president Margrethe Vestager announcing she is a candidate to become the next head of the European Investment Bank. If selected, Vestager would be the first woman to run the European Union’s bank which finances programs inside the bloc and abroad.

It is a post with plenty of opportunity for building an international profile, working on hot topics from climate to conflicts and — since a large part of the job is handing out cheap financing. Read more here.

 

National consultations to inform next ERA priorities

EU member state governments are due to consult their national research sectors by the end of the year on future priorities for the European Research Area, according to the European University Association. Concerns raised that European Research Area policy package is little known outside Brussels bubble

Launched in 2000, the ERA aims to bring EU countries closer together on research policies and raise research standards across the bloc. Read more here.

 

Artificial Intelligence Act restrictions mean make or break for Europe’s emotion AI start-ups

The European Parliament has introduced a series of restrictions into the draft EU Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act that would prevent AI-driven facial recognition technology being used in public spaces for surveillance or law enforcement purposes. But it has also set out a broader ban on AI systems that detect human emotions, not just for surveillance but also in schools and colleges, and in the workplace.

This move has been welcomed by some start-ups that are applying AI methods to the detection and interpretation of human emotions, but caused consternation for others. Proposed legal restrictions on AI systems that track emotions are dividing start-ups exploring this complex new sector. Read more here.

 

Auditors warn EU risks being an also-ran in the global electric vehicle battery race

The European Commission needs to align its battery research funding with the EU’s overall technology roadmap, according to a report published by the European Court of Auditors on Monday.

New report by the European Court of Auditors shows battery R&D is uncoordinated, leaving gaps and leading to duplication of effort.

“The fact that a technological roadmap is not systematically used as one of the criteria for the awarding of EU funding to battery projects is detrimental to the EU’s R&I effort because it increases the risk of gaps and overlaps in the research work conducted by different stakeholders at EU level,” the auditors say.

Over the past few years, the Commission has improved the alignment of battery research funding under Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe, but before 2017 the bloc did not have a commonly agreed roadmap to guide EU and national authorities in setting up priorities for co-funded research on batteries. More info here.

 

Sanofi Consumer Healthcare launches new portal to unlock science and solve key challenges in self-care

Sanofi’s Consumer Healthcare Business Unit has today launched a new Open Innovation Portal, allowing the wider supply chain community to submit their creative, disruptive, and game-changing solutions to meet the challenges of an ever-evolving consumer healthcare landscape. Startups, entrepreneurs, research institutions, accelerators, universities and more can now respond online to challenge areas that have been identified by Sanofi Consumer Healthcare, from creating sustainable packaging to developing new products and technologies.

The healthcare landscape is evolving rapidly and, post-COVID, with an ever-increasing recognition of the importance of self-care, self-diagnosis and self-treatment. The launch of the Sanofi Consumer Healthcare Open Innovation Portal will facilitate the commercialization of the very best self-care innovative solutions by uniting the boldest and brightest external ideas with Sanofi’s marketing expertise, science infrastructure, scale and consumer reach. More info.

 

The view from UCL: Recommendations on proposed European Health Data Space regulation

Dr Petros Terzis, Research Fellow on the Regulation of Computational Infrastructures, has published a new policy brief: Change (s)pace: Recommendations and amendments for the European Health Data Space regulation.

The briefing examines core aspects of the European Health Data Space (EHDS) proposal, offering recommendations for centring the legislative and parliamentary debate on the rights of individuals and the collective value of public health. 

It highlights that caution is required in relation to the EHDS due to the scale of the enterprise, the sensitive nature of the data in question and the likely long-term impact of the proposed regulation on health data governance in the European Union. Read more at Science Business.

 

European Groups Pile On Pressure For Greater Regulation Of Generative AI

Consumer groups in more than a dozen European countries are calling for urgent government investigations into the risks of generative AI.

The call comes alongside a new report from Norwegian consumer organisation Forbrukerrådet, which concludes that more rules need to be developed.

“We call on safety, data and consumer protection authorities to start investigations now and not wait idly for all kinds of consumer harm to have happened before they take action,” says Ursula Pachl, deputy director general of the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), Europe’s biggest consumer group.

“Generative AI such as ChatGPT has opened up all kinds of possibilities for consumers, but there are serious concerns about how these systems might deceive, manipulate and harm people.” Know more here.

 

News from INESC institutes

                                                                      

INESC TEC-Led Project Secures One Million Euros to Fund Up to 10 Technological Solutions in the European Electrical Sector

INESC TEC is spearheading a ground-breaking project with a funding boost of one million euros. The project aims to support and finance up to 10 innovative technological solutions in the European electrical sector. The funding, provided through a consortium of European partners, will drive advancements in sustainable energy, grid integration, and digitalization, revolutionizing the way electricity is generated, transmitted, and consumed.

The initiative comes as part of a broader effort to accelerate the transition towards a cleaner and more efficient energy system in Europe. With the financial support, the INESC TEC-led project seeks to identify and promote cutting-edge solutions that address challenges related to renewable energy integration, energy storage, smart grids, and electric mobility. By funding up to 10 technological solutions, the project aims to drive significant progress in the European electrical sector and contribute to the continent’s energy transition goals.

Through a competitive selection process, the project will identify the most promising proposals from researchers, startups, and technology companies across Europe. The selected solutions will receive financial support, mentoring, and technical expertise from the consortium partners, enabling them to refine and deploy their technologies in real-world settings. By fostering collaboration and innovation, the project aims to accelerate the adoption of sustainable and efficient technologies, paving the way for a greener and more resilient electrical grid in Europe. Know more here.

INESC TEC Collaborates with the Technical University of the Atlantic to Promote Smart Grid Training

INESC TEC, in collaboration with the Technical University of the Atlantic (UTA), is organizing a capacity-building initiative focused on smart grids. The training program aims to equip professionals and researchers with the necessary skills and knowledge to address the challenges and opportunities presented by smart grid technologies. The collaboration between INESC TEC and UTA brings together expertise in energy systems and academia, offering participants a comprehensive learning experience.

The training initiative will cover various aspects of smart grids, including advanced metering infrastructure, grid automation, energy management systems, and demand response. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in interactive sessions, workshops, and practical exercises to enhance their understanding of these cutting-edge technologies. The program will also provide insights into policy and regulatory frameworks, business models, and real-world case studies to foster a holistic understanding of the smart grid ecosystem.

The collaboration between INESC TEC and UTA underscores their commitment to knowledge sharing and capacity development in the field of smart grids. By empowering professionals and researchers with the latest insights and practical skills, the initiative aims to accelerate the adoption and integration of smart grid technologies, ultimately contributing to the development of more sustainable, efficient, and resilient energy systems. Participants will not only gain valuable expertise but will also become part of a growing network of professionals dedicated to advancing the smart grid revolution. Know more here.

 

INESC TEC Showcases Technological Solutions at International Event on Healthcare Digitalization

INESC TEC, as a leading research and technology institute, made a significant impact at an international event focused on healthcare digitalization. The event served as a platform for experts, innovators, and industry leaders to discuss the latest advancements and challenges in leveraging technology to transform the healthcare sector. INESC TEC not only participated actively in the discussions but also presented cutting-edge technological solutions tailored for the healthcare industry.

During the event, INESC TEC showcased a range of innovative solutions aimed at addressing key issues in healthcare digitalization. These solutions encompassed areas such as telemedicine, health data analytics, patient monitoring, and personalized healthcare. By leveraging state-of-the-art technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and Internet of Things (IoT), INESC TEC’s solutions demonstrated their potential to improve patient outcomes, enhance healthcare delivery, and drive efficiency in healthcare systems.

The presence of INESC TEC at the international event underscored its commitment to driving technological advancements in the healthcare sector. By actively participating in discussions and presenting their solutions, INESC TEC showcased their expertise and dedication to developing practical and impactful innovations. The event provided an invaluable platform for networking, collaboration, and knowledge exchange, facilitating partnerships between INESC TEC and other stakeholders in the global healthcare ecosystem. Know more here.

 

INESC MN Contributes to Breakthrough Development of Ultra-Compact Flowmeter for Organ-on-Chip Platforms

INESC MN, a proud partner of the #Moore4Medical EC ECSEL project, has played a pivotal role in the development of an ultra-compact, integrated flowmeter for organ-on-chip platforms. Leveraging magnetic cilia and spintronic sensors, this ground-breaking technology offers a novel approach to measuring velocity in microfluidics without sample heating. The project, hosted by #Moore4Medical, has enabled INESC MN to acquire invaluable expertise in miniaturization techniques for magnetic sensors and their seamless integration into microfluidic devices.

The primary focus of the M4M project was to enhance the understanding and application of magnetic sensors within the realm of microfluidics. Through collaboration with specialized partners in the field, INESC MN successfully integrated magnetic sensors into microfluidic systems, enabling precise velocity calculations. Moreover, the project propelled INESC MN to adopt innovative packaging techniques for sensor incorporation, further enhancing the usability and applicability of the developed technology.

The accomplishments achieved through the M4M project hold tremendous potential for a range of industries, including clinical analysis and scientific research in organ simulation. By revolutionizing flow measurement on organ-on-chip platforms, the ultra-compact flowmeter opens up new avenues for advancements in medical research, diagnostics, and drug development. The breakthrough achieved by INESC MN and its collaborators paves the way for more accurate and efficient microfluidic systems, ushering in a new era of precision and innovation in various domains. Consult the announcement here.

 

INOV Projects

– AgriBIT launches new Community Platform

Developed by the EU-funded AgriBIT project, this digital hub serves as a catalyst for innovation and collaboration, bringing together farmers, researchers, experts, and enthusiasts from across the globe.

The AgriBIT Community Platform represents a significant milestone in the evolution of agriculture, aiming to bridge the gap between traditional farming practices and emerging technologies.

CICLOPE

Watch a short video on CICLOPE, a EU-funded projects that aims to revolutionize forest fire prevention with a remote monitoring system. Know more about CICLOPE.

– GRACE and iFlows

Get to know GRACE – Global Response Against Child Exploitation and iFlows, which aims to develop a novel framework for the effective and uninterrupted screening of postal/courier flows involving all actors across the transport chain.

 

 

Job Opportunities

– INESC TEC has 22 vacancies in different work areas, such as Electrical Engineering, Power Systems-Smart Grids, Robotics, and more. Find more at INESCTEC website and via LinkedIn

– INESC ID has 9 open positions. More info

– INESC MN is hiring a Junior Characterization Engineer, a Clean Room Process Engineer, and a Junior Researcher – Electrical Engineering. More info

– INOV is hiring a Systems and Network Engineer and a Software Engineer (Full stack) More info

 

Events & Training workshops

– Seminars on Engineering and Public Policy (10th edition), “Bioindustry and biotechnology, what future?”, June 19, faculty of engineering – university of Porto. More information.

Innovation Fund: How-to webinar and online orientation sessions for third small-scale call applicants, 4 July, 10:00 – 5 July, 17:00. Register here.

Info Days for Horizon Europe Cluster 3 – Civil Security for Society, 27-28 June, Brussels. Register here.

2nd Education and Innovation Summit, 27 June, Brussels. More info and register here.

Stakeholder workshop on the progress of Horizon Europe, 29 June, register here.

– MDCG workshop organised by NEMECYS, July 6, Brussels. CYLCOMED project partner Andres G. Castillo (Head of the Pediatric Technological Innovation Department in Foundation for Research of Hospital Infantil Niño Jesús) will join the panel discussion of the Medical Device Coordination Group (MDCG) workshop organised by the NEMECYS project. Know more here.

– 7th edition of the annual international Quantum Techniques in Machine Learning (QTML) conference, 19- 24 June, CERN, Switzerland. Register here.

– Brain Capital Innovation Summit: Leading Investors in Brain Health, June 26-28, California. Register

– Public event on the progress of Horizon Europe: stakeholders’ contribution to the midterm evaluation, 29 june, 10:00-13:00. Register here.

– 2023 European Researchers Night, 29 september. Find more here.

– Horizon Europe: What next for the lump sum approach? 06 July 2023, 14:30 – 15:30 CET, Brussels. A private Science|Business Network Horizon Working Group meeting. More info

– 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

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

– 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

– 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

– 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 crisis’. More info.


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