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Contact us:
Mariana Santos, Communications Officer

Pedro Villas Boas, Policy and Communications Officer

In today's Morning Brief:


💡 Looking to apply for Horizon Europe funding? Consider key aspects like Gender Balance, Open Science, and Communication when filling out forms. The European Research Executive Agency (REA) offers helpful tips on applying, dos and don’ts, boosting your chances, and managing your HorizonEU grant. Explore these tips for the best shot at securing EU research funding!

📅 The Research and Innovation Week (R&I Week) is the 2024 European Commission’s flagship event on research and innovation which will take place between 18 and 21 March 2024 in Tour & Taxis (Brussels, Belgium). Know more here.

📢 Do you want to discover the latest opportunities for Transnational and Virtual Access in the Research Infrastructures field? Save the date: 28th November 2023, at 10.00 CET. This is an online event organised by RICH Europe, the European Network of National Contact Points. Know more here

Key Takeaways

– MEPs voted this week regarding a proposed law aiming to enhance Europe’s production of technologies crucial for achieving decarbonization, the Net-Zero Industry Act. The MEPs propose faster authorisation procedures for projects and introduce net-zero industry valleys, which would speed up the permitting process by delegating parts of the environmental assessment evidence collection to member states. Know more here.

– INOV, INESC ID and INESC TEC are at the forefront of the ground-breaking BLOCKCHAIN.PT initiative, dedicated to propelling Portugal into a global leadership role in blockchain technology. Know more here.

– The European Parliament has officially approved the 2024 EU budget, including an extra €85 million for research and innovation in Horizon Europe, raising the total budget to €12.9 billion. The Council of member states endorsed this deal earlier, and it’s now set for formal signing into law. The final step involves formalizing the agreement into law through the signing process. Know more here.


EU Commission to spend €186 million promoting agri-food products in and outside EU in 2024

In 2024, the European Commission plans to invest €185.9 million in promoting sustainable, high-quality EU agri-food products domestically and internationally. Their work program aims to create fresh market prospects, considering political priorities, forecasts for exports to current and emerging markets, and input from stakeholders.
The goal of these campaigns is to expand market horizons for EU farmers and the broader food industry while ensuring the stability of their current operations. These efforts also aim to boost sustainable production and consumption of agricultural goods. Proposals for the 2024 campaigns will be accepted from January 18 to May 14, 2024. Know more here.

Commission opens search for technology infrastructure expert group

The European Commission is looking for members to join a new expert group on technology infrastructures. The group will advise the Commission on strengthening European technology infrastructure policy and help identify strategic pilot areas for investments. 
The call for applications is open until 11 December. Know more here.

Artificial Intelligence and Data Science

Call for Contributions: EU-U.S. Trade & Technology Council’s first edition of AI terminology and taxonomy

The EU-U.S. Trade and technology Council launched a call for input  (TTC) on the First Edition of TTC WG1 Terminology and Taxonomy for Artificial Intelligence. Contribution are open until 24 November 2023 through this link. Please find the first draft on AI terminologies and taxonomies here.

Belgium to focus on a public sector European blockchain during its EU presidency

According to Science Business, Belgium aims to fast-track the creation of a European blockchain platform for storing important documents like licenses and property titles during its presidency of the EU Council starting in 2024.
This initiative is part of a larger focus on four key areas—artificial intelligence, skills development, online anonymity, and advancing digital sovereignty across Europe. Michel’s proposal involves revitalizing the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI) project, established by the European Commission in 2018. This effort collaborates with the European Blockchain Partnership, consisting of the EU’s 27 member states, along with Norway and Liechtenstein. Know more here.

Europe still working with China on military and surveillance uses of artificial intelligence, report finds

European academics are persisting in collaborations with Chinese counterparts on contentious artificial intelligence (AI) research, focusing on biometric surveillance, cybersecurity, and military applications, according to a recent analysis.
As explained by Science Business, One instance involved researchers from the Bundeswehr University Munich, a key German military research institute, who collaborated with a People’s Liberation Army university. Together, they published findings on AI advancements that could contribute to the development of automatic targeting systems, raising concerns about the nature of this collaboration. Know more here.

EU launches new competition to give AI companies access to supercomputers

The European Union has launched the AI Grand Challenge, an initiative designed to promote innovation in large-scale AI models. This program offers winning projects access to GPU hours on European supercomputers and a collective prize pool of €1 million.
In collaboration with the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking, the initiative aims to foster the development of a Europe-wide supercomputing infrastructure and support research and innovation endeavors in the field.
The AI Grand Challenge aligns with strategic initiatives to facilitate AI innovation across the European landscape. Know more here.


Plans to boost Europe’s Net-Zero technology production

According to the European Parliament News, MEPs voted this week regarding a proposed law aiming to enhance Europe’s production of technologies crucial for achieving decarbonization, the Net-Zero Industry Act.
Building on the Commission proposal, the MEPs propose faster authorisation procedures for projects and introduce net-zero industry valleys, which would speed up the permitting process by delegating parts of the environmental assessment evidence collection to member states. 
The legislation was adopted with 376 votes to 139, with 116 abstentions. Once Council has also adopted its position, talks on the final shape of the law can start. Funding for this endeavour is planned to be drawn from national Emission Trading System (ETS) revenue, with allocations made for the most critical projects through the Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform (STEP). Know more here.


As microscopic materials proliferate, ensuring they are safe is a priority

As explained by the Horizon Magazine, globally, there’s a rising need for nanomaterials across various industries like electronics, energy, food, medicine, and transport due to their role in driving technological advancements. However, guaranteeing their safety is crucial. These minute materials often possess distinct properties compared to traditional ones, potentially impacting human health risks. Researchers are at the forefront, developing methods to identify when nanomaterials pose safety concerns. This pioneering work aims to guide companies and governments on when proactive measures are necessary. Know more here.

Research & Innovation

European Parliament Approves 2024 EU Budget with Boost for Research and Innovation

The European Parliament has officially approved the 2024 EU budget, including an extra €85 million for research and innovation in Horizon Europe, raising the total budget to €12.9 billion. The Council of member states endorsed this deal earlier, and it’s now set for formal signing into law. The final step involves formalizing the agreement into law through the signing process. Know more here.

Council approves UK’s inclusion in Horizon Europe and Copernicus Programmes

This week, the Council approved the UK’s inclusion in the EU’s Horizon Europe and Copernicus programs, endorsing the tentative agreement between the Commission and the UK government established on September 7, 2023.
As per the agreement, starting from January 1, 2024, UK researchers and organizations will enjoy equal participation rights in the EU’s research and innovation initiative, Horizon Europe, akin to those of EU member states.
Furthermore, the UK will engage in the EU’s Copernicus program, granting access to Earth observation services, and will have entry to the EU’s space surveillance and tracking services. Know more here.

EU lagging behind on antimicrobial resistance research

According to Science Business, EU member states are lagging behind other nations in researching antimicrobial resistance, a rising public health concern that threatens to trigger a “slow pandemic,” potentially reversing the progress made by modern medicine.
The excessive use of antibiotics has resulted in certain bacteria becoming resistant to existing treatments, resulting in a rise in life-threatening infections with limited availability of new drugs. Recent analysis reveals that the US, China, UK, India, and Australia collectively produce more research papers on this critical global health issue than any individual EU member state. The report emphasizes the necessity for increased investment in innovative therapies to address this urgent challenge. Know more here.

Opinion article in Science Business: The European Research Area needs a reboot

The ERA Forum is rushing to prepare technical documents for the upcoming cycle (2025-27). Mattias Björnmalm, secretary general of CESAER, the association of universities of science and technology in Europe, presented his view on Science Business about the issue. In his opinion, however, amidst this urgency, there’s a risk of losing focus on ensuring the fifth freedom: the free movement of researchers, scientific knowledge, and technology.
This freedom, equivalent in importance to the four freedoms of the European single market, is a legal obligation for all member states. The EU institutions are responsible for enforcing these obligations through legislation upheld by EU courts.
While the EU has actively enforced the established four freedoms, the fifth has been treated more as a voluntary matter. This approach needs to shift towards more decisive action and enforcement. Know more here.

EIT lauds impact of Regional Innovation Scheme in latest report

The European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) has celebrated the accomplishments of its Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) in a recently published report, reflecting on its progress throughout 2022.
Introduced by the EIT in 2014 with the objective of bridging innovation disparities across Europe, the scheme received enhancements in 2021.
The 2022 EIT RIS Activity Report outlines notable achievements, such as the training of 88,000 participants in EIT courses, the introduction of over 350 new innovations, and the establishment and backing of more than 2,500 ventures during the year. Know more here.


INESC participates at BLOCKCHAIN.PT initiative

INOV, INESC ID and INESC TEC participate at the BLOCKCHAIN.PT initiative, dedicated to propelling Portugal into a global leadership role in blockchain technology.
Teaming up with innovators like VOID Software and a consortium of partners, INOV is committed to advancing Portugal’s technological and geographic decentralization, fostering equitable and sustainable development.
Harnessing blockchain’s potential, the INESC institutes aim to drive transparency, innovation, and efficiency across various industries. Collaboration is integral to achieving these ambitious goals. Know more here.

INESC MN partners up in semiconductor consortium

INESC MN is a partner of the Micro.electronics Consortium which mission is to contribute to positioning Portugal on the front line of the semiconductor world market.
In this Agenda, INESC MN will apply its know-how to the industrial implementation of microfabrication for the development of electro-optical chips and the industrialization of processes for integrated optical circuits. Check the Micro.electronics website here.

INESC TEC advances autonomous vehicle perception in THEIA project

INESC TEC collaborated on THEIA – “Automated Perception Driving,” a joint venture involving Bosch and the University of Porto. The project, presenting its outcomes in September, focused on enhancing road safety through sensor development. INESC TEC’s contribution involved crafting neural network architectures to improve autonomous vehicles’ environmental perception.
The project aims to revolutionize the driving experience, envisioning a future where cars autonomously navigate, allowing passengers to engage in activities while on the move. THEIA, spanning three years, aimed to upgrade autonomous vehicles’ sensory capabilities using perception algorithms based on sensor data. INESC TEC’s expertise in perception is pivotal for shaping future mobility. Know more here.

The HUB hosts EARTO meeting on EU RD&I Programmes

The EARTO – European Association of Research and Technology Organisations Working Group EU RD&I Programmes gathered at the HUB’s office this week, sparking discussions within the EU RD&I landscape alongside key stakeholders.
The highlight presentations started with Sarah Neehus from the European Commission – DG R&I shared insights on progress towards FP10, incorporating stakeholder inputs. Elisa Julia Grafulla Garrido highlighted updates on the New European Bauhaus, and Mirko van Muijen delved into International Cooperation in R&I, fostering enriching discussions.
Marc Tachelet’s presentation on the European Research Executive Agency (REA) and Davide Lombardo’s STEP update from DG BUDGET provided crucial insights into emerging funding opportunities.

HUB contributes at the INESC TEC Autumn Forum

INESC Brussels HUB actively participated in the INESC TEC Autumn Forum, held this wek, with a primary focus on advancing our strategic approach to innovation ecosystems and the significance of #interface organizations like INESC.
The forum attracted various public and private stakeholders who underscored the pivotal role of interface organizations, such as RTOs. Discussions revolved around presenting international benchmarks regarding systemic and institutional strategies. Notably, insights from a joint study by OECD and EARTO – the European Association of Research and Technology Organizations – were shared.
The discussions further deepened our understanding of the coverage, interaction, and roles played by diverse ecosystem participants. Additionally, there was valuable input offering perspectives on national and regional visions, programs, strategies, and funding within these innovation ecosystems. Know more here.

Job Opportunities

– INESC TEC has 24 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 offering a research scholarship with a 6 month duration. More 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 workshops

–  NATO Innovation Fund (NIF) Policy, Monday, November 27th, 14h00-15h00, Brussels. Hybrid event. Register here.
– Horizon Europe: FP10 and Preparing for the 2024 Annual Conference. 28 November 2023. 15:00 – 17:00 CET. Online. Members only. More info
-ERC Annual Conference 2023: Research on Diversity & Diversity in Frontier Research. 28 November 2023. 08:30 – 18:00 CET. Brussels and Online. More info.
– Webinar: Transnational and Virtual Access Opportunites. 28 November 2023. 10:00 CET. Online. More info
– Generative AI: How will it transform science and its impact on society? 29 November. A Science Business Event, Brussels, 14:00 to 17:00 CET. More info here.
– 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
– The Chips Joint Undertaking Launch Event, 30 November-1 December, Brussels, at the Event Lounge. Register here.

– 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.
– European Partnership Stakeholder Forum 2023. 5-6 December, Brussels. Registrations open.
– Strategies for R&D resilience in shifting security paradigms – Science Business Network Conference, December 6; 13:30 – 18:00 CET, Brussels. Register here.
– The Widening: 2023 Annual Conference. 06 December 2023 (TBC). 13:30 – 17:30 CET. Place TBA. Public event. More info
– Research and innovation Conference 2023, 7 December 2023, 9:30am – 4:30pm (GMT), a UK Universities event. Register here.

– 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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