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Today’s Morning Brief brings you a complete overview of the latest developments surrounding the Competitiveness Council held yesterday. Several topical decisions were made that were then announced elsewhere and resulted from long negotiations, namely the accession to Horizon Europe of third countries (the first ones to make it were Norway and Iceland), a new synergistic approach between Erasmus+ and MSCA, a deal on the 10 Public Private Partnerships and their announced first calls for December 2021, the continued focus on strategic autonomy and the technology deal between EU and the US, which is both (originally) an attempt to curb China’s capacity to be a standard setter in key areas such as AI and others, but also a step towards mending transatlantic relations and avoiding science and technology cooperation to become hostage to other geoeconomic and geopolitical considerations, as illustrated by the recent submarine deal.

However, the at the very top of the issues we highlight today is the INESC Health Technologies R&I Roadmap: a vision for 2030. This is your opportunity to participate in this pioneering exercise. Check all the details below.

Any comments or suggestions, hit me up with an email on ricardo.migueis@inesctec.pt.

In today's Morning Brief:

In today’s Morning Brief:

INESC Health technologies R&I Roadmap: a vision for 2030

The Work Group Health Technologies (WG HT) is now developing a research and innovation (R&I) roadmap focused on Health Technologies for the whole INESC group (the 5 INESC institutes in Portugal). The objectives of the Health Technologies Research and Innovation Roadmap are to:

  • Build a vision for research and innovation for the specific thematic area, across all INESCs.
  • Set concrete research and innovation goals for the thematic area as a whole and its different technology areas.
  • Identify resources (human and material) needed to achieve the research and innovation goals set.
  • Build a multi-year funding path to achieve the goals set in the medium and long-term.
  • Provide INESC with the needed clarity for positioning, influencing and contributing to research and innovation agenda-setting.

As part of this exercise, the WG HT is organising an international workshop, with participation of renowned international researchers as discussants and “sounding board”, from whom we expect to benefit while building our vision of the future for health technologies, what can be the INESC contribution and how to make it happen.

In order to make the most out of this international workshop, our proposal is to organize an internal event that will take place before the international workshop, so that the proposed intervention areas and corresponding research lines are discussed. The active participation of INESC researchers is crucial for the success of these initiatives.

  • Date and place of the internal workshop for INESC researchers: 3 November, virtual only.
  • Date and place of the international workshop: 16 December, hybrid workshop (hosted by INESC Coimbra and virtual participation is possible).

INESC researchers are asked to prepare a short PPT of maximum 5 slides, to be presented and discussed in the internal workshop, in a maximum of 5 minutes, answering the following questions:

1) How do you think Health Technology will be able to address challenges in one or more of the intervention areas defined above? Which challenges? Are they scientific, economic, environmental, other?

2) Would you propose changes to the intervention areas list? Does your research fit one or more intervention areas? Which?

3) Specify how you relate your research to the intervention area(s). How will your present and future research work contribute to the intervention area?

4) We challenge you to ahead: what is your vision for the future of that intervention area?

5) Finally, if it were up to you alone to define the research lines of your institute, which research lines would you define and in which intervention areas would they fit in? A research line can fit more than one intervention area.

The goal is to provide input from INESC researchers into the definition of the research lines to be developed in the INESC HT R&I Roadmap (INESC in 2030).

Send your PPT, until 17th October to ricardo.migueis@inesc.pt.

The roadmap

The roadmap will be grounded on 4 health specific intervention areas + 2 cross-cutting intervention areas (they are not specific to health, but they are essential, and research lines in these areas, either health-related or not, should be pursued, because even if not directly related to health, they will have health related impacts):

  • Disease prevention
  • Disease diagnosis
  • Disease treatment
  • Disease recoery and follow-up
  • Information and decision support
  • Medtech logistics and support systems

Following the deep characterisation report of INESC R&I capacity in HT and drawing on the expertise previously identified, the WG HT developed a mapping of INESC expertise and its relation with the specific Intervention Areas defined for the purpose of the R&I roadmap.

Contact your WG HT member or the Head of INESC Brussels HUB for further information on this table.

More importantly, do not hesitate in participating in this pioneering exercise.


EC workshop on the Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities Mission

On Friday, 1st October at 10:00 our Mission Manager Matthew Baldwin, will be joined by our Mission Board Chair Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, Thomas Osdoba (coordinator of the NetZeroCities project) and Dirk Beckers (Director of the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency CINEA) and will explain how we intend the Mission to work and how cities will be able to become part of it. This will be followed by a Questions and Answers session. Register here.


New brief on links between Erasmus+ and MSCA

The European Commission’s new publication explains how universities can take advantage of both of the EU’s academic mobility programmes, Erasmus+ and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA).

For example, European university alliances funded under Erasmus+ can take advantage of the MSCA Doctoral Networks and COFUND call to develop doctoral and postdoctoral programmes. Individual Erasmus+ participants can also join MSCA research teams through traineeships, short-term and staff exchanges.

The Commission’s goal is to improve awareness and maximise the use of the funds available through the programmes. Erasmus+ has a budget of €26.2 billion for the next seven years, while MSCA will receive €6.6 billion from the EU’s research programme, Horizon Europe, by 2028.


EU vows €140 million for sustainable food systems research abroad

Speaking at the Global Citizen Live event, President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced that the European Union is pledging €140 million to support research in sustainable food systems and tackle food hunger via CGIAR, formerly also known as Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research, and a further €25 million for Education Cannot Wait, a global fund for the education of children in emergencies and protracted crises, in particular girls, children with disabilities, minorities and other marginalized children.

CGIAR is the world’s largest global agricultural innovation network. CGIAR brings evidence to policy makers, innovation to partners, and new tools to harness the economic, environmental and nutritional power of agriculture. Check CGIAR research centres list here.


Deal on the 10 EU Public Private Partnerships is now complete

The negotiations on ten industrial partnerships under Horizon Europe are complete, clearing the way for a December launch of the initiatives, Slovenia’s research minister Simona Kustec told fellow ministers today. The partnership legislation has been in the pipeline since the Commission submitted its proposal for the €10 billion package governing nine industrial partnerships as well as one public partnership on metrology in February.


EU Competitive Council (28 Sept): focused on global approach to innovation, strategic autonomy and gender parity

EU ministers responsible for research adopted on Tuesday (28 September) resolutions on a global approach to research and innovation, whose aim is to boost resilience and competitiveness of the EU, Slovenia’s minister of education, science and sports said after chairing a session of the Competitiveness Council.

The ministers also urged the European Commission to sign agreements on the association of third countries to the Horizon Europe programme.

The Ljubljana declaration was also presented by the Slovenian EU presidency. An initiative to contribute to efforts to improve conditions and achieve equal and balanced treatment of researchers in the European Research Area.


Norway and Iceland: first associated country-members to Horizon Europe

Norway and Iceland have become the first countries to formally associate to Horizon Europe, with their inclusion confirmed today at a meeting of the joint committee of the European Economic Area (EEA).


EC and its Western Balkan and Turkish partners concluded HE association negotiations

The process to formalise the agreements is ongoing and the Association Agreements are expected to be signed before the end of 2021. Association to the EU’s Framework Programme on Research and Innovation is the closest form of cooperation in science and technology. It has proven, and will continue to be instrumental for smooth R&I cooperation and funding of joint innovation projects with partners from the region, enabling mutual access to excellence, innovation and research resources.


Strategic autonomy in practice: the case of EU-US relations

Despite the rhetoric, EU-US relations have been severely strained and the change of presidency in the US did little or, some argue, even worked against, diminishing the stress between the two Atlantic blocs. The new EU-US Trade and Technology (TTC) is set to hold its first meeting in Pittsburgh on Wednesday (29 September), in the shadow of the submarine dispute between France and Washington, which had put the transatlantic relationship to the test.

Besides digital Vice-President Margrethe Vestager and economy Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, talks will also be co-chaired by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai. The Council’s 10 working groups will focus on technology standards, green technology, supply-chain security, data governance, export controls, investment screening, and global trade issues. A leaked document to EurActiv stresses the central role in the discussion of supply chains and semiconductor shortages.

The transatlantic partners are also committing to work together on artificial intelligence, despite very different regulatory approaches. The objective is to establish common principles that would define the international standards for AI, to prevent China from becoming the standard-setter in the field.


Will AI ease or exacerbate global instability?

When it comes to capitalising on artificial intelligence and data analytics, some countries and companies are streaking ahead of others. That was the view of some of the speakers participating in an online Science|Business workshop exploring the Great Global Data Divide.

Check the full report on the discussions in this SB article.


Lack of green maritime fuels makes liquid natural gas a necessity says Commission

According to an EurActiv recent article, Liquid natural gas (LNG) is a necessary transitional fuel to decarbonise EU maritime activities as the available quantities of zero, or low-carbon fuels are currently insufficient, the European Commission has said.

Environmental groups have criticised the inclusion of LNG in FuelEU Maritime legislation to increase the uptake of green fuels in the maritime sector. They argue it will slow the adoption of truly zero-carbon fuels while locking in reliance on gas, a fossil fuel.

But a sudden switch to electro-fuels and advanced biofuels is unrealistic due to supply issues, said Joaquim Nunes de Almeida, director for energy-intensive industries and mobility with the European Commission’s DG GROW.


Webinar series: “A new world? Universities in changing international relations”

The European University Association is organising a webinar series: “A new world? Universities in changing international relations”, starting on 7 October at 14.00 CEST.

The series of webinars will look at how geopolitics is changing and what this means for European policies and for universities. These events will serve to inform participants about European-level policy discussions as well as to provide an opportunity to discuss these issues in an online format.

7 October (14.00-15.00 CEST)

3 November (16.00-17.00 CET)

9 December (14.00-15.00 CET)

Register here.

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