Welcome to today’s Morning Brief. The Morning Brief newsletter is only available to INESC staff and affiliated researchers upon subscription (weekly or daily), after creating an account in the Private Area of the HUB website. To do so, click the log-in icon on the top-right corner of this website.

In this Morning Brief, we bring you the first issue of the OLISSIPO newsletter, a programme coordinated by INESC-ID’s Susana Vinga, pleas for solidarity with Ukrainian researchers, EU ministers and member states decisions regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the latest impacts of climate change according to IPCC’s latest report, and more!  

Any comments or suggestions, hit me up with an email on teresa.carvalho@inesc.pt.

In today's Morning Brief:

In today’s Morning Brief:

First issue of the OLISSIPO newsletter now available

The first issue of the OLISSIPO Newsletter is out. In the newsletter you will have access to updates on the project’s activities, achievements and upcoming events.

Coordinated by Susana Vinga – INESC-ID researcher and member of its Board of Directors, as well as Associate Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico and member of the INESC Brussels Hub Working Group on Health Technologies  – OLISSIPO is a Twinning project, funded by the European Commission within Horizon 2020, that aims to enhance the competences in Computational Biology at INESC-ID and to create an international pole of excellence in multi-disciplinary science in Portugal.

Click here to access the newsletter.


Solidarity with Ukrainian researchers

Scientists from 79 countries work at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA), among them many from Ukraine and Russia. Therefore, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is causing great concern and anxiety among the campus community. Employees fear for the safety of their families.

“ISTA is built on and committed to international cooperation and peaceful understanding. The war in Ukraine is extremely disturbing and we fully condemn it,” says ISTA president Tom Henzinger. “We are shaken by the violence and feel deeply for all members of our community who fear for the safety of their loved ones. We are also looking for ways to help.”

As a first response to the war in Ukraine, ISTA will fund additional internships specifically for scientists from Ukraine. The program will enable students to gain scientific experience at ISTA in the fields of biology, neuroscience, computer science, data science, physics, mathematics, and chemistry.

The Institute will also donate to established aid organizations currently working to help people in Ukraine.


2nd Pan-European Cruise Dialogue : the road to sustainable cruise tourism

Today, the European Commission organises the second Pan-European Cruise Dialogue. With this dialogue, the Commission wants to help the sector recover from the crisis and align with the objectives of the European Green Deal, leading to a more sustainable and resilient cruise tourism sector in Europe.

The event fits in the larger implementation of the European Commission’s new approach to a sustainable blue economy. It brings together the entire cruise tourism sector, including the industry, the ports, the destinations, the tourism authorities, the countries, the regions, the towns, and European institutions and agencies like the European Maritime and Safety Agency.

Click here for more information.


The view from Kyiv: Head of Ukraine’s research agency calls for international help

“Science in Ukraine has come to a halt. Russia’s invasion has crippled the country’s newly established research agency and forced its leader to a bomb shelter in Kyiv. During the day, Olga Polotska, the executive director of the National Research Foundation of Ukraine (NRFU), is helping deliver food and supplies across Kyiv. At night she has to go back to an underground shelter from where she is trying to keep herself and her agency alive, checking updates on social media from researchers scattered across the country. In a phone interview with SciencełBusiness from Kyiv 28 February, she appeals for assistance to Ukrainian scientists. Any kind of international joint programmes involving Ukrainian researchers would help keep the country’s science base alive. “Ukrainian scientists will need a lot of support,” Polotska said.” Click here for the Science|Business article.


Analysis and Experimentation on Ecosystems (AnaEE) granted European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) status

This February, the Commission granted the legal status of European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) to the Analysis and Experimentation on Ecosystems (AnaEE), which brings together and provides access to state-of-the-art experimental and analytical platforms for ecosystem research throughout Europe.

‘AnaEE-ERIC offers capacities to develop multidisciplinary approaches at the frontiers of life sciences, agronomy and environmental sciences, combining experimentation, analysis and modelling services to answer pressing scientific and societal issues’. AnaEE-ERIC will ‘advance our understanding of the environmental impacts of ongoing global change and foster adaptation and mitigation strategies for safeguarding ecosystem services and their economic and societal benefits.’

Click here for more information on this decision.


EU ministers consider speeding up connection of Ukraine’s electricity grid to EU’s

According to EURACTIV, “EU energy ministers met in Brussels on Monday to discuss energy security in Ukraine and the impact of the war on Europe’s energy market and energy prices, as Ukrainian activists called for the country’s quick connection to the EU electricity grid. As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, there is growing pressure to link Ukraine’s electricity grid with the EU’s to ensure the country’s electricity grid remains stable and to prevent blackouts. On Saturday, the Ukrainian energy company DTEK said Russia was not specifically targeting critical energy infrastructure. The country’s electricity is still stable, despite continued Russian aggression. However, representatives from DTEK warned there was a risk a stray rocket could take out a key piece of energy infrastructure, leading to a blackout, and warned that Russian tanks were 25 km away from Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant.”.


Lithuania to call for Russia and Belarus ban from European higher education forum

“Lithuania’s education minister says the country is preparing to propose suspending Russia and Belarus from participation in a prominent education forum, the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The platform, governed by the so-called Bologna process, brings together 49 countries and the European Commission to discuss and adopt higher education reforms in a bid to boost learning mobility, quality and cross-border academic cooperation. These reforms include introducing a three-cycle higher education system – that is bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral studies – as well as ensuring mutual recognition of qualifications and implementing a system of quality assurance. Suspending Russia and Belarus from the group would have purely symbolic rather than immediate practical effect – but it highlights the debate within the global academic community over how and whether it should respond to the Russian invasion. It’s also unclear how, officially, the group would act on the Lithuanian request.” Read the full piece on Science|Business.


Urgent need to adapt to massive impacts of climate change highlighted in latest IPCC report

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has published its latest report on the impacts, adaptation and vulnerabilities related to climate change. Authored by hundreds of the world’s top climate scientists, the report confirms that climate change is here to stay and some of its effects are now unavoidable. Across the globe, the climate crisis is putting lives and livelihoods at risk – especially for the most vulnerable.

One of the report’s main findings is that climate change induced by humanity is already impacting nature and people more intensely, more frequently and over a wider geographical area than previously thought.

  • A greater surface of land is being burnt by wildfires, and tropical cyclones are causing greater damage due to climate change;
  • Around half of the species studied have shifted their habitats towards the poles or to higher altitudes, and the first species extinctions driven by climate change have already occurred;
  • The degradation and destruction of ecosystems harms our ability to adapt to climate change;
  • Climate change is already undermining our food and water security, agricultural productivity, and physical and mental health.

Moreover, the report finds that that these kinds of risks will increase inexorably over the next two decades – but some risks can be lessened by taking measures to adapt to the impacts.

Click here for more information.


Addressing gender equalities crucial to closing digital gaps, say Commission officials

According to EURACTIV, “Efforts to address the gender imbalances in the tech sector will be fruitless without action to close the gender pay gap more generally, the European Commission’s former deputy director-general for communication has said. Whatever is done at the EU or national level to support women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), Sixtine Bouygues said, “nothing will be enough if we don’t remedy the pay gap”. Action in this area is also needed to address gender gaps in pensions and care, said Katarina Ivanković Knežević, director of the Commission’s department for social affairs and inclusion. Both were speaking at the Huawei School for Female Leadership in the Digital Age, a week-long programme that brought together young women working in tech from each of the EU’s 27 member states, as well as the Western Balkans, in Nice last week.”.

More Articles

31/05/2022: BioData.PT Session 3, EU AI Law, European Sustainable Energy Week, LIFE Awards 2022 Winners, EU Green Deal, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– BioData.PT Talks Session 3: Recent Artificial Intelligence Tools and Architectures for Structural Biology;
– EUA Policy Input: Considerations for a “European Degree”;
– Putting Science into Standards;
– The EU AI law will not be future-proof unless it regulates general purpose AI systems;
– European Sustainable Energy Week: Going green and digital for Europe’s energy transition;
– European Commission reveals winners of LIFE Awards 2022;
– Interact with statistics for the European Green Deal;
– EU countries urged to prepare for Russian gas cut: Summit draft.

Read More »

30/05/2022: INESC TEC Workshop, EU Cancer Plan, Eurostat, Defunct Satellites, Hydrogen, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– INESC TEC coordinated a workshop on Machine Learning;
– Access to financial products for persons with a history of cancer in EU Member States;
– Eurostat regional yearbook: From traditional printed publication to modern interactive tool;
– ‘World-first’ project for capturing defunct satellites ramps up;
– Hydrogen: BAM sets up digitally networked research filling station to increase safety of technology;
– EFCA coordinates EU efforts to monitor the bluefin tuna fishing season;
– Zero Pollution Monitoring and Outlook Workshop – Report;
– Commission outlines defence R&D priorities in new €924M work programme.

Read More »

26/05/2022: INESC-ID research grants, new MSCA platform, Horizon Europe UK backup, REPowerEU, Fit for 55, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– INESC-ID: Nuno Lopes receives research grants from Google and Woven Alpha;
– EU ramping up efforts for strategic autonomy in raw materials;
– Laurence Moreau appointed head of the ERC executive agency;
– Event: The UK’s Position in Global Science and Innovation;
– New MSCA networking platform for future applicants;
– Application system opens for UK Horizon backup grants;
– Fraunhofer elects three new executive vice-presidents;
– FaST Navigator study identifies models necessary to provide accurate advice on the use of fertilisers to EU farmers;
– Germany’s pacifist universities pose obstacle to militarisation of EU R&D;
– Webinar: The European Standardisation Booster;
– MSCA Cluster event on Mission Ocean and Waters;
– REPowerEU: Commission establishes the EU Energy Platform Task Force to secure alternative supplies;
– Horizon Europe mission on carbon-neutral cities kicks into gear;
– Fit for 55: New EU carbon sink goal will increase 2030 reduction target;
– A new Blue Economy Observatory to monitor and promote the sustainability of our ocean related activities;
– Zero Pollution Monitoring and Outlook Workshop – Report.

Read More »