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It’s the beginning of a new week! In today’s Morning Brief we bring you a new episode of the HUB Podcast The Insider, new green deal research grants handed by the EC, news on the upcoming Data Act. We also discuss the EU Crop Map, the first continental map of crops grown in the EU that will help monitor agriculture in the continent and the new call for climate-neutral and smart cities and the rise of facial recognition technology in the continent

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:

[Podcast] Green deal call puts a symbolic end to H2020 – What lessons have we learnt?

Horizon 2020 came to an end. What lessons have we learnt from it? How did it influence the shape and implementation of Horizon Europe? This episode of the HUB podcast The Insider is a first exploration of this topic which we will get back at as it raises immense questions about the way Horizon Europe is being implemented today, the research and innovation policies at all levels (from European to national and regional), how research performing institutions have prepared and are designing strategies for success, and our concept of R&I in general.

The podcast is available in the INESC Brussels HUB Media page as well as in all major platforms (Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Acast, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Breaker, Stitcher and most others). Enjoy and don’t forget to subscribe.

 

Commission hands out €1B in green deal research grants ahead of COP26

Complementing the information on the Green Deal call but with a focus on what projects were funded, Science Business provides an interesting overview in this article.

 

MEPs want to reinvest leftovers money from H2020 in HEurope health R&D

According to Science Business, MEPs want €408 million left over from the previous EU research programme to go into Horizon Europe in 2022, with half being dedicated to health research. However, the Slovenian presidency of the EU Council has said member states will push back against this proposal and attempt to block a hike in the budget, preferring to hold the money in a contingency fund, a message echoed by Julien Guerrier, director of the Common Policy Centre at the Commission’s research directorate said Horizon Europe is “greatly oversubscribed” with less than 15% of applicants receiving funding. Among MEPs, the outspoken voice was José Manuel Fernandes (EPP/PSD): “We already knew that Horizon Europe does have the absorption capacity for all funds, so we would insist that what is not used and what is planned for under the financial regulation should be used.

In the same meeting on Wednesday MEPs raised again concerns about the lack of independence of the European Commission’s brand-new Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA). The new body is due to be launched next year with a budget of €6 billion until 2027, €1.7 billion of which represents Horizon Europe’s contribution to research into health emergencies, but MEPs will have little control over how it operates and is discussing with the EC how to increase its control. The EC, on the other side, defends that these agencies are not supposed to be independent but are created to implement and achieve politically defined goals.

 

Spain to chip in €1.3M for researchers who missed ERC funding thresholds

The Spanish State Research Agency is handing out €1.3 million to 13 fundamental research projects that did not manage to secure funding from the EU’s basic research fund, the European Research Council (ERC), as referenced by Science Business. The original article from a Spanish news outlet does not mention if the process is to be continued but Spain has been a strong supporter of Seal of Excellence and other complementary funding at national level, for excellent EU applicants that did not make it.

 

UK allocates £6.9B of its science budget for Horizon Europe

According to Science Business, the UK has set aside £6.9 billion for its contribution to Horizon Europe until 2025, but says it is working on a contingency plan, with association talks at an impasse and Brussels adamant it won’t clear the UK’s access to the €95.5 billion programme until disagreements over the Northern Ireland Protocol are settled.

 

Draft impact assessment sheds some light on upcoming Data Act

The Data Act is the European Commission’s proposed regulation for generalized access to data. According to EurActiv, the Data Act aims to introduce general conditions for consumers and businesses to access the data they generate when using a product or a service in a fair, transparent, and non-discriminatory fashion. However, the general conditions of the Act are still not consensual, as the EC would like supply-chain and other data generated by the products and services businesses make available to stay available only to those businesses. Data sharing would be mediated via smart contracts and application programming interfaces (APIs).

Regarding the obligation for companies to share data with public authorities, access would be based on a list of purposes defined at the EU level limited to “only the most pressing social needs, where other means of accessing data are not available,” including exceptional circumstances, environmental protection and public health.

The adoption of the Data Act is now expected by the first quarter of 2022.

 

The EU Crop Map

The JRC has published the first continental map of crops grown in the European Union at 10-m resolution. It helps to monitor EU agriculture, consistently and in fine detail over large areas.

For the first time ever we now have a map that allows us to zoom down to cultivated parcels for the entire European Union (EU) territory. On these parcels, we can see what crops were grown in 2018.

The EU crop map covers 91 million hectares of cropland and consists of more than 9 billion 10-m pixels. As a result, every field in the EU cropped with wheat, maize, rapeseed, barley, potatoes, sugar beets, and 13 other types of crops is mapped for the first time at a very fine spatial scale.

Find out all about it here!

 

DG Entrepreneurship and SMEs hosts COP26 side event

The Directorate-General for Entrepreneurship and SMEs will co-host a COP26 side event on sustainable finance this Thursday, 4 November from 14:00-15:00 CET. It will focus on putting sustainable finance into practice.

This event will explore new tools developed by the EU, and support programs aiming to mobilise private investments. It will also provide an opportunity to exchange on success factors and challenges for stakeholders when implementing sustainable finance policy.

Sign up here!

 

Mission Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities

The European Commission has made available an Info Kit for Cities with comprehensive information about the mission “100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030”.

The Info Kit is composed of two parts. The first one is a practical guide to help cities prepare for the call of expression of interest to participate in the mission whilst the second one offers resources and strategies towards climate neutrality at city level.

The Call for Expression of Interest will allow cities to state their interest in becoming climate-neutral by 2030 as part of the Mission and to submit information about their current situation, ongoing work and future plans as regards climate neutrality.

Cities can already pre-register here!

 

Facial recognition technology growing in Europe

Law enforcement authorities in eleven European countries are already using biometric recognition systems in their investigations with eight more to follow soon, with a study warning of this technology’s impact on fundamental rights.

Earlier this month, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling for rules on employing AI systems in law enforcement, notably pushing for a ban for facial recognition technologies in public spaces.

The final decision on the controversial use of this technology is up to the Conference of Presidents, which will discuss the matter on 18 November. Read more about this issue here.

 

CONCORDi 2021- Industrial innovation for competitive sustainability

The biennial European Conference on Corporate R&D and Innovation discusses on issues related to the economics and policy of corporate R&D and innovation.

CONCORDi 2021 is organised by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission in association with the European Association for Research and Technology Organisations (EARTO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

The Conference aims to identify the research, business and policy challenges in this area for the decade to come, and to provide guidance to the EU industrial research and innovation policy agenda.

CONCORDi 2021 is organised around the following main themes:

  • Industrial transition in times of recovery (organised by the EC-JRC)
  • Industrial innovation for sustainable transformations (organised by the OECD & EC-JRC)
  • Industrial strategy in a post pandemic world: Focus on developing countries (organised by UNIDO & the EC-JRC)
  • Technology infrastructures to deliver on the twin transition (organised by EARTO & the EC-JRC)

Important dates:

Registration open until 18 November 2021

Conference: 22-25 November 2021.

More Articles

03/12/2021: ICoWEFS 2022, European Business and Nature Summit 2021, Germany’s new government and R&I, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– International Conference on Water, Energy, Food and Sustainability (ICoWEFS 2022);
– European Business and Nature Summit 2021;
– Research to be part of EU rival to China’s Belt and Road initiative;
– European Commission welcomes political agreement on the 8th Environment Action Programme;
– What Germany’s new government means for R&I;
– Data Governance: Deal on new rules to boost data sharing across the EU;
– UK-EU row may leave Copernicus €750M short.

Read More »