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 open up with OLISSIPO’s Twin Seminar III, dedicated to protein driven machine learning and network approaches which is available to view on YouTube in two parts. The European Commission is asking for interested parties to share views on the Revision of the Detergents Regulation and the EU Innovation Consultants have updated the summary of EU recovery plans. In a leak first reported by EURACTIV, EU drafts plan to ditch Russian gas and, according to the same publication Nord Stream 2 has filed for bankruptcy, firing its employees, 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:

OLISSIPO Twin Seminar III – Protein driven ML and network approaches

The OLISSIPO Twin Seminars will contribute to disseminate the scientific work and expertise of INESC-ID and all the Consortium that includes Inria, ETH Zürich and EMBL. These seminars are comprised of two short presentations, one researcher from Lisbon and one from a twin international institution working on similar topics in Computational Biology. The seminars will be open to everyone interested and will include a discussion to further promote the interaction between all the participants.

If you missed this one dedicated to protein driven machine learning and network approaches for precision medicine that took place last month, make sure to click here to watch it.

Commission invites interested parties to share views on the Revision of the Detergents Regulation

The Commission seeks the views and experiences of all relevant parties on how to improve the current legislation in order to achieve clear, simplified and updated rules that allow for innovative products and sustainable new practices; burden reduction for manufacturers and clearer information to consumers; and an optimised protection of human health and the environment.

The consultation follows the latest Evaluation of the Detergents Regulation and the Fitness Check of the most relevant chemicals legislation (excluding REACH), which revealed a number of weaknesses and areas for further improvement.

The Revision of the Directive contributes to the EU Green Deal and its chemicals strategy for sustainability that aims to better protect the public and the environment against hazardous chemicals and encourage innovation in developing safe and sustainable alternatives. It also contributes to the EU Industrial Strategy and its 2021 Update by assessing the need to introduce digital labelling for detergents as a means of providing clearer information to consumers. The public consultation will be open until 25 May 2022.

EU suspends research payments to Russian partners

According to Science|Business, “The European Commission has suspended payments to Russian institutions involved in EU-funded research and innovation projects. “I have asked my services to suspend any payment to Russian entities under existing contracts,” EU commissioner for research and innovation Mariya Gabriel said in a statement on Wednesday. In addition, the EU will not launch any new cooperation projects with Russian universities, research institutes and companies. “I have therefore decided to suspend the preparations of grant agreements for four projects under Horizon Europe programme that involve five Russian research organisations,” said Gabriel.  “Signing of any new contracts will be put on hold until further notice.” There is no information about what the four projects are.”.

Improving citizens’ participation in cancer screening programmes will help save lives, EU Chief Scientific Advisors recommend

in support of the Commission’s work under Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan to improve early detection through screening, the European Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors (GCSA) released a Scientific Opinion on cancer screening in Europe. In the Opinion, the Advisors provide recommendations on how to improve the existing screening programmes on breast, colorectal and cervical cancer and advise to extend them to lung and prostate cancer. They also stress the importance of increasing people’s participation to such programmes by making them more accessible.

Click here to read it.


INESC-ID featured in the March 2022 issue of Exame Informática

The Horizon Europe funded EV4EU project, coordinated by INESC-ID has been featured in the March 2022 issue of Exame Informática, one of the oldest technology and media magazines in Portugal.

Working towards the mass deployment of Electric Vehicles, EV4EU will contribute to the European Commission’s 2050 carbon neutrality goals.

If you find yourself in Portugal and near a magazine stand, make sure to pick up a copy!

Viewpoint: The science world should keep talking to Russia

In this piece written by James Moran, Associate Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies for Science|Business he states, ““We respect Ukrainian statehood … and we treat the European choice of our neighbors with understanding.” So said some 650 Russian scientists and science journalists in an open letter last week criticizing Moscow’s onslaught against Ukraine. This will naturally not have gone down well in the Kremlin, even if it is doubtful that Vladimir Putin would have taken much notice of it. That said, it shows that there is significant opposition to the war in Russia’s scientific community, which has been an important supporter of cooperation with the wider world, not least with Europe. And that cooperation has featured in the EU’s Horizon research and innovation programmes: according to the European Commission, Russian participation in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie scientist exchange programme has involved 36 Russian entities and over 500 researchers, even though renewal of the official EU-Russia Science & Technology Agreement has been derailed following disagreements about its territorial scope. With Putin trumpeting that Ukraine is not a real country, that dispute is not about to be resolved anytime soon. As it responds robustly to the invasion, the EU’s sanctions effort has expanded exponentially in the past week, and there are calls in some quarters to cut off scientific links through Horizon and other programmes. But doing that would leave the EU with something of a dilemma.”.

EU  Innovation Consultants update summary of EU recovery plans

The European Association of Innovation Consultants has updated its July report summing up how EU member states plan to spend the €723.8 NextGenerationEU pandemic recovery fund. 

The report explains how the funds are governed and implemented in each country, summarises opened and planned calls, and runs through how the fund will contribute to Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEIs), which allow member states to jointly fund cross-border innovation projects addressing market failures. 

The recovery fund is a package of grants and loans, to be spent by 2023, and it sits on top of the EU‘s regular seven-year budget. It comes with its own layer of bureaucracy, which the group of innovation consultants attempt to decode.

The report can be found here.

#EU4Health Calls for Proposals – Info Session

Eight calls for proposals under the EU4Health 2022 Annual Working Programme have been published. More information on the calls is available on the European Health and Digital Executive Agency’s (HaDEA).

This 10 March, a dedicated info session will take place in the morning. If you want more information on the agenda and how to participate, click here.

LEAK: EU drafts plan to ditch Russian gas

“Europe needs to build up its renewable energy capacity and diversify its gas supply to end its dependency on Russian gas, according to a leaked draft of the EU’s communication on energy prices seen by EURACTIV. Europe is in the throes of an energy crisis, mostly driven by high gas prices. The outbreak of war in Ukraine has only worsened this, highlighting Europe’s reliance on imports for 90% of its gas, 40% of which Russia controls. “This dependency has aggravated the current situation of high energy prices, which continues to impact European households and businesses,” the leak said. The communication, originally due to be published on Wednesday (2 March), was meant to look at alleviating the impact of continued high energy prices in Europe and how to prevent this in the future. However, the Russian invasion of Ukraine meant the European Commission had to delay and redraft the communication. It is now expected next week and a leaked draft shows the perspective has shifted to decreasing Europe’s energy dependency on Russia.” Don’t miss this EURACTIV exclusive here.

TinyML Enabling Low-Power Inferencing, Analytics at the Edge

Edge computing is booming, with estimates ranging up to $61 billion in value in 2028. While definitions vary, edge computing is about taking compute power out of the data centre and bringing it as close as possible to the device where analytics can run. 

The devices can be standalone IoT sensors, drones, or autonomous vehicles. “There’s one thing in common. Increasingly, data generated at the edge are used to feed applications powered by machine learning models,” stated George Anadiotis, analyst, engineer and founder of Linked Data Orchestration of Berlin, Germany, working on the intersection of technology, media and data, writing in a recent account in ZDnet

However, “There’s just one problem: machine learning models were never designed to be deployed at the edge. Not until now, at least. Enter TinyML.” 

A fast-growing field of machine learning technologies and applications, tiny machine learning (TinyML) is broadly defined as including hardware, algorithms and software capable of performing on-device sensor data analytics at extremely low power. This enables a variety of always-on use-cases, targeting battery-operated devices.

Click here for more perspectives on TinyML.

Nord Stream 2 files for bankruptcy, fires employees

According to EURACTIV, “The Swiss-based company which built the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany is has filed for insolvency, a local official confirmed to Swiss radio broadcaster SRF on Tuesday (1 March). The move is seen as an attempts to settle claims ahead of a US sanction deadline for other entities to stop dealings with it. The United States sanctioned Nord Stream 2 AG last week after Russia recognised two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine prior to its invasion of the country, which has prompted a wave of economic sanctions by the West. Nord Stream 2 AG, which is registered in Switzerland and owned by Russian state-owned gas giant Gazprom , last year completed the $11 billion project which was designed to double the capacity to pump gas from Russia to Germany.”.

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