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In today's Morning Brief:

Call for transparency for the new EU Industrial Strategy proposal

Ahead of the European Commission’s new industrial strategy proposal, expected on Wednesday (5 May), Friends of the Earth has compiled a report exposing the influence of business associations in shaping policy through industrial alliances, according to EurActiv. The Commission is expected to announce more industry alliances on Wednesday, including new ones on renewable energy and low-carbon fuels. These alliances, like the Clean Hydrogen Alliance and the Battery Alliance, are set up by the European Commission, and bring together national authorities, regions, industry research institutes and other stakeholders to push forward European industry in a sector considered of strategic importance. But while they do include trade unions and NGOs, they give industry a chance to shape European policy to suit their interests, said Myriam Douo, one of the co-authors of the report at Friends of the Earth.


European Health Union: Commission publishes open public consultation on the European Health Data Space

The Commission published an open public consultation on the European Health Data Space (EHDS) – an important building block of the European Health Union. The EHDS aims to make full use of digital health to provide high-quality healthcare and reduce inequalities. It will promote access to health data for prevention, diagnosis and treatment, research and innovation, as well as for policy-making and legislation. According to the EC website, the EHDS will place individuals’ rights to control their own personal health data at its core. The consultation can be accessed here and will remain open for responses until 26 July 2021.


EU supercomputer partnership now headquartered in Luxembourg

According to ScienceBusiness, the EU supercomputing research partnership, EuroHPC, will drive its €8 billion mission to pool European and national resources to procure and deploy world-class supercomputers from new headquarters in Luxembourg. The inauguration of the headquarters is the latest step in launching EuroHPC under the new research programme, Horizon Europe. Next, the Council is expected to finalise its regulation to enable a €8 billion investment in the partnership, which hopes to help Europe secure a place in the global supercomputer race. “Supercomputing is key for the digital sovereignty of the EU,” said EU internal market commissioner Thierry Breton at the inauguration event. “High Performance Computers are crucial to harness the full potential of data — notably for AI applications, health research and industry 4.0. We are massively investing in this cutting-edge technology for Europe to remain ahead of the global tech race.”


European Parliament approved €7.9B European defence fund

The Commission welcomed the adoption of the European Defence Fund (EDF), following the European Parliament’s approval. The EDF, with a budget of €7.9 billion, is the Commission’s flagship instrument to support defence cooperation in Europe. EDF will co-finance collaborative research and capability development projects amplifying national investment. It will also foster an innovative and competitive defence industrial base. In doing so, it will enhance Union’s technological sovereignty and therefore its open strategic autonomy. The European Defence Fund should contribute to the EU’s strategic autonomy by coordinating, supplementing and amplifying national investments in defence. Currently, around 80% of defence procurement is run on a national basis, leading to a costly duplication of military capabilities.

The main features of the European Defence Fund are:

  • Financing of priority projects agreed by Member States within the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy and other regional and international organisations such as NATO;
  • Financing only collaborative projects involving at least 3 participants from 3 Member States;
  • Co-funding common prototypes where Member States commit to buying the final product;
  • Promoting the cross-border activities of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by e.g. providing higher financing and participation rates;
  • Targeting innovation, with 5% of the funds dedicated to disruptive technology and innovative equipment;
  • Possibility of promoting projects in the framework of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) by providing an additional co-financing bonus of 10%.


EC public consultation on IP for industrial designs

The Commission launched two public consultations delivering on the actions presented in the intellectual property action plan. One of them refers to industrial design protection, that is to the rights which protect the appearance of a product resulting from its attributes such as shape, colours or materials, and aims to gather the view of those affected by design protection in Europe, in view of the review of the Community Design Regulation (6/2002) and the Directive on the legal protection of designs (98/71/EC). The public consultation can be accessed here, and will remain open until 22 July 2021 included.


OECD Survey addressed to all researchers

OECD has launched its International Survey of Science 2021. The survey is addressed to all members of the global scientific and research community, and will be used to better understand the current status of science and research and its interaction with society. After completing the survey, participants can opt in to receive a customised report with advanced survey results. To participate, click here.


Batteries Europe hosts a workshop on the digitalisation of batteries

The platform Batteries Europe – the technology and innovation platform of the European Battery  Alliance – is organising a workshop on the digitalisation of batteries for smart energy and transport systems, that will take place tomorrow, May 5th, from 14 to 16 CEST. The event is organised in collaboration with European Technology & Innovation Platform “Smart Networks for Energy Transition” (ETIP SNET) and the European Green Vehicle Initiative (EGVI). Full agenda of the event and registration link are available here.


Webinar on latest Horizon Europe updates

The DG RTD, in collaboration with EMDESK, is organizing a webinar regarding Horizon Europe that will take place this Wednesday, May 5th, at 11 CEST. The focus of the webinar will be on latest updates on Horizon Europe, and in particular on missions, strategic planning, EIC, and planning for the first work programmes and calls for proposals. After a presentation by Massimiliano Esposito (DG RTD), the event has foreseen 20 minutes of Q&A. Details and registrations here.

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