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In today's Morning Brief:

EC platform for renewable energy statistics transfer

The European Commission seeks feedback on the draft rules governing a new platform to encourage the transfer of renewable energy statistics between Member States – called the new Union Renewable Development Platform (URDP). The platform should provide information, indicate potential opportunities and provide the relevant contact points – thereby making it easier for Member States to use this cooperation option more effectively and efficiently. The feedback period runs until May 27th, and can be given here.


EC study on gene editing in agriculture

Published on April 29th, the EC study on new genomic techniques acknowledges the potential of gene editing for agriculture and notes most research into commercial applications is taking place outside the EU. The study was based on expert opinions from the Joint Research Centre and the Scientific Advise Mechanism, and collected contributions from member states and stakeholders. The study seems to be paving the way to an update of the GMO directive, which at the moment bans precision breeding of plants through gene editing. Sustainable agriculture is a big part of the EU plan to make the continent carbon neutral by 2050. The Commission’s Farm to Fork strategy aims to reduce the use of fertilisers by 30% and turn 25% of agricultural land over to organic farming, and new genomic techniques could promote the sustainability of agricultural production, according to Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for health and food safety. Read more about the reactions to the study here.


EU’s draft renewables law confirms 38-40% target for 2030

An early draft of the EU’s upcoming renewable energy directive confirms the EU’s objective of sourcing 38-40% of its energy from renewables by 2030, roughly doubling the share of solar, wind and other renewables in Europe’s energy mix by the end of the decade. The European Commission’s revised renewable energy directive will be presented on 14 July as part of a broader package of laws intended to meet the bloc’s updated climate goals for 2030.

The initiatives being considered in the draft include:

  • A ban on fossil fuels in district heating and cooling
  • An increase in the renewables target for transport, from 14% to 26%.
  • An increase in the sub-target for advanced biofuels, from 3.5% to 5.5%, and the introduction of a dedicated supply obligation for aviation
  • Increased cross-border cooperation on offshore renewables.
  • A certification system for renewable and low-carbon fuels.
  • A targeted strengthening of bioenergy sustainability criteria.

More information on the proposal and the mixed reactions it received can be found here.


EC draft measures for a rapid green transition of industries

In line with its environmental sustainability plans, the EU also plans to help industries cut down greenhouse gas emissions by promoting a rapid expansion of investment in low-carbon technologies. According to a Commission draft policy plan commented by Euractiv, the green transition in industrial sectors will be achieved through take-up of technologies like renewable hydrogen fuel and energy storage. Moreover, the draft also considers to support and speed up the rollout of Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI), which “could accelerate needed investments in the fields of hydrogen, 5G corridors, common data infrastructure and services, sustainable transport, blockchain or European Digital Innovation Hubs”. The Commission will also announce details this summer of a plan to impose carbon border costs on imports of polluting goods, a measure that aims to level the playing field for EU industry and overseas firms by exposing them both to the same carbon price.


Parliament votes €7.5B Digital Europe programme

The European Parliament has formally adopted the EU’s new seven-year €7.5 billion investment plan in artificial intelligence, supercomputing and data platforms. Digital Europe will be crucial in granting the EU with the technological sovereignty and become world competitive in the supply of high-performance computing services. The programme will invest €2.7 billion in supercomputing projects to build Europe’s data processing capabilities, with the deployment of a supercomputer and data infrastructure with exascale capabilities by 2023, and post-exascale facilities by 2027. Another €2.5 billion will be invested in R&D projects to promote applications of artificial intelligence in the public and private sector. Finally, another €2 billion are meant to go to the cybersecurity industry, to finance state of the art equipment and infrastructure.


EU Datathon 2021

As part of the Open Data Days 2021, the call is open for participants to the Datathon, the open data competition. The call is open for proposals for the development of an application that links and uses open datasets. The app should showcase opportunities for concrete business models or social enterprises, and fit to find suitable new approaches and solutions to help Europe achieve important EC goals through the use of open data. More information on how to participate can be found here.


ETH Zurich founds Quantum Computing Hub

ETH Zurich and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) have established a joint centre for the development of quantum computers, with the aim to advance the realization of quantum computers based on both ion traps and superconducting components. The Hub has the goal to develop quantum computers with more than 100 qubits, and more than 30 scientists will work in the new hub to this end.

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26/05/2023: New Horizon Europe calls, a global drive for open science, European Commission DG RTD recent reorganisation, EU-China & much more

In today’s Morning Brief:
Horizon Europe
– Twinning call for proposals is open – Read all about it
– Horizon Europe ERA Fellowships call is now open
– EUR 20 million available for Pathways to synergies – Call for proposals
– New Horizon Europe funding opportunity: Dissemination & Exploitation Support Facility call
– Commission Open Call: Expert Group on the Interim Evaluation of Horizon Europe
– Industry 5.0 Award contest opens: apply by 1 September 2023
– Horizon Europe: The EU and the Republic of Korea launch formal negotiations on association to the programme
– European Space Agency chief seeks ‘forward-looking decisions’
Research & Innovation:
– EU research ministers make fresh call for a full transition to free open access publishing
– Open Science: stakeholders welcome European efforts towards publicly owned and not-for-profit scholarly communication
– Global drive for more open, rigorous research is growing
– European Commission sets up new European Innovation Council unit in the research directorate
– Spain wants EU presidency to be ‘bridge’ with Latin American R&D
– Green industry law haunted by old conflicts over nuclear, financing
– The five EU research projects involving China’s military-linked universities
– Critical Raw Materials: EU ministers want to move fast but dilemmas abound
– G7 ministers call for rules to improve research security
– Territorial Economic Data viewer supports policy monitoring
News from INESC institutes:
– INESC Brussels HUB is signing an Open Letter regarding changes to Who is Who in EC Directorate
– ECI Cruelty-free cosmetics – Consultation to adhere to joint final statement
– Structuring the ecosystem: RTOs collaboration with higher education institutions
– INESC TEC develops pioneering research in the application of variational quantum circuits to reinforcement learning
– INOV: MULTICAM prototypes, an online presentation on Blockchain and 5000 followers
– Job Opportunities
Events & Training workshops

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19/05/2023: HUB Summer Meeting, Digital Europe Programme, Regional Innovation Valleys, European R&I funding and policy, and much more

In today’s Morning Brief:
Horizon Europe
– Commission Expert Group on the Interim Evaluation of Horizon Europe
– Commission launches first €122M call to create regional innovation ecosystems
– New calls for proposals of the Digital Europe Programme
Research & Innovation:
– EU research commissioner Mariya Gabriel resigns
– France to boost funding for health research infrastructures and UK to invest £100M in improving RIs
– Commission takes European Innovation Council management under its wing
– Industry 5.0 Award: The contest is open for applications
– AI Act moves ahead in EU Parliament with key committee vote
– Defence industry renews call for R&D spending boost
News from INESC institutes:
– Technology and Law: building a virtuous relationship, by Graça Barbosa
– The 2022 INESC-ID AnnualReport is out
– Exciting news from H2020-RESCUER
– Launch of the New Horizon Europe Project SYCLOPS
– INESC TEC supports the implementation of robotic technologies to reduce the ecological footprint
– INESC TEC develops virtual reality app to support youngster looking for jobs
– Job Opportunities
Events & Training workshops

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05/05/2023: HE calls update, cohesion policy, open access, open science, cohesion policy and coordination of national and EU R&D policy.

In today’s Morning Brief:
Horizon Europe
– Horizon Europe – easy call and topic search
– From KOWI: MSCA: Model Working Contract for Doctoral Networks published
Research & Innovation:
– Report on the outcome of 2021-2027 cohesion policy programming
– Spain adopts national open access strategy
– Commission attempts to strengthen coordination between national R&D policies and EU research programs
– Commission Plans to launch a European Standardisation Panel survey
– Research funders draw attention to uneven implementation of open science
– EIT Climate to become financially sustainable by end of 2024
– Preparing for Belgium’s Thirteenth Presidency of the Council of the European Union
– African Union-European Union High Level Policy Dialogue – Science, Technology and Innovation. Senior official meet to endorse the AU-EU Innovation Agenda
News from INESC institutes:
– INESC MN has a new publication in Advanced Materials Journal
– INOV projects on Youtube
– Diogo Vaz published an article in Público
– Job Opportunities
Events & Training workshops

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