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 today’s Morning Brief we bring you news regarding new INESC events including a forum and a workshop, INESC TEC’s participation in the OceanACT, the ERC’s highlight of several EU-funded projects that are helping with the Climate Crisis, Portugal as a start-up heaven 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:

INESC TEC Joins Efforts in the OceanACT

OceanACT, the Atlantic Lab for Future Technologies is a Portuguese venture, aiming to promote the testing of innovative ocean technologies, boosting the offshore demonstration infrastructures available in the country.

We’re pleased to announced that INESC TEC is one of the five Portuguese institutions joining efforts to boost open sea tests of Ocean Technologies.

Learn more about the consortium and the OceanAct initiative here.

ERC looks to award three grantees for engaging public with research

The European Research Council (ERC) launched today the second edition of its prize for public engagement aiming to award three grantees €10,000 each.

All of 6,800 of the basic research funder’s grantees can apply until 3 February 2022, and the winner will be announced during the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) in July.

The award was introduced in 2020 to highlight the importance of engaging the public with science. “Europeans are more and more interested in science. And over 50% of them, according to a recent Eurobarometer, think that scientists need to engage better with the public. ERC grantees can help meet this expectation and bring their research closer to citizens,” said EU research commissioner Mariya Gabriel.

The new president of the ERC, Maria Leptin, promises to make public engagement an even bigger part of the agency’s work, starting with connecting grant holders with journalists and bloggers.

INESC TEC’s Autumn Forum

This yearly initiative by INESC TEC focuses on promoting a space for the discussion of themes of great interest to the Portuguese community, in specific topics that are greatly influenced by science and technology.

Since last year’s event was cancelled due to the pandemic, this 23 November, the event will take place, in-person from 15:00 GMT in FEUP’s Auditorium.

This year’s edition, a collaboration between INESC TEC and ISPUP, will be dedicated to the interaction of technology with Artificial Intelligence and Health, something that is even more important in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The temporary programme is available here and registration is open here until November 19.

In the Black’21 Workshop

Since 2018 this yearly event has focused on pertinent questions for the research community. This year the theme will be “Impact Assessment for Future Exploitation of Underwater Minerals”, which is expected to generate renewed momentum to the Raw Materials Community in general.

Organised by INESC TEC with support from EIT Raw Materials and the INESC Brussels Hub, this workshop is aiming to strengthen the connections between the In the Black community and redefine future enabling strategies. It will take place November 19, 2021 at 13:30 CEST and it will be a hybrid event.

This year’s workshop will be the driving force to set up the “Portuguese” Raw Materials Week which will include two important side events: the MineHeritage Project FINAL MEETING (funded by the EIT Raw Materials Academy), and the inSITE Workshop (Upscaling project funded by EIT Raw Materials).

This week will take place between 23-26 November in Porto (Portugal) at the School of Engineering of Porto|ISEP. For more information and to register click here.

EU-funded Projects Helping with the Climate Crisis

The European Research Executive Agency has decided to highlight several of their EU-funded projects helping us adapt better to the challenges that climate change poses.

As the world continues in its fight against climate change, it is important to not just mitigate future climate crises but to adapt and react to the ones affecting us now.

This piece by the European Research agency highlights the many projects managed that are being funded by Horizon 2020, that are currently working in the field of adaptation to create a safer future for the planet.

To read more about their key adaptation projects click here.

Four Problems we need to solve with Solar Energy

Solar power has seen rapid growth, as well as promising improvements in technology and price in recent years. About 3% of the world’s electricity comes from solar power, with $141 billion invested in 2019. But that is short of the estimated $794 billion that the International Renewable Energy Agency says is needed annually for renewable energy to meet climate agreement objectives and avoid a global meltdown.

To hit a target like that, we need to solve a long list of problems. Existing panels, for example, are limited in how much sunlight they can convert into electricity. Efficiency has increased over the last 40 years, but only by about 10%.

If you want to read the list of the four things researchers argue would help advance solar power, make sure to click here!

Science Business Launches new Climate Ideas Live Blog

Yesterday, Science Business launched here, a new live blog focused on climate ideas with an emphasis on research, technology, and opinions to help solve the global climate crisis.

Make sure to put it in your bookmarks, especially during COP26, as the updates are frequent and relevant.

Research Associations Plead with Europe for UK Horizon Europe Association

Research and university associations from across Europe have sent a letter to the European Commission calling for the UK to become associated in Horizon Europe without delay.

“The UK’s association to Horizon Europe must be implemented now”, the letter says. “This lingering uncertainty risks endangering current and future plans for collaboration.”

The post-Brexit trade agreement the EU and UK signed in December 2020 included provisions for the UK to be associated in Horizon Europe and the Commission assured researchers UK partners need not wait for the formal approval of the association agreement and could go ahead and apply for the first calls.

Research organizations are annoyed that universities, businesses and research institutions have been working with UK partners on project proposals for the past 10 months, assuming the UK would soon be a full associated member in Horizon Europe, but the Commission is delaying a decision on the UK’s participation in the €95.5 billion programme.

To read more about this issue click here.

Inside Portugal’s bid to become a ‘startups factory’

This Wednesday, Portugal’s Economy Minister Pedro Siza Vieira announced the launch of the Europe Start-up Nations Alliance (ESNA), a new entity that will support 26 EU countries and Iceland in creating domestic conditions for the flourishing of start-ups.

Just the day before, Vieira also announced the expansion of Portugal Tech, the government’s investment programme, to fund Portuguese start-ups with an additional €250 million.

“We are putting the money where our mouths are,” boasted Ricardo Mourinho Félix, vice-president of the European Investment Bank, which co-finances the programme.

Beyond attracting companies and talent, Portuguese themselves are increasingly active in the tech sector, starting their own companies or learning programming languages.

“We are great techies, we know how to tackle technology. What we miss is a little bit of organisation to bring that to the market,” said Rui Bras Fernandes, CEO at u-find.me.

At play is also the so-called ‘return effect’, as IT experts who went to work for large tech companies abroad are now coming back to be close to their families, bringing their expertise to Portuguese start-ups.

Read more about this subject here!

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 »