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Happy Monday! In this Morning Brief, we open with the newest edition of “The Insider” featuring an analysis of The 100 Top Global Innovators list published by Clarivate, the Horizon Impact Award 2022 now has an extended deadline, at the end of this month don’t miss the online workshop on Copernicus and the Green Deal, and sanctions continue in the science community against Russia and Belarus, 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:

“The Insider” podcast – The 100 Top Global Innovators

Don’t miss the newest episode of “The Insider” where we sit down to discuss the Top 100 Global Innovators 2022 list published by CLARIVATE and the organisation itself, as well as a short weekly news round-up at the end of the episode.

Click here to listen and subscribe!


Towards stronger and more accountable EU-wide disaster risk management

The European Commission’s Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre published by Mette Petersen, Director of the Red Cross EU Office on how disaster risk management is crucial to creating a more resilient European society, aided by the Union Civil Protection Mechanism.

Read it here.


A rocky start for the new Erasmus+ programme in 2021

According to Science|Business, “The revamped seven year student mobility programme Erasmus+ had a rocky start in 2021, after drawn out EU budget negotiations delayed the first calls. Universities scrambled to send their students on exchange visits, as the number wanting to study abroad returned to pre-pandemic levels. This is despite the fact that when the European Commission launched Erasmus+ with fanfare in March 2021, it promised twice the budget of the previous seven years, at €26.2 billion. There also was a pledge to make the programme more accessible to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, those with disabilities, and others who have so far struggled to benefit from the EU’s student mobility funding. The delays meant that in the first year Erasmus+ allocated €705 million, down from €930 million in 2020. This caused issues for universities which were expecting to get more money.”


European Commission suspends cooperation with Russia on R&I

Following the Russian invasion against Ukraine and in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, the Commission has decided to suspend the cooperation with Russian entities in research, science and innovation. The Commission will not conclude any new contracts nor any new agreements with Russian organisations under the Horizon Europe programme. Furthermore, the Commission is suspending payments to Russian entities under existing contracts. All ongoing projects, in which Russian research organisations are participating, are being reviewed – both under Horizon Europe and Horizon 2020, the previous EU programme for research and innovation.

Click here for more information and for the statement made by Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth.


Horizon Impact Award 2022

The Horizon Impact Award recognises and celebrates societal advancements through research and innovation.

On January 6 2022, the European Commission launched the third edition of the Horizon Impact Award Prize. All beneficiaries of closed FP7/H2020 projects are invited to submit their application to the prize and compete for the prize worth 25.000 € per each winner.

Don’t miss this opportunity now that the deadline has been extended to 6 April 2022.

Learn more here.


Switzerland replacement scheme for Horizon Europe start-up funding to launch in April

Switzerland, which has been left out of the EU’s Horizon Europe research programme, is set to launch a funding scheme for its start-ups that do not have access to the European Innovation Council’s Accelerator programme.

The Accelerator is a €7 billion EU fund which offers promising tech start-ups grants and equity investments. It’s only available to companies in EU member states and Horizon Europe associated countries, a title that the EU has withheld from Switzerland due to broader political disagreements.

The legislation for the new scheme will kick in on 15 April, after which the Swiss Innovation Agency will be able to open calls for proposals.


The Future of Tech Governance

The internet of today hardly resembles the ideals on which the World Wide Web was founded. Power has been stripped from individual users and consolidated in corporate giants; trust is diminished by the spread of misinformation, heavy polarization, and rising in equity. As we are witnessing right now, some of the world’s biggest tech companies are being put to the test as their platforms have turned into battlefields of an information war between Moscow, Kyiv, and the West.

That’s partly because the applications and algorithms that shape our economies, democracies, and public discourse were developed with few legal restrictions or commonly held ethical standards. Instead of exploring ways to repair a broken model, many people are now focused on developing a new internet architecture built on a more equitable foundation, focusing on users, optimizing for access and equity, and building for the common good.

On March 10, the McCourt Institute is hosting an inaugural event dedicated to the opportunities and challenges of the development of new Web3 technologies and their related governance structures.

Founded in partnership with Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and Sciences Po in Paris, the McCourt Institute was established to ensure that digital governance is prioritized and embedded into and in the development of new technology. The Institute supports the goals of Project Liberty, a visionary initiative to transform how the internet works, create a more equitable digital economy, and develop a new civic architecture for the digital world. The March 10 event will gather technologists, social scientists, ethicists, public policy and governance experts, and leaders from the public and private sectors to advance the discussion on a new decentralized web paradigm. It will explore what’s at stake for society through panel discussions, inspirational interviews and keynote speeches as well as impactful networking sessions. Check the full program here and register here.


The road to European energy independence could start this week

This opinion article by EURACTIV, signed by seven MEPs from the Renew Europe political group in the European Parliament states “In the current context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, at a time when the European Union intends to accelerate and strengthen its energy independence and when Russian gas represents 40% of our gas supply and 27% of the EU’s crude oil imports, the question of the choice of European investments in energy infrastructures is fundamental for our sovereignty. It is in this context that the European Parliament is voting this week on the 5th list of Projects of Common Interest (PCI), which contains dozens of gas projects that would represent up to €13 billion of investment, of which a significant part could be European and national public funding. This 5th list is a list of the past, not relevant any more for two reasons. It lacks both a climate consistency check and a “Russian check” making sure that the list is fit for purpose to increase our independence from Russia.”.


Copernicus and the Green Deal – Online Workshop

The EU’s Green Deal ambitions need support from different tools. The Copernicus component of EU Space programme offers information and services as an essential contribution to the Green Data Space set up for the green and digital twin transitions. Copernicus data can support adaptation to climate change and mitigation of its effects in Europe and beyond. As a new component of Copernicus, the capability to monitor anthropogenic emissions of CO2 is being developed in support of the Paris Agreement.

Taking place 22 and 23 of March, this workshop will present how Copernicus services can contribute to the achievement of the EU Green Deal policy objectives and support in the monitoring of progress. The workshop aims to address the policy areas indicated in the Green Deal, how Copernicus can support implementing and monitoring these key aspects and facilitate interactions and discussions between different stakeholders.

Register here!


Science community continues cutting links with Russia and Belarus

“The rush to cut academic and research links with Russia and Belarus is picking up speed, as more western governments and organisations move to isolate the countries scientifically. The Netherlands announced today it is freezing all research and education ties with Russia and Belarus over the Russian-led attack on Ukraine. Slovenia is also set to take a similar decision, with research minister Simona Kustec calling for an immediate response, which “would include a decision to suspend cooperation until a peace agreement in Ukraine is achieved.” The announcements mirror those made by Germany, Denmark and Lithuania in recent days. Germany moved first, cutting all ties with Russian universities last week, although encouraging its academics to stay in touch with their Russian counterparts. International organisations are joining in as they halt partnerships with Russia and Belarus. The European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities (ALLEA), an alliance of more than 50 academies in Europe, today announced it will suspend its Russian and Belarussian members.” Don’t miss this Science|Business piece here.


Open letter of Russian scientists and science journalists against the war with Ukraine

Under the moto Let’s make science, not war!, a letter signed by thousands of scientists across Russia was published on the 26th February but quickly put down, only to be published again in different websites. The letter calls for collaboration and considers the war unfair and non-sense. The list of signees is not possible to check anymore and most likely also impossible to sign. There is a cyberwar also going on between Russia and Ukraine and at least in this front, the West could be of further help. See also the Europe’s cyber movement publication on this.

More Articles

20/05/2022: Hydrogen R&I, INESC-ID researchers honoured, INESC TEC wins international award, new EIC call, Climate Change, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– Hydrogen R&I gets boost in new Commission plan to wean EU off Russian energy;
– Ireland announces 2030 R&I strategy;
– EU pledges more research cooperation with Gulf states;
– INESC-ID researchers honoured with University of Lisbon/Caixa Geral de Depósitos Scientific Awards;
– INESC TEC robot wins international design award;
– Info session on Horizon Results Booster – Steering research towards a strong societal impact;
– European Innovation Council launches the Scale Up 100 Call;
– Energy industry’s cybersecurity awareness rises, defence lags;
– Climate change: Better using European forests as carbon sinks;
– European Maritime Day 2022: Sustainable blue economy for green recovery;
– Commission welcomes political agreement on new rules for securing winter gas storage;
– Leaked draft gives first glimpse of the Commission plan to turn the EU into an ‘innovation powerhouse’.

Read More »

19/05/2022: REPower EU, Green Transition, Natura 2000 awards, EU Blue Economy Report, Women in the Blue Economy, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– REPower EU: A plan to rapidly reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels and fast forward the green transition;
– Research and Innovation to REPower the EU;
– ASEM Global Lifelong Learning Week;
– Scientists from the University of Coimbra test new intelligent monitoring systems for vineyards;
– Natura 2000 Awards: EU recognises excellence in nature protection across Europe;
– EU urges building insulation push in bid to end reliance on Russian gas;
– Finland, Japan open call for research cooperation;
– EU Blue Economy report: Ocean economy fuels European green transition;
– The “Women in the Blue Economy” call for proposals is now open;
– EPFL: A new law unchains fusion energy.

Read More »

18/05/2022: Climate Change, Artificial Intelligence, Russian gas supply, Partnerships for Regional Innovation, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– Renewable energy industry says EU fund for clean tech is failing its mission;
– The Guild: Diversity, sustainability and quality must be the hallmarks of academic publishing in Europe;
– Climate change: MEPs push for accelerated EU action and energy independence;
– EU and US edge closer together on AI at latest Trade and Technology Council meeting;
– Open Call: New EU TalentOn invites young, academic talent to find solutions for our most pressing challenges;
– Commission launches EPREL database to help consumers on energy efficient products;
– LEAK: EU countries urged to prepare for Russian gas ‘supply shock’;
– Forging sustainable timber construction in Europe;
– President Zelensky urges US universities to help rebuild Ukraine’s higher education system;
– Partnerships for Regional Innovation: 63 regions, seven cities and four Member States selected for Pilot Action.

Read More »