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In today's Morning Brief:

Energy system integration

According to Euractiv, consumers will be at the centre of EU efforts to create a more integrated energy system, with local authorities playing an essential role to bring energy users closer to suppliers in a bid to maximise efficiency and cut greenhouse gas emissions, officials say.

 

Forest biomass compliance with sustainability

The European Commission is seeking feedback on the draft rules regarding forest bioenergy, to demonstrate how forest biomass complies with the sustainability criteria of the Renewable Energy Directive. The text lays out auditing rules, and rules on how to prove compliance with harvesting criteria at national, sub-national level or at the forest sourcing area level, and the compliance with land use, land use change and forestry criteria. The feedback period ends on April 28th.

 

World Health Day: EU funding to tackle Covid-19

For the second year, the World Health Day occurs as most of Europe is under a strict lockdown to avoid the spread of Covid-19. The EU has provided an important stimulus to the research and innovation for the fight of infectious diseases, investing €4.1 billion from 2007 to 2019 through its previous Framework Programmes,  with further commitments in 2020 in addition to the €1 billion pledge for coronavirus research. Within Horizon Europe, Innovative Medicine Initiatives has supported several projects for the diagnostics and therapy of Covid-19, the EIC Accelerator Pilot has supported companies tackling the Coronavirus directly or indirectly, through the Covid-19 Seal of Excellence. EU is also currently funding the vaccine implementation of BioNTech, CureVac, and numerous other vaccine-related new projects. Here is an overview.

 

Biden unveils historic $325B research and innovation plan

For those that did not have the chance to catch this piece of news late last week, this is worth noting and falls square into the R&I budget discussion we have been covering for a long time now: under the proposal, the US would invest $35 billion to boost clean technologies, with some of this money used to launch the new Advanced Research Projects Agency-Climate out of the Department of Energy; invest $50 billion in semiconductor manufacturing and research; spend $40 billion to upgrade ageing lab facilities; give a huge, $50 billion top-up to the National Science Foundation; and devote $174 billion to overhaul the American electric car market. Science Business forgot, however, to mention that the €95.5bn Horizon Europe budget represents 5% of research and innovation spending across Europe. That puts the total spending in R&I at EU level at €1,9 trillion. We know, of course, that these numbers do not adequately reflect reality in the EU: the methodology for calculating private and public investment in research and innovation is heavily skewed by inflated numbers and too-broad-to-mean-anything definitions of what should be accounted for, especially in what concerns the private investment dimension. In any case, the key takeaway is that a federal budget, certainly has the potential to boost existing capacities in an articulated, trans-regional manner and create truly innovative results.

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11/6/2021: Horizon Europe launch, EIC Overseas Trade Fairs, IP Enforcement Summit, EIB funds IE University, research infrastructures, EU semiconductor manufacturing, and EU 2030 digital targets

In today’s Morning Brief: Member states call for Horizon Europe to go full steam ahead || Open Call: The EIC launches the Overseas Trade Fairs Programme 2.0 || International IP Enforcement Summit 2021 || EIB supports IE University in Spain with a financing plan of up to €30 million || ESFRI: the coronavirus pandemic changed research infrastructures || Intel answers EU call to scale up European capacity for semiconductor chips || Analysis: EU will fall short of meeting 2030 digital targets

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10/6/2021: New INESC article on Science|Business, exclusive Horizon Europe guide, Horizon Europe dissemination, sustainable fishing, forest protection, and the future of CBDC

In today’s Morning Brief: New INESC article published on Science Business: “The AI Act: getting the first step right” || Exclusive Horizon Europe guide now available in the Private Area || Commission webinar on Horizon Europe “Dissemination and Exploitation” || Commission’s annual state of play on sustainable fishing ||
MEPs call for binding measures to protect Europe’s forests || The future of CBDC: new EUBOF report on the possible structures of the digital euro

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