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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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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.

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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.

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17/05/2022: Renewable Energies, Lump Sum Funding in Horizon Europe, EU Missions, Gender Equality, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– In focus: Employment in EU’s renewable energy sector;
– Webinar: Lump Sum Funding in Horizon Europe: How does it work? How to write a proposal?;
– Horizon Europe – EU Missions calls 2022: Virtual brokerage event;
– BAM and BTU team up to close Germany’s skills gap in hydrogen technologies;
– A plan for achieving gender equality in the research and innovation system;
– SymbNET PhD Summer school on host-microbe symbioses;
– Tracking agricultural-related deforestation.

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