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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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23/9/2021: EU Partnerships update, HUB workshop on AI & Robotics, ERA Pact for R&I, Green Deal Series events & other relevant EU R&I news bytes

In today’s Morning Brief:
– European Partnerships – Update on the Legislative Process
– HUB workshop on PPP AI & Robotics
– ERA Pact for R&I – next steps
– Various Running ERA Studies of Interest
– MEPs against inclusion of ‘do no significant harm’ principle in Horizon Europe
– UK sets out ‘pro-innovation’ AI rules, in further move away from Brussels
– Europeans strongly support science and technology according to new Eurobarometer survey
– Agriculture: Launch of an annual EU organic day
– More on the State of the Union address
– Pathways to the future – A follow-up to “Universities without walls – A vision for 2030”
– Fraunhofer organises Green Deal Series: “Offshore Wind as a cornerstone of the European Green Deal” on 12 October 2021

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21/9/2021: Reform of the Research Assessment System, CH to fund ERC proposals, Open Access, Quantum investments, new U-Multirank HE cooperation index

In today’s Morning Brief:
– Reform of the Research Assessment System
– Switzerland will temporarily fund ERC proposals with own funds
– Monitoring the open access policy of Horizon 2020
– UK starts construction of new £93 million quantum computing centre
– New ERC President, Maria Leptin, to take over on 1st November
– U-Multirank creates new ‘Higher Education Cooperation Index’
– 2022: Year of Youth and ERASMUS as a tool to promote European Education Area

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20/9/2021: Work as an Expert, State of the Union address – key R&I issues, Tech and Strategic Autonomy, European Health Union, New EU Bauhaus, Meat Atlas, Elections that will define the Future of Europe

In today’s Morning Brief:
– Work as an expert – European Defence Fund
– State of the Union address by the President of the EC: key takeaways for R&I
– Technology sovereignty in practice: EC pushes chip building and cyberdefence
– Shaping and securing the EU’s Open Strategic Autonomy by 2040 and beyond
– European Health Union and the new HERA (European Health Emergency preparedness and Response Authority)
– €85M investment in 2022 for New European Bauhaus project
– Meat Atlas: facts and figures about the animals we eat
– The elections that will define the future of Europe and the EU PermReps dancing chairs

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