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In this Morning Brief, we open with the European Biotech Week 2022, celebrating biotechnology, an innovative and vibrant sector, there is also another event taking place next Monday at Técnico Lisbon and online, on 5P Medicine, the Commission has released a technical support instrument to help seventeen member states curb their reliance on Russian fossil fuels, childhood cancer experts urge the inclusion of UK and Swiss researchers in EU projects, 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:

European Biotech Week 2022

The European Biotech Week celebrates biotechnology, an innovative and vibrant sector launched by the discovery of the DNA molecule back in 1953. The first European Biotech Week that took place in 2013 marked the 60th anniversary of this pivotal moment in history.

Join the 10th edition of the European Biotech Week and become an official partner of EBW 2022! A week-long series of events (at local, regional, national and European level) will take place all over Europe, to celebrate biotechnology and its applications.

Find out more here.


DBE Lunch Seminar: An Engineering perspective on 5P Medicine – Current research and a roadmap proposal

Don’t’miss this upcoming DBE Lunch Seminar taking place on April 11th at Técnico Lisbon from 14h00 to 15h00, with Dr. Nuno M. Garcia.

Click here for the zoom link to attend the seminar.


Commission’s Technical Support Instrument to help 17 Member States curb their reliance on Russian fossil fuels

The Commission will offer technical support to help 17 Member States phase out their reliance on Russian fossil fuels, in line with the REPowerEU plan for more affordable, secure and sustainable energy.

The technical expertise will help Member States to identify and implement the best policy reforms and investments in areas such as diversifying energy supplies, accelerating the transition to renewable energy and increasing energy efficiency, in order to reach these joint European ambitions. Member States that requested and will receive this support over the coming months are Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland.

On 21 March 2022, in the aftermath of Russia’s aggression to Ukraine, the Commission launched a dedicated call inviting Member States to express their interest in receiving technical support. All the requests submitted by the Member States have been assessed and approved by the Commission. The expertise is provided under the Technical Support Instrument (TSI), managed by the Commission. It will support phasing out Member States’ reliance on Russian fossil fuels and help in mitigating price shocks in the medium term, including by accelerating the EU’s green transition, whilst taking the interregional and cross-border dimensions into account.

Click here to read more.

Technical Support Instrument (TSI).

Reform Support Website.


Ensuring radiation protection: Commission takes Portugal to Court to guarantee citizens’ protection from ionizing radiation-exposure risks

The Commission is taking legal steps to ensure the protection of citizens, workers and patients against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation. Today, the Commission decided to refer Portugal to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failing to fully transpose the EU’s revised Basic Safety Standards Directive (Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom) into national legislation.

Member States were required to transpose the Directive by 6 February 2018. The Commission has been providing continuous support to the Member States to properly transpose the rules. In November 2019, the Commission sent a reasoned opinion to Portugal requesting it to notify to the Commission all of its transposition measures for the Directive. Since then, Portugal has notified additional transposition measures, but has not yet established a national action plan addressing long-term risks from exposures to radon, as required by the Directive. Therefore, the Commission is referring Portugal to the Court of Justice today.

Read more here.


Childhood cancer experts urge inclusion of UK and Swiss researchers in EU projects

According to Science|Business, “Science has made great progress in cancer research in recent years – but to keep that momentum going, researchers say it’s important that Swiss and British colleagues not be excluded from key European Union research projects on childhood cancer.  “All paediatric cancers are rare, and therefore in research you need to collaborate across borders to get a large enough sample size,” said Olga Kozhaeva, director of policy affairs at the European Society for Paediatric Oncology (SIOP Europe). “If [the UK and Switzerland] don’t participate, this is a problem not only for the advancement of scientific knowledge but also in terms of poorer outcomes [for patients], both in the EU and the UK.” At issue is Swiss and British participation in Horizon Europe, the EU’s flagship R&D programme, which funds much cancer research. Due to political disagreements – with the UK over Brexit terms, and with the Swiss over broader bilateral negotiations over market access – researchers from both countries are at least temporarily cut off from new research projects under the programme. That has had knock-on effects in many fields, but in cancer research it has become especially delicate, researchers say.”.    


Commission presents a new strategy to become climate-neutral by 2030

Yesterday, the Commission adopted a new Human Resources Strategy to enable it to perform at the highest level in the interest of all Europeans by offering a modern workplace and rewarding careers that attract top talents from all Member States.

As part of the Strategy, today’s Communication on Greening lays out how the Commission will become climate-neutral by 2030. It thereby sets a good example of corporate climate action, in line with the spirit of the policy proposals to deliver the European Green Deal. The Commission will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2030 compared to 2005 and compensate remaining emissions with carbon removals.

Find out more here.

Questions and Answers on the new Human Resources Strategy and Greening the Commission.


Green Deal: Modernising EU industrial emissions rules to steer large industry in long-term green transition

Yesterday, the Commission presented proposals to update and modernise the Industrial Emissions Directive, key legislation to help prevent and control pollution. Updated rules will help guide industrial investments necessary for Europe’s transformation towards a zero-pollution, competitive, climate-neutral economy by 2050. They aim to spur innovation, reward frontrunners, and help level the playing field on the EU market. The revision will help provide long-term investment certainty, with first new obligations on industry expected in the second half of the decade.

The revision builds on the overall approach of the existing Industrial Emissions Directive, which currently covers some 50,000 large industrial installations and intensive livestock farms in Europe. These installations need to comply to emissions conditions by applying activity-specific ‘Best Available Techniques’. These techniques are determined together by industry, national and Commission experts, and civil society. The new rules will cover more relevant sources of emissions, make permitting more effective, reduce administrative costs, increase transparency, and give more support to breakthrough technologies and other innovative approaches. 

Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans said: “By 2050, economic activity in the European Union should no longer pollute our air, water and the wider environment. Today’s proposals will enable important reductions of harmful emissions coming from industrial installations and Europe’s largest livestock farms. By modernising Europe’s industrial emissions framework now there is certainty about future rules to guide long-term investments, increase Europe’s energy and resource independence, and encourage innovation.”

The new rules will increase transparency and public participation in the permitting process. In addition, the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register will be transformed into an EU Industrial Emissions Portal where citizens will be able to access data on permits issued anywhere in Europe and gaining insight into polluting activities in their immediate surroundings in a simple way.

Find more here


NASA plays down Russia’s threat to halt International Space Station cooperation

According to Science|Business, “Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, spent Saturday morning threatening US, Canada and the EU that he will pull his country out of the International Space Station (ISS) if the west does not lift its sanctions on Russia. “I believe that the restoration of normal relations between partners in the International Space Station and other joint projects is possible only with the complete and unconditional lifting of illegal sanctions,” Rogozin said on Twitter. The remarks were made despite him receiving letters from US, Canada and European space chiefs assuring him the sanctions will have no impact on the ISS. Rogozin said his proposals on the “on the timing of the completion of cooperation within the ISS” would be submitted to the Russian government “in the near future.” Despite the harsh comments, the US, which together with Russia holds the biggest stake in the ISS, seems to not take the threats to heart, and cooperation continues. Bill Nelson, head of NASA, downplayed Rogozin’s threat saying, “NASA is aware of recent comments regarding the ISS. US sanctions and export control measures continue to allow US-Russia civil space cooperation on the space station. The professional relationship between our international partners, astronauts and cosmonauts continues for the safety and mission of all on board the ISS.” Politicians in the US are also taking a cautious approach. The office of Don Beyer, chair of the space and aeronautics subcommittee in the House of Representatives, did not want to comment on Rogozin’s threats, saying they are not substantiated by any actions.”.

More Articles

26/05/2023: New Horizon Europe calls, a global drive for open science, European Commission DG RTD recent reorganisation, EU-China & much more

In today’s Morning Brief:
Horizon Europe
– Twinning call for proposals is open – Read all about it
– Horizon Europe ERA Fellowships call is now open
– EUR 20 million available for Pathways to synergies – Call for proposals
– New Horizon Europe funding opportunity: Dissemination & Exploitation Support Facility call
– Commission Open Call: Expert Group on the Interim Evaluation of Horizon Europe
– Industry 5.0 Award contest opens: apply by 1 September 2023
– Horizon Europe: The EU and the Republic of Korea launch formal negotiations on association to the programme
– European Space Agency chief seeks ‘forward-looking decisions’
Research & Innovation:
– EU research ministers make fresh call for a full transition to free open access publishing
– Open Science: stakeholders welcome European efforts towards publicly owned and not-for-profit scholarly communication
– Global drive for more open, rigorous research is growing
– European Commission sets up new European Innovation Council unit in the research directorate
– Spain wants EU presidency to be ‘bridge’ with Latin American R&D
– Green industry law haunted by old conflicts over nuclear, financing
– The five EU research projects involving China’s military-linked universities
– Critical Raw Materials: EU ministers want to move fast but dilemmas abound
– G7 ministers call for rules to improve research security
– Territorial Economic Data viewer supports policy monitoring
News from INESC institutes:
– INESC Brussels HUB is signing an Open Letter regarding changes to Who is Who in EC Directorate
– ECI Cruelty-free cosmetics – Consultation to adhere to joint final statement
– Structuring the ecosystem: RTOs collaboration with higher education institutions
– INESC TEC develops pioneering research in the application of variational quantum circuits to reinforcement learning
– INOV: MULTICAM prototypes, an online presentation on Blockchain and 5000 followers
– Job Opportunities
Events & Training workshops

Read More »

19/05/2023: HUB Summer Meeting, Digital Europe Programme, Regional Innovation Valleys, European R&I funding and policy, and much more

In today’s Morning Brief:
Horizon Europe
– Commission Expert Group on the Interim Evaluation of Horizon Europe
– Commission launches first €122M call to create regional innovation ecosystems
– New calls for proposals of the Digital Europe Programme
Research & Innovation:
– EU research commissioner Mariya Gabriel resigns
– France to boost funding for health research infrastructures and UK to invest £100M in improving RIs
– Commission takes European Innovation Council management under its wing
– Industry 5.0 Award: The contest is open for applications
– AI Act moves ahead in EU Parliament with key committee vote
– Defence industry renews call for R&D spending boost
News from INESC institutes:
– Technology and Law: building a virtuous relationship, by Graça Barbosa
– The 2022 INESC-ID AnnualReport is out
– Exciting news from H2020-RESCUER
– Launch of the New Horizon Europe Project SYCLOPS
– INESC TEC supports the implementation of robotic technologies to reduce the ecological footprint
– INESC TEC develops virtual reality app to support youngster looking for jobs
– Job Opportunities
Events & Training workshops

Read More »

05/05/2023: HE calls update, cohesion policy, open access, open science, cohesion policy and coordination of national and EU R&D policy.

In today’s Morning Brief:
Horizon Europe
– Horizon Europe – easy call and topic search
– From KOWI: MSCA: Model Working Contract for Doctoral Networks published
Research & Innovation:
– Report on the outcome of 2021-2027 cohesion policy programming
– Spain adopts national open access strategy
– Commission attempts to strengthen coordination between national R&D policies and EU research programs
– Commission Plans to launch a European Standardisation Panel survey
– Research funders draw attention to uneven implementation of open science
– EIT Climate to become financially sustainable by end of 2024
– Preparing for Belgium’s Thirteenth Presidency of the Council of the European Union
– African Union-European Union High Level Policy Dialogue – Science, Technology and Innovation. Senior official meet to endorse the AU-EU Innovation Agenda
News from INESC institutes:
– INESC MN has a new publication in Advanced Materials Journal
– INOV projects on Youtube
– Diogo Vaz published an article in Público
– Job Opportunities
Events & Training workshops

Read More »