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In this Morning Brief, we open with the 9th edition of the annual European Cyber Security Conference taking place this coming March. We also discuss Stick to Science, a measure announced yesterday by the R&I community that urges European leaders to take action on Horizon Europe when it comes to the UK and Switzerland. In a similar topic, France helps Brussels with the plan for research assessment and the European Chips Act was announced, 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 9th Annual European Cyber Security Conference

On March 24, the 9th Annual European Cyber Security Conference will take place under a hybrid format.

Gathering leading policy-makers, industry players, high level cyber security and defence experts, this Forum Europe conference, organised in partnership with the European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO), will explore Europe’s response to cyber security issues in a dynamically evolving global risk landscape and what the next steps for all actors of the ecosystem should be to create a safe and secure environment allowing Europe to leverage the tremendous socio-economic benefits offered by digital technologies.

To find out more about the conference and how to register, click here.


Research and Innovation community urges European leaders to take action on Horizon Europe

Stick to Science, a new campaign launched by Universities UK, EPFL, ETH Zurich, the ETH Board, Wellcome and The Royal Society, asks EU leaders to place science collaboration before politics, as the UK’s and Switzerland’s participation in the EU’s world-leading research and innovation programme Horizon Europe hangs in the balance.

The campaign calls for an open and collaborative research and innovation landscape in Europe, that is free from political barriers. The entire European scientific community is invited to sign this initiative as of 8 February under the dedicated website.

Switzerland and the UK are two long-standing and academically important partners in the European research and innovation landscape. The current situation means that the work of some of the best minds in Europe’s science and excellent research infrastructures are missing out on the additional scientific knowledge and resources of UK and Swiss institutions. These circumstances prevent Europe’s top scientists from working together to tackle global challenges such as climate change, pandemics, and food security.


France helps Brussels move ahead with ‘disruptive’ plan for research assessment

France is now working with the European Commission and science and university associations to push for a new system of evaluating research in Europe, launching the Paris Call on research assessment.

The call, drafted by the French government’s Committee for Open Science, says evaluating researchers based solely on the number of highly cited papers they have published in journals with high impact factors underestimates the value of other contributions, lowers reproducibility of research, and discourages researchers from opening up their research and working with others.

The Paris Call fits with the Commission’s checklist of 20 priorities set out in the new policy agenda of the European Research Area, with science and research assessment first on the list.

Jean-Eric Paquet, head of the Commission’s research directorate said he hopes more organisations will join the coalition, so it includes all 27 member states. At the moment only 22 are represented

Read more here.


European Chips Act: Communication, Regulation, Joint Undertaking and Recommendation

The European Commission unveiled the EU Chips Act, its proposal for the largest subsidy programme ever for a single industry (apart from agriculture).

Securing the supply of advanced chips has become an economic and geopolitical priority. Therefore, €11 billion of public money will be invested in the Chips for Europe initiative by 2030 to attract and support production capacity and research in energy-efficient chips. In addition, the state aid regime is being upgraded. And a coordination mechanism between the Member States and the Commission will monitor the semiconductor value chain, draw together common crisis assessment and coordinate actions to be taken from a new emergency toolbox.

“Chips are necessary for the green and digital transition – and for the competitiveness of European industry,” noted Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, “We should not rely on one country or one company to ensure safety of supply. We must do more together – in research, innovation, design, production facilities – to ensure that Europe will be stronger as a key actor in the global value chain.”

Make sure to read more here.


Creative industries are slowly making their way into mainstream European research

In this Science|Business article, the creative and cultural sectors are slowly gaining a toehold in the research world, after five years of the European Parliament calling for them to be a focus of EU R&D programmes.

As a start, the European Commission launched the New European Bauhaus, aiming to mesh the Green Deal on climate change with work to future-proof Europe’s cultural heritage. Following on from this, there is a creative industry-related call in the Horizon Europe programme, and this autumn the European Institute of Innovation and Technology is due to launch a knowledge and innovation community focused on the sector.

This is a good start for a redesign of European society that gives more recognition of the role of creatives in innovation projects.


Zero Pollution: Commission seeks views on review of EU rules on use of mercury

The European Commission is launching an open public consultation on the review of the Mercury Regulation, which tackles the last remaining intentional uses of this very toxic chemical in products.

The EU has policies to reduce the risk of mercury exposure for both people and the environment, with legislation covering all aspects of the mercury lifecycle.  But significant amounts of mercury are still used in the EU, mainly in dental amalgam and some products such as lamps or measuring devices. As mercury pollution is persistent, such continued use contributes to its accumulation in the environment, including food. The review of the current rules will contribute to the Zero Pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment announced in the European Green Deal.

The consultation will run until 3 May 2022 and is available here.


Carbon farming: EU ministers find the devil in the details

While France’s Minister of Agriculture and Food Julien Denormandie lauded member states’ enthusiasm on low-carbon agriculture, the informal meeting of EU agriculture ministers in Strasbourg revealed tricky technical questions on the matter that still lie ahead.

Carbon farming refers to agricultural practices that help store carbon from the atmosphere in agricultural soils.

Other member states have already implemented support measures for carbon farming. Spain has included practices such as extensive grazing or conservation agriculture in its catalogue of eco-schemes funded through the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). These measures “constitute a good example of what we can develop,” the Spanish minister, Luis Planas, told journalists on the sidelines of the meeting.

Carbon sequestration in agriculture is very important to reach the goal of carbon neutrality until 2050 that the EU has set out in its flagship climate policy, the Green Deal.

Click here to read this EURACTIV piece.

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31/05/2022: BioData.PT Session 3, EU AI Law, European Sustainable Energy Week, LIFE Awards 2022 Winners, EU Green Deal, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– BioData.PT Talks Session 3: Recent Artificial Intelligence Tools and Architectures for Structural Biology;
– EUA Policy Input: Considerations for a “European Degree”;
– Putting Science into Standards;
– The EU AI law will not be future-proof unless it regulates general purpose AI systems;
– European Sustainable Energy Week: Going green and digital for Europe’s energy transition;
– European Commission reveals winners of LIFE Awards 2022;
– Interact with statistics for the European Green Deal;
– EU countries urged to prepare for Russian gas cut: Summit draft.

Read More »

30/05/2022: INESC TEC Workshop, EU Cancer Plan, Eurostat, Defunct Satellites, Hydrogen, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– INESC TEC coordinated a workshop on Machine Learning;
– Access to financial products for persons with a history of cancer in EU Member States;
– Eurostat regional yearbook: From traditional printed publication to modern interactive tool;
– ‘World-first’ project for capturing defunct satellites ramps up;
– Hydrogen: BAM sets up digitally networked research filling station to increase safety of technology;
– EFCA coordinates EU efforts to monitor the bluefin tuna fishing season;
– Zero Pollution Monitoring and Outlook Workshop – Report;
– Commission outlines defence R&D priorities in new €924M work programme.

Read More »

26/05/2022: INESC-ID research grants, new MSCA platform, Horizon Europe UK backup, REPowerEU, Fit for 55, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– INESC-ID: Nuno Lopes receives research grants from Google and Woven Alpha;
– EU ramping up efforts for strategic autonomy in raw materials;
– Laurence Moreau appointed head of the ERC executive agency;
– Event: The UK’s Position in Global Science and Innovation;
– New MSCA networking platform for future applicants;
– Application system opens for UK Horizon backup grants;
– Fraunhofer elects three new executive vice-presidents;
– FaST Navigator study identifies models necessary to provide accurate advice on the use of fertilisers to EU farmers;
– Germany’s pacifist universities pose obstacle to militarisation of EU R&D;
– Webinar: The European Standardisation Booster;
– MSCA Cluster event on Mission Ocean and Waters;
– REPowerEU: Commission establishes the EU Energy Platform Task Force to secure alternative supplies;
– Horizon Europe mission on carbon-neutral cities kicks into gear;
– Fit for 55: New EU carbon sink goal will increase 2030 reduction target;
– A new Blue Economy Observatory to monitor and promote the sustainability of our ocean related activities;
– Zero Pollution Monitoring and Outlook Workshop – Report.

Read More »