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In this Morning Brief, we open with the statement released by all INESC institutes yesterday regarding the war in Ukraine, the news that INESC Brussels HUB was featured in AICEP’s Portugalglobal Magazine, the 6th International Hybrid Power Systems Workshop supported by INESC TEC, EFI and WUR create the new European Forest Institute Research Network, InvestEU fund greenlit for €26.2 billion, 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:

INESC Institutes release statement regarding the war in Ukraine

The INESC community released a statement regarding war-displaced researchers affected by the war in Ukraine.

Find the entire statement here, and know that we stand in solidarity with those affected by this conflict.


INESC Brussels Hub featured in AICEP’s Portugalglobal Magazine

The INESC Brussels Hub is presented and explained in the newest edition of AICEP’s Portugalglobal magazine. It is presented amongst other Portuguese colleagues that contribute for a more competitive, more proactive and less reactive country in the definition of our future amidst a Europe that is built by those who actively contribute, believe, and understand that the path isn’t built in one day.

In particular in the science area, the challenges and the benefits are immense and it is because of that, that many R&I institutions are leaders in almost every area (and with that, help their countries and regions being more competitive).

As we state in the article, “INESC believes other Portuguese organisations and companies will follow the same path, individually or collaboratively. Regarding the latter, the INESC Brussels Hub is available to support this effort with its resources and experience.”

Make sure to check out the article and the magazine here (PT only).


6th International Hybrid Power Systems Workshop

Welcome to the  6th International Hybrid Power Systems Workshop which will take place in Madeira, Portugal from 26 – 27 April 2022, supported by INESC TEC.

As an island grid with a large share of renewable energy, Madeira is perfectly suited to grant a unique insight into the operation of an isolated power system, which makes Madeira the ideal host for the 2022 International Hybrid Power Systems Workshop.

The main objective of this event is to discuss the challenges that arise with the integration of high shares of renewables (wind, solar, hydro) into isolated/island power systems/micro-grids in combination with batteries/flywheels and conventional power generators. Finding viable combinations of conventional and up to 100% renewable based energy is one key solution for the efficient and sustainable running of these types of power systems. International experts will convene for the 6th International Hybrid Power Systems Workshop to share their project experiences and to detect areas in need of improvement.

Visit the website here to find out more and to get free access to the videos of the Keynote and Closing Sessions of last year’s event.


European Forest Institute (EFI) and Wageningen Environmental Research (WUR) create new EFI Research Network

EFI and WUR have signed an agreement to create a new EFI Research Network on Climate Smart Forestry.

Given the large need for exchange and information concerning mitigation and adaptation of European forests to climate change, WUR started an initial phase of a climate smart forestry network in early 2020. During the start-up years the CSF network has been funded by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Food Quality.

So far there was only scattered experience and knowledge available. The new Climate Smart Forestry Network will contribute to the implementation of the EFI Resilience and Bioeconomy Strategy themes. It aims to identify potential Climate Smart Forestry measures, assess broadly their mitigation, adaptation and services impacts, and exchange knowledge through networking activities (meetings, webinars, etc), laying the basis for upscaling and implementation.


Universities start scoping out how to help Ukrainian academics fleeing the war

According to Science|Business, “As Ukrainian refugee numbers mount, universities in Europe are starting to grapple with how best to help the Ukrainian academic community. After just 13 days of war, many universities have started providing money, legal advice and other forms of support to Ukrainians already working or studying in the west. Others are helping Ukrainian academics who have newly fled the country, and are calling for a more coordinated European Union response to help the country’s scientific talent. But, many say, the war is too young to gauge clearly how much help will be needed, and in what forms. (…) As refugees flock to neighbouring countries, researchers across Europe have put together a grassroots campaign to help Ukrainian colleagues. Shortly after the war started, Sanita Reinsome, a science communicator working on a COST Action project in eastern Europe launched the Science for Ukraine account on Twitter and called on European research organisations to help Ukrainian colleagues.”.


Commission launches #TheGreenTrack – a nature protection initiative for young people

The European Commission, in collaboration with the Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN), is launching a new campaign called The Green Track. A flagship initiative of the European Year of Youth 2022, #TheGreenTrack is designed to mobilize young people across Europe ahead of CBD COP 15, the major UN Biodiversity Conference scheduled for this summer, where a new global framework for nature protection will be agreed. The Green Track gives young people a platform for their hopes and concerns about nature, biodiversity and Europe’s sustainable future.

Under the slogan ‘Ready to act #ForNature’, The Green Track is built around more than 30 events organized by young people across the EU, with support from the European Commission. These events cover a variety of formats and environmental themes and topics, and will be implemented by local communities, reflecting the European Year of Youth principles of co-creation, inclusiveness and a bottom-up approach..


InvestEU fund greenlit for €26.2 billion

Yesterday, the European Union signed off the seven-year InvestEU programme, which will invest €26.2 billion in innovative projects bidding to attract at least €372 billion in additional public and private investment by 2027.

InvestEU is a major funder of private research, innovation and digitisation projects, with a €6.6 billion investment foreseen by 2027. There’s a big focus on SMEs; and all funded projects should address investments gaps and help meet EU policy objectives.

Click here for more information.


Research organisations warn Commission of complexity in growing number of EU R&D programmes

The European Association of Research and Technology Organisations (EARTO) issued a warning that a proliferation of new EU R&D programmes could add unwanted complexity for grant recipients.

In the Commission’s latest seven-year budget plan, a range of new programmes and agencies were created that can fund R&D – and operate separately from, or in collaboration with, the EU’s flagship €95.5 billion Horizon Europe programme.

In a statement 8 Mach, the trade group for some of Europe’s biggest research organizations said “the multiplication of independent EU RD&I funding programmes having each a different set of rules of participation will bring challenges to both the EU institutions, member states as well as beneficiaries (i.e. Horizon Europe, Defense, Space, Health, Digital & Regional programmes). This will bring a new level of complexity for beneficiaries to manage the participation in each of these funds. We expect this will be a key challenge the European institutions, member states and the beneficiaries will have to face together.”

The Commission has been promising improved “synergies” between the different programmes, but EARTO isn’t the first group to question whether the new programmes – though welcomed by the research community – could add to the accounting complexities of dealing with EU programmes.

The EARTO statement also praised some of the Horizon Europe contractual provisions for simplifying grant paperwork – such as permitting big research organizations to use their own, usual method of accounting for personnel and certain other costs. But they also called for some further changes to simplify the way personnel costs are calculated.

Read the statement here.


Ukraine war on the brink of sparking world energy conflict

According to EURACTIV, “Fears of an energy war between Russia and the West grew on Tuesday (8 March) after the United States pushed its allies to ban Russian oil imports as punishment for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, where talks on humanitarian corridors made little progress. Russia warned it could stop the flow of gas through pipelines from Russia to Germany in response to Berlin’s decision last month to halt the opening of the controversial new Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Russia supplies 40% of Europe’s gas. “We have every right to take a matching decision and impose an embargo on gas pumping through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Monday. Novak also warned that oil prices could more than double to $300 a barrel if the United States and its allies banned imports of Russian oil, a crucial source of revenue after the country was effectively frozen out of Western financial markets. Analysts at Bank of America however said that if most of Russia’s oil exports were cut off there could be a shortfall of 5 million barrels per day (bpd) or more, pushing prices as high as $200.”.

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