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Happy Europe Day! In this Morning Brief, we open with a set of infographics by Eurostat giving a picture of the EU and each Member State as well as a really interesting infographic on what Europe does for its citizens in an everyday capacity reminding us the importance of celebrating this day, we also let you know of MapStakes, a tool created for mapping, involving and monitoring stakeholders in co-creation processes, almost 2,000 researchers have received the MSCA seal of excellence, the second meeting of the Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform was held on the last 25th of April, 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:

Europe Day 2022

On the occasion of Europe Day, celebrated every year on 9 May, Eurostat invites you to explore a set of infographics giving a picture of the EU and each Member State.

Europe Day commemorates the signing of the ‘Schuman Declaration’ on 9 May 1950. An ambitious plan to secure long-term peace in post-war Europe that is considered the beginning of what is now the European Union. The importance of working for peace in Europe is all the more evident, as we highlight our unity and solidarity with Ukraine.

2022 marks the European Year of Youth and this 9 May is an opportune moment to focus on the importance of young Europeans in building a better future that is greener, more digital and healthier.

Click here to explore.

Also, don’t miss this inspiring infographic, available in all EU languages, on what Europe does for its citizens in an everyday capacity. And this funny image reminding us all the importance of celebrating Europe Day.


MapStakes: a tool for mapping, involving and monitoring stakeholders in co-creation processes in agriculture

Despite widespread use of stakeholder approaches in environmental research, the tools and methodologies for mapping and involving actors are not particularly robust. The authors developed a tool for increasing objectivity of stakeholder mapping, engagement, and monitoring of co-creation processes. The tool provides a stepwise approach for users with little or no experience of participatory methods.

Click here for access.


Beyond deforestation: water use in global agricultural commodity supply chains

This SEI discussion brief explores how tropical deforestation and water use information are complementary in assessing the EU’s environmental footprint of imported agricultural commodities.

Access it here.


Almost 2,000 researchers receive MSCA seal of excellence

The seal of excellence will help 1956 researchers whose funding-worthy project proposals failed to secure grants from the EU research mobility programme, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), to find alternative financing.

The seal of excellence is the European Commission’s way to offer support to researchers whose projects met the criteria for receiving EU financing but could not be funded due to limited budgets. It’s meant to indicate to national and regional governments that these projects are worth their time.

Twelve European countries offer alternative funding to seal of excellence holders.

Click here for more.


Universities ponder long term support for Ukraine

The European University Association (EUA) is starting to map out mid- and long-term support for Ukraine’s university sector as it establishes a dedicated task force.

The task force will be chaired by Ivanka Popović, rector of the University of Belgrade, who participated in reconstruction efforts following the Balkan wars in the 1990s.

The EUA has also agreed on initial support measures for its potential and existing Ukrainian members, including a membership fee waiver and expediting new membership applications. It is also considering establishing a voluntary solidarity fund to finance Ukrainian universities’ participation in the association’s work.

Read more here.


2nd meeting of the Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform held on 25 April

The Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform held its second meeting on 25 April with a focus on the Zero Pollution Action Plan as a key driver for reducing health inequalities in the EU.

One of the key messages from the meeting was that health inequalities in the EU can and must be urgently addressed, and that the Zero Pollution Action Plan will contribute in particular through its dedicated flagship initiative on “Reducing health inequalities through zero pollution”.

Find out more here.


IHI Kick-off and brokerage event

The Innovative Health Initiative (IHI) is launching its first calls for proposal in late June and it is time to start thinking about building partnerships at our kick-off and brokerage event.

Registration is now open for this one-day hybrid event, which will take place on 14 June 2022 at Hotel Le Plaza Brussels and online. Creating project proposals and building strong, effective consortia are at the core of the day. We aim to provide pertinent information; allow open and honest discussion as well as network building through face-to-face and virtual meetings.

Click here for more information and to register.


INESC TEC researchers acknowledged at international conference on software engineering

The paper “Schema-guided  Testing of Message-oriented Systems “, by Alcino Cunha and Nuno Macedo, researchers at INESC TEC, and André Santos, engineer at CoLAB VORTEX, was the winner of the Best Paper Award at the 17th edition of the international conference ENASE – Conference on Evaluation of Novel Approaches to Software Engineering.

This paper presents a method, and respective tool, for testing systems based on communication via message-passing, for example, in autonomous vehicles. From properties written in a high-level language, this method can automatically generate a large number of tests, with different parameters, to apply on a given system – namely robotic systems developed with Robot Operating System (ROS).

The innovative aspect of the paper stems from combining different test generation techniques into one, thus providing an automatic generation method for a type of systems that is known to be difficult to test. In addition, it takes into account the users’ experience, by facilitating the method with a language that’s clearer considering the properties they wish to test.

The method developed by researchers at High-assurance Software Laboratory (HASLab) can be used to test certain types of properties on any message-based system, as robots normally are. In practical terms, one can, for instance, test if the controller of a robot or self-driving car sends a stop message to the motor as soon as it receives a sensor message that signals any close obstacle.

The ENASE conference, organised by the Institute for Systems and Technologies of Information, Control and Communication (INSTICC), took place online on April 25 and 26.

Find out more here.



EIB and Florimond Desprez sign €40 million loan agreement to finance research into new climate change-resistant plant varieties

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and family-owned group Florimond Desprez have announced, with the European Commission’s support, the signing of a €40 million finance agreement. This loan will be used to fund research, development and innovation activities focusing on breeding new crop varieties capable of coping with changes in agro-climatic conditions. In addition to withstanding more frequent and extreme bouts of abiotic and biotic stress, these new plant varieties will have to support the agro-ecological transition and mitigate the shortage of natural resources.

In line with the objectives of the EIB and the European Union in terms of innovating, promoting sustainable agriculture, protecting the environment and supporting European cohesion areas, this project will help increase the resistance of agricultural systems to climate change. It will reduce the environmental footprint of farming activities and, at the same time, safeguard agricultural yields as well as the margins and viability of businesses in the sector. Florimond Desprez focuses on species of crops which are intended for human consumption and represent major, complex agro-industrial sectors, including soft wheat, sugar beet and potatoes. The group also works with durum wheat, industrial chicory and protein peas, which make a significant contribution to society.

This is the first long-term partnership between the EIB and Florimond Desprez set up under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe.

Read more here.


Spain becoming one of Europe’s new hydrogen hubs, says von der Leyen

According to EURACTIV, “Spain is becoming one of Europe’s new hydrogen hubs, said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during a press conference in Barcelona on Friday, adding that the country has always been a “front runner” in the NextGenerationEU plan. “This is a defining moment for Europe and for our future,” von der Leyen said at the Cercle d’Economia awards ceremony in the Catalan capital, EURACTIV’S partner EFE reported. “Today, I can tell you with certainty that Europe is seizing its moment. We are tapping into the true power of our union,” she stressed. The EU has provided member states with roughly €100 billion in investment to reshape the bloc’s economy as part of the NextGenerationEU, an EU-funded post-pandemic recovery package, the EU Commission chief added. “It is an unprecedented plan with investment and reform, and this plan can reshape our economy for decades ahead,” she said. “Spain has built through the years a resilient energy system, (…) You are a global leader in clean energy. You have a dynamic and innovative economy,” she said. Referring to the need for Europe to end its dependency on Russian fossil fuels, von der Leyen said Spain, and in particular Catalonia, played an important role. “NextGenerationEU will also contribute to turning Catalonia into one of Europe’s new hydrogen valleys. This region is the perfect setting for it, (…) you are creating a full hydrogen ecosystem,” she said. “Today, Spain is at the heart of Europe,” von der Leyen also said.”.


Become a Bioeconomy Youth Ambassador

Are you between 18 and 35 years old and have experience or strong interest in bioeconomy and/or bioeconomy related fields (food systems, forestry, climate change…)?  Would you like to contribute to the sustainable and circular transition of Europe?

Apply by 13 June – 11:59PM CET to join the Bioeconomy Youth Ambassadors programme to:

– Lead by example, inform and inspire others about sustainable and circular bioeconomy;

– Reach out to communities, students and civil society, and to engage decision-makers;

– Work with social media to raise awareness about the role of the bioeconomy in everyone’s life;

– Raise awareness for the bioeconomy especially in youth communities, support the ongoing youth and education related processes of the European Union.

Find all the information on how to become and ambassador here.


Webinar: Implementation of Data Analytics for a sustainable and climate-resilient Agriculture 4.0

The VitiGEOSS project invites you to participate in the webinar “Implementation of Data Analytics for a sustainable and climate-resilient Agriculture 4.0” with the objective to discuss about the need to integrate data analytics in agriculture in order to respond to current and future challenges of the worldwide food and wine industry. The webinar will be organised as part of the European Green Week next Friday 3rd of June.

During the webinar, partners will showcase the use of data analytics in the technical solutions developed in the VitiGEOSS project. These solutions aim at making agriculture more sustainable by reducing the usage of raw materials, water, and chemical fertilisers and pesticides. This would help move towards healthier food products and greener agriculture practices for the environment, contributing to the European Green Deal goals.

Click here to register.


Openness in science & IP protection and uptake

Enhancing the positive synergies between the management of intellectual property (IP) and Open Science is key to boost knowledge valorisation. A new report, commissioned by the European Commission, provides recommendations for policy makers and for IPR practitioners on the promotion of Open Science and its balance with IP protection for better knowledge dissemination to the benefit of all. Regarding open access to scientific publications, the report presents reflections to scope the principle ‘as open as possible, as closed as necessary’ in the context of an evolving and open research and innovation ecosystem.

Read the report here and find out more about it here.


G7 countries pledge to stop Russia oil imports.

According to EURACTIV, “The G7 club of wealthy nations committed Sunday (8 May) to phasing out its dependency on Russian oil and issued a scathing statement accusing President Vladimir Putin of bringing “shame” on Russia with his invasion of Ukraine. The statement from the Group of Seven – France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the United States – did not specify exactly what commitments each country will make to move away from Russian energy. But it was an important development in the ongoing campaign to pressure Putin by crippling Russia’s economy, and underscores the unity of the international community against Moscow’s actions. “We commit to phase out our dependency on Russian energy, including by phasing out or banning the import of Russian oil. We will ensure that we do so in a timely and orderly fashion, and in ways that provide time for the world to secure alternative supplies,” the joint statement said. “This will hit hard at the main artery of Putin’s economy and deny him the revenue he needs to fund his war,” the White House said.”.

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