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In today’s Morning Brief, we bring you two fascinating events to sign-up for, one dedicated to the development and production of COVID-19 therapeutics and the other one on the role of supporting the sustainable transitions. We also focus on climate and technology related issues, 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:

Virtual event on the development and production of COVID-19 therapeutics

The European Commission wants to continue facilitating cooperation between actors in the EU supply chain to ensure that available therapeutics are produced in sufficient quantity as soon as possible.

Thus, on the 29 and 30 of November, the European Commission is organising the Second Virtual Matchmaking Event on COVID-19 Therapeutics in partnership with the CEBR, the ECA, and the ECCP.

The event will aim to accelerate:

– The development of new and repurposed medicines for COVID-19 therapeutics;

– The development of medicines used to treat the symptoms of COVID-19;

– The production of disposable materials (e.g. single use systems), ingredients and raw materials required for the manufacture of medicinal products.

It will also aim to mobilise the EU pharma manufacturing capacity for the production of medicines to treat and prevent COVID-19.

Register here, until the 18th of November.


OECD-EARTO Workshop on “The Role of Supporting the Sustainable Transitions”

The OECD Working Party on Innovation and technology (TIP) and EARTO are co-organising this online workshop on the 19th of November from 9h30 to 12h30 (CET).

The workshop’s results will feed into both organisation’s ongoing study on “the Funding of RTOs: New challenges and opportunities for supporting socio-economic recovery, resilience and transitions”, the OECD TIP’s project on “Supporting Co-creation in Collaborative Transitions: Exploring new tools and approaches” and the OECD CSTP cross-cutting project “Societies in times of crisis and beyond: developing responsive and resilient science and innovation systems”.

Don’t forget to register here!


France AI strategy shifts focus to talent

This Monday, France announced its AI plan to become a world leader in the area is entering a new phase focused on fostering talent.

The French government is going to invest €781 million in AI training and attracting international talent as part of the new €2 billion phase supported by both public and private financing. The Secretary of State for the Digital Transition, Cédric O, believes this will bring out “future AI champions”.

The country first announced its ambition to become an Artificial Intelligence leader in 2018. The first phase of the plan upped national and regional support for AI projects from €170 million in 2018 to more than €1 billion in 2021. Let’s see what this new phase will bring.


COP26 initiatives to accelerate Green Technology in the developing world

Enabling development countries to bypass fossil fuels and move directly to renewables is arguably one of the biggest technology transfer challenges the world has ever faced.

One scheme launched at COP26 is the  $10 billion Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, which has backing from organisations including the Rockefeller Foundation, a string of development banks, the furniture store IKEA, and Jeff Bezos’s Earth Fund.

In much of the developed world, renewable technologies are now cost-effective against fossil fuels which helps forcing coal out of the market. Unfortunately, in poorer countries, renewables aren’t as competitive and poor logistics and supply chains mean the costs of installation are much higher.

Also unveiled were the “Glasgow Breakthroughs”, a series of agreements between countries to rapidly scale-up green technology in five areas: renewable power, road transport, steel, hydrogen, and agriculture.

The Glasgow Breakthrough statement promised to make near-zero emission steel the preferred choice in global markets and was signed by seven out of ten of the biggest steel producing countries.

One issue with this is the climate innovation competition amongst countries that doesn’t leave room for underdeveloped countries to adapt, generate employment and reduce emissions. The green transition could then be thrown off-course by social resistance.

If you want to read more about this, make sure to click here.


EU’s criteria for biofuels will hinder supply

The EU’s ‘restrictive’ approach to biofuels sustainability criteria will harm producers’ ability to meet increased demand for green fuels coming from the transport sector, says Henna Virkkunen, a Finnish lawmaker in the European Parliament.

Under EU proposals, biofuels derived from food-and-feed crops would not be eligible to meet green jet fuel targets.

“For sustainability reasons, first-generation biofuels such as feed and food crop-based biofuels, which have limited scalability potential and raise sustainability concerns, should not be supported,” states the ReFuelEU Aviation proposal, which aims to cut plane emissions.

Instead, sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) will be composed solely of advanced biofuels and electro-fuels.

To read more about this click here.

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