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In today’s Morning Brief, we open with an opportunity from INESC Coimbra, a workshop on Energy System Flexibility taking place next month and featuring speakers from ERSE, GridBeyond, and EDP NEW, among others. INESC TEC will also be holding a webinar on the Energy Sector later this month. If you’re between 16 and 30 years old you can now apply for the 2022 European Charlemagne Youth Prize. In other news, if you’re a researcher from the UK or Switzerland, due to political disputes, ERC grant winners from these nations were told to find a host institution in another country and the EIC fund is yet to start giving out money to start-ups and SMEs that were promised equity funding.  

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:

Workshop on Energy System Flexibility

Flexibility refers to the ability to use generation, storage and demand side resources making the most of computational intelligence distributed along the grid for balancing energy supply and demand. Increasing the energy system flexibility is key to ensure the reliable integration of larger shares of renewable generation and empower consumers, while securing the grid stability. Despite the progress being made, several regulatory, technological, operational and market challenges are still at stake, including the citizens and communities’ engagement.

Don’t miss this workshop by INESC Coimbra on February 2 at 14h00 (GMT) which aims to bring together stakeholders to discuss present and future challenges, experiences, and best practices to foster more effective and efficient solutions for the flexibility of the Portuguese energy system.

Register here!

 

Apply for the 2022 European Charlemagne Youth Prize

If you are aged between 16 and 30 and work on a project with a European dimension, apply for the 2022 Charlemagne Youth Prize and win funds to further develop your initiative.

The European Parliament and the International Charlemagne Prize Foundation in Aachen award the Charlemagne Youth Prize every year to projects by young people with a strong EU dimension. Since 2008, more than 4,250 projects have competed for the prize.

Applications are open until February 13. Click here for more information.

 

EU-Catalyst Partnership

Today, Breakthrough Energy Catalyst published a request for proposals for large-scale deep green tech projects based in Europe. The request will trigger investments in a portfolio of high-potential projects in the areas of clean hydrogen, sustainable aviation fuels, direct air capture, and long-duration energy storage.

It marks the first milestone of the EU-Catalyst partnership that the European Commission, European Investment Bank and Breakthrough Energy Catalyst launched in November 2021 at COP26 in Glasgow by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Bill Gates, the Founder of Breakthrough Energy, together with European Investment Bank President Werner Hoyer.

The Partnership will mobilise $1 billion (around €820 million) between 2022-2026 to accelerate the deployment and commercialisation of innovative technologies that help deliver the European Green Deal ambitions and achieve Europe’s climate goals by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050.

Find out more information here.

 

Webinar on Data Privacy and Monetization in the Energy Sector

INESC TEC, through its Centre for Power and Energy Systems and the Energy cluster, has launched the Power and Energy Webinar Series Initiative. In each webinar, a researcher from

INESC TEC will present and discuss ideas, expected outcomes or results regarding the energy systems of the future.

This webinar will feature Pierre Pinson, professor of Operations Research at the Technical University of Denmark discussing regression markets and application to energy forecasting and Ricardo Bessa, coordinator at INESC TEC Centre for Power and Energy Systems (CPES) discussing privacy-preserving federated learning for smart grids.

Sign up here for the event on January 17 at 14h30 (GMT)!

 

DESCA for Horizon Europe is now available

DESCA, the most widespread model Consortium Agreement in Horizon 2020, has now been updated for use in Horizon Europe projects.

DESCA aims to provide, as far as possible, a single text which balances the interests of all types of project participants. However, DESCA recognises that different projects will have different objectives and that the interests of the partners may also differ. DESCA tries to accommodate such differences.

The revised model takes into account requirements stemming from the rules of the new EU Framework Programme Horizon Europe and experience of the user community in working with DESCA 2020, as well as other legal developments.

Click here to find the overview of all modifications and amendments.

 

Digital Economy and Society Index 2021

In the 2021 edition of DESI, Portugal was 16th in a ranking of 27 EU member states, in comparison to the previous 19th position.

You can download the document (in Portuguese) analysing the main results regarding the digital competitiveness of the Portuguese economy here.

 

Industry 5.0 Award

Industry 5.0 provides a vision of the future of European industry, aiming to achieve societal goals beyond jobs and growth. Industry would become a resilient provider of prosperity.

The Industry 5.0 Award is a recognition prize for EU-funded projects that advance the Industry 5.0 vision. Projects should be able to present a convincing and inspiring solution, addressing Industry 5.0’s three main pillars: sustainability, human-centricity and resilience, while also being clearly applicable in industry.

Projects must have been funded by the Horizon 2020 or Horizon Europe framework programmes or the European Institute on Innovation and Technology (EIT). They must also be submitted by 1 April at 17h00 CET.

If you want to find out more about how to apply click here.

 

ERC grant winners in Switzerland are told to find host institution in another country

Switzerland and UK-based early career scientists awarded funding in a €619 million round of European Research Council (ERC) grants may have to move to another country to do their research.

The grants, awarded as part of the first tranche of funding under the EU’s Horizon Europe research programme, are available to scientists of all nationalities as long as they carry out their work in an EU or Horizon Europe associated country.

But a year into the programme it remains unclear which countries will manage to secure associated status, including Switzerland and the UK, where Horizon Europe has got caught in political disputes.

Because of these political disputes these researchers are being incentivised to move to different countries in Europe in order to perform their research.

Find out more here.

 

EIC fund is yet to start giving out money

Start-ups and SMEs promised equity funding by the European Innovation Council (EIC) will have to wait “a number of months into 2022” for the financing, as the European Commission struggles with setting up the fund under Horizon Europe. This is not the first struggle associated with researchers receiving grants from the Horizon Europe programme.

This delay is not only affecting researchers but also companies that won EIC Accelerator financing in the first year of the Horizon Europe research programme as 60 start-ups and SMEs were selected to receive equity financing last year.

The stalled equity financing means companies are not getting all the money they were expecting, even though some of them have already launched the projects approved for EIC backing. For high-risk enterprises that the EIC aims to fund, the lack of funding could mean life or death.

This creates massive uncertainty not only for the researchers awaiting their funds but for those who are working on their applications or planning to apply.

Read more about what the Commission has to say about this issue as well as Xavier Aubry, board member of the European Association of Innovation Consultants here.

 

New €47 million fund to protect EU SME intellectual property

The new EU SME fund is going to offer vouchers for EU-based SMEs to help protect their IP for the next three years as they recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

At varying rates, the fund will reimburse the money companies spend on IP scan services, trademark and design registration, and getting international trade mark and design protection from the World Intellectual Property Organisations. In 2022, the fund will also reimburse 50% of the fees charged by national patent officer for registering patents. From 2023, more services will be added to the list.

SMEs can secure the funding by submitted a proposal through one of the European Union Intellectual Property Office’s calls, the first one of which launched today.

Find out more here.

 

Knowledge Centre for Global Food and Nutrition Security January 2022 Newsletter

The European Commission’s Knowledge Centre for Global Food and Nutrition Security just published their January 2022 Newsletter, highlighting that undernourishment has increased over the planet.

Reports highlight the economic downturn caused by the pandemic and its effect on the affordability of the food for the poorest, and the role that enhanced social protection could play to address the problem.

If you are interested in this subject area make sure to download the newsletter here.

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The Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU
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