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In today’s Morning Brief, we are excited to bring you the second episode of “The Insider” on Deep Tech in partnership with Science|Business which you can listen in our website and all the podcast-hosting platforms you enjoy! This second episode, featuring Jonathan Wareham, professor at ESADE Business and Law Schools, is dedicated to explore the concept of Deep tech itself. We also highlight the publication of a call for proposals dedicated to sustainable energy by the EU Catalyst Partnership. On other news, you will find an update on Info Days on Missions and Agriculture, electricity production in the EU, data security and EU green external relations.

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:

Deep Tech: what it is and why it matters (Episode 2 – The Insider)

The second episode in the Deep Tech series features Jonathan Wareham, from ESADE Business and Law Schools. In this conversation we delve into the Green Transition, the concept of Deep Tech itself, what it is and why it matters, how is it possible to create a path towards it becoming a mainstream concept and more.

The three parts of these Deep Tech podcasts will be widely disseminated in all the major podcast platforms, as well as through the Science|Business website, and the Hub website here.


Save the date: Info-days for EU Missions to take place between 18 and 19 January 2022

The European Commission has announced dedicated Info-Days for the EU Missions to be held virtually between 18 and 19 January. EU Missions are an additional part of the Horizon Europe research and innovation programme for 2021-2027 aiming to address some of the greatest challenges facing our society. The Info-Days will present a wide range of new topics for all five missions (Adaptation to Climate Change, Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030, A Soil Deal for Europe, Cancer and 100 Climate-Neutral and Smart cities by 2030) which are part of the amended Missions’ Work Programme 2021 under Horizon Europe.

The actions include direct support to key overarching EU priorities, such as the European Green Deal, a Europe fit for the Digital Age, the Beating Cancer action plan and an Economy that works for people. The event will provide prospective applicants with specific information on the new Missions’ Work Programme calls, funding opportunities and timelines. The Commission invites researchers and innovators as well as citizens and all interested stakeholders to take part in the five missions.

Info-days calendar:

18 January

Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030 Mission

Cancer Mission

19 January

Adaptation to Climate Change Mission

100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030 Mission

A Soil Deal for Europe Mission

For a detailed agenda, participation information and practical details, visit the event website.


Online Info Day on the 2022 AGRI Calls for Proposals

In relation to the publication of the 2022 Calls for proposals for grants for information provision and promotion measures concerning agricultural products, DG Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) and the European Research Executive Agency (REA) are organising the annual Info Day online.

This year the Info day will take place over two days. The first day will be dedicated to policy aspects. The second day will focus on the development of successful campaigns.

As part of this event, matchmaking sessions dedicated to interaction between potential project partners are organised with a view to submitting multi-beneficiary proposals.

Find out more and register here!


EU-Catalyst Partnership: Request for proposals of pioneering green technology projects is launched

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.


First episode of the All-Atlantic Talks Podcast

The All-Atlantic Talks Podcast series discusses the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance values and ambitions, highlighting the need for cooperation across an ocean that connects many in different countries. We will hear from the Alliance’s stakeholders and supporters and open a window on their perspectives and experiences.

The first episode discusses the role of science diplomacy in the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, focusing on its values, ambitions and perspectives for the future, together with John Bell, European Commission, Maria Zaira Turchi, CNPq/MCTI – Brazil and Yonah Seleti, DST – South Africa, Co-Chairs of the Belém Statement on Atlantic Research Cooperation.

Click here to listen to it.


25% of EU electricity production from nuclear sources

The current debate around the use of nuclear energy sources has not been an easy one. A ccording to recent figures from Eurostat, 13 EU countries with nuclear electricity production generated 683 512 GWh of nuclear electricity in 2020. This accounts for almost 25% of the EU’s total electricity production.

The largest producers of nuclear power in the EU were France, Germany, Spain and Sweden. These 4 countries together accounted for more than three quarters of the total amount of electricity generated in nuclear facilities in the EU.

At the beginning of 2020, 13 EU Member States with nuclear electricity production had altogether 109 nuclear reactors in operation. In the course of 2020, three nuclear reactors permanently shut down – two in France and one in Sweden. Nevertheless, France remained the EU Member State most reliant on nuclear electricity, which represented 67% of all electricity generated in the country in 2020.

What does this mean for the future of sustainable energy in Europe? Read here what the European Commission has to say.


Choosing between data security and data sharing should not be an option

President Emmanuel Macron says that he intends to prioritise rapid adoption of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) during the French EU presidency. This legislation forms part of the European Commission’s intention to make Europe a “digital superpower”.

This aim, shared by all committed Europeans, involves introducing new obligations intended to promote competition in a market where technology firms, often foreign, are perceived as dominant and accused of stifling innovation.

According to the European Commission, the market power of these firms – described as “gatekeepers” – is based on large-scale data collection. Therefore, the DMA will require them to share their data, to ensure that it circulates more freely and in order to stimulate innovation.

This focus on the volume of data favours a quantitative approach, instead of looking at the systemic and legal frameworks in which innovation can thrive. There are also many questions about the DMA’s consistency and compatibility with other European legislation, including GDPR.

For example, the DMA requires platforms to give companies using their services “continuous and real-time access” to their “aggregated and non-aggregated data”, free of charge.

A platform will therefore have to make its data accessible to companies, even where it does not know how secure those companies’ technologies are or what their plans to use the data are.

Make sure to read this column by Yann Padova, an attorney at Baker McKenzie here.


Put co-innovation at the heart of EU green external relations

There is not much time to prevent catastrophic climate change according to this new Euractive piece. A key factor is how rapidly new low-carbon technologies are diffused globally. For example, there are promising breakthroughs in carbon intensive industries such as steel production.

The European Union and several Member States have ambitious policies to support green industrial transformation, such as the Innovation Fund financed within the emission trading system (ETS). However, the need for quick diffusion and for technology adapted to the needs in the Global South have not been sufficiently addressed. Similar examples can be found in other areas such as energy, transport, and agriculture. Thus, the EU needs to intensify its cooperation on green innovation with other parts of the world.

With the upcoming African Union-EU summit, the European Union needs to make a bigger effort in involving sub-Saharan African countries in order to make the green transition work worldwide. There are plenty of researchers and innovators in the Global South that need their voices heard in order for quick diffusion and technology adaption work for every part of the world. We must remember that the green transition is not European only but an effort to build stronger relationships worldwide in the fight against climate change.

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