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In today's Morning Brief:

Survey to improve science communication of the European Commission

The European Commission wants to improve its communication on science, research and innovation and is asking citizens how it should do it in a new survey. The short survey asks respondents which science areas are most important to them, what media they prefer, who influences their opinion on research and innovation, and what they see as the main goals of European science projects.


EU and Ukraine sign a strategic partnership on raw materials

Kyiv will be invited today to join the EU industrial alliances on batteries and raw materials, with a view to develop an entire value chain of the extraction, refining and recycling of minerals in Ukraine to supply the EU market for electric cars and digital equipment.

The EU-Ukraine partnership on raw materials has a wider global significance. As Russia completes construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany, Kyiv is expected to lose out on gas transit revenues. And raw materials could provide a new source of income for Ukraine. The Commission sees clear opportunities from forging closer ties with Ukraine. Europe is currently heavily dependent on imports of key raw materials, with China providing 98% of the EU’s supply of rare earth elements, a key component for magnets used in electric car batteries, smartphones and wind turbines.

The alliance aims to strengthen the EU’s strategic autonomy on raw materials by identifying obstacles, and investment opportunities at all stages of the mineral value chain, while trying to minimise the environmental and social impacts, the Commission said. Read more on Euractiv.


EU matchmaking event for the development of COVID-19 therapeutics

The European Commission is hosting a two-day pan-European matchmaking event to accelerate and upscale the development and production of COVID-19 therapeutics in the EU, bringing together over 250 participants throughout the value chain from 25 Member States and other countries.

The event is a step in implementing the Commission’s strategy on COVID-19 therapeutics adopted in May 2021. The event will focus on the development and production of both new and repurposed medicines to treat COVID-19 in all stages of the disease; especially building on the recently published list of five promising candidate therapeutics. The event is organised by the Commission’s Task Force for industrial scale-up of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, in close cooperation with the European Cluster Collaboration Platform and in partnership with the Council of European BioRegions (CEBR) and the European Cluster Alliance (ECA).

More information about the event is available on the event’s website, while an analysis of the matchmaking event and its background is available on Euractiv.


Germany invests € 47 million in new research groups

The German Research Foundation (DFG) is set to award €47.4 million to 13 new research groups addressing pressing issues in their subject areas. The newly funded groups will study the intricacies of lower back pain, dissect the behaviour of DNA viruses, dive into the history of psychiatry, and develop new visual computing simulation and learning techniques, among other topics. They will receive funding for up to 6 to 8 years to carry out their research.

The full list of the research groups funded is available here.


Level(s): a new framework for building sustainability

The Commission has recently adopted Level(s), an assessment and reporting framework that provides a common language for sustainability performance of buildings. Level(s) promotes lifecycle thinking for buildings and provides a robust approach to measuring and supporting improvement from design to end of life, for both residential buildings and offices. Building upon the objectives of both the EU Green Deal and the EU Circular Economy Action Plan, Level(s) supports the efforts of the building sector in improving energy and material efficiency, thereby reducing overall carbon emissions.

Learn more on the Commission website, and from this factsheet with examples of how to use the framework in practice.


EU 2030 climate target: MEPs to quiz Commission VP Timmermans on Wednesday

The executive Vice President of the EC Frans Timmermans will present the Commission’s “Fit for 55 in 2030” package and debate with Environment Committee MEPs, on the day of its adoption. The presentation and debate will take place tomorrow, 14 July, from 5 pm to 6.30 pm CEST. You can follow the committee meeting live here.

Before, the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee will debate the latest report by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) on “The state of the global climate in 2020” with Professor Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of WMO. This debate will take place from 15.15 to 16.15 CEST and can be followed live here .

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30/7/2021: New INESC e-magazine just published, input wanted on the Future of Europe, lump-sum in HE, new HE associations, synergies amendment to State Aid exemptions, EU quantum infrastructure, health data, and the shortage of semiconductors

In today’s Morning Brief:
– New INESC publication: first issue of H magazine “Visions of the future”
– Conference on the Future of Europe: input wanted
– Lump-sum in Horizon Europe – New EC Decision
– New round of Horizon Europe associations: Armenia, Georgia, Israel, Moldova, Western Balkans, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine
– Commission adopted the «Synergies amendment» to the State Aid General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER)
– EU members commit to build EU quantum communication infrastructure
– EuropaBio welcomes the Health Data Space initiative
– Solutions needed for to the shortage of semiconductors in Europe

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28/7/2021: Pre-draft of Model Grant Agreement, Consultation on Low-Carbon Technologies, funding for low carbon technologies, Science Europe on the new ERA, and costs for regulating AI

In today’s Morning Brief:
– Commission releases pre-draft of the Horizon Europe Model Grant Agreement
– Consultation on Low-Carbon Industrial Technologies Prospect
– EU announces €122 million for 32 projects developing low carbon technologies
– Research funding agencies want a greater say in shaping new ERA
– Study warns of compliance costs for regulating Artificial Intelligence

Read More »

27/7/2021: State aid exemptions, working group on offshore renewable energies, report on food systems, new steel&coal projects, EARTO on partnerships, and Spain funds more science missions

In today’s Morning Brief:
– State Aid exemptions: more money for research
– Commission launches call for expression of interest for working group on offshore renewable energies
– Report “Co-creating knowledge for food systems transformation”
– Approved 25 new steel and coal projects supporting the European Green Deal
– EARTO recommendations on European Partnerships
– Spain announces €141M for science missions in 2022

Read More »