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Happy Monday! In today’s Morning Brief, we go in depth in the new Horizon Europe developments, calls and webinars, and also the fact that Armenia is the new nation to join this European programme. We also discuss COP26 now that it has come to an end, nuclear energy , and more! Have a great week!    

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:

Court of Auditors clears Horizon 2020 public-private partnerships

The ECA has signed off the 2020 financial records of all Joint Undertakings, the EU’s public-private partnerships with industry and research groups.

In the seventh of their ten-year life span, most Joint Understandings have already implemented approximately two thirds of their activities within Horizon 2020, the EU’s eight framework programme for research and innovation.

“Although several aspects could be improved further, our audit for 2020 confirms that the financial and compliance management of the Joint Undertakings is healthy”, said Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz, the member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the audit..

EUSPA opens first Horizon Europe call for space research

The first Horizon Europe call managed by the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) is now open for submissions.

With an overall budget of €32.6 million, the call welcomes proposals that aim develop applications based on data from the EU space programmes Galileo, EGNOS, and Copernicus.

The deadline for applications is 16 February 2022.

Click here to sign up.

European Commission’s Webinar in declaring personnel costs in Horizon 2020 grants

On the 2nd of December from 10h00 to 12h00 (CET) don’t miss this webinar on how to avoid errors in declaring personnel costs in Horizon 2020 grants with Peter Härtwich, Head of Unit, Common Implementation Centre, European Commission.

Registration isn’t required as the webinar will be broadcast live via the Funding & Tenders Portal, here.

Armenia joins Horizon Europe

The Horizon Europe Association Agreement will start producing legal effects after its entry into force that is once Armenia completes its ratification process and an exchange of diplomatic notes takes place between the European Commission and the Armenian authorities.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, stated, “I welcome Armenia to our Horizon Europe programme. Armenia has continuously increased its participation in the previous Horizon 2020 programme and has supported the acceleration of the reforms of the Armenian national research and innovation system in the past few years”.

Mission Innovation sets fresh objectives for international cooperation at COP26

Mission Innovation, set up in 2015 by Barack Obama and other world leaders, has this year pivoted to a new strategy that sees the countries involved work together on specific climate missions, for example, sucking 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere annually by 2030, some of which were newly unveiled at COP26.

Despite a rivalry over technological leadership between the US and China, both are members of Mission Innovation, along with 21 other countries. Collectively the body claims to represent over 90 per cent of the world’s public investment in clean energy innovation.

“You might advance more quickly…if we work more closely together,” said Patrick Child, chair of the steering committee, and deputy director general for environment at the European Commission.

According to a progress report last year, spending after four years had increased by 60 per cent – a sizable increase, but still well short of the promised doubling over five years.

This year, the organization has taken a different tack. There are no more specific R&D spending commitments, but in their place are missions with specific goals, each led by a handful of member countries.

So far, there are seven missions: zero-emissions shipping; clean hydrogen; integrating green power into electricity grids; removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; creating demonstration projects for net-zero cities; green refurbishment of steel, cement, and chemicals plants; and replacing fossil fuels with biofuels.

The latter four were launched at COP26, and although some of them are still to have their missions defined, Child said they will have to boast concrete targets.

Read all about it here.

Commission takes action against five Member States to improve waste management

In its Circular Economy Action Plan, the Commission has set out a path on how to significantly reduce waste generation and EU rules set the objective of limiting the share of municipal waste landfilled to 10% by 2035.

The Commission is continuously working to modernize these rules to make them fit for the circular economy and the digital age. As part of this ambition, the Commission will propose in the coming days a reform of the EU rules on the shipments of waste abroad to ensure that the EU does not export its waste challenges to third countries.

In this regard, today, the Commission is taking legal steps against Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece and Slovakia for failing to comply with EU laws on waste – the Waste Framework Directive and the Landfill Directive. These five Member States are urged to ensure appropriate treatment of waste before landfilling.

Read more about it here.

German pro-nuclear activists make rare appearance in Berlin

With Germany set to shut down its last six reactors in 2022, a group of pro-nuclear activists made an appearance in Berlin hoping to reverse the decision.

“56% of Germans are pro-nuclear, only 34% of Germans are against”, Björn Peters, a pro-nuclear activist, told attendees at a rally in Berlin this Saturday. Svenja Schulze, Germany’s caretaker environment minister, “formed an alliance with dwarves in Europe – Denmark, Austria, Luxembourg and Portugal – to work against the big countries in Europe” and oppose the inclusion of nuclear power in the EU’s green finance taxonomy, he bemoaned.

Last week, Schulze and her colleagues from four other EU countries announced they would oppose the inclusion of nuclear power in the EU’s green finance taxonomy, a set of rules designed to provide investors with a common definition of what is green and what is not, with the aim of channeling more capital into sustainable businesses.

Read it here.

More Articles

03/12/2021: ICoWEFS 2022, European Business and Nature Summit 2021, Germany’s new government and R&I, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– International Conference on Water, Energy, Food and Sustainability (ICoWEFS 2022);
– European Business and Nature Summit 2021;
– Research to be part of EU rival to China’s Belt and Road initiative;
– European Commission welcomes political agreement on the 8th Environment Action Programme;
– What Germany’s new government means for R&I;
– Data Governance: Deal on new rules to boost data sharing across the EU;
– UK-EU row may leave Copernicus €750M short.

Read More »