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In this Morning Brief, we open with a a captivating article by the European Commission regarding employment in the EU’s renewable energy sector, a webinar on Lump Sum Funding in Horizon Europe explaining how it works and how to write a proposal, a virtual brokerage event on EU Missions calls for this year, a plan by the European Commission for achieving gender equality in the R&I system, 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:

In focus: Employment in EU’s renewable energy sector

The production and use of energy account for more than 75% of EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. Decarbonising the energy system is therefore critical to reach the EU’s long-term aim to become climate-neutral by 2050.

Energy coming from renewable sources is essential for “cleaning” the EU’s energy system. At the same time, an increased share of renewables in the energy mix will also benefit citizens by creating new job opportunities across various sectors, steering dialogues between communities and presenting opportunities for more equal and inclusive standards in the energy sector.

Currently, most of the jobs in the EU energy sector are linked to conventional energy technologies such as oil, gas, coal and nuclear. But clean energy technologies are becoming a dynamic area for investment and employment, leading to new jobs also in related sectors, such as construction and manufacturing. 

Some sectors and regions in the EU will need time to convert to new renewable energy sources and try, where possible, to transfer skills. This is already happening in EU coal regions. The European Commission has initiatives in place to help and support a just transition for coal regions, both in the EU and in the Western Balkans and Ukraine, on their path towards decarbonisation.

Read more here


Webinar: Lump Sum Funding in Horizon Europe: How does it work? How to write a proposal?

Taking place in two days, don’t miss this European Commission webinar with Peter Härtwich and Ulrich Genschel on how to write a lump sum proposal an the main novelties of lump sum grants.

Click here for more information. 


Horizon Europe – EU Missions calls 2022: Virtual brokerage event

Network of Horizon Europe National Contact Points, Bridge2HE, invites you to participate in the virtual networking event in order to find project partners for the forthcoming calls 2022 in Horizon Europe – Missions! 

EU Missions are an additional part of the Horizon Europe research and innovation programme for 2021-2027 which tackle big societal challenges and aim to achieve ambitious goals in health, climate and the environment by 2030. This additional funding will bring the implementation of EU Missions one step forward, paving the way to delivering their full potential.

This event will help you to build your consortium for the upcoming 2022 calls of the Missions Work Programme, which will be open from May 2022 to September 2022.

Click here for more information.


BAM and BTU team up to close Germany’s skills gap in hydrogen technologies

The Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM) and the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU) have jointly founded the Graduate School “Trustworthy Hydrogen”. It aims to ensure the development and establishment of hydrogen technology in the long term by qualifying excellent young academics. The Graduate School, which is unique in its kind in Germany, is intended to enable doctoral students in a three-year programme to actively shape the development and expansion of the hydrogen economy in Germany and Europe as future leaders in industry, research and the public sector.

Hydrogen is a key element for the transformation of the economy and society towards climate neutrality. The transformation of the energy system to a hydrogen economy will require a large number of highly qualified specialists in the coming years. Up to now, there has been a lack of suitable qualification programmes.

The “Trustworthy Hydrogen” Graduate School of BAM and BTU closes this gap. Both institutions, which cooperate in research and teaching, are leaders in Germany in research on modern hydrogen technologies. In 2020, BAM has bundled its long-standing activities in the field into the Competence Centre H2Safety@BAM.

Click here for more information.


A plan for achieving gender equality in the research and innovation system

Women have long contributed to scientific research and breakthroughs. Ada Lovelace developed the first computer algorithm back in the mid 1800s, and anyone who has received an X-ray has Marie Curie to thank. Then there’s mathematician Katherine Johnson, whose work on orbital mechanics for NASA’s Apollo programme was retold in the movie ‘Hidden Figures’. And many COVID-19 vaccines owe their existence to biochemist Katalin Karikó.

Yet, despite this myriad of achievements, science continues to suffer deeply rooted gender inequalities, stereotypes and discrimination. According to the recent She Figures report commissioned by the European Commission, women outnumber men as students and graduates, yet they represent only one third of researchers, and only a quarter of full professorship positions are held by women.

This discrimination affects everyone. “Only when academia and research include scholars with different backgrounds and identities will we be able to achieve results that are meaningful to everyone,” says María Bustelo, a researcher at the Complutense University of Madrid.

With the support of the EU-funded SUPERA project, Bustelo is leading an effort to improve the way scientific research is performed at four universities and two research funding organisations. “By increasing equality, diversity and inclusiveness, we can create better work and study places, a greater capacity to retain talent, and provide opportunities to all community members, irrespective of their gender, and enhance an institution’s potential for innovative research,” adds Bustelo.

Find out more here.


SymbNET PhD Summer school on host-microbe symbioses

This Summer School is designed for PhD students interested in host-microbe symbioses to acquire an in depth understanding of the field from diverse perspectives through the interaction with experts in this research area. These include researchers using different model systems, and levels of analysis from molecular biology, to ecology and evolution. The Summer School will have an emphasis on functionally understanding these symbioses, with approaches including genomics and metabolomics. The students will acquire critical knowledge for their future choice of research direction.

The Summer School is two weeks long, with 20 lecturers, and 35 PhD students. These conditions foster a continuous and strong interaction between faculty and students. The programme includes lectures and the development of a short written research project. The development of the written research project promotes thinking deeply about the questions and future directions in the field.

Up to ten PhD students from SymbNET  will have registration and travel fully sponsored. Fellowships available for students who need financial aid for travel and/or registration.


Tracking agricultural-related deforestation

The global trade in agricultural commodities provides food, fuel and fibre to consumers around the world. Commodity production, however, is also linked with negative environmental impacts, including the loss and degradation of forested land.

Approximately 90% of global deforestation is driven by agricultural expansion – a phenomenon which has roots in the global demand for products such as palm oil, soy and beef. New research reveals how satellites can be used to map and monitor forest-cover changes and help implement effective zero deforestation commitments.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that 23% of total human driven greenhouse gas emissions result from agriculture, forestry and other land uses. Therefore, protecting forests is essential to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

At the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, 10 of the world’s largest commodity traders published a ‘shared commitment’ to halting forest loss, and the European Union published proposed legislation imposing a legal responsibility for trading companies to ensure their sourcing is not linked to deforestation.

While many companies recognise the central role forest ecosystems play in the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss and have made zero-deforestation commitments, progress in implementing deforestation-free supply chains remains slow.

In a new study published in Science Advances, a team of scientists from Europe and the US, combined detailed shipping data from Trase with corporate disclosures, farm-level production and remote sensing data to better understand how commodity traders source products on the ground, and how this affects the implementation of corporate zero-deforestation commitments.

An ‘agora’ session will be dedicated to the topic of sustainability along industrial value chains in delivering Green Deal and EU sustainability objectives. The ‘Sustainable products and supply chain due diligence – how to enhance the use of Copernicus and big data session’ will take place on Tuesday 24 May from 10:20-11:20.

More information and registration details can be found at the Living Planet Symposium website.

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