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In today’s Morning Brief, we start out with the event the Hub and INESC TEC participated this morning organised by Science|Business on Hydrogen, with a select group of experts. In news regarding the European Green Deal, the Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform kicks off as a joint initiative of the EC and ECR. The programme and registration for the EU Industry Days 2022 are now available online so make sure to check those out, 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:

H-factor: Will European R&D catalyse the clean hydrogen era?

Against a backdrop of energy price volatility, rising carbon emissions, and deep uncertainties about the effectiveness of international climate action, the importance of creating a viable green hydrogen market grows exponentially. From intergovernmental initiatives such as Mission Innovation, to the new industry-led partnership within Horizon Europe and Important Project of Common European Interest, the race is on to make existing and emerging hydrogen technologies fully operational and price-competitive. Today, INESC TEC and the HUB participated in this private roundtable, organised by the Science|Business Network, who has convened a select group of experts and leading figures from across the policy, industry and research spectrum to debate these issues and explore the way forward.

Many interesting outcomes and contacts were made. Some important links and documents were share by the European Commission and other stakeholders present in the debate, namely:

1 – New study from IRENA – International Renewable Energy Association, published today

Geopolitics of the Energy Transformation: The Hydrogen Factor

2 – Hydrogen 4 EU: charting pathways to enable net zero

The Hydrogen for Europe study is the result of a cross-sectoral, technology neutral research project charting potential pathways for hydrogen to contribute to the EU’s goal of net zero GHG emissions.


3 – Hydrogen use in EU decarbonisation scenarios

An EC document published in 2021


A position paper by German, French and Dutch RTOs

5 – Historical Analysis of FCH 2 JU Electrolyser Projects

A JRC – Joint Research Council study.

Download full article here.

6 – Acceleration

European Green Hydrogen Acceleration Center


Spain to consult citizens on research careers reform

Spain is going to promote a broad public consultation before it advances with reforms on the research career reform at national level and its European counterpart.

According to Science Business, the country is considering reforming laws governing science careers to improve stability, reduce administrative burdens and reinforce the transfer of knowledge, and asks citizens to have their say on how this should be done. Proposed changes include reducing the age of entry for postdoctoral researchers, introducing a new type of indefinite work contracts and reducing the precarity faced by early-career researchers. Spain’s reforms aim to boost the attractiveness of research careers as countries around the world enter ‘a war for talent’ trying to lure researchers through new academic recruitment programmes, visa schemes and open-door policies.


European Green Deal: Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform kicks off

This week, the members of the Stakeholder Platform announced by the EU Action Plan: Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water and Soil, met for the first time to start developing the 2022-2024 work programme meant to support the implementation of the Action Plan. This platform is a joint initiative of the European Commission and the European Committee of the Regions.

The Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform will help deliver flagship initiatives and actions set out in the Zero Pollution Action Plan by:

– bringing together actors from different communities and areas of expertise to tackle inter-related challenges, e.g. strengthening a joint environment and health agenda;

– defining a common vision on how to achieve zero pollution objectives.

You can access the platform and find out more about it here.


EU Industry Days 2022

The EU Industry Days is one of Europe’s flagship annual events, highlighting industrial frontrunners, ongoing industrial policy discussions and improving the knowledge base of European industry. It is the main platform to discuss industry challenges and co-develop opportunities and policy responses in an inclusive dialogue with a wide range of stakeholders.

It informs industrial policies at European, national, regional and local levels and ensures coherence for European industry to deliver jobs, growth and innovation in Europe.

EU Industry Days 2022 will take place in Brussels between 8 – 11 February 2022.

The 2022 edition will stimulate discussions across industrial ecosystems on their green and digital pathways, to strengthen the resilience of EU companies and SMEs. It will hold discussions on how the young generation can shape the future of EU industry, in line with the Commission proposal to make 2022 the European Year of Youth.

To register for the event or to just check out the programme click here!


EIC Horizon Prize on Early Warning for Epidemics was awarded

The winner of the €5 million EIC Horizon Prize on Early Warning for Epidemics is Greece-based project EarlY WArning System for Mosquito-borne Diseases (EYWA).

Every year, more than 1 billion people suffer from vector-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue, or yellow fever. To help prevent and mitigate the impact of such outbreaks, the European Commission launched a prize to reward the best Earth observation-based prototype to forecast and monitor vector-borne diseases.

For more information on the EIC Horizon Prizes make sure to check out this page.


Australian start-up wants to fight deforestation with drones

Using a fleet of highly advanced octocopters, AirSeed Technology, an Australian start-up, is fighting deforestation by combining artificial intelligence with specially designed seed pods which can be fired into the ground from high in the sky.

“Each of our drones can plant over 40,000 seed pods per day and they fly autonomously,” says Andrew Walker, CEO and co-founder of AirSeed Technologies.

Before takeoff, each drone hopper is loaded with specially selected seed pods compatible with the habitat below. These pods are manufactured using waste biomass, providing a carbon rich coating that protects the seeds from birds, insects and rodents.

“The niche really lies in our biotech, which is the support system for the seed once it’s on the ground,” says Walker. “It protects the seed from different types of wildlife, but also supports the seed once it germinates and really helps deliver all of those nutrients and mineral sources that it needs, along with some probiotics to really boost early-stage growth.”

Once airborne, the drones navigate fixed flight paths, planting to predefined patterns and recording each seeds’ coordinates. This allows AirSeed to assess the health of their trees as they grow.

Make sure to read more about this project here.


EU advisers concerned about plan for green labels on gas, nuclear investments

Experts advising on the European Union’s sustainable finance taxonomy are concerned a draft plan to include gas and nuclear relies too heavily on promises to make those fuels green in future, rather than assessing their real impact today.

Nathan Fabian, who chairs the expert group, said some advisers were concerned the draft risked hurting the taxonomy’s mission to provide clarity to investors about the environmental impact of investments.

“The new criteria do have weaknesses that mean that they’re not well suited to sustainable finance products,” Fabian told Reuters on Monday, ahead of a Friday deadline for the group to give feedback on the European Commission’s draft proposal.

Make sure to read this EURACTIV article here.

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