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Happy Friday! In this Morning Brief, to close out the week, we have a lot of ground to cover. We open with the EU’s renewable energy financing mechanism, the 2021 EU Survey on Industrial R&D Investment trends, two fascinating articles, one dedicated to the long road Artificial Intelligence still has to face and one dedicated to the importance of cancer researchers, especially rare cancers and those that appear later in life. The EU also announced a call for experts in the promotion of Agricultural Products Programme and the Silicon Valley Index for 2022 has been published. As this week the AU-EU Summit took place here in Brussels, a lot of coverage regarding brain drain and possible collaboration between both continents has also become increasingly important, and in the area of renewables, fascinating!  

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:

EU renewable energy financing mechanism: EU countries express interest in participation

EU countries have until 15 March 2022 to express interest in participating in the EU renewable energy financing mechanism. Following an invitation from EU Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson in December 2021, EU countries are encouraged to fill-in and submit a template, indicating their non-binding preferences as contributing or host country.

In view of the increased ambition for the 2030 EU target for renewable energy, the collective efforts of the EU countries become more important and the financing mechanism offers a solution to make the best use of the available potential, while providing benefits for both the contributors and hosts.

On the basis of the expressed interest, the Commission will match the preferences and draft the conditions for the first ever EU-wide tender for renewable energy projects. On that basis and following the binding commitments of the participating countries, the Commission will launch the call for proposals where project promoters can apply with their projects in the end of 2022.


The 2021 EU Survey on Industrial R&D Investment Trends

The newly released EU survey on Industrial R&D Investment Trends has provided insights on R&D strategies of top EU R&D corporate investors as listed in the EU R&D Scoreboard for the past 17 years. These largest R&D investors have a big impact on the whole ecosystem in the twin transition. This survey aims at giving better insights into what current trends in industrial innovation and R&D investment fit into the ambitions of the European Green Deal. This survey goes beyond publicly available data of R&D levels and trends and aims at better understanding location strategies, technological developments among different sectors and innovation collaboration of the largest R&D performers that are responsible for the bulk of private R&D in the EU. Click here to read it..


Europe’s bid for AI standard faces a long road, EU lawmakers say

Europe’s effort to set a standard for artificial intelligence will likely take more than planned with the debate focusing on the possible banning of facial recognition and who should enforce the rules, states this EURACTIV piece.

“The European Commission last year proposed draft AI rules, seeking to take the lead in a key technology dominated by China and the United States. The move came after the COVID-19 pandemic showed the importance of algorithms and internet-connected gadgets in daily life. The EU executive has to negotiate its proposal with the European Parliament and EU countries before it can become legislation.”.


MEPs want to ‘roll out the red carpet’ for cancer researchers

“The European Parliament has sent a strong message to the European Commission and member states that it wants to see a boost to research as part of a broader initiative to step up the fight against cancer. “Research has to be cross-border research, and we have to roll out the red carpet to these scientists rather than putting obstacles in their way, as we are in some other areas,” said MEP Pieter Liese during a plenary debate leading up to the vote on Parliament’s report earlier this week. The report is calling for more work to understand the causes of cancer, dedicated funding for rare adult cancers in the Horizon Europe programme, and greater effort to ensure research is translated through to approved therapies.” Don’t miss this Science|Business article here.


EU invests over €110 million in LIFE projects for environment and climate in 11 EU countries

Yesterday, the European Commission announced an investment of over €110 million into LIFE programme integrated projects for environmental and climate protection, selected after a call for proposals covering last year. The funding will support new major environmental and climate projects in 11 EU countries. The projects contribute to a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and support the European Green Deal’s objectives of making the EU climate neutral and zero-pollution by 2050. They are examples of actions to deliver key European Green Deal objectives under the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and the EU Circular Economy Action Plan.

Find out more in the press release published by the European Commission!


Call for experts in the Promotion of Agricultural Products Programme

The European Research Executive Agency (REA) seeks experts from a wide range of fields to assist the agency with:

  • The evaluation of applications for funding;
  • The monitoring of funded projects;
  • Project reviews.

This is a call for expression of interest for experts in the field of the Promotion of Agricultural Products programme. This call is specifically seeking experts who are:

  • Experienced in marketing and communications with a background in the agri-food sector;
  • Knowledgeable in quality schemes, organics and consumer behaviours;
  • Familiar with both sustainability production and consumption processes related to agri-food;
  • Experienced in market analysis and campaign evaluations in the agri-food sector;
  • Knowledgeable in EU and third country agri-food markets.

If this description fits your profile, please register here. For more information, click here!


EU launches plan for independent low-earth orbit satellite broadband communication system

“The EU is to set up its own low-earth orbit quantum-encrypted satellite communications system, with the European Commission pushing industry and member states to get to work on the €6 billion project as early as next year. The new broadband system will provide government and commercial internet services, over-riding the shortcomings of earth-based systems and enabling quantum-secured internet connections throughout Europe and Africa. It’s one more plank in moves towards securing the EU’s strategic autonomy, with Starlink in the US and OneWeb in the UK already building advanced, low orbit satellite internet constellations. Secure satellite-based broadband, offering high download speeds and low latency, is seen as critical for technologies now reaching the market such as driverless vehicles and telemedicine, and for increased security and connectivity for governments, public services and the military.” Click here for the full Science|Business piece!


EU Platform on Food Losses & Food Waste: Setting priorities for a new mandate (2022-2026)

Today, Commissioner Stella Kyriakides, in charge of Health and Food Safety, will address the members of the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste at its 12th meeting.

The agenda will address the operations and the priorities of the Platform over the next five years as it seeks to further mobilise action and drive food waste out of our food systems. Focused on steering action towards areas of greatest impact, the Platform’s work will promote the definition of baselines, target setting and monitoring of results achieved.

If you want to find out more about this meeting click here.


The Silicon Valley Index 2022

The Silicon Valley Index is a nationally-recognized publication that has been providing analysis on Silicon Valley trends since 1995 as a service to the community. Released by Joint Venture every February, the Index includes research and indicators that measure the strength of our economy and the health of our community—highlighting challenges and providing an analytical foundation for decision-making.

All of the Index data is also available online here. This interactive data hub provides charts and access to the underlying data, links to data sources, and additional related online resources.

Read more about this publication here.


European and African universities welcome proposed AU-EU Innovation Agenda

The EU and African Union (AU) has proposed a plan for turning ‘brain drain’ into ‘brain gain’ ahead of this week’s African Union and European Union summit.

The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities and the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA)  welcome the plan’s focus on strengthening existing R&I funding programmes, the establishment of new ones to strengthen higher education, and a strong focus on boosting universities’ research capacity.

The Guild and ARUA call upon the EU and the AU leaders who are meeting this week in Brussels to fully support this proposed joint Innovation Agenda and urge the higher education sector to engage with the consultation.


EU aims to make Africa a world champion in hydrogen exports

As the discussion on hydrogen continues, without enough internal supplies, Europe is looking to import large quantities from countries in the Global South.

As hydrogen is an alternative for fossil-fuel reliant European industries like chemicals and cement, the continent is looking towards Africa as playing a big role in its hydrogen import ambitions. As the continent has one of the world’s best renewable energy potentials, combined with low energy consumption, this would give it an opportunity to diversify its economy whilst building stronger ties to Europe.

Make sure to read the EURACTIV piece on this subject here.


Conclusions of the informal meeting of European ministers responsible for space

President Macron delivered an address this week in which he outlined his vision for French and European space strategy, during an informal Competitiveness Council meeting on space, which brought together European Ministers responsible for Space and the European Commission, and a European Space Agency (ESA) Ministerial Council meeting.

These two meetings covered four major issues surrounding the development of European space policy:

  • European Commission projects related to implementing an EU constellation for connectivity and defining common rules governing space traffic management;
  • EU roadmap regarding Earth and climate observation from space;
  • Europe’s objectives in terms of science and space exploration.

During his speech, President Macron stressed that space is an essential component of Europe’s sovereignty, in spheres such as communications, Earth observation, climate change monitoring and navigation. He praised the EU’s many strengths, as exemplified by the Galileo and Copernicus programmes, which now have billions of daily users. At a time when several countries have manifested their intention to send human missions to the Moon and Mars, President Macron has called on Europe to define its space ambitions.

Joining this effort, President Macron announced the creation of an expert group tasked with analysing attainable options and putting forward recommendations to Member States.

If you want to read more about the conclusions of this meeting, make sure to click here.

More Articles

31/05/2022: BioData.PT Session 3, EU AI Law, European Sustainable Energy Week, LIFE Awards 2022 Winners, EU Green Deal, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– BioData.PT Talks Session 3: Recent Artificial Intelligence Tools and Architectures for Structural Biology;
– EUA Policy Input: Considerations for a “European Degree”;
– Putting Science into Standards;
– The EU AI law will not be future-proof unless it regulates general purpose AI systems;
– European Sustainable Energy Week: Going green and digital for Europe’s energy transition;
– European Commission reveals winners of LIFE Awards 2022;
– Interact with statistics for the European Green Deal;
– EU countries urged to prepare for Russian gas cut: Summit draft.

Read More »

30/05/2022: INESC TEC Workshop, EU Cancer Plan, Eurostat, Defunct Satellites, Hydrogen, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– INESC TEC coordinated a workshop on Machine Learning;
– Access to financial products for persons with a history of cancer in EU Member States;
– Eurostat regional yearbook: From traditional printed publication to modern interactive tool;
– ‘World-first’ project for capturing defunct satellites ramps up;
– Hydrogen: BAM sets up digitally networked research filling station to increase safety of technology;
– EFCA coordinates EU efforts to monitor the bluefin tuna fishing season;
– Zero Pollution Monitoring and Outlook Workshop – Report;
– Commission outlines defence R&D priorities in new €924M work programme.

Read More »

26/05/2022: INESC-ID research grants, new MSCA platform, Horizon Europe UK backup, REPowerEU, Fit for 55, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– INESC-ID: Nuno Lopes receives research grants from Google and Woven Alpha;
– EU ramping up efforts for strategic autonomy in raw materials;
– Laurence Moreau appointed head of the ERC executive agency;
– Event: The UK’s Position in Global Science and Innovation;
– New MSCA networking platform for future applicants;
– Application system opens for UK Horizon backup grants;
– Fraunhofer elects three new executive vice-presidents;
– FaST Navigator study identifies models necessary to provide accurate advice on the use of fertilisers to EU farmers;
– Germany’s pacifist universities pose obstacle to militarisation of EU R&D;
– Webinar: The European Standardisation Booster;
– MSCA Cluster event on Mission Ocean and Waters;
– REPowerEU: Commission establishes the EU Energy Platform Task Force to secure alternative supplies;
– Horizon Europe mission on carbon-neutral cities kicks into gear;
– Fit for 55: New EU carbon sink goal will increase 2030 reduction target;
– A new Blue Economy Observatory to monitor and promote the sustainability of our ocean related activities;
– Zero Pollution Monitoring and Outlook Workshop – Report.

Read More »