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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

26/05/2023: New Horizon Europe calls, a global drive for open science, European Commission DG RTD recent reorganisation, EU-China & much more

In today’s Morning Brief:
Horizon Europe
– Twinning call for proposals is open – Read all about it
– Horizon Europe ERA Fellowships call is now open
– EUR 20 million available for Pathways to synergies – Call for proposals
– New Horizon Europe funding opportunity: Dissemination & Exploitation Support Facility call
– Commission Open Call: Expert Group on the Interim Evaluation of Horizon Europe
– Industry 5.0 Award contest opens: apply by 1 September 2023
– Horizon Europe: The EU and the Republic of Korea launch formal negotiations on association to the programme
– European Space Agency chief seeks ‘forward-looking decisions’
Research & Innovation:
– EU research ministers make fresh call for a full transition to free open access publishing
– Open Science: stakeholders welcome European efforts towards publicly owned and not-for-profit scholarly communication
– Global drive for more open, rigorous research is growing
– European Commission sets up new European Innovation Council unit in the research directorate
– Spain wants EU presidency to be ‘bridge’ with Latin American R&D
– Green industry law haunted by old conflicts over nuclear, financing
– The five EU research projects involving China’s military-linked universities
– Critical Raw Materials: EU ministers want to move fast but dilemmas abound
– G7 ministers call for rules to improve research security
– Territorial Economic Data viewer supports policy monitoring
News from INESC institutes:
– INESC Brussels HUB is signing an Open Letter regarding changes to Who is Who in EC Directorate
– ECI Cruelty-free cosmetics – Consultation to adhere to joint final statement
– Structuring the ecosystem: RTOs collaboration with higher education institutions
– INESC TEC develops pioneering research in the application of variational quantum circuits to reinforcement learning
– INOV: MULTICAM prototypes, an online presentation on Blockchain and 5000 followers
– Job Opportunities
Events & Training workshops

Read More »

19/05/2023: HUB Summer Meeting, Digital Europe Programme, Regional Innovation Valleys, European R&I funding and policy, and much more

In today’s Morning Brief:
Horizon Europe
– Commission Expert Group on the Interim Evaluation of Horizon Europe
– Commission launches first €122M call to create regional innovation ecosystems
– New calls for proposals of the Digital Europe Programme
Research & Innovation:
– EU research commissioner Mariya Gabriel resigns
– France to boost funding for health research infrastructures and UK to invest £100M in improving RIs
– Commission takes European Innovation Council management under its wing
– Industry 5.0 Award: The contest is open for applications
– AI Act moves ahead in EU Parliament with key committee vote
– Defence industry renews call for R&D spending boost
News from INESC institutes:
– Technology and Law: building a virtuous relationship, by Graça Barbosa
– The 2022 INESC-ID AnnualReport is out
– Exciting news from H2020-RESCUER
– Launch of the New Horizon Europe Project SYCLOPS
– INESC TEC supports the implementation of robotic technologies to reduce the ecological footprint
– INESC TEC develops virtual reality app to support youngster looking for jobs
– Job Opportunities
Events & Training workshops

Read More »

05/05/2023: HE calls update, cohesion policy, open access, open science, cohesion policy and coordination of national and EU R&D policy.

In today’s Morning Brief:
Horizon Europe
– Horizon Europe – easy call and topic search
– From KOWI: MSCA: Model Working Contract for Doctoral Networks published
Research & Innovation:
– Report on the outcome of 2021-2027 cohesion policy programming
– Spain adopts national open access strategy
– Commission attempts to strengthen coordination between national R&D policies and EU research programs
– Commission Plans to launch a European Standardisation Panel survey
– Research funders draw attention to uneven implementation of open science
– EIT Climate to become financially sustainable by end of 2024
– Preparing for Belgium’s Thirteenth Presidency of the Council of the European Union
– African Union-European Union High Level Policy Dialogue – Science, Technology and Innovation. Senior official meet to endorse the AU-EU Innovation Agenda
News from INESC institutes:
– INESC MN has a new publication in Advanced Materials Journal
– INOV projects on Youtube
– Diogo Vaz published an article in Público
– Job Opportunities
Events & Training workshops

Read More »