Welcome to today’s Morning Brief. The Morning Brief newsletter is only available to INESC staff and affiliated researchers upon subscription (weekly or daily), after creating an account in the Private Area of the HUB website. To do so, click the log-in icon on the top-right corner of this website.

In today’s Morning Brief, plenty of news from the European Commission! There’s a launch of the exchange programme for coal, and oil shale regions in the EU, new proposals for deforestation, the search for the first EIC Board President but also news on events regarding COP26 and hydrogen and soils, 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:

Launch of the exchange programme for coal, and oil shale regions in the EU

A new exchange programme for regions producing coal, lignite, peat and oil shale, known as “coal+regions”, has been launched this week, aimed at helping them to achieve a just energy transition.

Called exhangeEU, the programme matches coal+ regions with their peers to deepen their understanding of each other’s challenges around the transition process. This will bring together delegates from regions across the EU to share insights and create unique opportunities for dialogue, cooperation, peer-to-peer learning, and networking.

ExchangeEU encourages stakeholders from a wide variety of backgrounds to apply and help leverage the unique learnings of each region. It will strive to create a community and network of practitioners with a lasting impact through a demand-driven programme design, tailored to the needs of the participating regions.

The call for applications was launched at the Just Transition Platform Meeting on 15 November 2021 and will run until 14 January 2022. Find out more here.

Commission adopts new proposals for deforestation

Today, the Commission adopted three new initiatives that are necessary for making the European Green Deal a reality:

– Regulation to curb EU-driven deforestation and forest degradation;

– Revised regulation on waste shipments to facilitate intra-EU waste shipments to promote circular economy and tackle the export of illegal waste and waste challenges to waste countries;

– New EU Soil Strategy to have all European soils restored, resilient, and adequately protected by 2050.

See more here.

Commission presents the 3rd Materials Scoreboard at the 2021 Raw Materials Week

The Scoreboard presents an in-depth analysis of Europe’s raw material supply chains, their competitiveness and trade flows. It provides input to the EU’s policy efforts at a time when global raw material supply chains continue to be severely disrupted, including as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent surge in energy prices around the world.

Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, stated, “Raw materials are no longer a simple commodity but a crucial enabler of the green and digital transitions. Their secure and sustainable supply is essential for preserving the global competitiveness of the EU’s most strategic sectors. We must therefore accelerate our efforts to build a more resilient raw materials value chain, by investing not only in primary raw materials extraction but also in domesting refining facilities recycling and R&I all critical for a secure supply of secondary raw materials”.

The 3rd Raw Materials Scoreboard focuses on four main raw material groups: materials, metals, wood and industrial minerals. These materials are essential to several key sectors of the European economy, such as automotive, electronics, or manufacturing industries, which depend on their secure supply. Among the findings, the report highlights that Europe lags behind and has high levels of dependency on other regions for certain raw material production, while domestic production of raw materials secures jobs and added value in the EU, and decarbonisation with circular use of raw materials also offer further opportunities.

Commission is looking to appoint the EIC Board President

This is a new post created to provide strategic leadership for the EIC. The post is full time with a term of office limited to four years, renewable once.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Research, Innovation, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “The role of the EIC Board President is to provide leadership to the EIC as a flagship innovation programme, known to innovators across Europe and beyond. (S)he will lead the new EIC Board and translate the their vision and advice into a programme that meets innovators needs and enables them to develop ground breaking technologies and successful companies in Europe. I invite the outstanding visionary innovators in all parts of Europe to come forward for this important new role”. 

The new President is expected to be appointed in the first quarter of 2022. The deadline for applications is 17 December 2021, 12:00 Brussels time. For more information, including on how to apply, please check here.

Beyond Glasgow: What impact will COP26 have on Europe’s green R&D dreams?

In this free-to-air, livestreamed debate, Science|Business will bring together leading figures – including UK Science Minister George Freeman – to discuss the dust settling on COP26, and to reflect on its implication for European science and technology in the months ahead.

Register here, for the 25th of November!

First Digital Europe calls worth €458 million open

Today, the European Commission launched the first calls under the Digital Europe programme aimed at advancing the EU’s digital transition.

The first €415 million strand of grants will be distributed to projects in cloud to edge infrastructure, data spaces, artificial intelligence, quantum communication infrastructure, advancing people’s digital skills, and tackling online child sexual abuse and disinformation. The money is set to be spent until 2022.

Another €43 million in grants will be invested in cybersecurity projects, such as support in the health sector, and the deployment of a network of coordination centers in a bid to help member states implement relevant EU cybersecurity legislation.

There’s also a separate call for proposals to set up and deploy the European Digital Innovation Hub (EDIH) network, which will aim to private companies and the public sector in their digital transformation.

The Commission adopted its plan for the first two-years of the Digital Europe programme last week here.  

EU plans single database to certify carbon content of hydrogen, low-carbon fuels

The European Commission is preparing to launch an EU-wide database to certify the carbon footprint of hydrogen and other low-carbon fuels in a harmonized way.

The carbon certification of hydrogen production – currently 96% reliant on fossil fuels – is seen as crucial to introduce some transparency and traceability in the emerging EU market for low-carbon fuels.

To achieve this, the Commission is planning an EU-wide database, which is due to be unveiled in December as part of a package of EU laws aimed at decarbonizing the gas sector.

Western European countries, which need large quantities of clean hydrogen to decarbonize their energy-hungry industries, have already told the Commission they would welcome such a move.

96% of hydrogen consumed in Europe today is fossil-based, which is why the European Commission is putting its hopes on so-called “green hydrogen” produced from renewable energy sources.

To read more about this click here!

Soils to receive same legal status as air, water

The European Union’s soil strategy has outlined plans for a soil health law by 2023 to bring soil on the same legal footing as air and water, and EU lawmakers have warned this must be a hard deadline.

The EU soil strategy, launched yesterday, will offer an overarching policy framework for soil restoration to assess the status of European soil and take action against its degradation.

“We depend on soil for most of our food and yet, 70% of soil is not in good condition,” Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans pointed out during a press conference marking the unveiling of the strategy.

To tackle this, the strategy sets a number of ambitious and necessary objectives to restore the EU’s soils.

Most notably, this includes a new EU soil health law by 2023, with the goal of dramatically improving the state of soil by 2050. If backed by the European Parliament and the member states, it will become the first EU-wide law protecting the soil.

Read more here!

More Articles

01/11/2023 – Lisbon crowned European Capital of Innovation, Canada´s association to Horizon Europe, €75.35B boost to the ERA, new energy projects for the Green Deal & much more

In today’s Morning Brief:
Calls open for 2023 Innovation Fund proposals with record €4B budget
Artificial Intelligence and Data Science
Utilizing Artificial Intelligence to develop the Smart Specialization Observatory
Fighting extreme weather with extreme computing power
Commission proposes 166 cross-border energy projects for EU support to help deliver the European Green Deal
Commission sets out actions to accelerate the roll-out of electricity grids
EU and India sign semiconductor memorandum of understanding
Research & Innovation
Canada to sign Horizon Europe association deal next year
No more New European Bauhaus Mission
Nature-inspired flying robots: advancements in environmental monitoring
Over €75B of the recovery funds will go to European Research Area objectives
Lisbon crowned European capital of innovation for 2023
Maria Leptin’s perspectives on university challenges and innovation
EU’s Industrial R&D Scoreboard updates
RTP3 features INOV’s AI-integrated inspection system in RiaStone production
APPRAISE system: INOV contributes to enhancing security in public spaces through innovative technology
INESC TEC collaborates on a European project that promotes the use of algae in sustainable aquaculture
INESC TEC’s podcast among the nominees for a national award
Job Opportunities
Events & Training workshops

Read More »

24/11/2023 – EU’s decarbonization push, INESC participates in Portugal’s Blockchain initiative, Horizon Europe budget boost for R&I & much more

In today’s Morning Brief:
EU Commission to spend €186 million promoting agri-food products in and outside EU in 2024
Commission opens search for technology infrastructure expert group
Artificial Intelligence and Data Science
Call for Contributions: EU-U.S. Trade & Technology Council’s first edition of AI terminology and taxonomy
Belgium to focus on a public sector European blockchain during its EU presidency
Europe still working with China on military and surveillance uses of artificial intelligence, report finds
EU launches new competition to give AI companies access to supercomputers
Plans to boost Europe’s Net-Zero technology production
As microscopic materials proliferate, ensuring they are safe is a priority
Research & Innovation
European Parliament Approves 2024 EU Budget with Boost for Research and Innovation
Council approves UK’s inclusion in Horizon Europe and Copernicus Programmes
EU lagging behind on antimicrobial resistance research
Opinion article in Science Business: The European Research Area needs a reboot
EIT lauds impact of Regional Innovation Scheme in latest report
INESC participates at BLOCKCHAIN.PT initiative
INESC MN partners up in semiconductor consortium
INESC TEC advances autonomous vehicle perception in THEIA project
The HUB hosts EARTO meeting on EU RD&I Programmes
HUB contributes at the INESC TEC Autumn Forum
Job Opportunities
Events & Training workshops

Read More »

17/11/2023 – Horizon Europe latest calls, the €85M boost next year to reach €12.9B, the approval of the Critical Raw Materials Act & much more

In today’s Morning Brief:
Horizon: €290M in funding for digital, industry and space
ERC sees rise in Starting Grant applications
Artificial Intelligence
OECD updates definition of Artificial Intelligence ‘to inform EU’s AI Act’
Study highlights AI’s economic potential amid EU regulatory focus
EU Atlantic strategy: what’s next?
How can regenerative agriculture help the food system survive?
Regional Innovation Valleys for Bioeconomy and Food Systems” launch event conclusions
Research & Innovation
Horizon Europe: €12.9 Billion Boost in 2024 Budget
Commission welcomes political agreement on the Critical Raw Materials Act
Paper: How regional innovation ecosystems can improve participation in the European Framework Programme for R&I
European Space Agency looks to private sector to stay competitive
Technology readiness levels are getting a reality check to ensure innovations are socially acceptable
Research Management initiative advances strategic capacities in European research organisations
Carla Gonçalves of INESC TEC recognized among Portugal’s green visionaries
Bactometer project secures runner-up position in EIT Health
Artificial Intelligence and humans collaborate to enhance critical infrastructure security
Job Opportunities
Events & Training workshops

Read More »