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In this Morning Brief, we open with the European Commission’s new consultation on the new innovation agenda, Germany releases more money to acquire floating LNG terminals amidst the energy crisis, Science Europe is hosting its first conference on Open Science later this year, a new white paper on Regulatory Technology for the 21st Century, 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:

Commission opens consultation on new innovation agenda

The European Commission is asking citizens for their opinions on shaping a new European Innovation Agenda aiming to tackle EU’s scale-up problem.

The Commission’s upcoming document is set to propose ways to help more European start-ups grow into scale-ups. It will aim to provide impetus to innovation-friendly regulation, attempts to connect innovation ecosystems around the bloc, initiatives reducing the gap between most and least innovative European regions, and measures for developing and attracting talent.

The online consultation is open until 10 May.


Germany releases €3bn to acquire floating LNG terminals

According to EURACTIV, “Germany has released nearly €3 billion to acquire floating liquefied natural gas import terminals, the finance ministry said Friday (15 April), as it seeks to move away from dependence on Russian gas. “Dependence on Russian energy imports must be reduced quickly and sustainably,” tweeted Finance Minister Christian Lindner. “Floating LNG terminals make an important contribution to this, for which we must provide funding,” he added. A total of €2.94 billion has been made available for the lease of these huge LNG carriers, the finance ministry told AFP. Europe, and Germany in particular, is counting on LNG to reduce its dependence on Russian imports after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Some 20 countries export this liquefied gas which is transported by ship, and whose three largest suppliers are Australia, Qatar and the United States. Liquefied to take up less space, the LNG is regasified on arrival for distribution. The mobile terminals, known as Floating Storage Regasification Units (FSRU), allow for converting LNG carried by a tanker into gas and injecting it into the pipeline network. Last week European countries announced expanded efforts to wean themselves off Russian gas. Russia is a major fossil fuel producer and accounted for around 45% of the European Union’s gas imports last year, but the bloc is under pressure to impose sanctions on oil and gas imports from Moscow. In recent years, Germany has imported an average of 55% of its gas from Russia via onshore pipelines. This share was reduced to 40% by the end of the first quarter of 2022, in favour of higher imports from the Netherlands, Norway and of LNG, according to the economy ministry. Unlike several European countries, however, Germany does not have an onshore terminal to process imported liquefied gas.”.


Science Europe Open Science Conference 2022

Science Europe is organising its first conference on Open Science on 18 and 19 October 2022. The goal is to bring together institutional leaders, researchers at all stages of their careers, and experts from the field to discuss two main questions:

  • Is Open Science ready to become the norm in research?
  • How do we ensure an equitable transition to Open Science?

At this Open Science conference, Science Europe will provide a comprehensive overview of the current policy initiatives, research assessment reforms, and financial measures that support the transition to Open Science, and look forward at new trends.

Remote attendance to the event will be possible. We will share more information and practical details soon, including about registration..


Regulatory Technology for the 21st Century

Regulation is central to government’s management of complex systems. However, if designed or applied ineffectively, regulation may trigger significant losses, impose unnecessary financial burdens and stifle innovation. Regulatory Technology (RegTech), is the application of new technological solutions to in set, effectuate and meet regulatory requirements.

This white paper by the World Economic Forum explores the value of RegTech through a series of case studies and identifies the 7 common success factors that help define best practice deployment of RegTech. It provides government and business with a roadmap to start implementing RegTech without having to upend or rewrite entire regulatory and compliance frameworks to begin the journey.

Download it here.


DMA: Significant additions made it into the final text

According to EURACTIV, “The long-waited final text for the Digital Markets Act, seen by EURACTIV, contains some unexpected last-minute changes. The EU co-legislators reached an agreement on the Digital Markets Act (DMA) on 24 March. Since then, stakeholders have been trying to get hold of the final text, fine-tuned in the utmost secrecy until it was finally circulated on Thursday (14 April). The text will likely be presented to the Council’s competition working party on 28 April and approved by the EU ambassadors at the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) on 4 May. The text’s preamble was changed to clarify the meaning of the legal obligations and make a legal challenge more difficult. The text now clearly states that the DMA is intended to ensure the contestability of all online services. A general explanation of contestability and fairness has also been added. contestability can be harmed even by an oligopoly of gatekeepers. In cases where competition between platforms is not possible in the short term, competition within the dominant platform should be ensured. Unfairness is defined as “an imbalance between the rights and obligations of business users where the gatekeeper obtains a disproportionate advantage.” Importantly, this concept does not exclude services free of charge, such as search results. Moreover, gatekeepers cannot exclude or discriminate against businesses, an essential specification in light of the new obligations on default settings, allowing users to choose their search engines, virtual assistants and web browsers via a choice screen.”.


Time to rethink the scientific CV

According to Nature, in December 2021, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the largest public funder of UK science, announced that it was abandoning the use of the conventional CV — curriculum vitae — in funding applications. The funding body said it would adopt a new type of CV to “enable people to better demonstrate their contributions to research, teams, and wider society”.

As institutions and funders around the world reassess their approach to researcher evaluations, there’s a growing call to revamp the academic CVs used to support applications for jobs, funding, promotions and awards.

The core problem with standard CVs is that they tend to reduce scientists to numbers, says Rebecca Pillai Riddell, a behavioural scientist and associate vice-president of research at York University in Toronto, Canada. Evaluating researchers on the basis of sheer number of publications or using related measures, such as the impact factors of the journals in which they publish, ignores many things that go into a scientific career, Pillai Riddell says. Conventional CVs “are supposed to be quick-and-dirty summaries”, she says. As someone who has seen many over the years, she knows that those summaries can contain valuable information, even if the emphasis is often misplaced. “They focus on counting, not on what’s important.”

The ‘quantity above quality’ approach is especially short-sighted and unfair in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pillai Riddell says. Many researchers simply didn’t have the time or opportunity to conduct experiments or crank out papers at their normal pace during shutdowns. And as schools closed their doors, many scientists who were also parents had to shift their priorities from work to home, especially women. “If we continue to emphasize quantity, caregivers are not going to be eligible for grants or awards,” she adds.

Scientists and institutions alike need to reconsider the entire purpose of a CV, says Wolfgang Kaltenbrunner, a sociologist of science at Leiden University in the Netherlands. “To make science work, you need to accomplish a lot of tasks that are not easily represented in a CV,” he says, such as communicating science to the general public and collaborating behind the scenes on big projects. “Are we selecting for the right things in grant funding or tenure? There’s widespread discontent with it in science.”

Read the article here.


Foundations, Science and Equality – What are the key elements for success?

Don’t miss this Philanthropy Europe Association Research Forum on Science for Equality at  the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon!

EU-LIFE Executive Director Marta Agostinho will share the point of view of 15 life sciences institutes at the panel ‘Inequalities in the field – the role of Research Centres’.

Find out more here!


User-level software-defined storage data planes – Save the date

HPC infrastructures are long thought as computational powerhouses that enable scientists to conduct massively parallel jobs. However, with the advent of new data-intensive workloads from both scientific and deep learning jobs, the storage performance has become a pressing concern in these infrastructures, due to high levels of performance variability and I/O contention generated by multiple applications executing concurrently. In this webinar, we discuss how to build portable and generally applicable Software-Defined Storage data planes tailored for the requirements of data-centric applications running on modern HPC infrastructures. We demonstrate how to improve I/O performance and manage I/O interference of HPC jobs with none to minor code changes to applications and HPC storage backends.

Don’t miss this next Big HPC event on May 5, 2022 at 15h00! For more information, 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 »