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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

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 »