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In today's Morning Brief:

INESC article on fisheries published on Science Business

Yesterday a new article by INESC on remote monitoring for sustainable fisheries has been published on Science Business, here. This is the third of the series of articles agreed upon with Science Business to increase the visibility of all INESCs and their research capacity at a European level. Thank you to Fernando Moreira, who was the lead writer, for taking up the challenge of writing the article within a short time and by making sure to represent INESC as a whole.

Remember to share the article with your network; if it’s your thing, share it or comment it on Twitter (tagging the HUB with the handle @HubInesc). The article can also be reached through the HUB website, here.

 

HUB Horizon Europe workshop

A big thank you to all the participants in yesterday’s workshop “Horizon Europe: practical tips and Q&A”, organized by the HUB. The slides of the presentation of Ricardo Migueis is now available in the Private Area here. The recording of the session will also be available in the same folder (Horizon Europe: Practical tips and Q&A (18 May 2021)) soon. As a reminder, the research managers in each institution and INESC Brussels HUB are always available to give support and advice regarding European funding and research networks.

 

Newer member states’s hardship in extracting value from Horizon Europe

With the full-on launch of Horizon Europe in limbo and the Commission’s pact for research and innovation still on the drawing board, research elites in  EU13 countries (countries that have joined the EU since 2004) are struggling to see how they can break the vicious circle of low pay and impoverished research systems, to capitalise on the EU’s new research programme.

Low pay means the struggle to attract talent from abroad will continue, while the economic crisis sparked by the pandemic is an excuse for cuts in national R&D programmes. Horizon grant holders argue it is unfair to pay researchers on a fixed contract the same as a public servant with lifelong job security. “For such a call you advertise abroad for an expert and you know the difference between the base salary and what [a researcher] could get in Germany or Austria is two or three times higher,” said Samo Ribarič, head of the Institute of Pathophysiology at the University of Ljubljana. Read more on Science Business.

 

Commission strategic guidelines for sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture

Yesterday, the European Commission has proposed a new approach for a sustainable blue economy in the EU for the industries and sectors related to oceans, seas and coasts. The Sustainable blue economy strategy involves all blue economy sectors, and aims to:

  • Achieve the objectives of climate neutrality and zero pollution, by developing offshore renewable energy, by decarbonising maritime transport and by greening ports.
  • Switch to a circular economy and reduce pollution, through renewed standards for fishing gear design, for ship recycling, and for decommissioning of offshore platforms and reducing plastics and microplastics pollution.
  • Preserve biodiversity, protecting 30% of the EU’s sea area.
  • Support climate adaptation and coastal resilience, with activities such as developing green infrastructure in coastal areas and protecting coastlines from erosion and flooding.
  • Ensure sustainable food production, with new marketing standards for seafood, use of algae and seagrass, stronger fisheries control as well as research and innovation in cell-based seafood.
  • Improve management of space at sea, through the new Blue Forum for users of the sea to coordinate a dialogue between offshore operators, stakeholders and scientists engaged in fisheries, aquaculture, shipping, tourism, renewable energy and other activities.

Within this scope, the Commission has published the strategic guidelines for a more sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture. The guidelines offer a common vision for the Commission, Member States and stakeholders to develop the sector in a way that contributes directly to the European Green Deal and in particular the Farm to Fork Strategy.

 

EC and EIB for a new blue economy strategy

As a follow up to the new strategy, the Commission and the European Investment Bank Group, composed of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF), decided to join forces to boost investment in the sustainable blue economy. Both institutions will work together with Member States to meet existing financing needs in order to reduce pollution in European seas, with particular focus on circular economy approaches, and support investment for blue innovation and blue bioeconomy. The EIF and the Commission will jointly develop solutions for equity and guarantee funding. This will provide Member States’ Managing Authorities with ways of matching their national resources with funding from relevant European funds, in particular the European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) through financial instruments and blending operations. The EIF is managing the BlueInvest Fund and is financing businesses in the blue economy sector via equity funds selected earlier this year. More information is in the news release.

 

Fusion power: EU ITER and EU-Japan DEMO

ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) is the world’s biggest fusion machine project, and aims to become a powerful contributor to reaching the clean energy needs of the future. ITER is the successor of JET, the Joint European Torus – a ground-breaking achievement in fusion science that was approved by the European Commission in 1977. ITER is a unique project, aiming to build the world’s largest fusion machine, thus putting the EU in the lead of global fusion research.

The construction work started in 2007 in Cadarache, in the south of France, and is one of the most complex engineering projects in history, as it will require millions of components to assemble the giant reactor that will weigh 23,000 tonnes. In addition to the progress on the European site, later this year, the EU and Japan will inaugurate the fusion reactor JT-60SA, located in Naka, Japan. It will be the largest tokamak in operation, until ITER is operational. JT-60SA has been designed and built jointly by Japan and Europe under the “Broader Approach” agreement. Its specific properties are its capability to produce long-pulse plasmas. Its main missions are to support exploitation of ITER (scheduled to start in 2025) and to contribute to the design of the EU’s next generation fusion reactor, DEMO. More information on the ITER and the EU plans for fusion power can be found here.

 

Workshops on the green & digital transition

Within the scope of the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 2010/31/EU (EPBD), the Commission is organizing a series of 5 workshops to obtain stakeholders input to the preparation of the revision. The fourth workshop, that has taken place this morning, touched on a range of diverse topics (energy efficiency of buildings, decarbonization, e-mobility, data gathering, Bullding Renovation Passport). Check this page to know more about the previous and next activities within this initiative.

 

OLISSIPO Twin Seminars on Computational Biology

Tomorrow, the OLISSIPO project hosts two twin seminars. The Twin Seminars will contribute to disseminate the scientific work and expertise of INESC-ID and all the Olissipo Project Consortium that includes Inria, ETH Zürich and EMBL. These seminars will comprise two short presentations, one researcher from Lisbon and one from a twin international institution working on similar topics in Computational Biology. More information about the project and the seminar can be found here.

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