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:

In today’s Morning Brief:

Ukraine joins Horizon Europe and Euratom Research and Training Programme

The association of Ukraine to Horizon Europe and the Euratom Research and Training Programme was finalised. This cooperation in science, research, and innovation further strengthens the alliance between the EU and Ukraine to deliver on common priorities, such as the twin and digital transition.

This will support the ‘Global Approach to Research and Innovation’ and reconfirm Europe’s commitment to a level of global openness needed to drive excellence, pool resources for faster scientific progress and develop vibrant innovation ecosystems.

Mariya Gabriel, the Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth stated that Ukranian participants will receive more than €45 million in EU support and showed innovation leadership and excellence across fields such as researchers’ mobility, transport and energy.

For more information about this new development click here.

Foresight study sets out possible scenarios for research and innovation policies in the Western Balkans by 2035

The European Commission has published the study “Strategic Foresight in the Western Balkans: Recovery on the Horizon“. Outlining three scenarios on the possible futures of Research and Innovation policies in the Western Balkans region in 2035. Making use of this strategic foresight will yield benefits for research and innovation eco-systems.

According to Mariya Gabriel, this agenda will advance the most desirable shared future in this region.

The study’s scenarios are rooted in an extensive co-creation process with more than 700 experts on R&I from the Western Balkans, who represent academia, civil society, the private sector, international organisations, central and subnational governments. The scenarios help to envision different futures and highlight possible actions that can be taken today in the Western Balkans to work towards a more sustainable future.

The study concludes with initial roadmaps tailored for each of the Western Balkan nations that can inspire decision-makers with goals and actions needed to further develop their R&I systems.

To learn more, click here.

Germany’s likely coalition’s plans for digitalisation

Germany’s Social Democrats, the FDP and the Greens have pointed to digitalisation as one of the top priorities in a preliminary coalition agreement.

The three parties identified digitalisation and climate change as the biggest challenge to be addressed in the coming legislative period. According to the preliminary agreement, the future coalition wants to set the course for a decade of digital and social renewal.

This aims to make the 2020s a decade characterised by forward-looking investments, including the existing investment deficits in digitalisation. Rather than financing it through tax increases or new debt, the trio believes it will strengthen the economy’s competitiveness and simplify and digitalise planning and administrative procedures.

To learn more about it click here

EU aims to dethrone Asia as world’s battery powerhouse

New EU legislation seeks to make European batteries the greenest in the world by setting carbon emissions limits on production, obliging manufacturers to use recycled content, and imposing checks to prevent labour abuses in the battery supply chain.

According to EU estimates, the global demand for batteries is set to increase 14-fold by 2030, with the EU expected to account for 17% of that demand. This leads EU leaders to believe Europe can stake its place in the global battery market by making European batteries synonymous with sustainability.

Stefano Soro, official at the EC’s internal market directorate said the EU would essentially set global standards, calling the EU “an avoidable market for all those who want to do business”, a reference to the bloc’s position as the world’s largest market.

The European Union’s alliances are a crucial part of Brussels’ efforts to wean the continent off Asian-made batteries in favour of home-produced cells. Indeed, Vice President Šefčovič has already set a goal of meeting domestic battery demand solely from EU producers by 2025.

To learn more about this initiative, click here.

Brussels relaunches EU fiscal reform, aiming to boost green investments

Yesterday, the European Commission took another step towards reforming the EU’s fiscal rules, presenting a relaunch on the EU’s economic governance review in Brussels.

This review is seen as crucial as the EU’s economic governance determines the fiscal leeway of EU member states when making decisions on spending.

The commission originally launched this review at the beginning of 2020, but was soon suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak. A general escape clause was activated and the rules were suspended until next year, allowing EU governments full discretion to support struggling business and households.

Now, as the pandemic recedes, the EU’s fiscal review aims to incorporate the lessons learned from the pandemic. For example, one of the questions in the Commission’s consultation addresses the lessons learnt from the EU’s recovery and resilience fund.

To learn more about this relaunch, click here.

Europe’s alternative fuels infrastructure getting a boost from new support

Yesterday the European Investment Bank and the European Commission signed an agreement that will make it possible to combine EU grants and long term EIB financing for alternative fuels infrastructure projects. This agreements comes under the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Facility (AFIF) and is part of the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) transport programme.

This will make over €1.5 billion in EU grants available by the end of 2023 for alternative fuels infrastructure, including electric fast-charging and hydrogen refuelling stations on the TEN-T road network. In addition to the EIB, other private and public banks can also benefit from the facility.

AFIF is a new addition to a range of financial support options, bringing together funds from the EU budget, institutional investors, and private lenders to achieve a higher impact.

A call for proposals was published on the European Climate, Infrastructure, and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) just last month.

The AFIF will be implemented through a rolling call until 2023, with five cut-off dates for submitting proposals. CINEA is managing the promotion and evaluation of the call.

The European Commission will manage the grant component directly and exclusively. The EIB will not be involved in the Commission’s management or decision-making processes.

These proposals will be evaluated by the Commission/CINEA. Applicants will receive the evaluation results no later than six months after the submission deadline, and grant agreements will be signed within nine months.

More information on EIB financing can be found here.

Scientists call for improved research capacities of African universities to address global threats to biodiversity

Over 200 scientists are calling to strengthen the African research capacities in environmental sciences, voicing their support for the joint initiative of The Guild and the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA).

The signatories of this statement emphasise the need to build strong and independent universities through research and higher education capacity across the continent. They also endorse the five priority areas for investment proposed in the initiative and call to include biodiversity among the focus areas.

This call from the research community generates new momentum to the common voice of Europe’s universities to strengthen Africa’s capacity for science through a long-term, holistic approach.

To read the joint statement click here.

European Council adopts conclusions on exploring the potential of a joint cyber unit

Today the Council adopted conclusions inviting the EU and member states to further develop the EU cybersecurity crisis management framework, including exploring the potential of a joint cyber unit.

In its conclusions, the Council emphasises the need to consolidate existing networks and to establish a mapping of possible information sharing gaps and needs within and across cyber communities.

This should subsequently lead to an agreement on possible primary objectives and priorities of a potential joint cyber unit. It is an incremental, transparent, and inclusive process which is essential to enhance trust.

The Council calls for further reflection on individual elements of the recommendation of the joint cyber unit, including regarding the ideas of EU cybersecurity rapid reaction teams and an EU cybersecurity incident and crisis response plan.

To learn more about this, click here.

SET Plan Conference: Research and innovation to deliver a just and sustainable energy transition

The 15th Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) conference will be a hybrid event. It aims to bring together high-level speakers, policymakers, industry, researchers, academia, and the general public to focus on important energy-related topics in the new post-COVID-19 policy realities.

The agenda will be organised around four different content sets:

– energy to enable the transition

– energy for sustainable and inclusive society

– energy for smart industrial growth

– the future of the SET Plan.

Click here for the event page and registration.

Commission collects views on making liability rules fit for the digital age, Artificial Intelligence and circular economy

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the rules on compensation for damage caused by defective products. A specific focus will be on the use of Artificial Intelligence in products and services.

The public consultation covers questions such as which economic operators should be liable for harm, the upgrade and refurbishment of products and components, something that is becoming more and more important in our transition to a circular economy.

The non-harmonised national liability rules include various differing ones, which cover different types of damage and claims against any liable person. This consultation is open for twelve weeks and will run until 10 January.

Click here to find out more.

More Articles

16/05/2022: INESC-ID at SciComPT, INESC TEC and a new modelling language, Energy Poverty Conference, EIT Health report, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– ERC president Maria Leptin elected fellow of Royal Society;
– INESC-ID present at SciComPT 2022;
– INESC TEC team contributed to a new version of Alloy modelling language;
– Innovation and Technology Transfer in Central and Southeast Europe;
– MACUSTAR study on common cause of blindness gets regulatory nod;
– EU readies €195 billion plan to quit Russian fossil fuels;
– First report on the performance of European Partnerships under Horizon Europe;
– Mechanobiology of Cancer Summer School 2022;
– Energy Poverty Advisory Hub Conference – Moving Towards Energy Autonomy: How to Guarantee Social Inclusion;
– EIT Health publishes report on building sustainable healthcare systems;
– Bringing the best of European produce to your table;
– Viewpoint: Energy should be at the heart of EU-Japan research cooperation;
– EU-Azerbaijan – Senior officials meet to reinforce energy cooperation.

Read More »

13/05/2022: INESC Brussels HUB Summer Meeting 2022, Technology Infrastructures, Horizon Europe, EU Soil Mission, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– INESC Brussels HUB Summer Meeting 2022;
– EU boosts R&D funding in Finland with €523M in cohesion money;
– Nine case studies for a European strategy on technology infrastructures;
– Results of the second Call for Technical Assistance;
– Commission says European Innovation Council grant logjam to end in June;
– Horizon Europe call for proposals for a “Network for innovative solutions for the future of democracy” is open;
– Making the polluter pay: Commission seeks views on EU environmental liability laws;
– The Commission’s renewed strategy for the EU’s outermost regions puts people first and unlocks their potential – including the blue economy;
– Western democracies craft alliance on quantum technology;
– Call submission figures for Horizon Europe – Reforming the European R&I system;
– EU Soil Mission: €95 million call opens;
– The EU and Japan open Horizon Europe association talks;
– Academic sector makes moves to going green;
– MLZ Conference 2022: Neutrons for Mobility;
– EIT Manufacturing LEADERS – Women Innovators call in now open;
– EU and China to hold the 15th Joint Steering Committee Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation;
– UK research assessment could shift money away from London, Oxford and Cambridge.

Read More »

12/05/2022: EU Missions Info Days, Fit for 55, European Open Science Cloud, European Innovation Ecosystems, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– The report on the final outcomes of the Conference on the Future of Europe is now online;
– EU Missions Info Days;
– New study unveils how the CAP is contributing to animal welfare and antimicrobial use reduction;
– Mission “Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030” launches a second wave of actions;
– Fit for 55: MEPs back CO2 emission standards for cars and vans;
– Prior information notice related to “Managed Services for the European Open Science Cloud Platform”;
– EIB report: COVID-19 pandemic intensified EU’s transition to a digital economy;
– Experts urge rethink of energy metrics to fully decarbonise buildings;
– European Innovation Ecosystems work programme: Upcoming calls worth €29.5 million;
– Tech.eu Summit 2022.

Read More »