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In this Morning Brief, we open with a fascinating piece by the European Commission on reducing the EU’s dependence on imported fossil fuels in order to achieve the Green Deal’s goals, an article by EURACTIV on how Germany’s global hydrogen plans could accelerate climate change, the Tech2Market initiative that features our very own INESC TEC as well as an MoU signed between the latter and IIAS, EUA’s 2021 annual report, 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:

In focus: Reducing the EU’s dependence on imported fossil fuels

Energy is the commodity that fuels the economy. The EU’s prosperity and security depend on a stable and affordable energy supply. EU energy policy has driven significant change in recent years, with a considerable drop in the most polluting fuels, as consumption has moved more towards natural gas and renewables. While EU production of renewables has grown substantially in recent years, gas production has declined, leading to a greater reliance on gas imports.

The surge in energy prices and high volatility seen since last autumn already triggered calls last year for reducing our dependence on energy imports. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has taken this debate further and prompted strategic EU policy changes.

On March 8, the Commission published its REPowerEU plan, outlining measures to drastically reduce Russian gas imports from its 2021 level of 155 bcm before the end of this year – and reach complete independence from Russian fossil fuels well before the end of the decade. The key elements in this plan are diversifying supplies, reducing demand and ramping up the production of green energy in the EU.

Building upon the outlined REPowerEU concept, guidelines, legislative proposals and budgetary support to further reduce the EU’s dependence on imports of Russian fossil fuels are expected in the near future. These will also take into consideration broader issues to tackle energy prices hikes and their impact on consumers and businesses.

Read more here.

GreenComp: The European sustainability competence framework

The development of a European sustainability competence framework is one of the policy actions set out in the European Green Deal as a catalyst to promote learning on environmental sustainability in the European Union.

GreenComp identifies a set of sustainability competences to feed into education programmes to help learners develop knowledge, skills and attitudes that promote ways to think, plan and act with empathy, responsibility, and care for our planet and for public health. This work began with a literature review and drew on several consultations with experts and stakeholders working in the field of sustainability education and lifelong learning. The results presented in this report form a framework for learning for environmental sustainability that can be applied in any learning context.

The report shares working definitions of sustainability and learning for environmental sustainability that forms the basis for the framework to build consensus and bridge the gap between experts and other stakeholders. GreenComp comprises four interrelated competence areas: ‘embodying sustainability values’, ‘embracing complexity in sustainability’, ‘envisioning sustainable futures’ and ‘acting for sustainability’. Each area comprises three competences that are interlinked and equally important. GreenComp is designed to be a non-prescriptive reference for learning schemes fostering sustainability as a competence.

Download it here.

Call for projects on next generation integrated photonic sensing

The participating funding bodies from the countries and regions listed below intend to fund joint research and development in the field of next generation integrated photonic sensing. Applicants are expected to undertake research aiming at market-able products, services, or technologies with high market potential in the participating countries and/or Europe.

Eureka is the world’s biggest public network for international cooperation in R&D and innovation, present in over 45 countries. It is a decentralised intergovernmental organisation aiming to boost the productivity and competitiveness of industries by funding and supporting international collaborative market-driven R&D projects.

This call for projects has been launched at following Eureka’s Network projects framework based on mutual consent between participating national and regional funding bodies. It is the second joint call for projects between Eureka and Photonics21, building on the initiatives of Photonics21 Mirror Group institutional members who have implemented a series of transnational calls under the ERA-Net Cofund scheme of the EC Research Framework Programmes FP7 and Horizon2020.

For more information click here

Germany’s global hydrogen plans could accelerate climate change

According to EURACTIV, “To move towards climate neutrality, the German government wants to rely primarily on importing hydrogen molecules from all over the world – efforts which have been further accelerated due to the war in Ukraine and Germany’s dependence on Russian energy imports. The idea is to split water with the help of renewable electricity, then ship the hydrogen to Germany and use it as a raw material and energy source for German industry. For this, Habeck most recently announced a hydrogen partnership with the United Arab Emirates. The establishment of global “hydrogen supply chains” would serve the “achievement of our climate goals and at the same time our energy security”, Habeck said on 21 March. The “Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue” at the Foreign Office at the start of April also focused on the global hydrogen economy. Representatives of governments from around the world agreed to initial contracts with each other as well as with German representatives to supply hydrogen. The global hydrogen trade is supported by the German government foundation H2Global, which will underpin the trade in the gas with €900 million from the national treasury.”.

WIRE 2022

How can regions contribute to Europe leading in breakthrough innovation?

Join ERRIN’s secretariat, members, project partners and other collaborators as they explore this question at WIRE 2022 – Week of Innovative Regions in Europe at Université Paris-Saclay from 11 to 13 May 2022.

The purpose of the conference is to discuss research and innovation practices, challenges and opportunities throughout the EU regions, with a direct view on current and future EU funding programmes.

ERRIN Director Pirita Lindholm will be speaking about the role of EU Missions in achieving the EU Green Deal objectives. Bogdan Chelariu, ERRIN Vice-Chair from North-East Regional Development Agency/Agentia pentru Dezvoltare Regionala Nord-Est and Pieter de Jong from Wetsus, European Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Water Technology will be discussing the diffusion of breakthrough innovation throughout Europe for a more cohesive economic development.

Registration is due to close this Friday 22 April, check the full programme and register now!


Do you want to transfer your research to the market? Or boost your manufacturing start-up? Then Tech2Market is for you!

Tech2Market is an acceleration programme that aims to facilitate the process of successfully transferring deep tech R&D results to the market in the manufacturing industry.

Tech2Market is a program co-financed by EIT Manufacturing, Coordinated by INESC TEC (Portugal) and co-organized by  BGI (Portugal), CleanTech Bulgaria (Bulgaria), MADE (Italy), Buildit (Latvia), and Łukasiewicz-PIAP (Poland).

You will be able to attend the trainings online or by joining a physical location in Portugal (Porto), Bulgaria (Sofia), Italy (Milan), Poland (Warsaw) and Latvia (Riga). Find out more here.

IIAS announces new international collaboration

The International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (IIAS) has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Portugal Space Agency (Portugal Space|PTSpace), Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology, and Science (INESCTEC), School of Engineering of Porto (ISEP), and the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto (FCUP) focused on a science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and space education and research partnership.

“We are proud to announce this historic MoU with Portugal. Our partnership will build upon our work helping countries gain access to and leverage space to improve life on Earth”, IIAS Founder Dr. Jason Reimuller said, “From planetary geology to microgravity flight campaigns, our scientific and exploration activities represent an opportunity for the advancement of human knowledge and together we will be able to open more doors so that everyone can take part in space exploration and a sustainable future.”

All teams will pursue joint, international activities that advance geoscience, robotics, bioastronautics, and suborbital science. Developing joint research projects will facilitate access to high-fidelity facilities, experts, and hands-on training to demonstrate progress and critical discoveries.

Read the press release here.

EUA Annual Report 2021

This Annual Report demonstrates the Association’s efforts throughout the year in shaping the future of Europe’s universities – notably through European policies and initiatives affecting higher education and research.

The past year again unfolded against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and the instability of a rapidly changing world challenged by the digital and green transitions. This scenario impacted the way we work and live, but it also brought an opportunity to reflect on the lessons learnt and to envision a sustainable path forward.

In 2021, EUA published many reports and briefings, including “Universities without walls – a vision for 2030” which is our vision for the sector in the years to come. It also offered unrivalled opportunities to its members to engage, through projects, events and other mutual-learning activities, in issues at the heart of the sector.

Download it here.

Energy Poverty Advisory Hub Conference

The 2nd Energy Poverty Advisory Hub (EPAH) international conference will take place on 28-29 June 2022 in a hybrid format under the theme “Moving towards energy autonomy: How to guarantee social inclusion”.

During the conference, we will bring together local governments, EU representatives, policymakers, energy agencies, civil society organisations and all stakeholders active in energy poverty. The agenda will include a mix of keynote speeches, debates, interactive workshops and field visits that will allow the participants to debate, learn from each other and share practices as to how the EU, national and local actors can work together to contribute to the rapid energy transition and reduce energy poverty for all including energy-poor and vulnerable consumers.

Click here for more information.

Stakeholder event on the common fisheries policy

Registrations are now open for a hybrid stakeholder event on the functioning of the common fisheries policy (CFP) and common market organisation (CMO), taking place on 10 June 2022 in Brussels, Belgium. Concluding a consultation process that started last December, the event will help the European Commission prepare the report on the functioning of the CFP and CMO, due both to be adopted by the end of the year.

The stakeholder event will take place in a hybrid setting, with participation possible both in Brussels and online. It will offer a unique opportunity to take stock of the functioning of the CFP and CMO and discuss challenges and best practices with all relevant stakeholders working in the fisheries and aquaculture world.

All stakeholders, including the fishing industry, non-governmental organisations, academic, scientific, social and economic partners are invited to take part in the event.

Click here to find out more information and register.

More Articles

15/09/2023 – EARTO priorities for the next framework programme, UK-EU collaboration, key points for R&I from the State of the Union & much more

In today’s Morning Brief:
Horizon Europe
Last chance to become a Regional Innovation Valley – matchmaking map available
EARTO inputs to the European Research Area and Innovation Committee
Challenges ahead as other nations seek access to EU’s Horizon R&D programme
Uncertainty over working with the UK remains despite Horizon Europe deal
European Parliament clears path for Iliana Ivanova’s Commissioner appointment
EIB provides €15 million loan to crowd farming for sustainable agriculture innovation
Two new European Partnership calls open: Aquatic Ecosystem Services and Nature-Based Solutions Research
Research & Innovation
Ursula von der Leyen proposes global AI panel and fast-tracks access to supercomputers
EU Aims for stronger Research and Innovation partnerships with Africa
European Commission has opened a call for Experts on Economic and Societal Impact of R&I sought
Portugal sets up €8M defence research programme
EU Prioritizes Science Communication to Address Societal Challenges
News from INESC
Discover the influence of AI Chat GPT in healthcare: a deep dive into ethical concerns and the future.
INESC TEC has announced an international conference dedicated to management of technology
INESC MN has opened a Call for Expression of Interest for a Researcher Position in the are of Lab on a Chip and Microfluidic Systems
Job Opportunities
Events & Training workshops

Read More »

08/09/2023 – UK joins Horizon Europe and Copernicus, Ivanova´s first hearing on Horizon Europe, supercomputer Deucalion inaugurated in Portugal, new podcasts & much more

In today’s Morning Brief:
Horizon Europe
UK and European Commission reach consensus for British participation in Horizon Europe and Copernicus
Commissioner-Designate Iliana Ivanova’s hearing highlights
Seventh EU-Backed Supercomputer, Deucalion, inaugurated in Portugal
ERC announced 400 Starting Grants for EU Researchers
EIT InnoEnergy secures €140 million in private investment to boost impact
Research & Innovation
Regional Innovation Valley – Matchmaking map now available
Opinion article in Science Business by Ramon Wyss: Will AI help big tech dominate science?
MEPs Advocate for Small-Scale Nuclear Power Stations in the Fight Against Carbon Emissions
Artificial Intelligence raises concerns of pandemic risk, scientists urge caution
Temporary leadership change in European Commission’s Research and Innovation Portfolio
News from INESC
José Carlos Caldeira on Magellan Circle Podcast
First episode of the “Ciência e Sociedade” Podcast is out
INESC MN has opened a Call for Expression of Interest for a Researcher Position in the are of Lab on a Chip and Microfluidic Systems
Job Opportunities
Events & Training workshops

Read More »

01/09/2023 – European Commission´s new AI unit, upcoming challenges for European R&I policy, the new Green Deal leader statements, the role of universities of applied sciences & much more

In today’s Morning Brief:
Horizon Europe
Commission’s research directorate to develop a new artificial intelligence in science policy
Back to school: what’s on the European research and innovation policy agenda this autumn
Ivanova gets ready to lock horns with MEPs
EU won’t ‘dilute’ ambition, says new climate chief
Universities of applied sciences are shaping up to boost EU research outputs
Romania to launch new funding programme aimed at luring back researchers from abroad
EIT Manufacturing announces partnership with regional business promotion agency in Austria
Research & Innovation
EU Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act explained
Research Data Alliance fosters cross-disciplinary, global data sharing
Latvia to overhaul PhDs and academic careers
To tackle wildfires, researchers in Europe team up with frontline forces
Clothing manufacturers aim to get fashionable with greener practices
The top 18 centres of trustworthy artificial intelligence research
Six online courses to boost your skills and knowledge
News from INESC
Improving the performance of databases: INESC TEC research presented at international conference
Job Opportunities
Events & Training workshops

Read More »