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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

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 »