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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

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 »