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Happy Monday! In today’s Morning Brief, we bring you news on the CoFoE and the push for R&I to be included, the European Space Partnership and the Council’s Space Partnership, our very own Land, Agro, Water and Food Systems Workshop, 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:

Call for Research and Innovation to be included in the CoFoE

Research and innovation should be included on the agenda of the Conference on the Future of Europe, research and industry organisations say in a manifesto published last Wednesday.

The Conference is envisaged as a comprehensive reform process, but to the disappointment of many stakeholders, research and innovation are not among the nine topics on the conference agenda. That means specific proposals for the future of R&I have to be submitted to the catch-all “other ideas” topic number 10.

The signatory organisations have not come to an agreement on which policies or reforms they would back during the conference. Many of them have diverging views on which R&I policies are best suited for the EU. However, at the very least, the conference could be an opportunity to “raise ambitions” for the renewed European Research Area (ERA).

Read more about it here.

Space partnership in disarray after member states slash budget

The proposed Horizon Europe space research partnership, designed to drive EU competitiveness in the global market, is once again in disarray after EU member states and the European Commission cut its scope and ambition.

The partnership was due to get off the ground in June, along with eleven other research partnerships between industry and the EU, but member states refused to give the go-ahead at that point, prompting prolonged negotiations with the Commission. The initial plan was to invest between €1.4 to €2.2 billion of industry and EU money, but the talks ended last month with EU member states slashing the budget to a mere €250 million.

With a budget too small to launch any big projects, Eurospace no longer sees much added research value in the partnership. “We don’t see any advantage any more than political. In the end, we believe that the big added value is having the partnership in place, but for the next framework programme,” Pierre Lionnet, Research Director at Europspace stated.

For industry, reaching consensus might be a difficult task. Eurospace represents companies from 13 European countries, and was pinning hopes on a big partnership addressing all their priority areas.

The proposal to support the space industry with EU funds first came up in the European Parliament back in 2016. Eventually, it shifted towards the partnership, which the Commission put to member states in 2019. Talks have been ongoing ever since.

Read more about it here.

Council clears way for €22B industrial partnerships

A €22 billion cluster of big research partnerships involving the European Commission, industry and member states is set to get off the ground in the coming weeks, after member states greenlighted new regulation.

The partnerships are a key part of the European Union’s industrial and R&D strategies – aimed partly at making digital, energy, health and other R&D-intensive industries more competitive globally. As part of the Horizon Europe R&D programme, they generally have bigger budgets and clearer objectives than preceding efforts in the old Horizon 2020 programme.

Industry is happy the wait is over. “The discussions were long and not easy, but we are glad that the Council has adopted the Horizon Europe Joint Undertakings before the end of the year,” said Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, director general of Digital Europe, in a statement.

She added: “However, we will breathe a sigh of relief only when the [regulation] enters into force (expected by the end of the month), so that the nine joint undertakings can actually convene their first governing boards, and launch the first calls as soon as possible. Otherwise, both the 2021 budget and the implementation of the programmes might be jeopardised.”

Click here to see the nine partnerships that are going to go ahead.

Land, Agro, Water and Food Systems Workshop

If you’re an INESC Researcher don’t miss our upcoming workshop with our Land, Agro, Water, and Food Systems Working Group where we will be presenting our draft roadmap and collaborate on how to bring it to the next level.

Don’t forget to register here for the 2nd of December at 09h00 GMT!

Energy Poverty in Europe

Around 31 million Europeans were living in energy poverty in 2019, a figure that is set to rise this year because of the coronavirus crisis and soaring energy prices, affecting the most vulnerable in society.

Don’t miss this special report by EURACTIV here looking into the drivers of energy poverty and the measures envisaged at EU and national levels to prevent this from spreading further.

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