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In today’s Morning Brief we bring you an update of the legislative process on EU partnerships, ahead of our own meeting on the PPP AI & Robotics, to level the information playing field across INESC and jointly prepare the international conference dedicated to boost our visibility and influence capacity in this thematic area. This international conference will be held during the HUB December Annual Meeting, hosted by INESC Coimbra, on the 15th and 16th of December. A full agenda of the several events taking place during the December meeting will be disclosed soon. We also bring you an update on the ERA Pact for R&I and other running studies in the context of the ERA framework and the usual news bytes and events, this time, with a focus on a series of events by Fraunhofer called “Green Deal Series”.


In today's Morning Brief:

In today’s Morning Brief:

European Partnerships – Update on the Legislative Process

The Council negotiations on the Proposal for a Council Regulation for establishing the Joint Undertakings under Horizon Europe (Single Basic Act – SBA) kick-started again in the Council Research Working Party on 6 September. RTO participation in PPPs and coverage of lower TRLs in the EC Work Programme has been a particular focus point of stakeholders such as EARTO. The EC and EU Council Slovenian Presidency’s target is to present a final revised SBA for voting by the Council in November (any Council formation could pass the vote). In parallel, here is the draft Horizon Europe MGA proposed for the Joint Undertakings, under analysis and for adoption before the final agreement on the SBA.


HUB workshop on PPP AI & Robotics

On the 27th September, the HUB will be organising a closed workshop, with researchers from the 5 INESCs to level the information playing field on EU and national policy context on AI & Robotics and prepare an international conference to be held during the Annual December HUB meeting (15 and 16 December), hosted by INESC Coimbra this year.


ERA Pact for R&I – next steps

Following the publication of the EC proposal for a Pact for R&I in July, the EC is working on a draft ERA Policy Agenda which is being discussed with Member States, with some actions defined on Technology infrastructures and on industrial technology roadmaps. The COMPET Council is expected to adopt in November the ERA package composed of the new ERA Pact for R&I, ERA Council Conclusions including the ERA Policy Agenda as annex.


Various Running ERA Studies of Interest

The EC has commissioned a set of studies to various consultancy companies. The first study aims at evaluating the ERA policy framework/ERA monitoring mechanism. For this study, several documents are being developed, namely: a draft ERA indicators scoreboard and a concept note on ERA Hubs (a draft plan for the ERA hubs should be ready by end September for further Council approval within the ERA package in November). The second study aims at defining the future EU Competence Framework for Researchers: a draft concept note from the consultant is available here. As reported earlier, in parallel of those studies, the EC is initiating its own work on research assessment: see the EC revised concept note on this topic. The EC will organize a second stakeholders assembly meeting towards the end of year on this topic.


MEPs against inclusion of ‘do no significant harm’ principle in Horizon Europe

The European Commission wants to mandate that Horizon Europe applicants must prove their research will not harm biodiversity and the climate, but MEPs say this will create uncertainty and an extra administrative burden for researchers. Read the full Science Business article here.


France and Austria significantly increase research and innovation budgets for 2022-23

France’s research, innovation and education ministry will have an extra €706 million to spend next year compared with 2021 as part of the country’s recovery plan which foresees a €7.8 billion investment in youth, training and research. In Austria, the basic research agency Austrian Science Fund is set to receive €806 million to fund pioneering science projects until 2023, a 27% increase compared to the last three years.


UK sets out ‘pro-innovation’ AI rules, in further move away from Brussels

The UK looks set to shift away from the EU on the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI), promising in a new strategy to build the most “pro-innovation system” in the world. In contrast to the EU’s proposed AI act, London’s strategy does not propose prohibiting controversial uses of AI, such as subliminal manipulation, and instead stresses the economic benefits of rolling out the technology across the private sector. Read the full Science Business article here.


Europeans strongly support science and technology according to new Eurobarometer survey

A new Eurobarometer survey on ‘European citizens’ knowledge and attitudes towards science and technology’ released today shows that 9 in 10 EU citizens (86%) think that the overall influence of science and technology is positive. They expect a range of technologies currently under development to have a positive effect on our way of life in the next 20 years: notably, solar energy (92%), vaccines and combatting infectious diseases (86%) and artificial intelligence (61%).


Agriculture: Launch of an annual EU organic day

The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission signed a joint declaration establishing from now on each 23 September as EU organic day. This follows up on the Action Plan for the development of organic production, adopted by the Commission on 25 March 2021, which announced the creation of such a day to raise awareness of organic production.


More on the State of the Union address

Among the key points for research and innovation in the State of the Union address by the President of the EC is international cooperation, namely with the US. While political stress is being felt because of the recent row between France and US on the acquisition of submarines (Macron and Biden are meeting in a few weeks personally and this will be a key issue in the agenda), life goes on and the EC is moving towards a new Trade and Technology Council and agreements on health security and sustainability with the US.


Pathways to the future – A follow-up to “Universities without walls – A vision for 2030”

This publication focuses on geopolitical changes, digitalisation and artificial intelligence, as well as the course of democracy, and how they may impact Europe’s universities. It outlines possible scenarios for future developments, as well as pathways for universities to pursue common goals. It is meant to serve as inspiration for university leaders and communities in developing strategies and priorities for action, taking account of their specific circumstances.

This is a follow-up to EUA’s “Universities without walls – A vision for 2030” – a vision by and for the sector developed with visionaries and experts from EUA member and partner organisations.


Fraunhofer organises Green Deal Series: “Offshore Wind as a cornerstone of the European Green Deal” on 12 October 2021

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft organises its 4th webinar of the Fraunhofer Green Deal Series on 12 October from 12.00 to 13.00 (CEST). Renewable offshore energy is of utmost importance for Europe to become the first climate-neutral continent until 2050. In this regard, the European Commission published in late 2020 the EU strategy on offshore renewable energy to harness the full potential of the ocean without emitting greenhouse gases, with the main goal to reach 60 GW by 2030 and 300 GW by 2050 in European offshore capacity. To make this possible, the EU needs to increase the effort in R&D for offshore wind to mitigate risks and to allow large-scale energy production offshore.

This webinar is hosted by the Fraunhofer EU Office Brussels under the patronage of Pernille Weiss, Member of the European Parliament. Three Fraunhofer experts will highlight the needs and potentials in the field of wind energy technology and energy system technology to reach the EU’s ambitious goal. After the presentations, interesting topics such as the global competition, EU technology leadership, the challenges and opportunities of the sector will be further discussed with the participants. More information here and direct link to registration here.


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