Welcome to today’s Morning Brief. The Morning Brief newsletter is only available to INESC staff and affiliated researchers upon subscription (weekly or daily), after creating an account in the Private Area of the HUB website. To do so, click the log-in icon on the top-right corner of this website.

In today’s Morning Brief, we bring you information on today’s INESC TEC Autumn Forum, on the Energy Infrastructure Forum 2021, the European Hydrogen Week and the many calls and opportunities currently open and supported by the European Union, 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:

INESC TEC Autumn Forum 2021

Today is the day! The annual initiative of the institution, which aims at promoting a forum to debate issues of national interest, from the economic to the public policies POVs is back!

This year’s edition is dedicated to technologies interaction, specifically, Artificial Intelligence in Health.

The Portuguese Minister of Health and the Portuguese Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education will both be present and you can check the agenda here!

Energy Infrastructure Forum 2021

In two days, the Energy Infrastructure Forum will be back. It is an initiative organised by the EU in cooperation with the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities, and gathers representatives of the EU institutions, transmission system operations and the financing community who meet to discuss the challenges of developing Europe’s energy infrastructure and building an internal energy market.

Please click here to see the agenda and the guiding questions for the event!

European Hydrogen Week

The European Hydrogen Week is a unique event starting on the 29th of november where the tremendous opportunities associated with the production and use of hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels for the Green Deal, will be discussed.

This year features special addresses by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and Vice-President Frans Timmermans and will offer the opportunity to European industry, policy makers, government representatives, and the research community to discuss and steer the increased potential for clean hydrogen in the upcoming years.

Click here to check the programme and to register!

An enhanced EOSC Portal for the European Research Community

The Horizon 2020 project EOSC Enhance successfully concluded its 24-month mission, announcing the launch of its second release for the EOSC Portal, one of the main gateways to information and resources in the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).

EOSC aims to develop a web of fair data and services for science in Europe upon which a wide range of value-added services can be built. This ecosystem is being built upon existing infrastructures and services supported by the European Commission, Member States, as well as multidisciplinary research communities.

EOSC Enhance has aligned with the EOSC Future project over the second half of 2021, as EOSC Future is taking over operations on the EOSC Portal starting in December 2021, continuing the work on integration and development of all components.

The final EOSC Enhance webinar, introducing the key upgrades included in this second EOSC Portal release, is taking place on 25 November 2021 at 15:00 CET. Register here.

The EU invests over €1 billion in innovative projects to decarbonise the economy

The European Union is investing over €1.1 billion into seven large-scale innovative projects under the Innovation Fund. The grants will support projects aiming to bring breakthrough technologies to the market in energy-intensive industries, hydrogen, carbon capture, use and storage, and renewable energy.

The selected projects cover a wide range of relevant sectors to decarbonise different parts of Europe’s industry and energy sectors, such as chemicals, steel, cement, refineries, and power and heat. All projects are either already part of industrial hubs or kick-start decarbonisation clusters of interconnected industries.

If you want to learn more about them click here and if you have a project that was not successful in the first call click here to apply until 3 March 2022.

Stop the mining rush in protected nature

Every so often gloomy headlines warn us about looming shortages of critical metals required for the successful implementation of the Green Deal and reaching at least the Paris Climate Goals.

We need to take this challenge seriously. If substantially higher prices for metals such as lithium and cobalt persist through the end of this decade, as the IMF researchers imply, this bottleneck could effectively put the energy transition at risk.

It comes as no surprise that the action plan on critical raw materials published by the Commission in September 2020 earned far more attention than its predecessors, as it tries to address supply risks for raw materials of high economic importance. In light of the Green Deal, it is clear why lithium, cobalt and a wide range of rare earth elements are included in the list of 30 critical raw materials.

It is also clear that this action plan acts as a catalyst to resuscitate mining projects for these critical raw materials inside and outside EU borders. While we should not dismiss these out of hand, we urgently need to draw a line when it comes to protected areas. In Portugal, for instance, 28% of the areas allocated for lithium exploration are inside nationally protected areas, such as the Serra da Argamela, part of a Natura 2000 area.

Some policymakers argue that we need to “balance biodiversity and economic goals” to secure the metals required for the green transition. This is code language for opening up protected areas for large-scale mining. However, a more honest balancing act would require preserving the integrity of EU protected areas.

This is a unique opportunity for ensuring a circular industry and creating new jobs. The Green Deal provides an excellent framework for all of this, now is the time to set the wheels in motion.

Read more here.

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