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

In this Morning Brief, we open with the first report on the performance of European partnerships under Horizon Europe, INESC TEC has won a competition at the National Robotics Festival, the OECD and EARTO published a joint study on the contribution of RTOs to socio-economic recovery,, resilience and transitions, news about the EIT Summit, 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:

First report on the performance of European Partnerships under Horizon Europe

Today, the Commission released its first report on the ‘Performance of the European Partnerships: Biennial Monitoring Report 2022 on Partnerships under Horizon Europe’ (BMR 2022). The report provides an overview of the new Partnership landscape under Horizon Europe and establishes the basis for assessing their progress in future reports.

The BMR 2022 constitutes the first comprehensive monitoring of Horizon Europe Partnerships, using a set of common indicators and analysing their contribution to EU policy objectives and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It further provides a snapshot of the 27 EU Member States, Iceland, and Norway performance in Partnerships (‘country fiches), as well as of the individual European Partnership performance (‘Partnership fiches’). The report explores the added value of Partnerships by providing examples of outcomes and impacts.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “Horizon Europe supports EU Partnerships to deliver on the EU priorities for a resilient green and digital transition. The Biennial Monitoring Report 2022 is part of a new approach to partnerships and was long awaited, providing evidence-base information on the effectiveness of EU Partnerships and to guide strategic discussions on their future”.

A total of EUR 55.3 billion, has been committed for the European Partnerships in the first Horizon Europe Strategic Plan (2021-2024), of this total, EUR 23.9 billion comes from Horizon Europe.

Click here for more information and to download the report.

 

INESC TEC won a competition at National Robotics Festival

A robot developed at INESC TEC’s Centre for Robotics in Industry and Intelligent Systems (CRIIS) won the Robot@Factory 4.0, a competition part of the National Robotics Festival, which took place from April 29 to May 1, in Santa Maria da Feira.

The challenge was to transport as many boxes as possible in the shortest time, using an electromagnet, from a starting warehouse to a target warehouse, while moving the boxes through specific processing machines according to their colour. Said colour was introduced at beginning of the competition, and the robot had to request this information to the server, in order to know the colour and position of the boxes in the starting warehouse.

The competition was divided into three stages: the first involved transporting four blue boxes only between warehouses; the second focused on moving two blue and two green boxes through a processing machine; and the third involved moving one blue, two green and one red boxes by two processing machines. Competing with three other teams, INESC TEC’s robot finished the race in first place, transporting all the boxes, and completing the first stage in 2m04s7, the second in 2m09s5 and the third stage in 2m15s3.

The differentiating factors of INESC TEC’s robot were, on the one hand, a LiDAR laser, which facilitated the location considering the poles in the corners of the field, and, on the other hand, the mechanum wheels with omnidirectional traction, which provided freedom of navigation in all directions. For the development of this robot, which started about three months ago, the team resorted to 3D modelling and design, location algorithms using laser data and odometry (wheel data), as well as coordination, sequencing, and task assignment actions.

The National Robotics Festival 2022 was attended by hundreds of elementary and high school students, higher education institutions, teachers and researchers; the event aims to raise awareness and attract younger people to careers in the field of science and technology.

 

OECD-EARTO Joint Study – The contribution of RTOs to socio-economic recovery, resilience and transitions

This new OECD study supported by EARTO analyses the evolution of the funding, governance, and policy context of Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs) in the last ten years, and the implications of these changes on their ability to achieve their mission, in particular their contribution to solving societal challenges and supporting sustainable transitions.

The fieldwork, analysis and consultations conducted in the context of this study has several policy implications. Public interventions (funding but also related to regulations and framework conditions) should accompany and support the ongoing changes of RTOs – internally but also all together as a specific component of national and EU innovation systems – so that they best contribute to the twin imperatives of strengthening economic competitiveness and tackling societal challenges.

The study draws 7 implications for policy makers who play a key role in setting the environment in which RTOs operate and that determines in part their ability to deliver on their mission.

Make sure to click here to read the report.  

 

EU must define raw material needs in transition from Russian energy, EIT summit hears

The EU must outline volume needs for raw materials as it accelerates its transition towards clean energy in mission to wean itself off Russian energy, says to Bernd Schäfer, CEO of EIT Raw Materials.

The necessary technologies, which include wind turbines, photovoltaic panels, fuel cells, solar panels, heat pumps, and batteries, will all require minerals and metals to drive the clean energy transition, Schäfer argued at the fourth summit of EIT Raw Materials, one of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology’s eight sector-specific innovator communities, funded by the EU.

In response, the EU Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič told listeners the European Commission is set to draft a legislative proposal on critical raw materials as part of the upcoming move towards clean energy.

Other speakers warned the supply of raw materials for key technologies, much of which comes from outside the EU, should not be taken for granted in the current geopolitical climate. “The supply of Titanium, Palladium, Nickel or Neon is a matter of concern. It seems that no significant short-term disruption of supply is anticipated in the current situation of sanctions or retro-sanctions. But the supply is hampered at least by huge logistics disruptions,” said Philippe Varin, head of French Governmental Mission on Critical Materials.

 

Commission presents a Therapeutics Innovation Booster to identify and support new treatments for COVID-19

Delivering on a key action from the EU Strategy on COVID-19 Therapeutics, the Commission has published today the COVID-19 Therapeutics Innovation Booster. The guidance provided in this report is based on independent scientific advice, and focuses on facilitating the development of COVID-19 treatments that address the needs of patients as these evolve during the pandemic.

Vaccination against COVID-19 has been shown to offer the best preventive protection against infection, severe disease, and loss of life and long-term consequences of illness. However, in addition to vaccination, there is a clear need to ensure that COVID-19 treatments are available to treat those who are infected.

The Therapeutics Innovation Booster aims to facilitate the identification of promising research projects and technologies in different stages of development, to best focus efforts and provide guidance to researchers and innovators, in order to accelerate innovation. It therefore provides an essential element in our efforts to bring safe and effective treatments to patients across the EU as fast as possible. Even now when we are transitioning towards the next phase of COVID-19 this remains a high priority.

Click here for more information.   

 

New DFG position paper on Academic Publishing and Research Assessment

Science Europe welcomes the German Research Foundation (DFG) position paper “Academic Publishing as a Foundation and Area of Leverage for Research Assessment” on two important and timely topics. The paper reflects broad discussions that are taking place across the research landscape and neatly ties together the topics of academic publishing and research assessment, rightly highlighting their interconnections.

Research assessment often focusses on quantifiable elements of research outputs: most often simple journal- and author-based publication metrics – these do not capture substance or quality of the research being assessed.

The position paper highlights the importance of qualitative approaches that enable responsible research assessment, and how such changes can also enable changes to academic publication practices – which in turn will contribute to the positive evolution of research cultures and research systems.

 

“Wake up!” – EU-funded project calls on young citizens to engage in co-creating sustainable and greener cities

The Horizon 2020-funded project Urban Innovative and Inclusive Nature – URBiNAT – believes that solutions inspired by nature can have a positive impact on the planet, as well as on human health, wellbeing, social cohesion, sustainable economic development and quality of life.

Targeting areas of urban regeneration across Europe, URBiNAT is encouraging citizens’ participation in the design of human habitats worth living in.

In the run up to European Green Week, EREA sat down with URBiNAT’s members Nathalie Nunes and Américo Mateus to learn more about their five-year project, and how their work could contribute to sustainable and greener cities in Europe.

Click here to read the interview.

 

EARTO Case Studies on Technology Infrastructures

Building Europe’s resilience and technological autonomy in strategic areas will be key to meet the needs of the EU citizens, while ensuring Europe’s forefront position in the global innovation race. In this view, Technology Infrastructures (TIs) are critical enablers for the European research, development and innovation ecosystems and are major building blocks for Europe to deliver on its high ambitions.

An ambitious European Strategy for TIs will be essential to boost Europe’s sustainable competitiveness while achieving the twin transition to a green and digital industry and society. EARTO has been actively supporting such ambitious European Strategy for TIs and their key positioning in policy-making in Europe. Recently, the European Commission published its report: ‘Towards the Implementation of an EU Strategy for Technology Infrastructures: Insights for the implementation of the ERA Policy Agenda’. The report provides key policy recommendations to support the implementation of the ERA Policy Agenda towards an integrated European landscape for TIs in the next three years.

Currently, Member States and the European Commission are discussing future national commitments to European Research Area (ERA) Actions, including on the ERA Action 12 looking at further ERA technology roadmaps and the linked technology infrastructures to support green transitions. To support Member States and the European Commission in the development  of the new EU strategy on technology Infrastructures envisioned in the ERA Policy Agenda, EARTO hereby presents case studies of TIs created and managed by EARTO members. They provide evidence on the wide variety of TIs that exist (different service delivery models, different users, different funding models, different topics/areas/focus, etc.). EARTO TIs Case Studies particularly aim to exemplify what is a TI, hence serves as a reference for the ongoing discussions on new EU Strategy for Technology Infrastructures.

EARTO thanks its members who contributed to those case studies. EARTO remains at the disposal of the EU institutions to further discuss the strategy on Technology Infrastructures.

Read the full EARTO Case Studies on Technology Infrastructures.

 

Social Climate Fund: Parliament’s ideas for a just energy transition

The EU wants a just energy transition. Find out how the Social Climate Fund aims to help those who are most exposed to energy poverty.

As part of its efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, the EU plans to introduce further requirements for reducing emissions in construction and transport. The new rules will stimulate Europeans and businesses to invest in alternative energy sources, better isolation and clean transport.

In order to support vulnerable households and small business in this energy  transition, the European Commission proposed creating a Social Climate Fund with a budget of €72 billion for 2025-2032. The establishment of the fund is part of the Fit for 55 legislative package, which aims to achieve the objectives of the European Green Deal.

Parliament is expected to adopt its position during the plenary session at the beginning of June, which would allow it to start negotiating the final text with the Council.

Check out what the EU is doing to reduce carbon emissions.

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 »