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 to your attention the open tenders of interest to INESC (carefully curated by the HUB) and call your attention to the EC experts database, in particular the calls for experts open and focus on the one from the Research Executive Agency. We also bring some tools for managers and researchers, namely LIFE programme training videos and details on the opportunities under the MSCA programme, which are truly important for all INESCs. Then we turn our attention to the launch of the 2021 ESFRI Roadmap and its stakeholder’s forum meetup (both taking place in December 2021) and finish with a couple of analytical articles and info on sustainable energy solutions and science advice to policy.


In today's Morning Brief:

In today’s Morning Brief:

Work as an expert – Research Executive Agency

The HUB has been insisting in calling all of our colleagues across the INESC institutes to register as experts. This is part of our “Capacity Building” component It is, no doubt, the best way to learn how to develop better project proposals. Today, we raise your attention to the specific call of the Research Executive Agency (REA). REA invites experts from a wide range of fields to register in the European Commission’s experts database. From this database, we select candidates with the most suitable profile for the following activities:

  • Evaluating project proposals applying for funding under Horizon Europe, the Promotion of Agricultural Products programme and the Research Fund for Coal and Steel, or
  • Monitoring the implementation of funded projects.

REA is looking for experts from the following sectors:

  • Industry, business associations and innovation agencies
  • Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other civil society organisations
  • Local, regional and national administration
  • International organisations
  • Universities and research institutes

Check the full call for experts here. This link includes the direct link to the EC expert’s database.


Full list of the LIFE programme training videos

The LIFE programme seems to never be considered by many research organisations, including INESC institutes. Rarely information about its calls is distributed by R&I managers at universities and RTOs. The main reason? Focus. We need focus on our limited resources.

But we also need to be strategic and this means considering multiple funding streams. We also need to overcome that new-born type of dependency that leads us to exclude from the beginning all grants that are not subsidizing 100% of the costs with an extra for overheads. This is especially true if we are to actually look to more applied research and to a real engagement in supporting implementation of solutions in partnerships with a diverse set of stakeholders.

All in all, what is at the core here is how the funding stream can help the institutional strategic goals be achieved. For that one naturally needs to have a strategy and clear goals defined and this is something we are working on, for example, at the level of the thematic work groups of the INESC Brussels HUB. For now, check this link for a full list of the LIFE programme training videos.


MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships, Doctoral networks and Staff Exchanges

The Marie Curie programme can be a key element in the career progression of a researcher but also in the internationalisation, attractiveness and profile building at the EU and even global scale. I truly think that this is a must for any research institution that needs to attract talent, in all honesty, it is a golden opportunity.

The costs covered by the European Commission in the doctoral networks can go up to 540 person months if you are implementing a joint doctoral degree and this can include institutions outside the EU as long as two of the three are in the EU (and you know three is always the minimum in these networks).

But the Staff Exchanges programme is my favourite in the light of institutional capacity building. The reason is that it provides the opportunity for structured exchanges of researchers with a focus on inter-sectoral or interdisciplinary mobility. This will benefit everybody and can function as a seed for deepened collaborations and fantastic projects, beyond the knowledge transfer that occurs when established researchers exchange experiences.

Check all about the MSCA programmes in this link and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any doubts.


Research Infrastructures – ESFRI Days 2021

For those interested in research infrastructures The Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU and the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) are announcing ESFRI Days, an event scheduled to take place from 6 to 8 December 2021 at the Grand Hotel Union, Ljubljana, Slovenia. ESFRI Days will feature two major events, complemented by the 78th ESFRI plenary meeting (for ESFRI National Delegates only, 6-7 December):

  • ESFRI Roadmap 2021 Launch, 7 December 2021
  • 1st ESFRI Stakeholders Forum Meetup, 8 December 2021

For more information, please visit the event webpages:

78th ESFRI Forum Plenary

Roadmap 2021 Launch

1st ESFRI Stakeholders Forum Meetup


People at the centre of sustainable energy solutions

Science Business published an opinion article emphasising the need to factor in social, economic, environmental concerns when developing new energy systems. This is a good opportunity to recall the recent article published by INESC in… you guessed it: Science Business. The article, coordinated by Luís Seca (INESC TEC), is entitled “Energy in Europe: placing users at the centre of the digitalization strategy” and argues that energy power systems will have to change if we are to achieve the goals set out by the European Green Deal. But while innovation is a much-needed step to reach carbon neutrality, the right approach in the digitalisation strategy must be adopted with a central figure and a watchword in mind: end-users and interoperability.

But if you want to go deeper in the relation between sustainability and energy systems and, intimately related, between behaviour and energy, check, for example, the article published in Elsevier “The challenging paradigm of interrelated energy systems towards a more sustainable future” by António Gomes Martins (INESC Coimbra) and the recent book Energy and Behaviour by Carlos Hengeller Antunes (INESC Coimbra).


Bridging the gap between climate science and policy – a report by Science Business and Elsevier

As a result of a virtual roundtable sponsored by Elsevier, a group of MEPs, scientists and publishers got together to discuss how to help European policymakers to make the right decisions. The key issue was to how to make it operational as everyone know already that policy-makers need access to the best and most up-to-date information, much of which will have to come from myriad fields of the scientific community. That raises some important questions: What obstacles are there between the world of science and the world of policy, how can they be removed, and how can scientists give better advice to policymakers?

This report is basically an extended and slightly analytical version of what was discussed. Among the many conclusions, of particular relevance for INESC I find these two:

– write regular reports of the latest research findings in a concise and clear language;

– try talking instead of writing.

Food for thought. The remaining conclusions and full report are available here.





Clean Sky Joint Undertaking

CSJU.2021.CEI.01 — Individual Experts to assist the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking with High Level Support and Professional Advice on communicating Research and Innovation

Deadline: 30 September 2021


European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

CEI/2019/RMC/11165 – Editing and Proofreading, and Rapporteur Services

With this call for expression of interest, ECDC invites candidates to express their interest in one or more of the following services: • SUB LIST 1 Rapporteurs services • SUB LIST 2 Editing and proofreading services for the scientific journal Eurosurveillance • SUB LIST 3 Editing and proofreading services for ECDC technical and scientific reports.

Deadline: 7 May 2023


CEI/2021/RMS/13281 – Intellectual Support Services for ECDC Meetings and Events

Deadline: 14 April 2025


European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA)

CINEA/2021/OP/0001 – Study to Bring More Algae Species to the EU Market and to Create an European Algae Stakeholders Forum (ForAlgae)

The study will aim at unlocking algae sector potential in Europe by supporting the sector and creating a European algae stakeholders forum (ForAlgae) – a collaborative algae stakeholders forum for linking and sharing best initiatives, practices and knowledge for strengthening the community, representing stakeholders in a single forum, to further collaborate to develop a common agenda and to contribute to ongoing and future activities of the European Commission. The study will also aim to support bringing more algae species to the EU market as either traditional or novel food or food supplements that are currently not allowed for use in the EU. All expenditure will cover the tasks fulfilling the two above mentioned objectives.

Deadline: 26 August 2021


European Commission, DG Agriculture and Rural Developement (AGRI)

AGRI/2021/OP/0002 – Pilot project: Developing a Farmers’ Toolbox for Integrated Pest Management Practices from across the Union. Part 2: Converting Farm Accountancy Data Network into Farm Sustainability Data Network

Converting Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) into Farm Sustainability Data Network (FSDN).

Deadline: 21 September 2021


European Commission, DG Competition (COMP)

COMP/2021/OP/0002 – Ex Post Evaluation: EU Competition Enforcement and Acquisitions of Innovative Competitors in the Pharma Sector Leading to the Discontinuation of Overlapping Drug Research and Development Projects

Empirical research by Cunningham et al. (2021) suggests that in the pharmaceutical industry a considerable number of acquisitions might have as their object or effect the discontinuation of overlapping drug R&D projects to the detriment of innovation competition and ultimately consumers. Such acquisitions are commonly referred to as ‘killer acquisitions’. The study aims to determine what are the typical features of such killer acquisitions and obtain evidence on the prevalence of such acquisitions, as this would allow the Commission to determine which transactions in the pharmaceutical industry deserve closer scrutiny. A second objective of the study is to conduct ex post evaluations of selected past merger decisions. These case studies aim to assess whether in the concentrations notified to and examined by the Commission under the EU Merger Regulation, the Commission correctly anticipated the risks of possible discontinuations of competing lines of drug R&D projects.

Deadline: 18 October 2021


European Commission, DG Defence Industry and Space (DEFIS)

DEFIS/2021/OP/0005 – New Space Solutions for Long-term Availability of Reliable, Secure, Cost Effective Space Based Connectivity

In order to assess the innovative approaches towards a secure space connectivity system, the tender specifications include activities required for the concept definition and preliminary concept design, definition of services with a suitable business case and approach to frequency rights.

Deadline: 10 September 2021


DEFIS/2021/OP/0004 – Preparation of Standards for Galileo Timing Receivers

The intent of this call for tenders is to progress on the standardisation process of Galileo timing receivers. The target users for the standard are all Galileo Timing users, with special focus on critical infrastructures and critical applications.The standard must be coherent and take into account the specificities of the Galileo Timing Service. This will become fundamental in order to ensure the end to end performance of the Galileo Timing Service for those users which make use of a receiver developed according to the Standard.

Deadline: 8 September 2021


European Commission, DG Education,Youth, Sport and Culture (EAC)

EAC/2021/OP/0001 – Support for the Implementation of the European Graduate Tracking Initiative

This tender aims to support the European graduate tracking initiative to make national graduate data more comparable at European level. Lot 1 intends to contract a Support Service for the European Network of Graduate Tracking to organise the meetings and the annual work programmes of the network, and to raise awareness on its outcomes. The contractor for Lot 2 will coordinate the second phase of the European pilot survey of higher education graduates (Eurograduate), for which comparable data should be collected in an estimated 18 countries during Autumn 2022.

Deadline: 24 September 2021


EAC/2021/OP/0003 – Supporting the Development of the Digital Education Hub

As part of the Digital Education Action Plan 2020-2027, DG EAC is setting up a European Digital Education Hub. The Hub will facilitate the exchange of experiences and solutions for digital education. The Hub will support cross-sector collaboration on digital education in Europe. The Hub foresees the creation of a community of practice and will engage a wide variety of stakeholders.The services to be requested imply the setup and management of a Community of Practice that will cooperate to propose and accelerate solutions for digital education.

Deadline: 3 September 2021


European Commission, DG Energy (ENER)

ENER/2021/OP/0004 – Multiple Framework Contracts in cascade for Provision of Preparatory, Review, Impact Assessment Studies, Technical Assistance on Product-related Energy Efficiency Policy and Consumer Oriented Studies

This new FWC aims to provide preparatory and review studies, and technical assistance for the different phases of policy development in support of product-related energy efficiency policies, including but not limited to ecodesign, energy labelling and tyre labelling. In addition, the services will provide consumer oriented studies (i.e. behavioural studies) related to consumer aspects of products and buildings related policies, such as (but not limited to) the energy label, the tyre label, Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) and the Smart Readiness Indicator (SRI).

Deadline: 7 October 2021


European Commission, DG Health and Food Safety (SANTE)

SANTE/2021/OP/0009 – HERA Preparatory Action: Horizontal — Intelligence Gathering, Threat Assessment and Global Surveillance

Based on the experience on Covid-19, which has exposed the fragility of the EU system to prepare and respond to threat collectively, this preparatory action will contribute to strengthening the preparedness and response mechanisms. The action will act as a horizontal pillar and provide the basis for the methodology to be employed in the intelligence gathering and threat assessment as well as analysis work of the future HERA.

Deadline: 6 September 2021


European Commission, DG Mobility and Transport (MOVE)

MOVE/2021/OP/0008 – Technical Study on the Future of Ship Energy Efficiency Measures

To support global agreement on the new Ship Energy Efficiency Design Index beyond Phase 3 in the context of the Initial IMO Strategy on reducing GHG emissions from ships and provide additional insight into the energy efficiency of ships calling in EU ports.

Deadline: 8 October 2021


MOVE/2021/OP/0007 MOVE/D2/FV-2021-271 – Support Study on the Life-cycle Analysis of Alternative Fuels at International Maritime Organisation

To support further development and dissemination of guidelines on life-cycle analysis of alternative fuels in the context of the Initial IMO Strategy on reducing GHG emissions from ships.

Deadline: 1 October 2021


European Commission, DG for Climate Action (CLIMA)

CLIMA/2021/OP/0001 – Technical Support on International Fluorinated Greenhouse Gas/Ozone Depleting Substances Issues and Dissemination

Technical support on international Fluorinated greenhouse gas/Ozone Depleting Substances issues and Dissemination. An existing long-term contract for support on international matters in this sector has been extended until 28 December 2021. International negotiations will continue to require technical input and outreach on our policies remains necessary, especially since the next few years will be crucial in ensuring an early adoption of climate-friendly refrigeration technologies at global level, in line with the requirements of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. Thus a new contract must be in place when the existing contract expires.

Deadline: 6 September 2021


European Commission, DG for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CONNECT)

CNECT/2021/OP/0030 – Study on the Impact of Recent Developments in Adtech and their Impact on Privacy, the Publishers and Advertisers — VIGIE 2020-663

The purpose of the study is to assemble evidence on developments over the last 10-15 years in the online advertising industry that could inform future policy options for safeguarding individual privacy and supporting European publishers and advertisers. The study will address the evolution of the online advertisement industry, its impact on privacy, publishers and advertisers in the EU, and the viability of alternatives to systematic monitoring of individual behaviour and profiling of individuals.

Deadline: 6 September 2021


CNECT/2021/OP/0026 – Study on the Economic Potential of Far Edge Computing in the Future Smart Internet of Things

The aim of the study is to analyse Europe’s economic opportunities and to derive solid economic data, as well as future policy development for Euope’s digital, industrial and green strategies. Our objectives are:1) To identify and measure the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges of European stakeholders and their competitiveness in a cloud continuum with strong growth at the Far Edge;2) To quantify with broad and robust data Europe’s economic opportunities, in general and in four important vertical areas: mobility, agriculture, energy, and manufacturing;3) To derive scenarios in said sectors, which demonstrate ecological and green benefits of strengthening Far Edge computing;4) To discuss the impact of Far Edge computing in the context of the European data, industrial and green strategies;5) To identify and evaluate the potential impact of European measures at programme and policy level in order to support this opportunity for European industry.

Deadline: 3 September 2021


CNECT/LUX/2020/CPN/0062 – Study on the System Architecture of a Quantum Communication Infrastructure

The objective is to conduct a system study to define the architecture and design the system of a Quantum Communication Infrastructure (QCI) for both the Terrestrial and Space segments. The tender will provide a roadmap for the deployment of the architecture with the key technologies and technology components required for the terrestrial and space segment, including R&D efforts. The costs and timelines associated to the different phases of the deployment will be explained and detailed. The architecture will have to be modular and scalable to include any new application or technology when available. This tender is part of a coordinated call with the European Space Agency (ESA) which will launch the same study but for the space segment of the architecture. The present call addresses only the terrestrial segment.

Deadline: N/A


European Commission, DG for Environment (ENV)

ENV/2021/OP/0009 – Technical and Scientific Support to the European Drought Observatory (EDO) for Resilience and Adaptation — 2 Lots

The aim is to support the JRC European drought observatory in improving its capacity to address adaptation to droughts in various sectors. This is a part of the EP Preparatory action 07027758 and complementary to the conclusions of the 2019 Fitness Check of the EU water law concerning climate change and droughts, as well the relevant Commission recommendations to MS in relation to climate change and droughts (the latest EC report on the implementation of the Water Framework Directive and the Floods Directive). Furthermore, it is in line with the priority actions of the new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate change, adopted on 24 February 2021.

Deadline: 23 August 2021

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