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In today's Morning Brief:

Europe in lockdown

As COVID numbers keep rising in many countries around Europe, lockdowns were announced recently in a number of EU countries. Belgium is closing for a month, with the exception of kindergartens. Number of people that tested positive in the country increased by 37% in a week. All the numbers here. The situation Is following similar paths around its neighbours.
Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg: very similar measures to those in Portugal, except that they seem to like to wake earlier as the curfew finishes at 4h30am.
France: Introduced a new lockdown just last week, affecting sixteen regions (including Paris) and set to last for four weeks. Schools and hairdressers are open but new stricter measures are to be announced.
Moreover, border controls are still in place and are foreseen to continue in place in the foreseeable future. It is not possible to travel without a force majeure or if you are a national or resident in the country of destination.


Strategic autonomy: this is just the beginning and INESC’s positioning

We have been covering the EU’s strategic autonomy related discussions for a while. See previous MB for a report of a closed workshop the HUB participated with the JRC and Marya Gabriel’s cabinet. The discussion is only starting now and is foreseen to be the hot topic of the next presidency of the EU (Lithuania).
According to EURACTIV, Spain and the Netherlands in a joint call on Wednesday (24 March) urged the EU to ditch unanimity decisions and keep its economy open, as it tries to become more independent of global powers like the US and Asia in technology, vaccine production and energy. They published a non-paper covering areas ranging from multilateralism, foreign relations, the role of the euro and taxation, migration, energy and climate, digital transformation and the EU’s industrial policy.
The HUB is preparing INESC’s positioning on technology sovereignty and its implications for research and industrial policy. We can unveil that this will be done in collaboration with Science Business and with the participation of high-level stakeholders from the three sectors (policy-makers, research and technology organisations and industry). This should help us position at the level of the major research and industrial stakeholders being heard by the EC and national governments.


Portugal gets mandate to negotiate health technology assessment law

The Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union on Wednesday obtained a mandate from the member states to start negotiations with the European Parliament on a legislative proposal on Health Technology Assessment (HTA). In particular, the proposed legislation provides for creating a coordination group – bringing together national health authorities – that will work on joint clinical assessments and joint scientific consultations on health technologies. Portugal’s health minister Marta Temido, is chairing the EU Health Council for the current semester and INFARMED is leading the process in Portugal. It is unclear for us what this means for research and innovation and if the latter is being taken into account at all. Any feedback on this would be very welcome.


Is GDPR getting in the way of digital innovation? France targeting Apple and Germany targeting Facebook

For Axel Voss, a prominent German member of the European Parliament focused on data protection legislation and other digital files, that is indeed the case: “Many of the important technologies of the future — such as artificial intelligence, blockchain or single sign-on solutions — were already widely known in 2016, when the GDPR was finalized. And yet, provisions in the legislation — which many argue was supposed to be “technology neutral” — make it impossible to properly use or even develop them.”. Read the full article here. And related to this, also in POLITICO, you can read about a report from the French data regulator that says Apple’s advertising practices are in breach of the EU privacy laws and “for some onlookers, Apple’s wide-armed embrace of privacy hides an inner ecosystem that thrives on the exploitation of personal information in much the same way as Silicon Valley’s other powers.” On the other hand, Germany’s competition authority ordered Facebook to halt its data collection practices, due to concerns over alleged abuse of its dominant market position and violations of EU data protection law. This is now in the hands of the European Court of Justice.


Podcast: Changing environment: the green future of European regions

The European Regional Development and Cohesion funds, the classical tools of the EU’s cohesion policy, will disburse €242.9 billion euros during the 2021-2027 period, 30% of which will go to greening. In this episode it is discussed how the cohesion policy contributes to protecting the environment and tackling climate change, taking a closer look at what the next seven years have in store compared to the previous budgetary period of 2014-2020. To get the perspective of European cities in the midst of energy transition, EURACTIV spoke to the director of the Energy Cities association, Claire Roumet. Meanwhile, Kira Taylor, EURACTIV’s energy and environment reporter gives her insights into how the EU’s green goals fit into cohesion policy, and why the issue of gas funding is central to the climate action debate.


Work begins on the Conference on the Future of Europe

The work on the Conference on the Future of Europe has officially started. Just two weeks after the Joint Declaration on the Conference on the Future of Europe was signed in Brussels by the European Parliament President, David Sassoli, Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa, on behalf of the Presidency of the Council, and by the Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the Executive Board of the Conference on the Future of Europe held its constitutive meeting on 24 March 2021 in Brussels.

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26/05/2023: New Horizon Europe calls, a global drive for open science, European Commission DG RTD recent reorganisation, EU-China & much more

In today’s Morning Brief:
Horizon Europe
– Twinning call for proposals is open – Read all about it
– Horizon Europe ERA Fellowships call is now open
– EUR 20 million available for Pathways to synergies – Call for proposals
– New Horizon Europe funding opportunity: Dissemination & Exploitation Support Facility call
– Commission Open Call: Expert Group on the Interim Evaluation of Horizon Europe
– Industry 5.0 Award contest opens: apply by 1 September 2023
– Horizon Europe: The EU and the Republic of Korea launch formal negotiations on association to the programme
– European Space Agency chief seeks ‘forward-looking decisions’
Research & Innovation:
– EU research ministers make fresh call for a full transition to free open access publishing
– Open Science: stakeholders welcome European efforts towards publicly owned and not-for-profit scholarly communication
– Global drive for more open, rigorous research is growing
– European Commission sets up new European Innovation Council unit in the research directorate
– Spain wants EU presidency to be ‘bridge’ with Latin American R&D
– Green industry law haunted by old conflicts over nuclear, financing
– The five EU research projects involving China’s military-linked universities
– Critical Raw Materials: EU ministers want to move fast but dilemmas abound
– G7 ministers call for rules to improve research security
– Territorial Economic Data viewer supports policy monitoring
News from INESC institutes:
– INESC Brussels HUB is signing an Open Letter regarding changes to Who is Who in EC Directorate
– ECI Cruelty-free cosmetics – Consultation to adhere to joint final statement
– Structuring the ecosystem: RTOs collaboration with higher education institutions
– INESC TEC develops pioneering research in the application of variational quantum circuits to reinforcement learning
– INOV: MULTICAM prototypes, an online presentation on Blockchain and 5000 followers
– Job Opportunities
Events & Training workshops

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19/05/2023: HUB Summer Meeting, Digital Europe Programme, Regional Innovation Valleys, European R&I funding and policy, and much more

In today’s Morning Brief:
Horizon Europe
– Commission Expert Group on the Interim Evaluation of Horizon Europe
– Commission launches first €122M call to create regional innovation ecosystems
– New calls for proposals of the Digital Europe Programme
Research & Innovation:
– EU research commissioner Mariya Gabriel resigns
– France to boost funding for health research infrastructures and UK to invest £100M in improving RIs
– Commission takes European Innovation Council management under its wing
– Industry 5.0 Award: The contest is open for applications
– AI Act moves ahead in EU Parliament with key committee vote
– Defence industry renews call for R&D spending boost
News from INESC institutes:
– Technology and Law: building a virtuous relationship, by Graça Barbosa
– The 2022 INESC-ID AnnualReport is out
– Exciting news from H2020-RESCUER
– Launch of the New Horizon Europe Project SYCLOPS
– INESC TEC supports the implementation of robotic technologies to reduce the ecological footprint
– INESC TEC develops virtual reality app to support youngster looking for jobs
– Job Opportunities
Events & Training workshops

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05/05/2023: HE calls update, cohesion policy, open access, open science, cohesion policy and coordination of national and EU R&D policy.

In today’s Morning Brief:
Horizon Europe
– Horizon Europe – easy call and topic search
– From KOWI: MSCA: Model Working Contract for Doctoral Networks published
Research & Innovation:
– Report on the outcome of 2021-2027 cohesion policy programming
– Spain adopts national open access strategy
– Commission attempts to strengthen coordination between national R&D policies and EU research programs
– Commission Plans to launch a European Standardisation Panel survey
– Research funders draw attention to uneven implementation of open science
– EIT Climate to become financially sustainable by end of 2024
– Preparing for Belgium’s Thirteenth Presidency of the Council of the European Union
– African Union-European Union High Level Policy Dialogue – Science, Technology and Innovation. Senior official meet to endorse the AU-EU Innovation Agenda
News from INESC institutes:
– INESC MN has a new publication in Advanced Materials Journal
– INOV projects on Youtube
– Diogo Vaz published an article in Público
– Job Opportunities
Events & Training workshops

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