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It’s the beginning of a new week! In today’s Morning Brief we bring you information on COP26 which starts right at the end of this week, key lessons for phasing out CO2 from the IEA and a public consultation on end-of-life vehicles!

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:

COP26 and Forestry Research

The protection of forests will be high on the agenda at this year’s UN climate summit in Glasgow, where world nations are expected to come forward with more ambitious climate goals. EuraActiv will be accompanying and reporting on the COP26 summit and Science Business offered an article focused on the research dimension, check it here. The key takeaway, even if it seems obvious is still heavily unaddressed, according to the European Forestry Institute and the Forest based Sector Technology Platform. The article from SB states that the EU’s forests would benefit from better knowledge translation and closer links between wood production and biodiversity research and innovation.

“The challenge is bringing down the knowledge and understanding at European level to more regional decision making,” said Marcus Lindner, principle scientist for the resilience programme at the EU’s European Forest Institute (EFI). Industry echoes the concerns about knowledge translation. When it comes to R&D, the EU forest strategy “does not recognise the realities on the ground,” said Johan Elvnert, managing director of the Forest-based Sector Technology Platform, a pan-European network of experts that aim to bring national innovation priorities to the EU level.


Parliament approval of the European Partnerships

As previously reported, now member states need to give the final green light, allowing nine public-private partnership in digital, health and climate to get off the ground, it is important to note that the race towards finalizing the Partnerships SRIAs – Strategic Research and Innovation Agendas will be heavily accelerated. Parliament’s goal is to ensure effective spending of the €22 billion budget for the nine so-called joint undertakings, of which €10 billion will come from the EU research programme, Horizon Europe. You can read here the full report drawn by Maria da Graça Carvalho (EP’s rapporteur on PPPs).

Key lessons for phasing out CO2 – emitting coal plant from electricity sectors

Coal power plants are the largest source of electricity generation and the largest single source of energy-related CO2 emissions, presenting a major challenge for governments seeking a path to energy systems with net zero emissions while maintaining secure and affordable energy.

A dramatic reduction in unabated coal use is an essential feature of all scenarios that meet global climate goals, but phasing out coal can also raise challenges in terms of energy affordability, impacts on communities and security of electricity supply. Rapid and successful transitions require that these challenges are carefully managed by policymakers.

Don’t miss this in-depth analysis by the International Energy Organization here featuring six key recommendation for pursuing coal power phase-outs and potential roles for carbon capture and low-carbon fuels.


Foresight in support of the EU Missions

The mission approach aims to combine and direct different resources and actors towards a common goal. In a world of increasing global challenges, missions are becoming a key element of transformative R&I policy.

The Commission has launched five EU missions that are a new instrument under Horizon Europe to deliver solutions to key global challenges by 2030. The launch of these EU Missions has followed the advice of the Mission Boards.

Strategic Foresight in the European Commission uses the expertise of Europe’s Research Community, including the Joint Research Centre, to strengthen the preparedness of EU institutions and policies for alternative future scenarios. Foresight and future-oriented R&I are important in Horizon Europe.

Learn more here.


Council to push back against Parliament’s call for budget increases in 2022

Slovenian presidency warns MEPs that member states will not agree to Parliament’s proposed €305M increase for Horizon Europe and €137M for Erasmus+. The European Parliament has voted through a budget proposal for 2022 that would see slight increases for research and education in Horizon Europe and Erasmus+, but with member states set on pursuing cuts they agreed in July, the prospects of more money materialising are dim. The European Commission has proposed spending nearly €12.2 billion from the seven-year Horizon Europe research programme during 2022. However, member states argue there is not enough demand for this level of investment and have proposed a cut of €316 million, saying expenditure should be backloaded to the end of Horizon Europe, which will run until 2027.

Research associations and MEPs strongly oppose the Council cut at a time when the EU is struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Parliament’s draft budget adds €305 million to Horizon Europe over the level proposed by the European Commission. MEPs reversed most cuts made by the Council and thereby restored the draft budget to the level originally proposed by the Commission. The Parliament’s budget proposal includes increased funding for programmes which MEPs see as contributing to EU’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the €305 million hike proposed for Horizon Europe, MEPs want €137 million on top of the Commission’s proposal to fund an additional 40,000 education exchanges in the Erasmus+ programme. Also, MEPs have proposed an extra €207 million for the Connecting Europe Facility, which funds sustainable transport, energy and digital networks, and €171 million for the environment and climate action LIFE programme. EU4Health has also been given a €80 million boost.

The Slovenian presidency of the Council of the EU has warned MEPs that member states will not accept these increases. Read the full article here.


EC Innovation Radar Prize includes recycling, organ-on-chip and cybersecurity solutions

Finnish biotech MetGen has been announced this year’s winner of the Innovation Radar Prize, the European Commission’s award for innovations emerging from EU-funded R&I projects. The winning company produces a sustainable bio-based additive for fibre-based cardboard packaging which makes the material stronger and more resistant to moisture. Three more prizes were awarded in sustainability, health and disruptive innovation categories. C2CA Technology from the Netherlands received the green award for a patented system for recycling construction materials. In the health category, React4Life from Italy was awarded for a organ-on-a-chip solution that supports development of personalised drugs, while a Czech company Kypo won a prize for its disruptive open source cybersecurity training platform.

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