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In this Morning Brief we bring you the European Commission’s calls for interregional innovation projects, an opportunity to become an evaluator of security research proposals for Horizon Europe, EU funded projects that will help save our soil,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:

Commission launches first calls for interregional innovation projects

The first calls under the EU’s new €570 million Interregional Innovation Investment instrument (I3) are up. The money is set to help interregional projects scale up their innovations.

In 2021 and 2022, the I3 will invest €145 million in partnerships between researchers, businesses, civil society and public administrations to identify and refine common areas of investment. 

The first ‘strand’ of funds will support mature interregional partnerships to help them accelerate market uptake and scale-up of innovative solutions, encouraging collaboration between more and less developed regions. The second ‘strand’ is geared towards new partnerships in less developed regions.

Find more information here!

Plans to expand lump sum funding in Horizon Europe are ‘premature’

Research associations warn against using lump sum funding more broadly across the R&D programme. But Commission says the evidence is this one-size-fits-all route cutting red tape and reducing errors.

The Commission introduced the lump sum pilot in 2018 and extended it in 2020 in an effort to cut red tape in EU research funding programmes. In a report published in October, the Commission analysed 500 lump sum grants and concluded this approach “works in practice and is fit for wider use.”

Now the Commission wants to expand it further over the coming years, but not all research stakeholders are happy with the plan. Critics say the pilot should be further evaluated, as half of the researchers responding to the Commission’s survey were not successful in securing a grant.

Critics call on the Commission to have a thorough evaluation after the projects in the pilot complete and to postpone any major decisions on applying lump sums more widely in Horizon Europe until the midterm evaluation of the programme. By then, beneficiaries will have a better idea on the impact and consequences of lump sums on research projects more broadly, not just on accounting.

Read more here.

Become an evaluator of security research proposals for Horizon Europe

For the first Horizon Europe security research calls, the European Research Executive Agency (REA) received 230 proposals by the deadline on the 23rd of November. The total requested funding was over €1 billion.

In total, € 216 million is available across six calls for projects working on a wide range of security challenges. From security for smart and safe cities and public spaces;  novel concepts for the management of pandemic crises; new methods to prevent, investigate and mitigate the spreading of disinformation; security on-board passenger ships to digital security, privacy and personal data protection in healthcare.

The European Commission is looking to expand the experts database through a call for experts covering a very broad range of fields. If you fit the profile and would like to be considered for evaluations, please sign up in the Funding and Tender opportunities portal here and detail your expertise and professional experience.

Women are still under-represented in R&I

The number of female students and graduates at bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels has grown steadily over the last years. However, women are still under-represented in research and innovation careers.

The She Figures 2021 publication highlights that, on average, at bachelor’s and master’s levels, women outnumber men as students (54%) and graduates (59%), and there is almost gender balance at doctoral level (48%). However, disparities between study fields persist. For example, women still represent less than a quarter of doctoral graduates in the ICT field (22%), while they represent 60% or more in the fields of health & welfare and education (60% and 67% respectively).

Furthermore, women represent only around one third of researchers (33%). At the highest level of academia, women remain under-represented, holding about one-quarter of full professorship positions (26%). Women are also less likely to be employed as scientists and engineers (41%) and are under-represented among self-employed professionals in science and engineering and ICT occupations (25%).

For more information, click here.

EU-funded projects that will help save our soil

The new EU Soil Strategy for 2030 has been adopted. At the European Research Executive Agency, we showcase several recently funded Horizon 2020 projects that will help to improve soil health and foster more sustainable soil management practices.

The EU Soil Strategy sets a framework and concrete measures for the protection, restoration and sustainable use of soils, with the vision that by 2050, all EU soils ecosystem will be healthy and more resilient. The Soil Strategy is an important deliverable of the European Green Deal and the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 in facing the climate and biodiversity crises.

If you want to read more about these projects click here!

More Articles

03/12/2021: ICoWEFS 2022, European Business and Nature Summit 2021, Germany’s new government and R&I, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– International Conference on Water, Energy, Food and Sustainability (ICoWEFS 2022);
– European Business and Nature Summit 2021;
– Research to be part of EU rival to China’s Belt and Road initiative;
– European Commission welcomes political agreement on the 8th Environment Action Programme;
– What Germany’s new government means for R&I;
– Data Governance: Deal on new rules to boost data sharing across the EU;
– UK-EU row may leave Copernicus €750M short.

Read More »