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In today's Morning Brief:

EIT NCPs as information multipliers for EIT Community opportunities

In 2021-2027 EIT will have dedicated National Contact Points (NCPs) in each EU Member State, Horizon Europe Associated Country and 3rd country, under Horizon Europe. This is an important opportunity for the entire EIT Community to become more visible and reach more stakeholders on the ground. NCPs will provide information and advice to potential applicants and beneficiaries at the local level, through the project life cycle, in their own language, in a manner that would be impossible for the EIT and KICs to do alone. The crucial role of the NCPs in closing the information and awareness gap on EIT activities in EU Member States and Associated Countries is beyond evident. In an online information session they will present the setup and functions of the EIT NCP Secretariat. They want to hear your views on how the EIT NCPs could better support (and be supported by) the Co-location Centres and RIS Hubs in raising awareness and mobilising potential applicants for your programmes. The meeting will take place from 15h to 17h on the 29 April. To join simply use this Microsoft Teams link.


Commission calls for experts in AI and Data in education

The European Commission is preparing to develop a set of ethical guidelines on artificial intelligence and data in education and training based on the Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence, presented by the High-Level Expert Group on AI in 2019. In order to be assisted with this task, the Commission’s DG EAC is setting up a new dedicated group of expert, co-led by the DG CNECT. The estimated start of the work is June 2021 and should last until April 2022. It will include up to 4 meetings. The call is open to individuals and organisations; it will accept applications until May 25th and can be accessed here.


Public Consultation on the “Pact for research & innovation in Europe”

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on a new pact for European research and innovation, in a bid to convince member states to sign up to a renewed commitment to increase investment in R&D. This ‘pact’ will set out the key commonly agreed values & principles that underpin the European Research Area, and areas where EU countries will develop priority actions. It includes:

  • freedom of scientific research
  • boosting our economies & societies
  • gender equality
  • open access to scientific publications
  • better career prospects for researchers.

The aim is to encourage EU countries to reaffirm their commitment to these principles and values and to integrate them into national R&I policy.


New European Bauhaus Competition

The European Commission launched last week the first competition call looking for project examples showcasing the values of the New European Bauhaus, an EU-led initiative aiming to put a green twist on Europe’s living environments in close articulation with culture and education. There are two parallel competitions. One for existing demonstrations of the new Bauhaus, with a prize fund of €30,000 in each of the 10 categories. The second competition seeks new concepts and ideas from people under 30, with 10 prizes of €15,000 set aside for the winners. The deadline to submit applications is 31 May. For those interested in knowing more about the New European Bauhaus Prize, what it is about, what projects are eligible, what are the categories of the prizes and more, visit this Q&A prepared by the European Commission. Categories include “Techniques, materials and processes for construction and design”, “Modular, adaptable and mobile living solutions”, “Interdisciplinary education models” and more.


New rules to simplify CAPs

The Commission has released a new set of rules to simplify the access to CAP’s fruit and vegetable support schemes. The new rules include, among others, an extension of the outsourcing possibilities for producer organisations in the fruit and vegetable sector and simplification of the rules related to crisis prevention and management measures (e.g. harvest insurance, coaching), to encourage a greater uptake by producer organisations in the fruit and vegetable sector. The CAPs are part of the EU Commission’s scheme to promote an increased use of eco-friendly cultivation and production techniques.


EU to establish climate change science advisory board

Following the provisional agreement on Climate law, a new scientific panel on climate change is planned to be created, in order to provide the European Commission with independent scientific advice on the process of becoming the first climate-neutral continent. The European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change will provide independent scientific advice on how the EU should go about achieving its climate goals. The board is intended to work within the administrative structure of the European Environmental Agency (EEA), while acting independently. The advisory board will consist of 15 scientific experts, no more than two from the same member state, and they will be picked by the EEA for a four year term.


Universities across Europe urge EU to remove threat of research ban on Israel, UK and Switzerland

According to SB, “German, French and UK university bodies have joined a chorus of groups urging the European Commission to lift its threat to bar Israel, Switzerland and UK from EU quantum and space projects.”. This was voiced in a statement issued by 5 EU university associations.

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