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In today's Morning Brief:

ESFRI prepares roadmap for research infrastructures in the new ERA

Setting up shared European research infrastructures is the key achievement of previous attempts to establish a single European Research Area (ERA), but these large labs are now caught in the cross hairs of European Commission plans to revitalise the single market for research, cuts to the budget, changes in oversight and increased controls over international collaborations. The question of how research infrastructures fit into ERA remains to be decided by the Commission, which in the thick of setting out the policy agenda, expected to be published this autumn.

“How ESFRI sits in ERA depends on the actions that will be defined,” said Jana Kolar, executive director of Central European Research Infrastructure Consortium and chair-elect of ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures). ESFRI will launch a new roadmap for research infrastructures in December, including proposals for eleven new labs worth a total of €4.16 billion. The 2018 edition of the roadmap was far more modest, with €674 million in total planned investments. Read more on Science Business.

 

Council of Europe wants to harmonise artificial intelligence ethics principles

Initiatives to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) have sprung up around the world, spearheaded by the likes of the OECD and UNESCO. It‘s time to harmonise and consolidate, a conference on AI ethics held under the auspices of Slovenia’s presidency of the EU Council heard this week. Between 2015 and 2020, 117 bodies of varying standing published AI ethics principles, and the number keeps growing. In total, 91 came out of Europe and North America. This high number shows there are hopes and concerns related to AI technologies, but also an interest in building some type of mechanism of consensus on AI governance,” said Marielza Oliveira, director for partnerships at the United Nations’ agency for education, science and culture (UNESCO).

“We are clearly at a developmental point where you’ve got a lot of actors right now contributing to this movement from principles to practice, and we simply need to work together in a multistakeholder way to harmonise these approaches,” said David Leslie, of the Council of Europe’s Ad hoc Committee on Artificial Intelligence (CAHAI). Read more on Science Business.

 

€120M for 11 projects looking into COVID-19 variants

The first large scale collaborative research projects to study SARS-CoV-2 variants under Horizon Europe is set to receive €120 million. The biggest is a €21 million project bringing together 156 organisations in 32 countries, to be led by the European Research Infrastructure on Highly pathogenic Agents based in Belgium.

Three of the projects, worth €30 million, will carry out clinical trials for new treatments and vaccines. Another six will build large-scale cohorts for COVID-19 variants, with a budget of €57 million. Another €12 million project will enable data sharing to support pandemic preparedness.

 

US lawmakers push carbon border tariff similar to EU’s CBAM

Despite criticisms, the EU climate package demonstrates to have been a game changer of climate laws worldwide – and has its fans abroad already. Democrats in the US Senate are considering a “polluter import fee”, similar to the EU’s recently unveiled carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM), to help fund President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion recovery package. A Democratic aide said the deal reached by leading Senate Democrats last week would include a proposal for a “polluter import fee” applicable to carbon-intensive goods entering the US.

The EU proposal has already stoked fears among emerging countries like China, which raised “grave concerns” about the carbon levy creating new barriers to trade. But the European Commission, which tabled the proposal last week, says the EU’s carbon border levy also aims to incite Europe’s trading partners to decarbonise. “CBAM as we call it is not a tax, it’s an environmental measure,” said Paolo Gentiloni, a former Italian Prime Minister who is now the EU’s economy commissioner. Read more on Euractiv.

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25/8/2021: EC Tenders of Interest to INESC, Work as an Expert, LIFE Training, MSCA opportunities, Research Infrastructures, Energy and Sustainability, Science Advice

In today’s Morning Brief:
– Work as an expert – Research Executive Agency
– Full list of the LIFE programme training videos
– MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships, Doctoral networks and Staff Exchanges
– Research Infrastructures – ESFRI Days 2021
– People at the centre of sustainable energy solutions
– Bridging the gap between climate science and policy – a report by Science Business and Elsevier

EU TENDERS
– Clean Sky Joint Undertaking
– European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
– European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA)
– European Commission, DG Agriculture and Rural Developement (AGRI)
– European Commission, DG Competition (COMP)
– European Commission, DG Defence Industry and Space (DEFIS)
– European Commission, DG Education,Youth, Sport and Culture (EAC)
– European Commission, DG Energy (ENER)
– European Commission, DG Health and Food Safety (SANTE)
– European Commission, DG Mobility and Transport (MOVE)
– European Commission, DG for Climate Action (CLIMA)
– European Commission, DG for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CONNECT)
– European Commission, DG for Environment (ENV)

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20/8/2021: Resources for better dissemination and exploitation plans in HEurope, call for experts in the Defence Sector, biodiversity, clean energy, open science, encryption, IPCC, science advice for governments and more summer reading suggestions

In today’s Morning Brief:
– Horizon Europe – Resources on dissemination and exploitation
– Defence sector – call for experts
– Seeking biodiversity winners and losers
– Emissions down as Europe’s electricity comes back cleaner
– An Open Science (OS) Index to complement the H Index
– Digitalisation in Europe 2020-2021
– I confess I’ve got things to hide – an opinion article on the importance of encryption
– The IPCC report
– New Horizon, new ERA, new international rules for R&D: A vacation reader
– International conference on science advice for governments 2021

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17/8/2021: Open EU Tenders of interest to INESC, Food systems, Biometrics for borders & Border surveillance, EU-Japan collaboration in agriculture, Vacation reading suggestions

In today’s Morning Brief:
– Everyone at the table: Co-creating knowledge for food systems transformation
– High-tech surveillance equipment to detect migrant boats
– International Conference on Biometrics for Borders (ICBB 2021)
– EU and Japan announce increased cooperation on sustainability and innovation in agriculture
– Vacation reading: the suggestions of permanent representatives to the EU
EU TENDERS
– Clean Sky Joint Undertaking
– European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
– European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA)
– European Commission, DG Agriculture and Rural Developement (AGRI)
– European Commission, DG Competition (COMP)
– European Commission, DG Defence Industry and Space (DEFIS)
– European Commission, DG Education,Youth, Sport and Culture (EAC)
– European Commission, DG Energy (ENER)
– European Commission, DG Health and Food Safety (SANTE)
– European Commission, DG Mobility and Transport (MOVE)
– European Commission, DG for Climate Action (CLIMA)
– European Commission, DG for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CONNECT)
– European Commission, DG for Environment (ENV)

Read More »