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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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31/05/2022: BioData.PT Session 3, EU AI Law, European Sustainable Energy Week, LIFE Awards 2022 Winners, EU Green Deal, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– BioData.PT Talks Session 3: Recent Artificial Intelligence Tools and Architectures for Structural Biology;
– EUA Policy Input: Considerations for a “European Degree”;
– Putting Science into Standards;
– The EU AI law will not be future-proof unless it regulates general purpose AI systems;
– European Sustainable Energy Week: Going green and digital for Europe’s energy transition;
– European Commission reveals winners of LIFE Awards 2022;
– Interact with statistics for the European Green Deal;
– EU countries urged to prepare for Russian gas cut: Summit draft.

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30/05/2022: INESC TEC Workshop, EU Cancer Plan, Eurostat, Defunct Satellites, Hydrogen, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– INESC TEC coordinated a workshop on Machine Learning;
– Access to financial products for persons with a history of cancer in EU Member States;
– Eurostat regional yearbook: From traditional printed publication to modern interactive tool;
– ‘World-first’ project for capturing defunct satellites ramps up;
– Hydrogen: BAM sets up digitally networked research filling station to increase safety of technology;
– EFCA coordinates EU efforts to monitor the bluefin tuna fishing season;
– Zero Pollution Monitoring and Outlook Workshop – Report;
– Commission outlines defence R&D priorities in new €924M work programme.

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26/05/2022: INESC-ID research grants, new MSCA platform, Horizon Europe UK backup, REPowerEU, Fit for 55, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– INESC-ID: Nuno Lopes receives research grants from Google and Woven Alpha;
– EU ramping up efforts for strategic autonomy in raw materials;
– Laurence Moreau appointed head of the ERC executive agency;
– Event: The UK’s Position in Global Science and Innovation;
– New MSCA networking platform for future applicants;
– Application system opens for UK Horizon backup grants;
– Fraunhofer elects three new executive vice-presidents;
– FaST Navigator study identifies models necessary to provide accurate advice on the use of fertilisers to EU farmers;
– Germany’s pacifist universities pose obstacle to militarisation of EU R&D;
– Webinar: The European Standardisation Booster;
– MSCA Cluster event on Mission Ocean and Waters;
– REPowerEU: Commission establishes the EU Energy Platform Task Force to secure alternative supplies;
– Horizon Europe mission on carbon-neutral cities kicks into gear;
– Fit for 55: New EU carbon sink goal will increase 2030 reduction target;
– A new Blue Economy Observatory to monitor and promote the sustainability of our ocean related activities;
– Zero Pollution Monitoring and Outlook Workshop – Report.

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