Welcome to today’s Morning Brief. The Morning Brief newsletter is only available to INESC staff and affiliated researchers upon subscription (weekly or daily), after creating an account in the Private Area of the HUB website. To do so, click the log-in icon on the top-right corner of this website.

In today's Morning Brief:

New INESC article published on Science Business: EU Cancer Mission depends on data

A new article by INESC – the fourth of the six agreed with Science|Business – has been published this morning. Titled EU Cancer Mission depends on data, the article reflects on the role of technology and data sharing and analysis to tackle the Cancer Mission, one of the priorities of EU research. The article includes a panoramic view of INESCs health technologies projects under three major dimensions – prevention, diagnostics and treatment of cancer. We cannot but thank Joana Matos Dias (INESC Coimbra) and the entire HUB Work Group Health Technologies for their excellent work on it!

The article can also be accessed on the HUB website. Please do not hesitate to circulate it in your professional and social networks. If you do use Twitter or Linkedin, remember to tag the HUB (Twitter: @HUBINESC).


INESC Brussels HUB spring meeting coming up (1-2 June 2021)

This might not sound like news, but we would like to remind you that the agenda of the INESC Brussels HUB Spring Meeting is available on the HUB website. The events that compose it will take place virtually on June 1st and 2nd, and will include a public workshop organised by the Work Group Agro-Food and Forestry, titled “Enhancing science-based knowledge on EU forests – its influence in decision making” (1 June, 10-12 CEST), and a public high-level roundtable on deep tech, featuring profiles from INESC and high-level European stakeholders in the area (1 June, 15-17 CEST). The events will take place on Zoom and registration is now open on the event pages.

The Spring Meeting will also include two events the participation in which is restricted to the Management Committee and selected observers: a thought leadership workshop on EU research career development (2 June, 10-12 CEST) and the Management Committee meeting (2 June, 14-17 CEST). The interested parties will receive instructions on how to register by email.


European Research and Innovation Days 2021 – Registrations open

The bespoke conference on R&I organised annualy by the European Commission is taking place on the 23rd and 24th June. Registration is now open and we recall that the agenda is available here.


Strategic autonomy emphasized by EU and UK alike

Both the EU stands firm on its plan to exclude researchers from the UK, Israel and other non-EU countries from “sensitive” parts of the bloc’s upcoming €95.5 billion research programme and the UK is following a similar path with the announced formation of a new unit that will offer confidential security advice to researchers before entering international collaborations, in a drive to protect research assets from “hostile actors” in China and other countries. Our take at the HUB is: the more you close yourself, the more retaliation it will happen. It is not intelligent to do that at this stage, when China and others are basically independent and ahead in many areas. But to the interest of our researchers, please beware of the consortia partners you bring in when sensitive technology is at stake.


Alternative funding needed: Commission awards Seal of Excellence certificates to 2,885 researchers

The Commission awarded 2,885 Seal of Excellence certificates to individual researchers under the MSCA call. The Seal of Excellence (SoE) quality label is awarded to applicants of Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Individual Fellowships (IF) who scored highly in the call but in the end did not reach the funding because of budget limitations. The 2020 Individual Fellowships call received record 11,300-plus proposals. However, only 1,630 applicants were funded. Proposals obtaining at least 85% of the score get awarded the SoE quality label which underlines the value of these projects. The applicants proposing these projects may then use the SoE label to help find alternative funding. Thanks to SoE certificate, other funding bodies at national, regional and university-level are in a position to exploit the Horizon 2020 evaluation process if they wish.


Two new members to the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors to the EC

Commissioner Gabriel appointed two new members to the European Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors (GCSA) for the next three years. Professor Eva Zažímalová and Professor Eric F. Lambin were nominated by European Research Organisations and selected by an independent Identification Committee, and will replace Professor Carina Keskitalo and Sir Paul Nurse, whose mandates expired on 15 May 2021.


EIT Raw Materials Summit

EIT RawMaterials is part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) RawMaterials, an EU body forming the world’s largest consortium in the raw materials sector. On 17 June, the European Commission will join EIT RawMaterials for the RawMaterials Summit. This year’s edition, RawMaterials Summit: In Focus, will gather Europe’s foremost industry leaders, entrepreneurs, policymakers and academics from across the raw materials value chain to showcase raw materials innovation enabling the EU Green Deal goal of a carbon-neutral future. More information on the event can be found here.


WaveFarm creates “plug’n’play” industrial package

Wave energy is a highly valuable and predictable source of renewable power. Up to 10% of the EU’s energy can be harvested from waves by 2050, so the technology will be indispensable in reaching net-zero emissions. Today, however, the installed capacity in Europe and the world is still very small and mostly restricted to demonstration units. To realise its full potential, the technology needs to be scaled up quickly.

That thought was on the minds of Christopher Ridgewell and Jussi Åkerberg, respectively CEO and CTO of AW-Energy, when in 2019 they submitted their WaveFarm project to the “Blue Economy Window”, an EU-funded financing facility.

The Finnish company had already developed, certified and demonstrated the WaveRoller, a submerged oscillating wave surge converter attached to the sea bottom near the shore. It generates electricity from the movement of the waves and is connected to the electric grid on land. A full-scale commercially-applicable WaveRoller unit was deployed in Portugal in October 2019. By integrating up to 24 WaveRoller units, the new project will deliver the world’s first large-scale, multiple-megawatt WaveFarm. Read more on this project here.


EU Green Week

Next week it will take place the EU Green Week, a series of events dedicated to the sustainability and green ambitions of the EU. This year, the Green Week will be dedicated to the ‘zero pollution ambition’. It will also look at other relevant European Green Deal initiatives, such as the climate initiatives, the upcoming Chemicals Strategy, as well as initiatives in the fields of energy, industry, mobility, agriculture, fisheries, health and biodiversity. The event promises to be an opportunity to engage with all stakeholders and interested citizens on how we can work together to make the ambition for a zero pollution and toxic-free environment a reality.

Check the event webpage for the full agenda.

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