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In today's Morning Brief:

State Aid exemptions: more money for research

The European Commission has finally adopted long-awaited state aid exemption rules for research, allowing member states to make targeted investments in R&D without prior scrutiny and approval from Brussels.

According to the new rules under General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER), member states can now combine funding sources that are centrally managed in Brussels, such as Horizon Europe, with national and cohesion funds. Member states will be able to spend EU structural funds to co-finance Horizon Europe partnerships and research projects that receive the European Commission’s seal of excellence.

Member states are exempted from the obligation to carry out an evaluation of the research projects already assessed under Horizon Europe and its predecessor, Horizon 2020. The exemption applies to:

  • Financial aid for small and medium sized enterprises running R&D projects;
  • Aid for Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions and European Research Council Proof of Concept projects awarded a seal of excellence.
  • Aid provided to a co-funded research and development project or a feasibility study implemented by at least three member states, or two member States and at least one associated country, if the project was evaluated by independent experts in transnational calls, according to Horizon rules
  • Aid provided to co-funded teaming actions involving at least two member states, if evaluated under Horizon rules.

More details are available here.



Commission launches call for expression of interest for working group on offshore renewable energies

The European Commission is launching today a call for expression of interest open to all relevant stakeholder organisations to become a member of a new working group on offshore renewable energy under the framework of the clean energy industrial forum. Following on from last year’s Commission Strategy for Offshore Renewable Energy, the mandate of the group will be to help contribute to reaching the EU’s offshore renewable energy ambitions of an installed capacity of at least 60 GW offshore wind and at least 1 GW of ocean energy by 2030, with a view to achieving capacity of at least 300 GW and 40 GW respectively by 2050. The deadline for applications is 10 September 2021.


Report “Co-creating knowledge for food systems transformation”

The High-Level Expert Group (HLEG), assembled by the European Commission in 2021, is tasked to explore the needs, feasibility and options for enhancing science-policy interfaces (SPIs) that could kick start and substantially support the ambitious goal of food systems transformation in the coming decades. The experts have analysed a number of existing science policy interfaces and conclude that, while a number of them work very well, an additional framework linking local, national, regional and international levels as well as different facets of the food sector, will be required. 

The Expert Group will draw on the outcome of the Pre-Summit meeting in July and the UN Food Systems Summit to elaborate a more detailed proposal on this additional framework during the second phase of their work, due for completion in the first half of 2022.

The publication of the HLEG, titled “Everyone at the table. Co-creating knowledge for food systems transformation”, is available here.


Approved 25 new steel and coal projects supporting the European Green Deal

The programme increases its investment in tackling climate and environmental challenges in line with the European Green Deal and the Just Transition mechanism.

The maximum EU contribution for these new projects is around €32 million. Among other things, the projects will work on solutions for:

  • Retrofitting coal power plants for alternative fuels
  • Developing new economic strategies for coal-mining regions in transition
  • Reducing emission from steel production
  • Looking at ultra-low carbon steel for buildings
  • Optimising steel production processes

The names and details of all the funded projects can be found here.


EARTO recommendations on European Partnerships

The European Association of Research and Technology Organisations (EARTO), of which INESC is a member, has published its recommendations regarding industrial EU research partnerships. According to EARTO, policymakers should consider the role of non-profits, such as research and technology organisations and universities, in industrial EU research partnerships when designing them. As the EU member states, with the help of the European Parliament, are currently hashing out the details of the rules governing 10 new industrial partnerships in fields like hydrogen, rail and health innovation, EARTO is urging them not to forget the specificities of the non-industry members of the partnerships in the process. The association wants non-profit partners to have laxer and clearly defined rules for in-kind contributions and encourages the partnerships to keep a fair balance between different technology readiness levels among other asks.


Spain announces €141M for science missions in 2022

Spain is to increase the budget for its science and innovation missions programme by 41% in 2022, science and innovation minister Diana Morant has announced on Monday. The government will allocate a total of €141 million for the 2022 call, €19.5 of which will go to projects carried out by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Money from the missions programme will go to projects in combating climate change, speeding up the transition to less harmful energy sources, the circular economy and the digitization of industry.  


More Articles

15/09/2023 – EARTO priorities for the next framework programme, UK-EU collaboration, key points for R&I from the State of the Union & much more

In today’s Morning Brief:
Horizon Europe
Last chance to become a Regional Innovation Valley – matchmaking map available
EARTO inputs to the European Research Area and Innovation Committee
Challenges ahead as other nations seek access to EU’s Horizon R&D programme
Uncertainty over working with the UK remains despite Horizon Europe deal
European Parliament clears path for Iliana Ivanova’s Commissioner appointment
EIB provides €15 million loan to crowd farming for sustainable agriculture innovation
Two new European Partnership calls open: Aquatic Ecosystem Services and Nature-Based Solutions Research
Research & Innovation
Ursula von der Leyen proposes global AI panel and fast-tracks access to supercomputers
EU Aims for stronger Research and Innovation partnerships with Africa
European Commission has opened a call for Experts on Economic and Societal Impact of R&I sought
Portugal sets up €8M defence research programme
EU Prioritizes Science Communication to Address Societal Challenges
News from INESC
Discover the influence of AI Chat GPT in healthcare: a deep dive into ethical concerns and the future.
INESC TEC has announced an international conference dedicated to management of technology
INESC MN has opened a Call for Expression of Interest for a Researcher Position in the are of Lab on a Chip and Microfluidic Systems
Job Opportunities
Events & Training workshops

Read More »

08/09/2023 – UK joins Horizon Europe and Copernicus, Ivanova´s first hearing on Horizon Europe, supercomputer Deucalion inaugurated in Portugal, new podcasts & much more

In today’s Morning Brief:
Horizon Europe
UK and European Commission reach consensus for British participation in Horizon Europe and Copernicus
Commissioner-Designate Iliana Ivanova’s hearing highlights
Seventh EU-Backed Supercomputer, Deucalion, inaugurated in Portugal
ERC announced 400 Starting Grants for EU Researchers
EIT InnoEnergy secures €140 million in private investment to boost impact
Research & Innovation
Regional Innovation Valley – Matchmaking map now available
Opinion article in Science Business by Ramon Wyss: Will AI help big tech dominate science?
MEPs Advocate for Small-Scale Nuclear Power Stations in the Fight Against Carbon Emissions
Artificial Intelligence raises concerns of pandemic risk, scientists urge caution
Temporary leadership change in European Commission’s Research and Innovation Portfolio
News from INESC
José Carlos Caldeira on Magellan Circle Podcast
First episode of the “Ciência e Sociedade” Podcast is out
INESC MN has opened a Call for Expression of Interest for a Researcher Position in the are of Lab on a Chip and Microfluidic Systems
Job Opportunities
Events & Training workshops

Read More »

01/09/2023 – European Commission´s new AI unit, upcoming challenges for European R&I policy, the new Green Deal leader statements, the role of universities of applied sciences & much more

In today’s Morning Brief:
Horizon Europe
Commission’s research directorate to develop a new artificial intelligence in science policy
Back to school: what’s on the European research and innovation policy agenda this autumn
Ivanova gets ready to lock horns with MEPs
EU won’t ‘dilute’ ambition, says new climate chief
Universities of applied sciences are shaping up to boost EU research outputs
Romania to launch new funding programme aimed at luring back researchers from abroad
EIT Manufacturing announces partnership with regional business promotion agency in Austria
Research & Innovation
EU Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act explained
Research Data Alliance fosters cross-disciplinary, global data sharing
Latvia to overhaul PhDs and academic careers
To tackle wildfires, researchers in Europe team up with frontline forces
Clothing manufacturers aim to get fashionable with greener practices
The top 18 centres of trustworthy artificial intelligence research
Six online courses to boost your skills and knowledge
News from INESC
Improving the performance of databases: INESC TEC research presented at international conference
Job Opportunities
Events & Training workshops

Read More »