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.

The Morning Brief came a little later today, this was because we had a very productive and interesting meeting dedicated to AI & Robotics, this morning.

In today’s Morning Brief we bring you information on the HUB’s participation in the EARTO workshop on technology infrastructures and invite you to contribute, then we delve deeper into the discussions surrounding Strategic Autonomy of the EU as a global player and the role of research and innovation in this EU goal and finish with the usual news bytes


Any comments or suggestions, hit me up with an email on ricardo.migueis@inesctec.pt

JRC-EARTO Workshop on Technology Infrastructures

As you know, Technology Infrastructures (TIs) are important enablers of technology co-creation, scale-up and diffusion across Europe, and thereby an essential element of the European Research Area for R&I. In the context of the current discussions to set a concrete Policy Agenda for the new ERA, the JRC and EARTO launched a joint project to gather input for a new JRC Policy Brief on Technology Infrastructures.

A workshop will take place on 30 September from 11.00 to 13.00 CEST via MS Teams. The workshop will be set up in an open discussion format to collect input from all participants so that it can be used by the JRC for the writing of the Policy Brief. Preparation of input by workshop participants for the different sessions would be therefore highly appreciated. The draft agenda is available in the HUB Private Area (Folder Events » 2021). The workshop is by invitation only. If you have concrete input for the sessions, please send an email to ricardo.migueis@inesc.pt.


2021 Strategic Foresight Report

The 2021 Strategic Foresight Report aims to set the stage for well-designed and future-proof policies and engagements, to put the EU in the best position to achieve its long-term policy objectives and play a strategic role in a multipolar and contested global order. It underlines the importance of joined up internal and external policies and calls for a comprehensive approach.

The EU will continue to leverage its close international partnerships to promote peace, stability and prosperity, present a united front against hostile actors and common challenges, and uphold the promise of progress. It will strengthen mutually beneficial relations with its neighbours and more distant partners. It will take the lead in effective multilateral cooperation, while protecting EU citizens and the economy from unfair and abusive practices.

The 10 areas have been identified thanks to the foresight process as strategic ones in order to ensure the EU’s freedom and capacity to act in the decades to come:

  • Ensuring sustainable and resilient health and food systems
  • Securing decarbonised and affordable energy
  • Strengthening capacity in data management, artificial intelligence and cutting-edge technologies
  • Securing and diversifying supply of critical raw materials
  • Ensuring first-mover global position in standard-setting
  • Building a resilience and future-proof economics and financial systems
  • Developing and retaining skills and talent matching EU ambitions
  • Strengthening security and defence capacities and access to space
  • Working with global partners to promote peace, security and prosperity for all
  • Strengthening the resilience of institutions

You can download it directly from the EC website here and it will remain available in the HUB Private Area (Folder EU Policy » Foresight and Strategic Autonomy).


Report on the future of the EU’s Open Strategic Autonomy by 2040 and beyond

The JRC report underpinning this year’s Strategic Foresight Report presents a forward-looking analysis on the EU’s capacities and freedom to act in an increasingly multipolar and contested global order.

During the past nine months, the JRC engaged over a hundred of stakeholders and experts within a foresight process looking at the future of EU’s Open Strategic Autonomy by 2040 and beyond.

The foresight process examined existing strengths and areas for improvement and identified emerging challenges and future opportunities. It focused on five different areas: geopolitics, technology, economy, environment and society.

Download the report here and it will remain available in the HUB Private Area (Folder EU Policy » Foresight and Strategic Autonomy).


76th United Nations General Assembly: Science Summit: Digital Health Plenary

The broad adoption of Digital Health as a paradigm, platform, and policy will be fundamentally essential to achieving SDG 3; Ensure Healthy Lives and promote well-being for all ages.

Introduction – Why? All around the world, healthcare systems are facing increasing pressures and demands. Well developed countries face epidemics such as Diabetes or Obesity while developing countries struggle to leverage diagnostics and access to medicines. All health systems have struggled to cope with the Covid 19 pandemic, but there has been a benefit in that many health systems turned to digital solutions to manage. Despite the progress, many countries have runaway health budgets with rates of growth that are unsustainable. Arguably Digital is the best medicine for our sick healthcare systems.

Similarly, leading physicians such as Erik Topol and Robert Wachter have written about the creative destruction of medicine and digital doctors. How do we make the digital transition of healthcare as quickly and sustainably as possible? Michael Porter and Elizabeth Teisberg have long advocated for redefining healthcare using value-based competition. In this context, a new paradigm is emerging, Open Innovation 2.0, which helps enable the structural transformation of an Industry through digital technologies and trust-based co-opetition.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Gary Boyles Parkinson’s patient/advocate, Ireland
  • Martin Curley Digital Transformation and Open Innovation, Health Service Executive; Maynooth University, Ireland
  • Declan Kirrane Chairman, Science Summit at United Nationa General Assembly 76th Session (SSUNGA76), Spain
  • Ananth Krishnan Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, Tata Consultancy Services, India
  • Jeffrey Braithwaite Founding Director, Australian Institute of Health Innovation
  • Dave de Angelis Global Healthcare GM Dell Technologies Corporation
  • Henrik Matties Health Innovation Hub (hih) Germany
  • Francesca Colombo Health Division, OECD, France
  • Darin Wilson Medtronic, Switzerland
  • Teresa Graham Head of Global Product Strategy, Roche Pharmaceuticals, Switzerland
  • George Crooks Chief Executive Officer, Digital Health & Care Innovation Centre, UK
  • Ogan Gurel CEO, NovumWaves, Korea
  • Elizabeth Teisberg Value-Based Healthcare, USA
  • Bob Wachter Professor and Chair, Dept. of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, USA
  • Kurt Zatloukal Medical University Graz, Austria
  • Anne Quaadgras Director MIT Sloan Health Systems Initiative, USA
  • Rigveda Kadam Head of Digital Access, FIND, The Global Alliance for Diagnostics (FIND), Switzerland
  • Marleen Temmerman Director, Aga Khan University, Kenya
  • Mei Lin Fung People-Centred Internet, Singapore
  • Regina Nthenya AOSK Health network coordinator, Nigeria

Registration and further information is available here.


The Association policy to Horizon Europe: latest news

SOST (Spanish Office for Science and Technology) with the collaboration of LINO (Lithuanian RDI Liaison Office), is organising a fully online IGLO OPEN meeting on Tuesday, 5th October 2021 from 11.30 to 13.00 CET on the topic: “The Association policy to Horizon Europe. Latest news” with Ms Ruta ZARNAUSKAITE, Head of Unit at DG-RTD G2.04.

This online event will be dedicated to the overview of the latest news regarding Association to Horizon Europe as the closest form of cooperation with countries outside the EU. It regards not only to EU neighboring countries, but also to any country with a strong research and innovation capacity that share common values with the Member States. The session will update the current situation of negotiations with third countries and will give a vision on the next steps in the association agreements.

Registration is mandatory no later than October 3rd through the following link.


Integration of the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) in Horizon Europe

ANI, in collaboration with AICIB, is organising an online event about the integration of the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) in Horizon Europe on the 27th of September (14:00h, Lisbon Time). The event will have as speakers an European Commission’s Policy Officer to address this priority cross-cutting issue; several National Contact Points (NCPs) from Pillar II to present how can the SSH disciplines contribute in each Cluster and finally, round-table guests to share their perspectives and inputs on this topic. This event targets: all type of organizations – Research Centres, Universities, Municipalities, Policy-makers, Non-Governmental organizations, among others and experts of all disciplines and areas of study, aiming at raising awareness to the importance of SSH integration in Horizon Europe. Check the event’s agenda here. Mandatory registration here.

In today's Morning Brief:

In today’s Morning Brief:

European Partnerships – Update on the Legislative Process

The Council negotiations on the Proposal for a Council Regulation for establishing the Joint Undertakings under Horizon Europe (Single Basic Act – SBA) kick-started again in the Council Research Working Party on 6 September. RTO participation in PPPs and coverage of lower TRLs in the EC Work Programme has been a particular focus point of stakeholders such as EARTO. The EC and EU Council Slovenian Presidency’s target is to present a final revised SBA for voting by the Council in November (any Council formation could pass the vote). In parallel, here is the draft Horizon Europe MGA proposed for the Joint Undertakings, under analysis and for adoption before the final agreement on the SBA.


HUB workshop on PPP AI & Robotics

On the 27th September, the HUB will be organising a closed workshop, with researchers from the 5 INESCs to level the information playing field on EU and national policy context on AI & Robotics and prepare an international conference to be held during the Annual December HUB meeting (15 and 16 December), hosted by INESC Coimbra this year.


ERA Pact for R&I – next steps

Following the publication of the EC proposal for a Pact for R&I in July, the EC is working on a draft ERA Policy Agenda which is being discussed with Member States, with some actions defined on Technology infrastructures and on industrial technology roadmaps. The COMPET Council is expected to adopt in November the ERA package composed of the new ERA Pact for R&I, ERA Council Conclusions including the ERA Policy Agenda as annex.


Various Running ERA Studies of Interest

The EC has commissioned a set of studies to various consultancy companies. The first study aims at evaluating the ERA policy framework/ERA monitoring mechanism. For this study, several documents are being developed, namely: a draft ERA indicators scoreboard and a concept note on ERA Hubs (a draft plan for the ERA hubs should be ready by end September for further Council approval within the ERA package in November). The second study aims at defining the future EU Competence Framework for Researchers: a draft concept note from the consultant is available here. As reported earlier, in parallel of those studies, the EC is initiating its own work on research assessment: see the EC revised concept note on this topic. The EC will organize a second stakeholders assembly meeting towards the end of year on this topic.


MEPs against inclusion of ‘do no significant harm’ principle in Horizon Europe

The European Commission wants to mandate that Horizon Europe applicants must prove their research will not harm biodiversity and the climate, but MEPs say this will create uncertainty and an extra administrative burden for researchers. Read the full Science Business article here.


France and Austria significantly increase research and innovation budgets for 2022-23

France’s research, innovation and education ministry will have an extra €706 million to spend next year compared with 2021 as part of the country’s recovery plan which foresees a €7.8 billion investment in youth, training and research. In Austria, the basic research agency Austrian Science Fund is set to receive €806 million to fund pioneering science projects until 2023, a 27% increase compared to the last three years.


UK sets out ‘pro-innovation’ AI rules, in further move away from Brussels

The UK looks set to shift away from the EU on the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI), promising in a new strategy to build the most “pro-innovation system” in the world. In contrast to the EU’s proposed AI act, London’s strategy does not propose prohibiting controversial uses of AI, such as subliminal manipulation, and instead stresses the economic benefits of rolling out the technology across the private sector. Read the full Science Business article here.


Europeans strongly support science and technology according to new Eurobarometer survey

A new Eurobarometer survey on ‘European citizens’ knowledge and attitudes towards science and technology’ released today shows that 9 in 10 EU citizens (86%) think that the overall influence of science and technology is positive. They expect a range of technologies currently under development to have a positive effect on our way of life in the next 20 years: notably, solar energy (92%), vaccines and combatting infectious diseases (86%) and artificial intelligence (61%).


Agriculture: Launch of an annual EU organic day

The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission signed a joint declaration establishing from now on each 23 September as EU organic day. This follows up on the Action Plan for the development of organic production, adopted by the Commission on 25 March 2021, which announced the creation of such a day to raise awareness of organic production.


More on the State of the Union address

Among the key points for research and innovation in the State of the Union address by the President of the EC is international cooperation, namely with the US. While political stress is being felt because of the recent row between France and US on the acquisition of submarines (Macron and Biden are meeting in a few weeks personally and this will be a key issue in the agenda), life goes on and the EC is moving towards a new Trade and Technology Council and agreements on health security and sustainability with the US.


Pathways to the future – A follow-up to “Universities without walls – A vision for 2030”

This publication focuses on geopolitical changes, digitalisation and artificial intelligence, as well as the course of democracy, and how they may impact Europe’s universities. It outlines possible scenarios for future developments, as well as pathways for universities to pursue common goals. It is meant to serve as inspiration for university leaders and communities in developing strategies and priorities for action, taking account of their specific circumstances.

This is a follow-up to EUA’s “Universities without walls – A vision for 2030” – a vision by and for the sector developed with visionaries and experts from EUA member and partner organisations.


Fraunhofer organises Green Deal Series: “Offshore Wind as a cornerstone of the European Green Deal” on 12 October 2021

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft organises its 4th webinar of the Fraunhofer Green Deal Series on 12 October from 12.00 to 13.00 (CEST). Renewable offshore energy is of utmost importance for Europe to become the first climate-neutral continent until 2050. In this regard, the European Commission published in late 2020 the EU strategy on offshore renewable energy to harness the full potential of the ocean without emitting greenhouse gases, with the main goal to reach 60 GW by 2030 and 300 GW by 2050 in European offshore capacity. To make this possible, the EU needs to increase the effort in R&D for offshore wind to mitigate risks and to allow large-scale energy production offshore.

This webinar is hosted by the Fraunhofer EU Office Brussels under the patronage of Pernille Weiss, Member of the European Parliament. Three Fraunhofer experts will highlight the needs and potentials in the field of wind energy technology and energy system technology to reach the EU’s ambitious goal. After the presentations, interesting topics such as the global competition, EU technology leadership, the challenges and opportunities of the sector will be further discussed with the participants. More information here and direct link to registration here.


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