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In today’s Morning Brief (or early afternoon brief) we bring you news related to COP26 and the green transition, something that is more important than ever in this post-COVID-19 atmosphere, and news about a call for Green Technology Demonstrators.

Any comments or suggestions, hit me up with an email on teresa.carvalho@inesc.pt.

In today's Morning Brief:

In today’s Morning Brief:

Sixth Report on the State of the Energy Union

The 2021 report, published yesterday, is the first state of the energy union since the adoption of the European Climate Law and the second since the adoption of the European Green Deal.

It takes stock of change and of progress in the implementation of the EU’s energy and climate policies, including the energy union across its 5 pillars, on the road to climate neutrality by 2050. It also assesses the Commission’s intense work with the other European institutions, EU countries and its international partners on the EU response to the double challenge of a fast, sustained recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis and of climate change.

Read it here!


Science Europe Panel: Empowering Policy Makers with Informed Scientific Knowledge to Address the Climate Crisis

The COVID-19 crisis has taught us many lessons, including on the importance of drawing on local, regional, national, and international expertise, and on the need for the research community and policy makers to collaborate at a global level.

UK R&I and Science Europe are convening an international panel of senior government officials and eminent scientists to explore how these lessons learned can be applied to help us address the climate crisis, in particular in the context of the UK Presidency COP26 campaign areas.

Register here to attend this event on the 10th of November!


As COP26 Approaches, European Universities lag on Fossil Fuel Divestment

With politicians preparing to gather in Glasgow for the COP26 climate conference to wean the world off fossil fuels, the vast majority of continental European universities have still not committed to kicking the habit.

Unlike counterparts in the US and UK, only a handful of universities in the EU have pledged to divest from fossil fuels – no longer investing in shares of these companies, or taking their sponsorship money.

“We should encourage universities to be more active on this front,” said Peter-Andre Alt, president of the German Rectors’ Conference. There is a “certain reluctance” to divest, but he will consider raising the issue during the next country-wide meeting of German universities.

In Europe meanwhile, outside the UK, only in Italy, Sweden, Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Norway have any universities signed up, with 21 institutions between them.

In other words, in most EU countries, no universities have divested at all – a worse record than even the tiny Marshall Islands.

Transparency is also lagging in Europe as public lists for endowments are much trickier to come by.

If you want to read more about this click here!


Maria Leptin takes up post as head of ERC

The new president of the European Research Council (ERC) wants to see the budget doubled to increase its ability to fund excellent science and says the agency must remain independent, setting its own direction without pressure from policymakers who want to see an increased focus on climate and digital technologies.

Currently, the ERC has only enough money to fund around 12% of ERC applicants. Leptin argues at least another 10% of applications are as good as the winners. Turning down half of excellent proposals each time is painful, she said.

Read more about the difficulties Leptin will face and promises she made here.


European Academies Call for more Equitable Access Publishing

The European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities (ALLEA) said open access scientific publishing is at risk of becoming a hollow promise if inequitable structures within academic research get reinforced.

The “gold” open access route requires authors to pay substantial “article processing charges” to get their work published in immediate open access. While for obvious reasons this route is promoted by commercial publishers, it effectively replaces a barrier to access with a barrier to participation, ALLEA said.

Read the statement here.


New €1.5 Billion Call for Green Technology Demonstrators 

The European Commission today launched a €1.5 billion call for low-carbon technology demonstrator projects, the second such call financed by auctioning the EU’s emission allowances. 

This call will finance innovations for renewable energy, energy-intensive industries, energy storage, and carbon capture, use and storage in all EU member states, Iceland and Norway. Applications can be submitted until 3 March.

“These investments will support the decarbonization of the European economy, paving the way for climate neutrality in 2050 and strengthening European technological primacy on a global scale,” said Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans.

Read all about the call here.

More Articles

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »