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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

16/05/2022: INESC-ID at SciComPT, INESC TEC and a new modelling language, Energy Poverty Conference, EIT Health report, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– ERC president Maria Leptin elected fellow of Royal Society;
– INESC-ID present at SciComPT 2022;
– INESC TEC team contributed to a new version of Alloy modelling language;
– Innovation and Technology Transfer in Central and Southeast Europe;
– MACUSTAR study on common cause of blindness gets regulatory nod;
– EU readies €195 billion plan to quit Russian fossil fuels;
– First report on the performance of European Partnerships under Horizon Europe;
– Mechanobiology of Cancer Summer School 2022;
– Energy Poverty Advisory Hub Conference – Moving Towards Energy Autonomy: How to Guarantee Social Inclusion;
– EIT Health publishes report on building sustainable healthcare systems;
– Bringing the best of European produce to your table;
– Viewpoint: Energy should be at the heart of EU-Japan research cooperation;
– EU-Azerbaijan – Senior officials meet to reinforce energy cooperation.

Read More »

13/05/2022: INESC Brussels HUB Summer Meeting 2022, Technology Infrastructures, Horizon Europe, EU Soil Mission, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– INESC Brussels HUB Summer Meeting 2022;
– EU boosts R&D funding in Finland with €523M in cohesion money;
– Nine case studies for a European strategy on technology infrastructures;
– Results of the second Call for Technical Assistance;
– Commission says European Innovation Council grant logjam to end in June;
– Horizon Europe call for proposals for a “Network for innovative solutions for the future of democracy” is open;
– Making the polluter pay: Commission seeks views on EU environmental liability laws;
– The Commission’s renewed strategy for the EU’s outermost regions puts people first and unlocks their potential – including the blue economy;
– Western democracies craft alliance on quantum technology;
– Call submission figures for Horizon Europe – Reforming the European R&I system;
– EU Soil Mission: €95 million call opens;
– The EU and Japan open Horizon Europe association talks;
– Academic sector makes moves to going green;
– MLZ Conference 2022: Neutrons for Mobility;
– EIT Manufacturing LEADERS – Women Innovators call in now open;
– EU and China to hold the 15th Joint Steering Committee Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation;
– UK research assessment could shift money away from London, Oxford and Cambridge.

Read More »

12/05/2022: EU Missions Info Days, Fit for 55, European Open Science Cloud, European Innovation Ecosystems, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– The report on the final outcomes of the Conference on the Future of Europe is now online;
– EU Missions Info Days;
– New study unveils how the CAP is contributing to animal welfare and antimicrobial use reduction;
– Mission “Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030” launches a second wave of actions;
– Fit for 55: MEPs back CO2 emission standards for cars and vans;
– Prior information notice related to “Managed Services for the European Open Science Cloud Platform”;
– EIB report: COVID-19 pandemic intensified EU’s transition to a digital economy;
– Experts urge rethink of energy metrics to fully decarbonise buildings;
– European Innovation Ecosystems work programme: Upcoming calls worth €29.5 million;
– Tech.eu Summit 2022.

Read More »