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 this Morning Brief, we open with a new episode of “The Insider”, INESC Brussels Hub’s weekly podcast, featuring Inna Braverman, co-founder and CEO of Eco Wave Power, the news of a Horizon Europe – Cluster 6 Presentation and Consultation taking place via Zoom and hosted by the INESC Brussels Hub in February, scepticism over the EU’s reform of the research assessment process, new guidelines on state aid for climate, environmental protection and energy in 2022 and news that Horizon Europe is receiving a lukewarm welcome from researchers, and much more.

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:

“The Insider” – new episode with Inna Braverman, co-founder and CEO of Eco Wave Power

The fifth episode in the Deep Tech series features Inna Braverman, co-founder and CEO at Eco Wave Power, an innovative and fast-growing Swedish company founded in 2011 that has developed a patented, smart and cost-efficient technology for turning ocean and sea waves into green electricity.

Make sure to subscribe to the podcast in any of your favourite podcast-listening platforms and listen to the new episode here.


Horizon Europe – Cluster 6 (Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment) Presentation and Consultation

Mark your calendars! On February 4 between 12h00 and 13h00 (GMT) the INESC Brussels Hub is hosting an open session for INESC researchers to get to know the work programme for 2023-2024 for Horizon Europe – Cluster 6: Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment.

No registration will be needed. Just click here to access the Zoom link on the day.


EU to go ahead with reform of its research assessment process in the face of scepticism

A number of national research organisations have been taken aback by the urgency of a request by the European Commission to appoint representatives to negotiate a new research assessment in Europe.

The reform of research assessment is included in the policy agenda of the revived European Research Area policy to create a single market for research. The Commission is now gathering support from a coalition of organisations to implement the assessment reform and to begin testing it out in the second quarter of 2022.

More than 100 organisations and institutes have indicated they are willing to participate in the coalition but some are not keen on rushing the process, and have called on the Commission to establish a subgroup in the ERA forum to debate the issue in detail.

Make sure to read more about this here.


Guidelines on State aid for Climate, Environmental Protection and Energy 2022

The European Commission released new guidelines that provide the framework for public authorities to support the European Green Deal objectives efficiently and with minimum distortions of competition.

In particular the new Guidelines:

– Broaden the categories of investments and technologies that Member States can support;

– Incease flexibility and streamline the existing rules;

– Introduce safeguards; and

– Ensure coherence with the relevant EU legislation and policies.


If you want to find out more about them click here


Horizon Europe gets a lukewarm welcome from researchers

Researchers are hopeful about the impact of Horizon Europe on the EU research landscape but criticise the paperwork, according to a Science|Business survey.

Most people familiar with the programme praise its objectives and favourably compare it to EU’s last R&D programme, but they complain about continuing problems with bureaucracy and paperwork.

To read this Science|Business article ahead of its annual conference, online from 8 to 9 February, make sure to click here.


€800 million new European Biodiversity Partnership to spearhead protection of Earth’s biodiversity

The new European Biodiversity Partnership Biodiversa+, co-funded by the European Union, brings together 74 research programmes, funders, and environmental policy actors from Europe and beyond to help put nature back on a path of recovery.

Biodiversa+, jointly developed by Horizon 2020-funded project BiodivERsA and the European Commission – started on the 1st of October 2021 and is managed by the European Research Executive Agency (REA).

Within the Commission, both the Directorate General for the Environment and Research & Innovation will work on the partnership. Biodiversa+ is planned to run for seven years, with a budget of €800 million, including member-state contributions.

To read more about the partnership and how research and innovation can benefit make sure to check out this link.


€2.4B Innovative Health Initiative kicks off

The Innovative Health Initiative (IHI) is set to put €2.4 billion into collaborative health research projects between industry, academics and SMEs starting this June, following the formal launch on Wednesday.

The IHI is the successor to Innovative Medicines Initiatives (IMI) 1 and 2, which since 2008 has been working to speed up the translation of academic research into new drugs.

With the launch of IHI, the brief is now expanded beyond pharmaceuticals to include biotechnology, medical technology, diagnostics and digital health. Projects will focus on translation of research from Europe’s academic base into health products and services that are designed from the start to meet to public health needs and to be suitable for use in Europe’s healthcare systems.

Read more here.


Europe holds its own in supercomputer race

Since the 2000s, the EU has been pooling resources to procure bigger machines. With two top 10 computers set to start operations this year, the strategy is beginning to bear fruit.

A decade after the Commission launched a strategy to pool the EU’s supercomputing resources, it appears to have worked to an extent, keeping Europe in the game in the face of intense Chinese competition.

“Europe has had quite a good performance,” said Thomas Lippert, head of the Jülich Supercomputing Centre in Germany, which is hoping to host the EU’s first machine capable of one billion billion operations per second. “I would be much more worried in North America.”

Make sure to check this Science|Business article including an analysis of data from the Top500, the twice-yearly updated list of the world’s fastest machines here.


7th Plenary meeting of the African Union-European Union High-Level Policy Dialogue for Science, Technology and Innovation

On 27 January 2022, Director Cristina Russo co-chaired the Plenary Meeting of the African Union – European Union High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) for Science Technology and Innovation with Professor Amadou Abdoul Sow, Acting Chair of the African Union Specialised Technical Committee on Science, Technology and Education.

The focus of this senior officials meeting was the AU-EU Innovation Agenda – a document prepared subsequently to the request of Commissioner Gabriel and former Commissioner of the AU for STI, Commissioner Agbor – to serve as a strategic guide in the EU-AU research and innovation cooperation.

The plenary presented the working document of the AU-EU Innovation Agenda to member states and principal stakeholders for review and inputs, in the run up to the EU-AU Summit that will take place in February 2022.

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