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In today's Morning Brief:

Parliament votes to unlock €95.5B Horizon Europe

The Parliament voted yesterday to approve the funding of the new framework programme, after the Parliament’s research and industry committee ITRE gave its approval earlier this month, thus ending nearly three year of negotiations on the content and budget of the programme. An essential step that cannot be seen as a formality in the current times. It was actually the EP that fought hard for the budget to be raised and had the biggest impact in the final decision. In fact, many MEPs are unsatisfied as they failed to convince member states to allocate €120 billion for Horizon Europe, as last year the initial budget was slimmed-down after the decision to establish a new fund dedicated for post-pandemic recovery. Nonetheless, it is worth reminding that, even though it falls short of the €120 million proposed by the Parliament, the research programme is still the largest in the world, and has an increased budget to that of the previous framework programme. By comparison, Horizon 2020 had a budget of €76.26 billion in 2018 prices, and by taking into consideration the UK’s departure as a member state, the Commission claims the net allocation for the new research and innovation programme over seven years has increased by 30% per cent compared Horizon 2020.

The programme was already provisionally put in place by the European Commission from 1 January 2021. MEPs gave their final approval to the agreement with Council on the Horizon Europe regulation on Tuesday, adding a political declaration with 677 votes to 5 and 17 abstentions. They adopted the agreement with Council on the Horizon Europe specific programme with 661 votes to 5 and 33 abstentions.

 

EU Knowledge Valorisation Week

The Knowledge Valorisation Week will showcase excellent examples of strategies and tools to boost the uptake of research results that benefit all. It will connect policy makers and stakeholders from across Europe and nudge dialogue and knowledge sharing. Enhancing knowledge valorisation capacities and skills in the Union is crucial to accelerate the use of science-based solutions and inventions for the recovery and the twin green and digital transitions. Europe has to make research results work for society. Already in day 2 but still in time for registration. You can also check the report “Towards a policy dialogue and exchange of best practices on knowledge valorization”, published the EC recently and the official supporting document for this event.

 

Doubts over use of hydrogen for aviation

Two of Europe’s leading aviation companies have cast doubt on hydrogen’s ability to replace kerosene in the near future, arguing that scaling up sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) is the best option to decarbonise flying. “If we want to carry enough hydrogen in an aircraft, we have to compress it at very high pressures, or liquefy it at very low temperatures,” said Eric Trappier, chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, adding: “The consensus is that hydrogen use may be limited to short and medium range flights.” Both him and David Paddock, president of Jet Aviation, believe that SAFs will be the key to lowering aviation emissions, but say its usage is being held back by a lack of production and high cost. The EU’s upcoming ReFuelEU proposal, which is expected to set a legal requirement for a percentage of SAFs to be blended with kerosene, promises to meet the expectations of the aviation industry. Read more on this story here.

 

EU and China step up cooperation on biodiversity ahead of COP 15

The Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius has met Huang Runqiu, China’s Minister for Ecology and Environment at the 8th EU-China Ministerial Environment Policy Dialogue held yesterday. Both sides discussed ways to enhance cooperation on environmental issues where closer coordination between the EU and China can lead to progress at national and multilateral levels, and ways to enhance the role of public and private investments in biodiversity action, including through the principle of ‘do-no-significant harm’ to the environment. China expressed its keen interest to enhance collaboration on the control and management on new chemical substances. Follow-up activities on important areas of cooperation such as on biodiversity conservation on land forests and seas, air quality, harmful chemicals and plastic pollution are planned. More on EU-China environmental cooperation here.

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19/05/2022: REPower EU, Green Transition, Natura 2000 awards, EU Blue Economy Report, Women in the Blue Economy, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– REPower EU: A plan to rapidly reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels and fast forward the green transition;
– Research and Innovation to REPower the EU;
– ASEM Global Lifelong Learning Week;
– Scientists from the University of Coimbra test new intelligent monitoring systems for vineyards;
– Natura 2000 Awards: EU recognises excellence in nature protection across Europe;
– EU urges building insulation push in bid to end reliance on Russian gas;
– Finland, Japan open call for research cooperation;
– EU Blue Economy report: Ocean economy fuels European green transition;
– The “Women in the Blue Economy” call for proposals is now open;
– EPFL: A new law unchains fusion energy.

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18/05/2022: Climate Change, Artificial Intelligence, Russian gas supply, Partnerships for Regional Innovation, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– Renewable energy industry says EU fund for clean tech is failing its mission;
– The Guild: Diversity, sustainability and quality must be the hallmarks of academic publishing in Europe;
– Climate change: MEPs push for accelerated EU action and energy independence;
– EU and US edge closer together on AI at latest Trade and Technology Council meeting;
– Open Call: New EU TalentOn invites young, academic talent to find solutions for our most pressing challenges;
– Commission launches EPREL database to help consumers on energy efficient products;
– LEAK: EU countries urged to prepare for Russian gas ‘supply shock’;
– Forging sustainable timber construction in Europe;
– President Zelensky urges US universities to help rebuild Ukraine’s higher education system;
– Partnerships for Regional Innovation: 63 regions, seven cities and four Member States selected for Pilot Action.

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17/05/2022: Renewable Energies, Lump Sum Funding in Horizon Europe, EU Missions, Gender Equality, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– In focus: Employment in EU’s renewable energy sector;
– Webinar: Lump Sum Funding in Horizon Europe: How does it work? How to write a proposal?;
– Horizon Europe – EU Missions calls 2022: Virtual brokerage event;
– BAM and BTU team up to close Germany’s skills gap in hydrogen technologies;
– A plan for achieving gender equality in the research and innovation system;
– SymbNET PhD Summer school on host-microbe symbioses;
– Tracking agricultural-related deforestation.

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