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In this Morning Brief, we open with the feedback from the seminar that took place yesterday and brough together the three Lisbon-based INESC institutes, a new roadmap prioritising group restrictions for the most harmful chemicals to human health and the environment, news on the EU and the DSA as well as the EU and artificial intelligence, and 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:

INESC Lisboa – Identifying synergies

INESC Lisboa — Synergies, a seminar several months in the making, took place in Lisbon yesterday.

In a day packed full of cross-disciplinary talks and poster sessions on Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering, Microsystems and Nanotechnology and Innovation in Information and Communication Technologies, INESC Lisboa — Synergies brought together one-hundred researchers from INESC Lisboa and its three Lisbon-based INESC institutions: INESC-ID, INESC MN and INOV.

INESC Lisboa — Synergies aimed to explore internal synergies and explore R&D and innovation impact, strengthening the external visibility of all three technology powerhouses based on their many common strengths.


Innovative Health Initiative (IHI)’s first calls

The following topics are under consideration for inclusion in the first IHI calls for proposals, which are planned to launch in June. IHI plans to launch two calls for proposals at the same time – one single stage call, and one two stage call. IHI is publishing the draft topic texts in advance of the official call launch to give potential applicants additional time to start building a consortium and drafting a proposal.

IHI call 1 (single stage call)

An innovative decision-support system for improved care pathways for patients with neurodegenerative diseases and comorbidities;

Next generation imaging and image-guided diagnosis and therapy for cancer;

Personalised oncology: Innovative people-centred, multi-modal therapies against cancer;

Access and integration of heterogeneous health data for improved health care in diseases areas of high unmet public health need.

IHI call 2 (two stage call)

Cardiovascular diseases – improved prediction, prevention, diagnosis and monitoring;

Setting a harmonised methodology to promote uptake of early feasibility studies for clinical and innovation excellence in the European Union;

Currently, the draft topics are under consultation with IHI’s States Representatives Group and Science and Innovation Panel. It is therefore likely that the topics may change considerably between now and the call launch, and applicants should check the final, approved topic texts once the calls are launched. The IHI Programme Office is planning webinars and a brokerage event around the time of the call launch to help applicants with the new IHI rules and procedures.

Read more here


Sustainable Chemicals: The Commission advances work on restrictions of harmful chemical substances

The Roadmap prioritises group restrictions for the most harmful substances to human health and the environment as set out in the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability. In full respect of the prerogatives of EU countries under the REACH Regulation, the Restrictions Roadmap includes a rolling list of substances, which will become the basis for the multiannual planning under REACH. The rolling list will be regularly reviewed and updated ensuring a balance between needed flexibility and commitment to ensure progress.

Find out more here.


EU reaches deal on pioneering rules curbing big digital platforms

According to Science|Business, “EU looks to be ahead of the game when it comes to regulating digital content sharing platforms, after EU Council and European Parliament reached a deal on the Digital Services Act (DSA) last weekend. A few days after the policymakers reached agreement, Elon Musk, billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX bought Twitter for $44 billion, saying he would go in the opposite direction and relax the platform’s content moderation policies. The Commission was quick to warn Musk that Twitter will have to adhere to its new regulation. Thierry Breton, commissioner for the internal market, tweeted, “Be it cars or social media, any company operating in Europe needs to comply with our rules – regardless of their shareholding.” US politician Hillary Clinton, a victim of trolling and online abuse, endorsed the EU’s move. “For too long, tech platforms have amplified disinformation and extremism with no accountability,” she tweeted ahead of the final round of negotiations on the file last week. “I urge our transatlantic allies to push the Digital Services Act across the finish line and bolster global democracy before it’s too late.” Big social media platforms have long been criticised for lack of transparency and limp-wristed effort when it comes to their role in the spread of misinformation and extremist content, and the act is designed to remedy this. The new rules aim to create a fairer and safer digital space by making big online platforms, such as Facebook, Youtube and Twitter, disclose how their algorithms work, improve content moderation and curb misinformation.”.


The future of AI: The Parliament’s roadmap for the EU

How can the EU improve its global position in artificial intelligence (AI)? MEPs will vote on a set of proposals to develop AI in the long term during May’s plenary session in Strasbourg.

After 18 months of gathering insights on artificial intelligence, the report from Parliament’s special committee on artificial intelligence in the digital age proposes an EU Roadmap for AI, a holistic approach for a common, long-term position that highlights the EU’s key values, objectives and values about AI and continues the EU’s current legislative efforts in this area.

The EU has fallen behind in AI development, research and investment and needs to step up its game as AI is key for the EU’s digital transformation and will continue to have an ever-growing impact on the economy and day-to-day life, the report says.

EU rules, safeguards and regulations should ensure that AI is going to deliver significant benefits to all areas of the EU, from the green transition and health to industry, public governance, agriculture and labour productivity.

The report warns that the EU needs to act fast to set clear standards based on EU values, otherwise the standards will be set elsewhere.

Learn more about the report and the committee and read the press release here.


BSC study lays out methodology to mitigate Europe’s energy crisis through climate predictions

Researchers propose a method capable of predicting variations in renewable energy generation months in advance through climate predictions.

In order to protect the planet, the European Commission announced in 2020 its commitment to make Europe the first continent with zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Just a few days ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned about the urgent need to reduce these emissions in the short term.

The great bottleneck to achieve this great challenge is the decarbonisation of the energy sector. However, one of the main limiting factors in the supply of renewable energies such as wind and solar energy is their dependence on the weather, specifically on atmospheric conditions such as wind speed or temperature, which in turn are uncertain due to the natural variability and climate change.

A new study carried out by scientists from the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) led by Francisco Doblas, Director of the Department of Earth Sciences, and Llorenç Lledó, researcher from the same Department, shows for the first time how changes in atmospheric circulation patterns on a planetary scale – known as teleconnections – affect the generation of renewable energy in different European countries.

According to the authors of the study, the results are of special relevance for the future of electricity systems in Europe, since they propose a method to anticipate variations in the generation of renewable energies months in advance using climate predictions. These forecasts can be very useful for electricity network operators in order to program alternative energy sources; to energy traders to estimate electricity prices; and governments to prevent crisis in energy prices.

The work has been published by the magazine Renewable Energy, a benchmark in renewable energy and energy transition.

“Beyond the mitigation of climate change, the energy crisis that Europe is experiencing as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine sends a clear message: our electricity system needs to move towards greater quotas of renewables to achieve energy independence. And that can only be can achieve with a better understanding and predictability of weather and climate fluctuations that affect renewable energy sources,” says Doblas.

Read more here.  


Webinar: User-level software-defined storage data planes

HPC infrastructures are long thought as computational powerhouses that enable scientists to conduct massively parallel jobs. However, with the advent of new data-intensive workloads from both scientific and deep learning jobs, the storage performance has become a pressing concern in these infrastructures, due to high levels of performance variability and I/O contention generated by multiple applications executing concurrently. In this webinar, we discuss how to build portable and generally applicable Software-Defined Storage data planes tailored for the requirements of data-centric applications running on modern HPC infrastructures. We demonstrate how to improve I/O performance and manage I/O interference of HPC jobs with none to minor code changes to applications and HPC storage backends.

Don’t miss this webinar on May 5. Register here.


Gender equality in research and innovation

The European Commission is committed to promoting gender equality in research and innovation. It is part of the European Commission Gender Equality Strategy for 2020-2025, which sets out the Commission’s broader commitment to equality across all EU policies.

In addition, the EU has a well-established regulatory framework on gender equality, including binding directives, which apply widely across the labour market including the research sector.

Because of the peculiarities of the research sector, specific action is needed to overcome persisting gender gaps. Many structural barriers to gender equality in research and innovation persist.

The European Commission addresses these barriers through:

– The main funding instrument Horizon Europe and Horizon 2020, the previous Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020);

– Within the European Research Area in collaboration with member countries and research organizations.

Make sure to read more 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 »