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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

26/05/2023: New Horizon Europe calls, a global drive for open science, European Commission DG RTD recent reorganisation, EU-China & much more

In today’s Morning Brief:
Horizon Europe
– Twinning call for proposals is open – Read all about it
– Horizon Europe ERA Fellowships call is now open
– EUR 20 million available for Pathways to synergies – Call for proposals
– New Horizon Europe funding opportunity: Dissemination & Exploitation Support Facility call
– Commission Open Call: Expert Group on the Interim Evaluation of Horizon Europe
– Industry 5.0 Award contest opens: apply by 1 September 2023
– Horizon Europe: The EU and the Republic of Korea launch formal negotiations on association to the programme
– European Space Agency chief seeks ‘forward-looking decisions’
Research & Innovation:
– EU research ministers make fresh call for a full transition to free open access publishing
– Open Science: stakeholders welcome European efforts towards publicly owned and not-for-profit scholarly communication
– Global drive for more open, rigorous research is growing
– European Commission sets up new European Innovation Council unit in the research directorate
– Spain wants EU presidency to be ‘bridge’ with Latin American R&D
– Green industry law haunted by old conflicts over nuclear, financing
– The five EU research projects involving China’s military-linked universities
– Critical Raw Materials: EU ministers want to move fast but dilemmas abound
– G7 ministers call for rules to improve research security
– Territorial Economic Data viewer supports policy monitoring
News from INESC institutes:
– INESC Brussels HUB is signing an Open Letter regarding changes to Who is Who in EC Directorate
– ECI Cruelty-free cosmetics – Consultation to adhere to joint final statement
– Structuring the ecosystem: RTOs collaboration with higher education institutions
– INESC TEC develops pioneering research in the application of variational quantum circuits to reinforcement learning
– INOV: MULTICAM prototypes, an online presentation on Blockchain and 5000 followers
– Job Opportunities
Events & Training workshops

Read More »

19/05/2023: HUB Summer Meeting, Digital Europe Programme, Regional Innovation Valleys, European R&I funding and policy, and much more

In today’s Morning Brief:
Horizon Europe
– Commission Expert Group on the Interim Evaluation of Horizon Europe
– Commission launches first €122M call to create regional innovation ecosystems
– New calls for proposals of the Digital Europe Programme
Research & Innovation:
– EU research commissioner Mariya Gabriel resigns
– France to boost funding for health research infrastructures and UK to invest £100M in improving RIs
– Commission takes European Innovation Council management under its wing
– Industry 5.0 Award: The contest is open for applications
– AI Act moves ahead in EU Parliament with key committee vote
– Defence industry renews call for R&D spending boost
News from INESC institutes:
– Technology and Law: building a virtuous relationship, by Graça Barbosa
– The 2022 INESC-ID AnnualReport is out
– Exciting news from H2020-RESCUER
– Launch of the New Horizon Europe Project SYCLOPS
– INESC TEC supports the implementation of robotic technologies to reduce the ecological footprint
– INESC TEC develops virtual reality app to support youngster looking for jobs
– Job Opportunities
Events & Training workshops

Read More »

05/05/2023: HE calls update, cohesion policy, open access, open science, cohesion policy and coordination of national and EU R&D policy.

In today’s Morning Brief:
Horizon Europe
– Horizon Europe – easy call and topic search
– From KOWI: MSCA: Model Working Contract for Doctoral Networks published
Research & Innovation:
– Report on the outcome of 2021-2027 cohesion policy programming
– Spain adopts national open access strategy
– Commission attempts to strengthen coordination between national R&D policies and EU research programs
– Commission Plans to launch a European Standardisation Panel survey
– Research funders draw attention to uneven implementation of open science
– EIT Climate to become financially sustainable by end of 2024
– Preparing for Belgium’s Thirteenth Presidency of the Council of the European Union
– African Union-European Union High Level Policy Dialogue – Science, Technology and Innovation. Senior official meet to endorse the AU-EU Innovation Agenda
News from INESC institutes:
– INESC MN has a new publication in Advanced Materials Journal
– INOV projects on Youtube
– Diogo Vaz published an article in Público
– Job Opportunities
Events & Training workshops

Read More »