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 today's Morning Brief:

Registrations still open for Deep Tech and Forestry events on Tuesday (1 June 2021)

This might not sound like news, but we would like to remind you that the agenda of the INESC Brussels HUB Spring Meeting is available on the HUB website. The events that compose it will take place virtually on June 1st and 2nd, and will include a public workshop organised by the Work Group Agro-Food and Forestry, titled “Enhancing science-based knowledge on EU forests – its influence in decision making” (1 June, 10-12 CEST), and a public high-level roundtable on deep tech, featuring profiles from INESC and high-level European stakeholders in the area (1 June, 15-17 CEST). The events will take place on Zoom and registration is now open on the event pages.

The Spring Meeting will also include two events the participation in which is restricted to the Management Committee and selected observers: a thought leadership workshop on EU research career development (2 June, 10-12 CEST) and the Management Committee meeting (2 June, 14-17 CEST). The interested parties will receive instructions on how to register by email.


INESC articles on Science Business

Yesterday the fourth article prepared by researchers from across all INESCs has been published on Science Business. It is a good time to take a look at all the articles published so far

EU Cancer Mission depends on data

Technology to deliver sustainable fisheries

Europe looks to raise its game in cybersecurity

Energy in Europe: placing users at the centre of the digitalization strategy

Thank you to all those who contributed to these brilliant articles, and to those who will contribute to the next ones. As always, feel free to share them through your networks.


Parliament takes a joint position on EuroHPC and on equal access to public private research partnerships

The European Parliament is seeking to ensure all eleven Horizon Europe research partnerships are more open and less bureaucratic than their predecessors. Setting down the markers, on Wednesday MEPs agreed a joint position on the first partnership of the bunch, the EuroHPC €8 billion high-performance computing project, calling for greater openness and simpler management. In the past, these ‘joint undertakings’ between the Commission, governments and industry have been criticised for making it difficult for smaller players to take part and giving industry too much say in EU research programming. MEPs are now seeking to get the balance right, as their decisions on the partnerships this year will set the tone for the next seven years. EuroHPC is the first Horizon Europe partnership to pass through the hands of MEPs, setting the scene for faster adoption of the remaining ten industrial partnerships that are expected to launch in the coming year. Read more on Science Business.


Concerns over Horizon Europe delays and splits on plan to limit access to R&D projects

Member state officials report feeling increasingly concerned by the delay to the start of the EU’s €95.5 billion research programme and are calling for the European Commission to quickly resolve the row over foreign access to EU research projects.

There is frustration over what officials see as the failure of the Commission to articulate a single approach on how to open Horizon Europe to researchers outside the bloc. The Commission is proposing to limit access to projects that touch on “sensitive union assets”, such as the Galileo and Copernicus satellites, while restricting access to some of its major quantum and space projects, according to the latest proposal dated May 19. The issue has raised alarm in close EU partners, including Israel, the UK and Switzerland.

Yet, EU commissioners are reported to have different views over how far to push the strategic autonomy agenda for Horizon Europe, with the internal market commissioner Thierry Breton suspected of being on the side of more limits, and a camp led by competition and digital chief Margrethe Vestager arguing for more openness. Key Commission officials argue that exclusions for select projects are necessary so the EU can protect its research base in rapidly developing fields. Read here for more on the subject.


Switzerland ditches EU treaty talks, leaving question mark over research ties

Switzerland has pulled the plug on seven long years of negotiations to upgrade its relations with Brussels, in a move that casts a shadow over the country’s participation in Horizon Europe.

Both sides have spent years thrashing out an over-arching treaty. Officially, talks on this new accord have nothing to do with science collaboration, or with Switzerland’s attempts to renew its place in the EU’s research programme as an associate member. However, speaking after the decision by the Swiss Federal Council to end talks, an EU official said Brussels would now weigh the “value added” of Swiss participation in the Horizon Europe scheme “against the state of the overall relationship.” “We are very concerned and call on the European Commission and the Swiss government to find solutions to associate Switzerland to Horizon Europe,” said Olivier Küttel, head of international affairs at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. “We would like to remind the EU that there is no formal or legal link between Switzerland‘s association to Horizon Europe and the Swiss-EU treaty. Read more on the topic here.

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