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In today’s Morning Brief we bring you a little teaser from what we gathered at yesterday’s EARTO Policy Event and Innovation Awards 2021, we bring you the newest report on AI Watch, and in a week as crucial to the climate as this one, a variety of news centred on the green transition and COP26.

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:

Beyond pilots: AI Watch Report

The European Commission published the report “Beyond pilots: Sustainable implementation of AI in public services” as part of their AI Watch activities towards the investigation of the effective AI uptake in the public sector.

Based on the knowledge resulting from the collection of 230 AI use cases from EU national, regional, and local government, this report introduces the concept of AI appropriation in the Public Sector.

This concept is seen as the combination of two logically distinct phases, respectively named adoption and implementation, which reflect the two concepts of ‘governing with AI’ on the one hand and ‘governing AI’ on the other. Introducing this concept allows the development of a research approach that goes beyond the analysis of only individual, pilot AI projects.

While highlighting the differences between the implementation and the adoption of AI, the focus here is also on the idea that the global process of AI appropriation, in order to be sustainable, needs to be cyclical with these two phases alternating and repeating across time.

This report is a first attempt to highlight that AI is not only about algorithms, data, and computing power, but mostly about people and citizens. Don’t forget to check it out!

EU and International Senior Science Advisors call Global Leaders to take action on Climate at COP26

Yesterday, the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors to the European Commission, together with 37 International Senior Scientific Advisers from around the globe, released a joint statement ahead of the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference COP26, calling world leaders to take action for successfully mitigating climate changes and protect our planet.

The statement reiterates the existing scientific consensus on the need for urgent action and points to the central role of science and innovation in adaptation and mitigation.

The international science advisors call for an increase in international collaboration to accelerate research, development, demonstration and deployment of effective mitigation and adaptation solutions; and establish programmes to strengthen global research and innovation capacity.

Don’t miss the full statement here!

‘Always on: The promise of new geothermal technologies

The ability of geothermal energy to provide baseload electricity and flexibility to heating and power systems will be invaluable in order to move towards a 100% renewables-based system, experts say.

Geothermal energy, often dubbed ‘the sun beneath our feet’ for its capacity to provide an endless source of energy from the subsurface, currently has just about 16 gigawatt (GW) of capacity installed globally.

But new drilling techniques and the urgency to decarbonise heating systems are providing new momentum to the industry, which has plans to rapidly scale up.

Yet, geothermal industry associations and NGOs alike lament that the EU is doing too little to promote renewable alternatives to fossil fuels in heating.

Don’t miss the article here!

Green campaigners condemn pushback against EU forest strategy

The pushback from EU countries against the European Commission’s new forest strategy, which seeks to protect biodiversity and enhance the role of trees in capturing CO2, has been ‘hyperbolic’ according to the forestry NGO Fern.

The strategy was published just two days after the European Commission’s 2030 climate package in July and includes aims to protect old-growth forests, which have huge potential as carbon sinks, to plant three billion trees by 2030 and increase observation of forests to help improve their condition.

However, many EU countries have joined forces against the strategy, complaining that it does not sufficiently take into account the economic role of forests and that the European Commission is overstepping its competence.

“What we need are clear limits on the levels of harvesting across Europe, in line with the Paris Agreement, and in line with biodiversity limits”, Fern campaigner Hannah Mowat said, adding this will “also fulfil citizens needs for nature”.

In a joint declaration from the European Forest Owners’ Conference, forest industry representatives argued the strategy’s approach does not correspond to realities on the ground, ignores the economic role of forestry and will not help the sector reach Europe’s climate objective.

Read more about the subject here!

EARTO Policy Event and Innovation Awards

Yesterday EARTO organized its Policy Event and Innovation awards digitally. The topic of this year’s event was “Towards the new EU Strategy on Technology Infrastructures as key ERA Action to deliver the green & digital transitions”.

The event was mostly centered around what should be the investments from the recovery packages at a European level and the benefits in investing in technology. Europe’s Research and Technology Organizations (RTOs) provide a backbone of testbeds and must have a dedicated environment to develop with public and private sectors, taking many sizes and forms as it is a very complex environment.

The Event featured interventions from Antti Vasara, EARTO President; Guy Van den Eede, Director at the JRC; Mathias Rauch from Fraunhofer; Martina de Sole from ENoLL, among many other relevant personalities in the area discussing what should be the best strategy for Europe to develop a sustainable technology infrastructure system.

You can check out previous editions of the policy event here.

First EIC-ERC Workshop on Cell and Gene Therapy

The European Innovation Council (EIC) and the European Research Council (ERC) hosted their first workshop on gene and cell therapy this summer, bringing together ERC grantees active in the area of gene and cell therapy, representatives of EIC gene and therapy projects and members of the EIC Board and ERC’s Scientific Council.

The purpose of this workshop was to explore the emerging scientific trends in this dynamic field of research and potential applications of the scientific breakthroughs in an area of great importance for our scientists and civil society.

Under its first Work Programme 2021, the EIC has also published a call on emerging technologies in call and gene therapy, aiming to fund proposals focused on novel concept-based technologies that can contribute to overcoming the critical challenges currently being faced.

To read the statements and watch the recordings of the event click here!

More Articles

08/12/2021: Webinar on renewable energy technologies, call for further investment in European R&I, new tool to monitor EU countries’ resilience, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– Webinar: Integration of offshore renewable energy technologies;
– Call for additional €4B investment in European research infrastructures;
– New digital tool helps EU countries monitor their resilience;
– EU to increase cooperation on rare diseases;
– US to push ‘democracy-affirming technology’ with prizes and research projects.

Read More »