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In today's Morning Brief:

New INESC publication: first issue of H magazine “Visions of the future”

H, the new e-magazine of the INESC Brussels HUB, jointly created by all the INESC institutes, has been published this morning.

The magazine wishes to channel research stories, ideas and perspectives on the most important issues in scientific research and technology in Europe. In this inaugural issue, titled Visions of the future, we took the opportunity set by the Conference on the Future of Europe to share some of the ideas and stories of INESC’s researchers regarding the future of the most promising technologies, their upcoming projects and the opportunities on the horizon for scientific research in the upcoming years.

A huge thank you to the members of the Working Group Communication (Joana Desport Coelho, Sofia Martins, Vanessa Moreira, Tatiana Nunes, Ana Soares) for their excellent job.

Contents:

Please be sure to share the magazine widely across your networks!

 

Conference on the Future of Europe: input wanted

The Conference on the Future of Europe is looking for ideas on how the EU should change and what it should focus on. After its official launch in spring, the Conference is entering a crucial stage: it needs to get as much input from citizens as possible on how the EU should face the challenges of a changing world. More than 5,000 ideas have been submitted to the online platform, on topics ranging from the climate emergency to European democracy. It’s a good start, but much more is needed. Browse through the topics, share your views on other people’s suggestions and come up with your own ideas. Otherwise, you can discuss your thoughts with other people by joining an upcoming event or organising your own.

The results of the Conference on the Future of Europe will have a real impact on the EU’s upcoming decisions, as the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission have pledged to act on people’s recommendations and on the conclusions of the Conference.

 

Lump-sum in Horizon Europe – New EC Decision

The European Commission (EC) published a new Decision authorising the use of lump-sum contributions under Horizon Europe (see also an EC presentation) as well as the MGA on lump-sum. According to this document, lump-sum could be further used in Horizon Europe to lower the error rate, in particular but not restricted to ERC, EIC and Institutionalized Partnership projects. The annex of the Decision summarises the outcome of H2020 lump-sum pilot in glowing terms, saying the overall feedback was positive and that it could be used for any type of action. The scale and focus of these lump-sum calls is still under discussion at the EC.

 

New round of Horizon Europe associations: Armenia, Georgia, Israel, Moldova, Western Balkans, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine

The European Commission represented by the Horizon Europe Chief Negotiator and Deputy Director General of DG R&I Signe Ratso as well as deputy Chief Negotiators Ruta Zarnauskaite and Anne Haglund-Morrissey, concluded the second negotiation rounds for Horizon Europe association with Armenia, Georgia, Israel, Moldova, Western Balkans, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine. In these meetings, the draft Association Agreement and related Annexes were discussed, and important progress was made with all countries in their process towards becoming Associated Countries.

The concluding rounds of negotiation are expected to take place from end August to mid-September 2021 aiming to sign the association agreements by the end of 2021.

 

Commission adopted the «Synergies amendment» to the State Aid General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER)

With this amendment the Commission simplified the rules for State Aid combined with EU support and introduced new possibilities to achieve synergies between Horizon Europe and the European Regional and Development Fund programmes. The objective is to maximise the added value, quantity, quality and impact of all EU spending on R&I in order to achieve shared EU objectives. A useful Q&A on the widening of the exemptions can be found on the Commission website here.

 

EU members commit to build EU quantum communication infrastructure

Ireland is the last EU member state to sign the EU declaration quantum infrastructure, committing to working with the European Commission and the European Space Agency (ESA) to build the EuroQCI — a secure quantum communication infrastructure across 27 countries.

The Commission is planning to launch a satellite-based system for high-speed broadband in Europe. The EuroQCI will be part of that system and will integrate quantum cryptography and innovative and secure quantum-based systems into conventional communication infrastructures. This will protect data transmission between Europe’s government institutions, municipalities and embassies, as well as key sites such as hospitals and energy grids. In 2021 and 2022, Digital Europe programme and Connecting Europe Facility actions will help member states build cross-border quantum communication networks.

 

EuropaBio welcomes the Health Data Space initiative

Europe’s largest biotech lobby group says the European Commission’s proposed Health Data Space initiative is a good opportunity to reverse the declining trend of international biotech research conducted in Europe. “EuropaBio believes it is extremely important for the EU to encourage the return of many research programmes and clinical trials to the EU,” the association said in a statement on Thursday.

The Commission is now gathering input from stakeholders on its plan to establish common rules for storing and sharing healthcare research data in the EU.

 

Solutions needed for to the shortage of semiconductors in Europe

The German automotive industry is continuing to struggle with a severe supply shortage in semiconductors. The supply shortage is forcing Daimler to send thousands of employees on short-time work at several locations across the country; the lack of semiconductors has also affected car giant Volkswagen, which suffered major sales losses. In the first quarter of 2021 alone, around 100,000 vehicles could not be produced due to the bottlenecks, resulting in a €2.5 billion loss in sales.

There is broad agreement in both Germany and the EU on the need to reduce dependence on American and Asian producers. EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton reiterated on Tuesday (27 July) the need to give a stronger push to the EU’s sovereignty when it comes to semiconductors.

Both at the EU and national level, support packages have already been put together and initiatives launched to bring semiconductor production ‘back to Europe’. At the start of July, the European Commission launched an Alliance on Processors and Semiconductor Technologies to strengthen production capacities in Europe and move closer to the goal of doubling Europe’s market share in semiconductor production, which is anchored in the Digital Compass. In addition, Germany has earmarked €1 billion for investment and innovation in semiconductor production until 2023 as part of the Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) in the field of microelectronics. Read more on Euractiv.

More Articles

25/8/2021: EC Tenders of Interest to INESC, Work as an Expert, LIFE Training, MSCA opportunities, Research Infrastructures, Energy and Sustainability, Science Advice

In today’s Morning Brief:
– Work as an expert – Research Executive Agency
– Full list of the LIFE programme training videos
– MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships, Doctoral networks and Staff Exchanges
– Research Infrastructures – ESFRI Days 2021
– People at the centre of sustainable energy solutions
– Bridging the gap between climate science and policy – a report by Science Business and Elsevier

EU TENDERS
– Clean Sky Joint Undertaking
– European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
– European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA)
– European Commission, DG Agriculture and Rural Developement (AGRI)
– European Commission, DG Competition (COMP)
– European Commission, DG Defence Industry and Space (DEFIS)
– European Commission, DG Education,Youth, Sport and Culture (EAC)
– European Commission, DG Energy (ENER)
– European Commission, DG Health and Food Safety (SANTE)
– European Commission, DG Mobility and Transport (MOVE)
– European Commission, DG for Climate Action (CLIMA)
– European Commission, DG for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CONNECT)
– European Commission, DG for Environment (ENV)

Read More »

20/8/2021: Resources for better dissemination and exploitation plans in HEurope, call for experts in the Defence Sector, biodiversity, clean energy, open science, encryption, IPCC, science advice for governments and more summer reading suggestions

In today’s Morning Brief:
– Horizon Europe – Resources on dissemination and exploitation
– Defence sector – call for experts
– Seeking biodiversity winners and losers
– Emissions down as Europe’s electricity comes back cleaner
– An Open Science (OS) Index to complement the H Index
– Digitalisation in Europe 2020-2021
– I confess I’ve got things to hide – an opinion article on the importance of encryption
– The IPCC report
– New Horizon, new ERA, new international rules for R&D: A vacation reader
– International conference on science advice for governments 2021

Read More »

17/8/2021: Open EU Tenders of interest to INESC, Food systems, Biometrics for borders & Border surveillance, EU-Japan collaboration in agriculture, Vacation reading suggestions

In today’s Morning Brief:
– Everyone at the table: Co-creating knowledge for food systems transformation
– High-tech surveillance equipment to detect migrant boats
– International Conference on Biometrics for Borders (ICBB 2021)
– EU and Japan announce increased cooperation on sustainability and innovation in agriculture
– Vacation reading: the suggestions of permanent representatives to the EU
EU TENDERS
– Clean Sky Joint Undertaking
– European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
– European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA)
– European Commission, DG Agriculture and Rural Developement (AGRI)
– European Commission, DG Competition (COMP)
– European Commission, DG Defence Industry and Space (DEFIS)
– European Commission, DG Education,Youth, Sport and Culture (EAC)
– European Commission, DG Energy (ENER)
– European Commission, DG Health and Food Safety (SANTE)
– European Commission, DG Mobility and Transport (MOVE)
– European Commission, DG for Climate Action (CLIMA)
– European Commission, DG for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CONNECT)
– European Commission, DG for Environment (ENV)

Read More »