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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.


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

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 »