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In this Morning Brief, we open up with news that the Horizon Europe twinning call has received 391 proposals with only 100 being funded. The call for applicants to join the EU Soil Mission Board has been released and the stakeholder community of practice on the smart use of intellectual property has also been launched. We also have news on the EIC investment fund as week as an interesting column detailing the missing element of Europe’s energy and climate security policy.  

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:

Horizon Europe twinning call receives 391 proposals

Research institutions have submitted 391 proposals worth €555 million under Horizon Europe’s first call for twinning projects, aimed at establishing stronger research and innovation ties between richer and poorer countries in the EU.

Only 100 proposals will be funded, as the European Commission has allocated a budget of €149 million for this call.

Selected research institutions from the so-called widening countries, which are a group of member states with low levels of national R&D investments, are expected to work together with at least two research institutions from two different EU member states or countries associated to Horizon Europe.

The Commission will announce the results of the call by mid-May and expects the first grant agreements to be signed by the end of August.


Call for applicants to join the EU Soil Mission Board

The Soil Mission Board is an advisory board to the European Commission. It is composed of 15 independent experts in soil-related fields with experience in either business, public administration, science, culture, citizen engagement or civil society. The Mission Board is expected to provide feedback to the European Commission from societal actors.

For a period of three years, the members of the board will advise the EC on how the objectives of the EU mission: ‘A Soil Deal for Europe’ can be achieved, building on the work of the first phase of the mission board.

Applications close 2nd of February. Find out more about the Board and the call for applications here.


EU Members push to get EIC investment fund moving, breaking policy deadlock

With Horizon Europe formally launched, the next move for the European Innovation Council (EIC) should be getting its 2022 work programme detailing the calls, their budgets and scope approved – and the calls launched. But this appears to be caught in political infighting about the direction of the innovation agency.

The hang-up involves a dispute over how to manage the fund. The member states and the Commission had a meeting 26 January, but the deadlock persisted. French delegates suggested a compromise to extend the EIC pilot rules for another year while the policymakers look for a solution. A vote to move forward with the programme is expected “by Monday” (today), sources say. And for now no further meetings with member states are scheduled on the topic.

To read more on this deadlock click here.


Biodiversity: EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030

The EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 sets the target of protecting 30% of EU land and sea by 2030. To help Member States achieve these targets and develop a coherent, transnational network, the Commission developed criteria and guidance for the identification and designation of additional protected areas.

The guidance document identifies a set of criteria that Member States may use for the identification of additional protected areas and establishes a process through which Member States’ pledges for new designations will be discussed, peer reviewed and improved so that the EU-level targets can be reached by 2030. It also provides a definition of strict protection and guidance to Member States on establishing appropriate management and monitoring for the existing as well as future protected areas.

Find out more here


UK Government launches new scheme for technologies producing hydrogen from biomass

This new programme will support the development of innovative new technologies that will generate hydrogen from biomass and waste.

Backed with £5 million in government funding, the new Hydrogen BECCS Innovation Programme will support the development of technologies to produce hydrogen generated via BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage). The BECCS process produces hydrogen from biomass and waste, with the ability to capture and store the carbon released during the process.

Applicants from small businesses and large companies, to research institutions and universities, will be able to bid for a share of £5 million new government funding under Phase 1 of the Hydrogen BECCS Innovation Programme. Each project will be able to bid for up to £250,000 to help develop their project plans and demonstrate the feasibility of their proposed innovation.

Find out more here.


The missing element of Europe’s energy and climate security policy

In this column by Ruslan Stefanov and Martin Vladimirov for EURACTIV, the implementation of the energy and climate security policies in Europe calls for the introduction of new evidence-based policy instruments for monitoring the progress of member-states, such as an EU Energy Security Risks Index.

The climate and energy transition in Europe is meeting increasing geopolitical and geoeconomic headwinds amid rising global power competition. The gas and electricity crisis in Europe has become a stark reminder that the energy policy trilemma of achieving affordability, reliability of supply and environmental sustainability at the same time is far from solved.

The European Green Deal is not the cause but the solution to the energy crisis. It should also be the cornerstone of the new European energy and climate security strategy. Yet, its implementation, despite generous funding from the Next Generation EU (more than 30% of the funds should be dedicated to energy transition policies and projects), will have to overcome the considerable headwinds of climate scepticism and opposition in EU societies, fuelled by domestic and foreign political pressure.

So, what should be the main pillars of Europe’s energy and climate security strategy? Don’t miss the column here


Launch of the stakeholder community of practice on the smart use of intellectual property

Last week, the European Commission launched the stakeholder community of practice to co-create a code of practice for the smart use of Intellectual Property “IP”, as part of the European Research Area Policy Agenda “Upgrade EU guidance for a better knowledge valorisation”.

The community comprises a wide range of R&I stakeholders with professional experience in intellectual assets management and who expressed their interest to contribute to this bottom-up initiative. The objective of the code of practice for the smart use of IP is to provide support to R&I stakeholders via recommendations and practical examples on how to handle challenges related to intellectual assets in the current R&I context such as results co-ownership, skills development, valuation, international projects etc.

Find out more information by clicking here.

More Articles

20/05/2022: Hydrogen R&I, INESC-ID researchers honoured, INESC TEC wins international award, new EIC call, Climate Change, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– Hydrogen R&I gets boost in new Commission plan to wean EU off Russian energy;
– Ireland announces 2030 R&I strategy;
– EU pledges more research cooperation with Gulf states;
– INESC-ID researchers honoured with University of Lisbon/Caixa Geral de Depósitos Scientific Awards;
– INESC TEC robot wins international design award;
– Info session on Horizon Results Booster – Steering research towards a strong societal impact;
– European Innovation Council launches the Scale Up 100 Call;
– Energy industry’s cybersecurity awareness rises, defence lags;
– Climate change: Better using European forests as carbon sinks;
– European Maritime Day 2022: Sustainable blue economy for green recovery;
– Commission welcomes political agreement on new rules for securing winter gas storage;
– Leaked draft gives first glimpse of the Commission plan to turn the EU into an ‘innovation powerhouse’.

Read More »

19/05/2022: REPower EU, Green Transition, Natura 2000 awards, EU Blue Economy Report, Women in the Blue Economy, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– REPower EU: A plan to rapidly reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels and fast forward the green transition;
– Research and Innovation to REPower the EU;
– ASEM Global Lifelong Learning Week;
– Scientists from the University of Coimbra test new intelligent monitoring systems for vineyards;
– Natura 2000 Awards: EU recognises excellence in nature protection across Europe;
– EU urges building insulation push in bid to end reliance on Russian gas;
– Finland, Japan open call for research cooperation;
– EU Blue Economy report: Ocean economy fuels European green transition;
– The “Women in the Blue Economy” call for proposals is now open;
– EPFL: A new law unchains fusion energy.

Read More »

18/05/2022: Climate Change, Artificial Intelligence, Russian gas supply, Partnerships for Regional Innovation, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– Renewable energy industry says EU fund for clean tech is failing its mission;
– The Guild: Diversity, sustainability and quality must be the hallmarks of academic publishing in Europe;
– Climate change: MEPs push for accelerated EU action and energy independence;
– EU and US edge closer together on AI at latest Trade and Technology Council meeting;
– Open Call: New EU TalentOn invites young, academic talent to find solutions for our most pressing challenges;
– Commission launches EPREL database to help consumers on energy efficient products;
– LEAK: EU countries urged to prepare for Russian gas ‘supply shock’;
– Forging sustainable timber construction in Europe;
– President Zelensky urges US universities to help rebuild Ukraine’s higher education system;
– Partnerships for Regional Innovation: 63 regions, seven cities and four Member States selected for Pilot Action.

Read More »