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:

3.4bn to fund EU Industrial Strategy priorities through Cluster 4 of Horizon Europe

An excellent SB article details how €3.4 billion will be spent over the next two years to fund the EU’s Industrial Strategy priorities through HE Cluster 4.

  • €724 million will be spent over the next two years to digitise the manufacturing and construction sectors and reducing their carbon footprint. The calls will prioritise R&D projects that are very close to the market and which contribute to new hubs for circular economy applications, such recycling waste and helping industry switch to renewable energy.
  • €759 million on R&D projects to help the EU achieve strategic autonomy by developing its own digital technologies. The Commission will also launch calls for projects to help the EU decrease its dependence on imports of raw and advanced materials.
  • €733.5 million in projects to develop new generation wireless communications, artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing.
  • €346 million is foreseen for R&D projects to help EU companies standardise and share industrial data
  • €290 million call will fund projects to devise new ways of using data from the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency and from the EU’s earth observation programme Copernicus, to help the transport sector develop new mobility services and reduce congestion and car emissions.

The remaining is to be spent in AI applications to different sectors, in particular healthcare, as well as ultra-low power processors and innovation leadership in electronics and photonics.

Healthy aging

The 2nd Forum Portugal – UK on Healthy Aging will take place virtually on April 7th, from 9.45 to 12.35 GMT. The event, organised jointly by the UK Embassy of Lisbon and the University of Coimbra, aims to bring together policy-makers, researchers and businesses to discuss the impacts of an ageing society and promote the exchange of best practices in public health policy, innovation and business in both countries. The programme, available here, includes a workshop on “UK/PT synergies in ageing and biomedical research”. Registrations for attendants are open.

KCMD mobility functional areas dataset

The European Commission’s Knowledge Centre on Migration and Demography has released a dataset of Mobility Functional Areas (MFA), i.e. a dense cluster of highly interconnected regions. The mapping contains information about how subnational geographical areas cluster in terms of human mobility, measured through Mobile Network Operator (MNO) data, irrespective of the administrative border. The data is part of the study on Global Human Mobility and wishes to inform COVID-19 policies.

New European Bauhaus conference

The New European Bauhaus project takes shape as the Commission organises the first conference dedicated to the event, on April 22-23. The provisional programme features a stellar list of speakers for the first day, and a series of workshops facilitated by members of the project and its partners on topics as “Regenerating Construction Ecosystems” and “New Relationship with Nature”. The goal of the project is to co-design beautiful, sustainable, and inclusive ways of living, by mobilising designers, architects, engineers, scientists, students, and creative minds across disciplines. The registration to the conference is already available here.

Budget considerations (continued)

I know I focus a lot on budget issues but the parallels are too striking. Israel boosted its R&D spending to 4.9% of GDP. Scientists in the U.K. are worried that the government might take up to £2 billion a year from the science budget in order to pay for Britain’s participation in the EU’s research and development program Horizon Europe — the equivalent of a nearly 20 percent cut (this was previously included in the UK’s Treasury contribution to the EU and did not come out of the research budget per se, so it is understandable, but just look at the numbers!). Yes, this is all relative to a country’s GDP, but the UK has pledged to increase its science budget to 2.4% in 2027. Ireland is increasing its budget at a rate of 15% a year for the next 3 years and published a concrete roadmap on how it’s going to happen. France is developing a report along the same lines and is very advanced in the planning of how to spend its Recovery and Resilience Fund, through wide public consultations to all major research, innovation and education stakeholders.

Participation of third countries in quantum and space research

The discussions over strategic autonomy and technology sovereignty are heating up. Now with the potential exclusion of third-countries from involvement in quantum and space research projects, in a move that could see the UK’s involvement significantly downgraded due to concerns over intellectual property. Meanwhile, Germany spearheaded a campaign against Commission draft plans to distance third countries from involvement in certain projects as part of Horizon Europe, the EU’s research and innovation programme for 2021-2027. Strategic autonomy should be about reciprocity. Thinking that because a usual close partner is now excluded from participating in joint research and innovation projects will make the EU stronger, is just ridiculous.

More Articles

31/05/2022: BioData.PT Session 3, EU AI Law, European Sustainable Energy Week, LIFE Awards 2022 Winners, EU Green Deal, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– BioData.PT Talks Session 3: Recent Artificial Intelligence Tools and Architectures for Structural Biology;
– EUA Policy Input: Considerations for a “European Degree”;
– Putting Science into Standards;
– The EU AI law will not be future-proof unless it regulates general purpose AI systems;
– European Sustainable Energy Week: Going green and digital for Europe’s energy transition;
– European Commission reveals winners of LIFE Awards 2022;
– Interact with statistics for the European Green Deal;
– EU countries urged to prepare for Russian gas cut: Summit draft.

Read More »

30/05/2022: INESC TEC Workshop, EU Cancer Plan, Eurostat, Defunct Satellites, Hydrogen, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– INESC TEC coordinated a workshop on Machine Learning;
– Access to financial products for persons with a history of cancer in EU Member States;
– Eurostat regional yearbook: From traditional printed publication to modern interactive tool;
– ‘World-first’ project for capturing defunct satellites ramps up;
– Hydrogen: BAM sets up digitally networked research filling station to increase safety of technology;
– EFCA coordinates EU efforts to monitor the bluefin tuna fishing season;
– Zero Pollution Monitoring and Outlook Workshop – Report;
– Commission outlines defence R&D priorities in new €924M work programme.

Read More »

26/05/2022: INESC-ID research grants, new MSCA platform, Horizon Europe UK backup, REPowerEU, Fit for 55, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– INESC-ID: Nuno Lopes receives research grants from Google and Woven Alpha;
– EU ramping up efforts for strategic autonomy in raw materials;
– Laurence Moreau appointed head of the ERC executive agency;
– Event: The UK’s Position in Global Science and Innovation;
– New MSCA networking platform for future applicants;
– Application system opens for UK Horizon backup grants;
– Fraunhofer elects three new executive vice-presidents;
– FaST Navigator study identifies models necessary to provide accurate advice on the use of fertilisers to EU farmers;
– Germany’s pacifist universities pose obstacle to militarisation of EU R&D;
– Webinar: The European Standardisation Booster;
– MSCA Cluster event on Mission Ocean and Waters;
– REPowerEU: Commission establishes the EU Energy Platform Task Force to secure alternative supplies;
– Horizon Europe mission on carbon-neutral cities kicks into gear;
– Fit for 55: New EU carbon sink goal will increase 2030 reduction target;
– A new Blue Economy Observatory to monitor and promote the sustainability of our ocean related activities;
– Zero Pollution Monitoring and Outlook Workshop – Report.

Read More »