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In this Morning Brief, we open with the excellent news that a number of INESC-ID researchers have been recognised in the Research.com rankings, the EU Green Week 2022 is coming up and it’s going to have simultaneous events all throughout Europe, the EU is now member of the North Pacific Fisheries Commission, the EU made new proposals to make sustainable products the norm and boost Europe’s resource independence in the areas of textiles and circular economy, and more!  

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:

INESC-ID researchers recognized in Research.com rankings

Several INESC-ID researchers have recently been recognized across multiple thematic Research.Com rankings, both nationally and internationally.

In the fields of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering we find a number of INESC-ID researchers: Ana Paiva, Joaquim Jorge, Miguel Pupo Correia, Luís Rodrigues, Rodrigo Rodrigues, Arlindo Oliveira, Isabel Trancoso, Hugo Morais, Luís Ferreira and Leonel Sousa. Once again, INESC-ID researchers are credited as major figures in their respective scientific and technological fields.

Research.com is a portal created by scientists for scientists to help researchers keep track of relevant conferences and research, as well as providing rankings of individuals and institutions worldwide.


ERC and the pandemic: evaluations and grant management during this period

The coronavirus pandemic disrupted the lives and work of many ERC applicants and grantees. The crisis affected the ERC, too. Most staff have been working remotely for most of the time for the past two years. The state that :“we have been doing our best to remain operational during this exceptional period, while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our own staff and the people with whom we work.” In this article learn about remote and on site panel evaluations, postponing the start of your project or extending the duration of your project, flexibility on tele-working and time commitments, maximum grant amounts, reorienting your project to COVID-19.


Do you know ORE: the database for publications originating in H2020 and Horizon Europe

Open Research Europe is an open access publishing platform for the publication of research stemming from Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe funding across all subject areas. The platform makes it easy for Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe beneficiaries to comply with the open access terms of their funding and offers researchers a publishing venue to share their results and insights rapidly and facilitate open, constructive research discussion. Know more here.    


EU Green Week 2022: EU Green Deal – Make it Real

EU Green Week is an annual opportunity to debate European environmental policy with policymakers, leading environmentalists and stakeholders from Europe and beyond. This year’s edition focuses on the European Green Deal – the EU’s sustainable and transformative growth strategy for a resource-efficient and climate-neutral Europe by 2050.

EU Green Week 2022 will take place from 30 May to 5 June 2022.  The main hybrid event on 31 May puts three important aspects of the transformation in the spotlight – circular economy, zero pollution, and biodiversity. Throughout the week, partner events will be taking place across Europe and beyond.

Discover more about the event here.


EU now member of the North Pacific Fisheries Commission

The European Union became officially member of the North Pacific Fisheries Commission (NPFC) on 23 March 2022. The NPFC is a Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (RFMO) established in 2015 to ensure the long-term conservation of the stocks and protection of the marine ecosystems of the North Pacific Ocean. The main target species currently regulated by the NPFC are Pacific saury, chub mackerel, sablefish, Japanese sardine, neon flying squid, Japanese flying squid, as well as, some deep sea species.

Through its active participation in the NPFC, the EU will promote the conservation and sustainable management of the marine biological resources managed by this RFMO as well as the protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems and species. It will also contribute to strengthening the governance and existing legal framework of the organisation, promoting better science and effective compliance and enforcement of applicable rules.

With this new membership to the NPFC, the EU has increased its participation to 18 RFMOs and regional fisheries bodies (13 non-tuna and 5 tuna RFMOs), and is consolidating its position as the most prominent actor in RFMOs and fisheries bodies worldwide. 


German Research Foundations puts €38 million in nine new research teams

The projects will run up to eight years, allowing researchers to delve into pressing issues such as treatment of multiple injuries to the body occurring at the same time and novel approaches to self-healing materials.

The German Research Foundation (DFG) also agreed to extend the grants for seven existing research teams. In total, it is currently funding 174 such research units, 14 centres tailored for humanities and social sciences, and 14 clinical research units.


Data Governance Act: at a glance

Seeking to unlock the socio-economic potential of data, while preserving European rights and values, the EU is breaking new ground with its data governance act. The first of a set of measures announced in the European Commission’s strategy for data, the act is designed to facilitate voluntary data sharing across the EU and between sectors, by strengthening mechanisms that increase data availability and foster trust in intermediaries. During its April plenary session, the European Parliament is due to vote at first reading on the final text resulting from interinstitutional negotiations. Check the background, the EC proposal and the EP position in the European Parliament Research Service publication “At a Glance”.  


Green Deal package for sustainable products

The Commission presented a package of European Green Deal proposals to make sustainable products the norm in the EU, boost circular business models and empower consumers for the green transition. As announced in the Circular Economy Action Plan, the Commission is proposing new rules to make almost all physical goods on the EU market more friendly to the environment, circular, and energy efficient throughout their whole lifecycle from the design phase through to daily use, repurposing and end-of-life.

The Commission also presented a new strategy to make textiles more durable, repairable, reusable and recyclable, to tackle fast fashion, textile waste and the destruction of unsold textiles, and ensure their production takes place in full respect of social rights. A third proposal aims to boost the internal market for construction products and ensure that the regulatory framework in place is fit for making the built environment deliver on our sustainability and climate objectives. Finally, the package includes a proposal on new rules to empower consumers in the green transition so that consumers are better informed about the environmental sustainability of products and better protected against greenwashing. Read the full press release here.

For more information:

Questions and Answers on Sustainable products initiative

Factsheet on Sustainable products initiative

Questions and Answers on Textiles Strategy

Factsheet on Textiles Strategy

Questions and Answers on Construction materials

Factsheet on Construction materials

Press release on Empowering consumers

Factsheet on Empowering consumers

Chapeau communication on making sustainable products the norm

Proposal for a Regulation on Ecodesign for Sustainable Products

Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Working Plan 2022-2024

EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles

Survey on the Transition Pathway for the textile ecosystem

Scenarios towards co-creation of a transition pathway for a more resilient, sustainable and digital textiles ecosystem

Sustainable Textiles Strategy website

Proposal on the revision of the Construction Product Regulation

Circular economy: sustainable footwear stockshots

Circular economy: sustainable furniture stockshots.


EU and US come to ‘agreement on principle’ on data flows

According to Science|Business, “The EU and US have reached an agreement in principle on facilitating data flows, including research data, across the Atlantic. Steady data sharing has been hampered since the EU’s Court of Justice struck down the old rules due to concerns about US government surveillance in July 2020. The future Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework will introduce a new set of rules safeguarding Europeans data flowing across the Atlantic, which the Commission claims underpins “€900 billion in cross-border commerce every year.” The new agreement, set to replace the Privacy Shield Framework killed off by the EU court, comes after more than a year of negotiations. It’s an agreement in principle and will now have to be translated into legal documents, to be adopted by both the EU and the US. This time around, the hope is the framework won’t have any fatal flaws. “It is important to find a future proof solution, as we cannot fail a third time on this subject,” said Edit Herczog, member of the Research Data Alliance and former member of the European Parliament. The data in question include research data shared by companies that take part in the EU framework research programmes, such as the results of clinical trials required to get approval of new drugs.”.


Trans-European energy infrastructure: at a glance

During the April 2022 plenary session, Parliament will be voting on the text of a revised TEN-E Regulation, agreed in trilogue negotiations in late 2021. The TEN-E Regulation outlines rules for projects of common interest (PCIs) in energy infrastructure. PCIs are priority projects that either greatly benefit the single market or improve security of supply in the EU; some are eligible for EU funding. The revised TEN-E Regulation would require PCIs to meet stronger environmental sustainability criteria, and would exclude gas and oil infrastructure from future PCI lists. Check the background, the EC proposal and the EP position in the European Parliament Research Service publication “At a Glance”.


EfVET magazine: innovation and challenges in Vocational Education and Training (VET)

The 2022 edition of the EfVET magazine is out. This new edition has a focus on Innovation in Vocational Education and Training. Check it out here.


KELP-EU: ‘Kelping’ the EU

Among the many fundamental issues that our planet faces today, two are particularly concerning: how to provide healthy, nutritious food in the face of food security challenges, and how to transition to a circular, low-carbon economy?

KELP-EU is a project run by Oceanium, a company based in Scotland, attempting to revolutionise the use of kelp in the EU to address those two challenges. Supported by €2.1 million from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), the project taps into the potential of Europe’s budding seaweed industry. It wants to discover new solutions for reducing the effects of climate change, restoring the health of our oceans and improving the diets and livelihoods of citizens around the world.

Over an 18-month period (October 2021 – March 2023), the project works with multiple partners, including seaweed farmers, researchers and government stakeholders from across the EU on the development of seaweed farming as well as its processing.

In addition to developing a sustainable EU seaweed industry, KELP-EU will work on scaling up the seaweed biorefinery process (TRL6-8), increasing the annual seaweed processing volume to 150 tonnes per year (t/y). Furthermore, there are plans design the world’s first sustainable biorefinery pilot plant with a 5,000 t/y processing capacity.

Meeting the goal of creating a circular economy, the project will also focus on developing new products from the sustainable use of by-products, such as kelp protein, fibre, fucoidan, and beta-glucan, obtained from the biorefinery process. The samples will then be shared with potential customers and submitted for US and EU regulatory approval.

Read more here.


EU countries bet on floating LNG terminals to raise import capacity

According to EURACTIV, “The war in Ukraine has focused attention on liquefied gas (LNG) to replace Russian supplies coming via pipeline. Germany, France and Italy are all planning to rent or acquire special floating terminals in order to increase import capacity. While replacing Russian oil and coal is considered doable, gas is more complicated because deliveries rely on existing pipeline infrastructure linked to Russia. But the war in Ukraine is forcing EU governments to speed up the search for alternatives. “We can report that construction on the alternatives is progressing very well and quickly,” explained Germany’s vice-chancellor Robert Habeck on Friday (25 March) as he briefed journalists on progress made in ensuring the country’s supply security. To ship gas across long distances, it needs to be cooled down to -160° Celsius and compressed into liquid form, reducing its volume by 1/600th. This process requires terminals for the liquefaction and regasification process, which usually take around five years to build. Over the past weeks, Habeck has visited potential LNG suppliers like Canada, the US, Norway and Qatar in a bid to replace the 46 billion cubic meters of Russian gas that Germany consumed last year. But even if those countries were able to increase production, Europe lacks the import capacity. In Germany, the first LNG terminal is due to enter operation in 2026, which has prompted Berlin to look elsewhere. The German government has instructed utilities RWE and Uniper to rent three so-called Floating Storage and Regasification Units (FSRUs) from the Greek company Dynagas and the Norwegian subsidiary of Hoegh. “The news that I can make public now is that we have created the framework for companies to rent so-called FSRUs, which are special ships that can land LNG and regasify it,” Habeck said. Dynagas did not respond to a request for comment on how far the talks have progressed with RWE regarding the two floating terminals. Floating Storage and Regasification Units (FRSUs) are often former supertankers which have been repurposed to regasify significant quantities of LNG. While onshore terminals must follow strict construction regulations, all that is required for floating terminals is a deep water port that can land very large ships. Germany’s first floating LNG terminal is expected to be operational already before the end of the year, with the rest of them due by mid-2024.

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 »