October 4, 2023

Restarting at the forefront of European research and innovation debates

September in Brussels was marked by a flurry of activities, where discussions on crucial matters were held. INESC Brussels Hub played an active role in several significant events, enriching these discussions and furthering the mission to be at the forefront of European research and innovation.

In the beginning of the month, the Hub participated in the JRC-EARTO workshop on foresight, together with several international organisations. This workshop explored the future of the construction industry, emphasising adaptable and universally applicable value chains. It also addressed the increasing demand for renewable raw materials in the chemical industry, highlighting sustainability as a top priority. Alongside the most important research organizations in Europe, such as Fraunhofer, there was an exchange of best practices on foresight and the HUB was central in this conversation.

Then, the HUB played a key role in the Science|Business Roundtable held on 18-19 September. This event brought together industry, research, and policy experts to assess the progress of the Net-Zero Industry Act and to discuss innovation needs and challenges. Ricardo Miguéis, Head of Office at the INESC Brussels Hub, moderated the discussions on building the EU innovation ecosystem to achieve net zero targets.

The roundtable highlighted the importance of collaborative ecosystems, advanced infrastructure, education, and innovative financing mechanisms in advancing sustainability and net-zero goals. You can watch the full conference here. From this roundtable network there is a revised strategy recommendation coming out which will most likely result in a podcast series and more conferences.

The INESC Brussels Hub was late this past month at the centre of discussions to shape the future of European manufacturing during the 61st MANUFUTURE Implementation Support Group meeting. The event, held at the INESC Brussels Hub office, brought together MANUFUTURE EU, a leading European technology platform, and partner organisations to strategize on the evolution of manufacturing in Europe.

The meeting featured in-depth discussions on several critical issues, including the relevance of the Strategic Technologies for Europe (STEP) platform within Manufuture, technology infrastructures, state aid for research and innovation, human-centred manufacturing and new clean technologies. Participants were also updated on key European partnerships and upcoming events in the MANUFUTURE calendar.

Of particular interest were discussions on emerging clean technologies, end-to-end automation, and the transformative impact of Generative AI on European manufacturing.

Representatives from partner organisations such as José Carlos Caldeira (INESC TEC), Edoardo Mascalchi (European Commission), Marta Candeias (Instituto Superior Técnico), Tullio Tolio and Marcello Urgo (Politecnico di Milano), Rikardo Bueno Zabalo (BRTA), Hendrik Van Brussel (KU Leuven) and Francesca Girardi (EIT Manufacturing) were present and shared their insights and expertise throughout the day-long meeting.

Finally, in a related development, INESC TEC’s CEO, João Claro, will speak at the 21st European Week of Regions and Cities, which will take place in Brussels from 9 to 12 October. This event provides a platform for cities and regions to showcase their contribution to economic growth, job creation, the implementation of EU cohesion policy and effective European governance at local and regional level.

The INESC Brussels HUB’s active participation in these events demonstrates the commitment to be at the forefront of discussions that shape the future of European research and innovation. September was indeed a month of strong engagement at the heart of these conversations with the key players in the area. And it was definitely a step forward in the HUB´s recognition as a promoter of knowledge and a reliable partner institution.

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