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Launch of the new ERA Talent Platform - 20 Years Supporting Researchers in Motion through EURAXESS

The ERA Talent Platform is a novel solution for researchers and research performing organisations that was launched yesterday. This comprehensive online gateway offers seamless access to a range of services, including EURAXESS service centres and portals, the HR Excellence in Research initiative, the RESAVER pension scheme, the Innovation Talent Platform and the Research and Innovation Careers Observatory.
This is another milestone on our journey towards a vibrant, interconnected European Research Area where talent knows no boundaries. (Iliana Ivanova, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth).

Kick off of the Be.DiSSCo-Fed

On May 17th, 2024, was the kick-off meeting of the Be.DiSSCo-FED project, the Belgian Federal initiative to align with the development of the EU DiSSCo Research Infrastructure, the EU funded project for the digitalization of the collections of European Natural History museums.  The Institute of Natural Sciences (Brussels) and the Royal Museum for Central Africa, leaders of Be.DiSSCo-FED, welcomed at the Institute of Natural Sciences the partners of the project to discuss the technical and governance aspects of the two years project and organize the work:
  - Meise Botanical Garden
  - Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities (CETAF)
  - The Belgian Biodiversity Platform
  - The University of Mons
  - The University of Liege

Be.DiSSCo-FED is funded by BELSPO until June 2026 and has for main objectives to :

  • Strengthen the roles of Belgium at the Federal and national levels within DiSSCo RI, and emphasize the role of RBINS as the Belgian National Node of DiSSCo EU
  • Define a strategy for the DiSSCo RI based on the specialization tools, a prototype platform developed with CETAF allowing the gathering, categorizing, storage and analysis of the expertise related to collections that are lying among Natural Sciences institutions.
  • Use the diversity of the Belgian collections to develop and test a standardized identification of the collections, and to propose a dedicated strategy and tailored tools to the DiSSCo community and stakeholders.​
  • Make digitalized data FAIR and Open-Source using internationally recognized standard(s).

Stay tuned for more news regarding the development of the project!

First evidence of water frost on the tallest volcanoes of Mars

A new study reveals for the first time the presence of water frost on the peak of Martian volcanoes near the equator. This discovery was published in a recent Nature Geoscience paper, with contributions from researchers of the Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB) and the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB).

Positive vibes for the Einstein Telescope project at the Three Borders !

Funding for the preparatory phase of the Einstein Telescope bid is about to be secured. On 30 May 2024, the ministers responsible for research and science policy in the EMR countries and regions, along with all the stakeholders in the project, met to review the project's strengths and progress.

The key moment of the day was the signing by the ministers of an addendum to the Declaration of Intent initially signed on 26 September 2023. This addendum aims to strengthen the governance of the project by clarifying the division of responsibilities and establishing transparent, multilateral decision-making mechanisms.

MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships (MSCA-PF) Info Session

Are you an aspiring researcher seeking to advance your career?
The MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships (MSCA-PF) - part of the EU's Horizon Europe Research and Innovation programme - offer a great opportunity to those seeking collaboration with European institutions during a two-year stay while receiving EU funding.
This year's call opened on 23rd April 2024 and is to close on 11th September 2024.
So why don’t you take part to the webinar organised by EURAXESS Japan? You will gain insight on how to prepare an application and have the oppportunity to ask all your still unsolved questions.
When? May 22, 2024 10:00 AM CEST
How? Only online
Register to the webinar

ERC Synergy Grant Call 2025 – Belgian Webinar

This information webinar on European Research Council (ERC) Synergy Grants calls for proposals 2025 is organised by the National Contact Points (NCPs) for ERC in Belgium (NCP-FNRSNCP Flanders and NCP Federal BE) to inform potential applicants and host institutions. It is also aimed at researchers who are considering applying in the future.
The ERC Synergy Grant Call 2025 is expected to open in July with a deadline in November 2024. The Work Programme 2025 has yet to be approved, so deadlines are still tentative and subject to change.

ERC Synergy Grants calls target a group of two to maximum four researchers (Principal Investigators or PIs) working together and bringing different skills and resources to tackle ambitious research problems. No specific eligibility criteria regarding the academic training are foreseen for ERC Synergy Grants. PIs must present competitive track records as appropriate to their career stage. More information can be found in the ERC call documents which can be consulted via the call topic page on the Funding and Tender portal once the ERC work programme has been published.

Participation to the webinar is free but restricted to researchers wishing to apply with a Belgian host institution, or staff members of Belgian host institutions. Registration is mandatory.

Report on supporting a research career outside academia in Sweden

EURAXESS Sweden has carried out an investigation on what support should be given to international junior researchers during their time at a Swedish university for a possible career outside academia. This investigation has resulted in a report that can be downloaded from EURAXESS Sweden's website.

To properly launch the report, an online webinar will be held (in English) on May 14 at 09.00-10.00. This will include a presentation of the report's most important conclusions and a panel discussion with representatives from the different perspectives in the report. Participation is free, but registration is necessary. To register, follow the link.

DARIAH Annual Event 2024

Belspo is happy to invite you to the DARIAH 2024 Annual Event which will take place in Lisbon from Tuesday June 18th until Friday, June 21th, 2024.
The overarching theme is “Workflows: Digital Methods for Reproducible Research Practices in the Arts and Humanities”. Participation is free, but registration is required.
DARIAH aims to enhance and support digitally enabled research and teaching across the arts and humanities and is a pan-European network of people, expertise, information, knowledge, content, methods, tools and technologies from its member countries. It develops, maintains and operates an infrastructure in support of ICT-based research practices and sustains researchers in using them to build, analyse and interpret digital resources. Belgium is an active and founding member in DARIAH.

EU PolarNet 2 Releases White Paper with 80 Policy Recommendations to Strengthen International Collaboration in Polar Observations

In April 2024, EU PolarNet 2, in collaboration with BELSPO and the Institute of Natural Sciences, launched a white paper featuring 80 actionable policy-level recommendations aimed at enhancing international collaboration in polar observations.
The white paper identifies over a hundred polar initiatives and offers recommendations to defragment the polar observing landscape, minimise duplication, bridge gaps in the current polar observing strategy and enhance large-scale coordination.

New Black Hole discovered with ESA’s Gaia satellite

Today the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Gaia collaboration teams reveal the discovery of a high-mass stellar black hole of 33 times our Sun’s mass in the Milky Way. The Royal Observatory of Belgium contributed to this discovery thanks to the radial velocity data it helped to process.

ERC Advanced Grants 2024 call Belgian webinar
(16/05/2024 – 13h00 - 14h30)

This information webinar on the European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant call for proposals 2024 is organised by the National Contact Points (NCPs) for ERC in Belgium (NCP-FNRS, NCP Flanders and NCP Federal BE) to inform potential applicants and host institutions. It is also aimed at researchers who are considering applying in the future.

The ERC Advanced Grant Call 2024 tentative opening date is 29/05/2024 with a tentative deadline on 29 August 2024. The 2024 ERC Advanced Grant call will be made available on the European Commission Funding and Tender Portal.

The call will be open to established research leaders of any nationality and from any field of research (bottom-up approach), with a recognized track-record of research achievements. There is no minimum or maximum age limit. The amount of the grant is up to € 2.5 million for 5 years (or up to €3.5 million in specific cases). This is a pilot call using lump sum contribution. See Q&A on lump sums.

Participation to this webinar is free but restricted to researchers wishing to apply with a Belgian host institution, or staff members of Belgian host institutions. Registration is mandatory.

ERC Starting and Consolidator Grant 2025 calls Belgian webinar
(13/05/2024 – 09h30 – 11h00)

This information webinar on European Research Council (ERC) Starting and Consolidator Grant 2025 calls for proposals is organised by the National Contact Points (NCPs) for ERC in Belgium (NCP-FNRS, NCP Flanders and NCP Federal BE) to inform potential applicants and host institutions. It is also aimed at researchers who are considering applying in the future.

The ERC Starting Grant Call 2025 is expected to open in July with a deadline in October 2024. The ERC Consolidator Grant Call 2025 is expected to open in September with a deadline in January 2025. The Work Programme 2025 has yet to be approved, so deadlines are still tentative and subject to change.

ERC Starting Grant calls 2025 are targeting researchers who have successfully defended their first PhD between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2022 (inclusive).

ERC Consolidator Grant calls 2025 are targeting researchers who have successfully defended their first PhD between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2017 (inclusive).

Please note the eligibility periods can be extended beyond 7 and 12 years for certain situations. More information can be found in the ERC work programme.
Participation to the session is free but restricted to researchers wishing to apply with a Belgian host institution, or staff members of Belgian host institutions. Registration is mandatory.

Violent star history: beautiful nebula and magnetic star born from a stellar clash

When astronomers looked at a stellar pair at the heart of a stunning cloud of gas and dust, they were in for a surprise. Star pairs are typically very similar, like twins, but in HD 148937, one star appears younger and, unlike the other, is magnetic. In a newly published Science research paper, scientists, including Laurent Mahy from the Royal Observatory of Belgium, suggests there were originally three stars in the system, until two of them clashed and merged. This violent event created the surrounding cloud and forever altered the system’s fate.

Belgian geologists test mining robots

Geologists from the Institute of Natural Sciences went underground in the old mine of Mežica, Slovenia. For a week, they tested the sensors of their bio-inspired mining robot, which can detect thin veins of metal in the rock. ‘A technological revolution is underway in the mining sector.’

Women in Research Webinar

Interested in Women in Research?
Come and join EURAXESS UK for a webinar on Women in Research.
When? 12 March 2023, 14.00-15.15 UK time (15.00-16.15 CET)
This 75-minute workshop is aimed at international and UK based researchers and research managers, it will feature a panel discussion to consider how to support women early career researchers working in the UK and internationally. It will include expert inputs and a panel discussion highlighting European and UK initiatives and challenges, with a particular focus on researcher mobility. The panel will discuss the 'leaky pipeline' in STEM and take questions from the audience.

New Smart Talk Podcasts

ERC grants are the most prestigious and rewarding grants for researchers. These grants are significant not only for the researcher but also for your research institutions/organizations. Two new Smart Talk Podcasts are now available on maximising the chances of winning an ERC grant.
The podcasts can be found at this link (where you will find all the previous podcasts).

Orientation and Self Assessment of Researchers

On February 29th, 2024, the ERA Talent Team organised a webinar to deal with “Orientation and Self Assessment of Researchers”. The webinar was intended of HR staff and researchers.
The presentations and video recording of the webinar are available on the event page.
As a follow-up to this webinar, and for the same target audience, an advanced course on Career Counseling of researchers will be held on March 6th, 2024.

Intersectoral mobility and mentoring

The EURAXESS project ERA TALENT Platform presents a webinar on “Intersectoral Mobility & Mentoring Schemes”. The aim of this webinar is to increase awareness of the researchers’ community at European and global level about the mentoring programmes that EURAXESS centers can offer for researchers with an interest in industry. It will also seek to facilitate talent transfer from the academic to the private sector, and stimulate researchers’ transferable skills and career development with an emphasis on the transition to non-academic labour market. The target group is mainly early stage researchers, helping them to explore professional options beyond academia.
The webinar will be held by Mr. Xavier Ronald Eekhout Chicharro from the Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología (FECYT).
When? 27 February 2024 from 12:00 to 14:30.
Online via this link.

Symposium: SHARE-based research on Health, Ageing and Retirement

SHARE is a research infrastructure for studying the effects of health, social, economic and environmental policies over the life-course of European citizens and beyond. With the support of BELSPO, FWO and the FWB, the research teams of this network, the University of Liège and the University of Antwerp, organizes a one-day symposium.
When? on the 21st of March 2024
Where? in the Finance Tower, room JUNTOS, Bd du Jardin Botanique 50, 1000 Brussels
Registration is free but mandatory until March 15th, here.
And the programme? You can find it here.
The presentations and debates will be held in English.

Celebrate international women’s day with an inspiring conference

Belgian Women in Science non-profit association (BeWiSe), member of the European Platform of Women Scientists, invites higher education students, academics, university professionals and policy-makers to discuss the “Matilda effect”. Panel members will share concrete measures to make women in STEM visible. To inspire their peers, scientists will also present their latest research with a gender dimension. The conference takes place on March 8, 2024 afternoon in the beautiful and historic University Foundation (11 rue Egmont, 1000 Brussels).
Join us! In English, free-of-charge, registration.

ERC Grants training

This on-site training is organised by the Belgian European Research Council (ERC) National Contact Points (NCPs) in collaboration with the ERC Executive Agency and aims to provide information through standard presentations and hands-on/training on the three following topics:

  • Open science in the context of the ERC programme
  • ERC lump sum funding with focus on the Advanced Grant 2024 call
  • Third Parties in ERC Grants

Participation to the training is free but restricted to staff members of Belgian host institutions (ERC Grant Principal Investigators and their team members and administrative support staff) and researchers wishing to apply for ERC Grants with a Belgian host institution. It is required to register before 5 March. A confirmation of participation will be sent at the latest one week before the event.

Date : Tuesday, March 12th (9:30 – 15:00)
Location : Hoek 38 (Leuvenseweg 38, 1000 Brussel)
Registration & event details

We're heading for Venus: ESA approves EnVision

ESA’s next mission to Venus was officially ‘adopted’ today by the Agency’s Science Programme Committee. EnVision will study Venus from its inner core to its outer atmosphere, giving important new insight into the planet's history, geological activity and climate. The Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy will be on board with the VenSpec-H instrument, targeting the measurement of potential atmospheric tracers of volcanism and surface changes on Venus.

EURAXESS Startup Hub Webinar #3
Conceptualize Your Deep Tech Startup Idea: Learn Your Way Through AI State of the Art

The ERA Talent project will soon organize the third webinar of the EURAXESS Startup Hub Entrepreneur Leadership Academy program.
When? on Thursday, February 29th, 13:00 CET
What? "Conceptualize Your Deep Tech Startup Idea: Learn Your Way Through AI State of the Art"
Details and registration form (registration is free but mandatory)
For whom? for researchers at every career stage, working in academia or elsewhere, with interest to pursue startup entrepreneurship career or already there.

Baboons among the ancient Egyptians: revered but suffering

Ancient Egyptians raised baboons in captivity before mummifying them, according to research by archaeozoologist Wim Van Neer from the Institute of Natural Sciences and colleagues. "Despite being sacred animals, they did not have an easy life. They suffered from malnutrition and a lack of sunlight."

Survey: SUStainable HYbrid work (SUSHY)

The study entitled "SUStainable HYbrid work" (SUSHY) is funded by the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) and conducted jointly by 3 universities: l'Université catholique de Louvain, l'Université de Namur and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Our objective is to understand how hybrid work is currently organised in Belgium and under what conditions it can be sustainable for people, organisations and the planet in the mid- and long-term. By hybrid work, we mean the possibility for workers to combine multiple locations to carry out work thanks to the use of ICT.
Your input will be extremely valuable for us to gain insight into current hybrid work practices in Belgium.

Cloud-processing of formaldehyde does not explain the large missing source of formic acid

Previous work at BIRA-IASB and elsewhere has revealed the existence of an elusive but very large source of formic acid of unknown origin in the Earth’s atmosphere. Formic acid is the dominant acidifying agent in clouds in precipitation at remote locations.
A few years ago, formaldehyde (HCHO) processing by liquid clouds was claimed to be a very large source of formic acid (HCOOH) explaining the missing source (Franco et al., Nature, 2021). This mechanism involves formaldehyde (HCHO) conversion into methanediol (HOCH2OH) in clouds and gas-phase oxidation of methanediol into formic acid.
Now, a new study just published in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science) (Nguyen et al.) demonstrated using theoretical and modelling tools that this process accounts for less than 10% of the source required to close the global budget of formic acid. Moreover, the model simulations – performed at BIRA-IASB – show that the mechanism is especially inefficient over vegetated areas, which is precisely where the missing source is expected to be largest.

European Space Agency downselects candidates for its new science mission

ESA, the European Space Agency, has downselected the shortlist for its next ‘medium’ science mission to three finalists: M-Matisse, Plasma Observatory and Theseus. BIRA-IASB is involved in 2 out of the 3 selected candidates.

International Day for Biosphere Reserves - 3 November

The International Day for Biosphere Reserves is an invitation to take inspiration from the solutions already implemented in these spaces to build genuinely sustainable development everywhere, with full respect for nature and for the living world.

This year, a map of all activities undertaken by biosphere reserves to celebrate this Day will be accessible on the dedicated webpage: https://www.unesco.org/en/days/biosphere-reserves. We thus invite you to share your initiatives using this online form.

Dust played a major role in dinosaur demise

Fine dust from pulverized rock generated by the Chicxulub impact likely played a dominant role in global climate cooling and the disruption of photosynthesis following the event. This is suggested by a new study published in Nature Geoscience, in which researchers in Belgium, notably from the Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB), the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences and the KU Leuven contributed.

A molten layer at the base of the Martian mantle?

The analysis, by a team of scientists involved in the InSight mission, of seismic data recorded on Mars after a meteorite impact that occurred in September 2021 drastically changes our view of the internal structure and evolution of the Red Planet. Based on these results and previous geophysical data, a study published on October 26 in the journal Nature, in which researcher Attilio Rivoldini from the Royal Observatory of Belgium participated, proposes a new model for the interior of Mars, with a heterogeneous mantle containing a molten silicate layer above the liquid metal core.

Congress: FAKE, False and Real in Museums, Culture and Society (23 & 24 November 2023)

Het War Heritage Institute en Belspo are organising a conference titled "FAKE, False and Real in Museums, Culture and Society.
This congress wants to show and document through lectures, cases and in extenso guided visits the scope of FAKES in heritage and society, from examples in the fields of cultural, historical and artistic heritage conserved in museums and cultural institutions and will treat topics of expertise as Archaeology, Conservation, Archives, Ethnography, Anthropology, History, Paintings and Visual Arts, Palaeontology, Military, Textile and Costume, Fashion, Design, Media & Journalism, Climate Change Research/Data, Scientific Imagery, Heritage Criminology and Law.

Interested in pursuing an entrepreneurship career?

The EURAXESS Start up Academy will organize its second webinar entitled "Discovery and Validation with Scientific Method: Lean Startup Approach".
The webinar is for researchers of all career stages, working in academia or elsewhere, with interest to pursue startup entrepreneurship career. It is a part of EURAXESS Startup Hub Entrepreneur Leadership Academy program, implemented by the EURAXESS Startup Hub, one of the five pillars of the EURAXESS services developed within the above mentioned project. Find more about this program and other webinars planned with it.
When? On Thursday, November 9th, 12:00 CET
More details on speakers and programme.

Webinar for EURAXESS Career Development tools

EURAXESS Greece is organising a webinar on Career Development and the useful tools that can be provided by the EURAXESS network. The webinar is intended for all researchers (at all stages of their career) and for support staff in research organisations.
How? online, via Zoom
When? 25 October, from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm
The webinar is free, but registration is recommended.

Join Zoom Meeting
Please find the programme here.

Building the most detailed 3D map of the Milky Way: Belgian astronomers contribute to the Gaia Focused Product Releases

10 October 2023, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Gaia collaboration teams are publishing new data in the form of five Focused Product Releases. The results are very promising, making of this delivery a first teaser of what will be the fourth version of the Gaia catalogue (Gaia DR4), expected by the end of 2025.

Space Technology to Enable the Healthcare of Tomorrow Conference (November 6, 14:00-17:30)

The “Space technology to enable the healthcare of tomorrow” conference brings together a diverse group of stakeholders active in the space and healthcare industry. As the name of the event suggests, there exists synergies between the two industries. Indeed, space technology and data innovation are driving current and future progress in healthcare and pharmaceuticals, revolutionising patient care, drug development and global health research.
By coming to the event, participants will be able to hear about the newest and latest trends in healthcare, explore how space technologies can foster innovative solutions and learn about the ESA Business Applications equity-free funding Programme. The built-in networking sessions will allow industry experts, researchers, investors and entrepreneurs to find prospective business partners who can help them bring their cutting-edge space enabled products to the market.
Registration and programme.

9 and 10 September 2023 – Open Doors at the Humain Radio Astronomy Station

Mark your calendars: the weekend of the 9th and 10th of September 2023! Join us at the Radio Astronomy Station of Humain, in Wallonia, to celebrate Belgium’s rich and diverse heritage.

This station was founded in 1953 by the Royal Observatory of Belgium to house the very first Belgian radio telescopes dedicated to observing the Sun. In the 1960s, a solar interferometer of 44 radio telescopes was constructed and operated up until 2001. Today, the station continues to host radio and optical experiments to observe the sky, the Sun, the Earth’s space environment and its atmosphere.
This is the first time this station will open its doors to the public, where you will be able to stroll along the two north-south and east-west axes of the old interferometer, see the old control laboratory of the interferometer, discover the history, of the site and its observations and know everything about the current scientific activities. In addition, with the permission of the SONUMA, we will display on site a video from their archives.
There are also activities for children. Bring your family, friends, and neighbours, to embark on a captivating cosmic adventure!

Workshop for researchers on stress management and emotional wellbeing

Are you feeling overwhelmed about the milestones and deadlines to achieve? Do you feel you are not going to make it? Is this worthy? Do you feel very angry and argue a lot with your colleagues and beloved ones? or do you feel extremely sad and isolated? These are common feelings of researchers along their careers that need to be dealt with and reflect upon. Having a balanced emotional wellbeing is key to progress in your career and prevent future mental health disorders.
The EURAXESS-Spain ENO Team brings you the first online EURAXESS training dedicated to the wellbeing of researchers: “Taking the reins of your emotional wellbeing”.
When? 21st of September. 10:00-13:00.
For more details and registration please go to this website.
Participation is free, but you must register, there are only 49 places available!

Solar Orbiter Discovers Tiny Jets That Could Power the Solar Wind

ESA’s Solar Orbiter spacecraft has discovered a multitude of tiny jets of material escaping from the Sun’s outer atmosphere. Each jet lasts for between 20 and 100 seconds, and expels plasma at around 100 km/s. These jets could be the long-sought-after source of the ‘solar wind’.

The solar wind consists of charged particles, known as plasma, that continuously escape the Sun. When the solar wind collides with Earth’s magnetic field, it produces the aurorae. Understanding how and where the solar wind is generated near the Sun has proven elusive and has been a key focus of study for decades. Now, observations by the Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) onboard Solar Orbiter have taken us an important step closer.

EUI is a telescope observing the Sun in extreme ultraviolet light. It is operated by the Royal Observatory of Belgium, and its unprecedented high-resolution and high-cadence images of the Sun’s south pole on 30 March 2022 reveal a population of faint, short-lived features that are associated with small jets of million-degree plasma being ejected from the Sun’s atmosphere. The results are reported in a paper just published in the Science journal.

Webb Stunning Images of the Ring Nebula Revealed Features That May Explain Its Shape

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has recorded breathtaking new images of the iconic Ring Nebula, one of the best-known planetary nebulae. Those images were publicly released this month by an international team of astronomers, which includes Griet Van de Steene and Peter van Hoof, researchers of the Royal Observatory of Belgium. In a paper submitted to MNRAS and published in arXiv on August 21, the team presents and analyses features revealed by those images, one of which suggesting the presence of a star companion that may contribute to shape the Ring Nebula into its elliptic form.

40 years BCCM

The consortium of the Belgian Collections of Microorganisms (BCCM) has been serving researchers and industry worldwide for 40 years, both for the preservation and distribution of microbial material as for specialised services, research and training.

This milestone will be festively highlighted on 19 September 2023 with a symposium on "The role of culture collections in science and society" and the opening of the exhibition "Micro heroes with mega powers" by the Federal State Secretary in charge of Science Policy, Mr Thomas Dermine.

Venue: the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences.
Programme: https://bccm.belspo.be/40yearsBCCM

Newly described ancient whale could be the heaviest animal ever

Perucetus colossus, an ancient whale that swam off the coast of present-day Peru 39 million years ago, rivals the blue whale as the heaviest animal ever. A blue whale can weigh up to 100-190 tonnes, but the newly described extinct marine mammal weighed between 85 and 340 tonnes, estimate palaeontologists, including Olivier Lambert of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS). The discovery pushes extreme growth in whales to a much earlier phase in their evolution than previously thought. The study is published in the journal Nature.

Jaw analyses show what cave bears and brown bears ate

The differences are in the details: Special 3D shape analyses of the jaws and dentitions of cave bears and brown bears living at the same time from the fossil site in the caves of Goyet in Belgium show their clearly different food spectrum. In contrast, the diet of brown bears living around 30,000 years ago differs only slightly from that of their North American relatives still living today.

Recruitment of the futur Biodiversa+ Executive Director

Biodiversa+ is the European partnership on Biodiversity. It was co-developed by Biodiversa (Biodiversa+ predecessor since 2005) and the European Commission. It officially started in October 2021 and will run for a period of at least 7 years. It gathers over 80 partners from 40 European and Associated countries, which are research policy or environmental policy actors.

The implementation of the Biodiversa+ Work Program is supported through an Operational Team composed of an Executive Director, a Head of Research and Biodiversity Monitoring, a Head of Society and Policy Impact, and an additional 12-13 officers. The Operational Team and in particular the Executive Director are working in close collaboration with the Coordination Team composed of a Chair & two Vice-Chairs.

The Belgica Documents Climate Change in Greenland Fjords

On the 13th of July 2023 the new Belgian oceanographic research vessel RV Belgica is leaving from Reykjavik, Iceland, for a trip of three weeks to southwest Greenland. The international research team on board will make use of the advanced facilities on board of the ship to investigate how climate change, and more specifically changes in glacial melt, will affect the carbon dynamics, biological communities and food webs in Greenlandic fjords, a typical Arctic marine ecosystem.

KBR joins OCLC and adds records to WorldCat to increase visibility of collection

KBR will add millions of records of Belgian publications to OCLC.
KBR is adding millions of bibliographic records to WorldCat, a move that will gain more visibility for the library’s collection and provide more opportunities for cooperation among OCLC’s network of libraries worldwide.
KBR is adding metadata from all its Belgian publications to WorldCat, a collection of more than 8 million cultural and historical documents.

ESS International Conference 2024

The 5th International European Social Survey (ESS) Conference will take place at ISCTE - University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal, from 8-10 July 2024. Many thanks to our ESS colleagues in Portugal for hosting the event. It will be the first major conference organised by the ESS since researchers gathered in Mannheim, Germany, in April 2019.

The three-day conference will begin on Monday 8 July and conclude in the early afternoon of Wednesday 10 July 2024.

It will provide an opportunity for the scientific community to come together and showcase analysis of ESS data from the last 20 years as well as highlighting policy relevance (2002-22).

OECD STI Policy Reports

The STI Policy reports from two Global Science Forum (GSF) projects have just been published and are now publicly available in the OECD i-library:
COVID-19 and Policy for Science: This is the first of three reports from the work on Mobilising Science in crises: lessons learned from COVID-19. This report includes recommendations on: access to data and information; research infrastructures; and, the interface between academia and industry. [two further reports will be published shortly].
Very Large Research Infrastructures: Policy issues and options: this report analyses the key challenges in establishing and maintaining VLRIs and includes recommendations on strategies, governance, funding, data and impact.

The Dark Side of the Moon Planetarium Experience

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the legendary album The Dark Side of The Moon by the band Pink Floyd, the Brussels Planetarium invites you to discover a 360° film specially created to illustrate the ten tracks of the record. Images of the solar system combined with visual effects designed with the participation of the graphic designer who imagined the visual concept of the cover of The Dark Side of The Moon come to accompany the musical tracks.

Screening of the film on 18/07, 01/08 and 16/08 at 6:30pm and 8:00pm
Doors open 45 minutes in advance
Reservation required online (maximum 150 people)
Single entry price €16 (online payment)
Approximate program duration 45 minutes

CAMS, the European system for global atmosphere monitoring, improved with detailed representation of stratospheric chemistry

The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service’s (CAMS) global system, which delivers daily global atmospheric composition analyses and forecasts, has undergone yesterday a major upgrade. The system now accounts for detailed chemical processes not only in the troposphere (lower 10 km of the atmosphere) but also in the stratosphere, the upper layer of the atmosphere which contains the ozone layer. It will allow a more realistic representation and better understanding of the two-way interactions between weather, climate and stratospheric chemistry. One only has to think about the large forest fires and the volcanic eruptions of the last years, and about the pollutants which they injected into the stratosphere, to imagine the importance of this progress. This upgrade of the CAMS configuration of ECMWF’s highly successful Integrated Forecasting System (IFS) results from its long-running collaboration with BIRA-IASB, KNMI, and HYGEOS. The European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) operates CAMS on behalf of the European Commission.

20/09/2023: NCP Federal BE proposal writing workshop – Registration – Limited seats

After the success of the first edition in 2022, the Belgian National Contact Points (NCPs) organise a second edition of the “Horizon Europe proposal workshop”, on 20 September 2023.
After a general introduction about proposal writing, we will discuss in smaller groups simultaneously proposals of most of the Horizon Europe clusters of pillar 2, that have been evaluated by the European Commission in the past, guided by an experienced evaluator and the NCPs of this field.
The discussions will be followed by a networking lunch. After the lunch, Mr Marc Tachelet and Ms Cecile Menetrey-Monchau, from the European Research Executive Agency (REA), will share key insights and highlights of the first Horizon Europe evaluations.
This in-person workshop will take place in Brussels in Herman Teirlinck building (Tours & Taxis area, close to the North station).
Our target audience for this event is limited to the less experienced researchers in proposal writing from Belgian companies, universities, research organisations, public institutes, etc. willing to participate to the programme Horizon Europe as beneficiary.
The registration form will be available on 26 June 2023. Registrations will be handled on a “first come, first served” basis AND seats are limited. Participants to the 2022 edition of this workshop will be put on a waiting list, depending on the availability.

Soapbox Science 2023: women scientists take the floor at the heart of Brussels

On Saturday, June 24, 2023, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., 12 women scientists in Belgium will tell you about their research during the Soapbox Science Brussels event at the Carrefour de l’Europe/Europakruispunt, in front of the Central Station.

Soapbox Science is a science outreach initiative that aims to promote the visibility of women and non-binary scientists and their research by bringing them on the streets to reach the public. Soapbox Science events transform public areas in discussion forums based on Hyde Park’s Speaker’s Corner where scientists, on their soapboxes, talk about their research to the people passing by.

Why women scientists? Even today, they constitute a minority in the research field, and their relative number dwindles as the seniority in the field increases. Recent research shows that women and non-binaries face a lot of obstacles from a very young age, notably due to strongly held stereotypes and biases related to the image of the scientist.

This year will be the fourth edition for Brussels. During the event, four soapboxes will be placed on the Carrefour de l’Europe/Europakruispunt in front of the Central Station of Brussels. On each soapbox, a speaker talks about their research and interacts with the public passing by, for the duration of an hour. Talks will be in French, Dutch and English, the most commonly used languages in Brussels. This year, we will explore the climate and pollution, using LED as a communication mean, insects for human alimentation, space weather, viruses and immune system, shrimps living in sea stars and snails!

Belgian online infosession about EU Funding Opportunities for R&I in the health domain

The Belgian Horizon Europe Health NCPs (NCP Brussels, NCP Federal Belgium, NCP Flanders and NCP Wallonie) are happy to invite you to an information session on the EU Funding Opportunities for R&I in the Health domain on Thursday, June 29th 2023 from 9:30 am to 11:35 am CEST.
Several funding opportunities are available at European level for health-related actors. Those programs include Horizon Europe Cluster 1 Health and related Partnerships, Mission on Cancer, European Innovation Council, EIT Health, EU4Health Programme or Digital Europe Programme. The aim of this session is to help you have a better understanding on those different programmes, who they target and how you can get involved. Every presentation will be followed by a concrete testimonial of a Belgian participant.

The webinar is open to all types of Belgian-based potential applicants looking for EU funding opportunities for R&I in the health domain. Please note that consultants will only be accepted if they are planning to submit a project.
Deadline to register is 22 June 2023 and via this link.

An ambitious Nature Restoration Law needed

On Thursday 15 June 2023, the European Parliament's Environment Committee will vote for the Nature Restoration Law that was proposed by the European Commission as a key element of the EU Biodiversity Strategy/EU Green Deal. If approved, the proposal will become the first continent-wide, comprehensive law of its kind, which calls for binding targets to restore degraded ecosystems. Such restoration will increase the capture and storage of carbon, helps to reduce the impact of natural disasters and ultimately also benefits employment and food security.

To reinforce the need for an ambitious Nature Restoration Law, and in the face of opposition from the Agricultural and Rural Development (AGRI) and Fisheries (PECH) Committees, six large European scientific institutes launched an open letter calling the leaders of the European Union and the members of the Environment Committee to vote in favour of the Nature Restoration Law. The initiative is backed by the CETAF network (Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities), which gathers more than 70 European natural history museums and botanic gardens.

Online training: Building your pitch. How to effectively present your career path and goals during networking?

A trainer from the Association Bernard Gregory (ABG) will conduct this training for researchers who are interested to learn more on how to prepare and communicate their research in non-academic environment.
When? 27 June 2023, from 13:30 to 16:00
The registration is open. More details and the program are available at the event page.

20/09/2023: NCP Federal BE proposal writing workshop – SAVE THE DATE – Limited seats

After the success of the first edition in 2022, the Belgian National Contact Points (NCPs) organise a second edition of the “Horizon Europe proposal workshop”, on 20 September 2023.
After a general introduction about proposal writing, we will discuss in smaller groups simultaneously proposals of most of the Horizon Europe clusters of pillar 2, that have been evaluated by the European Commission in the past, guided by an experienced evaluator and the NCPs of this field.
The discussions will be followed by a networking lunch. After the lunch, Mr Marc Tachelet and Ms Cecile Menetrey-Monchau, from the European Research Executive Agency (REA), will share key insights and highlights of the first Horizon Europe evaluations.
This in-person workshop will take place in Brussels in Herman Teirlinck building (Tours & Taxis area, close to the North station).
Our target audience for this event is limited to the less experienced researchers in proposal writing from Belgian companies, universities, research organisations, public institutes, etc. willing to participate to the programme Horizon Europe as beneficiary.
More information and the registration form will be available later. Registrations will be handled on a “first come, first served” basis AND seats are limited. Participants to the 2022 edition of this workshop will be put on a waiting list, depending on the availability.

ERC Belgian Webinar

ERC Starting and Consolidator Grants – Belgian Webinar - 07/06/2023 12h00 – 14h00
This information webinar on European Research Council (ERC) Starting and Consolidator Grants 2024 calls for proposals is organised by the National Contact Points (NCPs) for ERC in Belgium (NCP-FNRS and NCP Flanders) to inform potential applicants and host institutions. It is also aimed at researchers who are considering applying in the future.
More information...

ERC SYNERGY GRANTS incl. novelties in ERC 2024 – Belgian Webinar - 18/07/2023 10h00 – 12h00
This information webinar on European Research Council (ERC) Synergy Grants calls for proposals 2024 incl. novelties in the ERC work programme 2024 is organised by the National Contact Points (NCPs) for ERC in Belgium (NCP-FNRS and NCP Flanders) to inform potential applicants and host institutions. It is also aimed at researchers who are considering applying in the future.
More information...

Webinar on Entrepreneurship

The Entrepreneur Leadership Academy is a series of 7 webinars to provide researchers with the foundations of startup entrepreneurship. In that context, IP&D/Euraxess Israel organises a webinar intitled "From Pitch to Profit: Communication Skills And Technical Strategies to Raise Capital for Your Startup".
The webinar will take place on June 1st, 2023, around 10.30 am. The webinar is intended for researchers interested in the entrepreneur and startup world, at any stage. Please don’t hesitate to share and disseminate the information with your researchers, colleagues and friends. The webinar is free, but the number of seats is limited.

WHO/EU Evidence into Action Alcohol Project (EVID-ACTION) Youth Network Call for proposals

There is strong evidence that many young people in Europe are choosing not to drink alcohol. The European Framework for Action on Alcohol, 2022-2025, adopted unanimously by the 53 Member States of the Region lays out as a priority for action : “engagement with young people to harness their energies and experiences to develop coherent strategies to reduce the risk of harms due to alcohol consumption for their peers and for future generations”. In this respect, the WHO invites young people to participate in the EVID-Action project.

Call for nominations: UNESCO Sultan Qaboos prize for Environmental Conservation

Member States and Non-Governmental Organizations maintaining official partnerships with UNESCO are invited to submit nominations for the 2023 edition of the UNESCO Sultan Qaboos prize for Environmental Conservation. Nominations of female candidates are strongly encouraged to ensure they are better represented in the selection of laureates. The call for nominations is open until 15 July 2023.

Webinar: "Scientific Data about Society in Ukraine: Ukraine in European Research Infrastructures in the Social Sciences and Humanities"

May 22, 2023, 9:30h-12:30h CET, Zoom
The webinar aims to be a mutual learning opportunity for involvement of Ukraine in research infrastructures, addressing research infrastructure-practitioners, funders from the European, national and private level as well as delegates from ESFRI and national research infrastructures. It will give the floor to research infrastructures that have already started cooperation with Ukraine to talk about their lessons learnt and challenges encountered. Also, the webinar intends to highlight the potential impact of social sciences and humanities research infrastructures for different policy areas. It will finally highlight current funding gaps and opportunities. The discussion will be concluded by a proposal for next steps in collaboration in the near future.
Please register here to get access.

e-IRG Workshop

The Swedish EU Presidency welcomes you to the e-Infrastructures Reflection Group (e-IRG) workshop organised as a fully face-to-face event in Malmo, Sweden on Wednesday 21 June 2023 and Thursday 22 June 2023. On the programme you will find important topics : “Authentication and Authorisation Infrastructures (AAI) coordination in the ERA and beyond”, “Cybersecurity and critical infrastructures”, “Coordination among generic and thematic infrastructures in the new ERA” and last but not least, the festivities around 20 years e-IRG. Participation is free, but registration is required.
The e-IRG is a strategic body to facilitate integration in the area of European e-Infrastructures for Research and connected services, within and between member states, at the European level and globally.
The mission of e-IRG is to support both coherent, innovative and strategic European e-Infrastructure policymaking and the development of convergent and sustainable e-Infrastructure services.

ACTRIS-ERIC: a sustainable infrastructure to support atmospheric research

ACTRIS was established as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium for state-of-the-art data and services in atmospheric research. The establishment of ACTRIS ERIC concretizes a long-term effort by several European countries to create a sustainable infrastructure supporting atmospheric and climate research. With ACTRIS, doors are open for researchers, industry, and countries to access to key information on the state of the atmosphere and to the best research platforms in Europe to understand and predict the evolution of atmospheric composition and its impact on air quality and climate.
BELSPO is the official sponsor of the ACTRIS infrastructure at the BIRA-IASB.

DARIAH Annual Event 2023

Belspo is happy to invite you to the DARIAH 2023 Annual Event which will take place in Budapest from Wednesday June 7th until Friday, June 9th. The theme is “Cultural Heritage Data as Humanities Research Data?”, referring to the importance of open data from cultural heritage institutes as a source for research and Open Science. Participation is free, but registration is required. DARIAH aims to enhance and support digitally enabled research and teaching across the arts and humanities and is a pan-European network of people, expertise, information, knowledge, content, methods, tools and technologies from its member countries. It develops, maintains and operates an infrastructure in support of ICT-based research practices and sustains researchers in using them to build, analyse and interpret digital resources. Belgium is an active and founding member in DARIAH.

Official launch of the EPOS Data Portal at the European Geosciences Union meeting in Vienna (April 25, 2023)

EPOS (European Plate Observing System) is the first and only pan-European research infrastructure for solid Earth Science, integrating and harmonizing over 60 types of metadata from various disciplines. Currently, data from around 150 national research organizations from 25 European countries are available through the EPOS Data Portal. EPOS will allow scientists, students and stakeholders to access multidisciplinary scientific data and products, promoting open science research to better understand Earth system dynamics. As such, EPOS will drive research and innovation to tackle societal challenges (e.g. mitigate natural hazards and sustainably manage georesources).

With the support of the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO), Belgium is strongly involved in EPOS. While at the onset the Royal Observatory of Belgium took the leading role in data and service provision to EPOS, the Belgian contribution to EPOS has now extended to other federal and regional institutions (Royal Meteorological Institute and the Flemish Marine Institute). This uptake of EPOS at the Belgian level is aimed to be increased in the future, with additional data provision from other Belgian research institutes.

JUICE: Exploring the Icy Moons of Jupiter

On 13 April 2023 at 14:15 Belgian time, the ESA spacecraft JUICE will take off on board an Ariane 5 launcher from ESA’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guyana. After an 8-year-long journey, JUICE, an acronym for JUpiter ICy moons Explorer, will investigate Jupiter and its icy moons, with a special focus on Ganymede, the largest moon in the solar system. In December 2034, the spacecraft will be inserted in orbit around Ganymede. It will be the first time a spacecraft will orbit a moon other than our own. The Royal Observatory of Belgium (ORB-KSB) and the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) are involved in this mission.

Belgian Biodiversity Platform - Highlights report 2022

La Plateforme belge pour la biodiversité a publié son Highlights Report pour l'année 2022. Cette publication présente les principales activités de la Plateforme au cours de l'année 2022 et son rôle de premier plan face aux enjeux environnementaux et sociétaux actuels.
Le rapport est accessible sur la page Belgian Biodiversity Platform : Strategic & Work Plans.

HOME research project recommends repatriation of historical human remains from former Belgian colonies and the creation of a focal point on human remains

A multidisciplinary research team coordinated by the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) is calling to change the law to facilitate the repatriation of human remains where requested and to put human remains out of commerce. The HOME project also recommends a focal point to manage the information related to human remains collections in Belgium.

Claims for repatriation have intensified worldwide in the last few decades and there is a large growing awareness of the need for reparation and repatriation of human remains held in public and private institutions. The research project HOME (Human Remains Origin(s) Multidisciplinary Evaluation project was funded through the BELSPO BRAIN-be 2.0 Pillar 2 ‘‘Heritage science’’ and was set up following questions on the ethics of the presence of human remains in the Belgian Federal Heritage and how some of these remains were appropriated during the colonial era.

'BELSPO Space Talks', this time focusing on EarthObservation!

Register now for the second edition of 'BELSPO Space Talks', this time focusing on #EarthObservation!

Each edition focuses on one particular aspect of the space sector, bringing together experts in the field. This edition is all about Earth observation (EO) and downstream applications and offers EO experts and end users of EO data (applications) an opportunity to connect with other experts in the field and to gain valuable insights into earth observation and downstream applications. We hope you can join us for this exciting event since we have some amazing speakers that will share their expertise.

The event is open to anyone interested, but registration is mandatory due to a limited room capacity.

when: 17 April 2023
where: Residence Palace, Brussels BE

IPCC finalizes its sixth assessment cycle (AR6)
"Climate Change 2023"

On 20 March 2023, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the Synthesis Report of its Sixth Assessment (AR6). This report is the final component of the sixth assessment cycle, an effort that started in 2016 to assess the scientific, technical, and socio-economic aspects of climate change on the basis of scientific literature. The IPCC AR6 is the most comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the state of the climate, the impact of human activities on it, and the response options. It provides policymakers, stakeholders, and the public with critical and evidence-based information to inform decision-making and action on climate change.

The report summarises the state of knowledge on observed climate change, its causes and impacts as well as future climate change and risks. Importantly, it assesses current progress, knowledge gaps, opportunities and challenges for combatting climate change through mitigation and adaptation.

Synthesis Report of its Sixth Assessment (AR6): [English-Dutch] - [English-French]

ESA is looking for a Nuclear Power Engineer (m/f/x)

Vacancy in the Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality.
ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. We therefore welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability or other characteristics. Applications from women are encouraged.
This post is classified A2-A4 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale.
Location: ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands

Michel Batisse Award for Biosphere Reserve Management

This award is given every two years during the MAB Council, in memory of Dr Michel Batisse, for outstanding achievements in the management of the biosphere reserves in line with the recommendations of the Seville Strategy.
Deadline: 15 March 2023

2023 MAB Young Scientists Award

The MAB Young Scientists Awards targets young researchers carrying out interdisciplinary research in line with UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme. Priority is given to projects carried out in biosphere reserves. Until 2025, implementation of the UNESCO MAB Programme is guided by the MAB Strategy and Lima Action Plan for UNESCO’s MAB Programme and its World Network of Biosphere Reserves (LAP), which contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). MAB Young Scientists Award applicants are strongly encouraged to take into account the priorities of the LAP, and to identify in their applications how their research contributes to the research-related actions of the LAP and to the SDGs.
Deadline for applications : 31 March 2023

Invitation Form: English ǀ Français
Criteria: English ǀ Français
Application forms: English ǀ Français

Workshop on Evidence-informed decision-making and policy evaluation in Belgium

For whom? Representatives, political advisors, policy makers
When? On Thursday 16 February 2023, from 9:00 to 16:30
Where? At BOSA - WTC III - please register

This study day is a joint organisation of the FPS BOSA, the OECD and the DG Reform of the European Commission. Two projects will be presented.
The first project is entitled "Policy evaluation to improve decision making in Belgium", and was recently completed.
The other one entitled "Building capacity for evidence-informed policymaking in governance and public administration in a post-pandemic Europe" has only started in 2023.
Please note that the workshop will be held in English.
More information can be found on the BOSA website.

Applications to the first edition of EuroMiRC Advanced Studies Course

IS_MIRRI 21 project announces a new course: EuroMiRC Advanced Studies Course first edition
Applicants can submit their proposals from February 6th to February 15th, 2023

The European Advanced Studies Course on Microbial Resource Centres (EuroMiRC) aims to create a new generation of highly qualified professionals that will work in microbial Culture Collections (CC) or in the more advanced concept of Microbial Resource Centres (mBRCs).
The teaching body of this Advanced Studies Course assembles a critical mass of microbiologists with long and internationally recognised research, innovation, and education experience, belonging to different CC/mBRCs that are partners of the Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure-European Research Infrastructure Consortium (MIRRI-ERIC). The prepared curricular programme is designed to give science professionals the skills and knowledge they need to take on greater responsibilities on the management of microbial resources.

Ukrainian Postdoc Fellowships

The Belgian Science Policy Office has launched an initiative aiming at offering 24 postdoctoral research stays (of maximum 12 months) in Belgian Federal Scientific Institutions to Ukrainian researchers.
For more information on the application form, on the fellowships and on the eligible scientific institutions, please consult the dedicated portal.
All additional request, comments or questions should be addressed to ukrainian.postdocs@belspo.be.
Feel free to disseminate this information via your own communication channels.

Report on the economic importance of the ESA funded Belgian space economy

Space policy in Belgium is a competence of the federal government. Almost 90% of the annual budget of €220 million for the 2016-2020 period (more recently increased to €275 million and budgeted at €325 million for the coming years) goes to funding the ESA space programs. This budget is managed by BELSPO's space department.
In order to map the societal impact of these investments, MERI authored a study based on a survey of all actors involved in space research in 2021-2022. These include both private sector companies and public research institutions such as universities.
The study analyses the impacts of ESA funding on employment and economic output between 2011 and 2020, as well as the research and development activities involved and the various forms of collaborations established.

Egyptian tomb with ten crocodile mummies discovered 

Spanish archaeologists made an unusual discovery in southern Egypt: a still undisturbed tomb containing ten mummified crocodiles. Archaeologists from the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences were able to study the mummies. ‘An extraordinary find’, says archeozoologist Bea De Cupere (RBINS). Ancient Egyptians sacrificed crocodiles during rituals to their god Sobek.

BE-ARMA - Webinar

On 26 January 2023 BE-ARMA organises a webinar where Mr. Olivier Marganne of the Common Implementation Centre of DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission will give a presentation about the use of the Funding and Tender portal, with certainly room for your questions.

Created on the initiative of the NCP Coordinators, BE-ARMA (Belgian Association of Research Managers and Administrators in European funded projects) offers a platform to exchange expertise and knowledge regarding Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe project management and administration for organisations located in Belgium.

The target groups for this network are:

  • Project managers/administrators of Horizon Projects (Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe), which are the persons that have the coordinator role of a European project,
  • Horizon project administrators in the role of a partner;
  • Staff of EU relations offices of your organisation;
  • National Contact Points.

It is still possible to join our “TEAMS group & chat” to get in touch with the BE-ARMA community! All details about the registration and events can be found on BE-ARMA.

When? January 26, 2023.
Where? Online, with TEAMS.
How? No need to register, everything is explained here.

Belgian Report on science technology and innovation (BRISTI) 2021

MERI presents the latest edition of BRISTI, the Belgian Report on Science, Technology, and Innovation. This is an up-to-date and comprehensive source of information on research and innovation in Belgium. It describes the institutional landscape by authority, for both the federal government and the Regions and Communities, and provides an overview of the policies pursued, future policy perspectives, and the actors and instruments involved. Finally, key longer-term challenges are discussed, such as how to maintain Belgium's position as an innovation leader, optimize the social and economic impact of R&D investments, and pursue a strategic and forward-looking R&D policy. In short, a clear and useful tool for anyone with an interest in public administration and/or research and innovation. Translations into Dutch and French will be made available early next year.

Ontdek de planeten tijdens de sterrenkijkdagen

Op vrijdag 2 en zaterdag 3 december kan je op meer dan 27 plaatsen in Vlaanderen ‘s avonds gaan kijken naar de Planeten. Mars, Jupiter en Saturnus zullen van de partij zijn. Daarnaast kunnen de bezoekers ook genieten van de Maan en de sterren. Sterrenwachten en amateur-astronomen zetten die dagen op de verschillende waarnemingsplaatsen hun telescopen buiten, waardoor je die avond de Maan en de sterren van dichtbij kan bewonderen.

The European Centre for Algorithmic Transparency (ECAT) is recruiting

The European Centre for Algorithmic Transparency (ECAT) from the European Commission is recruiting:

  • 14 contract agents (temporary contracts of a maximum of 6 years) with profiles in the areas of research, investigations, communication and community management, legal, security;
  • 6 Seconded National Experts (that should be civil servants in any of the EU Member States) in the field of research and investigations.
Details on the profiles, offered positions, how to apply and job conditions can be found in the “Work with ECAT” section of the website. Applications are open until 09.01.2023.
ECA is hosted by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) - the Commission’s in-house science and knowledge service - in close cooperation with the Directorate General Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT).

ESO Belgian Day

This year, The European Southern Observatory (ESO) celebrates its 60th anniversary. On this occasion, an ESO Belgian Day is organized at the Planetarium of the Royal Observatory of Belgium on Thursday 8 December 2022.
The event will bring together astronomers, ESO representatives, master and engineer students, industries and general public in a day and evening long series of talks, networking opportunities, streaming and live presentations.

New Belgian astronaut

BELSPO (Belgian Science Policy office) is happy to announce the selection of Belgian Raphaël Liégeois as an ESA career astronaut. After Dirk Frimout and Frank De Winne, Raphaël Liégeois will be the third Belgian selected to work as a professional astronaut in space. As an astronaut candidate, he will start his training in the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne. More information about Mr Liegeois can be found on the ESA website.

About BELSPO
The Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO), is among others in charge of the Belgian space activities in an international and European framework and in particular of the Belgian contribution to the European Space Agency.

About ESA
ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA has 22 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Canada, Slovakia, Slovenia and Latvia are Associate Members.

New European astronauts

Wednesday 23/11/2022 at 14:20 @ESA will announce the new European astronauts.
Will a new Belgian astronaut follow in the footsteps of Frank De Winne and Dirk Frimout?
Follow live on: esawebtv.esa.int
#cmin22

EuroHPC – LUMI Training - Detailed introduction to the LUMI-C environment and architecture

Two-day hybrid course that will serve as a detailed introduction to the LUMI-C (CPU-only) environment and architecture. The focus of this course is on installing and using software on LUMI. Though it is not a full course for developers on the CPU-only partition, participants will also get some information on porting, executing and optimising applications for the environment.
The course will be jointly conducted by the LUMI HPE Centre of Excellence (HPE CoE) and the LUMI User Support Team (LUST) and is hosted by the Belgian Local Organisation, the FWO and the University of Antwerp.
The course is intended for users with ongoing projects on LUMI, users with project proposals in one of the national or EuroHPC channels, and support staff of local organisations of the LUMI consortium members. Participation will be moderated due to the limited number of participants, but we encourage registrations. This will facilitate the planning of further training events.

When: 23-24. November 2022
Venue: The course will take place at FWO in the Auditorium (third floor) of HOEK 38, Leuvenseweg 38, 1000 Brussels.
We will keep a waiting list if registrations exceed the number of planned participants.
Registration: Register for the course latest by 16 November, 2022 16:00 CET via this page.
Attendance is free of charge. A sandwich lunch will be provided to in-person participants.

Workshop on Lump Sum funding in Horizon Europe

This workshop will offer researchers the possibility to hear from peers (coordinators and partners in on-going lump sum projects) the challenges encountered and the solutions brought during proposal writing, project implementation and reporting.
At the same time participants will be invited to also share experiences and best practice, to express the challenges they see in lump sum projects and/or globally exchange their views on lump sum funding in European projects.
Please note that the workshop will not include any detailed explanation of the rules. These are supposed to be known by the participants.

Where? Hoek38, Leuvenseweg 38, 1000 Brussels
When? 29/11, from 9.30 to 12.00 (light lunch is foreseen)
Registration is free but mandatory, and open till November 21st.

International Day for Biosphere Reserves

The 3 November 2022 will be the first International Day for Biosphere Reserves. An event showcasing the contribution of the biosphere reserves to sustainable development will be organised at UNESCO Headquarters in collaboration with all the regions of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
CEBioS is proud to remind you of the publication, in cooperation with UNESCO, of EVAMAB – Guidance for the Assessment of Ecosystem Services in African Biosphere Reserves.
The EVAMAB-project addressed the evaluation of the economic value of ecosystem services (ES) in UNESCO-MAB sites from a regional perspective (Africa) and focused on sites from 4 countries: Benin, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda. The project results are contributing to the transition to green economy in Africa.

The government supports Jean-Pascal van Ypersele's candidacy for the IPCC chairmanship

On Friday 28 October 2022, the Council of Ministers approved a note on the federal government's support for the candidacy of Professor Jean-Pascal van Ypersele (UCLouvain, Earth and Life Institute) for the IPCC chairmanship. The note was submitted by Thomas Dermine, Secretary of State for Recovery and Strategic Investments, in charge of Science Policy, and co-signed by Alexander De Croo, Pierre-Yves Dermagne, Zakia Khattabi and Hadja Lahbib.

Professor Jean-Pascal van Ypersele is an internationally recognised expert on climate science. He is also strongly interested in sustainable development and the socio-economic aspects of climate change. Jean-Pascal van Ypersele is also known as a strong negotiator. His scientific expertise, his historical knowledge of the IPCC and his widely acclaimed performance as Vice-Chair, led the government to enthusiastically support his second candidacy to lead the organisation.

As a reminder, in 2015, South Korean Dr Hoesung Lee was elected as Chair against Jean-Pascal van Ypersele (56 votes to 78).

The IPCC was established in 1988 on the initiative of two UN organisations, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the Environment Programme (UNEP), following the first World Climate Conference (1979). It was established to provide objective and scientifically sound information to policymakers in support of climate policies. IPCC's successive assessment reports provided an important basis for negotiations on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol and preparations for the Paris Agreement. The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 to the IPCC was a general recognition of the remarkable work done by the organisation.

The election is not scheduled until July 2023, but this decision assures Professor van Ypersele of our country's support during COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, from 6 to 18 November.

BELSPO, the Federal Science Policy Office, will fund the costs of the candidate's campaign and those associated with the presidency.

"I will make every effort to support the candidature of Jean-Pascal van Ypersele. Over the course of his career, he has demonstrated scientific rigour, outreach, negotiating skills, persuasiveness and a genuine commitment to the welfare of future generations. I am sure he would make an excellent Chair of the IPCC", Thomas Dermine concluded.

MIRRI has received the ERIC plate

MIRRI, the Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure, is the pan-European distributed Research Infrastructure for the preservation, systematic investigation, provision and valorisation of microbial resources and biodiversity. It has received the ERIC plate, meaning the formal recognition of its European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) status. MIRRI-ERIC counts 5 members, and 5 prospective members. The BCCM consortium, funded and coordinated by BELSPO, is the Belgian node of this Research Infrastructure.
More on MIRRI via https://www.mirri.org/.

Horizon Europe proposal writing workshop
organised by the NCP Federal BE and the other Belgian National Contact Points

The Belgian National Contact Point Coordinators organise on Tuesday 22 November in the FWO offices (Leuvenseweg 38 - 1000 Brussels) an interactive workshop proposal writing.

After a general introduction about proposal writing, proposals of the Horizon Europe clusters of pillar 2, that were evaluated in the first calls for proposals of Horizon Europe, will be discussed in smaller groups simultaneously. Each group will be guided by an experienced evaluator and the NCP(s) of this field. Horizon Europe clusters for which an interactive breakout session is organised are:
Cluster 1 : Health
Cluster 2 : Culture, creativity and inclusive society
Cluster 4 : Digital, Industry and Space
Cluster 5 : Climate, Energy and Mobility
Cluster 6 : Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment
Mr Marc Tachelet, the director of the European Research & Executive Agency (REA) will share key insights and highlights of the first Horizon Europe evaluations.

The target public are researchers from Belgian companies, universities, research organisations, public institutes that are less experienced in proposal writing of Horizon Europe actions but are interested in participating in Horizon Europe.

Registration to this event is open until 8 November, though it is recommended not to wait to register as seats are limited. NCPs reserve the right to decline any registration.
Please note that as a preparation for the workshop, you will receive by email a week before the event the link of a video to watch in advance.
Do not hesitate to contact one of the organisers for any futher information.

Seminar "IRPA-KIK Art Historians Facing Copying"

The twenty-first Art History Seminar will be held at IRPA-IRPA (conference room) on 10 November 2022 from 9am to 5pm. We are pleased to announce that this year's seminar will consider the theme of copying through the experience of eleven IRPA-KIK art historians working in a wide variety of artistic disciplines and periods, from photography to sculpture, from the Middle Ages to the contemporary period.
This special edition is organised in honour of the founder of the Art History Seminar, Pierre-Yves Kairis, who recently retired and will be our keynote speaker.
Participation is free. To register, simply complete the online form before 4 November 2022. Please confirm your participation as soon as possible, as our conference room has only a limited number of seats.

Next cut-off for getting computing-time on LUMI

LUMI is one of the three EuroHPC pre-exascale systems currently being assembled. LUMI is a mostly GPU-accelerated system built by HPE-Cray using AMD Epyc CPUs and AMD Instinct GPUs.
LUMI is jointly funded by EuroHPC and a consortium of ten countries, including Belgium. Within Belgium it is joint effort from BELSPO, SPW Wallonie, EWI and Innoviris.

Getting compute time on LUMI
50% of the compute time on LUMI is distributed via EuroHPC calls. The other 50% is distributed among the participating countries according to their contributions to the consortium. Belgium as the second largest participant has access to 7.4% of the total compute time on LUMI for its own allocation programs.
Both the EuroHPC and Belgian national track to get access to LUMI have different access modes, including tracks for academic research, open industrial research, commercial access or preparatory access to prepare a larger proposal or develop exascale software.
The next cut-off for the Belgian national track is 17 October 2022, 23.59 h.
The application form can be found here.

The calls in the EuroHPC program for compute time on LUMI (and other machines) are announced on https://eurohpc-ju.europa.eu/calls/eurohpc-ju-call-proposals-regular-access-mode.

More information:

DART impact on an asteroid, a milestone for the Royal Observatory of Belgium

During the night of September 26–27, at approximately 1:15 a.m. (Belgian time), NASA’s DART probe will crash into the asteroid Dimorphos, located more than 10 million kilometres from Earth. The purpose of this impact is to test an asteroid deflection strategy. For the Royal Observatory of Belgium, which is involved in planetary defence, this mission represents an important first step.

Euraxess Webinar on Talent Management in Academia and the Public Sector

The following topics will be addressed by the Euraxess Talent Management Hub (Greece):
1. Gender Equality: sharing and learining including Gender Equality Plans
2. Recruitment and careers in the public sphere,
3. Social media training and good practice
4. Career Stories
When? Monday, September 19th, 10.30 am.
Where? Online

Polar Conference 2022 Arctica-Antarctica

You are cordially invited to the Polar Conference 2022 Arctica-Antarctica organised by the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO), the Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations, the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) and the Belgian National Committee of (Ant)Arctic Research (BNCAR).
This one-day event focuses on Belgian polar research and the Belgian implication in scientific and policy fora linked to it.
The conference will be held on 22 September at the Museum of Natural Sciences in Brussels.

The Space Pole opens its doors on 24 and 25 September 2022

On Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September 2022, the Space Pole in Uccle (the Royal Observatory of Belgium, Royal Meteorological Institute and Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy) opens its doors.
The theme of this year is “Space for climate”. This will be an opportunity to showcase the climate-related research of the three institutes, beside their research on Earth and space sciences.
The programme includes activities for young and old. Visit the telescopes and the climatological park; discover how a weather forecast is made or find out everything about climate; follow one of the many thematic lectures; be amazed by the launch of a weather balloon, the creation of aurora in a dark room, and learn all about the study of the Earth, planets, moons and comets from our own solar system to far beyond in the universe. Our scientists will be happy to discuss with you at the various information stands and will also animate workshops and live scientific experiments. There will also be numerous activities for children.

In short: come and enjoy a day of space on Earth!

DARIAH Theme Funding Call 2022-2024: Topic “Workflows”

Dariah, the European research infrastructure for Arts and Humanities, has the pleasure to inform you that the DARIAH Theme Call 2022-2024 is officially launched on the website.
They are looking for proposals and projects that will explore the challenges of designing, implementing, documenting and sharing digitally-enabled workflows in the context of arts and humanities research from a technical, methodological, infrastructural and conceptual point of view.
Maximum allowable budget is €10 000.
Deadline for submissions is October 3, 2022.
Applications must be submitted via the platform.

Let your (researcher's) voice be heard

2022 is the European Year of Youth. To this end, a platform has been created to allow young people to express themselves and shape the future of Europe by projecting their voices loud and clear. No matter the topic, light or serious, local or global, we need to hear young voices sharing their ideas and aspirations.
Record your message online: https://voices.youth.europa.eu/#/

PRIZE D4D - Discover the iStandOut and iStartUp nominees and vote for your favorite iChoose project

The iStandOut and iStartUp nominees have been announced!
Congratulations to all the nominees in the iStandOut and iStartUp categories! Check out our website to read more about the nominated projects: https://prized4d.africamuseum.be/en.
The winners will be announced during the awards ceremony in the autumn of 2022.

Vote for your favorite iChoose project!
It is still possible to vote for your favorite success story, innovative idea or project in the iChoose category until September 1, 2022.
Discover the projects in the running for the 2022 iChoose award and vote your favorite one to the top:https://prized4d.africamuseum.be/en/voting.

Europe's Oldest Gecko Species Lived in Belgium

Paleontologists have described a new extinct gecko species from Belgium. The lizard Dollogekko dormaalensis lived 56 million years ago, making it the oldest gecko species in Europe. 'This discovery provides new evidence for the early history of geckos in Europe,' says Annelise Folie, paleontologist at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS). The scientists named the new species after the famous Belgian paleontologist Louis Dollo.

Samantha Cristoforetti will be the eighth astronaut manipulating SMD

No more PASTA for Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who will be the eighth astronaut to manipulate the Soft Matter Dynamics Container (SMD) and replace the PASTA experiment cells with those from FOAM-C.

On Wednesday August 10, European astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti will carry out a cell exchange in the “SMD” container (Soft Matter Dynamics). Samantha will unload the sample cells from the PASTA experiment studying emulsions (liquids mixed with non-mixable liquids), replacing them with the sample cells from the FOAM-C experiment studying foams (liquids mixed with gas bubbles). The two-hour long procedure was prepared by the Brussels' team of B.USOC (Belgian User Support and Operations Centre). An operator in Brussels will also follow the activity live. If needed, the operator can interact with the astronaut through a communicator, located in Cologne, who is responsible for European voice exchanges with the astronauts on board the International Space Station. After the cell exchange inside the SMD container, Samantha will pack up the PASTA sample cells for their return back to Earth with the SpaceX Cargo Dragon CRS-25 on August 18.

EURAXESS Small Talks podcasts

Listen to fascinating talks between EURAXESS members on hot topics. For the moment 6 podcasts can be listened to, on gender gap in academia, careers beyond academia, or entrepreneurship. More are coming ! You can listen to the Smart Talks from the podcast page directly, where you can also download the episodes. They are also available on your favourite platform (whatever it is).

Dariah annual report

Dariah, the European Research Infrastructure for Arts and Humanities is pleased to present the 2021 Annual Report.

As this Annual Report attests, 2021 was busy and fruitful, delivering a new set of three impact case studies, new partnerships, project developments and initiatives spreading across DARIAH’s four pillars.

EU Award for Gender Equality Champions

On 14 July, the European Commission launched the EU Award for Gender Equality Champions. This new prize wants to highlight academic and research organisations that have achieved outstanding results in the implementation of gender equality measures, as well as to foster inclusive gender equality plans and policies in the framework of the new European Research Area (ERA). It will complement and boost the requirement to have Gender Equality Plans (GEP) as an eligibility criterion for higher education and research organisations applying to Horizon Europe.

BELSPO Space Talks

Want to learn more about various space topics? Take a look at the ‘BELSPO Space talks’ and learn from space experts about their field of expertise.

Symposium "Health challenges of the 21st century"

Sciensano invites you to the presentation of some of her most recent research activities. Topics selected for this first edition are:
• Crisis preparedness/Innovation
• One health
• Food safety and health
Where and when? 8th of December 2022 from 9 to 18 hours
A hybrid event: online and in Brussels (Havenlaan 86c/3002 1000 Brussels)
For whom? Stakeholders and external partners and all interested scientists at home and abroad
Information and subscription: Participation is free, but registration is needed.
The final programme and further information on registration will be communicated by the beginning of september.
The spoken language during the symposium is English.
Questions? Contact scico@sciensano.be

Job Opportunity: Director for DARIAH ERIC

DARIAH, the Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities, is a European research infrastructure which aims to enhance and support digitally-enabled research and teaching across the arts and humanities. DARIAH’s mission is to empower research communities with digital methods to create, connect and share knowledge about culture and society. We maintain an infrastructure that supports researchers working in the diverse community of practice known as the arts and humanities to build, analyse and interpret digital or hybrid resources. We are looking to appoint a new member of the Board of Directors from 1 January 2023, who will work closely with the two other existing members. The closing date for applications is: 11 September 2022.
More information and details on the application procedure.

Meeting with the Brussels-Capital Region on the single permit

At the initiative of BELSPO, a meeting is being organised with the Economic Migration Directorate of the Brussels-Capital Region to discuss the new provisions regarding the hosting agreement and the single permit.
When? 6 October, 14:00.
Where? Preferably at BELSPO and in person.
For whom? Any organisation located in the Brussels-Capital Region that wishes to recruit researchers from outside the EU.
As places are limited, if you wish to take part in this meeting, please contact bernard.delhausse@belspo.be.

ERA4UKAINE, where do we stand?

A Virtual Study Tour "ERA4Ukraine organised by the Sofia University will take place on June 23rd at 13.00 CET.
The issue at stake: is ERA4UKRAINE just an additional "one-shot action" or is it the reasonable continuation of all science4refugees activities? Is this initiative devoted to available support in serving Ukrainian researchers in the times of war and researchers at risk? During this VST recent initiatives supporting researchers from Ukraine will be introduced to the participants.
The number of seats is limited to 30.
Registration (EURAXESS profile needed)

Soapbox Science: women scientists take the floor at the heart of Brussels

On Saturday, June 25, 2022, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., 12 women scientists in Belgium will tell you about their research during the Soapbox Science Brussels event at the Place de la Bourse/Beursplein.

Soapbox Science is a science outreach initiative that aims to promote the visibility of women and non-binary scientists and their research by bringing them on the streets to reach the public. Soapbox Science events transform public areas in discussion forums based on Hyde Park’s Speaker’s Corner where scientists, on their soapboxes, talk about their research to the people passing by.

Details and programme of the event.

Science Newsletter AfricaMuseum

Aurore Mathys is an archaeologist and graphic designer at the AfricaMuseum specialised in 3D digitisation of collections. Discover her work and all the scientific news of the museum in the latest AfricaMuseum Science Newsletter!
Would you like to receive the AfricaMuseum's science news directly in your mailbox? Subscribe to the Science Newsletter.

The Gender Equality Plan eligibility criterion in Horizon Europe

The European Commission is organising a webinar on Gender Equality Plans. Who is concerned? How to comply with? What is this all about? What should be done? How and when? These issuis, and many more, will be tackled during the webinar. This infosession is designed for grant coordinators, project participants and other stakeholders. Feel free to disseminate this information broadly.
Date: 23 June 2022, from 14:30H to 16:00H (CEST, Brussels time)

EMN Annual Report on Migration and Asylum 2021: Flexibility in migration management

The annual report on Migration and Asylum (with a focus on flexibility in migration management) will be launched on Wednesday, 15 June 2022 at 10:00-12:30 CEST.
For this occasion, the event will be opened by Michael Shotter, Director of Migration and Asylum at the European Commission (DG HOME). It will host speakers from DG HOME, national authorities of EU Members States, Georgia and Moldova.
The event will be held online. All event information, speakers list and full agenda will be made available on the EMN event website closer to the event.

Stakeholder consultation on the draft Code of practice on standardisation for researchers

The European Commission has launched an open consultation on a draft Code of Practice on standardisation for researchers. The consultation aims to co-create the Code of Practice that shall be instrumental for research actors to raise awareness and to replicate good practices of effective standardisation strategies in bringing research results to the market.
The Code of Practice shall provide a set of recommendations, relevant for EU, national and local research and innovation (R&I) programmes, on how beneficiaries of public R&I funds can best valorise project results through standardisation.
Deadline to reply to the consultation: 14 June 2022.

The air in tropical megacities is becoming less and less breathable

The world’s citizens are becoming increasingly concentrated in cities – and the tropics are no exception. What’s more, the quality of air that we breathe here is declining. These are the findings of an international team of researchers, which includes scientists from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). The research aim focused on air quality, its deterioration and the abnormally high mortality rate that ensues. All of this is monitored by an instrument in orbit: the IASI sounder, carried by the European Metop meteorological satellites.

Euraxess Hubs Webinar: "Gender Equality in academia: Policy versus Reality"

The Euraxess Hubs Project Team is pleased to invite you to participate in the following Webinar: Gender Equality in academia: Policy versus Reality.
Join us on June 7th from 13.00 to 14.10 via Zoom (we will send you a link after you registered) and enjoy the inspirational talk by:

  • Michaela Gindl, co-head of the Staff Unit for Equality, Gender and Diversity at the University of Continuing Education Krems
  • Ragnhild Möller, work environment and EDI coordinator at the Faculty Office at the Faculty of Science, Lund University

Continuing with a Researchers Panel Discussion facilitated by Dr. Karin Gilland Lutz, deputy head of the Office for Gender Equality and Diversity, University of Zurich
With the following panellists:

  • Hanne Andersen, professor in history and philosophy of science at the University of Copenhagen
  • Sara Trojahn, postdoc within the Department of Ecology at the University of Innsbruck
  • Finnborg Salome Steinþórsdóttir, postdoc and sessional teacher in Gender Studies at the University of Iceland
  • Vasiliki Mylonopoulou, Ph.D., senior lecturer at the Applied IT department at the University of Gothenburg.

‘Le Soleil et nous’, a popular book written by a scientist of the Observatory

A new book on the Sun has just been published in French, and its author, Frédéric Clette, is a researcher at the Royal Observatory of Belgium. Inspired by his career and his experience in popularising science, he presents us, in this book intended for a wide readership, a global panorama of the Sun, its multiple influences on our planet and us, humans, as well as the new dangers it may bring for our present society.

The EUI telescope causes a revolution in solar physics

On March 26, 2022, the Solar Orbiter satellite came closer to the Sun than ever before. A particularly exciting moment. The images of this closest approach -the perihelion-, taken by the Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) on board will revolutionize solar physics!

IS-MIRRI 21 TNA call

The deadline for the call has been postponed until the 31th of May.
Applicants doing microbial research can participate in an European exchange project. PhD students, postdocs, researchers, or research engineers working/studying in recognised academic or research institutions, non-profit organisations or biotechnology companies can apply for the TNA.

e-IRG workshop

The e-Infrastructure Reflection Group (e-IRG) organises an open virtual workshop, under the auspices of the the French EU Presidency. The e-IRG Workshop will be conducted as a series of three webinars on 30 May 2022 and 31 May 2022. Each of the webinars is addressing key challenges for the further development of e-Infrastructures in the Europe Research Area and beyond. In this workshop, the following topics are addressed:
Session 1: Towards a sustainable EOSC - The role of e-Infrastructures (30/5)
Session 2: The twin “green and digital” transition in e-Infrastructures (31/5)
Session 3: Cross-e-Infrastructure collaboration and coordination (network, computing, data) (31/5)

Event DARIAH

DARIAH, the European Research Infrastructure for Arts and Humanities Sciences will organise its next annual event in Athens, Greece on 31 May 2022 till 3 June 2022 on Storytelling as a hybrid event.
Dariahs mission is to empower scholarly communities with digital methods to create, connect and share knowledge about culture and society. The DARIAH Annual Event offers the DARIAH community and beyond the possibility to present results and new ideas; to meet and network.

Extreme hydrometeorological events, a challenge for gravimetric and seismology networks

Measuring gravity and seismic vibrations of the ground makes it possible to observe extreme events such as the catastrophic floods that hit East Belgium in July 2021. A team of researchers led by Michel Van Camp of the Royal Observatory of Belgium has demonstrated, with gravity and seismic data from the Membach station, the importance of these measurements for understanding these events.

Pterosaurs already had coloured feathers

Pterosaurs, flying reptiles and close relatives of the dinosaurs, already developed feathers of different shapes and colours. This has been proven by a 115 million year old Brazilian fossil, studied by a team of palaeontologists. ‘Coloured feathers were used to show off’, says palaeontologist Aude Cincotta of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS). ‘Our study suggests that coloured feathers could already have appeared in the common ancestor of dinosaurs and pterosaurs.’

Publication of the third part of the 6th Assessment Report of the IPCC

On 4th April 2022, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the contribution of Working Group III to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). The full contribution of this group, as well as a Summary for Policymakers, is available here.
The Belgian delegation that participated in the approval session for the report "Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change" included members from BELSPO and experts from the Plateforme wallonne pour le GIEC/UCLouvain. They ensured that the messages included in the Summary for Policymakers are clear, accessible, and supported by the underlying technical report.

More information:
Press release BELSPO
Press release CLIMAT.BE/KLIMAAT.BE (in French and Dutch)
Press release IPCC

Commission launches one-stop-shop to support researchers of Ukraine

The ‘European Research Area for Ukraine' portal (ERA4Ukraine) aims to help Ukraine-based researchers and researchers fleeing Ukraine to find housing and job opportunities, facilitate the recognition of their diplomas, and offer other services. It brings together initiatives at EU level, per country, and from non-governmental groups.

Website Impulse Actions

End 2021 BELSPO secured funding for a number of priority impulse research initiatives in support of federal policy:

  • Research about the restitution of cultural heritage acquired during the Belgian colonial period (RMCA)
  • The Metis project on the role of the civil and church authorities in the treatment of the metis of Belgian colonial origin (ARA-AGR)
  • The feasibility study for the establishment of a centre of excellence on Barcoding for Organisms and Tissues of Policy Concern (RBINS & RMCA)
  • the project to develop a Hydrogen Test Facility for scientific and applied research, capable of housing the various facilities needed to carry out large-scale experimental tests with hydrogen technologies (VKI)

In the course of 2022, new impulse actions will be launched within the framework of the Restart and Transition Plan (RTP), one of the three components of the Federal Government's Recovery and Investment Plan.
To ensure the visibility of these actions, a special website has been created where the progress and results of the projects can be consulted.

Belgian National ISS Payloads

BELSPO, through the European Exploration Envelope Programme (E3P) from the European Space Agency (ESA), offers Belgian entities the opportunity to fly ‘Belgian National Payloads’ to the International Space Station in support to their research and technology development activities.

Statement concerning Ukraine - suspension of the execution of collaborations with the Russian Federation

The Management Committee of Belspo (Belgian Science Policy Office), composed of ten federal scientific institutions (RMI, RBISA, ROB, KBR, State Archives, RBINS, RMCA, RIAP, RMAH and RMFAB) Belnet and the central administration, joins the numerous expressions of support from the Belgian and international scientific community regarding the armed conflict in Ukraine.

We wish to express collectively our full and complete solidarity with the Ukrainian scientific and cultural community, which, like the whole of Ukrainian society, is already today a victim of the illegal armed operation conducted by the Russian Federation since 24 February. We would also like to express our regret and our concern to the scientific community and the Russian people, who do not show solidarity with the decisions of their current government, which is solely responsible for this. In addition to the absolute priority which must be given to the human lives which are currently at stake, we also call for the cultural and natural heritage, as well as the collections of Ukrainian and Russian museums and scientific institutes, to be respected and protected in the ongoing conflict.

However, the implementation of cooperation contracts with Russian bodies, institutions or researchers has been suspended as of today due to obvious operational and administrative difficulties. We regret this decision, which runs counter to the spirit of an international scientific community geared to the overall progress of our societies, but we owe it to ourselves to protect both our own staff and the financial interests and assets of the institutions and services that make up the Belgian Federal Science Policy, as well as those of our partners. We hope, of course, that as soon as the geopolitical situation allows, we can re-establish constructive and open scientific and cultural relations with the Russian people, in a spirit of exchange that can only promote a free and democratic debate on ideas for the benefit of all.

The Belgian Science Policy Office will also be in solidarity with the positions and decisions of the international bodies with which it has been cooperating for years, including ESA or the European Union.

The Belgian Science Policy Office is currently examining how Ukrainian refugees and dissident Russian citizens can have easier access to research positions in our scientific institutions, so that they can continue to exercise their profession in decent and safe conditions.

Publication of the second part of the 6th Assessment Report of the IPCC

On 28 February 2022, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the contribution of Working Group II to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). The full contribution of this group, as well as a Summary for Policymakers, is available here. One expert from the University of Liège participated in the drafting of this report, as lead author of the chapter “Poverty, livelihoods and sustainable development”. The IPCC is a non-profit intergovernmental organisation, under the auspices of the United Nations. BELSPO supports the work of the IPCC since its creation, in 1988.

More information :
Press release BELSPO
Press release CLIMAT.BE/KLIMAAT.BE (in French and Dutch)
Press release IPCC

KBR, KU Leuven Libraries and Google to put thousands of books and historic documents online

KBR, KU Leuven Libraries and Google signed agreements to share a large portion of important digitised documents reflecting the rich cultural and historical heritage located in the libraries. This entails several thousand works, some dating back to the 15th century, that will be made freely accessible in the coming years via Google Books and the institutions’ own library catalogues.
Highlights are the printed works by professors of the University of Leuven published before the abolishment of the Old University in 1797, several thousands of works from the world’s largest collection of books printed in Brussels (15th-18th century) and recognised unique pieces such as the first work in Western literature dedicated exclusively to biographies of women.

Reign of the dinosaurs ended in spring

An international team of researchers has discovered that the asteroid that wiped out almost all the dinosaurs came down in spring. This is indicated by the growth and feeding patterns of fish that died immediately after the impact.

Restitution of a looted painting and opening of two thematic rooms at the Royal Museums of Fine Art

After years of research, and after the launch of a website dedicated to looted art works, the owners of the painting "Flowers" (1913) by the expressionist painter Lovis Corinth have finally been identified. The painting was stolen from the Jewish couple Gustav & Emma Mayer by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR) in Belgium during WWII. The work was recovered by Leo Van Puyvelde after the liberation of Brussels and transferred to the Department for Economic Recovery, which entrusted it to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium (RMFAB) in 1951.

PRIZE D4D 2022 Applications open

Are you an individual, organisation, research team,… with a convincing project or innovative idea on Digital for Development?
Do you have a clear link with Belgium and one of the partner countries of the Belgian development cooperation?

Participate in the Prize D4D and compete for one of the following prizes:
iStartUp category - An internship in a Belgian or international incubator for a value of 25.000 euros
iStandOut category - A credit line of 10.000 euros to be used for (research) activities or further development of the project
iChoose category - A cash prize of 5.000 euros

Applications are open until March 15 2022.

Info Day on MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships

The École française de Rome organises an Info Day on MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships (MSCA-PF).
This online event will take place on 18 February 2022 from 11:00 to 12:00 CET.
This webinar is intended for researchers willing to take part to a mobility programme in archaeology, history, social sciences, in the framework of a research work related either to Rome, Italy, Maghreb or to the South-Eastern countries close to the Adriatic coast.

Pre-announcement 2nd DEFRA Call

The Defence-related Research Action, DEFRA results from a cooperation between the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) and the Royal Higher Institute for Defence (RHID). DEFRA is open to the whole Belgian scientific community, in a triple helix composition where academia and industry work together to foster Research and Technology within Defence.

The first DEFRA call for proposals resulted in 3 projects that have started early in 2022.

Subject to approval by the Council of Ministers, the 2nd DEFRA call for proposals will be open on 1 March 2022.

This second call will cover 4 themes with an indicative budget of 1.600k€ each:

  • Space weather for security and defence applications
  • 5/6G for military, security and crisis applications
  • Sustainable and "green" energy applications for military use
  • Preventive medicine for improved soldier fitness
More information on these themes is available on the DEFRA website.
An online information session will be organised on 10 March 2022 at 14h00.

Skeletons of hundreds of Ice Age hyena cubs found in Belgian cave highlight severe ecological event that struck northern Europe about 45,000 years ago

Researchers from the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences and the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, have recovered more than 300 skeletons of cave hyena cubs from a prehistoric cave in southern Belgium. The remarkable number of cub fossils suggests that the cave was regularly used as a birth den by cave hyena mothers, but also points towards a well-known phenomenon in nature: siblicide in times of food shortage and high competition.

Healthy Data – an online citizen consultation on the reuse of health data

AHEAD (“Towards the development of a National Health Data Platform”, a two-year project funded by Belspo) and the EU Joint Action TEHDAS (“Towards a European Health Data Space”) have launched the Healthy Data e-consultation on the reuse of health data for purposes beyond individual care, such as research and policy making. The online platform wants to stimulate engagement, reflection and exchange with and between citizens. Therefore, the e-consultation platform is made up of an interactive test, discussion boards, and supporting information. Citizens’ contributions will feed future recommendations concerning the awareness and involvement of citizens in the reuse of data and will be passed on to the European Commission.

The e-consultation is organised by Sciensano (Belgium), the Health Data Hub (France) and the NHS Confederation (United Kingdom). The platform is available in Dutch, French and English, and accessible for all European citizens. Contributions can be made until 4 April 2022.

You are kindly invited to discover and contribute to the Healthy Data e-consultation and to further disseminate the initiative among your network.

Soapbox Science Brussels - Call for speakers 2022

Are you a woman or non-binary scientist who works in science and who is passionate about your research? Are you eager to talk to the general public about your work in a fun, informal setting? If so, then Soapbox Science needs YOU! We are looking for scientists in all areas of STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine), from PhD students to Professors, and from entry-level researchers to entrepreneurs, to take part in this grassroots science outreach project.
Brussels will host this event on Saturday 25/06/2022. The call for speakers is now open! Please apply before February 28, 2022.

Significant experiment relocation on the International Space Station

On January 10, the lightning and thunder hunter ASIM will be relocated during a careful robotic activity, lasting about 4 hours. The robotic arm Canadarm2 anchored on the International Space Station will achieve this relocation under the scrutiny of the Belgian operations team (B.USOC).

The Flemish and Federal Government regulate the cooperation between their two research vessels

Today, BELSPO, on behalf of the Federal Government, and the EWI Department – the Department for Economy, Science and Innovation – on behalf of the Flemish Government, signed an agreement framework regarding the deployment of their two research vessels. The framework regulates the reciprocity of the use of ship-time between Federal scientific institutions and Flemish scientific research centers. It also stipulates that the RV Simon Stevin and RV Belgica will continue to be made available free of charge to a wide range of users in the future.

The new research vessel Belgica arrived in Zeebrugge!

The new research vessel Belgica arrived in Zeebrugge on 13 December 2021. She is ready to start her first scientific campaigns in January 2022.

#ESRFscience Live webinars

The ESRF is organising a series of LIVE webinars on the latest ESRF research. Our scientists will show examples of recent results of experiments carried out at the ESRF and will present what science EBS, the new Extremely Brilliant Source, will enable.
Tune in via Zoom (Link to be communicated on the ESRF website for each online seminar) or via the YouTube channel to attend the webinar.
You will have the opportunity to ask our scientists any questions you may have via the Zoom ‘Q & A’ option.
The organisation of these webinars series is supported by STREAMLINE, a European project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870313.

All the research news of the AfricaMuseum in one newsletter

Would you like to stay up to date with the research of the scientists of the Royal Museum for Central Africa? Then subscribe to the new Science Newsletter and receive all the latest science news neatly presented in your mailbox. This way, you will also be informed about the programme of upcoming MuseumTalks & webinars, and you will get an overview of the most recent publications, projects, calls and vacancies.
Take a look at the latest December issue and subscribe.

Two primitive mammals that lived at the end of the dinosaur era

Palaeontologists from the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences have described two primitive mammals from the Upper Cretaceous that lived about 70 million years ago. One was excavated in Inner Mongolia, the other in Romania. Both belong to the multituberculates, a highly successful mammalian group that survived several mass extinctions, but became extinct 35 million years ago.

Brussels International Guitar Festival & Competitions

10th Anniversary Edition – Viva la Vida!
Brussels International Guitar Festival & Competitions - supported by Belspo - from Friday 26 to Tuesday 30 November 2021, in the splendid Théâtre du Vaudeville in Brussels.
Exceptional programme: the famous «Concierto de Aranjuez» for guitar and orchestra, classical music, Flamenco show, gypsy jazz, film music, guitar solo, duo, ensemble, guitar with trumpet, cello, dance and orchestra, exhibition, lecture, luthiers salon...
Discover the programme and buy your tickets fast

Open Call for demonstrators: get your market demonstrator funded

ESA Space Solutions Belgium, supported by BELSPO and ESA, has an open call for technology transfer demonstrator proposals. The call aims to prove the relevance of technology and know-how from space in non-space applications. With this call we help in derisking tech developments and bridge the gap with market introduction. The Technology Demonstrator consists in building, deploying and running a complete pilot in an operational environment with the objective of assessing its operational effectiveness, hence supporting the further implementation into the market.

The call is open to both Belgian space and non-space organisations. VERHAERT MASTERS IN INNOVATION, as the Belgian ESA broker, invites applicants to submit proposals before December 8 2021. Granted projects receive up to €143.500 equity-free funding.

DART: the Royal Observatory of Belgium participates in a NASA planetary defence mission

On November 24, 2021, at around 7:20 local Belgian time, NASA’s DART spacecraft will take off from the Vandenberg Space Force base in California (USA) as part of a planetary defence mission against asteroids. The Royal Observatory of Belgium is involved in this mission. The DART data will be used, among other things, to prepare the future ESA Hera mission, in which the Observatory participates with its GRASS gravimeter.

2022 MAB Young Scientists Awards

The MAB Young Scientists Awards targets young researchers carrying out interdisciplinary research in line with UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme. Priority is given to projects carried out in biosphere reserves. Until 2025, implementation of the UNESCO MAB Programme is guided by the MAB Strategy and Lima Action Plan for UNESCO’s MAB Programme and its World Network of Biosphere Reserves (LAP), which contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). MAB Young Scientists Award applicants are strongly encouraged to take into account the priorities of the LAP, and to identify in their applications how their research contributes to the research-related actions of the LAP and to the SDGs.
Deadline for applications: 14 January 2022

The management and operation of the new BELGICA will be entrusted to the French shipping company Genavir

The new oceanographic research vessel Belgica will be operated by Genavir, specialised in the management of scientific vessels. The shipping company of the French oceanographic fleet will also be the first French shipping company to manage a ship under the Belgian flag.
Press Release in Dutch or French

Call for proposals: Fly Your Satellite! 4

ESA invites university student teams from an eligible state that are developing a one, two or three-unit CubeSat with primarily educational objectives to propose their satellite for the fourth edition of the ‘Fly Your Satellite!’ (FYS) programme.
The deadline for submitting proposals is on February 6, 2022, 23:59 CET.

Dariah - Introduction to Persistent Identifiers

Register for Friday Frontiers on 5th Nov - Tibor Kálmán "Introduction to Persistent Identifiers".
This webinar will focus on 'Persistent Identifiers' (PIDs) and basic concepts of referencing objects. It discusses why so many PID platforms exist, presents aspects of sustainability, demonstrates some added-value services, talks about practical experiences and open issues.
Date: Friday 5th November, 10.30am GMT / 11.30am CET / 12.30pm EET

Speaker: Dr. Tibor Kálmán, GWDG, Germany Dr. Tibor Kálmán is Chair of the Technical Board of the 'Persistent Identifier Consortium for e-Research' (ePIC), Vice-Chair of the 'Joint Research Committee' of DARIAH-ERIC, as well as Co-Head of DARIAH's Virtual Competency Center 'eInfrastructure'. Currently, Tibor contributes at GWDG, Germany to several European and national funded projects with the aim to build up research infrastructures for various disciplines. He also leads the 'Discovery and Referencing' (PID) Task at the DICE project, is member of the 'Senior Management Team' of DARIAH-ERIC, and previously he was member of the Steering Group of DARIAH-DE.

The Ghent Altarpiece reveals its greatest secret: the precise contribution of Hubert and Jan van Eyck identified

Interdisciplinary research by the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA, Brussels) and the University of Antwerp (AXIS Research Group, UA) has lead to a breakthrough in one of the greatest mysteries in art history: the precise contribution of Jan van Eyck and his illustrious elder brother Hubert van Eyck to the creation of the Ghent Altarpiece (1432). Thanks to intensive study of the data collected during the restoration of the lower register with the Adoration of the Lamb and side panels, the team has identified an underlying painting. This can be attributed to Hubert van Eyck and it shows important compositional differences. For example, Hubert initially painted a natural spring in the middle panel, which was later painted over by Jan with the iconic Fountain of Life. The research brings clarity to this old enigma and opens the door to a new chapter in the study of the Flemish Primitives: the search for other paintings by Hubert van Eyck.

Free webinars for young researchers

The FECYT and SAIA are partners in the EU project Discovery Learning , where new ways to train young researchers are tested. The Discovery learning series of webinars for this autumn has been launched, in which they offer a number of 3-4 hours webinars for researchers in different topics such as science diplomacy, science advice, career development and project planning.
Registration for the first webinar "Building careers as science diplomats" is now open on a first come first served basis.

RDA is looking for a Director within the RDA European Office in Brussels.

The Research Data Alliance (RDA) is a global non-profit initiative, founded in 2013. In April 2020, a European legal entity (Research Data Alliance Association AISBL) was established to support the coordination and growth of the European RDA community, currently over 6,000 members. These new positions offer the selected candidates an opportunity to continue the growth of the organization and ensure the value of European members in a global alliance. Closing date for submission is 31 October 2021.

Belgian company SatADSL has come in 2nd place in the ESA Global Space Markets Challenge.

Belgian company SatADSL has come in second place in the European Space Agency - ESA Global Space Markets Challenge, in the downstream group. This Challenge was recently launched by the ESA in conjunction with European non-profit EURISY and 15 national space agencies. It aims to highlight SMEs with active internationalisation goals, developing their solutions for markets outside of the European Union and the ESA’s existing member states.

SatADSL, founded in 2011, is a satellite service provider based in Brussels, Belgium, delivering innovative solutions worldwide to satellite operators, teleport & hub operators, government and enterprise bodies, and ISPs. Active in 50 countries and already connected to more than 15 teleports and 25 satellites, in continuous expansion, SatADSL aims to offer the world’s first satellite aggregation system, acting as a capacity broker connecting teleports with new customers and markets via its flagship neXat platform and hence bring the satellite economy to a new age with a disruptive business model.

SatADSL, the only Belgian company on the shortlist, have been selected on their technical merit but also the credibility of their services to their target markets. The selection process also accounted for the suitability of their implementation plans and the skills, experience and resources that SatADSL have built so far. As part of the reward for this competition, SatADSL will showcase its business at the 72nd International Astronautical Congress (IAC), in Dubai from 25–29 October 2021.

More: https://www.satadsl.net/ - https://space-economy.esa.int/global-space-markets-challenge

Launch of the Biodiversa+ 2021-2022 Call for Research Proposals on “Supporting biodiversity and ecosystem protection across land and sea”

The launch of this call marks the official start of biodiversa+.
A formal launch event is planned 17-18 November 2021 in Brussels. Save the date and register for virtual participation here.
Make sure to consult the complete announcement and all supporting documents, including eligibility criteria and rules of BELSPO on BiodivERsA website.

Job Opportunity: Director for DARIAH ERIC

DARIAH, the Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities, is a European research infrastructure which aims to enhance and support digitally-enabled research and teaching across the arts and humanities. DARIAH’s mission is to empower research communities with digital methods to create, connect and share knowledge about culture and society. We maintain an infrastructure that supports researchers working in the diverse community of practice known as the arts and humanities to build, analyse and interpret digital or hybrid resources.

We are looking to appoint a new member of the Board of Directors from 1 January 2022, who will work closely with the two other existing members. The closing date for applications is: Sunday, 24 October 2021.

For more information and details on the application procedure, please follow this link.

Polar Pride Day - 18 November 2021

Invitation to join the UK Polar Network and partners across APECS in celebrating this day with your organisations and institutions.

EURAXESS Mentoring Programme “Shape the future of a Researcher coming to Europe” IS LOOKING FOR MENTORS!

This Mentoring programme aims to encourage and to facilitate transnational mobility, by fostering cooperation between the researchers from European Research Area (ERA) and EURAXESS Worldwide (third) countries. Within the framework of this programme, experienced researchers will have a unique opportunity to mentor early-stage researchers and support their integration and career development in an international mobility perspective.

Australia-Europe Symposium on Research Infrastructures

The RI-VIS Australia – Europe Symposium on Research Infrastructures will take place on 5 – 7 October 2021.
The symposium will bring together delegates from Latin American and European research infrastructures (RIs), science policy organisations and research institutions. They will discuss opportunities to build international collaborations and further global research.
Anyone interested in learning more about Research Infrastructures and the research opportunities they offer is welcome.
The participation in this event is free, but registration is required.
The full agenda for the Symposium can be found on the RI-VIS website.
In addition to the main event, a range of bespoke satellite events, workshops in specific scientific domains or around topics of interest will be taking place in conjunction with the Symposium. Information about satellite events will be updated on the website soon.

UCLouvain has identified a new medical imaging agent for cancer

UCLouvain has identified a new medical imaging agent for cancer. Previous research at UCLouvain in partnership with Duke University has revealed that many human cancers of different types consume lactate for fuel. The radioactive radiotracer, synthesised for the first time, allows imaging of lactate metabolism in oxygenated tumours and their microenvironments. The partnership with Telix Pharmaceutical Limited will enable the clinical development of this radiotracer.

COST online Info Day

COST will organise an online COST Info Day on 1 October 2021 from 10 till 11:30 to introduce the new COST rules (entering into force on 1/11/2021).

Event shows a career in science is exciting for all

‘WiseNight’ event organisers highlight gender gap in science and tech —more girls need to be encouraged that a career in scientific research is for them.

Leading organisations from across Belgium are coming together in a public event to celebrate science and show children and young people — particularly girls — that scientific research is an exciting and realistic career opportunity for them. ‘WiseNight’, a free event, will be held in Brussels from 24-25 September 2021.

WiseNight, the initiative of seven organisations including The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences and The Planetarium of the Royal Observatory of Belgium, is coordinated by BeWiSe (Belgian Women in Science). It seeks to close the gender gap and help achieve a world where female and male scientists are on an equal footing. It is part of the ‘European Researchers’ Night’, taking place simultaneously across Europe.

BIOFILMS experiment in ISS!

The BIOFILMS experiment was successfully launched to space end of august and is now onboard ISS! SCK-CEN will test the antimicrobial properties of nanostructured metal (e.g. copper) surfaces to help prevent microbial contamination, maintain crew health, and ensure material safety, in space. This SCK-CEN research is done in close collaboration with DLR and ESA, with the support of Belspo.

Brussels Planetarium Poetry Fest
Friday the 10th and Saturday the 11th of September 2021, from 7.30pm until 9.30pm

The Planetarium of Brussels is the place to be for a unique experience, mixing poetry and space.
Poets and performers have written new work especially for Brussels Planetarium Poetry Fest, which reflects on themes such as science and faith. Unique dome projections have been created for all texts and performances in order to completely immerse the visitor in the work.
An experience not to be missed!
Artists: Jan Ducheyne & Noodzakelijk Kwaad, Margot Delaet, Matete Motsoaledi (tribute), Sêminvo Xlixè, Eduard Escoffet & Gianluca Abbate, Weronika Maja Lewandowska, Narcisse, Maud Vanhauwaert, Badi.

Info and tickets.

Drugs - State of the Art SUMHIT

The main objective of SUMHIT is to examine the place of people who use drugs in mental health care, the availability of generic mental health care services for people with substance-use disorders, and the ability of generic and specialised drug use mental health care sectors to collaborate within service networks in Belgium. The state-of-the-art considers all these issues in the light of the measures taken in Belgium since 2010.

Call for expression of interest – scientific trainees JRC
(Deadline: 13/09/2021)

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission is launching a Call for Expression of Interest, aimed at graduate trainees. The JRC seeks to recruit a number of scientific trainees, in different thematic areas. The thematic areas are clustered in 18 fields (not exhaustive), relevant for a variety of profiles. Applicants are encouraged to allow their profile to be considered for other fields as well.
The scheduled start for the successful applicants is March 2022.

More: https://recruitment.jrc.ec.europa.eu > under Graduate Trainee

Publication of the first part of the 6th Assessment Report of IPCC

On August 9, 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6).
The full contribution of this group, as well as a summary for decision-makers, is available here.
Three Belgian scientists, including one from the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium, participated in the drafting of this report as lead authors of a chapter (More information is available in French or in Dutch).
The IPCC is a non-profit intergovernmental organisation, under the auspices of the United Nations.
BELSPO supports the work of the IPCC since more than 15 years.

More: www.ipcc.ch
Press release IPCC

ESA New Vacancy: Director of Navigation

The European Space Agency is currently looking for a new Director of Navigation to join its Executive Board and support the Director General, with responsibility for relevant ESA activities and overall objectives.
Deadline: 26 August 2021

ATCM XLIII & CEP XXIII Meeting, Paris, France

From 14 – 24 June 2021, France was the host state of the XLIII Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) and the XXIII meeting of the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP).

The federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the federal Ministry of Environment and BELSPO represented Belgium at the meeting. Belgium was one of the first 12 signatories of the Antarctic Treaty (AT) and has a consultative status since 23 June 1961.

The ATCM adopted the Paris Declaration on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the entry into force of the Antarctic Treaty and the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Madrid Protocol on Environmental Protection of the Antarctic. This Declaration reaffirms, in particular, the Consultative Parties' commitment to the principles and objectives of the Antarctic Treaty, their commitment to preserve the Antarctic environment and dependent and associated ecosystems as well as their commitment to work together to better understand changes in the Antarctic climate and to implement actions consistent with the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement. The Declaration in the four Antarctic Treaty languages and further outcomes of the ATCM can be found at https://ats.aq/devph/en/news/194.

ESFRI announces the 11 new Research Infrastructures to be included in its Roadmap 2021

After two years of hard work, following a thorough evaluation and selection procedure, ESFRI proudly announces the 11 proposals that have been scored high for their science case and maturity for implementation and will be included as new Projects in the ESFRI 2021 Roadmap Update.
Some key messages:
1.The total investment costs in the 11 new Projects will reach EUR 4.164 million (EUR 380 million on average). This is by far the highest value of new RI investment plans since the first Roadmap in 2006.
2. There is a new level of ambition to develop globally unique, complex facilities for frontier science: Einstein Telescope – highest value project ever on the Roadmap - EUR 1.900 million, and EuPRAXIA – innovative accelerator based on plasma technology - EUR 569 million.
3. Increasing political commitment and inclusiveness of RIs – on average 7 governments provided political support at ministerial level to each selected project, while institutions from, on average, 14 countries participate in each selected project at the scientific level.

Job offer at the CS JPI Climate

The JPI Climate Central Secretariat is currently looking for a Junior ScienceOfficer to join a small and dynamic team in Brussels and help supporting a series of on-going and upcoming activities at the Central Secretariat.
The successful candidate will report to the Executive Director of the JPI Climate Central Secretariat.
Starting date: As soon as possible.
Contract: We offer a 6-month contract under Belgian law, with the possibility of extension.
Deadline: 31 August 2021

Polar Data Forum IV

September 20 @ 8:00 am:September 24 @ 5:00 pm CEST - online - free
The Polar Data Forum IV(PDF IV) will be co-hosted by the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) and the European Polar Board (EPB). The meeting will be co-organized with regional partners engaged in polar data management. The focus of PDF IV will be put on the polar oceans.
Important dates:
- Abstract Submission Deadline: 4 July 2021 (extended!)
- Forum Registration Deadline: 10 September 2021

EU-PolarNet 2 Webinar – How to apply for a Service Contract

EU-PolarNet 2 seeks support from the European Polar Community to develop ideas for concrete research activities. For this purpose, EU-PolarNet 2 will open a Call for Services on 1 July 2021 (time: 13:00 CET - duration: 90 minutes).

On 7 July 2021, a webinar will be held to present the Call for Services:
- What are the requirements for the application (background: European Polar Research Programme)?
- What are EU-PolarNet 2 Service Contracts?
- How to prepare a valid application for the Service Contracts?

EU-PolarNet 2 will invite you to submit an offer related to one of these two research needs of the European Polar Research Programme:
1) Prospering communities in the Arctic
2) Inclusive creation, access and usage of knowledge
Full guidelines on how to prepare an offer for the Call for Service can be found on the EU-PolarNet 2 website.
Link to register for the webinar.

Belgium: an EU "innovation leader"

The annual European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS) and the Regional Innovation Scoreboard (RIS) have recently been published. These reports assess EU Member States' (and selected third countries') research and innovation performances and the relative strengths and weaknesses of their research and innovation systems. A revised measurement framework was used for this year's edition, including new indicators for digitalisation and sustainable innovation.

Soapbox Science: women scientists take to the streets of Brussels

On Saturday, June 26, 2021, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., 12 women and non-binary scientists in Belgium will tell you about their research during the Soapbox Science Brussels event at the Place de la Bourse/Beursplein.

Soapbox Science is a science outreach initiative that aims to promote the visibility of women and non-binary scientists and their research by bringing them on the streets to reach the public. Soapbox Science events transform public areas in discussion forums based on Hyde Park’s Speaker’s Corner where women and non-binary scientists, on their soapboxes, talk about their research to the people passing by.

DARIAH - annual report 2020

All you wanted to know about DARIAH, the European Research Infrastructure Consortium for Digital Arts and Humanities Sciences. The annual report 2020 has been “published”

Press release: UN-MENAMAIS
Two third of the Belgian population is sexually victimised during their lifetime

Sexual violence is rampant in Belgium. In the first large-scale representative and gender- and age-sensitive study on sexual violence in Belgium, called “UN-MENAMAIS” ‘(Understanding the Mechanisms, Nature, Magnitude and Impact of Sexual Violence in Belgium), experts from Ghent University, the University of Liège, and the National Institute for Criminology and Criminalistics found that two third of the Belgian population experienced sexual violence during their life.

A new 4-year phase for the Belgian biodiversity platform

On 27 May, Mr Thomas Dermine, Secretary of State for Science Policy, confirmed the Belgian Biodiversity Platform for a period of 4 years. The platform is a multidisciplinary team of scientists, computer scientists and communication experts whose mission is to facilitate the exchange of biodiversity data and knowledge between the scientific community, decision-makers and field practitioners at the national, European and international levels. The platform has also become a key contact for environmental policy makers.

Belgium will actively participate to the exploration program of Venus

The Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) will provide an instrument – VenSpec-H – to the future M5 mission of the European Space Agency, which has just been selected. Following the recent selection of two exploration missions to Venus by NASA, ESA has indeed announced its choice for the next M-class mission.

Final ASM3 webinar: Post-Ministerial Review, Joint Statement and Actions

Register now!
The final webinar of the 3rd Arctic Science Ministerial will be held on Wednesday 16th June, 13: 00-14: 00 UTC. This webinar will look back at the ASM3 science process in connection to the final outcomes.

Thomas Pesquet installs new sample cells for the Belgian space control centre to further study foam in microgravity

On June 11, Thomas Pesquet will be installing new sample cells under the supervision of the Belgian space control centre (B.USOC, Belgian User Support and Operations Centre). The European Space Agency astronaut of French nationality will replace sample cells within the Fluid Science Laboratory onboard the International Space Station. The B.USOC’s operators will support Thomas during his activity from their centre located in Uccle. This activity marks both the end of the four-month experiment “Compacted Granulars 2” and the start of the seven-month experiment “FOAM Coarsening 2”. Once the activity completed, the operator will turn on the experiment container and initiate the monitoring and control of the foaming experiment.

Report on EU impact on the Arctic

A study on the EU impact on the Arctic will be presented on June 17, 2021, 2:30- 5:00 pm.

The report is prepared in relation to the project “Overview of EU actions in the Arctic and their impact.” The study considers a broad range of ways in which EU policies affect the Arctic and influence the EU’s environmental footprint and economic presence in the region. During the study the EU’s environmental and economic Arctic impact has been considered, relevant policies have been identified and analysed as well as policy options for strengthening the EU Arctic approach have been proposed. The report has been written by a team of experts led by Prof. Timo Koivurova (research professor, director of the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Finland). The seminar will include the presentation of the study, commentaries from Arctic stakeholders as well as insights into the current stage of developing the new EU’s policy towards the Arctic, to which the report is to contribute.

Postdoc position at ESA

ESA is opening a number of post-doc positions in EO for Earth System Science, to come and work in ESRIN, Frascati.
The different topics include Polar and Cryosphere science, Ocean science, Hydrology and Water cycle, Terrestrial Carbon cycle, Climate adaptation: extremes and natural disasters.

ESA Vacancy: Director of Commercialisation, Industry & Procurement

The European Space Agency is currently looking for a new Director of Commercialisation, Industry & Procurement, to join its executive board and support the Director General, with responsibility for relevant ESA activities and overall objectives.

EOSC Symposium 2021: Implementing an inclusive European Open Science Cloud

An integral part of the EOSC Stakeholder Forum
15-18 June 2021 | All times CEST | Online Event
The European Open Science Cloud has finally entered its highly-anticipated implementation phase. The EOSC Symposium will provide a key engagement opportunity for the EOSC community.
The foundation of the EOSC Association in 2020 is a key element of the implementation phase (2021-2027). Building on the EOSC SRIA, the Association will establish a number of Advisory Groups and Task Forces by June. These will focus on priority areas as we enter into the implementation phase.
At the same time, a plethora of EU, regionally and nationally funded research projects are carrying out activities, and actually producing key exploitable results which can contribute to this new phase.
The Symposium also offers an inclusive platform for all stakeholders to share objectives, visions, activities and results in order to shape the future of the EOSC. The Symposium is organised by the EOSCsecretariat.eu project as part of its support to the EOSC Governance.

e-IRG Workshop: Infrastructures for Climate Change and Digital Transitions

The workshop will take place as virtual sessions on 25. + 26. May 2021.

The first session (25. May, 14:00-16:30 CEST)
EOSC and data interoperability will address the data aspect for the viewpoint of persistent identifiers and their semantic interpretation. The topic of interoperability of data goes well beyond the European borders and will provide presentations as well as a demo.

The second session (26. May, 10:00-12:30 CEST)
is organised under the title Addressing climate change - the digital aspects and is carrying forward the topic from the workshop under German EU Presidency. This time the session will be used to present e-Infrastructures addressing the effects of climate change, i.e. wildfires and on the marine domain.

The third session (26. May, 14:00-16:30 CEST)
with the long title Going beyond: How policies can shape the development of research infrastructure facilitating data sovereignty, innovation and cultural change is an interactive session for discussion. Three contributors will provide ideas for future developments in the realm of e-Infrastructure on technical, policy and social aspects to stimulate a discussion with the audience.

The registration for the e-IRG Workshop is open.

Climate Coffees

Blue-Action, in partnership with the European Climate Research Alliance, are pleased to announce a new series of opportunities for networking and dissemination among the climate science community!
Climate Coffees are short, relaxed events for scientists to share ideas, discuss methods and communicate new results.
Join us for peer-to-peer learning and networking over a short 30 – 40 minute "climate coffee break" on Thursdays.
Please register for each event!
Further details are available here: http://blue-action.eu/training/climate-coffees

Euraxess Workshop on Social Integration

The Belgian Euraxess BHOs invite you to a Workshop on Social Integration. The Workshop will be held online via Microsoft TEAMS.
When? On May 20th (9:30 to 1.30).
Registration is free, but mandatory, via EURAXESS – Workshop «Social integration».

The ESA Global Space Markets Challenge

ESA opened its Global Space Markets Challenge. This competition is intended to be a springboard into international markets for small promising space-based companies in Europe, specialised in upstream and downstream activities.
Developments within small European companies continue to advance Europe’s expertise in technologies, create jobs, stimulate the space economy and benefit daily life through applications such as telecommunication, science data, Earth observation and navigation. This competition serves to extend their reach into international markets.
The deadline for applications is: 23 June 2021 (23:59 CEST).

The OECD International Survey of Science

Are you a researcher or a lab technician and you would like to share your experience about the impact of COVID-19 in your work and career? If that is your case, we invite you to participate in the survey ISSA 2021: Science in society in times of crisis. The survey is organised by the OECD, takes about 20 minutes and is expected to remain open for participation until the end of June 2021.
To know more...

ASM3 Belgium

In order to increase cooperation in Arctic science, Science Ministers from 27 governments (including the Belgian State Secretary in charge of Science Policy), the European Union and representatives from Arctic indigenous peoples' organisations, gathered in Tokyo for the 3rd Arctic Science Ministerial ASM3, 8-9 May 2021). Our Secretary of State intervened within Theme 2, Understand: Enhance understanding and prediction capability on Arctic environmental and social systems and its global impact.

A glimpse on Belgian Polar Research

BELSPO co-leads 3 tasks in EU-PolarNet 2. It will use its vast experience in managing research funding programmes, launching calls and evaluating applications to launch calls for services, seeking input from the polar community to develop European Polar research actions and to provide an overview and better understanding of the landscape and diversity of Polar research funding programmes in Europe and its coordination potential.
BELSPO is supported by the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) in co-leading Task 6.1, with the aim of accelerating the development of a sustained and fully integrated Polar observing system. Recommendations will be summarised by RBINS in a White Paper.

Zomerschool Sterrenkunde 2021

Dit jaar organiseert de Vereniging voor Sterrenkunde (VVS) opnieuw een Zomerschool Sterrenkunde. In vier dagen maken de deelnemers kennis met vele verschillende aspecten van de sterrenkunde. Dat gebeurt via lessen maar ook met heel wat practica, waarin men zelf aan de slag gaat om sterrenkundige ontdekkingen te doen.

First call for access to the new EuroHPC computer

With the first EU supercomputer now operational, the European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU) is officially ready to accept the first applications to access Vega’s HPC system computing power.
From April 2021, access time is allocated to European scientific, industrial and public sector users, matching their demanding application requirements, according to the principles stated in the EuroHPC JU Council Regulation and the JU’s Access Policy. The calls are running in collaboration with PRACE; all the necessary information can be found here: https://prace-ri.eu/hpc-access/eurohpc-access/.
The EuroHPC JU has procured more petascale and pre-exascale supercomputers (the EuroHPC supercomputers), which will be deployed between 2021/2022. They will be located at and operated by supercomputing centres (Hosting Entities) in the EU.
Belgium is part of the LUMI consortium that will host a pre-exascale supercomputer in Kajaani (Finland).

BROADGNSS Open Market Consultation

The BROADGNSS buyers' group (FR, FI, EE) invites potentially interested bidders to participate in the open market consultation for its upcoming pre-commercial procurement to improve the services that public safety and disaster relief organization offer to Europe's citizens.
The procurement aims to buy R&D (research and development) services to develop deployable applications for synchronisation and monitoring of critical mobile broadband communication infrastructure and information assets for PPDR based on EGNOS and Galileo based satellite positioning systems.
Online webinar: 2 June 2021. Online questionnaire: 2 June - end June 2021. Partnering event: 3 November 2021.

#ESRFscience Live webinars

The ESRF is organising a series of LIVE webinars on the latest ESRF research. Our scientists will show examples of recent results of experiments carried out at the ESRF and will present what science EBS, the new Extremely Brilliant Source, will enable.
Tune in via Zoom (Link to be communicated on the website for each online seminar) or via the ESRF YouTube channel to attend the webinar
You will have the opportunity to ask the scientists any questions you may have via the Zoom ‘Q & A’ option.
The organisation of these webinars series is supported by STREAMLINE, a European project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870313.

Webinar on How to prepare a Gender Equality Plan for Horizon Europe?

The Belgian NCPs invite you to a webinar aiming to shed light on this new eligibility criterion. What is a Gender Equality Plan (GEP), what are the obligatory provisions, what is the structure of a GEP, what are the areas covered and possible examples of GEPs, these are some of the points that will be addressed during this webinar.
When? May 20th, from 10.00 to 11.15.
Where? Behind your screen, in your kitchen, garden or wherever you want.
For whom? People involved in Horizon Europe and gender issues in Belgian research organisations.

St George comes home: world-famous altarpiece resplendent

23 April 2021, Saint George's day: After three years of research and restoration, Jan II Borman's iconic Saint George Altarpiece (1493) resides resplendently once again in the Art & History Museum in Brussels. The interdisciplinary research, in collaboration with the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA, Brussels), led to unexpected discoveries and provided answers to age-old mysteries. Thus, after almost two centuries, the magnificently carved sculpture groups were put back in their correct original positions within the meticulously restored monumental masterpiece. This project has been made possible thanks to the King Baudouin Foundation (Fonds René and Karin Jonckheere). From Saturday 24 April, the Saint George retable can be admired as part of the Gothic-Renaissance-Baroque walking tour of the Art & History Museum. For three weeks, visitors will also be able to discover an original statuette of the late Middle Ages and a message from a 19th-century restorer that were carefully hidden in the work of art.

Three years of TROPOMI measurements

With an ever-growing world population, and the ongoing increase in energy consumption, the effects of human activity on the natural environment have never been more relevant. In order to understand and mitigate the resulting problems, such as atmospheric pollution (air quality) and climate change, the whole Earth system (land, oceans, atmosphere and the interactions between them) needs to be carefully monitored.

ESA seeks new astronauts

ESA is selecting new astronauts for the first time in 10 years. BELSPO and ESA will give more information during an event with State secretary Thomas Dermine and Frank De Winne.
Tune in on Monday 12/04 at 11h.

Falcons for everyone!

This year, we invite you to observe 3 Peregrine Falcon pairs established in Brussels. Or rather two and a half!
Indeed, a Peregrine pair are present at the Cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudula at the heart of Brussels’ center, but apparently they are not incubating eggs. In any case, not in the nest equipped with cameras. They are the same couple that failed last spring. Their chicks died within a week after hatching. The cathedral's camera system is up and running, and even automatic recording when a Peregrine - or whatever! - passes in front of the camera. This will allow punctual availability of images. However, in the absence of nesting, the connection to the internet was not (yet) activated. Hence, everything is prepared, just in case. Fingers crossed!
The big news this year is the observation of the couple nesting in the steeple of the tower of the historic building of the Université Libre de Bruxelles, on the Solbosh campus. It is in this building, located along Franklin Roosevelt Avenue, that the Faculty of Law and Philosophy and Letters is located. Connecting this nest to the internet was no easy task as it was necessary to install the optical fiber right into the tower, but the system is now operational thanks to the University teams (who worked tirelessly on it)! The images are superb, the close-ups impressive.
A family of Peregrine Falcons under observation at an university, that is indeed an incentive to science! All the images being recorded, there will be a treasure of data to analyze from an ecological and ethological point of view (= behavioral science). Some future master's theses in biology?
Hatching at the ULB site is expected around April 12.
And then, this spring we also continue to observe the Peregrine Falcon couple that nests for the seventh consecutive year in the bell tower of Saint Job Church in Uccle. But it was already in 2013 that a couple was observed for the first time at this church in the south of Brussels. It was the magnificent discovery of a late Brussels naturalist: Hellin de Wavrin.
Incubation started on March 8 in Uccle. The incubation, at 37.7 ° C (or 99.86 °F), lasts for 32 days. Take the count: the hatching is expected to start on April 9, only a week from now. Patience!
Good observations!

3DEES instrument for the study of Earth’s radiation environment is approved

BIRA-IASB is preparing a new space instrument, 3DEES, in consortium with the Université Catholique de Louvain and QinetiQ Space, to study the Earth's space radiation environment on board ESA's PROBA-3 satellite.

New Population of Eastern Chimpanzees Discovered in Remote Congolese Mountain Forests

A Belgian-Congolese research team has discovered and documented a community of eastern chimpanzees in three small mountain forests in eastern Congo, near Lake Albert. They counted 283 chimpanzee nests in 18 km2 of forest, and estimate that there are 4,6 chimpanzees per km2. The eastern chimpanzee is endangered. More and more forest is turned into agricultural land. The researchers propose authorities to protect these relict mountain forests in the Albertine Rift and involving local communities from the start.

Vacancy for the post of ESA Director of Earth Observation Programmes

The European Space Agency is currently looking for a new Director of Earth Observation Programmes, to join its Executive Board and support the Director General, with responsibility for relevant ESA programmes and overall objectives.
Deadline: 30 April 2021

Neanderthals disappeared from Belgium thousands of years earlier than thought

Belgian Neanderthal remains, including the world-famous Neanderthals of Spy, are thousands of years older than previously assumed. This is the conclusion of an international research team that re-dated the Belgian Neanderthal remains with a new technique. This discovery implies that Neanderthals disappeared from Belgium much earlier than thought and are therefore no longer the youngest Neanderthals in Europe.

Defence-related Research Action (DEFRA) will be launched soon!

In order to maintain the Belgian Defence military and technological edge to face current and future security challenges, scientific and technological research in the domain of security and defence is key.

To further develop its capabilities through collaborative research with external partners, the Royal Higher Institute for Defence (RHID), in collaboration with the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO), will launch open calls for proposals within the frame of the Defence-related Research Action (DEFRA). The RHID is in charge of managing the DEFRA research programme, the funding and the follow-up of the selected projects. BELSPO is in charge of the organisation and the management of the call for proposals.

A first call of the DEFRA program will be launched in the beginning of March 2021, covering three research themes:

  • NEET: Employment of NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) for Belgian Defence
  • SEHS: Small Energy Harvesting systems for Defence applications
  • SPACE: Space technologies for Defence applications
An on-line information session will be held on 8 March (14h00 - 16h00).
Registration is required and can be done through the website.

ExoMars detects new gas and traces water loss on Mars

ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter has detected a new gas for the first time. Sea salt embedded in the dusty surface of Mars and lofted into the planet’s atmosphere has led to the discovery of hydrogen chloride. The spacecraft is also providing new information about how Mars is losing its water.

A major quest in Mars exploration is hunting for atmospheric gases linked to biological or geological activity, as well as understanding the past and present water inventory of the planet, to determine if Mars could ever have been habitable and if any water reservoirs could be accessible for future human exploration. Two new results from the ExoMars team published today in Science Advances unveil an entirely new class of chemistry and provide further insights into seasonal changes and surface-atmosphere interactions as driving forces behind the new observations.

Film screening and discussion 'Through the Eyes'

MuseumTalks KMMA-MRAC | Online - 11.02.2021, 12.30 - 13.30
The film Through the Eyes presents two musical practices from oral traditions: the Elombo ceremony in Gabon and the Carnaval de Binche in Belgium.

The film takes the same approach to these two rituals practiced on different continents. In doing so, it aims to address the question of the representation of culture through music, highlighting the differences and above all the similarities that exist between these two traditions.

The screening of the film Through the Eyes will be followed by a discussion in the presence of the directors and members of the RIETMA project, the project within which the film was made.
The RIETMA project is funded by the Belgian Science Policy.

ESA seeks new astronauts

For the first time in 11 years, ESA is looking for new astronauts. These recruits will work alongside ESA’s existing astronauts as Europe enters a new era of space exploration.
Media representatives are invited to a virtual press event on Tuesday, 16 February, to learn more about the vacancies that are intended to initiate a real generational change for ESA.
The starting point for this is 31 March 2021, when the vacancies for new astronauts open. ESA is strongly encouraging women to apply, because we are seeking to expand gender diversity in our ranks.

NCP Federal BE: new name, new website, new email and new team

The new Research and Innovation Framework Program of the European Union, Horizon Europe, was officially launched on 2 February 2021. The publication of Horizon Europe's first calls for proposals is scheduled for April 2021.

To assist federal actors in submitting proposals in this Framework Program, the National Contact Points service of the federal government has developed this new Horizon Europe website. The name EUROFED has been replaced by 'NCP Federal BE' and the new team can be reached via the general e-mail: ncpfederal@belspo.be

To inform you about the Horizon Europe calls for proposals, EC info days, brokerage events ... the former (EUROFED) news management system will be used. But if you want to stay informed about Horizon Europe, you need to register again (in order to comply with the GDPR obligations).

Ghent becomes godfather city of the new research vessel Belgica!

The city of Ghent will be the godfather of the new research vessel. The State Secretary for Science Policy, Thomas Dermine, took this decision after consultation with the Mayor of Ghent Mathias De Clercq. The city of Ghent had already expressed its interest in becoming the godfather of the advanced research vessel. A candidacy supported by the University of Ghent, an important scientific partner of the Belgica.

IS_MIRRI21 call for proposals

This call for proposals invites all researchers (from academia and companies) working in microbiology and fields related to apply for funded access to any of the 14 IS_MIRRI21 partners facilities across Europe. The TNA offers on-site and remote access to a wide variety of microbial resources and facilities to conduct scientific studies.

Dot the i's and cross the t's… and mark the X: Belgian space control centre (B.USOC) operators are wrapping up the RUBI-X mission

On board the European module of the International Space Station (ISS), January 26, 2021, will mark the end of two RUBI experiment sessions inside the Fluid Science Laboratory (FSL) rack. The FSL rack can host experiments for the study of the dynamics of fluids in space and RUBI — the Reference mUltiscale Boiling Investigation — is expanding our knowledge on the boiling process. At B.USOC (Belgian User Support and Operation Centre), the operators were in charge of this complex ESA instrument.

After the first successful RUBI session, ESA decided to initiate a second session to increase the science output, completing set points that had been left out in the first session, and attempting new conditions closer to the very limits of what the instrument could do. As X marks the spot for success, RUBI-X was a fact. The complete mission hosted 622 science runs (with 3 repetitions for each run), creating a huge amount of nucleate boiling bubbles and recording 12,5 TB of imagery and science measurements recorded on-board. Providing the scientists with plenty of data for analysis.

On Tuesday, NASA Astronaut Shannon Walker will remove the RUBI container from the FSL rack and install the SMD container for the upcoming Soft Matter Dynamics mission that will also initiate additional science sessions studying the evolution of granular matter and foams in microgravity. This complex crew activity is also coordinated and real-time supported by the operators at B.USOC.

Soapbox Science Brussels - Call for speakers 2021

Are you a woman who works in science and who is passionate about your research? Are you eager to talk to the general public about your work in a fun, informal setting? If so, then Soapbox Science needs YOU! We are looking for scientists in all areas of STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine), from PhD students to Professors, and from entry-level researchers to entrepreneurs, to take part in this grassroots science outreach project.

Brussels will host this event on Saturday 26/06/2021. The call for speakers is now open! Please apply before February 28, 2021.

EuroHPC - LUMI kick-off event - 14 January 2021

On January, 14th 2021 the Belgian HPC community is organising the EuroHPC’s LUMI kick-off, an online event with presentation of the LUMI collaboration and HPC use cases.
The event is a unique opportunity to discover the LUMI collaboration and the specification of the pre-exascale machine that will be installed in Kajaani, Finland and accessible to the Belgian user community by the end of 2021. It aims to gather the main Belgian stakeholders from the High Performance Computing (HPC) community: from scientific and industrial users to infrastructures and technology suppliers, HPC enthusiasts and governmental officials.
This online event is taking place on Thursday, January 14th, from 9h to 13h. Registration is required via https://bit.ly/lumi-be-register.
The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking allows the European Commission and participating countries to coordinate their efforts and pool their resources with the objective of deploying in Europe world-class exascale supercomputers. Belgium is taking part in this effort, among others via its participation to the LUMI-consortium. The LUMI (Large Unified Modern Infrastructure) consortium countries are Finland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland. Bringing together their unique expertise and experience, these countries and the European Commission will acquire, host and operate the LUMI pre-exascale supercomputer in Kajaani, Finland. The participation of Belgium to LUMI is a joint effort from the federal and the 3 regional governments (BELSPO, SPW DG06, EWI and Innoviris).

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