Hello and welcome to the July edition of the Brussels News Updates, the monthly EuChemS newsletter keeping you up to date on the latest Chemistry related science-policy issues, news and upcoming events and awards.

This month, we look back at EuChemS 50th anniversary celebration that was held online on 3 July. We are pleased to announce that you can watch the full video of the event on EuChemS YouTube channel.

In this issue, we also have a look at what can be expected from Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union for Research and Science in Europe, the implementation of new European Parliament committees, and  the ISE Statement for an increase of the Horizon Europe budget, as well as other chemistry related news.

You can read the full newsletter online here.

European Highlights, Research, Innovation, Education, Entrepreneurship

EuChemS online 50th anniversary celebration

On Friday, 3 July 2020, the European Chemical Society (EuChemS) held its very first online webinar to celebrate 50 years since the foundation of the Federation of European Chemical Societies (FECS), which is today known as EuChemS.


The rich, diverse and entertaining programme included the premiere of the first EuChemS video, speeches from 17 live speakers, many photographs from the past years of EuChemS, an original international video with congratulations in different languages prepared by the EYCN – European Young Chemists’ Network.

See the article here.


Germany takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union 

On 1 July 2020, Germany has officially taken over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from Croatia. The COVID-19 pandemic and its recovery plan are at the heart of the 6-months Presidency of Germany, as its motto indicates: ‘Together for Europe’s recovery.’ Hence, research and innovation are put at the forefront of the Germany’s strategic agenda.

In view of the current global health crisis, the German Presidency announced supporting European research and its scientific community by enhancing online platforms and open access.

Read more here.


New special European Parliament committees

On 19 June, the European Parliament announced having set up special and inquiry committees and a permanent subcommittee. Among them, the new special committee on beating cancer will implement concrete actions in order to prevent and fight cancer. The tasks of this special committee will also be to identify legislation and other measures to deal with cancer, as well as finding solutions to support scientific research in this area. The creation of this Committee is a follow-up to the European Commission Public Consultation on ‘Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan’.

Read the article here.


Latest ECHA Committee for micro plastics restrictions

The European Chemical Society attended the Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) online meeting of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in June which addressed several pressing issues. Significant topics were discussed, including microplastics restrictions.

On 10 June 2020, after 15 months of joint work together with Member State representatives, ECHA’s Committee on Risk Assessment (RAC) reached a final opinion on microplastics restriction and supports restricting the use of intentionally added microplastics in EU/EEA products, in concentrations of more than 0.01% by weight.

See the article here.


European Research Area: starting from scratch?

On 6 July 2020, the European Commission opened a roadmap on ‘the future of the European Research Area (communication)’: feedback and ideas can be submitted until 3 August. The aim of this initiative is to reboot the European Research Area (ERA) policy, in order to enhance research and innovation within the poorer region of the European Union, from September 2020 onwards.

Read more about it here.

Open Education for a Better World - OE4BW

The mentoring programme Open Education for a Better World (OE4BW) was held online from 29 June to 2 July 2020. This programme supports the development and implementation of open educational resources (OER). The projects of the OE4BW mentoring programme address topics in relation with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Mentees are enrolled worldwide for this purpose. In 2020, they benefited from the guidance of 84 mentors, who helped the mentees to find solutions and foster OER. The mentoring programme supported 82 projects.

Online workshops were held for 4 consecutive days, covering a wide range of topics, such as inclusive education, natural and applied science, art and society, as well as peace and justice.

Read our full debrief here.

ISE Statement for an increase of the Horizon Europe budget

On 14 July, Initiative for Science in Europe (ISE) asked European leaders for an increase of the Horizon Europe budget in general and a specific allocation of additional 5Bn€ to Pillar I.

This statement is published following the cut of 5Bn€ of the Horizon Europe budget for 2021-2027, proposed by Charles Michel, President of the EU Council. This cut would be added to a budget that has already been reduced several times: the EU Commission proposed 94.1Bn€ in June 2018 and 85Bn€ were being discussed in May 2020.

Read our full debrief here.

Consultations & Roadmap

European Commission Public Consultations
A number of consultations put forward by the European Commission are currently open:

European Chemicals Agency Consultations
A number of consultations put forward by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) are currently open.

You can take a look at them here.

European Food Safety Agency Public Consultations
A number of consultations put forward by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) are currently open.
You can take a look at it here.

Fundings, Nominations & Awards

Marie Sklodowska-Curie (MSCA) open calls
Currently two calls are open:

1. Individual Fellowships 2020
Deadline: 09 September 2020

2. Co-funding of regional, national, and international programmes 2020
Deadline: 29 September 2020

ERC Advanced Grant 
Researchers who would like to compete for an ERC Advanced Grant have until 26 August 2020 to apply for the next round of funding.

Currently two calls are open:

1. ERC Advanced Grants
Deadline: 26 August 2020

2. Proof of Concept Grant
Deadline: 17 September 2020

More information about it here.

EuChemS Events

In the current environment and status of COVID-19, some events recognised by EuChemS are being postponed or cancelled.
EuChemS Events calendar is being updated on a regular basis.
If you planned to attend an event, you can check more about it here.

18th Ružička days – “Today science – tomorrow industry
16-18 September 2020, Vukovar Croatia
Website: see here

Austrian Young Chemists Summit - YC Summit
20-23 September, Online Event
Website: see here

2020 EuChemS General Assembly
24 September 2020, Online Event
Website: www.euchems.eu

Read the full BNU newsletter here

EuChemS aisbl - Rue du Trône 62, 1050, Brussels, Belgium; www.euchems.eu. Produced for EuChemS by Nineta Hrastelj, Laura Jousset and Jelena Lazić. This newsletter has been carefully prepared and only contains correct information to the best of EuChemS´ knowledge, however this does not exclude the possibility of existence of incorrect information. EuChemS cannot be liable for the use or misuse of any information, whether correct or incorrect, present at this newsletter. Intellectual property belongs to its rightful owners, always explicitly traceable on each article. Compilation Copyright © 2020 EuChemS

Céline Wittwer, SCS