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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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